Don't think the thought hasn't occurred to me. It has. Probably more recently than at any time in the past 12 years. All this time, I have defended TNA and gave hints and survival notes on how TNA can best stay afloat, but I'd be lying or naive if I were to deny that the question has popped into my head....
Yes, these are conspiracies and yes, it's hopeful thinking, but what if it's not? What I mean is what if TNA actually goes under? Does it change anything? I have a couple of theories, but right now, the question I've been dealing with is whether or not this blog is still relevant if the subject matter holding it up falls down and out. Well? Do I change the name to reflect the new hunt for what I find relevant in the world that rivals Vince? And what's so special about the stuff Vince DOESN'T own?
So many questions bubble to the surface when I think like this, but it's only natural to want to know that what you've invested so much time into has all be for naught. I mean.....have I wasted my time throwing my support behind a failed experiment? I say NO.
And do you want to know why? That IS the most important question, after all. Why. What reason is there? Why is the PERFECT question when things go wrong or when things fall into place the way we plan. The question why provides answers, reasons, and motives and gives perspective when all three point somewhere that makes little sense.
To put any minds interested at ease, I'm not going anywhere or even changing the name of this blog. Why not? Because in spite of everything that's gone down and even IF TNA goes under, I still believe in the three things that drive Vince crazy; Tag Teams, Knockouts, and Wrestling.
So where does my attention shift if TNA goes belly up? That depends upon who has the best chance of putting up the best fight against him and the machine that's behind him. TNA is and has been the front runner for the past decade. In fact, Ring of Honor, who had a tv deal with Sinclair, NEVER even came CLOSE to competing even with TNA, let alone WWE. TNA not only competed with WWE's third branch for a time, but they had been sniffing the heels of WWE's second place show for nearly two years.
Is it possible that TNA has been limping forward on the hopes of securing a new tv deal and the reason Spike hasn't offered a new deal is because the programming isn't good enough to meet standards? I suppose that might be, but right now, TNA has signed talents whose contracts don't expire until well after the date Spike TV's television deal expires. Add to that the fact that the ring change, the new season of British Bootcamp airs as the deal expires and the fact that the 2015 Maximum Impact Tour that goes back to the UK is still on the books, meaning that plans have already been in the works. In a climate that tells critics to watch the demise of TNA, officials in highest ranks are telling performers that everything is still okay.
Why would that be? MY belief is that the offer from Jarrett is still on the table and that he and Dixie knew Spike TV wasn't going to give them the deal they were asking for and decided to work the problem from two different angles. Which goes something like this....
1. Dixie and company continue to work the day to day operations and call the departure of Jeff Jarrett from the company a "business decision". On the short term, the biggest names (Sting) in terms of paycheck status will have to be allowed to leave and find their place elsewhere. Have the crew continue to seek out a deal with Spike in spite of the difficulty and try to shop the product out the door.
2. Jeff Jarrett has to secure money to fund a new banner, something that the casual fan will be able to say out loud without fear of sounding like a pervert with a secret indulgence. With MEGA name value attached to the enterprise and influence enough to attract attention, Jeff should have no problem securing a television contract. CMT, MTV, any network with a reasonably high viewership and steadfast loyalty is the goal.
HERE, folks, is where things get complicated. AJ Styles, Sting, and other homegrown stars on TNA's roster all leave within a few weeks of each other. How do you explain that? Do you remember how I mentioned that Global Force Wrestling has standing alliances with AAA, New Japan, Wrestle-1, and other worldwide companies? Think about ANY former TNA wrestlers. AJ Styles, Konnan, Judas Mesias, Alex Shelley, Luke Gallows, the list goes on and on. Each of these performers have one thing in common: they all fall under the umbrella of the Global Force Wrestling. My theory is that Jeff Jarrett had been planning the funding and such long before the story came out and he wanted out even as early as 2006, but things simply weren't coming together to give the incentive so he advised some of the earliest departures from TNA to find refuge someplace within the confines of a list of perspective alliance feds. Once Jeff was officially free from his duties in TNA, which was designed to come off as a shock to the wrestling world, he was able to line the deals up squarely and was able to do so in record time, blaming the process in his interviews on advancements with the wrestling world.
With TNA's track record tarnished by bad booking, a revolving door of writers, and funding difficulties from the top down, they NEEDED a facelift, but they couldn't just abandon the project with a tv contract and worldwide commitments to honor, so the status quo had to be maintained.
You want signs that this is true? Fine...here's how we'll know that an acquisition has taken place:
1. Global Force Wrestling will make their first appearance on the world stage in the same way as WWF did when they acquired WCW....on two networks at the same time. Global Force Wrestling will be promoted with some SERIOUS gusto leading up to their premiere.
2. Bound for Glory news will be carefully guarded and when the event happens, we'll see something begin to happen in kayfabe that will directly relate to the merger. Imagine AJ Styles coming back to end the show with the rest of Bullet Club since New Japan has him under their employ...that kind of thing.
3. ShopTNA.com will have a MASSIVE sale. We're not just talking about small percentages, but bundles will increase as well. Why? With a name change like TNA to GFW, there is a crap ton of TNA merchandise to liquidate in order to set the house in order and we'll even see live shows chock full of giveaways.
4. Other performers will walk away from the brand in the coming weeks. Bully Ray is just the tip of the iceberg.
I realize this is a long column, but there's just so much to talk about and I'll bleed this into the next because of all the details that have to be ironed out.