So this is the new normal. Hmmm....interesting. Yes, the Hardys are gone and yes, others have followed suit, but I'll be the first to admit, things haven't dropped like a stone and, with the added influx of GFW talent, it's actually been pretty positive, all things considered.
I LIKE the consolidation of the titles picture. Too many titles clutters a brand. Simple as that. Impact Wrestling has become the new normal....not TNA, not TNA presents Impact Wrestling...just Impact Wrestling. Well, okay. See, here's the thing, I'm glad they've done this...they've finally come out and said it...."TNA is dead". I am FINE with this. I've been saying it for YEARS now. They need to rebrand and, while I THOUGHT they would simply take on the GFW name, Impact is more "mainstream" for want of a better name for it.
Cards on the table, folks...I kinda feel like this is a brand new brand. Sure, there are a few folks from the old guard, but this cast of characters is something different with a different leadership structure, a different viewing dynamic and the whole thing is shifting and morphing into something new; which is no bad thing. I miss some folks from the old guard, no doubt about it, but even without Joe, Styles, and Roode, this thing is taking on a new path into a new place and a new vision and I say bravo to those who have been called upon to take up the mantle. Dutch Mantell, Bruce Prichard (whose podcast is rivaled by none on the podcast circuit), and the like have done a good job taking on the task of bringing some relevance to the brand. 15 years is still infancy and to that point, I think this HAS to be criticized under the right set of circumstances and CANNOT be judged on the same level as WWE or any of its affiliate shows. Impact Wrestling is NOT NXT, so I don't judge it the same way or use all of the same metrics to measure them.
Impact is learning their lessons as they go, which is something that HAS to be granted to them as their little spat with the Hardys has been tough to get on with. As much as the "Broken" gimmick was created in partnership between Matt Hardy and those in creative with TNA at the time, it WAS under the TNA umbrella and as frustrating as it may be to those who want to see the character in WWE, myself included, it HAS to be understood that just as WWE has the right to put their stamp on a performer's look or palette, TNA HAS to be given their dues on that front. They've put out documents to their narrative and these are pretty telling when you view them through the business lens and MUST be treated with the view that they are being as transparent as they can be about the story of the creation and development of the "Broken" persona and story.
As for things coming? Well, there ARE characters in development OR debuting in the coming weeks and months that will help keep the product evolving and changing and WILL make the brand something to keep a watchful eye on as the year goes on. As for this page? I've decided to make another attempt to go the distance. Day by day, my plan is to try and shake the dust off this mind and go back to digging for you guys. I know it's been a while, but now just might be the time to jump back into the water and train once again.....