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TNA's Rebrand: How would you do it


AJS269

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With this supposed "rebrand" of TNA looking like its going to happen (which seems just to be a name change more than anything else) and TNA still floundering in the same ratings and short term shock style of booking they have had for years. I have found myself asking what I would do if I was involved with TNA.

So this is like the Brewster's Million ROH thread.

If you took over TNA right now, who would you fire, who would you hire and how would you change TNA (or Impact or whatever there gonna be called)?

 

Personally, I would take out alot of the dead wood (Murphy, Orlando Jordon, Eric Young and the like)

Push some of the younger talent particularly Crimson and Magnus. Not pushing them to the moon, but building them towards being Main Event talent for when guys like Angle and Sting call it a day.

Try and get a second 2 hour program because the roster is far too big for just one two hour show in the USA.

Bring in some of the good young talent from the Indy scene, or from the international scene.

Phase out some of the older talents like D-Von or Dreamer, both of whom would be better backstage. Also Jarrett, Steiner, Bully Ray , Angle and Sting would need to used sparingly or to get younger guys over, they can't Main event forever.

Get rid of Taz on Colour and replace him with Foley.

Take Bischoff and Hogan off screen apart from the occasional cameo as every time they are involved they suck up screen time, also I think Flair would be good as a heel authority figure, All three would be useful as ambassadors for TNA however.

Put some more focus on the X-Division , the Tag Teams and the Knockouts. They are what separate TNA from WWE, and have it as a genuine alternative. They shouldn't be the main event (well maybe occasionally).

Put more focus on the WRESTLING, do what Hogan and Bischoff said they would do, make the matches longer,tell a story and make them mean something.Also make the PPV's the most important shows, too often it seems they sacrifice potential PPV buys for a temporary pop in the ratings.

Stop the cheap goes at WWE which do nothing for them.

And get outta the Impact Zone for goodness sake.

 

But enough from me,

What would you do?

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Put some more focus on the X-Division , the Tag Teams and the Knockouts. They are what separate TNA from WWE, and have it as a genuine alternative. They shouldn't be the main event (well maybe occasionally).

 

Agree with this part. Get some international guys like Aero Star, Kota Ibushi, Prince Devitt and utilise them like WCW did originally, as the 'garnish' for the main event. Have them provide the crazy, high flying, fast paced action that will pop the crowd and then have the 'names' work the main and sell the ppv's.

 

Get some coherent booking and make some long terms plans [and stick to them]. Book 6 months ahead and work backwards, with a set game plan of who's going where and how they're going to get there.

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I'd have an hour-long live show each week. Two hours is a very long time for any form of television show in 2011, especially when 90%(citation needed) of TNA's viewers will have already sat through a two hour broadcast of Raw that week and no doubt Smackdown as well.

 

I'd phase out as many of the older guys as possible; naturally this would have to be a gradual process. I'd have a plan which would take between six and twelve months whereby the veterans would put over the up and comers on their way out. I'd keep Angle, Hogan, Flair and Sting. Flair and Hogan would not wrestle another match and Sting would be booked in an Undertaker-esque fashion.

 

AJ Styles wouldn't be allowed within fifteen feet of a microphone. I don't care how much he's improved his promo's, he still sounds like a backwards, Southern hack.

 

Beer Money would be promoted as being the absolute mutt's nuts, until I threw Heyman a blank cheque to write a top notch slow burning separation storyline which would result in both Roode and Storm getting over as being bona fide singles main eventers. Roode would be one of the company's top stars for the next five to ten years.

 

I'd book a big TV special show which would be the last time TNA filmed in the Impact Zone. As much as I'd like to do otherwise, I'd have it a nostalgia-heavy show looking back at the company's history through the Impact Zone days and how the company is taking the next step.

 

I'd do shows in bigger, better looking venues, regardless of how papered the audience would have to be. Anybody starting a "This is awesome/holy shit" chant and/or joining in would be ejected from the arena.

 

Perception is reality; TNA would have to stop referring to themselves as being the number two wrestling company and stop acting like it. The announcers, the video packages et al would all get over the fact that TNA is the place to be.

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I agree with lots of this, I love Flair, Hogan and steiner but I wouldnt have any of them wrestle,

I would get rid of Russo and stop all the stupid swerve angles as half the time I dont know who is heel or face.

I would bring back alot more of the x division guys, I miss petey williams and low ki

Put more focus on the womens division and bring back odb.

Finally I would build samoa joe and aj as the top guys in the company as I feel that they have taken a real back seat to RVD, hardy and anderson.

 

I think what I am basically saying is go back the way it use to be, because at least I use to enjoy watching it.

