How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

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How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by talkingpoint on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 3:50 pm

TNA are in dire straits right now. Their roster is a skeleton crew, depleted of most of their most talented former wrestlers. Their TV deal is almost lost. They continue to cost cut just to survive. So, what should TNA's top 5 priorities be, in order to reclaim it's former glory and even reach new heights? Here are my top 5 priorities in a somewhat progressive order:

1. Find a new booker. John Gaburick needs to go. The current paradigm isn't working. TNA need to book meaningful story lines with satisfying pay-offs and story arcs. TNA also need to stop giving away so many gimmick matches and title matches on TV.

2. Invest in promoting their product. Dixie needs to invest money in marketing and doing more than just adding youtube content and tweeting.

3. Put on house shows again. TNA aren't getting any revenue from ticket sales at their TV tapings so house shows should be essential again. This also ties in with better marketing and promotion. The more TNA get their name and shows out there, the better the house show attendances will be. However, sensible venues need to be chosen. TNA need to rebuild and therefore need to start small, with venues they can realistically sell out.

4. Impact needs to go live again. TNA need to stop recording block TV tapings and One Night Only PPV shows. While pre-recorded shows have some advantages, ultimately they can't generate the same kind of atmosphere as live shows. Also it will help a lot with keeping their bookings from being spoiled by the dirt sheets. This again is hurting their TV tapings. But, this is dependent on rejuvenated house shows as they will need to sell tickets.

5. Generate more merchandise. This might not sound as high a priority as say improving their PPV model, but I think it's essential. TNA need to start generating more entertainment content, which fans need to buy in order to receive. For example, currently on their youtube channel they have knock outs workout episodes. This is a prime example of a potential DVD product that they are giving away for free on youtube! I think it's a good idea. Fitness is a popular hobby and a lot of people buy fitness products (even if they don't use them). It also appeals to both male and female fans. Why is it being put on youtube? It just seems like a terrible waste. Yes, by all means put a trailer on youtube (marketing again), but don't give all the content away for free! TNA by now should also be releasing multiple video games, each year on all platforms. TNA have had a deep enough roster over their 13 years now to have both existing and former rosters on their video games so fans can create dream match ups for themselves and play them out. TNA have just recently released a few new DVDs including Sting, Jeff Hardy and Hulk Hogan. They need to do way more of this. They need to have multiple lines in DVD content from best of impact, to top drawing wrestlers and PPVs. And toys! TNA need to reinvest in their toy line of merchandise. Every young fan buys toys, I remember collecting all my favourite wrestlers' toys when I was a kid. They have a 6-sided ring. They could create such a cool line in toy merch with the ring and the wrestlers to the add ons such as cages, ultimate-x frames and weapons. For a company that is 13 years in, they should have a really strong toy department by now. Also toys are collectible, they make great collectors items.

*The reason I didn't have replace Dixie in my top 5 is because I don't think that will ever be realistic. Therefore, I chose to just assume that in a perfect world, she would no longer be in wrestling.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by Samo on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 4:28 pm

I'll agree with the fitness stuff, if you're going to produce something you should probably charge for it to get some of the money back. Especially things like this. Everything else though I think is a different story.

Do TNA really have a big enough fan base to justify branching into that much merchandise? Are wrestling fans likely to buy DVD's of Hogan, Sting and Hardy during arguably the biggest lulls in their respective careers? Do enough kids watch TNA to justify spending all that money on licensing and productions to bring out a new line of toys? Could they afford to sink millions of dollars into making another mediocre wrestling game only to be outsold ten-fold by the newest WWE2K release?

T Shirts, programs, posters etc are all great sources of revenue, because they're cheap to produce and relatively easy to sell to the fans. At this point anything beyond that would just be a huge waste of money.


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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by talkingpoint on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:49 am

Samo wrote:I'll agree with the fitness stuff, if you're going to produce something you should probably charge for it to get some of the money back.  Especially things like this.  Everything else though I think is a different story.

