Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Survival Tactix: Spoken Well....

I've been listening very intently to every word and I think I'm hearing things being boiled into a few different channels.....acquisitions, writing, home, and marketing. I'd like to ask some questions, give a few answers, and put a bit of perspective behind these different areas and try to see if we can narrow it all down into something workable. So without ANY further ado......

Home......
TNA left the Impact Zone and it's been worth every moment of it. For those who call Florida home, it's nothing against you, but calling Universal Studios home made TNA stagnant and without a varying audience to rile in one direction or another, it made it very difficult for TNA to gain any head way. I bring this up not because I'm reading that SOME believe Spike TV is the problem. Allow me to stress something critical here.....up until WWE shafted Spike TV by leaving them high and dry with little notice, there was, quite frankly, NO other wrestling presence on the television landscape. WWE was putting up MUCH higher numbers on Spike, running from 2002 all the way until 2005 or so, when they returned to USA Network. To be fair, with a supporting cast of shows on USA of the caliber of Burn Notice, Monk, and others, it's easy to say that TNA is at a disadvantage, but when WWE was putting up HIGHER numbers back then than they are now, the argument begins to fall apart.

Spike TV has been a GREAT supporter of the TNA product and has put up capital for them to travel and promote a bit more. Granted, more could be done on that front, but with a consistently decent rating each week, it seems reasonable to assume that Spike isn't the problem.....so what IS? Some of you mentioned leaving the smaller arenas, but the problem with that is two-fold. ONE....TNA isn't drawing enough fans to arenas to expand into the larger arenas WWE frequents. TWO.....WWE has been pulling rank and contract, putting pressure on the larger arenas AND squeezing into smaller arenas in big cities to keep TNA from becoming direct competition. How can TNA enter into competition with the big dog in the yard when they won't allow them into the yard to begin with?


Acquisitions......
Rob Van Dam left because he didn't believe he was being treated like a big deal. So also said Booker T. So also said Scott Steiner. Simply put, they were a drain on funds and I say good riddance. RVD surprised me when I read his rationale because I thought he was more professional than that. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice? Nope. Van Dam fits into the same category as Booker and Steiner as far as I'm concerned.....self serving, apathetic, opportunists who want to service themselves and force the young talents back down the card. From about early 2011 on, TNA has done a terrific job under the reign of the regime most claimed would destroy the brand. Instead, they've brought stability, freshness, and a larger tier of World Title contenders to pick from. Could they stand to pick up another former WWE free agent? That depends VERY MUCH upon whom we're talking about. If they want to be a part of the history of wrestling by helping to build an organization and aiding in the establishing of brand new stars? I'm all for it, bring them in. Otherwise, let them be.

Writing.....
I've talked at great length about WWE's method of writing, which often leads to complete or partial show re-writes the day of and, often even hours before going on air. TNA has taken to planning their storylines out up to 6 months in advance, leaving little to the day of other than minor talking point changes. TNA has taken a bit of the guesswork out of their product, which has been refreshing to me personally, but I do have to admit, there are sometimes points in the show where I wonder about how necessary certain promos were or segments. You want fresh storylines. The Aces and Eights storyline has breathed new life into the brand and, in terms of the way the story was told, they did a masterful job of spacing out the action to put plot points into their proper perspective. SOME argue that the current storyline is too much like the nWo. I'm proud of those who feel that way. Why? Even though I don't at all agree with the assessment, fans who believe that show themselves to be the brand of fans WWE covets.....the ones who were there when the Monday Night War was at its peak.....the ones who remember.

Marketing.....
TNA is making SOME strides in their home market, but the fact remains.....TNA needs to do better in this area. Without enough ads and TV spots on competition's air time, there is NO WAY people who COULD tune in on Thursday WOULD do so unless they knew there was more out there than just the canned shows WWE is putting out right now.

So now to MY questions.....

-Is Brooke Hogan a factor in TNA's growth, whether in her absence or presence?
-If Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Sting, and Hulk Hogan didn't make a difference in ratings, who WOULD?

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