Nevermore: My Frustrations With TNA (Part 2)

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Nevermore: My Frustrations With TNA (Part 2)

Post by Adam D on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 9:03 am

by Raven Effect - part 1 here 


            Losing Spike TV sucked, but being honest, Spike TV didn't do Poopie to help TNA. They didn't advertise a Frak thing for this company. I truly believe if Spike would have plugged TNA the way that they plug Bellator then they could have pulled anywhere from 1.5-2 million viewers consistently. Then again...Dixie Carter never advertised or marketed TNA while on Spike either, except for on her own personal Twitter account. 

            Destination America is a much smaller network, and it was a step back for TNA. But, credit to Dixie Carter for getting TNA a new network home in the United States. In a lot of ways this should have been a blessing. Destination America would have to be happy with TNA's ratings even though they obviously wouldn't be pulling in a million viewers each week until D.A. became more available, but clearly TNA would and has brought more viewers to their network. The best benefits were that D.A. was actually advertising TNA and was giving them additional programming hours. WWE is a product that desperately needs to put out less hours of programming whereas TNA needed another hour desperately bad. This new network could have possibly been a blessing in disguise.

            But then Dixie Carter was Dixie Carter. Leading up to the premier and shortly after that, D.A. advertised for and marketed TNA more in a few weeks than Spike TV did over a few years. But, eventually the advertising and marketing died down, and this is where Dixie Carter should have matched D.A. and advertised and marketed just as much, created campaigns, and got commercials on a wider variety of network. We all know she has the money to do it, and it's literally mind blowing just how little this woman seems to think promoting her business actually does. Her own Twitter account seems to be her only form of advertising and she does a terrible job of it and it only goes to a very small population. Marketing is literally basic introductory level business information and it's not even on TNA's radar. I really don't think it's necessary to explain to anyone reading this why marketing is important. 

            TNA had a two hour second show called Unlocked which was a blessing like never before. This was the opportunity they've needed for years to develop more storylines, and get so much more of their talent they can't fit on TV consistently more time to shine and develop. TNA would have been able to rebrand and build back up their X division, a tag team division, the Knockout's, and show promo's and exclusive interviews that could benefit TNA like nothing else ever had before as far as their actual on screen product. Instead, Dixie and company literally put another replay of Impact on the air that showed one exclusive interview, and resembled VH1's Pop-Up Video but with pro-wrestling facts from Mike Tenay, and we all know that this show got cancelled. I truly feel that if Dixie made the decision to actually show new product and use more of her wrestling talent that the show would have gotten much better numbers that would have possibly resembled what they get each week with Impact. Odds are TNA will never get those additional hours of TV back, and it's another example of Dixie Carter and TNA Wee weeing away a golden opportunity. "Greatest Matches" was given a dog Poopie time slot, and didn't have much of a chance to really do that well, but I do think it may have helped potential new viewers if the show actually showed the actual "greatest matches." When the show first started they began with legends and former WWE stars, which I completely understood why they were doing it, but then it just got insulting. Most of the matches featured were in the Hulk Hogan years where the wrestling quality took a step down and the crowd's were nowhere near what they used to be, it was like they still glorified the regime that set them back years. They also neglected a lot of their homegrown talents and legends like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Bobby Roode, and Austin Aries. They've now lost those hours of programming as well. As a loyal, die-hard fan wanting and hoping to see TNA turn the corner and move forward it's beyond frustrating. Words cannot describe how frustrating it is, really, anyone with the slightest knowledge of pro-wrestling or business could have not Frak this opportunity up but Dixie Carter did without hesitation. 

            Adding more insult to injury, TNA recently announced a handful of new shows that they are going to air on YouTube, and not a single one is an actual wrestling show. It's another opportunity to showcase the rest of your roster and build credibility, notoriety, and credibility for the rest of the roster and they're not doing anything with it.

            Adding to her failures, the woman may have sealed TNA's fate on Spike by not only going back to Vince Russo (how can she not realize he is not the answer by now?) but also lying to Spike TV executives about it; cannot proof read who she is sending emails to (once is understandable and can happen to any of us, but again?). 


            We are all aware of the rumors about TNA being dropped by Destination America. Time will tell if these are true or not, and I explained how I feel TNA could have stayed on the network regardless earlier. But, we have heard comments from the roster that have brought up the infamous conference call and it does appear that she has lost a lot of support from the roster, and she should be informing her talent the truth about the rumors one way or another. The thing that is the most degrading and insulting (granted this is a rumor) is that there are reports that during this conference call Dixie had a camera crew filming her give a speech to the roster in hopes to project it as a reality TV show. Not only is that degrading and insulting to her employees if it is true but it's also very telling about where her head is at, and where her heart is. If I were one of her employees I wouldn't want to work for her if that story is true either. It seems her intent is to hire someone who has been with WWE in the past to run talent relations, and it has done nothing but harm her company. Dixie's company had the most success being an alternative to WWE, yet she seems to want to be more like the WWE, lose more fans, and have former WWE employees take advantage of her as head of talent relations to where it would be hard to not think she continues to hire someone on Vince's under-the-table payroll.

