TNA’s fortunes aren’t going to change overnight. But the truth of the matter is: they really are improving. Earlier this week, we outlined two minor changes (improve website & clarify name). Yesterday, we opened a new can of worms that required our thoughts to be split into two posts because they call from a seismic shift. TNA needs to change the way their TV looks and they need to leave the Impact Zone…
After some vigorous googling, I discovered this information posted on
TNA.com Impact.com TNAWrestling.com ImpactWrestling.com:
There are several problems with the information above and those problems shine through on TV. First, filming that many episodes of TV over the course of that many days means: You’re attracting the same crowd night after night or you’ve got a different crowd each night and they don’t know what happened at the last few TV tapings. Both are a problem.
If fans are there several nights in a row, fatigue absolutely sets in The matches aren’t quite as impressive anymore nor do they command your attention they do on night 1 or 2. Your excitement for superstars wanes with each appearance. It’s like binge-watching with no time for excitement to spread through the wrestling community. WWE works because when Dean Ambrose’s music hits in Cleveland or Miami, those fans are probably seeing him live for the first time in a long time. They scream and shout and chant and jump up and down. Seeing Bobby Lashley (or any wrestler) for the 4th (or 7th) consecutive night can’t evoke the same excitement, even from the biggest fan. TNA isn’t shying away from this schedule though. They just announced at 7 night stint at Universal Studios in October.
Then you have the opposite problem: Fans who are unaware of what’s going on because they’re not up to date on what’s been filmed in previous nights. Even worse than that, you get people who don’t even like wrestling but like free stuff. Yes, TNA tickets are totally free. People in the Impact Zone aren’t paying their hard-earned money to see their favorite stars for a once or twice a year experience, they’re tourists and locals who have some extra time on their hands. Sure, there are fans who are passionate about TNA but look in the crowd on the next episode of Impact. You see tired fans, confused fans and disengaged fans. Crowds make or break wrestling shows and the audience in Orlando does TNA no favors.
Another problem TNA faces with their current filming schedule: Spoilers. Spoilers are unavoidable in taped wrestling. WWE just ended their spoiler issue by introducing Smackdown Live. NXT deals with them. Ring of Honor and other indies have the issue too. Taped wrestling takes away the ‘anything can happen!’ excitement because if something earth shattering happened, you would have heard about it well before you ever get the chance to see it. The aforementioned companies survive despite spoilers because there is generally something you still really want to see with your own eyes. They earn your time. The stakes just aren’t high enough in TNA yet to make anything feel like must watch TV.
Maybe they’ll get there, but TNA is also two hours. Getting fans to dedicate two hours to taped wrestling was something WWE couldn’t even do within their own fanbase. Now with Smackdown Live, Raw and all the other wrestling out there, TNA might be trying to get blood from a stone with wrestling fans already dedicating several hours a week to live events.
Here’s the weirdest and worst part in all of this: Rumors are constantly swirling that TNA is about to go out of business because they’re broke. You’ve got a company like Ring of Honor that travels, has amazing talent from all over the world and a decent TV show, yet you never hear a whisper about them closing. But the company with a bunch of WWE rejects that films 21 hours of programing every six weeks in the same studio in the same city is struggling for money? Boo hoo.
Is it the production costs that are bleeding the coffers dry? Is it the contracts with bigger stars? Is it the free tickets that generate no revenue? If it’s any or all of the above, the solution is simple: It’s time for TNA to tear down the Impact Zone, eat some humble pie and take their show on the road. Tour the country with 2-3 HD cameras like Chikara or Evolve does. Cut ties with costly contracts. Get fans to pay to see stars like Mike Bennett, Drew Galloway and EC3. Become an independent wrestling promotion. Work in conjunction with companies nationwide and have your title defended all over the globe. Get us talking. But first, please fix the web site!
Tomorrow, we give credit where credit is due and highlight everything that works in TNA!