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Build to Slammiversarry with a war Immortal vs. Fortune 10 man war where the winner gets control of tna .

 

Fortune (Beer Money, AJ, Daniels + Kaz) w/ "The Network" vs. Immortal (Ray, Jarrett, Matt Hardy, Abyss + Flair) w/ Hogan.

 

 

Fortune go over with interference from a returning Jeff Hardy, and then push Immortal apart and use Hogan as a mouthpiece and have Foley put Bischoff in as a "commisoner" with Foley having final say.

 

Then build TNA around wrestling matches, push more best of matches, ironman etc to actually prove who the better wrestlers are rather than car crash attempts at "OMG" matches for free on TV.

 

Push out of the iMPACT zone. One set of tapings a month and cut the PPV's to 6 or even 4 if possible (Lockdown, Slammmiversarry, Genesis and Bound for Glory)

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Impact needs to get rebranded in a big way, obviously aside from the obvious normal stuff to set the company up, championship tournaments, hirings and firings I would attempt something that could get them over big time, and would require Hulk Hogan's help.

 

Celebrity Charity Impact

Im talking getting people in with "celebrity grudges" stuff that Impact Wrestling could immediately get in the media for, a whole show of celebrity's, wrestler's and fund raising for charity (like those variety shows like Children in Need etc.) Hulk Hogan would be the focal point of the show bringing in his celebrity friends like Stallone/Mr. T/Jay Leno etc. Theres plenty of people capable of holding actual matches, ie Insane Clown Posse, Dennis Rodman, Danny Bonaduce and as shoddy as they would be, you'd mix in the regular TNA lads as some legends to compensate. Suprised that WWE havent tried this sooner on this sort of scale.

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Sign Batista

 

Let him beast all the people who are shit on the show (RVD, Kennedy ECT.)

 

Make him champ for ages.

 

Get a new young star to feud and chase the belt

 

Match at whatever their main PPV is.

 

Let new kid win.

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Drop the "network" gimmick. If the network were truly unhappy with Bischoff and Hogan's conduct, why would they wait until the night of the taping and talk through Sting? If they are the TV network, would they logically be able to make decisions which have outcomes for PPV's?

 

  • Drop the heel Authority figure thing entirely. Have TNA run by an anonymous board of comissioners who speak through a figurehead (who doesn't do a Michael Cole)
  • Have Immortal managed by Hogan and Bischoff, and Fortune affiliated with Sting. Don't fight for control of the company, fight for prestige of the wrestling championships, with other wrestlers getting in on the action. Each match is a clear stepping stone to title opportunities
  • Have TV matches built up at least a week in advance.
  • Karen Jarrett can be no further than 15 feet from a Microphone.

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I do think its time to sort the writing staff out though. In the 90s when Russo, Heyman and Bischoff were young and "in the now", they were brimming with fresh ideas and ways to exploit the current trends in society. I dont think someone like Heyman or Cornette is the answer. For me it would be as bad as what Russo is doing. I do think you need someone who knows his wrestling though. I remember Sullivan and Bischoff worked so well together in the mid-90s. Where as Bischoff and Nash didnt work as well together. McMahon and Russo worked great together, where as McMahon and a few others havent worked so well together. TNA needs someone young and hungry and needs to be put with someone who knows how the business is run. Call me dim, but I think TNA (or Impact or whatever they are called now) should have bitten to Bischoffs demands and got Sullivan to take over the booking last year. Sullivan has said he would take it in a minute. If you put Sully with a young writer (plenty of then have walked out on WWE, one of them would do), they could form a pretty good team.

 

-Bring in Sullivan as an ideas man like he was in 1996 with WCW, and bring in someone who knows what the current television audience wants.

-Cut the roster down. They dont need all those wrestlers for two hours a week.

-Get rid of Anderson and RVD and spend the money per year on more shows outside the Impact Zone. They could tape a months worth of TV over a two day arena show. The Impact Zone brings the show down. Shit angles can become decent angles with the right crowd, and very good angles can become great angles with a hot crowd. If the This is Your Life Segment happened in the Impact Zone would it be half as good?

-Put the belt on Hogan (this one is flexable, I'll admit).

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Celebrity Charity Impact

Im talking getting people in with "celebrity grudges" stuff that Impact Wrestling could immediately get in the media for, a whole show of celebrity's, wrestler's and fund raising for charity (like those variety shows like Children in Need etc.) Hulk Hogan would be the focal point of the show bringing in his celebrity friends like Stallone/Mr. T/Jay Leno etc. Theres plenty of people capable of holding actual matches, ie Insane Clown Posse, Dennis Rodman, Danny Bonaduce and as shoddy as they would be, you'd mix in the regular TNA lads as some legends to compensate. Suprised that WWE havent tried this sooner on this sort of scale.

