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TNA's Rebrand: How would you do it


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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.


Why is it terrible? A two hour show dedicated to celebrity grudge matches all in the name of charity? It might be car crash TV but it will gain the company a lot more notoriety than "trying to differentiate themselves from the WWE"


How cool would a Stallone and Hogan showdown be, Howard Stern commentating, Jay Leno doing backstage interviews, Dennis Rodman acting like a crazy fool while Mr. T follows him shouting catchphrases. I think its a brilliant idea, and one that wouldnt be too difficult to pull off. TMZ would be all over this.

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Didnt Hogan do this already?


WWE couldnt even afford to have Stern, Leno and Stallone on the same show together. This lot dont come cheap. The best you could hope for is shit like Butterbean.


See, this is how the UKs Celebrity Wrestling show should have been!


Id have loved to see Michelle Heaton, James Hewitt and Jeff Brazier taking bodyslams and the like.

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Loki from the Dixie Carter thread

I thought the TNA Reaction was a good attempt at something like this. It had an edgy feel, with unscripted promos and reactions to events backstage.


The problem was, that idea wasn't done consistently on Impact, so you had those terrible WWE-style backstage skits in Hogan's office that were obviously fake and staged, and then you'd have a Reaction-style chance interview with a wrestler.


It's all about setting a consistent tone for the viewer.


Myself, I think TNA needs to not copy WWE as much as define itself be being what WWE is not - so be a wrestling show, with wrestlers wrestling, with fans and matches, without bacstage skits, and with more emphasis on competition and belts, and matches and tournaments and all that. I liked the TNA Tope 10 Contenders thing they had going for a while, but again it got dropped too quickly.


That's not to say it can't still be "sports entertainment" but it needs to feel closer to its Spike labelmate UFC than to WWE. If Hogan had played a straight face matchmaker for the last year they could have used his fame much more productively, in my opinion.


The times TNA has felt most competitive has been when it felt most distinct.

He's spot on there, I would also have 6 Pay Per Views with perhaps the August one being an 8 man KOTR style Grand Prix with the winner getting a shot at Bound For Glory, so that they would have a storyline arc similar to the Rumble without fully ripping it off.


Guys would'nt need to be on Impact every week with 2 months to build their feuds up, so I would leave them off every few weeks.


I would either ditch the X Division or Knockouts belt and would probably choose the X Division to get rid of, the X Division guys would either join the Heavyweight ranks like Kaz or AJ, form a tagteam or join the unemployment line.


The highflying stuff would be mainly in the Tag division (I would raid ROH for a few teams for The Briscoes, Kings of Wrestling & Homicide to reform LAX) Throw in MCMG, Ink Inc, Brit Invasion and that's a healthy tag division.


The Knockouts division would be mainly the same, except the KO Tag belt would fuck off cause it's useless.


Robert Roode would be pushed to the moon and James Storm can either become a comedy character or find himself a tag partner.

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Iwan Thomas needs to come in to tag with Rob Mawr.


Ydw! It's got to hear Rob Mawr called that instead of that shite Glwadbyrg thing a few tried to popularise and sounds shite in the Welsh tongue. Although I'd prefer to see him team with Jamie Baulch. He's have pissed Celeb Wrestling.


I liked Loki's idea he posted a few months back to be honest. Brand it as Hulk Hogan's Impact Wrestling or something.

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A few things


Lengh of feuds: Know when to keep a good angle going and when to end it has been a problem for a wee while, like the Angle/JJ feud seems to be going on forever (since last october) and its limping along prob til Slammaversary they've had good matches but I just doesnt end.


Undercard feuds seem to start/finish between ppv's so pick which to last and put effort into keeping them fresh.


Consistancy: With the Hardy heel turn at BFG he pissed off RVD (Got Abyss to near kill him), Anderson (Hit with Crutch/ turned on him) and Angle (ended his career).


So 3 possible feuds to go with, fair enough he started with Anderson but he got injured so they went with Morgan instead (a good idea to elevate a new guy), but RVD was doing nout at that point anyway why didnt they go with that logical feud? and Angle went with JJ so fair enough he's out.


After the Anderson feud Hardy & the title went to Sting.


