Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's Left to Offer?

Kevin Nash, who turned his back on TNA late last year, may be getting cold feet in his relationship with WWE. His latest tweet: "WWE going young. Your my fanbase. Sit on my ass or watch my buddy Sting's ass?" My question to anyone reading this column.....what does Kevin Nash have left to offer TNA AND should TNA take him back?

While diving into past history is often clouded by youth and things some would rather forget, Nash has had an unquestionable impact on the wrestling world. I wonder, however, if some of his luster hasn't worn off despite the crowd pop at the Rumble this year, when he returned under the Diesel moniker once again. I, too, was stoked to see his return to the big stage, but was IMMEDIATELY disappointed with the performance he was allowed. Additionally, he was not afforded a follow-up performance in the months that followed. I can only imagine how disappointing that can be.

His statements in the days following were troubling as he claimed to be "WWE for life" and the like, but now that the grass has turned to dust beneath his feet, he wants to maybe come back and be more of a main stage guy again. I would love to see TNA take him back, but he's doing nobody any favors. He needs to pick a side and stay on it. TNA has been good to him; giving him a place to ply his trade at his leisure and a schedule that will at least give him SOME screen time.

I do have one more thing to say.....
RVD made a comment some weeks ago that got people into a hissy fit. He called himself "bigger than TNA". People were up in arms. "What an idiot!""How conceited!" I only have one thing to say to those people.....SHUT UP! RVD, Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan, even Kevin Nash are bigger than the companies that made them. They transcend the boundaries and no matter what company they work for, they will be treated like rock stars. Van Dam wasn't being cocky, he was being honest.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Put Your Best Foot Forward Without Losing Your Leg.....

In the past 24 hours, one of my sources has revealed that TNA is viewing PPV's in a different way. Since there isn't as much profit in terms of buys at the moment, the cards are being played closer to the vest until up to 2 weeks until the event. While I can neither confirm or deny this rumor,  this perspective is not the perspective I understood about a year ago at this time. It had been suggested to cut down on the number of PPV's in order to make money as Vince hasn't tried it and the economy had been in such dire straits.

Jay Lethal, one of TNA's most vibrant young X Division stars has been released. It's been speculated that he was among the X Division stars complaining most vocally about not being spotlighted as it was promised that they would be. While his postings since then have been optimistic, realistically, his options are limited. Historically, former TNA stars haven't survived longer than one year with WWE and have gone with very little success. This bars those who began their careers with WWF, left and returned. Christian, R-Truth (who once competed with WWF as K-Kwik), and Jeff Hardy. In fact, unless my count is wrong, only one TNA made star ever held gold in WWE.....Kid Kash. Jay Lethal does have a point, though in his concern.....where IS the push the X Division has been promised?

TNA is in a unique position this year as their rebranding is in it's infancy, it's direction is as yet unrevealed, and it's talents are just beginning to see some attentions. There is a fine profit to be made in this stage of the game and TNA has begun on a good note by taking their show outside of the iMPACT Zone from time to time. The numbers seem to be doing decent, though not great. The storylines are getting better and more coherent with time and are longer lasting to keep builds until their proper time.

My suggestions are few, but here they are.

- While my grasp of operating from town to town is not fully developed, it seems that larger towns make more money. Iowa, Minnesota, and other midwestern states have been underutilized for their money making possibility. Cities like Des Moines, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Duluth, or Ames have yet to be explored. Just a thought.

- Pull the plug on a single PPV and build to a huge one. Take one out before Slammaversary or Bound For Glory or Lockdown. Call attention to it. Put on a press conference telling your fans that you are going to save them some money and bring them a better product they can be proud to order in bulk. If there are free agents to be had, now would be a good time to snap them up. Debut them on a special live iMPACT and let them build into a good solid feud.

- Let go of the Knockouts Tag Titles. There aren't enough women on the roster to make a feud over them worth it.

- Put Samoa Joe, who has been a fan favorite for YEARS; Matt Morgan, and Daniels at the very top of the card chasing the heavyweight belt. Joe went from holding the belt when Kurt Angle first arrived to being in feuds in the undercard. PUT HIM BACK!
 Morgan went from Heavyweight Title Contender to feuding with Scott Steiner who has no business holding TNA's big trophy. It might have been a different story about 4 or 5 years ago when the Main Event Mafia was in power, but he was played like a upper-mid carder and that's where he ended. BRING MORGAN TO THE TOP!
Daniels was in the main event at Final Resolution with AJ Styles only weeks before his release. After, he was lost in the shuffle. Christopher Daniels puts on a clinic EVERY TIME he comes through the curtain, he has a character the TNA fans love AND he's an original. Let's not forget his years left of service are somewhat limited. While he's in great shape, to be sure, time is not on the side of the Fallen Angel. PUT HIM ON TOP AGAIN!