 

Because it's a terrible idea, that's why.

 

I would be dead against an hour long show too. When they have done this in the past it's been all too rushed and, inevitably, some wrestlers will miss out that really don't deserve it.

 

1) They need to halve the amount of PPVs they do. They mean almost nothing now.

 

2) I'd like to see them have their own development school. Just half-inching guys from ROH isn't going to cut it now that ROH is so terrible.

 

3) Try and differentiate themselves from the WWE more subtly. In other words, stop Flair from fucking blading every week (and maybe try and make him a bit more serious again) but retain an occasional hardcore style so it actually has an impact. Slightly pull back on the Knockouts stuff. Experiment with a tag title match as a main event on the odd Impact.

 

4) Dump the Knockout tag titles and TV titles. They're worthless.

 

5) Cleetus's Dixie in Playboy idea.

 

6) Hire Adam Pearce and Chuck Taylor. They're the best indy guys around right now, that I've seen.

 

7) Try and develop a chicken-shit gobby manager heel with someone.

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I'm going to play devil's advocate to some of these suggestions because some of these are exactly what I wouldn't do.

 

Try and get a second 2 hour program because the roster is far too big for just one two hour show in the USA.

I really can't emphasise how a bad an idea I think this is. They struggle with one two hour show, they certainly don't have the writers nro the roster for four hours of television a week. That's spreading them far too thin. Keeping the amount of time they're on the air down allows them to make sure that when they are on the air its the best it can be. I like Super Cena's idea of an hour live special each week, live TV would make it more exciting, but I don't think its really viable for them. Plus it'd make iMPACT the B show, and then nobody's going to be fussed about your two hour show. I think askign for two hours of time from wrestlign fans is as much as you're going to get in this day and age unless you're the WWE.

 

Also Jarrett, Steiner, Bully Ray , Angle and Sting would need to used sparingly or to get younger guys over, they can't Main event forever.

I'd actually say these are the best guys they've got. If you start usign them sparingly the show's going to stink. They've got talent on the undercard, but its not a lot. Plus I knwo the ratings haven't really gone up with all the people beign brought in, but if you suddenly used these guys a lot less I reckon they'd go gown pretty quick now.

 

Get rid of Taz on Colour and replace him with Foley.

Foley's not much better than Taz. And he'd be even worse calling TNA when I don't really think he gives much of a damn. I agree Taz should go though, but it shouldn't be Foley who replaces him. I don't know who else would be up to the task either. God knows they should get rid of Mike Tenay as the leading caller, but there's not many people to replace him either. Where have all the announcers gone? Meh, maybe do open auditions of fans, maybe you'd find a diamond there. Probably not.

Also make the PPV's the most important shows, too often it seems they sacrifice potential PPV buys for a temporary pop in the ratings.

Nah. No matter how they book their shows they're goign to struggle to get people to buy their PPVs for a long time. If they bring in a profit then keep them, if they're losing money each time they're going on there then drop the number, but don't focus on them too much. Bischoff talked about how he had to make WCW's TV look good if they were ever goign to get people to buy the PPVs. I'd agree with this. Give away big matches on TV, make those shows seem special, and build up the company before you for the hard sell on PPVs. Wrestling's become too much of a TV show for it to ever be really big on PPV again.

 

And get outta the Impact Zone for goodness sake.

They'd probably lose too much money. I do think they need to get rid of the hardcore crowd though. Maybe tell an audience they have to leave after each taping and then bring a new one in. either you'd have none for some shows, or them spread very thin each show, but in theory you should get more tourists in the door.

 

AJ Styles wouldn't be allowed within fifteen feet of a microphone. I don't care how much he's improved his promo's, he still sounds like a backwards, Southern hack.

I actually don't think that's a problem. I think it helps make them look an alternative to the slick Hollywood like WWE. WCW was more Southern but that's what appealed to me about it.

 

I'd do shows in bigger, better looking venues, regardless of how papered the audience would have to be. Anybody starting a "This is awesome/holy shit" chant and/or joining in would be ejected from the arena.

You run the risk of not being able to fill up an arena even with papered crowds. That'd look shit. I like the ejection idea though.

 

Finally I would build samoa joe and aj as the top guys in the company as I feel that they have taken a real back seat to RVD, hardy and anderson.

Joe doesn't deserve to be pushed right now. End of.

 

Fortune go over with interference from a returning Jeff Hardy, and then push Immortal apart and use Hogan as a mouthpiece and have Foley put Bischoff in as a "commisoner" with Foley having final say.

