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WRESTLING COLUMNS

TNA: THE WAY IT SHOULD BE!
September 6, 2004 by Justin Foglesong


Hello. I am just really going to go over the ways TNA should handle the future.

1. First of off. They need at least 2 Main Eventers... Hall & Nash could work or get Goldberg and Austin because you know if they can get one they'll be able to get both of them. Right now I would go with Hall & Nash. They could use them for a while and then let new people who really haven't made a name for themselves beat either one because they need to make some of their own superstars. This could easily happen if they would just let go maybe like 2 or 3 people they really never use or really don't get over with the crowd that well.

2. GET A PRIME TIME TV DEAL!

Right now the only way I see them even coming close to competing with WWE is to get a good TV Deal with Fox networks... They've got Sports Net but come on it's a bad time slot and on a Friday when everyone goes places. Why not since they are bumping their PPV to a Monthly one why not have 2 GOOD hours of wrestling on Wednesday night a good time would be 8-10, and if their ratings do good I would go head to head with Smackdown and see if they can compete with them. If they do great they should go ahead and go head to head with Raw... The only way I see they could compete if its either on FX, FOX, or ESPN (Which would never happen). The best choice of course with Fox. With Family Guy coming back into the picture for Fox.. People would tune in a 10 minutes early then TNA COULD possibly beat WWE in the last 15 minutes of their programming, but once again the storylines need to be unpredictable and they need bigger superstar.

3. Production Team Needs A Boost!

The signing of WWE's Former Production Wiz David Sahadi they should be able to make killer replays and production values. Giving better entrances and such could really could be the difference between competition sometimes...

4. Storylines

The storyline definitely needs to improve... Because Dusty Rhodes and 3 Live Kru and just getting a little bit too boring. Dusty Rhodes might get over because they've probably give people something to cheer for the fat man. They need to stop with the "South" name type of matches like "Bunk House Brawl." Half the people in the world would ask you if you knew what it was. TO THIS DAY I believe Vince Russo DID NOT kill off WCW... It was Eric. Eric begged him to keep the N-W-O angles going. Vince Russo has a wonderful mind along with Glen Gilberti and Raven writing matches and storylines why isn't anything really good " Its pretty much either Jeff or Jerry says no to probably an angle that would help the company out so much it could get them tons of money. They really don't need to keep the wrestlers that have no Charisma unless you've got a good manager which they had James Mitchell but why did they let him go or put him off to the side" He's as good as or even better than Raven's microphone skills. Anyways, If they would just do an angle with Raven and Jeff and let Raven win that would make my day and the following months. Raven is probably the best "brawler and Charisma" person they'll probably EVER have, but they won't use him effectively. Like ECW Paul had Raven take Sandman's wife and son which was a great angle now why don't they do that with Raven have him steal Jeff's wife and son or daughter" Why Jeff or Jerry would think its stupid but it would give Raven so much Heel heat it wouldn't be funny because they south people think that's like the worse thing they've ever seen or heard.

5. Wrestlers

The wrestlers are pretty much at the moment TNA has down pat besides people like AMW who really can't wrestle that good. They've got plenty of great wrestlers, but what would really help them if they could pick up at least some over people and some Japanese X Division type people. If they could do that they would pretty much have the wrestlers down pat.

I went over TNA's strengths and weaknesses. If they would just maybe listen to some of the fan's input they could possibly be the best wrestling company ever... Some people might disagree with me of course, but I believe TNA has the potential to overcome WWE if done properly. Also I believe TNA is overall better than WWE but not enough people know that they exist or don't care. WWE might have the big name people who couldn't wrestle out of a paper bag, but still gets over with the crowd, but TNA has the people who can wrestle and talk and for me... Wrestling is the thing people SHOULD pay attention to not how they talk unless it would make the person great. I.E. Christopher Daniels you could easily say he's the best wrestler in the world now along with Raven.

by Justin Foglesong..