And so ends another chapter in the analysis of the little company that could. My TNA brethren, by the time all the pieces are in place and the curtains go up...it'll be SHOWTIME!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crash and Burn....

It's been reported that CM Punk is burned out. Apparently, 5 years on the constant move with WWE has taken its toll. Perhaps Edge, Christian, the Hardy's, RVD, Kurt Angle, and a host of others who began during the WWF's weary road schedule infancy can shed some light on what that's like. I've been saying it for years now....a lighter schedule is the thing that will save a wrestler's career, not banning moves. Enough practice to keep the ring rust away and a workout regiment to keep the superstars in pristine condition could mean the difference between a wrestler tearing down the house with an amazing match and burning out before making it to the house to begin with.

While I'm on the topic of travel...I may as well point out another thing that could potentially cause problems, and this on the end of the consumer AND wrestler. The sheer number of PPV's produced by any one entity must be toned down a bit in order for the personalities to fine tune their storylines and put together more compelling drama. In so doing, you also create an environment where more important PPV quality build up matches to be shown on free television in order to bolster the ratings AND give the fans who've turned up for the events something to remember.

TNA has done a tremendous job of keeping a moderate travel schedule by comparison to it's larger competitor and that may keep them more fresh with higher quality matches by their talents. By cutting down TNA's PPV load, they stand a chance at making more money per PPV and potentially making up any losses by putting more emphasis on building towards the PPV's that remain. By cutting from 12 PPV's to perhaps 9 or even 6, Spike can put on a 3 hour special each quarter with whatever they choose from a Clash of Champions-style event to a spotlight type slot showcasing some of the best matches and feuds over the course of TNA's history. Truly the sky is the limit.

Vince won't listen to the little guy he's putting shows together for and he'll never look to save his consumer money in the current economic conditions. TNA, however can not only save their consumers money, but they can also provide ample opportunity for their followers to potentially spend more on merchandise and other things on the flipside as well as more units from the PPV providers every other month. Think about it.....

The Picture.....

So....RAW has it's mystery GM, who has been faceless for over a year. TNA has The Network, who promises to be revealed in short order. While the sources I've read seem to believe it isn't Dixie Carter, some others believe it to be Mick Foley, who has been absent since shortly after EV2.0 was dispatched. It might come as a good surprise to people like me, who saw all the garbage Bisch and Hogan did to him in the storylines earlier, but this is compelling television by my reckoning.

Also, I'm really digging the Bully Ray character; it's EXTREMELY heel. It kinda reminds me of what HHH was back in 2002-05. The cold and calculating piece of garbage who seeks only his own. That's the kind of character who can create some ratings when fans get to see him get his rear end fed to him.

Daniels, I have no idea if you will ever read this, but WELCOME BACK! You have been sorely missed and there has been a hold in the roster that only you would have been able to fill. The return was put together brilliantly and has been playing out pretty well. I only hope they will give you the big strap sometime this year. No, I wouldn't dream of spoiling the surprise.

I would like to make a prediction....Joe, Pope, Morgan, and Daniels will be in the top tier main event type feuds before year's end....unless someone is holding them back.

The Reason for the Madness.....

Okay, so it's been FOREVER since I've written ANYTHING wrestling related and most of that is due to some of those who would like nothing more than to kill off a bastion of hope in the wrestling universe. They mistakenly believe TNA is nothing more than a fly by night, two bit organization filled with cast-offs and rejects from the big man on the hill.

Those of you who follow wrestling will know exactly why I titled this page "Tag Teams, Knockouts and Wrestling..." but to those of you who don't, these are the things Vince hates. I figure it'd be fitting to put something together that won't be hacked, scrapped, and ransacked; something that will stand the test of time and maybe, just maybe, will be read by some of the most influential people in the entire industry....the fans of TNA.

Now, I don't really do this on my own. I, too need help. Please feel free to comment and make as many suggestions as you like and if there are any questions, I will do all I can to answer.  So....here's to the future of TNA....