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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Steps of Success for TNA
April 1, 2005 by Jacob G.


Now that it has been confirmed that Jeff Jarrett has been in talks with Spike TV about being moved into RAW's Monday night spot, TNA will need to build themselves up as much as possible if they are going to even have a snowball's chance in hell against WWE if they get the spot.

1. First of all TNA has one major advantage already; the world is abuzz for AJ Styles. The only problem with that is as WWE moves back to USA or any other network AJ's contract will be expiring. Let's face it, TNA has some amazing talent there is no doubt about that, but if they lose "Mr. TNA" to WWE they will be in dire need of a replacement and it doesn't look like they have that right now. If TNA is able to come to an agreement with Spike TV, their first move needs to be securing AJ in another TNA contract. Give him the belt, pay him loads of money, whatever it may take to keep him in TNA. AJ has stated that he will go where the money is so his family will be set, but by the same token he isn't doing too bad with TNA right now, and if TNA can get a spot on Spike they will have more money to throw to their talent, and AJ isn't an ignorant person.

If he sees that other former TNA talent (i.e. Kazarian) is wasting away in WWE, and TNA can't match the WWE's offer they need to show him how important he is, and how much they need him while trying to match WWE as much as possible.

2. Build all three divisions as much as possible. The X Division is TNA's cornerstone. Every month one of the main highlights of TNA Pay Per Views, this is the one division that TNA needs to do the least amount of work with but it can still use some work. The tag team division has a strong line-up which is something that WWE doesn't have right now, so they have the edge, but having one team carrying the entire division isn't showing much faith in the rest of the teams. With "Triple X" now defunct, TNA needs to build up a couple of strong heel tag teams to give "America's Most Wanted" a run for their money. They have "The Outlaw" and "BG" James which is a nice start because there weren't too many tag teams in WWF as popular as "The New Age Outlaws." If they were to reunite this team or another strong tag team from yester-year then TNA will be one step closer to solidifying yet another division. Unfortunately the division that needs the most help in TNA is the division that should be the strongest.

Let's face it, the WWE's Heavyweight and World Championship division mostly consists of the veterans on the roster. TNA has their share of veterans but unfortunately they refuse to put one of them over Jeff Jarrett. The problem with WWE is that they too are making the same mistake which TNA should be learning from.

Whether TNA is waiting to pick one of the veterans off the market or not, they need to find someone who can be a strong transitional champion (i.e. Raven) until they can pick up that veteran or whoever it is they are looking for.

3. Creating another division (or building one that hasn't been very strong in the past for TNA.) The independent circuit is filled with talented female wrestlers. Tracy Brooks and Trinity can't be a women's division, in November WWE released 5 members of their women's roster. Bring back Jacqueline and Desire and pick up those that WWE released, and TNA would have a nice start to their women's division very quickly. Another interesting division that TNA could start is an X Tag Team Division, with such a deep roster in the X Division it is only logical to have champions specifically. Imagine an Ultimate X match with Johnny Devine and Petey Williams vs. Christopher Daniels and Kid Kash (or any other combination of x-division wrestlers) for the X division tag team championships.

4. Do away with the open door policy, its one thing to bring in superstars from independent promotions once in a while but it's a whole nother thing to bring guys in for weeks at a time and then they disappear. It makes TNA look bad to have someone that was in their main events several weeks in a row and then they disappear, only to be seen on WWE programming jobbing (i.e. Chad Collyer). For their contracted wrestlers working with other independent promotions isn't such a bad thing in itself, because it promotes the company when their top stars come in to face the top stars of other promotions, yet it also shows the weakness that TNA may not be paying their contracted wrestlers which makes them susceptible to being offered bigger contracts by WWE.

5. Stop relying on the glory days of the veterans in TNA to boost the ratings; this is a big problem that TNA has. Going with experience is not always that best way to go about bringing in fans; TNA pushed the return of Hall, Nash, and Savage as the biggest event in the history of TNA and look where they are now. Savage came in expecting everyone to just hand the World Championship over to him, and now they have nothing to do with Hall. Of all of the veterans that TNA has brought back recently DDP is the only one who looks as if he hasn't lost, but a step from what he was when he was champion. Other than that they are just blowing their money for maybe a hundred-plus fans who watch to see someone from WCW.

6. Focus more on putting on a great show in the ring than competing with the WWE. The problem that WCW had was that they only wanted to beat out Vince McMahon. For a while they were able to put on a great show and beat the WWF, but once their storylines didn't draw the same type of reaction they were looking for they only focused on beating McMahon and not entertaining the fans. It has less to do with overspending than it does with keeping fan interest and when WCW stopped trying to entertain the fans, the fans stopped attending the shows, and then as they say it was all downhill from there. TNA can't compete with WWE right now, as great as TNA is, and as bad as WWE is right now. Start out by building a VERY strong fan base and don't let the lack of interest in storylines because the fans to flock back to the WWE once they have left for TNA.

