30 April 2014

A New Era Indeed

When I first heard about a new era in TNA, I immediately thought we'd see a new creative direction and although we have seen a much more interesting product compared to last year's uninspiring effort, the creative aspect of the company, particularly the booking and philosophy, has remained pretty much the same.  I, then, thought perhaps it's the new emphasis on characters and gimmicks.  In recent months, we've witnessed the creation of several colorful characters such as Willow, Samuel Shaw, and Rockstar Spud as well as other fascinating characters.  Considering the lack of well-thought out gimmicks the last several years, it certainly feels like a new era with a renewed focus on a character-driven product. But I'm still not sure that's what Dixie Carter meant when she announced the new era in TNA.

I think TNA are making a conscious effort to change the company's identity.  Its actual identity.  The characteristics that made it the company it had been, particularly since the Hulk Hogan-era began.  By that I mean, TNA aren't changing the company's booking philosophy.  Yes, they may have tweaked the writing a bit to accommodate the new emphasis on character development but TNA's initiative goes beyond that.  TNA is changing the cast of characters.  They're changing the faces.

For a decade, TNA had been the company of AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett and Sting and Christopher Daniels and Chris Sabin.  And so many more.  But the reality is that the company has gone as far as it's going to go with that cast.  Not all longtime veterans are the same however. It looks to me like TNA have opted to keep a handful of guys whom they feel have not reached their full potential.  Bobby Roode, James Storm, and Eric Young are some of those.  Believe it or not, all three still have a high ceiling and can contribute in a way that their former colleagues could not.

But the real change is in the new talents.  The new faces who will lead TNA into the next decade of their existence.  It's obvious to anyone who has watched Impact the last couple of months who these talents are.  It's Ethan Carter III. Gunner. It's the Wolves. Magnus. It's Samuel Shaw. Kenny King. And it's Sanada.  All young stars with a hunger to succeed.  I'm sure more will come in the coming weeks and months as TNA works to find the right mix of veterans and youth.  Unfortunately, this means that some longtime favorites will have to depart.  But at the end of the day, it looks like TNA are fully committed to finding the path that will lead the way to a prosperous future and in doing so, they'll have to let go of the past.

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