10 November 2014

TNA 2015 and Beyond

My apologies if anyone gets offended over the course of this column.  Once in a while, you just have to get things off your chest otherwise it will eat you up.  After investing a good deal of time, money, energy and hope into TNA  for nearly a decade I feel that I have the right to speak freely about this company and its future.  IMPACT Wrestling is going to be on television in the U.S. and around the world in January 2015 and for years to come.  Do I know all of the facts and details in this regard?  No, I don't.  Do I know what channel that IMPACT will be on in the U.S. in the future?  No, I don't.  However, after weighing all of the evidence and all the factors involved here, I am very confident about TNA's future in 2015 and beyond.  That pot of gold is out there at the end of a very long rainbow.  However, if you think you've had patience and been forced into a "Defend TNA" mode so far this year, you ain't seen nothing yet.  Hurricane Doomsday is just approaching us now.  Do you have the courage to face it?  I believe you do.

Now, the point of this piece is not to send you on a mission to "fight the haters" or become social media heroes.  It's simply my thoughts and feelings which you can either take or leave.  We thought about not addressing the issue of IMPACT not being broadcast on Thanksgiving Eve later this month but it needs to be talked about.   As far as I recall (correct me if I'm wrong), IMPACT has only been preempted on SPIKE TV one other time since their debut on the channel in October of 2005.  It happened in September 2010, but besides that one incident they have had 9 plus years of new, consecutive weekly episodes.  So was it possible for TNA to tape more episodes of IMPACT for the end of the year?  Anything is possible but I imagine it was probably very difficult given the current status of their temporary extension of their Spike contract. 

Could they have lowered their self-established standards and returned to the Impact Zone for a 2 or 3 day stint to tape the remaining 2014 episodes in Orlando?  We'll never know for sure unless perhaps someone in TNA Management does a shoot interview years down the road on the subject. What we do know is that they did not go back to the crutch of Universal Studios-Orlando at any point after they started taping in Bethlehem back in June, which to me is a positive.  They kept to their guns of not relinquishing and slinking back to their comfort zone of the past.  I respect TNA so much for taking that stance.  That venue is a total last resort at this point.  So if I have to sacrifice seeing the frickin' turkey suit this year for a traditionally low viewership episode of IMPACT in lieu of staying away from the old IZ, I am happy with that 10 out of 10 times.  You mean no Thanksgiving-themed show?!? Oh no!!!  Get over it.  There are bigger issues at play here.  Take this Thanksgiving and spend it with your family and/or friends instead of worrying about IMPACT.  There will be other years to see someone get humiliated by wearing the turkey suit.  Is it that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things?  If the answer is yes, maybe you should reevaluate your priorities.  It has not been confirmed whether or not there will be "highlight/recap" shows in place of IMPACT episodes after the Bethlehem tapings run out.  It's a smart assumption given that Jeremy Borash has been taping something in their studios but until TNA confirms their plans all reports are simply conjecture. 

Guess what?  The cataclysmic paranoia train might just explode again in the IWC when TNA announces they will also take off Christmas Eve this year.  I don't know it for a fact that they won't have a TNA program on Christmas Eve but it seems as though the writing is on the wall and again that is a major holiday that would garner a low viewership anyway.  Heavens to Betsy, whatever shall we fucking do?!?  Cut your losses and focus on 2015 that's what.  This is a different year and a different circumstance.  By late December we will know what channel TNA will be broadcasting from and a lot more details.  So, really, it will be a small blip on the radar that won't amount to much if indeed they decide to take another major holiday off.  To me, it only adds to the grandeur of the re-debut episode of IMPACT in January, 2015.  It's just another reason to savor every minute of that first show in the new year when the camera pans out to the crowd chanting, "TNA! TNA! TNA!"  Will that show hail from NYC or Chicago or Philly or...?  That is a detail that I am waiting to see with much anticipation.

So why is it that such a drastic majority of the IWC have given up on TNA or hold very little hope that they will indeed be on TV in January?  It's very simple: Tabloid Pro-Wrestling Journalism.  I shall, from this point on, refer to them as the TPWJ.  You know when you go the grocery store and they have The National Enquirer, Globe, and (in the U.K.) The Sun displayed in little slots near the cashiers?  Do you blindly believe those headlines that speak of "truth"?  Things such as "Bigfoot kept lumberjack as love slave" and "Severed leg hops to hospital" and "Half-man half-dog baffles doctors".  It's sensationalism at its finest.  Recently, the intensity of the dirtsheets' exploitation of TNA's situation has reached levels rarely (if ever) seen before.  They are vultures just waiting for any little scrap of meat to swoop down on and devour.  Intestinal parasites have higher moral standards than some of these guys that copy and paste their way to advertising dollar clicks.  But yet, some of you choose to believe them and panic when their lies are published over and over again.  Please be more intelligent than that.  They want you to buy in to their tabloid garbage.  Unless TNA confirms a report you can't treat it as a fact.  It's really as elementary as that.

Bob Ryder's recent tweets have been an indicator of how far off some of these wrestling sites have been.  These people use baseless rumors as facts and misconstrue things to the point where it simply becomes too difficult for the readers to decipher the bullshit from the horseshit.  Most pro-wrestling sites are a joke when it comes to TNA coverage.  Even popular radio shows such as Busted Open Radio have begun to reflect this unfair bias towards TNA as they were exposed a couple of weeks ago by Taz for not promptly reporting/discussing Bobby Roode's World Title change.  It's just another example of the by-product of a generally negative narrative about TNA and their future from most media outlets.    

Does a dying company hold an open competition like British Boot Camp that will culminate at the Maximum IMPACT Tour in the U.K. next year?  Does a dying company debut an international talent like Mahabali Shera  on IMPACT without assurance of his approaching future?  Does a dying company foster young talent like EC3, Bram, The Wolves, Havok, Kenny King, Sanada, Samuel Shaw, Magnus, The BroMans, Manik and more without a solid business plan for their future?  No, no and no.  I recognize that most of us are worried about TNA's future given the uncertainty that surrounds their public accountability in this regard.  The more I think about it though, the more that it begins to make sense.  TNA isn't going out of business.  As it has been said before, if they could tell us something right now they would.  If by some minuscule chance that TNA does go out of business come January of 2015, I'd personally be done with pro-wrestling completely.  The WWE product does not interest me at all.  I've tried watching ROH in recent months and it's not my cup of tea either.  If TNA goes, I will also go.  At that point, I will have lost my respect for the business and will be more than happy to replace my time with other things.  That scenario is very, very unlikely however and I don't expect to fade of into obscurity anytime soon.   

Here's my challenge for you all: Stand up and be different.  You represent some of the only fans in the entire world that are choosing to believe in TNA right now.  So many people have jumped off their bandwagon in the last year.  Take solace that your faith has been steady and unwavering.  Your loyalty is going to be rewarded.  We at TNAMecca are here to facilitate a troll-free environment where we can converse without being harassed and/or made fun of for being fans of TNA, especially in these trying times.  I understand the anxieties of what's happening and I sincerely empathize with those of you that are concerned.  We all deal with these types of things in our own way.  If you were constantly being told that your favorite sports team was going out of business or your favorite TV show was being cancelled you would naturally experience a range of emotions from disappointment to despair.  Your tolerance is being tested right now.  Do you trust Dixie Carter?  I certainly do.  Soon we will be past this difficult phase in TNA history and be able to just be fans again.  We're almost there.            

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