Re: The future of TNA in your hands...
Here's exactly what I would do:
Rob Van Dam
Hire as/Move to Managers:
Diamond Dallas Page
Hire as/Move to Announcers:
Tag Team Division:
Alex Silva & Anthony Nese
Austin Aries & Davey Richards
Chase Stevens & Christian York
Major Changes & Storyline Guidelines
Bring back the TNA brand name & discard the Impact brand. New TNA logo, retaining the LED blue Impact color scheme. Make all of the talent transactions as detailed above.
Bring Jeff Jarrett back. Jeff returns as the face authority figure and member of the booking committee to replace Hogan/Bischoff/Prichard. It's important to reestablish Jarrett as the heart & soul of TNA, which he is and always will be. He would not and should not be the focus of television or the main antagonist/protagonist. Think Jack Tunney, but cooler and still able to whip ass. And no Karen Jarrett, unless she's acting like a normal person and can be a subtle, likeable babyface.
Keep Dixie Carter off of TV. She is not effective as an on-air personality. She hurts talent with her presence more than she helps them. She should remain visible on the outside as the leader of the business aspect of the company.
Hire Shiavone, Zybszko, and Raven as the new announce team. I believe they all still live in the Atlanta area, making travel to Orlando or that region easier. Shiavone, Zybszko, and Bobby Heenan were the voice of WCW, and that's a fanbase that never came back to wrestling after the acquisition of WCW. They knew how to tell & further the story, establish & build characters, and were not annoying, as Tenay, Tazz, Keneley, and Borash are. They would provide instand recognizability and value to the company's "new" product. Raven would play the Heenan/Jesse Ventura/Curt Hennig role at the announce table. Another outside candidate: Roddy Piper. Jim Ross would be a dream, but is highly unlikely unless you offered him an outrageous salary to come in and run the company as well.
Replace Dale Oliver. Aside from the announce team, there are 2 other major production problems with the company: music (entrance music) first & foremost and lighting. The laser light show MUST be retired. More importantly, horrible entrance music has plagued TNA since its inception, and Oliver is responsible for that. There are aspiring musicians across the country that can produce a wide variety of music that is identifiable with the character and current in today's styles. This is arguably TNA's biggest priority, after creative direction.
Focus on the championships. I know Vince Russo would not approve, but the main goal of every great wrestler, from Bruno to Hogan to Austin to Flair to Triple H, The Rock, and CM Punk, was to be champion. It never prevented any of them from having great storylines, great characters, or great financial succes. That needs to again be the focus. No point system, no wrestler ratings, no relationship angles, just everyone competing to win the fans over and become hot enough to be pushed into a championship picture. That being said, the TV Title needs to be retired. It does not need replaced. The X-Division Title should become the mid-card prize. It should be a division that is conquered first prior to entering the WHC picture. It's the iconic title in TNA that makes the company different. Every sport - football, baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, boxing, MMA, etc. - is most entertaining when championship games are played. We all watch because we want to see who the winners are, and who is going to win it all. That's what wrestling competes with. NOT soap operas. The storylines should should always further the characters' quest to become champion. Also, eliminate the Knockouts Tag Team Championships. The division is too small at just 6 women (any former female wrestling talent should not be brought in, but the division does need to find additional talent as it did with Tessmacher).
Reestablish Tag Team & Women's Wrestling. These were once crucial to TNA's limited success. By bringing in/back a few quality women & tag teams and creating a few other teams, this could reach former or higher levels of popularity. However, teams cannot look like they were thrown together; they need to have a name, similar looks, and a unifying gimmick. Tag teams fail when they do not have this, period. Also, the women's division needs to be built around Gail Kim, with Tessmacher always nipping at her heels, but both being faces. An eventual Tessmacher turn could be money.
