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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This seems to be the fundamental ethos behind the creative styles of Russo and Bischoff: they beleive that what attracts viewers is overwhelmingly the storylines filled with drama, suspense, tension, and all that junk and that the characters are merely devices in the narrative. I beleive this is the primary reasoning behind their general disregard in protecting their characters. They are all too willing to make a guy look like crap for the sake of story. This also helps explain their over-reliance on older guys. They just really don't want to deal with proper, gradual buildup of younger guys; they presume the audience will quickly care about a guy if they heavily involve him in a big storyline (kind of how Lethal randomly started associating with Hogan months after doing nothing). Featuring underdeveloped guys is time that could go into furthering storylines being given to non draws according to this ethos. But again, this is how Bischoff managed to overtake the WWE at one time despite only being able to brand around names discarded by the WWE so there are prior precidents where this has worked.

By contrast, the vast majority of wrestling fans, casuals, pure wrestling smarks, and children, care more about the characters and the storylines are excuse plots in order to build a match around most of the time with more complex and deeper storylines employed mainly to shake up the status quo when things get excessively stale or to facilitate major character development for a high profile character. Cena's character appeal heavily outshines the quality of the programs he has had to work with, and that's not getting into the rest of the stuff WWE put out for the most part. Smarks likewise have this sentiment except we emotionally invest in a guy more for his general talent than his booking, only caring about it when it compromises his character. Also helps explains why PWSs don't care for mic skills as much as Attitude Era diehards: their primary purpose is to carry storylines and feuds while the pure wrestling smarks care more for wrestling, personality, and character, the latter 2 not being that dependent on mic skills.

The Attitude Era diehards demand compelling storylines to fuel their interest in wrestling, while most other groups of fans cared more about investing in the characters and how the journeys and conflicts they go through shape them as opposed to the journeys themselves; heck, I go so far as to say even boxing and UFC fans have the exact same mindset in general as the latter group. This is probably why there is so much whining about the young guys, those guys get featured, BUT they often times come out looking worse than they did when they began.

Posters here, is the storycentric direction TNA is going good as a whole (the quality of the storylines is utterly irrelevant) and the criticism of too much talking is unwarrented or is the standard being employed by WWE and ROH, supported throughout most of wrestling history, of building their brands behind their characters the way TNA should be going?
 

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Celestial Messiah
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Storylines matter yes, but in the end of the day, its the individual that draws. The unique, artistic characters that capture our imagination. I mean look at the Attitude Era, the storylines were dumb as fuck but it was the characters they presented, AKA Mr McMahon, The Rock, Austin, and Mick Foley that drew our attention made us believe and worship them.

Wrestling is about characters. From Buddy Rogers to Ric Flair to Hogan to Savage to Shawn Michaels to Steve Austin to Cena today. Its about the larger than life personalities.
 

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Damn Fine Cup of Coffee
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Storylines matter yes, but in the end of the day, its the individual that draws. The unique, artistic characters that capture our imagination. I mean look at the Attitude Era, the storylines were dumb as fuck but it was the characters they presented, AKA Mr McMahon, The Rock, Austin, and Mick Foley that drew our attention made us believe and worship them.

Wrestling is about characters. From Buddy Rogers to Ric Flair to Hogan to Savage Shawn Michaels to Steve Austin to Cena today. Its about the larger than life personalities.
That was so emotional, I almost thought about crying. :p

But really, nothing more needs to be said. You nailed it. Except Bitchoff, Hogan and Russo will never get it.
 

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the real problem with storylines in general is simple, bookers are like head coaches in sports. you put your guys in the best position for who they are. say football youre not going to make a guy who can run a 4 40 and weighs 220 and left tackle! he might not be a good wr or say a rb. then you can always make him a return guy to use his speed. goes to wrestling if a guy talks well let him talk, but say team him with a guy whose great in the ring so they can shine say as a tag team til they both get better. or if you got a 7 ft guy, let him beat up on little guys instead of facing better talented avg to big guys who show how slow he really is. things we all can agree paul heyman was good at. Tna goes out of its way to go for the big play (nfl example) instead of ball control and burning clock. not as flasher but sooner or later youre going to throw a pick. thats pretty much tna storylines too much flash not even trench work. you can see it wrestlers not on tv for weeks, crazy heel/face changes, keeping random secrets that don't fool anyone. so on and so on. tna bookers need to get it back to basics and look at what everyone is good at on the roster and reward those who bust their asses. stop worrying about trying to compete at certain aspects and start working on what they can do better
 

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As a guy in the entertainment industry who has pitched a few projects- Characters are #1 for television. Plot is secondary. For feature films, it is a little different, but what networks look for is character-driven programming, from cartoons to comedy to reality TV. That is the current trend at least. Is it Good? hard to say. There have also been great shows that are more plot-driven, like lost, or the old twilight zone shows or something. But they usually have to be something special. I wouldn't consider anyone in TNA to be a storytelling genius.
 
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