18 November 2013

Regrouping at the NEW Impact Zone

The analogy makes so much sense, and may have been mentioned by someone else before (forgive me if I can't recall who at the moment).  It is sticking in my mind a lot this week going into the return to Universal Studios Orlando.  In the economically challenging times that we live in, it is a common occurrence to see young adults moving back home with their parents/family while they regroup to eventually find more independent and stable ground.  Now I'm not saying that TNA is exactly in that type of situation but it's fair to say that it is in a very similar predicament.  They are safe and well, but the road IMPACT experiment of 2013 ended up like a college kid running up student loans and/or credit card debt.  So home (the new Impact Zone) came calling and became a nice fall-back option to get TNA back on more solid ground financially.  Am I way off base or is anyone else seeing this kind of parallel?

I'll admit, I have been dragging my feet in showing enthusiasm for the return to the Impact Zone.  Even something as simple as knowing that it is a completely different sound stage at Universal Studios is encouraging though.  We cannot change what is happening so why not ponder what IMPACT Wrestling moving to their home operations back to Orlando means?  My absolute hope is that the company can find creative, new ways to establish and maintain crowd participation and excitement; keeping things fresh.  TNA has hinted that there will be a new strategy for making this happen.  The IZ crowd was so dead and burnt out by the start of 2013, it was really dampening the show for me.  On this new go-around (at least the first few months), the Impact Zone attendees should have that FIRE back from yesteryear.  Remember those first few years at the IZ (or perhaps you've at least watched a portion of the footage on DVD's or YouTube)?  The people in attendance CARED about the product.  They were not over saturated with the show.  They didn't "take TNA for granted".  I will try my hardest to be optimistic for a new, improved atmosphere for IMPACT on a weekly basis.

So the challenge becomes, with at least 3 IMPACT's being taped back to back to back several times in the same location, how do you keep the crowd engaged?  This was the challenge before, especially during the lengthy era when IMPACT was not being shot LIVE on a weekly basis.  By the 2nd or 3rd taping, the crowd dwindled and lost energy.  Of course, tourists will attend the tapings, but will we see the same faces from the old IMPACT Zone on our TV's and computer screens again over and over like a bad dream?  You know of what I speak.  The Sting face-painted guy.  The Khel and Shel Twins.  The dad and daughter Jeff Hardy fans.  The big goof that wanders around the floor of the IZ in the background, etc., etc.  Is it going to be a "same shit, different day" Impact Zone?  I'm sure everyone hopes that's not the case.

So here's to hoping that this Thursday at Turning Point is the start of a fresh new era for TNA IMPACT Wrestling.  I implore you to stay objective and open-minded.  The old regime of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff are gone.  The company appears to be going back to its roots in multiple facets.  New wrestlers and talent are coming in to TNA and more are rumored to be on the way.  The #Impact365 campaign is catching people's attention.  The pinnacle of production and capability with #Impact365 will be shown with the help of the Universal Studios facilities.  It's a new day and a new era.  Let's embrace this new adventure and stay optimistic as the future seems to be lining up very well for this young and evolving wrestling company. 

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