Moderator: The Swigg Lebowski

TNA Comments which don't warrant a thread

The Swigg Lebowski
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Joined: December 11th, 2004, 9:07 pm

September 25th, 2006, 1:20 am #1

And Because I want to prevent really short threads
Scrooge McSuck wrote:I'm too hefty for my slacks. The zippers off it's tracks. I've stretched it to the maa-a-a-a-x.
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The Swigg Lebowski
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September 25th, 2006, 7:37 pm #2

wrote:With TNA’s pending big announcement this weekend I thought I would take an in depth look at TNA, and share with you some of my thoughts.

I think the one thing we can all agree on is that TNA is an important part of this industry. The North American wrestling scene really does need a non-WWE option. By having a second option there are more places for the boys to work and more leverage in getting a fair deal. The same can be said for fans. By having a second option fans can pick and choose the product that they like and send a message to promoters. Promoters have to give fans more bang for their buck if there are other places to shop. Lets face it, a large portion of the current audience are die-hard wrestling fans who aren’t going to just tune out and stop watching. If a wrestling junkie needs a fix and there is only one dealer in town, that dealer doesn’t have to push their product very hard or ensure it’s offering quality. Competition is always good for the consumer. I think TNA’s existence also benefits WWE. Vince has always been at his best when he has an opponent. Vince is a warrior and a competitor, without an adversary a warrior can’t stay sharp. WWE hit it’s all time best when WCW was kicking its butt. I’d love to see Vince get backed into a corner again, just to see the way he comes out swinging.

This raises the all-important question; can TNA grow enough to compete with WWE? To be honest I doubt it, and I don’t think competing should be their goal, at least not for a long time. The industry can support 2 companies so their goal should be to succeed on the own first and if they can do that they will become competition by default. This may seem a small point but succeeding is going to be a tough enough battle without challenging Vince head on from the start.

The reason I think succeeding is so tough is that Vince has done such an amazing job of brand recognition. He has almost completely destroyed the “pro-wrestling” industry. WWE is such a strongly identifiable name that it has surpassed the term pro-wrestling. I think a lot of fans are to the point where they see themselves as WWE fans not wrestling fans. If asked they would likely say they watch RAW or SmackDown each week, not that they watch wrestling. Again this is a small point but little things like this add up and it’s harder for TNA, or any group for that matter, to gain an identity. They have to establish themselves as a worth while wrestling product and then convince WWE fans that they are in fact “wrestling” fans and TNA is something they would enjoy.

I think the name TNA is a hindrance as well. When TNA began I thought it was going to be the NWA and that TNA was going to be the name of the show, much like WWE is the company and RAW or SmackDown are the shows. When trying to introduce new fans to TNA (an absolute must) it always takes extra explaining. There are two problems with the name in my opinion. The first problem I have with the name is that the name makes no sense from a company stand point. If I worked for TNA I would feel silly telling someone I work for Total Non-Stop Action, if they asked me what TNA stood for. The company name is an acronym that doesn’t make any sense as a company name. I could be a part of World Wrestling Entertainment, or World Championship Wrestling, or The National Wrestling Alliance, but being a part of Total Non-Stop Action requires further explanation. The company name is more a play on words for T & A, and when trying to establish a national brand name basing it on childish sexual innuendo is likely not the best route. I also find it confusing that there is no TNA champion; there is an NWA champion. If you are a TNA wrestler why aren’t you the TNA champ. Little things like this water down name and brand recognition and bring more confusion to new fans, and NEW fans are the key to TNA’s success. There is a reason Vince shoved WWF and then WWE down our throats. He established a brand name bigger than the industry itself. It’s like Kleenex or Jell-O, people don’t go out to buy facial tissue or flavoured gelatin, they buy Kleenex and Jell-O. Fans today aren’t watching pro-wrestling anymore they are watching WWE. TNA has to establish their brand name in order to succeed and are clouding the issue with using both TNA and NWA and for the matter The Impact Zone. This isn’t just about booking wrestling anymore this is about marketing and brand recognition!!

I guess I should start looking at the actual product before this commentary turns into a short novel. The product itself is usually quite good, or at least has the potential to be. The X-Division was a great creation and something I think should be focuses on more. Naming it the X-Division rather than a smaller weight division was brilliant. The X-Games are huge and they are pushing a more exciting more X-Treme style of wrestling, without drawing attention to the fact that these guys are smaller. I would hazard to guess even Vince McMahon wishes he’d come up with that name rather than Cruiser Weight Division. The talent roster in TNA is deep enough in both name value and talent to produce a great product, in my opinion, it’s just finding the best way to book and present in on TV in order to sell PPVs.

This is the tough part. With only 1-hour of TV each week how do you establish enough characters and get over sufficient angles to sell a PPV? I’m not entirely sure you can. You are left with the decision to put all your eggs in one basket and promote one top feud heavy on TV and just lightly touch on others, or rush several and not really devote sufficient time to either. Hopefully the big announcement Sunday will be a second hour of TV but if not something I would consider doing, and I have no idea if this would even work, would be to go to a post produced show, like ECW used to be.