Long Term Planning: So basiclly tie up loose ends to feuds or dont have to many at once or you'll get a knot, and have and stick to long term planning ie dont stick the title on Sting during someone elses feud just for ratings or shock value.


Debut: STOP with the surprise debuts/returns and do 'coming soon/back' vingettes to build interest (look what at Kharma & Sin Cara as recent examples)


For example Jeff Hardy's return should have been hyped for ages then have a big superstar style return for him cos he is and was at that point still a huge name after his wwe run he shouldnt have 'popped out the crowd for the fun of it' then vanish for 3 months.

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Why is it terrible? A two hour show dedicated to celebrity grudge matches all in the name of charity? It might be car crash TV but it will gain the company a lot more notoriety than "trying to differentiate themselves from the WWE"


How cool would a Stallone and Hogan showdown be, Howard Stern commentating, Jay Leno doing backstage interviews, Dennis Rodman acting like a crazy fool while Mr. T follows him shouting catchphrases. I think its a brilliant idea, and one that wouldnt be too difficult to pull off. TMZ would be all over this.


Nobody cares about Rodman and Mr T any more, Stallone is back properly in films, Stern won't do TV, Leno is doing The Tonight Show again and TMZ wouldn't care. I think that just about covers it. And as Ian pointed out, TNA couldn't afford this anyway. In fact, it's a plan with absolutely no positives at all. Well done!

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The first thing i would do is establish that its a wrestling show and try and distance myself as much as possible from the WWe product. WWE is doing anything to not mention the term 'wrestling' despite the fact that its an actual 'wrestling' show. Vince seems to think its a weekly sitcom that just happens to take place in a ring. WWE also suffer from the fact that there PG and also that they have a delcining roster of 'genuine' stars.


Things i'd do:


Bring back the 6 sided ring (i was a big advocate of losing it, but admit i was wrong and they should have kept it)


Move out of the 'Impact' zone to lose the 'small time feel'


Change to a 2 x 1 hour show a week. Show 1 would be the main event names and stars, with show to being the up and comers and x-division. The stars could then interchange as they go up/down the ladder


Ditch the current creative team, and look at putting together a team, who can create a progressing narrative that isnt a complete mess.


Reduce the number of PPV's down to 3-4 a year and build towards them to create a prestige and something you 'want to see'


slow the product down and have matches that go longer than 5 minutes, and builds towards something


Utilise the 'knockouts' properly and promote them as a legit act, as opposed to cheap humor and tits n ass


Dont use gimmicks for the sake of it. Save the 'cage's and weapons' for special feud deciders


vastly reduce the visibility of Hogan, Bischoff, Sting, Flair etc from TV and save them for special appearances, to make people want to see them and it eb a special thing


really promote there tag-team division (as Vince has seemingly given up on tag-team wrestling)


promote the 'best wrestling in the world' part, as Vince isnt using the term 'wrestling' anymore.


stop re-hashing or copying WWE's product


make moves mean something, and utilise proper booking. No more 1,000,000 high spots and weapon shots, only for the match to end witha rollup. make 'BIG' moves or a weapons shot mean something and be a match ender!



it would be hard at first but ultimately i think this would 'reboot' the business and improve the product greatly

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Change to a 2 x 1 hour show a week. Show 1 would be the main event names and stars, with show to being the up and comers and x-division. The stars could then interchange as they go up/down the ladder


But then you'd lose a good amount of variety in both shows, which is important, and you'd have one show that you'd struggle to get people to tune into. Its as bad as when people were suggesting they have a seperate show for the X-Division, the X-Division works in small doses to create variety. A good wrestlign show is all abotu variety.

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Yeah, as Butch said I'd rebrand it as Hulk Hogan's Impact Wrestling, and have him appear as the face of the company and the face matchmaker.


Then do what TNA do best - variety. Rebuild a vibrant X Division with the title defended every week. Refocus the tag division, again title defended perhaps every couple of weeks. Then save the Heavyweight belt as a PPV only - got to get interest in the PPVs up as a priority.


TNA has 2 big things going for it marketing-wise - Hogan and Spike/UFC. So use Hogan's name front and centre for, say, 2 years, and promote a product that, whilst sports entertainment, is more akin to UFC in its presentation as legitimate. That way, when some crazy rasslin shit does kick off, it has more Impact ;)


Personally, I'd hire in Kevin Nash as head booker, and Court Bauer into Russo's spot as the main writer. Get back to presenting a credible, consistent product that fulfils the needs of the wrestling fans that WWE has alienated over the last 5 years or so.


