The only thing worse than having a wrestling show take place in the same location every week is having a wrestling show that allows non-wrestling fans attend and watch the product for free. Not only does it hurt TNA financially, but it hurts the overall product. The Impact Zone is just a side-show attraction to tourists at Universal Studios, and I’m not a big fan of that.
I don’t know about you, but when something massive or important happens during an episode of Impact Wrestling, it’d be nice to get a positive (or some sort of) reaction from the crowd. Yeah, they chant “TNA” or “this is awesome” once in a blue moon, but charging admission to get into the Impact Zone would get actual wrestling fans into the building. More importantly, it would generate a little bit of money and help with the entire atmosphere.
The Impact Zone isn’t dead every week, but atmosphere helps the wrestlers in the ring feel proud of their work and also encourages the viewers at home to get invested in what’s happening on their TV screens.
TNA has an interesting list of historically bad World Championship reigns. Kurt Angle holding the title for a day (2007), Mick Foley (bless his soul) signing a short-term deal with the company and winning the title from Sting at Lockdown 2009 and James Storm’s disappointing eight day reign in 2011 are amongst the worst in TNA history.
Right now, TNA made the right move by putting the gold on Magnus, but my fear is that they will book him poorly, which will hurt his reign and Magnus as an overall wrestler. I understand that heel champions are supposed to take the easy way out, win by cheating and by any means necessary, but at this point in Magnus’ career, he should be winning matches cleanly (most of the time) and decisively.
Guys like Bully Ray have been around the business a long time and can get away with using “heel tactics” each and every match, but Magnus is not a proven star just yet and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t have the most potential on the current TNA roster. TNA should have the Brit look impressive in his non-title matches and when the gold is on the line, then have him resort to cheating. Magnus needs a strong, convincing reign in order for fans to get invested in him because as of right now, he isn’t as over as he should be.
The same theory goes for any other superstars that become the TNA World Heavyweight champion in 2014.
In order to create new stars, TNA needs to put championships on guys like Magnus, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and other home-grown stars. Have them compete and defeat superstars such as Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy because victories over those two superstars brings instant credibility. No shenanigans, no short-cuts, just one-on-one matches that can showcase and promote TNA’s home-grown talent, not former WWE talent. Jeff Hardy will sell tickets, but everybody is well aware of his overall accomplishments. Something like a James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy program would be something I could get behind and invested in.
It’s astonishing that Christopher Daniels has never won the TNA World Heavyweight Title and Samoa Joe has only won the major championship once, back in 2008. Joe is a perfect example of TNA wasting their talented roster. Bobby Roode, on the other hand, was the longest reigning TNA champion in history. Remember when Roode finally lost that Title to Austin Aries? The roof blew off the building and TNA finally did something right. Hell, Aries’ victory even had CM Punk talking.
To help TNA’s 2014 survival, they need to rebrand the company by creating original storylines and putting more focus on the X-Division. I mean what the hell happened to the X-Division? It seems like there are only two superstars in that division, Austin Aries and Chris Sabin.
Over the past two years, TNA has been trying way too hard to be like their “competition”. Take a look at these recent similar storylines/concepts:
“The Wheel of Dixie” = Raw Roulette.
AJ Styles and Claire Lynch catastrophe = John Cena and AJ Lee scandal.
Magnus and AJ Styles holding the TNA World Championship = CM Punk and John Cena holding the WWE Championship.
TNA is desperate to make more money and achieve higher ratings. Creating new, original storylines, signing new tag team wrestlers (Young Bucks, Briscoe Brothers, World’s Greatest Tag Team) and X-Division talent (Paul London, Sonjay Dutt) is what can help them achieve that goal. Maybe they can even bring back the six-sided ring if they want to really differentiate themselves.
Dixie Carter’s Impact Wrestling is going downhill. They used to be an alternative to WWE, but within the past few years, it seems like they’ve been a cheaper, straight to DVD version of the world’s number one wrestling promotion.
Is there any hope for TNA Impact Wrestling? What changes would you make in order to help TNA survive 2014?