Wednesday, 15 January 2014

TNA Analysed 34 - The beginning of the end?


So as you can expect TNA has been under the microscope a little more than usual recently with the departure of the shows creator in Jeff Jarrett and it's most well known star in AJ Styles.  I was on the fence about the AJ Styles departure for a while but after seeing a trailer for his shoot interview with highspots.com it seems pretty legitimate that he is gone.

Jarrett is strongly rumoured to be forming a new wrestling company with a new business partner in the form of Toby Keith (correct me for the spelling there people) and what is most interesting about this is what will happen to TNA and it's office staff if this comes to pass.  Going by the reports Jarrett was well liked by employee's in the office and his new company could be what causes an exodus of talent and staff to his new venture.  It's not like Dixie isn't doing anything to prevent this as recent news states that she has become somewhat unapproachable backstage and in the offices at Nashville, with her being in a world of her own.  Couple this with staff not being given a raise for the last two years and you can see why some people are becoming pissed off with the way things are being run.

More talent have also been dropped in the form of Jay Bradley and Wes Brisco.  Now Wes I'm not too bothered about since he was awful in near every sense of the word.  He looked like shit, wrestled like shit and couldn't cut a promo worth shit.  He had zero memorable moments in TNA, even his shock horror heel turn was telegraphed so early on undiscovered tribes in Brazil knew he was going to turn.  But it's still indicative of TNA's poor management of younger talent since Wes could have been something eventually had they actually given him something to do outside of be baby Bischoff's buddy.

Jay Bradley is a prime example of the failings of TNA gut check.  Gut check winners should have been given more of a push to keep them in the spotlight and let them develop to the point where fans would want to see them wrestle a big match.  However since TNA don't like to give new talent any sort of push unless you happened to have worked in the WWE first you're pretty much fucked.  Jay wasn't the most visually memorable wrestler out there but he was a big guy who had a character he had worked on and his in ring work was good for what we actually saw.  He was in the bound for glory series although you would struggle to remember him since he was jobbed every single time he wrestled.

This is the biggest issue with TNA and it's booking.  They obviously have no trouble bringing in new talent but then they just waste that talent by jobbing them out to older or already over wrestlers like Ausin Aries, Samoa Joe, Bully Ray, James Storm, Bobby Roode and more.  Rather than give the new guys an angle where they come up against some tough competition and win so the fans will take notice, they simply bury them because TNA are terrified of losing any of their currently over wrestlers.  Recent news tells us that a new tag team will be debuting in the form of ROH's American Wolves team.  Now this is good news but we all know how this will end.  Since TNA have no tag division they will wrestle a couple of matches here and there and be forgotten about by both management and fans, eventually being dropped from the roster and from there back to ROH.

It's not a new pattern for TNA really.  For some reason Ring of honor wrestlers seem to want to waste their time coming over to TNA and then do fuck all for a year before leaving or being fired.  Since TNA is looking pretty weak as it is I feel we may be watching the last months of TNA anyway.  The reason I say this is because they may not even have a television deal in the next six months as WWE has started to look elsewhere to broadcast their RAW and Smackdown shows and well Spike may want to have the top wrestling program on their schedule instead of the wank one that doesn't draw in more than a million viewers anyway. 

In perspective a million people watching each week is a lot of people but when you look at how many people are in the United States alone, that is a tiny number and it's not like a million people are buying tickets each year and advertisers on Spike won't want to advertise on a show that only has a million viewers.  If WWE come over to Spike then TNA will be left without a broadcaster for well who knows?  They may never find another national broadcaster, being relegated to local television stations instead.  Dixie was so proud of her deal with Challenge here in the UK but if they lack a broadcast partner in their home territory what does that do to benefit them?  Since the only continent you pay for TNA pay per views is North America they aren't making money from the international fans outside of touring which only occurs once a year anyway.  Sorry North America fans but I get to watch all TNA shows absolutely free including Pay per views since Challenge over here is a gameshow channel and is part of the basic cable package.

TNA may yet surprise us by limping on past the checkpoint and keep going into 2015 but unless they get their act together quick that may not happen.  I have said in the past that I would like nothing more than to see TNA fail and part of me still does since they produce some truly awful viewing that isn't an alternative to WWE in any way, shape or form.  However I do feel sorry for the wrestlers and the fact they have to work in the environment that TNA management have created for them.  These wrestlers will never get a job with WWE even if they are good since WWE pretty much put a black mark on anyone who has wrestled for that company.  The only people who would be signed back again would be Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle with Sting being offered a massive one off payment to face the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.  Everyone else?  well they would be left picking up the pieces and likely doing shoot interviews and book deals to tell their story of 'the death of TNA'. 

One day I think we will see a true competitor to WWE and see both companies fight for the ratings once again benefitting the fans the most, but TNA isn't that competitor.  Once it may have had that potential but now it's simply a joke, something people point at and laugh or facepalm so hard collectively it creates minor earthquakes. 

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