Tuesday, 23 July 2013

TNA Analysed 15 - How to cut talent and alienate fans

So TNA are still making headlines in the wrestling news by continuing the cuts backstage and revealing new details about the current financial state of the company.  Firstly and yes this is old news now, but it is confirmed that Bruce Prichard has indeed left TNA after disagreements with the company in regards to his contract.  What is funny and incredibly hypocritical is that the disagreement was over the lower pay rate contracts he forced on numerous staff and talent in the company.  Clearly when it was his turn he couldn't accept that he was in the same boat and left.

Apparently Prichard being gone was something of a relief for the locker room as he was viewed as being a pretty negative influence backstage much like John Laurinaitis was when he was head of talent relations in WWE.  Prichards run was pretty short all things considered and really from what I have seen online he did more harm than good.  I don't know maybe he did some good backstage but it was hard to see in the product when you watch every week and see the same old shit being churned out.

What is more concerning though is the fact that Dixie Carter recently told talent that there is a strong possibility of more cuts being made because of the current financial situation TNA finds itself in.  This is mainly brought on by the completely bat shit insane strategy of cutting pay per views to save money (good) then recording 8 pay per views to show throughout the year to cover the fact that they cut 8 to save money (dumb and bad) and then decided to go on the road (really fucking dumb).

So yeah TNA cut 8 pay per views from their schedule in order to save a fair bit of cash.  Since each pay per view would have been in a different location each month and all the rest you can see why this was a good idea.  The company isn't making as much money as it would like so dialling is back is a smart move.  But why in the name of the great sky demon would they then decide to record 8 one night only pay per views earlier in the year to cover the fact they cut 8 shows in the first place?  Sure they recorded them in the impact zone but bringing all that talent in and running the shows pretty much in the space of a month or so cost them a small fortune, thus wasting all the money saved. 

How this even made sense to management is scary because to anyone else it would seem stupid beyond belief.  Maybe they had projections that suggested people would buy these crappy pay per views each month but when you look at what was on offer and how none of it had any relation to the current TNA story, why would fans buy these shows?  Watching a show that has a bunch of guys come in and compete in a tag team tournament for cash is only going to mean something if the winning team were on impact or at least mentioned which it is not.  Also it's slightly jarring to see some wrestlers who are say members of the main event mafia suddenly not being in the mafia, because it was filmed 5 months ago so again why watch these?  Over in the UK these shows are free and I don't watch them because if there isn't any story development why bother?  Even if the matches are good it doesn't mean anything because they aren't fighting for anything in particular.

I have said before that going on the road was a bad idea for the company and this is proving to be true.  With these cuts and more expected in the near future why are they still pushing forward with this?  They can't be making that much money from the shows especially when it was revealed that talent are being paid late.  Yes you read correctly, the talent are being paid their shitty amount of cash late.  Even the grand poobah of shite himself Hulk Hogan was paid late and considering he is on a $2 million a year contract that is certainly saying something.  I wouldn't be surprised to see impact going back to it's pre-taped system in Universal Studios simply because they can make more money or at least save more money by not travelling from state to state in the hopes of grabbing new fans.

The problem TNA suffers from is that to get new fans they have to have a product that stands out and really makes you want to see them each week.  At the moment TNA is watchable only in the way a train crash is watchable.  It's small contingent of hardcore fans will love them whatever they do, but when the company continually rides on WWE's ideas without being original themselves, why would any potential new fan want to watch? 


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