07 July 2014

IMPACT in Japan Post-BFG?

So, I think I may be the first person to consider this?  If not, tell me so.  Not that I want the credit but I think my brain may have stumbled onto something here.  Is TNA planning on taping episodes of IMPACT in Japan after Bound For Glory?  If so, that would be HUGE!  I would consider it to be as big, if not bigger than the actual PPV itself in some respects.  Not everyone can pony up $50 or more to see a "Big 4" PPV, but most people that are objective wrestling fans will want to see what's going on with TNA directly after BFG.  So why not keep the party going in Japan and let the entire IMPACT audience see what TNA in Japan looks like?  Yes, there's the issue of traveling the roster around in Japan (or simply the cost of staying in Tokyo) and all the logistical elements involved there.  I definitely realize that it may seem like an odd fit in some ways to shoot IMPACT episodes in The Land of The Rising Sun.  But is it that far fetched and unlikely?  In my opinion, it is not.  So let's explore the possibility and all the factors involved.

Nobody could have guessed that the  Nashville meeting that Great Muta had with TNA (and Jeff Jarrett at the time) back in July of 2013 would have eventually evolved into Bound For Glory taking place in Tokyo, Japan in 2014.  In fact, I can confidently say not a single wrestling fan out there could have predicted that.  It's historic and unprecedented for a major American Pro-Wrestling company to do so.   I'm still in awe about it almost 2 weeks after the announcement.  I honestly never even gave it consideration as the BFG location, as I figured Chicago or Philadelphia were the likely candidates.  So why is it out of the question for TNA to stick around in Japan for a couple of days to shoot some IMPACT episodes?  When it comes to TNA right now, nothing is really out of the question. 

The relationship between Wrestle-1 and TNA has been very, very strong so far.  TNA has sent their wrestlers over to compete in Wrestle-1 several times in the last year.  Rob Terry spent months there.  To have the Great Muta wrestle at LockDown and at one of the NYC tapings is a priceless gift to TNA and its fans.  It is so refreshing to see an international star, with the stature that Muta possesses, bypass Vince McMahon and the WWE.  Muta has essentially provided an unseen level of collaboration in regards to TNA and an international wrestling company.  What is the end game?  Who knows?  I know that it will be very fun to see it all play out and witness the success of Bound For Glory in Tokyo.  The underlying theme is that TNA is taking a fairly big risk that can result in plentiful rewards.  It's the same type of risk that they took in taping multiple episodes of IMPACT in New York City recently.  The naysayers were coming out of the wood-work when the NYC tapings were announced.  Things were said such as "They'll never sell the shows out" and "The NYC fans will take over the show and shit on TNA".  Most of the trolls were convinced there would be "FUCK TNA!" chants and so on and so on.  Obviously those things were proven to be false and the same principle applies to TNA's ability to draw in Japan and have a successful BFG.

But what happens after Bound For Glory concludes?  Does everyone from TNA that makes the trip simply pack up and come back to the U.S. for IMPACT tapings?  Maybe, maybe not.  I think they have a great opportunity to do something very impressive if they stay in Japan to tape some IMPACT episodes.  Until they announce otherwise, I am going to keep pushing for them to make this happen.  They (TNA and Wrestle-1) have invested a lot of time in Sanada being the X-Division champion and becoming familiar to the U.S. audience.  There are whisperings out there about other Wrestle-1 roster members coming to the next set of NYC IMPACT tapings in August.  Several TNA wrestlers are well-known in Japan like The Wolves, Abyss, Austin Aries, Manik, Team 3D and others.  TNA has already shot a ONO PPV there last March that just aired in the U.S.  on PPV featuring multiple TNA wrestlers.  Just last week, The Wolves, EC3 and Rockstar Spud had matches at a Wrestle-1 event yet again.  The seeds have been planted for a TNA fan base within the current Wrestle-1 fan base.  All of these facts translate to more reasons why TNA may just film more than just BFG in Japan come October.

If I am wrong about my prediction, then I will admit so when the time comes.  But just imagine if I am right about this?  It would be yet another successful international tour that TNA could add to their resume.  Would this open up the possibilities of TNA holding IMPACT tapings or PPV's in other countries like India, Mexico, France and Canada?  Surely, filming PPV's or TV episodes in North America would be an easier feat that going across the globe to do so.  The world-wide TNA fan bases do exist out there.  There are several international readers that visit TNAMecca on a daily basis.  That's one aspect that the anti-TNA crowd would like to not focus on or talk about: TNA is an international success.  Yes, the U.S. TV audience remains mostly enamored with the WWE currently, but obviously the U.K. audience remains more objective than their American counterparts.  The politics and snarkiness of American pro-wrestling fans does not extend to certain parts of the world and TNA should take advantage of that.  The sky is the limit for TNA's international reach going forward.  Maybe we'll see IMPACT's and PPV's emanating from all over the world in the next 5 years?  If you're scoffing at that notion, again, think about how unlikely it would have sounded to hold TNA's biggest PPV in Japan even a year ago.  If someone proposed the idea prior to Muta's meeting in Nashville, you would have called them crazy.  Having Team 3D's Hall of Fame induction take place in Tokyo will be a special treat.  Team 3D doing a Japanese farewell tour with IMPACT tapings would be amazing.        

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