TNA Announces A Huge Step In The Evolution Of The Company

The news of TNA’s impending exodus from the Orlando was music to my ears. I’ve ranted and raved for the last few years on how little I’ve cared for the Impact Zone and the sterile, non-threatening environment it presents. Watching PPVs based out of the Impact Zone have been even more infuriating as it’s made TNA look small time and second rate, despite the fact that, talent for talent, they have a roster every bit as good as WWE’s. Their announcement that they’re taking the show on the road, permanently, has been a long time coming and exactly what I believe they’ve needed to do to take that next step up the ladder to becoming a legitimate #2 to the WWE juggernaut.

One facet of this change I’m most looking forward to seeing is whether or not it reinvigorates some of the talent. I have nothing but respect for guys like Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson, but these men were brought in to put butts in seats, not coast through matches and give the appearance of being less than into what they’re doing. Much of this could very well have been brought on due to poor booking and convoluted storylines from previous writing regimes, but with Dave Lagana holding the pen, things have been much more concise. As such, that excuse can no longer be used. While Anderson seems to perhaps be back in the mix with the recent Aces & Eights storyline (his cage match with Kurt Angle on last week’s Impact was a great watch), RVD has shown zero signs of life since late 2010. He’s got to step it up and earn all that money TNA is paying him, because his signing certainly hasn’t resulted in higher PPV buyrates. Matter of fact, none of the big WWE guys (Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan, Mr. Anderson, RVD) have moved the needle much for TNA. Hogan can at least make a claim to bringing a lot more visibility to the brand, but Hardy has been more trouble than he’s worth, and Anderson and RVD have been mostly inconsequential since their arrivals. I fully believe Anderson can be a huge star again, and hopefully, this Aces & Eights angle will put him in a position to do just that. RVD has a storied career, but if he’s content living off his legacy, TNA isn’t the place for him to do so. Regardless of whether either step up or not, hitting the road may finally be the thing that shows TNA once and for all whether the big paycheck guys like Anderson and RVD are worth what they’re getting paid.

With TNA finally getting out of the Impact Zone, it’s also worth making mention of guys like AJ Styles, James Storm and Samoa Joe, men for whom I am extremely happy. They have all been through so much while trying to take TNA to another level. They, along with many others, have made many sacrifices along the way for the good of the company, so it’s nice to see them all still big parts of the company and able to share in this big moment. The billion dollar energy company, Panda, may well be the money behind TNA, but make no mistake about it, the tireless effort throughout the years of men like those previously mentioned has plenty to do with what’s happening right now.

TNA has been stuck in a rut with their television and PPV for awhile now. The talent is there, many of the storylines have been intriguing, but just showing up on television each week isn’t enough at this point. More eyes need to see the product on a more regular basis. One thing WWE is brilliant at doing is remaining top of mind for their fans. They hit you with programming four nights a week, plus offer a ton of added programming through their app and YouTube channel. They’ve positioned themselves as a one-stop shop for all your pro wrestling entertainment needs. With TNA now making the move to get up and down the roads with greater regularity, here’s hoping it manifests itself into a whole new collection of eyes taking a good, hard look at what they’re doing. There’s a certain magic to a live event that simply cannot be recreated from your couch or easy chair. As great as the shows outside the Impact Zone look, they look even better from inside the arena. Giving fans more opportunities to not only see TNA live, but seeing them put on big shows in front of animated crowds, not the dead weight that mostly fills the Impact Zone each week, will only benefit the product in the long run. That added fan connection to the brand is vital for TNA if they are to make a successful go of this. In my view, TNA has been consistently better than WWE television for quite a while now. I am extremely excited to see where this new direction takes them. If you’re not already on board, now’s a good time to hop on. I have a feeling things are only gonna get better.

POSTSCRIPT

I actually saw a few people commenting how they thought this move was unfair to the fans who frequent the Impact Zone. These have to be some of the most selfish people watching pro wrestling today. How can you, as a supposed fan of TNA, not be thrilled beyond belief at their growth? A fact of life is that things never stay the same. Things are either getting better or they’re getting worse. TNA taking Impact on the road on a permanent basis is getting better in a very big way. Anyone with anything negative to say about TNA making this move at this time simply doesn’t have the first clue what they’re talking about, and clearly isn’t a fan of their product. If you can’t look at how hard this company has worked to get to this level and feel happiness for them, you never deserved to be a part of their audience to begin with.