Jackie Ellis wrote:
1. You are right about number 1. Hall,Austin or Goldberg would do the trick for me but TNA don't have that type of money. TNA does have Raven,Chris Daniels,Styles,Kash and Jeff Hardy. Just push those guys as the main eventers with Jarrett. They have a good relationship with Sting and Luger,they can use them from time to time.

2. You are right about getting a primetime deal but they don't have to do it right now. Just build storylines and good matches on Impact and maybe by next year they should make the move to primetime. Why should they compete with the WWE" They should stay as far away from WWE. Competing with the WWE will put them out of business fast. That was WCW problem,they should of move Nitro to Tuesday or Wednesday in 99 and maybe people would of watch them more. TNA and WWE actually acknowledge each other unlike WCW/WWF. Mike Tenay talks about WWE all the time in his column on nwatna.com. JR and other wrestlers say they wish TNA the best.

3. I think the production is fine,it can be better but it's not bad like ECW on TNN. Wrestlers needs more attractive theme music and the set only needs one entrance.

4. THANK YOU!!! Russo did not killed WCW folks! I actually watch WCW when Russo had some kind of say. Russo needs to be the head writer. They need to build storylines like the current XXX/AMW/Naturals fued. The Raven/Sabu storyline was good. The creative team needs to watch old Raw shows from 96. The show was one hour but everybody had a fued and it was the real beginning of the Attitude era. HBK became a Icon,Austin 3:16 was born,Mankind/Taker fued help their careers,etc.

5. They have some good characters/wrestlers such as Monty Brown who I think can be the next big thing if he knew how to wrestle. Styles,AMW,XXX,Naturals,Petey Williams,Scott D'Amore,Kash,Dallas,Raven,Sabu,Abyss and Shelley is all watchable good characters/wrestlers but something is missing. I feel like those guys is all mid-carders compare to Jarrett.

They should get rid of the dead weight or at least put the dead weight off tv. WWF in 96 had a small roster but the guys there shine and made the show great.

I also think TNA needs a big stable like Evolution,DX,etc. Team Canada and 3LK are not big time stables. They should reform Raven's Flock, or just put Jarrett,Kash,Dallas,Kazarian,and Shane together to takeover.
Joe Holdren wrote:
After reading your article I must say I fully disagree with nearly all of your ideas. I'm not going to come out acting like I know everything but what I'm about to say is me thinking of more of a business approach.

Your first idea was to bring in two main eventers. You stated Hall and Nash or Goldberg and Austin as guys you would bring in. If TNAW brings in any big names they need to look at workrate and cost before just looking at what type of a draw they would be. While Goldberg entertains me he isn't someone known for workrate, Austin and Hall were once great wrestlers but both are past their prime, and Nash has stunk up the ring long enough to where he should never be a factor in a Heavyweight Title match if you want to showcase good heavyweight wrestling that will determine the heavyweight champion of your company. TNAW should focus on pushing their own workers for Heavyweight Title shots before they go for independent wrestlers, such as Hogan, Piper, Hall, Nash, Austin, Goldberg, and the countless other well known guys. If I was on the TNAW booking squad you'd bet your sweet buttocks I'd be aiming for the big Raven vs. Jeff Jarrett rematch, which TNAW really screwed the first time around. I'd go with Raven winning the title, and no rehash of Raven-Sandman's fued as TNAW really needs to stay away from using ECW ideas when they are trying to promote a family orientated product, and becoming a short reign champ only to drop the title to a more determined heel Ron Killings, who is not with 3LK and has a new manager (James Mitchell would be ideal).

