28 January 2015

Bracing for Maximum Impact 7

Despite the blizzards that have swept New York and surrounding areas, TNA have miraculously managed to make last minute changes and re-route all of the advertised roster to the UK for this year's Maximum Impact Tour. After a short stop in Amsterdam, Twitter is already filling up with photos from the roster that have arrived safely in Glasgow for the first night of the tour tomorrow.

As always, the UK tour will provide a highlight of the TNA calendar, attracting crowds of a size you wouldn't see any other time of a year from a fanbase that only gets the chance to see them once a year.  This year in particular, TNA are showing just how much they care about their overseas fans during the tour.  Hot off the success of the second season of British Bootcamp, we will be given the opportunity to watch all 6 finalists perform as well as meet and greets before the shows.  The second season of Bootcamp raised a tremendous amount of awareness for the British wrestling scene, and I feel this year's tour will be equally important as people will get to see how some of our homegrown talent performs on the grand stages of Glasgow, Manchester and London.

British wrestling has been seeing a resurgence in the past few years, and this has not gone unnoticed. Least of all by the UK's adoptive national treasure Jeremy Borash.  On an episode of the sister show British Bootcamp Breakdown, Jeremy Borash commented that if he was to start up a wrestling promotion in the UK then the final 16 of Bootcamp would be the first people he offered contracts to. We have not seen British wrestling on mainstream television in the UK for 30 years and, whilst there are plenty of talented performers in the UK, promotions are still very much smallscale and spread across the breadth of the country.  If there is one man with the passion, experience and clout to collect all of this talent in one place and bring British wrestling back to our screens then it is Jeremy Borash.

Is now the right time to try to reintroduce British wrestling back to mainstream audiences?  I couldn't say, but I do wonder if invites have been sent out to certain folk within the television industry so that they can witness for themselves how the Bootcamp finalists perform in front of their native fans.

With several of the New York tapings left to air, and a potential bunch of UK shows, for anyone attending one of the shows on the tour it will be a night full of spoilers.  We cannot enforce, nor do we expect, anyone to follow our spoiler-free policy outside of TNAMecca but I would urge anyone in attendance to show some consideration and think about operating under a kind of "good neighbour" policy.  TNAMecca is a community, and many of us follow each other on Twitter and other social media.  It will be fun to swap stories and photos with one another immediately after the shows, but I would implore people to do so in a way that will not ruin any surprises for UK fans that were not able to attend or our neighbours across the pond or anywhere else in the world.  Among other things you may consider adding hefty spoiler alerts to any photos, editing images so that nothing is given away in the cropped photos that appear on Twitter timelines, or use an image upload site to supply links to photos rather than uploading them directly in a tweet.  I know I will be doing some of these things, and will leave it to your good judgement.

I had initially planned to read spoilers and results for all of the unseen shows before Wembley so that I knew where I stood in terms of storyline.  I have since had a change of heart however, as I think half the fun of the night will be the surprise of seeing who walks out from behind the curtains holding the belts and then theory-crafting on how they plan on getting from point A to B.  With a greater emphasis by TNA on post-production, and a lack of backstage footage, there is every possibility that the action seen in Glasgow, Manchester and London will be without context even if I try to read the mish-mash of newz-site spoiler reports.  Each show this year is a double taping, so fans are in for four hours straight of pure, unadulterated wrestling and I'm willing to bet more than a few surprises.  I cannot wait.

Safe travels to everyone going to any of the three shows, I look forward to exchanging gossip and stories.

For anyone heading to Wembley, hopefully I'll catch you in the bar before the show or spot you in the crowd.

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