Tuesday, 19 February 2013

On The Road Again - The Best Decision TNA Have Ever Made

Fear not wrestling fans… Tie-Up Wrestling’s about to get its usual dose of sarcasm, swearing and comedy from yours truly! Hopefully you’re all excited about the Road to LockDown, as well as enjoying TNA’s Impact tapings from the UK. The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed Mark and Emma gracing your TV screens when the Manchester shows were televised. They had ringside tickets in case you didn’t know…

For my latest blog, I figured I should talk about a recent announcement that Dixie Carter made. No, it’s not that the Charismatic Liability, the Enigmatic Fucknugget, or as most of you know him TNA’s World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, has signed a new 2-year contract with the company!

It’s the news that, from March 14, TNA Wrestling is no longer using the Impact Zone for TV tapings. Short of booting Hawk Hogan’s arse out of the company, I reckon it’s the best decision TNA will ever make. Dixie Carter and the rest of the TNA Wrestling office deserve a huge amount of credit for taking the risk of leaving their established home turf, and moving to pastures new.

I’m serious. It doesn’t happen often, so pay attention!

Moving their TV tapings on the road is a monumental risk, but as I understand it, with the money they’re saving by only having 4 PPV’s a year, TNA are investing the money they’re saving into taking Impact on the road. Kudos to all who played a part in that decision.

I used to love the Impact Zone. The crowd was always shit-hot and popped for almost everything they saw, but now, it’d be fair to say that there’s more life in a fucking graveyard than there is at the Impact Zone. That’s the risk you run when you tape TV shows, or stream PPVs, from a fucking theme park. I might have said this on an episode of Tie-Up Transmissions (featuring yours truly and the microphone monkey Mark!) before, but I know a few people who have said that some fans in Orlando turn up to Universal Studios thinking they’re doing a Hulk Hogan meet and greet type-thing. When they get inside the building, that’s the first time they’ve got any idea that they’re watching a wrestling show. That’s not right. It’s been hurting the product for years and I’m over the moon that TNA have decided to move on.

The move isn’t without risks though. It’ll cost a lot of money to transport all the ring gear and TV equipment across America, which is just the tip of the iceberg. For me, the most important thing for TNA is to make sure that they book arenas that they know they can fill. For example, there’s absolutely no point in them booking a 15,000 seat arena because, with the greatest of respect, they won’t be able to fill it. By booking smaller arenas, that can hold 3-5,000 people, they’ll get a better atmosphere and a rowdy crowd. That does two things: it comes across better on TV/PPV and the wrestlers/performers can feed off the energy of a huge crowd.

I might be biased, but the Impact shows from the UK are always better than the ones from the Impact Zone and that’s down to one reason. You’ve got thousands of rabid wrestling fans just dying to see their favourite performers kick the living shit out of each other, instead of 1,000 people who think they’re going to a Hulk Hogan meet and greet. It’s that simple.

Another thing that I’d consider if I was Dixie Carter is taping TV shows in cities that are well-known for having great crowds. New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are just 3 places that come to mind straight away. TNA should go places where they know they’ll draw a crowd. Those 3 cities that I’ve mentioned are steeped in wrestling history, and I’m sure TNA have done their research ahead of the move from Florida.

As risky as moving from the Impact Zone is, it means TNA will have paying fans at every TV taping from now on. People will be there cos they want to be there, not cos it’s free, and that makes a difference. I know I keep going back to it, but just take a look at the atmosphere and crowds at the UK tapings. Yes it’s like that cos we only see these guys once a year, but that’s still a paying crowd, desperate to see their favourites do what they do best.

With the decision to move on the road comes the need for TNA to get more brand exposure in every market they’re going to. TNA should be finding a way to get their wrestlers in the local press and on state-wide radio or TV programming to shill the shit out of their appearances in these towns across America. The more people that know about the shows, more people will come, which earns TNA more money and creates fan loyalty. See, the Scottish Nightmare can be sensible sometimes!

I’m not an economist. I’m not a journalist. I’m not a booker. I’m not a wrestler. None of what I’ve said is based on any facts whatsoever. It’s my opinion, as a fan, about the brave decision that TNA have made. I know I’m not the only one who hopes that this works out for TNA. I genuinely want them to get bigger and better, and the fact that they’re now pretty much done with the Impact Zone is terrific news. It’ll save TNA money short-term and hopefully earn them a fuckload in the long-term.

I said it earlier, but I really, really hope that this works out for TNA. Short of booting Hogan’s crippled arse out of the company, sacking his transvestite-looking daughter and getting that ridiculous Batman/Divas hybrid title the fuck away from Jeff Hardy, it could be the best decision they’ve ever made.

What do you think? As always, I wanna hear your thoughts. Get in touch with me on Twitter @george_sltd, or leave a comment below. Mark and I will be recording another episode of Tie-Up Transmissions in the near future too, so if there’s anything you want us to talk about, just let us know!

Thanks for reading.