Re: How would you fix TNA
Warning: Enormous wall of text incoming.
1. I don't care what they call the company or what name they slap on the televised show. I'm perfectly fine with what they already have, but since the name recognition value really isn't much (let's be honest) if they want to change and start fresh that's fine too.
2. TNA has, in the past, loaded up on known talents who were looking for an easier schedule or an ego trip back from retirement. Out of what remains of that lot, at least half of them should probably go at this point. If they can't keep up in the ring and/or contribute entertaining segments, then it's time for goodbyes.
3. Taz. I don't think there's much I need to say here.
4. When a fun crowd wanders into the IZ, the show comes alive. I don't know, sometimes it seems like a frat party dropped by for the hell of it and proceed to make the night awesome by being crazy enthusiastic (and likely more than a bit drunk/high). Other times, it's something even more deadly than the WWE daycare nights that seem to pop up more and more often. Would filming on the road solve this? Probably not. Why? Well, for one thing, the venues. People here complain that the IZ looks second-rate on television. How do you think bingo hall from middle-of-nowhere or 1,500 seat small city stadium is going to look? There's not the budget, desire to invest or willing market – that I'm aware of – for them to bounce from one big centre with a spiffy (but not too big) venue for them to the next every week.
I don't find the IZ looks bush league, and I wouldn't care about them performing in random place from week to week either, but I watch indy stuff and I don't think that's representative of the wider audience they're looking for. And don't forget that the much larger WWE has a crowd problem much of the time too, and they're doing all the things folks keep suggesting.
5. The writing. The booking. *sigh*
Look, some things they're doing really well. I wouldn't be watching if I thought the company was operating as a complete disaster. I enjoyed a lot of what they did in 2012. I also detested a fair share of it too. The one big issue, as I see it, is a weird inability to know when to keep going as is versus when to speed things along. It doesn't always happen; Bobby Roode's reign as champion was handled wonderfully. But then we have the rushed rise and demise of Aries' championship run – when he was very popular and over with the belt – and the woeful, slow death of Aces&8s.
Aries is doing great as a heel again. He's terrific at it, but that's not the point. Face/heel turns still happen too often and without enough logic in TNA, plus the guy should not have had to step aside for Hardy so quickly.
(Want to pause and mention that Hardy has exceeded my expectations of late and I've no problem with him in the role he's got now. And I adore the inner monologues. Please let those continue. They're gold.)
Now, back to the bad stuff. The worst of the bad. The bad, sad, horrible Aces&8s mess. Guys, TNA folk, if you're lurking in these parts again, this is NOT how you book an invading stable unless you want them to look like a joke, and I don't think that was the plan. Nobody signs talent to bring them in as comedy unless they really are comedy acts, and that's not the case here. There's no point in having anyone cut what's intended as a dramatic promo in ring if he's going to be lumped into a gang of goofs who lose matches all the time and hang out partying in a broom closet. How did this happen? Aces&8s started out pretty cool. A masked group of wrestlers who felt overlooked/unappreciated and decided to do something about it by making themselves impossible to ignore. Now there's no direction, very little progress and not much in the way of character development going on.
6. Media presentation. Let's start with the web site. As a designer, that thing makes me cry. A total overhaul is much needed. Then there's the television production. Unlike a lot of people here, I'm not bothered by it. Yes, I know there are far too many gaffs for a professional crew but I'm not that picky. Still, I'd like to point out that I've done camera work for live events (and edited footage for others) and even companies that rely on volunteers can sometimes be less sloppy. Just putting that out there.
7. Who do I think they should hire? I've no suggestions, since I haven't a clue what they have planned for 2013 and who would slot into the roles that need filling. There's a rather large roster right now, so even though there are people I'd love to see brought in, I do not want them there with nothing to do. One suggestion I would make is...they should hire me! I've no idea what I'd do but hey, I'm sure I'd be about as useful as some of the folks hanging out in the IZ.
All that incredible amount of wordage behind me, I do want to toss a bit of praise out. The wrestling talent on TNA have all done a fantastic job in the past twelve months. I can't say enough good things about Chris Daniels, Kaz, Bully, Aries and Roode. Hogan has been terrific in his non-wrestling role, AJ is a champ in the ring, ODB makes me laugh, Zema Ion has improved immensely, the Robbies are funny, Tessmacher is finally starting to look like she has potential...and I know I’ve forgotten other folks who’ve been awesome.