Anyone complaining about Impact Wrestling going with a complete re-brand to Global Force Wrestling needs to just sit down somewhere and allow things to formulate. No one should be talking about how badly it sucks when we haven’t seen how things are going to run from here on out. When a company goes under new ownership, what makes you think that re-branding and starting with a blank sheet of paper to distance themselves from their past wouldn’t be a part of this? TNA was originally named based on a Vince Russo pun to get people talking about it. I feel that the name hurt the company more than it ever helped it. Ed Nordholm and Anthem are putting up the money while allowing Jeff Jarrett to run the wrestling portion. Jarrett’s family has been involved in the wrestling business for 70 years, and he is the son of a promoter. He knows a little bit about running a wrestling promotion with limited funds. He also has working agreements in place with companies like CRASH in Mexico and with All Japan Pro Wrestling. It is a win-win situation if he can give the company a fresh look while bringing in some fresh international talent.
For the last 15 years, TNA Wrestling has been the butt of so many jokes in pro wrestling. This is a company where their first show featured a midget masturbating in a trash can, and some 400-pound wrestler named Cheex who broke the ring minutes before the show was to air live on PPV. We have seen the company go through so many changes, but the one thing we have never seen is if the company has anything that would be considered a sustained lucrative run. We watched as the company spent money to people like Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff who proceeded to turn TNA into a WCW 1997 tribute show as fans began to tune out in droves, and were able to convince Dixie Carter that competing with Raw on Mondays is a great idea. Failed house show tours, poor booking, illogical story-lines, and overall poor management has led us to where we are now. The stench of failure and lack of progression needs to be washed away.
We are starting to see long time employees with the company starting to leave also. This is fine because part of the rebuilding and rebooting process is going to have to be getting some fresh people in there who are willing to go along with the new vision of the company. Talent is going to leave, but you know what? It makes room for other talent to come in. There are plenty of indie wrestling and NXT dropouts who would love to wrestle for a company that has a national TV deal. Pop TV may not be in as many homes as USA Network, but it is definitely a start. Who knows? Maybe there will be a point where the show will return to Spike TV under the Global Force Wrestling banner. After all, Spike UK already has the show in the UK markets. Hopefully Jarrett and Nordstrom can one day work out a deal to bring the product back to the same station where it was drawing over one million viewers.
I hope that Jarrett and Nordholm make sure to stay completely focused on their own product. They should not even be paying attention to what WWE or Ring of Honor are doing, and try to carve out their own fan base. And furthermore, try to create an audience just for their program. It will take time, but it can be done, as there are a lot of wrestling fans out there that are disenchanted with what they see out of WWE and their “sports entertainment” model. They can never be WWE, so they need to try to be different than WWE. They can’t be McDonald’s, but they can sure strive to be Wendy’s! You don’t have to be number one in your business, but you can be profitable while giving fans a legit alternative option in regards to a wrestling show to watch. This is what everyone at Global Force Wrestling should be striving for.
Before I close, I want to say something to those people who claim that Global Force Wrestling hadn’t even really been around. They were indeed running shows for a time before this all took place, and I even attended one of them in June of last year. While it didn’t set the world on fire standing on its own, it now has backing due to the merger with Impact Wrestling. No one should want this merger to fail, and we should all want it to succeed. Having more wrestling viewing options available on national television is a great thing for both wrestlers as well as fans. Before anyone continues on and on about how the shows suck, have you watched RAW and SmackDown lately? Those shows aren’t exactly spectacular in their own right; you know what I mean?
Before I close out this week’s column, I also want to give everyone involved in the Slammiversary PPV props for putting on an excellent show. It was a good wrestling show without all of the silliness of sports entertainment. Each match, especially the unification matches, come off as huge deals and very important. I hope that the company can progress with different ways to view their major events, as the idea of wrestling on PPV is a dying concept. Especially when no one wants to pay 40 bucks for it. This is one time where taking a page out of WWE’s book isn’t a bad idea, and maybe they should think about setting up their own online streaming service. It doesn’t have to be now, but definitely something they should put in their plans for the future.
So what do you think? Is Anthem wasting its time throwing good money after bad product? Or could they be on to something here? What do you want to see come out of these changes? As always, you can give me your thoughts on Twitter by following me @whosantcox. You can also follow me on my Instagram page under the name Ultragoldenant. I respond to everyone’s thoughts and opinions.
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