In a conversation had last night with my column writing cohort, a subject came to mind that begs to be discussed. February. You see, in the new schedule for 2013, February is a PPV-free month. This is the gap between Genesis and Lockdown. There is no word as to what could FILL said gap as of yet, but you folks know me, I like to explore. I say we do just that.....
From January 13th until March 10th, TNA will run PPV silent. That means 8 programming weeks before the next PPV. To go further with this, on the other side of Lockdown, we're looking at the same 8-9 week gap. Lockdown is like PPV Alcatraz, for those of you who want a working example of what that looks like. My question is really very simple: Can TNA bridge that gap both safely AND in such a way that makes the gap not feel so long? As a pro-TNA columnist, I feel compelled to say "yes", but since the past few weeks of Impact have been a bit lackluster, I have conditions.
1. The Aces and Eights story HAS to keep moving. If TNA believes their own fanbase has enough patience to go 8 weeks WITHOUT any significant change in pacing, they have a rude awakening confronting them. Revelations HAVE to come and they have to be game changing in order to keep fans both interested AND to buy themselves the time they need to put the finishing touches on the ultimate reveal.....the Leader.
2. The Brooke Hogan/ Hulk/ Bully Ray/ Austin Aries saga needs to either converge with the Aces and Eights story, as stated in an earlier column, move into interesting territory, or be dropped completely as it, by itself, is functionally unnecessary.
3. If the Joseph Park story is on TNA management's list of things to bring to the forefront, they need to have movement on THAT front as well. If they want to create Abyss from scratch with the alternate personality angle, fine, but let's see the progression, shall we? If they want Joseph Park to be a completely new persona and for Abyss to be someone new as well, fine, but let's bring out the monster in short order and really make some connections for the people to sink their teeth into.....unless the separate entity or split personality is the leader of the faction.
Since these stories have been driving the shows as of late, it seems reasonable that they continue to be so until such time the build toward the Lethal Lockdown Team build-up. If TNA does this as I surmise they will, teams will consist of 4 or 5 and will be announced week by week leading into the event. That still leaves 3 or 4 weeks of blank space, meaning TNA will have to find a way to occupy that space with something worthwhile.