"Big" John Gaburick

            Since I started writing this awhile ago, another situation has come up with Hernandez. While Hernandez is at fault in his own way, this is something that never should have happened if the person is charge did their due diligence. Instead one of the best remaining overall talents on their roster in MVP seems to be taking the blame and leaving the company at the time I am typing this sentence. Yet, Gaburick remains employed. 'Big' should legitimately be fired and sent packing by the time I finish typing this. He has done so much damage to TNA is such a short time, it's downright frustrating as a TNA fan that Dixie hasn't axed this guy yet, and we can only sit on our hands and watch all the talents with contracts coming up leave the company because it's extremely difficult to assume that anyone will actually resign with TNA.

            I did acknowledge the fact that the show has been pretty good under his watch for roughly one year, but that's the only positive and that is starting to fade away quickly. While the show was good enough to forgive him in the past product wise, it hasn't helped business wise because his vision alienated so many remaining fans at first, and his new vision hasn't brought them back either as he continues to ignore what made TNA so good in the first place, and fans didn't tune back in to see the changes he's made anyways. 


            While the show has been pretty solid up until the 7/9/15 show, it's hard to ignore or forget what he has done to the roster and this is the biggest reason he must go. Under his watch, he has allowed Mr. TNA AJ Styles to leave TNA, this guy had nothing for one of (if not the) best acts on the show in Bad Influence and felt that the Bro Mans were better for TNA than those two (by the way, why is it one or the other? Why not create a surplus of tag teams?) and two other beloved TNA originals who helped build TNA and gain the loyal, rabid fan base that they once had were ran out by Gaburick, he had nothing for Chris Sabin and let him leave after months of obscurity just roughly eight months after he was the TNA world champion. Bully Ray was the saving grace for TNA during Big's first year in charge, he booked Bully to be in the biggest angle completing the biggest task in putting Dixie Carter through a table and eliminating her as an on-screen character, and then let him leave TNA weeks later instead of allowing someone actually staying with the company to get the rub; of course Bully appeared back on WWE TV a couple of months later as Bubba Ray Dudley the mid-card tag team wrestler making TNA's main eventer look like a mid-carder in the WWE.


            "Big" has ran more talent and big names out of TNA than anyone else during his tenure or at least allowed them to walk away, just to name a few since his tenure began: AJ Styles, Sting, Daniels, Kazarian, Bully Ray, Chris Sabin, Samoa Joe, Low-Ki, Sanada, Havok, Santana Garrett, ODB, Gunner, Magnus & Mickie James' possible return, MVP, Austin Aries, and James Storm is no longer under a contract with TNA, and who knows what will happen with Homicide again, then add to it that Kenny King has some decisions to make too. The number of talents and the quality of talents to replace all of these roster subtractions do not even come close to matching what TNA has lost despite some very good acquisitions to TNA. Right now the roster is easily the worst it's ever been, and the smallest it's ever been. Truthfully, for a period from roughly 2006-anywhere from 2011 to 2014 (depending on who you ask with a non-spiteful opinion of TNA) TNA may have had the best collection of roster talent out of any major wrestling organization ever. Now, I think it's actually clear that TNA actually has currently the worst roster of any major promotion of all time. ECW in their very final days is the only roster I remember looking so bad, and they at least had Paul Heyman to use his brilliance and hide a lot of its flaws. I guess that's only fitting since roughly one year ago TNA was doing all they could to put over a deceased ECW over their own company.

            To make matters worse, since Gaburick's been in charge TNA has brought in talents that would benefit them so much but yet have failed to actually sign them. I know a lot of talents will slip my brain here, but to name a few: Trent Barretta, Dalton Castle, Rubix, Veda Scott, Shanna, Alpha Female, Cherry Bomb, the Von Erich's weren't special but how bad does TNA need tag teams? I hear a lot of good about this Pepper Parks person (though I'm shocked it's a male not a female) hell Chris Hero was in their own building one time with Roderick Strong, even bringing back guys like Crimson or Sonjay Dutt. The talent with the most potential he brought back is doing commentary for them and time is going to run out on his window very soon. Tomasso Ciampa should have been an absolute must sign for TNA but yet it's GFW that actually signs the guy, that's embarrassing, and TNA should have went and got Chris Hero a while ago (and just made sure he stops imitating Chris Harris). There have been rumors that Mike Bennett and Roderick Strong are not under contract with ROH and the fact that TNA hasn't nabbed either one of them just says a lot about this current regime. But then again, it's clear as day that guys who have been released from WWE developmental and/or former WWE guys are much more important to "Big" than the best wrestlers from ROH and the indies that WWE is too stupid to sign.