7. Don't start out locking horns with WWE, even if Spike does give TNA a primetime spot it doesn't necessarily mean that they are fit to battle RAW in a Monday night war or SmackDown! in a Thursday Night War. Try to negotiate a primetime spot on one of the nights when WWE either doesn't have a program on (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday) or on Saturday or Sunday afternoon before people go out for the night and before the pay per views start. The second half of "The Best Damn Wrestling Event Period" was a good indicator that TNA doesn't have the fan base strong enough to take on WWE. A big part of TNA's current fan base consists of WWE fans as well, and the best way to break them away from that is to give them their nights with WWE and take their breath away on the nights that WWE doesn't have. Force WWE to start the war while TNA builds up their "army". The old saying is the best offense is a good defense; if WWE goes on the offensive and starts having to change their format around they will make the mistake of confusing their fans, and then TNA can pick up on, and hold onto that, because they have necessary tools to put on a great show while WWE is trying to get everything back in order.

If TNA follows a basic formula such as this their chances of surviving a Monday night war with WWE are much greater than doing what they are doing now, but they can't over look the most important of all aspects and that is; THE FANS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAT HAVING BETTER STORYLINE THAN THE COMPETITION BECAUSE A COMPANY CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT STORYLINES BUT THEY CAN'T WITHOUT FANS!

by Jacob G...


N. Panesar wrote:
on some levels you are completly right. TNA's steps of success are completely through AJ Styles because he is without a doubt the hottest talent out there at the moment and the most innovative superstar out there at the moment, but i do not agree with your views on reuniting teams as it would just be reusing the WWF/E's old gimmicks and BG James has a good enough gimmick with 3LK anyway.

The WWE's championship sectors do consist of vetrans because they know that they will have success because they can work in the ring and theres no doubt about it whether you love them or hates them because they have less chance of making the WWE look bad, you cannot denay that it is a bad thing because it provides stability. and also TNA is doign the same thing with Jeff Jarrett whop claims to have been a champion in every organisation hes ever wrestled in which yes is true but why give a man the championship for such a long time and build the whole company around him, well one because his own father is the owner of TNA so hes obviously going to favor him even tho Jeff is in my view a waste space as he cant even defend his own championship and is disgrasing the NWA championship because he has to cheat to retain.

ahhh this point was how i became a sucess in one of my own little wrestling promotions, the open door policy which if used properly can create some real good talent, as Jacob said that if it is used once ina while is a great crowd puller but as TNA use it, yes it will be one of the factors that will kill them.

ahhh again great talent in the ring, that is never going to happen with TNA as they have clawed their way up to the #2 wrestling programme but they dont know how to structure matches for the long term like with AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett the aim was completely pointless and unfinished so it fizzled away and gave AJ Styles a bad reputation as he cannot finish the story and Jeff goes on to beat every Wrestler on the roster which is rubbish because he refuses to put anyone over apart from him own little ego and expects everyone ot lay down for him in every NWA organisation over the world.

its great that Spike TV is setting off Both TNA and the WWE because it will give way for alot of future prospects including inter-promotional matches which would spark alot of controversey of how rubbish Jeff Jarrett is as a champion because he could never keep up with the likes of Triple H.

and last of all i can input my knowledge because even tho i am only 16 i have run my own promotion as the General Manager of a local federation and the way i did it was by using a range of techniques like inter promotional matches and the fact that i did not over run story lines which i guess was pretty lucky as i stopped them when i wanted to start new fueds. i also looked at the forums that were set up and looked at the publics input because without the public there would be no show in the wherehouse. and the one prospect of wrestling is Supply and Demand because your SUPPLYING what the fans are there for and you also give the fans what they want aswell when the DEMAND it
Jason "Xtremefalls" Simmons wrote:
First Mr. TNA AJ styles is over hyped and not as big as some people make him out to be. Don't get me wrong he is good but not the greatest ever as many people have claimed him to be.

Second TNA needs to compete with the WWE because if you don't the WWE will crush them under there own weight if they pick up there storylines, and writings. The problem with TNA Is Jeff Jarrett he refuses to move out of the way and when the NWA heavyweight title is the weakest part of your show its sad.

The X-division to me is just crap yes they have all of theses talents but the talents are mostly people without a decent gimmicks. Also in my mind the Division can't survive that long people AJ styles is need to keep the division going.

ALso you need the older stars, People need to get that. TNA has a huge lack of star power and no one is going to watch if you don't have the names to draw them in and make new stars.
Johnny Speckman wrote:
I'm sick of everybody adding there input on how to help TNA. TNA doesn't need your help; they're doing fine on their own. They aren't at the level of competing with WWE but who the hell cares. The Monday Night War was successful because most fans had a preference as to which company they wanted to watch. I myself was WWF through and through but TNA has fans that are also WWE fans. Many fans would be torn if a war was to take place. TNA is doing fine and I want to see it stay alive. Your ideas on how to help, while true at times (few times), are, at best, merely an observation from someone who knows nothing of what is currently going on.

