30 December 2013

#REWIND365: 22-28 Dec 2013

Welcome to #REWIND365 Where the Reaction Never Ends, a selective look at the week's offerings from #IMPACT365.  For those that have read this column before, the usual format is to hand out four awards; a bronze, silver and gold medal to my pick of the top three videos along with a wooden spoon for the video that tried but missed the mark.

Unfortunately, aside from a couple of Impact previews, there was only a grand total of four videos uploaded to #IMPACT365 this week.  With most of the TNA roster enjoying their Christmas holidays, it seems #IMPACT365 found itself well and truly in the midst of the Winter of No Content this week.

To that end, I have decided to forego any prize-giving this week.  With only four videos to award four prizes to, it does not feel right handing out awards to each of them simply because there was an absence of any other competition.  Instead I will offer a brief rundown of the clips that were made available this week, and some thoughts on the #IMPACT365 concept as 2013 draws to a close.

Another portion of an interview that first started appearing shortly before Thanksgiving.  Aries treats us to some family stories and his rendition of Silent Night.  Not the greatest vocals you'll hear all year, but put on the spot Aries goes about it with all the confidence that you'd expect from the Greatest Man That Ever Lived.

With this clip and some footage of himself attending a Christmas parade, Hernandez was responsible for half of the #IMPACT365 uploads this week.  Super Mex showcases his strength once more by forcing his children to wear balaclavas and exercising with them as he goes about his daily chores.
Now that Chavo has been "fired", I wonder what the future holds for Hernandez.  Hernandez is no spring chicken, but the more I hear him speak, the more I think he'd make a great standalone comedy heel.  Having said that, TNA seems to have an abundance of heels lately, especially comedic ones.

Catching up with Hardy backstage, this clip very much reiterates what Hardy said in the ring on Impact and that he is gone until something changes in TNA under the Dixie regime.  Many suspect that this is a way for Hardy to bow out ahead of the UK tapings, and if my calculations are correct then we have another 4 episodes of Impact left to air in the States and a further 6 being filmed in the UK.  Thats over two months in which Hardy will be off our screens.  With his recent mic and in-ring improvements, I look forward to his return and hope he uses and enjoys his time off-camera to its fullest potential.

Thoughts on #IMPACT365 in 2013

The #IMPACT365 initiative was only launched around two months ago, coinciding nicely with what many perceive as TNA hitting the reset button on past mistakes at Bound For Glory.  As a social media tool and a platform for offering fans content beyond what they can expect to see on the Thursday shows, I believe #IMPACT365 is a great concept, but it is still an idea in its infancy and not without its flaws.  As we head into 2014, there are a number of things that TNA need to work on if they want their innovation to succeed.

First of all; consistency.  Whether you access #IMPACT365 directly via the TNA website, through their Youtube channel or keep an eye out for related posts on Twitter, video clips do not always appear on all outlets or at least not at the same time.  Clips posted on their site do not necessarily make it to the Youtube listings, and vice versa, and some videos advertised as being part of #IMPACT365 on Twitter do not make it to the TNA website or Youtube at all.  If you avidly follow all three of these media platforms that's fine, but why make it unnecessarily complicated to find all of the clips in one place.  Whoever is in charge of the uploads needs to ensure that however you follow #IMPACT365, the clips are available on all outlets if they want to get the maximum amount of hits for the effort they put in.

The second issue has become increasingly apparent with the TNA block recordings, and that is the decline in uploads as the weeks progress on these pre-taped shows.  Initially there was a lot of content being uploaded to back up each show, be it backstage reactions, promos setting the stage for the following week, or a whole host of the roster giving their thoughts on certain subjects in interviews with JB.  Fast forward to this week, and one of the few clips they had left to upload was the tail end of an Austin Aries interview that must have been recorded at the start of a block taping.  I realise that it must be a busy few days taping all these shows back to back, and it may be hard to film footage with the roster when they're not all in the same place for the tapings, but if TNA want #IMPACT365 to succeed they need to think carefully how they plan ahead their uploads.  If the number of uploads is going to drop to barely one every few days, people will soon get bored of coming back to check the website for any more.

The final improvement I would like to see with #IMPACT365 is simply that more of the TNA roster take advantage of it off their own back.  Not post-match interviews or in-house promos that they've been asked to do, but their own content that they can create to build up their personas when they may not have as much airtime as others.  I am not a wrestler and don't really have any idea of their hectic schedule so this may be a selfish ask, but I think back to the content Ethan Carter was uploading to keep his character fresh and talked about when all he was doing on the show was beating up jobbers and reciting the same line for weeks on end.  EY and Joseph Park, the Bro Mans, Norv and Dewey, all of their #IMPACT365 uploads were great for establishing characters and building a cult fanbase online. 

Looking ahead to 2014, I hope more of the roster start to make good use of the initiative.  Not only to benefit the fans, but also to benefit themselves if they are able to showcase their talents, build a greater online following and persuade the bookers to give them more airtime on the Thursday night shows.

As the stories continue to circulate about AJ Styles' involvement in TNA, and as a bonus for the last #REWIND365 of 2013, I will leave you with footage of the PCW Heavyweight Champion Lionheart very much beginning to set the stage for his title defence against AJ in 2014.

Hope everyone has a great 2014!

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