How Frak insulted can we be as fans if they really are shelling out money to try and get Rey Mysterio but didn't seem to make much of an effort to keep Austin Aries?

 All that we've got in replacement for this long list of names that have departed TNA is Frak Grado, and Hernandez...but now we just have Grado!


            Not only has he let so much talent leave, but he's done a terrible job of actually writing them off of TV during their departure's for the most part. Samoa Joe lost to Austin Aries via DQ and then was just gone, no angle or loser leaves town match, etc.; Bully Ray was involved in the biggest storyline of 2014 and got the biggest payoff and then just left. It wouldn't have had the same feel but they could have had Bully fail the night Dixie went through a table only to have someone like The Wolves (who she refused to sign without a tryout on TV) put her through the table and get them even more over that night and do what Bully failed to do. MVP and Hernandez will just be gone without getting beat or sent out or putting anyone over. Hulk Hogan should have been ran out by Bully Ray (although blame someone with no knowledge of wrestling history and actually gave Hogan creative control). Low-Ki just left for good because he hurt his shoulder? No spoilers but I don't understand much about Magnus' departure, they basically allowed him to acknowledge he was done with the company on Slammiversary even though he has at least a tag team match with James Storm and a mystery partner coming up soon. He's also let talents just leave in the middle of crucial storylines just like Joe, Low-Ki, Magnus, Bully Ray, Sanada and Santana Garrett.

            On a side note: Can anyone even explain why in the hell the Rising needed to disband or either stable for that matter in order to have that match? They literally did absolutely nothing to establish any kind of character with Eli Drake or Micah. This would have been relevant had we seen a little more with Micah, and literally anything with Drake. There was nothing to give a rat’s ass about with this because they never did anything with Micah or Drake in the first place. I hear great things about Drake but much like me most viewers are not following independent wrestling or guys who got released in WWE developmental. So when Eli Drake turned on Galloway why should anyone give a Poopie? Some guy rarely seen on TV who has said like four sentences in as many months just turned on Drew Galloway...okay. It made miles of sense to put Micah and Drake in the tag team division and let them talk and wrestle, and establish themselves before this break. And what in the hell happens to Micah? It's just another example of extremely rushed angles and storylines that end too fast without payoff during his tenure.


            "Big" has created multiple factions. While I actually like and enjoy stables and factions, I'm in the minority when it comes to the people who are regulars on this site. That said...what is the point of these stables? They aren't doing Poopie for anyone in them other than James Storm, Taryn, and well...MVP. The Revolution elevated Storm's character and has gotten Khoya on TV but completely damaged everyone else. Sanada and Manik went to completely irrelevant jobbers, and Abyss somehow ended up worse than either of them. Abyss is now abysmal. Everyone in The Revolution other than Storm is nothing more than a jobber so why create the stable anyways just to make people be jobbers? They formed no tag teams out of this even though Sanada & Manik made complete sense to do so; nobody has been in a feud for any title either. Everyone can talk about how great the Dollhouse and their bad acting has been but the bottom line is that Marti and Jade are nothing more than jobbers with time on TV to be shown talking or laughing. The BDC was great at first with a lot of potential and we know what happened with that...Vintage Gaburick and typical TNA.


            Since Gaburick has been in charge, never before have PPV's been advertised or booked so poorly. Both Sacrifice last year, and Slammiversary this year there was damn near no announcement of what was going to be on the card until a couple of days before the PPV. Slammiversary was close to being a wash this year, and last year BFG was disrespected and ruined (along with the TNA fans) and for what? A relationship with a promotion in Japan that they're no longer working with within a year of ruining their biggest show of the year. Yet alone, they've allowed an ancient Muta to go over on two former world champions, and even Sabin in a six man tag, whereas TNA benefitted nothing from yet another partnership, I'm sure Sanada got elevated, and Muta got to go over on more talent he has a solid twenty years on. 

            Gaburick seems to really only go all in on his guys that he brought in only (barring a handful of exceptions) and has damaged or exiled so many of the great talents who built TNA, still have a lot to give and it doesn't benefit the company very much. EC3, The Wolves, and Bram are great talents, and great finds that are the true building blocks of TNA. Drew Galloway is good, and even the most hardcore of WWE fanboys said he was better than being a jobber in WWE (until he signed with TNA and then he was actually a talentless jobber all of a sudden) but he's one dimensional and hasn't necessarily been special at all but still a good signing that needs to wipe that jobber stench off of him before really becoming a main star (at least another year at the very minimum), I'm led to believe that Eli Drake is great from the commenter’s on TNAsylum but I've seen nothing of him to judge. 