Do TNA really have a big enough fan base to justify branching into that much merchandise?  Are wrestling fans likely to buy DVD's of Hogan, Sting and Hardy during arguably the biggest lulls in their respective careers?  Do enough kids watch TNA to justify spending all that money on licensing and productions to bring out a new line of toys?  Could they afford to sink millions of dollars into making another mediocre wrestling game only to be outsold ten-fold by the newest WWE2K release?

T Shirts, programs, posters etc are all great sources of revenue, because they're cheap to produce and relatively easy to sell to the fans.  At this point anything beyond that would just be a huge waste of money.


And that's why it's my #5 and not #1 or #2. As I said my top 5 is somewhat progressive. TNA clearly don't have the money or the fan base to justify spending and investing in their merchandise at the moment. The way I see it, TNA are back to square 1; they're going to need to start all over again from the ground up. But, if they do it right then I don't see any reason why they can't eventually branch into video games and toys. Yes, their merchandise will always be out-sold by the WWE alternatives. Nevertheless, if they stick to the basics of good booking, gain a strong following at house shows and return to live TV with a rejuvenated fan base, then I do believe they could justify investing in expanding their merch and entertainment products. I'm not suggesting TNA should ever directly challenge WWE's supremacy in another fateful Monday Night War, but that shouldn't stop them from wanting to grow as a company and cater to every demographic, young and old.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by Dr Gregory House MD on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 1:54 am

1) Get bought over by a rich Arab consortium

2) Hire Paul Heyman as booker/on air manager of...

3) Brock Lesnar and CM Punk after buying out their contracts from WWE and UFC, as well as hiring AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Pentagon Jr, Ricochet, Kevin Owens, The Young Bucks, ReDragon, Ivelisse, Nikki Storm and The Undertaker

4) Hire Mauro Ranullo and Chris Hero as the commentary team

5) Negotiate a deal with NBC to air on the USA network on Mondays from 8-10est

Seems like a decent start to be getting on with

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 3:00 am

Dr Gregory House MD wrote:1) Get bought over by a rich Arab consortium

Number one is basically the To Do List of every company, sports team or product designer.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by talkingpoint on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 12:51 pm

Dr Gregory House MD wrote:1) Get bought over by a rich Arab consortium

2) Hire Paul Heyman as booker/on air manager of...

3) Brock Lesnar and CM Punk after buying out their contracts from WWE and UFC, as well as hiring AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Pentagon Jr, Ricochet, Kevin Owens, The Young Bucks, ReDragon, Ivelisse, Nikki Storm and The Undertaker

4) Hire Mauro Ranullo and Chris Hero as the commentary team

5) Negotiate a deal with NBC to air on the USA network on Mondays from 8-10est

Seems like a decent start to be getting on with

Well with such realistic targets I'll add firing Dixie to my list.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by Crimey on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 6:17 pm

The problem I feel with your list is this is what TNA should have been doing 2-3 years ago, they're well past that point. They're not in the position to hold house shows, go live or increase their merchandise output. I'm not sure you can 'fix' TNA now, they're going downhill fast and the best they can hope for is to simply plateau at a decent level. I'm not sure how long Panda Energy stick around with a TNA without a TV deal or any sign of getting one, if their funding goes, TNA will die I think and will likely be absorbed by GFW, who'll strip them of their video libraries and copyrights so Jarrett can use the things he wants and they can use TNA video libraries as a way of making GFW the spiritual successor.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by talkingpoint on Tue 18 Aug 2015, 4:35 am

Crimey wrote:The problem I feel with your list is this is what TNA should have been doing 2-3 years ago, they're well past that point. They're not in the position to hold house shows, go live or increase their merchandise output. I'm not sure you can 'fix' TNA now, they're going downhill fast and the best they can hope for is to simply plateau at a decent level. I'm not sure how long Panda Energy stick around with a TNA without a TV deal or any sign of getting one, if their funding goes, TNA will die I think and will likely be absorbed by GFW, who'll strip them of their video libraries and copyrights so Jarrett can use the things he wants and they can use TNA video libraries as a way of making GFW the spiritual successor.

I agree, TNA should have been doing these things years ago. It's an indictment of a wrestling company that after 13 years in the business, they are now a shell of their former selves. Dixie has made bad decision after bad decision and seems unable to either take advice or see the problems before it's too late.