I'm going to follow the same line as you, Jacob and present the counter argument to your bumbling and false ideas.

1. There's a reason that Styles was named Mr. TNA. That reason being that he, as well as Jeff Jarrett, are carrying TNA. Styles bleeds TNA blood and has passed up a WWE developmental deal once before. If TNA makes the jump to Spike they can afford to keep him on pay-roll. And to address one of the most asinine comments in your article, 'The Coolest' Kazarian is not "wasting away" in WWE; he hasn't even appeared on television yet. He is still in the developmental stage.

2. If you think that the X Division needs work then you're stupider then Gene Snitsky looks. The X Division is doing wonderful things and is helping TNA tremendously with recognition. I have a few friends who like TNA simply for the X Division and they didn't like wrestling to start with. The X Division is perfect but I agree the Tag Team picture needs some altercations. It's no surprise that the WWE is definitely lacking in that department and that's where TNA can take advantage. If they show WWE up in that aspect they can garner more needed recognition.

As for your remark about the Main Event situation in TNA and Jeff Jarrett, I'm going to have to bite my tongue and agree with you and the response from Panesar. Wait what the hell am I saying"!" The day I agree that Jeff Jarrett is a disgrace to the NWA is the day I slit my own throat. Jeff Jarrett is a great champion, a terrific business man, and an even better athlete and I can safely say that no one would be able to enjoy TNA every Friday if it weren't for Jeff Jarrett. No, not because his father runs the company because that notion is bullspit. The company was not centered around Jarrett, but in fact, Jarrett was centered around TNA. Jarrett and Triple H are the subjects of a lot of "controversy" because they have close ties with the owners. People bitch because Triple H and Jarrett are long reigning champions and they attribute that to their close ties. Now I may have already brought this point up here at OWW, but consider JBL. Why isn't he receiving the same controversy" He is a long reigning champion that many feel doesn't deserve it just like HHH and Jeff. He isn't sleeping with the boss' daughter, his father isn't the owner, no one has anything to pin on the guy to prove their point. All they can say is they don't like him and therefore he is doing his job and a damn good job at that, as is Jeff and Hunter. The main reason a heel does what they do, mainly cheat to win, is to get heat from the crowd. That's what heels do and that's what Jarrett is doing. I agree that TNA needs a new champion simply to quiet the masses but they have no good, strong face challengers. The only superstar other than Jeff Jarrett that is capable of caring the NWA Title is Raven. In order for this to happen there would have to be a transitional face champion and a transitional champion is not what TNA needs. No, Monty Brown does not deserve the title and neither does Jeff Hardy. All the fourteen year old girls are probably mouthing off the 3 or 4 swear words they know right now. TNA doesn't currently have a main event face that is worthy and searching for a discarded veteran is not the way to go about filling that slot. TNA should worry about beefing up the superstars they have now, not the hand-me-downs.

3. The idea of a new division is pretty good, but shouldn't take place any time soon. TNA needs to worry about perfecting the divisions they have if war were ever declared by WWE. A women's division is something that TNA should do mainly to point out where WWE has failed/screwed up. I only ask that they don't make the same mistake WWE did. Not going to go there. As for an X Tag division, it's possible and intriguing but I don't see it happening.

4. Ah, the open door policy. This policy is necessary for reaching out to other promotions. TNA needs to make friendships with other promotions and a talent exchange is a perfect way to do it. This policy allows smaller feds to get some recognition and allows TNA to scope some possible talent. How many people know about Chaotic Wrestling" It's a small fed based in Massachusetts. Not many people knew about it until Indy followers realized that guys like Austin Aries and Low Ki were making appearances. The open door policy is a god-send to the Indy scene.

5. Bringing in older wrestlers is often good for name recognition but its all about obtaining the right names. Sure TNA got some wrong ones in Savage and the outsiders. The thing is Savage is an idiot as is Hall. Hall got his fifth shot at a decent comeback and blew it because he thought lying near death in a hospital because of his alcohol addiction was a better idea. Nash is simply in it for the money and that never bodes well. DDP is essentially the only keeper in the bunch. Jeff Hardy was attained for his name as well and up until his series with Abyss he didn't show much promise. As for DX, Billy and X-Pac, once TNA finds a story for them they should not disappoint.

6. I don't believe that TNA is currently trying to compete with WWE. They seem like their just slowly building their company to become an even bigger success. Plans of rivaling Vince's product may weigh heavily in the back of the mind of TNA, but it isn't apparent on television.

7. Who ever said that TNA and WWE need to do battle" Why can't they both share their products with the fans" If TNA gets a spot at the same time as WWE then yes that is asking for war. You can't control or predict the actions of Vince McMahon and if TNA gets a better time slot war may be imminent, but just because TNA may become more main stream is nothing for Vince to fear. TNA should be prepared for battle but should also know that it may not happen. The ideal situation would be if TNA got a spot on a day where WWE wasn't airing their program. That way they can share there audiences and not have to worry about losing fans to the other company because they were split in a ratings war.
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