Yes yes, I know. It's been a while since I've posted. While it may be summer and I'm done school until the fall, I'm back home visiting family and friends for a while and that has occupied a great deal of my time. Luckily today happens to be a free day and I thought it was about time I post something again, so here we go.
Dixie Carter was recently on the Busted Open satellite radio show (which you can read excerpts from here) and spoke on a number of TNA related topics. There is more than enough content in that interview to fill a few columns, so for today I'm going to touch on some of the same things she talked about and offer my own thoughts. Enough dilly dally though, let's do this shall we?
Double the Weekly TNA Dose?
This is something that I've definitely talked about before and something that is sure to draw some negative attention from the various TNA haters out there. Dixie Carter mentioned in that interview that one of her company's top priorities was to become more mainstream and gain some different exposure than they've been able to up until now, and one of the ways they are looking to do that is by putting on a second (or possibly third) weekly show.
I am 100% for this idea (the second show, not so much the third) and that is for one very simple reason. The TNA roster is loaded with some very talented wrestlers, but a lot of them don't get the chance to show what they can do because of that very same reason. The TNA roster is just too full right now, and 2 hours a week is not nearly enough time to showcase the talent that's there. A second show, even if it was only another hour on Spike, would give TNA the chance to focus on more than just a few key guys and also to put on some additional storylines that will get people involved in the product.
WWE has a massive roster as well, and obviously it is full of some amazing talent, but one of the main reasons they are able to build such effective characters is because of the amount of TV time they have at their disposal. If WWE was only airing RAW every week, do you folks really think the product would be nearly as strong as it is today? Would guys like Zack Ryder, who are definitely talented performers, have ever gotten the chance to shine if WWE had to cram all of their top names into a 2 hour show? Absolutely not. Exposure is one of the most important things for any aspiring professional wrestler to receive, and more TV time is a great way to get that.
Of course the problem with having a second show is the financial cost, and TNA's financial situation is far from ideal right now. Even with their deal at Universal Studios, assuming they used the iMPACT Zone for their second show as well, it's hard to imagine that TNA could handle the additional costs. On the flip side, unless TNA starts to improve their product (a big aspect of which is going to require them creating new stars that can carry the company) they aren't going to get that money.
It's almost a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" situation at this point. TNA desperately needs a second show because they've accomplished just about all they can with iMPACT being their only real TV exposure. Yes, they could probably better their standing with a superior creative staff, but since that isn't likely to happen any time soon, I think it's about time they start seriously start considering a second show. The TNA roster needs room to grow and shine, and 2 hours just isn't enough.
I'd love to be able to remain impartial for this segment, but the reality is I just can't say anything good about this kid.
Dixie Carter did make one very good point in her interview, and that was that Garret was doomed from the beginning in that he was going to receive infinitely more criticism than any other new wrestler because of who he is related to. The second Garret became anything more than a subpar referee and it became common knowledge who his father was, the target on his back grew exponentially. It doesn't help that he was immediately thrown into one of the company's biggest storylines, taking away valuable screen time from guys who deserve it more, without really taking the time to perfect his craft. That being said, the kid deserves most of the criticism he receives.
The ONLY reason Garret is even a part of the TNA roster is because of his daddy. I'm not saying that using family or friend influence to get a job is necessarily a bad thing, because most people have gotten jobs before based on a recommendation from somebody, but he shouldn't have immediately been shot to the top of the roster. More than anything that is why I have a problem with Garret Bischoff, simply that he doesn't deserve the spot that he was given.
How Dixie Carter believes that Garret is anywhere near as talented a wrestler as guys like Gunner or Magnus is beyond me. Magnus is one of TNA's brightest prospects and is destined for something great in this industry, Garret is not. Garret can't wrestle, he can't cut a promo, and he has fewer facial expressions than The Miz.
That's not to say that he can't become something better than what he is. Given the right amount of time and training, Garret could very well become a decent enough wrestler. He's very lucky in that his last name has given him access to great resources and contacts in the industry and he'd be foolish to not take advantage of them, but TNA needs to realize that he's simply just not ready for the big time. Garett is only 28 years old, plenty of time to improve and become better. Now that TNA has a real developmental system, they really need to send him there and let him learn the trade. I would absolutely be open to him eventually returning to the main roster if he learns how to be a professional wrestler, but until that point I don't want him anywhere near iMPACT.
Open Fight Night
For the benefit of those who don't pay attention to TNA related news, Open Fight Night is a new project by TNA where every month they will hold a special challenge for potential additions to the roster. For these challenges, a non-TNA wrestler (likely from OVW) will receive a match on iMPACT where a trio of judges and Hulk Hogan will decide whether or not that wrestler gets a contract.
At first I was a big fan of this idea because it gives the TNA fans a chance to see some wrestlers they might not otherwise have the chance to watch. Bringing on new and exciting talent is great for any wrestling company, and this project is a great way for TNA to give these wrestlers some exposure while also gauging the fans' reactions before bringing them up to the main roster.
However, after thinking about it, my opinion has changed slightly. As I mentioned in that first point, TNA just doesn't have the TV time to accommodate all of their wrestlers, and taking time to showcase these relatively unknown wrestlers just makes that problem worse. Thankfully it's only once a month, so it's not like the project is really taking away substantial time from the main roster, and that is why my opinion has only changed slightly.
As I mentioned just a moment ago, one of the best things about this project is that it allows TNA to gauge the reactions of their live crowds before the auditioning wrestler gets a main roster spot. So what will Open Fight Night accomplish for TNA? I'd like to think it's going to potentially produce a great new crew of wrestlers, but it's all going to depend on how TNA proceeds with it. TNA needs to be smart and REALLY listen to their fans during each of these auditions, because if they start introducing a bunch more Garett Bischoffs, people are going to lose all interest and faith in the project. I'm remaining cautiously optimistic for now, and I'm interested on how it turns out.
The TNA Television Championship
This will be the shortest entry in this column, fair warning.
It's about damn time. TNA has no real mid card title right now, and by giving this belt some actual TV time it's going to give the fans a reason to care about it. It's also going to give whoever is champion at the time some great weekly exposure, and as I've said more than once in this column, that is CRUCIAL to any wrestler's success.
So while the belt isn't anything special right now, TNA has a great opportunity with this new policy to change that. Of course it will also depend on who they put the belt on and how they book the matches, but that's no different from any other championship in this industry. Let's just hope that TNA doesn't squander another potentially great change for their company.
Well that's all the time I have for today folks. I hope you've enjoyed my quick musings here today. I'll try to make sure I don't wait so long to do this again, I know none of you can survive without me. Kidding of course. What kind of douche would I be if I constantly told people I was the be all and end all of wrestling knowledge?