They don't need Foley as well.

 

There are some good ideas here that I'd use though. The international talent would probably work well, getting rid of Taz is a good idea, Russo does need to be replaced (which even he admits), getting out of the iMPACT! zone when it is genuinely possible would be great and certainly some of the younger talent needs a better push. I'd cut people who don't seem too motivated unless they're actually contributing. RVD would be gone. I'd keep Sting because he obviously wants to be there, otherwise he wouldn't be, and if you give him the right angle and match I reckon he'd go flat out. I'd push Fortune too, not Daniels, he'd either be a jobber or cut, but the rest of them look like a million bucks. Unfortunately they're feuding with Immortal who are dead in the water.

 

They should have probably actually put Anderson and RVD with Hogan. Let Hogan give Anderson a title shot and go all out to try and help him win, and win over RVD with money or something. Then you'd have Fortune taking on RVD, Anderson, Jarrett, Bully Ray (who's actually pretty great right now) and it'd actually be something worth while. Sting is in the middle, he hates Hogan and will try everything to stop him destroying the company, but at the same time he has an uneasy alliance with Fortune who think Sting's a hypocrit and holding them back too. Have Crimson reluctantly join Immortal with the promise that Hogan'll make him great. He gets to feud with Steiner and then Angle so he'll learn how to work. I suppose Angle should be in the middle too, since its not feasible that he'd side with Immortal (because of Jarrett) and Fortune don't need a veteran hogging up their time. I dunno, play him up as batshit insane I guess. I suppose you're then stuck with Sting and Angle as tweeners, although I wouldn't really have them face off with Fortune too much since they'll just turn Fortune heel. Especially Sting. Just subtle suggestions here or there.

 

Bring back the time limit gimmick. I think it makes it more exciting to have every match against the clock. Makes the show more dynamic.

 

They definately need to put themselves over as being number one though. Its not so much knocking the WWE that's the problem, its that they don't put themselves over. They don't seem to like promoting themselves.

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I do think its time to sort the writing staff out though. In the 90s when Russo, Heyman and Bischoff were young and "in the now", they were brimming with fresh ideas and ways to exploit the current trends in society. I dont think someone like Heyman or Cornette is the answer. For me it would be as bad as what Russo is doing. I do think you need someone who knows his wrestling though. I remember Sullivan and Bischoff worked so well together in the mid-90s. Where as Bischoff and Nash didnt work as well together. McMahon and Russo worked great together, where as McMahon and a few others havent worked so well together. TNA needs someone young and hungry and needs to be put with someone who knows how the business is run. Call me dim, but I think TNA (or Impact or whatever they are called now) should have bitten to Bischoffs demands and got Sullivan to take over the booking last year. Sullivan has said he would take it in a minute. If you put Sully with a young writer (plenty of then have walked out on WWE, one of them would do), they could form a pretty good team.

 

-Bring in Sullivan as an ideas man like he was in 1996 with WCW, and bring in someone who knows what the current television audience wants.

-Cut the roster down. They dont need all those wrestlers for two hours a week.

-Get rid of Anderson and RVD and spend the money per year on more shows outside the Impact Zone. They could tape a months worth of TV over a two day arena show. The Impact Zone brings the show down. Shit angles can become decent angles with the right crowd, and very good angles can become great angles with a hot crowd. If the This is Your Life Segment happened in the Impact Zone would it be half as good?

-Put the belt on Hogan (this one is flexable, I'll admit).

Pretty much this.

 

TNAs three biggest problems are presentation, advertising and creative.

 

Presentation; TNA looks like the minor leagues 90% of the time. The iMPACT! Zone has zero atmosphere and the stage, lighting and music sounding like a WWE parody. As Ian said, anything is enhanced when the crowd pop huge for it, the iMPACT! Zone makes sure that everything comes off like it means nowt.

Bischoff coming in has been a step forward in this direction. The iMPACT! Zone looks at least slightly better than a few years ago. The greatest Bischoff addition has been the cool way they shoot backstage segments. One of the things that make TNA look big time.

 

Advertising; They've even failed to exploit the fact they've got Hulk Chuffing Hogan working for them. Hogan has a massive fanbase but TNA haven't exploited it. Criminal.

They're really lucky Spike are right into the 'lad' stuff and as such are fully behind pumping money into TNA, despite the lack of progress in numbers.

 

Creative; The biggest flaw TNA have always had is making you care for the wrestlers. There is just no emotional involvement for anybody that hasn't wrestled for WWE or WCW.

The best thing they can do is at least try somebody new in the booking chair. Vince Russo has hit a brick wall in many ways.

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