..."Pulling the curtain back..."
That is what TNA Wrestling's President Dixie Carter stated in multiple interviews leading up to not only their January 7th, 2015 "live" episode of Impact Wrestling but also their season debut on Friday January 16th. Dixie said that TNA will be pulling the curtain back more than not only what they doing before but what the wrestling industry was doing! Those are bold words from a bold lady. But hey, I was optimistic and so were many others! In fact, I stated right before the January 7th show that we need to give TNA Wrestling a chance. We can't judge them by their first show on Destination America and we certainly couldn't just judge them from their January 16th show. We need to give it time. We need patience.
The statement that strikes me is - "We need patience". Yes, I wrote that, and we should all have a little more patience, but when it comes to TNA and their Vice-President, John Gaburick, we don't need it it. In fact, he stated in an interview with ESPN Grantland:
“I think the audience was challenging us to give them something a little more straightforward — good old-fashioned wrestling instead of laborious talk or long, drawn-out stories. The long-form story lines that take forever to play out were not that effective.”
So here we go - While we should give TNA a chance to see what they are all about, John told us that we shouldn't, or don't want to, wait. What strikes me on the back is when he stated, "I think...". Is he thinking for us? Is he really going to tell us what we like and don't like? The IWC is unreadable, but when it comes to the casual viewers, they want stories that are driven and intense. If stories are compelling, the timetable in which they last could be months, even years if you look at The Walking Dead.
Apparently, TNA doesn't want to cater to the majority. They don't want to cater to the casual viewers. TNA has their select hardcore and loyal viewers that will watch every single week and TNA is fine with that. What confuses me is that... John thinks those viewers want something else from TNA, but they very well WILL watch TNA NO MATTER WHAT! TNA can produce a two hour show of straight talk and those loyal fans will still watch for the full 2 hours and they will even state that it was the best wrestling show of the week! Biased, yes, but that is their own problem... And TNA's for listening.
Let me get back to the "pulling the curtain" back hype statement. TNA Wrestling decides that they will be going in a different direction. They decide they will pull back the curtain to let the viewers see the side of wrestling they haven't seen before. As we watched Impact Wrestling in the past month, we seen a "live" show, three taped shows, and one "pay-per-view" episode. Dixie had the excuse that they couldn't pull the curtain back on the live episode because it requires "a lot of post-production time". That's upsetting... I guess WWE could never take this concept on Raw. What about last week's episode of Lockdown? Well, I guess that excuse is going to be that it was a "pay-per-view type of show".
Then we have the three taped regular type of shows. In those three weeks, we saw Taz and Josh Mathews reside from some booth at TNA's headquarters in Nashville and some "fancy" camera work showing different parts of the backstage area... One in particular showing the gorilla position that really made the IWC excited. Cool... Awesome... Fantastic... I guess!
I have the motto of - What you want to do tomorrow can be done today! Why waste time? Get a move on it.
If TNA wants to pull the curtain back, then why not start it on the live show? Since Dixie doesn't think they could do it, why not start it on the first taped show?
I'm not going to lie, but I enjoyed some of their shows. They had a nice flow with a constant theme. But, if I had to judge these shows compared to their ones last year - I don't see any difference. Seriously, I don't! There is still a heel faction, or two, the X-Division means nothing (A division that the company could use to differentiate themselves), and there aren't any compelling stories. What's the main story - The Beat Down Clan wanting to take over the show so MVP can be TNA World Champion?
Maybe the term "pulling the curtain back" is vague. Maybe we expected too much. Maybe we all get carried away... Or maybe Dixie Carter loves to over hype. Maybe Dixie wants to get people excited to tune in for the short hall until they realize it is the same Impact Wrestling that has been going on for years. Anyone can hype up anything - It is quite easy in this era, but the key is to whether that person, or company, sticks to it.
The biased TNA fans may accuse me of tearing down the company (once again), but let me ask - How long should we wait? Maybe TNA can answer that question... I think we would know the answer if it came from John Gaburick. Listen, I watched TNA Wrestling non-stop since 2006. I seen so many superstars come and go... I seen so many different eras and different ways management wants to take the show. TNA has all of the talent in the world in their locker room, and they have a network that is giving the more hours per week, but AS WE ALL KNOW - It doesn't matter how many hours you have on television... Or even your own network... All that matters is the quality of the show that will catch viewer's eyes.
From what I am seeing, everyone is loving the Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud angle... Why?... Because it is a story that actually goes back to at least a year. It has been built that long! Rockstar Spud has grew so much in that time, and I want TNA to know that. Maybe they should do more of that? Maybe they should have more unique and interesting characters.
Listen TNA, we seen the gorilla position before.
I am going to wait, like I always do, and 6 months from now... One year from now... When Impact continues to be what it used to be, and when TNA continues to conduct business like they have been doing for years, I won't be wondering what happened. It's the TNA cycle that I seen plenty of times. Hopefully, though, I am wrong. In fact, I want to be wrong this time.
Like my Facebook page for my full wrestling thoughts.
Follow me on Twitter: @AlexAssumptions