One last thing - Batista. The man is the very epitome of a heavyweight pro wrestler for me. Sign him, put him in feuds as a baddass heel against Angle, Jarrett, Sting. Tease a match against Hogan, I don't care, but he's money in my eyes.

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Mostly its the Impact Zone for me, I know its free to use etc, but the goons that populate it need sorted out. It also needs an overhall, it may be small but the red ropes just make it look like Raw, change the colour, change the design as it still looks small time especially with the cheesey lasers.


Just make it a contrast to wwe, focus on wrestling, focus on the backstage stuff they do well, focus on the great little videos they do (one that sticks out was where Jay Lethal goes back to New Jersey) give the X Division and Tag Team Titles a push, show wwe what they are missing out on. As Paul Heyman says hide what you don't do well and accentuate your positives.


My big problem with TNA, is that they don't know thier own brand, after 10ish years they still don't know who they are really. Even if you are the number 2 wrestling company in the world, make out like you are number 1, and give the fans something to care about. If wwe are going after the kids, go after the demographic wwe aren't (which I guess they kinda are) say go after teenagers and 20 years olds.

Bring back some things in wrestling that fans miss, like managers and all that for guys that can't talk. and LISTEN to your fans (well not the impact zone mongs) but give wrestlers a certain freedom, if a wrestler is getting over, give him a push, don't pull the rug from under him because the company want to push someone else.


Get a Jim Johnson like figure and pay him a shit load of money too to make better theme songs.

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There is a lot of talk that TNA needs to decide what exactly it is, and then make that clear to people. It often gets criticized for having no brand identity and is just seen as a "WWE rip-off/wannabe".


I've been trying to think of how I would class WCW's brand identity?


Now, sure in the 80's it was clear; they were the 'wrestling' company while McMahon ran his 'circus'. They clearly aimed for the more serious grappling fan, an older and more southern audience.

But by the early 90s they were becoming a WWF rip-off/wannabe, it seems to me. Characters like PN Newz and Johnny b Badd were far more WWF than NWA.


Then, even when they took over the WWF, I'm still not sure what WCW's "Identity" was?


It was the place to see Mexican Cruiserweights and technical masters in the mid-card, while also having old NWA/WCW acts like Luger, Road Warriors, Flair etc, then with that there were all the ex-WWF guys, Hall, Nash, Hogan, Bossman etc...


They moved into the promo/angle heavy style that WWF had been doing. They directly copied WWF with the live Monday Night show, even picking the same red/black colour scheme. Bobby Heenan and Mean Gene on TV every week. Surely they entirely ripped off a lot of what the WWF did, but then added even more by stealing a lot of their top names, and packing out the undercard with shit-hot workers from around the globe.


What I'm getting at is, is it actually a genuine problem that we (the audience) can't classify TNA as a particular type of wrestling show?


Or is the problem just that it isn't a very good (or consistent) wrestling show?


WCW seemed to me to be all over the place in terms of trying to define it in one sentence. Yeah, they called it "Where the Big boys Play" and all that, but it was also the home of tiny cruisers!


I honestly thing that if TNA was really fucking good, it wouldn't really matter what it's brand identity was, nor how it would define it's business model.



Is the problem simply that TNA is too small to try and out-do WWE with anything? (Too small both financially and in live audience terms)


Is the problem that WWE doesn't have enough 'good stuff' going on to try and steal and do better?


Is it just the lack of Stars that both companies are having issues with?

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I think it's a fair point as far as WCW goes. That's why I think trying to put on a WWE-lite is only ever going to get them so far. Contrary to what the OP said, their ratings aren't "languishing" - they are consistently good for the slot/network and have been on a slow rise this year. It's their PPVs that have tanked, and it's hardly surprising as the product is entirely Impact-driven with the PPVs often seeming an afterthought.


I liked TNA's "We Are Wrestling" slogan. They should get back to it. It's a simple message, puts them in opposition to WWE, and is something you can use to entice back disenchanted wrestling fans.

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