FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

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FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

Post by crippledtart on Fri 16 Aug 2013, 5:43 pm

Also available at http://v2journal.com/17/post/2013/08/fixing-tna-how-a-few-small-changes-can-make-all-the-difference-chapter-5.html

WHETHER VIEWED AS A SIMULATED SPORT OR A WORK OF FICTION, WRESTLING NEEDS TO REGULARLY INTRODUCE FRESH LEAD CHARACTERS

An audience needs new characters to invest in, especially in the starring roles. New characters breathe life into all forms of entertainment. Contrary to what some in the industry may suggest, it also does not take a great deal of effort to establish a new, fresh, young act as a major star in a wrestling promotion. It didn’t take a lot with Hulk Hogan in the AWA in 1981, or Sting in the NWA in 1988, or Kurt Angle in the WWF in 1999.

The crucial factor, other than sheer talent, was that these wrestlers were treated like a major deal by the promotions they represented. A wrestler doesn’t have to toil in the midcard for five years before you can make a star out of them; in fact, a wrestler who has toiled in the midcard for five years is often too damaged by that point to ever get to the top.

Look at how quickly other sports develop stars. Usain Bolt was an overnight sensation. Not only did he have charisma, good looks and a cool factor, but he was the fastest man alive. This can be replicated in wrestling: take a charismatic, cool, good looking wrestler and book them to win all their matches. It’s that simple. What about fiction? Well, it only took one scene to establish Tony Soprano as a star. It isn’t difficult. All that is required is that the right people are selected for the roles, and they are portrayed strongly.

If a promoter believes in a wrestler, and has faith in that wrestler, the audience will usually catch on. If that wrestler has talent, there is no reason why they cannot be accepted as a genuine main event star. Perhaps most importantly, by interacting with established stars, and being portrayed not as submissive rookies but as leaders and alpha males, this goal can be quickly achieved.

The key is simply in the wrestling promotion recognising talent; having enough competence to critique a wrestler's skills objectively and determine what strengths and weaknesses that wrestler has. If TNA selects the right wrestlers, with the right level of charisma and talking skills, and the ability to tell a compelling story in the ring, the only thing that can stop those wrestlers being accepted by the fans is bad writing. If the previous steps are followed, there will be no bad writing!

The vast majority of wrestlers have flaws of some description, however small or large. Even the biggest draws of the last thirty years had drawbacks; Ric Flair wasn't particularly muscular and had a lisp, Dusty Rhodes was overweight, Hulk Hogan had a bald patch and looked a decade older than his actual age, The Rock's repertiore doesn't look particularly painful on his opponent, John Cena has cartoonish facial expressions.

With some wrestlers, there are fatal flaws which will stop them ever being valuabe main eventers. Somebody who is pushed based on his physique alone will not turn into a long-term draw unless he can take the fans on an emotional journey in his matches. Similarly a wrestler who can have great technical matches, but lacks charisma, will find it difficult to sustain a main event
role.

But, as long as the wrestler has enough skills in key areas, they can get over. The promotion just needs to choose the right people, accentuate their positives and hide their negatives (an infuriating thing that wrestling promotions have done in recent years is have feuding wrestlers highlight and critique each other's weaknesses. The fact is that if wrestlers had done this to Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair it would have damaged them. 1980s WWF heels didn't acknowledge Hogan's bald spot because it would have harmed him as a draw).

If a wrestler receives a push, and that push fails to ignite business, it is the promotion's fault; either the promotion chose the wrong wrestler, it failed to accentuate that wrestler's talents, it failed to hide the wrestler's weaknesses, or it did not provide a strong enough infrastructure in the form of writing and presentation to establish that wrestler as a star.

The most exciting time to be a wrestling fan is when there is a new star. The 1980s WWF boom began when the old guard was replaced by the likes of Hogan, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage. The Rock and Wrestling scene wouldn’t have become the phenomenon it did had it revolved around Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales and “Superstar” Billy Graham, all top stars and major draws in the 70s. Similarly, the late 90s saw huge business because it had a whole new main event cast. Steve Austin, The Rock, Goldberg, and even the New World Order were all hot acts which felt completely fresh and different.

