13 May 2014

Why TNA Needs to Bring it at Slammiversary!

Well folks, it's May and that means June is right around the corner (thank you captain obvious!) which for TNA fans means we're not far off from Slammiversary! My calendar here in the cage lists this as just "Slammiversary month" and it'll be time for my lame jokes to the Mrs. of "Happy Slammiversary baby!" But I digress. The anniversary pay per view from TNA has always been one of the company's "crown jewel" shows and was an obvious choice to remain on as a live pay per view when TNA cut them back to four per year. While I am excited for TNA's next pay per view effort as I always am because I am a big fat TNA fanboy (at least that's what they call me on the internet); TNA has not had the best history when it comes to hyping their pay per view efforts. Look no further than last months Sacrifice. While the line up itself may have contained some good matches and interesting feuds, the show was barely mentioned on Impact until the go home show and even that seemed edited in. Now in my opinion, if TNA was running monthly shows that were successful every month they could get away with that once in a while. But let's face facts, TNA is not known for being very big on pay per view and now with only four shows a year, NO SHOW can be "B-level" and Slammiversary on June 15th is no exception. I feel like Slammiversary is going to be an important show for TNA for many reasons and I think there are many factors that TNA needs to realize when going into their 12th anniversary show and many reasons why they need to bring hype and build a card that gets people excited. So let's crack open the cage and take a look at why TNA needs to bring it at Slammiversary!

PPV Market may be Wide Open
With WWE being dropped by pay per view providers in the U.S. because of the Network, this leaves room for another wrestling company to corner the market. Most would say that PPV is dead when it comes to pro wrestling, but we have seen time after time that with the right hype and right marketing, people will buy a wrestling pay per view. The fact is, if it's a good product that you're enticed to buy, you'll buy it! Plus, think of it this way and maybe I'm just nuts, but wrestling fans are saving some dough by getting the WWE Network. Instead of paying 50-60 dollars a month for a WWE show they are paying 10 for the Network and are streaming it. This leaves the diehard fan with at least 40 dollars left over to spend on wrestling (theoretically anyway), if TNA presents a show that sparks interest maybe those extra dollars go toward a TNA PPV. It would take a lot of hype and some really big marketing on TNA's part, but those dollars are there and they could go in TNA's pocket. TNA has not had big success on pay per view when it comes to buy-rates but that could change and this year's Slammiversary could get the ball rolling.

More Competition
On the flip side, Ring of Honor will present "Best in the World" on June 22nd, a week after Slammiversary and taking place in TNA's old stomping grounds of the Asylum in Nashville. I know many will not even consider ROH as competition to TNA, but I believe that the gap between ROH and TNA isn't as wide as some think and I do believe that both promotions share a lot of the same audience. While there are fans that have planted their flag firmly in one camp or another and will choose ROH over TNA and vice versa, if the average fan who watches both has to choose between the two, they may lean toward ROH, if only because it's their first time out on live PPV.  Also, with former TNA favorites like AJ Styles and Jay Lethal on the show (I would imagine they'd be booked), plus rumors of Bad Influence being brought in this may make the choice even tougher. However, if TNA puts a bad ass card together, they get out the hype machine and REALLY drive this show home, fans will take TNA or just bite the bullet and choose both.  While I talked earlier about trying to get the WWE fan, it may benefit TNA to book some "work rate" heavy matches and it wouldn't hurt to have a couple of old ROH favorites on the card as well (Austin Aries, Kenny King, Samoa Joe and The Wolves come to mind). I may be reading way too much into this but it's something that I think TNA should be aware of if they want Slammiversary to be a success.

TNA could use a "Win" Right Now
The naysayers, doomsday prophets and just general TNA bashers seem stronger than ever. While "TNHate" is nothing new, they have had a lot of fuel for the fire: ratings have gone down, long time talent has left and TNA has yet to re-sign with Spike TV. Plus, the last couple of pay per views haven't been getting the best reviews among the "wrestling hipsters." I'm not saying that TNA needs to be concerned with all that hoopla, but you'd be surprised how fast the negativity disappears after one kick ass wrestling show that was built up with good angles, storylines and the right talent in the right places. It's true. One minute "TNA is going out of business" according to the internet and then they put on a show that they like and "oh TNA is turning things around." It happens in a heart beat. Of course, they'll be some that will just not give TNA a break, but I think most know a good show when they see one and as much as I'd hate to admit it, the IWC talking positively about a company helps create buzz, and buzz can help.

EY vs. MVP is a tough sell
After last week's Impact we now know that the main event of Slammiversary will be Eric Young defending the TNA World title against MVP. This sent shock waves throughout the TNA fanbase and most of the feedback was not good. Even the most die hard TNA fans are not too happy with the choice of main event. It seems most wanted to see the return of the King of the Mountain match with multiple challengers going for EY's belt; or somebody like Samoa Joe or Austin Aries emerging as a challenger. Now, I actually like MVP  in the mix, and I think I understand why TNA has gone this route; but I appear to be in the minority here. It is going to to take a lot of effort for TNA to get some of these folks on board with Slammy's main event. I figure most of the real die hard fans will likely buy the show if there is enough on the undercard to interest them, however, it always boils down to the main event as the selling point and EY vs. MVP has to have the best build up, the most focus and hopefully will be a kick ass match and make people forget how down they were on it in the first place.

While we celebrate TNA's past in June, I can't help but think about what the future holds and I do believe that if Slammiversary is the show it could be, TNA's future could be bright. But if the show is a dud, well, then even the most die hard fans may have a tough time defending TNA. So I want to know what you think...what do you want out of Slammiversary as a TNA fan? What would TNA have to do to sell this card to you? How about MVP vs. EY? Does that match resonate with you guys (gals)? Is there anything TNA could do to make you interested in it? Leave a comment below and I'll get outta the cage as things are getting hot in here.

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