Reestablish the use of managers. Raven, if not in the booth, could manage a new stable or new singles star, like Christian York if he's not put into a tag team. He's one of the best mouthpieces in wrestling history and needs to be used as such, plus, as a manager, he's still always a threat to his wrestler's opponents. Daffney can no longer wrestle, but she'd be an excellent manager. Why not have her manage a woman, maybe even Kong? Have her involved with Raven's stable again. If you wanted to keep Mickie James on the roster, reincarnate Alexis Laree personality with Raven or Daffney as her manager. Jackie Gayda-Haas should accompany the World's Greatest Tag Team. Tazz was a Tough Enough trainer...have him manage someone or work as Jarrett's 2nd in command. Vince Russo would make a great manager, for the likes of guys like John Morrison, Magnus, or Christopher Daniels. Jeremy Borash sucks; but he could manage a Knockout with some hilarity. DDP could be a very solid manager. Use these people to get over talent that might otherwise not be able to get themselves over. And find someone to manage Rob Terry.
Repackage Rob Terry. Here's a guy who has the look of a world champion, but we've barely ever heard him speak. He's British, so there's always going to be a disconnect with the American audience, unless you give him a notable mouthpiece as manager. This guy needs a Paul Heyman-type. And he needs to get as far away from being Robbie T as possible. This guy is bigger than Batista. He should be an unstoppable force. Have him squash Abyss in his first singles match under this new gimmick as Chris Park goes out the door, and keep going. Most importantly, give the guy a new name.
No more struggles for organizational power. This storyline has been beaten to death and needs to be put to bed for about 5-10 years. Let it be wrestling, not politics. Again, focus on wrestlers wanting to be the best wrestlers in the world. Works pretty well for a guy named Phil Brooks.
Keep eliminating PPV's. Bring it down to 6 per year, one every two months. Every off month could provide the opportunity to replace the final Thursday's show with a 3-hour Sunday Night PPV-quality show on cable TV. Worked well for NWA (WCW) in the 80's. Use these to build to PPV's also. Promote the hell out of these as free PPV-quality events.
Revamp the Merchandise & Website. The merch has taken a terrible turn for the worse. OUTLAW ALL AFFLICTION-STYLE T-SHIRTS. The fad went out YEARS ago. The shirts, hats, accessories have always been pretty bad and they need a designer to take them to WWE's level and beyond. Nothing trashy, gimmicky or lame, just quality stuff that people will want to own and kids will want to wear. Hell, make it nice enough so that adults won't be ashamed to wear it out in public. It's not hard to do. Partner with Nike or Under Armour to co-brand all of your apparel. Now that's money. Also, the website is so bloated and busy that I avoid it. It should be a clean website that utilizes one large splash gallery of photos detailing the biggest news, with a text section for clickable headlines. Get rid of all the clutter. Look high-rate and organized.
Acquire & Rebrand Ohio Valley Wrestling. Establish that complex, there or in Nashville or Orlando as the official training complex for TNA Wrestling. Make TNA Explosion, renamed, that center's wrestling show. Put it on the internet. Gauge fan feedback. Let talent develop. Operate it like a true minor league system, calling talent up & down publicly as they do in baseball or hockey. Draw potential future wrestling talent to the facility by making it the best place in the world to go and train to become a pro. Compete with NXT. Groom your talent the way you want them instead of trying to deal with what the indies taught them right after signing them. Legitimize your feeder system. Hire Lance Storm and Devon to run it, or offer it up on a silver platter to Paul Heyman to do as he wishes.
Retire Sting with a match versus Ric Flair. Aside from Sting/Taker at a Wrestlemania, this is how everyone wants to see it end for both of these legends. Do the right thing. Put it on the biggest card of the year as the main event. Let them go 60 minutes. Let them bleed. Let them go out the way they both deserve to. Besides, Flair needs the money.
Get rid of all of the series & tournaments & rankings. They don't result in a real title, so they should be canceled. The points systems are really dumb. The only way a tournament should be held is if it's for a championship.
All-in-all, take the best remaining valuable pieces from WWE/WCW/ECW/ROH, return back to the strongest elements of 80's & 90's booking, streamline the organization and product, reestablish its heart, and move forward with a new era that looks to recapture some of the lost WCW fanbase while honoring the TNA fanbase and making the company self-sustaining for the future.
Dixie, feel free to call or email.
Last edited by MattHoover; 12-12-2012 at 10:24 PM.