Fixing TNA is going to take a herculean effort by Dixie and co. And I personally believe as long as Dixie is in control, it will never be fixed, because she is such a huge part of the problem. Nevertheless, as fans we can always speculate and share our hopes.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by Crimey on Tue 18 Aug 2015, 4:57 pm

It's also important to remember that sometimes things on paper sound better than in reality and don't always work when they look certain to. For example, TNA got Jeff Hardy at the height of his popularity, no real impact. TNA signed Hulk Hogan, now as much as he has had issues, he's still one of the biggest names in wrestling, just look at how much the recent controversy covered American news. Yet Hogan didn't help TNA grow at all. They reached their peak and I think by trying to push harder and harder to grow and challenge WWE actually ended up harming themselves because they lost their way and I just don't think there is anyway back for them now. The name has been tarnished and I'm not sure Dixie Carter knows how to grow the company. As much as people criticise Jeff Jarrett, some of it justified, he did a fantastic job of taking TNA from nothing to the second biggest wrestling promotion in the world. I don't think Dixie Carter has that in her. I'm also not sure that somebody like JR is switched on enough with the modern product to be an effective producer. I don't even think Heyman has the motivation at this point in his life to do that sort of thing again, he seems very happy in his current position where he can do more of his own stuff and also spend time with his family.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by talkingpoint on Wed 19 Aug 2015, 10:04 am

Crimey wrote:It's also important to remember that sometimes things on paper sound better than in reality and don't always work when they look certain to. For example, TNA got Jeff Hardy at the height of his popularity, no real impact. TNA signed Hulk Hogan, now as much as he has had issues, he's still one of the biggest names in wrestling, just look at how much the recent controversy covered American news. Yet Hogan didn't help TNA grow at all.

This has been the great enigma about TNA. It has been a criticism leveled at TNA for many years now that they don't make stars. Even guys who were draws for the WWE, in TNA don't manage to shift the needle to a significant degree. There are a host of reasons why, but yes TNA does need to accept some of the responsibility.

Take Bad Influence for example. They were getting themselves over with the fans are were genuinely one of the most, if not the most entertaining thing about Impact. Daniels and Kazarian are great wrestlers who were athletic, tell a story and sell. Yet, TNA let them go because they were "going in another direction". What other direction is there for a wrestling company?! When you have talented wrestlers who are over with the fans then you utilize them and use them to make money.

Another example is the infamous Hogan burial of Bobby Roode prior to BFG 2011. Roode was built up to be the next break through star, and was booked to win at BFG getting the rub from Angle. Instead, Hogan exerted his (poor) creative influence and bad judgement and the result was changed. Yes, Bobby Roode went on to turn heel and do some of the best work in his TNA career thus far, but only at the expense of Storm who was robbed of a real world title run. Now their rivalry was the best thing about TNA in 2012, but Storm never really got the rub from it and TNA wasted him right up until his departure this year. So Hogan's bad judgement definitely had a ripple effect long after the decision was fatefully made.

Much of Hogan's detrimental influence on TNA in his tenure was due in part to laziness. Hogan phoned in his on screen performances and was foolish enough to think that trying to repeat the same kind of material from his WCW days would work over 10 years later. Hogan also appeared embarrassed by TNA, with Dixie being too starstruck to actually manage Hogan allowing him to tacitly tarnish the TNA brand when working with the media.

As for Sting, Hardy and Angle I think they're great examples of TNA failing to know how to book them and relying too much on the nostalgia factor. I still have a lot of respect for Sting who I think worked hard to lend his name value to the company, and his Joker Sting gimmick was a stroke of genius. It was one of my favourite reinventions of his wrestling persona. Nevertheless, he joined TNA doing his same ol' schtick from WCW with defeating the 'cancer' of TNA Jeff Jerret in his default face persona as an avenger and guardian knight. Rather than being booked to help make new stars, he was booked to relive his WCW glory days.