The guys he has brought in (all but The Wolves from WWE in some form) seem to be the only one's really getting pushed hard. I can see why but it's coming at the expense of a lot of TNA's top talents and originals who are still too good to be pushed aside. I love EC3, Bram and The Wolves but I am very frustrated watching Bobby Roode, and James Storm get shoved into mediocrity even though they should be main eventers, world champions and should have their talents maximized not minimized. These guys can put over, make and elevate the younger talents even if they are the ones who actually win the match. It was also frustrating watching a "TNA guy" in Austin Aries never get used right or properly since Gaburick took over despite being the most over guy in the ring every time he performed, and it seems like TNA didn't even make an effort to keep him on the roster. One of the biggest balls the company has dropped amidst a huge a huge fumbling problem.

I do wonder if EC3 would honestly have been given the chances he's been given and the effort put into him if he wasn't brought in by Gaburick and also if the character on TV wasn't supposed to be a blood relative of Dixie Carter.

This regime has also seemed to milk a cow dry by having one person hog constant TV time with promos or talking segments and different times (i.e. Dixie Carter and MVP) I am more afraid that they ruin EC3 by putting him in this position next more than him mirroring the TNA championship reign by Magnus.

            The pushing of his guys over the talents that made TNA makes me fight with myself on the inside to enjoy how great they actually are because I am resentful right now at the way he's treated and booked the "TNA guys," and I don't want to end up resenting Big's guys for no reason. I was watching the new documentary on the Monday Night Wars and Kevin Nash speaks about an incident with Eric Bischoff where he bursts the bubble of an excited Bischoff buzzing about WCW by saying: "You don't get it do you? You have nothing but a few ex-WWF guys beating up your entire roster." That's exactly what's going on in TNA and anyone other than Eric Young is suffering for it right now. 

We've seen career mid-carder Matt Hardy get a clean pin fall over James Storm, and I can only hope when he wrestles Roode this week that they do not put Hardy over him too. MVP without much re-establishment was going to win the TNA championship, Drew Galloway already wins a battle royal and challenged for the belt, Bram and EC3 were released form WWE development, Micah beat Kenny King clean, Bobby Lashley became world champion in just a few months and this is despite the crowd clearly wanting to see Austin Aries be the one who eventually ended up beating EY for the belt. The TNA talent who built TNA to its best success is being made out to look second rate to the wrestlers from a different company during TNA's least successful time. Even worse, there's only a small handful left of the talent that built TNA left because they've all been cast away during Gaburick's reign as head of talent relations. 

Final part tomorrow!

Adam D

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Re: Nevermore: My Frustrations With TNA (Part 2)

Post by talkingpoint on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 11:02 am

I agree with all these sentiments.

Dixie doesn't understand how to market her company. I get the impression that she is obsessed with social media and is under the delusion that traditional marketing strategies have become redundant because of it. Yes we all have smart phones now with youtube apps, twitter and facebook, but you still need to promote your product intelligently and honour some of the tried and proven methods.

I was hopeful when Gaburick first came to TNA, but my respect for him has slowly and steadily been eroding. I too have reflected on the amount of great talent TNA has let slip through their fingers and how kayfabe wise nothing seems to be done about it. They're there one week, gone the next without any forethought or contingency planning. This happens so much it is an embarrassment.

TNA had one of the greatest, most exciting rosters and whether it was personal bias and prejudice, or just downright incompetence some of their best talent has left, possibly never to return. I really can't see anyone like Christopher Daniels or AJ Styles ever coming back to the company with the state that it is in right now. Even Magnus and James Storm saw the writing on the wall and made the decision to leave.

There should have been a whole host of indie talent trying to break into the TNA roster, but now as was said in the article, the roster is the smallest it's ever been and looks so pathetic. Dixie and Gaburick have run this company into the ground. Both need to go, but out of the two of them, I think Dixie is the bigger liability. Perhaps with better management and leadership Gaburick wouldn't have been allowed to get away with as much unprofessionalism from their head booker. The buck stops with Dixie.

As a TNA fan myself, who has desperately wanted it to be the genuine alternative to the WWE it set out to be 13 years ago, I am really disheartened by the gradual demise of TNA. I never want promotions to fail and I still don't want TNA to fail. But, it's hard to be optimistic when the reality is staring you in the face.


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Re: Nevermore: My Frustrations With TNA (Part 2)

Post by dyrewolfe on Fri 14 Aug 2015, 2:48 pm

Another excellent article. clap Can do nothing but agree...

Looking forward to part 3!

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Re: Nevermore: My Frustrations With TNA (Part 2)

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