TNA has done a commendable job of elevating the likes of Bobby Roode, Magnus and Austin Aries, and in reinventing veteran performers Bully Ray and Christopher Daniels as relevant acts, but the whole show needs to revolve around those wrestlers, and other main eventers who feel completely fresh and new. So far, the pushes of these wrestlers have been almost apologetic, as though the company still doesn’t fully believe in them.

These wrestlers need to be the top stars to truly feel like a new wave of wrestling stars; they need to be in the major segments on Impact, they should not be presented as comedy acts, they need to be at the centre of advertising and marketing of TNA, and they need to be the main names in every TNA press release. They need to be treated as the most important thing in the wrestling world. When they play second fiddle to retired or semi-active veterans, or to TNA roster members who aren't even wrestlers, it hurts their perception.

The time has come for TNA to present compelling new acts as its main attraction. When that happens, people will be intrigued and will tune in to find out more about those characters. But if those people end up seeing too much of the same faces who were around the last time they tuned out of wrestling, they will have little incentive to stick around this time.


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Re: FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

Post by Derbyblue on Wed 21 Aug 2013, 8:38 pm

The time has come for TNA to present compelling new acts as its main attraction
Who would be your picks for this push?

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Re: FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

Post by crippledtart on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 2:28 pm

Personally my top four would be Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, Jeff Hardy and a heel Magnus, with Joe as the number one babyface and star of the show. I'd also feature Aries and Styles as the stars of the X division, with Bad Influence and a reformed LAX as the stars of the tag division.

But I don't think it has to be those wrestlers. It's just that they are probably the most polished and well-rounded acts TNA has at the moment, and they feel young and in the prime of their careers (even though none of them are particularly young, with the exception of Magnus) and not like a bunch of cast-offs.

Obviously, the one problem with those wrestlers is that they've been in TNA forever. If it was a possibility I think TNA should scout the indy scene and go all out to sign the most talented three or four acts they find. To be honest, all of them could probably be paid for by releasing Sting.

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Re: FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

Post by Dr Gregory House MD on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 2:45 pm

I've long been an advocate of TNA making better use of the indie scene, I often wonder if it's just the smark in me coming out but it's not like they haven't enjoyed success with it before, even 10 years on Joe, Styles and Daniels remain among their most endearingly popular acts.

It also has the advantage of bringing something to a mainstream audience that is a) fresh and b) can be totally associated with TNA.

I suppose it's a matter of scale but Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle debuted at roughly the same time, and Joe has only been in TNA about 18 months longer than Angle, and yet Joe is a TNA guy, while Angle still draws a lot of association with WWE.

I really don't get why they don't make more use of the indie scene, they could make their own roster who can be associated with TNA, just as 4 names plucked off the top of my head, Uhaa Nation, Ricochet, Adam Cole and Noam Dar

All 4 of those guys have real selling points, the first 2 have a real 'you have to see this' quality while the other 2 have so much potential at a young age it's scary, you've got to think that any of those 4 would create more of a buzz around the company than let's say, Knux

Anyways I'm enjoying this crips, keep up the good work.

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Re: FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu 22 Aug 2013, 5:40 pm

Do indy talents want to sign with TNA? Serious question, I know its TV but the company hasnt got the best rep and it does close them off to performing in a way they enjoy and may blight their copybook for a chance at WWE

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Re: FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

Post by nadeem2099 on Fri 23 Aug 2013, 1:16 pm

i don't think jeff hardy is a top level wrestler imo. He is good in ring but his mic skills are not. I for one am not a creature of the night. But the fans love him and i get why he gets pushed so much.
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Re: FIXING TNA: Chapter Five

Post by Adam D on Fri 23 Aug 2013, 1:28 pm

I am a creature of mid afternoon as long as it doesnt interfere with my nap.

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