You're idea about a Prime Time slot is faulty as you make it seem like it will be a walk in the park. I have no clue about negotiations but I'm willing to bet it takes quite a bit of time and money to present a product as worthwhile for any semi-major network to even ask for a pilot of what to expect. Impact has been doing pretty well on FSN and I'm sure they are probably talking about upping the showtime from 1 to at least 2 hours. But, at the same time they have been paying for the timeslot and I'm not sure it would be smart financially for them to do so unless they can be put on a more accessible Fox Station such as FX or Fox. Also, how do you figure TNAW could compete with WWE at all" WWE has global exposure while TNA barely has every state covered let alone minimal global exposure. Right now, TNAW needs to focus on creating a program that brings more of the "Total Nonstop Action" and less of the sports entertainment that has been promoted recently. In order to even be a competition for WWE you need to have everything set to where you are bringing something new to the table, or even something old that is being rehashed to a younger audience that will eat it up as new.

I'm not sure why you think AMW are horrible wrestlers, maybe it has to do with the fact that TNAW have kept them the same old guys with no character progression. You know TNAW's tag team division is hurting when three teams make up a tag roster. TNAW should think about bringing in an updated version of The New Church which would consist of Slash and Julio Dinero, bring in CW Anderson to tag with Pat Kenney for a solid tag team that could help young teams learn more on how to produce good to great tag matches, and maybe sign tag teams, such as the Ballard Brothers, that have been legitimate tag teams that also haven't been exposed to a national audience but show consistently good workrate. I know Triple X are TNAW's most liked tag team but I really think Christopher Daniels should be used as a single wrestler while either Low-Ki returns or someone else joins Elix Skipper to carry the Triple X tag team name.

If TNAW truly wants to be any sort of competition to TNAW they need to: be informed of their financial status so they won't bring in talent that they can't afford, use the talent they possess to the fullest in attempt to make money, value workrate more than name value, become affiliated with foreign promotions in order to a)possibly bring in foreign talent to interest viewers from another country/viewers that have a liking to the style a worker would bring b) set up a system where workers could do excursions to another country to become more fluent in different styles to add to their matches c) to help promote their shows to a wider audience and d) give their titles a name value in more countries so titles can later be named world appropriately, and TNAW need to use every opportunity to get their name out but keep it to things that don't have as much as a likely hood of backfiring.
Brian Bertrand wrote:
I do agree with you for the main eventers. The only problem with that is that they already have some decent talent to make some sweet main events. AJ Styles already proved that and he's the freshest talent that can hold a main event status for TNA. I doubt Austin would be able to jump to TNA because of his friendship with Vince McMahon no matter what the lawyers and the retards at WrestleZone say. I would totally see Goldberg join TNA because he wasn't satisfied with being McMahon's chronie and him joining TNA would spit right in his face and entertain the TNA crowd for months.

Hall and Nash wouldn't be able to wrestle for TNA after Hall's alcohol abuse while in TNA. The guy just can't stop getting drunk. And Nash is too injury prone anyways so he has no place within TNA if he's going to have angles against Abyss or Jeff Jarrett. I wouldn't call them main eventers anyways because the only time they were in the main event spotlight was when they were in the nWo with Hogan. Scott Hall only had the main event for TNA on some occasions because TNA got desperate for ratings. The guy had barely a career left so he just jumped on to get some cash.