Don’t run your Impact tapings like a TV show, run them like a wrestling event and cover the event on Impact and show portions of matches. TV time limits ruin wrestling, and wrestling action is what TNA is supposed to be selling. No one can build heat or excitement in a 3-minute TV match, so matches, more often than not; end up being pointless high spot fests that burn out the crowd. In ECW we wrestled all our matches with no time limits, we went out there and worked until we had the crowd. We build our matches and always had a hot crowd come the finish. On the TV show Joey would talk about the matches and we would get to see highlight, and those highlights would be of amazing action with super hot crowds. We would see the portions of the matches that best sold the action or the important angles. We told the stories but never gave away the whole product. After watching the TV show, fans wanted to be there live to see the entire match. This led to both live attendance and an interest in buying PPVs. As a fan in order to see these amazingly hot matches in there entirety you had to pay to be there live or order them on PPV, because you only got samples on TV for free.

This also gave individual talent a better chance to get over. You were given a chance to get yourself over with a crowd and make your matches mean something. If you could get yourself over with longer matches and your work, this could lead to a better push. With 2-3 minute short TV matches most of the X-Division guys end up being interchangeable. We get very little personality, very little psychology and it ends up being a battle of who can do more shit in 3 minutes. Again this numbs a crowd and makes things meaningless.

There is another up side to booking matches this way; it’s different. How many times (on either companies show) do we see a program with wrestler A and wrestler B where they have a promo/run in segment to get the angle started? The next week wrestler A has 3 minute squash match on TV where wrestler B comes out and gets involved in the finish. The next week the reverse happens and there is a pull apart. After that it’s off to the PPV. Fans have seen this formula booking a thousand times and the filler squash matches do not provide enough entertainment for me to bother tuning in. With my approach wrestler A and B could actually work each other with in competitive quality matches an un-decisive, yet interest creating finish. You only air highlights and the angle explaining finish. Fans get to see a glimpse of what seemed like a hot match (the crowd should be hot it’s a main event program match with time to build) and enough of the finish to “tell the story”. When the chance to see the whole match and the one with whatever stipulations is supposed to settle the feud, there should be enough interest to be willing to pay for it.

Match quality will also improve because guys will be working better and longer matches with each other building to PPVs. Wasn’t one of the major TNA complaint that Monty Brown wasn’t working enough extra dates to improve his work? If he worked Christian in more legit matches building to the PPV matches he’d have gotten a ton more experience right there. He learns nothing working 1-minute pounce matches and to be honest I get no entertainment value from them.

It takes more creative booking to do things this way, but without time restraints on TV matches a lot more options are available to be utilized as well. TNA would likely require an additional TV taping each month with this format, but it would at least make TNA’s TV product look completely different, and might be cheaper than hiring more high priced talent, which doesn’t seem to be producing the numbers they are looking for.

I’m not saying this is the solution; I’m just throwing it out there as an option to consider. It worked to a large extend for ECW. It gave it a unique feel and allowed the boys the time and freedom to get themselves over on their own terms. ECW was a hot must see product, that everyone in the industry felt was different. Longer matches are what can establish and get over unknown faces. Even WWE has a hard time getting over new faces that only get 3-minute TV matches,

This ended up more negative than I planned it to be. I want to be clear I both like and want this company to succeed and am a big fan of a lot of guys on their talent roster. I’m more pointing out limitations they face with their current 1-hour format and proposing a few things I feel could increase their chances of success. I think the future of this business depends a lot on TNA’s survival; the industry and fans alike need it to be here and need it to succeed.
That's from Lance Storm's latest commentary. He's got some good points, eh?
Scrooge McSuck wrote:I'm too hefty for my slacks. The zippers off it's tracks. I've stretched it to the maa-a-a-a-x.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

September 25th, 2006, 9:08 pm #3

It's really funny seeing all the WWE fans whining and crying that Angle went to another promotion. I guess it's ok when WWE does it but another promotion grabs a guy and suddenly that guy is a jerk and has no loyalty.
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Real F'n Show
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Real F'n Show
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Joined: December 4th, 2004, 12:45 am

September 25th, 2006, 11:47 pm #4

Storm's got some talent as a writer and I really respect and understand his opinions completely. Seriously sounds like a way cool, down to earth "fan" who just happens to understand the business more because he was involved. Great read, like always.

Oh, and creepy factoid, I changed the name of this forum from NWA-TNA to Total Non-Stop Action before I read this. Weird...
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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September 26th, 2006, 4:59 am #5

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hFQh-XMbILA

There's a fan cam so you can hear the crowd reaction.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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September 26th, 2006, 5:02 am #6

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Qe1c3Ek6WQg

Here's the actual version that aired. Notice the voice over guy called him Kirk.
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D.A.V.E.
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D.A.V.E.
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Joined: January 9th, 2005, 12:32 am

October 9th, 2006, 10:02 pm #7

Quick question. What does Konnan's '51 50" stuff mean
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dynamite kido
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dynamite kido
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Joined: December 4th, 2004, 3:08 pm

October 9th, 2006, 10:11 pm #8

D.A.V.E.,Oct 9 2006 wrote: Quick question. What does Konnan's '51 50" stuff mean
5150 is police code for someone that's insane.
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The Swigg Lebowski
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Joined: December 11th, 2004, 9:07 pm

October 10th, 2006, 12:36 am #9

According to PWInsider, Jake Roberts debuted on the upcoming Impacts.
Scrooge McSuck wrote:I'm too hefty for my slacks. The zippers off it's tracks. I've stretched it to the maa-a-a-a-x.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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October 10th, 2006, 1:14 am #10

Yeah, he's been pitching being a manager for a few months now.
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