This was recently on the Observer front page, under the title “A former major wrestling star looks at where TNA stands today”:
By name withheld
I was thinking about this when I heard that Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff were not at the TNA PPV & the last TV taping. They are already setting up their exit strategy with 3 months left in their contracts. It’s no secret to even an idiot like Dixie that they conned her for a bunch of money & some initial press releases that made TNA seem bigger then they seemed. After 9 months they brought nothing to the table.
1. The Monday night war cost a ton of money with reduced TV viewership. The end result was that TNA spent the last 3-4 months rebuilding their lost audience from the move from Thursday to Monday to Thursday. TNA garnered roughly the same 1.2 rating prior to the Hogan faction a year ago.
1. PPV revenue to my knowledge had gone down with the Hogan faction. They hot shotted all of their main matches & angles on free TV to an audience that had no interest in paying to see anything on PPV. The initial PPV’s were chalked up as building blocks to a PPV that would be a bigger pay off. Thus far their PPV business had been worst off then a year ago.
1. House show business had been up in some markets & down in others. This is more indicative to advertising. In 8 years, TNA had never even built up any core cities that they can regularly return several times in a year with a steady fan base.
1. Booking is no better or worst, since Vince Russo is being retained for god knows what reasons. Either Hogan & Eric are keeping him in order to blame him for all of the booking problems. Either Dixie is just so clueless that she is not open to any changes in creative.
1. Eric Bischoff had probably spent the last 10 months pitching SPIKE one TV concept after another. SPIKE might already be tired of listening to his used car salesmen pitches about an additional midget wrestling show & additional TNA programming. Once Eric no longer got anybody from SPIKE to listen to his new TV ideas, his usage for TNA is no longer needed.
I see Hulk Hogan hot shotting some big angle in September in hopes that it could lead to a contract renewal. If that doesn’t occur, excuses ranging from back surgery, family issues, new TV reality show, etc will be his exit strategy. Eric probably had already packed his bag off of this sinking ship with nothing to gain by being aligned by TNA if he got nothing to sell to SPIKE.
Just Eric’s comment that there is no similarity between the MMA & wrestling fan base is either a combination of being oblivious & not having a pulse on the industry. The older wrestling fans have graduated from wrestling to MMA for the elements that wrestling is currently lacking in it’s over scripted & over booked environment. Wrestling is no longer creating the chase for the title in which wins & losses mean anything. The champion is overexposed by working on TV every week & being made to look like they don’t deserve the title.
The MMA promos seem more genuine & realistic in creating empathy or hatred based on the personalities. I don’t follow MMA, but a normal UFC countdown special is more likely to sell more buys to me by presenting the wrestlers as athletes VS. A immobile 57 year old man cleaning house on the main heel character.
Eric is a one trick pony that is still living off of his limited successes from WCW in 1996-1999. I still can’t believe a simpleton like Dixie after 8 years had never bothered to read a sheet to inquire about Eric & Hulk’s track records in creating stars.
All of TNA’s big money acquisitions look bush league with the booking that is behind them. With all of Jeff Hardy’s baggage, he is no where over as he was a year ago on WWE TV. They took a legitimate WWE headliner that is fairly young and made him just another performer. Accept he got a high price tag with no real booking to emphasize his strengths & to hide his weaknesses [awful promos].
Rob Van Dam went from a guy with a cult like following to nothing but TV fodder for Hulk Hogan to save. I got no problems with TNA making money acquisitions for Jeff Hardy & RVD in order to attract some of the WWE audience. I just question their lack of long term planning to keep them special & how they should be PPV draws by headlining matches that weren’t possible a year ago against the TNA roster as if they were dream matches. RVD VS. Samoa Joe for example was a PPV quality match up that had already been given away for free.
In 8 years, the company had barely created one bonafide star on their own. A.J. Styles should have been their RVD long before they got the real one. A.J. had been turned so many times that nobody even cares about him.
Desmond Wolfe had the chance to get over. They rushed thru his program with Kurt Angle that could had been more beneficial if they stretched it out with an in ring rivalry as the main premise to the story line.
Don’t even get me started on Samoa Joe. Just a chase for the title & a MMA build up with Kurt Angle was enough to build up to one of TNA’s best PPV buy rates. If TNA didn’t learn from that scenario, then they are just beyond clueless. Too many jobs, repackaging, & stupid story lines made Samoa Joe from a killer/main eventer to just another guy on the roster.
I can’t believe Dixie now thinks the new recipe in turning the corner is by hiring Paul Heyman. In 8 years, Dixie hired almost every WWE main eventer that was no longer working for them. Instead of taking TNA to the next level with their already solid roster, the company continued their path to no where. Simple reason the company went from stagnant & in to the toilet, the booking sucks. Vince Russo had probably done more damage to the point Paul Heyman might not even be able to turn it around.
I don’t blame Heyman for making big demands. Nobody wants to risk their reputation & time in to a project that doesn’t have big rewards at the end of the tunnel. Nobody wants to waste their time in being blocked by the pecking order of trying to find out who got more stroke then the other. Plus the current booking will take a month or two in order to wrap them up before you have a clean sleight in order to restart the company.
I don’t blame Paul Heyman in wanting to revamp the entire brand marketing of TNA to the general public. After 8 years, TNA should have some sort of buzz to the general public, rather then be considered a bad WWE rip off. I got nothing bad to say about their roster, since it is on par & possibly better then WWE in many aspects. After 8 years, they had not created any larger then life superstars on their own.
TNA thus far had not created any merchandise that is being sold in any retail stores that is a top seller. Children don’t care enough about their wrestlers or even follow the product enough to have purchased their figure line that was sold 4 years ago. The video game was not a top seller. With the dwindling DVD market, most of their retail DVD’s are constantly being marked down. Obviously TNA had not reached out to whatever base line of fans that they have in order for them to further support their product by making additional purchases outside of PPV or house show tickets. I always gauge a successful wrestling character or company based on the amount of T shirts I spot in public or at a wrestling show.
I seen countless children with Rey Mysterio, John Cena, & Dave Batista shirts when I’m at the mall or anything wrestling related. When was the last time any of us seen any TNA shirts worn outside of a TNA event? Obviously TNA already missed their mark on the children demographic. I guess by having Ken Anderson encourage the audience to scream asshole will bring that missing children demographic, bring in major advertisers & licensing deals, & not have TV executives frown upon the wrestling & fan audience.
TNA should be appealing to the 25 & above male demographic that no longer finds WWE appealing to their tastes. Instead TNA had already handed that audience over to MMA by not learning from what works in MMA & incorporating it in to their product with sensible booking.
Hopefully my ranting & raving made sense. It was just various aspects of TNA that had really been annoying me for some time.
I love how everything is under number one. I guess that means it’s all equally important. As to who it was who wrote this, let the speculation begin! – Dusty