A question has been asked. How does TNA go from where they are now to the bigger show without going bust like WCW did? How long will it take to compete with WWE? The first question is being answered as we speak. The second? Well, that's a bit tougher to answer. I DO have some answers, though, so without further intro.....
1. Climbing ratings......TNA HAS to get out of the 1.0 ratings they're used to enjoying. Consistency is good, to be sure, but sooner than later, Spike TV officials, fans, and shareholders are going to want to see the progress in a more tangible way than just show quality. What good is a top notch show if only a select group of people are watching? By my best estimation, they just need to keep doing what they're doing and put out a good, strong show each and every week. The storyline is progress right now is doing the job, so the focus NEEDS to be on not screwing that up, for the moment.
2. Open up to talents everywhere......Eric Bischoff, I'm guessing, is up to his old tricks once more. In WCW, he wisely scoured the GLOBE for talents, instead to sticking to his own backyard. TNA is doing just that with their GUT CHECK Challenge by taking the concept to the UK. The UK has been arguably TNA's biggest overseas support structure. It only makes sense to start there to seek out a new talent or two. As home of William Regal, Douglas Williams, and current BFG Series contender, Magnus, UK has put out a strong number of very talented performers and I would wager a strong chance that yet another will be brought into the fold.
3. Spotlight the specialty divisions more......Every once in a while (not often anymore), TNA needs to be reminded to keep spotlighting the X Division and Knockouts Division. Part of that is to introduce new performers to the mix, giving a wider variety of talents for fans to get behind. Another aspect is to hold strictly to the 30 day defense rule. Each champion MUST defend their belt every 30 days. That means there will never EVER be another Eric Young and ODB, who have not defended their belts in months. There is no excuse to not have enough performers. If your truly believed that, you wouldn't have let go of the Knockouts that left. Not only that, but the new faces on the roster from the Gut Check Challenge really need to be brought in quickly to fill in the gaps left by other women and men who have gone.
4. Patience.....Things like this take time. More importantly than that, though, TNA's growth doesn't depend on them completely. It also depends on fan support. If more fans watch their programming, buy their merchandise, interact with the stars and staff, and get involved in the product, the TNA brand will soar. Simple as that. In stark contrast of WWE, TNA understands that their fans are their life blood. That's precisely why TNA holds meet-and-greets after their live shows and at PPVs; so that fans can get a more personal interest in the product. It's also why a good deal of talents stick around as well. Sure, the schedule is lighter than WWE's, but being in a room filled with fans and getting that kind of confidence boost from them is a great charge if you love the business as much as they do.
Contrary to a lot of critics, I don't believe that moving to another network will "fix" TNA. In another time TNT was only a couple of years old when WCW came on board and made it a nationally recognized power. Fact is, Spike had WWE from 2000 until 2005 and their ratings held just fine. TNA isn't WWE, though and their road is a bit longer due to them having to build their fanbase from the ground up where WWE's had followed from long before.
That's one reason I write these columns: to generate fan support. TNA does need to grow. With growth comes rewards for those who have done their part on stage and in the ring and behind the scenes writing the stories we love watching on our televisions. Getting behind the product is the best way to begin moving onward......and upward.