This same over dependence on nostalgia booking can be seen in the terrible ECW reunion angles. TNA buried their own roster and ended up putting over a company that no longer existed! TNA thought that by hosting an ECW reunion they would become the spiritual successors to ECW, which didn't happen. This is also connected to how TNA have destroyed the X-Division, the one thing that made them a unique and exciting company to begin with.

You could also point to other bad booking decisions like AJ Styles last ever match. It was a disgraceful way for a wrestler who was formerly mr. TNA and one of their few home-grown stars to leave the company. And it also inadvertently ruined the world title reign of Magnus at the same time, making his title run absolutely pathetic after all their good work in building him up as a face chasing the title.

This is why firing Gaburick and getting a new head booker was my #1 priority. Because TNA doesn't know how to book their roster to the fullest potential. Time and time again, TNA waste their talent or creative decisions back fire on them, because they were not thought through.


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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by dyrewolfe on Wed 19 Aug 2015, 1:28 pm

Great post TP. Agree with pretty much everything, except your comments about Sting.

TNA did try (albeit unsuccessfully) to use him to put over newer talent. I lost count of the times he either lost clean or was screwed out of wins. While it didn't tarnish his character as such, watching him in the ring lost some of its excitement because the outcome was often predictable. It also meant that beating Sting ceased to be a big deal.

IMO they should have used him the same way WWE use the Undertaker. They should have built him up into this huge near-mythological character. That way he could have remained this major star / authority figure AND any other talent would have got a big push from beating him.
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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by talkingpoint on Thu 20 Aug 2015, 1:55 am

dyrewolfe wrote:Great post TP. Agree with pretty much everything, except your comments about Sting.

TNA did try (albeit unsuccessfully) to use him to put over newer talent. I lost count of the times he either lost clean or was screwed out of wins. While it didn't tarnish his character as such, watching him in the ring lost some of its excitement because the outcome was often predictable. It also meant that beating Sting ceased to be a big deal.

IMO they should have used him the same way WWE use the Undertaker. They should have built him up into this huge near-mythological character. That way he could have remained this major star / authority figure AND any other talent would have got a big push from beating him.

good point. I guess Sting did put guys over. Your suggestion brings up another issue in that TNA have been very hit and miss with their streaks. Samoa Joe's initial streak was awesome, but then you have Crimson's streak that ended in nothing with him leaving the company. It will be interesting to see how they will book the end of EC3's streak and whether it will result in a great pay-off and rub for whoever takes it. Knowing TNA probably not.

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Re: How to fix TNA: what should be TNA's top 5 priorities?

Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 20 Aug 2015, 2:11 pm

Some very good points of your own there TP...which comes back to something I've harped on about for quite a while...the creative team's inability to follow through with, or end stories / feuds properly. I know injuries / illness / personal problems can put wrestlers out of action at inconvenient times, but it happens so often, I'm more inclined to put most of it down to bad writing.

I think EC3 is about the only person to have been booked properly and pushed fully since Bully Ray and his vengeance quest to put Dixie through a table (probably the best thing Dixie ever did for the company Wink ).

He's probably also the only guy who really got a benefit from going over Sting, as its now part of a pretty notable track record. All the other guys who beat the Icon were already established TNA stars and/or the feuds were short-lived and unremarkable.

Spud is the only other person who comes close. He had a great build-up, including his feud with EC3, but when he finally won the X Division title, his reign didn't last long. Having a guy his size beating heavyweights doesn't do anything for anyone's credibility IMO so I can't understand why he exercised Option C. Now he's feuding with Bobby Roode, after beating Aries and forcing him to quit the company.

I really like Spud and think he's a great character but it just doesn't make any sense to me. Would make far more sense to me to build him as a huge star in the X Division.

Anyway, yeah, I think in order to really fix TNA, they desperately need to get some creative people with half a clue how to tell a good story.

Sadly I think you're right and they will somehow manage to make a hash of ending EC3's streak. Really it needs a good clean win, especially if the new champ is someone like Galloway. Screwy finishes just undermine their legitimacy. Also Carter has been booked as a strong character lately, able to win without interference, so he deserves to have an epic match like his Full Metal Mayhem win over Matt Hardy...absolutely loved that.
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