The thing with the storylines is a little farfetched because it's hard making storylines with the demand of the fans and still maintaining their brand of "family entertainment" wrestling. So it might be a little hard but I agree that they need to step it up a few notches if they intend to keep their slot on FSN. FSN execs watch their show just like us so they will pay some attention to what's being put on their channels.
Ed Stevens wrote (TNA the way it Should(N'T) be):
While I agree that TNA could use an established name like Austin or maybe even Goldberg, Hall and Nash would mean nothing to the company. If you have any doubts, look at the effect or lack thereof the two had on wrestling when they joined back up in the WWE as the NWO. Hulk Hogan was the only one that fans seemed interested in and those two were buried when he left them to don the red and yellow again. Nash got injured and Hall, like usual made an ass of himself on numerous occasions. Most notably being the plane ride from hell. Hall and Nash left the then WWF for more money in WCW. They had a negative impact on the locker room and only cared about making themselves look good. They seemingly destroyed WCW talent and did nothing to actually contribute to the welfare of that company, speaking in terms of longevity. If guys like Benoit and Booker and Raven could've gotten a victory over these guys in their original run as the Outsiders, then WCW would have had some younger superstars, with some actual in ring talent, get over with fans and maybe Benoit and Raven would have stayed and helped Booker T carry WCW. However, Hall and Nash worried about their careers and money. They cared nothing about the company or its younger stars, and somehow they convinced a lot of the management to do the same. Another thing to consider is that Nash nearly bankrupt the WWE as its champion and Hall did appear in TNA and nobody cared. What put TNA on the map was younger indy talent like Chris Daniels, AJ Styles, Kazarin, Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, Michael Shane, Paul London, Amazing Red, Team Canada, Team Mexico, Team Japan, Team Great Britain, and all the X division competitors. It put the hottest thing on the indies on national tv, while the WWE slowly phases out its Cruiserweight division. Whether you like AMW or not, TNA, unlike the WWE, has a semblance of a tag team division. The WWE hasn't had a legitimate tag team division in years. While a reunion of the Outsiders in the US would be big, they'd first have to prove that they can be a positive influence on the TNA lockeroom Kevin Nash has supposedly changed, but I doubt that Scott Hall has. Having the three or four Hall and Nash fans tuning in the watch the Outsiders and the expense of your lockerroom isn't worth it. Just ask the folks in WCW, that's right, it went out of business.
Sean Stein wrote:
I just read this column and I must say I agree with a lot of it but not all of it. The most important thing TNA as too do now that there weekly PPV is now over. Is too get a prime Time 2 Hour show. There current or rumored Sunday Morning slot will not work. FX would be better. Fox Sports is good for during the week at prime time. A lot of people arin't going too see TNA. Mainly because Baseball season. I live in St. Louis. During the week Most all Cardinals games are on Fox Sport and most of then are night gams that start at 7. FX for the Fox Channel could do that but Fox Sport I don't think so.

Now talk about Hall, Nash, Austin, or Goldberg. NO. Because 3 of these guy have egos that are so big it not funny. Goldberg I don't think would loose too anybody in TNA. Hall and Nash, Hall as a heart problem now and Nash is britial. Then you have Austin who as nothing too bring since he can't wrestle anymore. These stars are not going too work. who I think they should bring in for Star power. They need too get Sting as more of a regular. Because he can deliver a better match more then any star out there. Best of all unlike most of these names out there. Also never wrestled with the WWE so he never went throw any WWE bad booking. Who else,I would be looking in Japan. Try and get Lyger or Muta too appear for a while.

Finally the most important management moved that needs too happen is too get Jeff Jarrett out of any creative prosses. Jarrett as been a crappy champion when he could be creditable if booked right. Instead of being booked like a dominated person like a Goldberg. He needs too be more like Ric Flair. He not the best promo cutter but he booked like he is. Raven is far better.

A mistake that was made is trying too push Jeff Hardy as a MEer. He never was and was undeserving. Last night PPV. After all they hype didn't at all live up too what they made up too be. It was OK. Nothing special at all.

Those ae my thoughts on what TNA needs too do.
Ricky Leone wrote:
Listen, it was Vince Russo who killed WCW. Whether you want to believe it or not, Eric Bischoff had no power when Vince Russo was in control, and he did NOT beg Vince Russo to keep the nWo angle going. Bischoff could care less what happened to WCW, they fired him. Then, when they brought him back, it was nearly impossible to clean up Russo's crap. I also disagree with your opinions on TNA's wrestlers, I think they're all great wrestlers, and you're mind is one-sided, that's why you can't accept that. I also disagree with your opinion on the production team. I'm so sick of WWE's futuristic production, when WWE doesn't have much of a future at this pace. I disagree with you on bringing in two main eventers, they should bring in a lot of main eventers, but not all at once. When one's finished with the company, bring in the next. I also disagree with your "recycling ECW's kidnapping" storyline. As a matter of fact, the only thing I can agree with you on, is that TNA needs a better TV deal.

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