21 January 2015

Funny How Things Work Out

Life imitating art.  What does that really mean?  Even if you aren't sure, just look at those two nouns: life and art.  We all have real lives, including me.  Experiences shape us as people and sometimes you have to take risks to get where you want to go in life.  TNA recently took a step back to take 2 steps forward.  To outsiders it seemed like TNA was making a stupid move and taking too big of a step backwards in their evolution as a company.  I also have had a similar experience recently with my full time paying job.  Some of you know about a few of my experiences and how I had worked in a jail for years in the past amongst other intense and character-shaping employments.  Only a select number of you really know the real me but it's not difficult to see, as demonstrated from our recent illustration from Vincent, that I have had some life experiences and that I've maybe been through a few things.  TNA recently gave up some ground in a wise decision to go to Destination America and leave Spike TV.  I also gave up a very secure and lucrative job to go to a lower tier job and work my way back up the ladder of success.  It is working out for me beautifully so far.  TNA's partnership is also working out beautifully for them so far.  Do you see where I'm going with this?

Now, I'm not trying to say that the world revolves around me.  I'm not that arrogant and ego-centric.  I am not a narcissist either.  I'm telling you though, life imitates art.  It's as simple as that.  If you don't believe me, start thinking about your current situation and life circumstances.  What storyline in TNA do you connect most with?  What "moves you" right now with the product?  In the last 2 weeks, I have enjoyed it all to be honest.  If I have to pick one though, I am most intrigued and can relate most to The Revolution.  It is still my favorite part of the show and it has been for months now.  I loved this storyline WAY before Abyss joined too.  So don't get it twisted on why I enjoy it.  I enjoy it so much because this is the best work that James Storm has ever done in his entire career.  What he is doing right now with his demented, evil leader persona is truly a joy to behold.  Storm has reinvented himself and revitalized his career.  His evolution as a pro-wrestler has my attention and adulation.    

So, this notion of "pulling back the curtain".  Have we ever before seen this version of "pulling back the curtain" that TNA is currently transitioning into right now?  Examples consist of: the cameras showing the production staff and backstage crew, EC3 and Tyrus taking over said staff & crew, Mike Tenay's interviews with Magnus and James Storm (and many more to come), backstage interactions between wrestlers and performers, showing Taz and Josh Mathews' dialogue and commentary from the Nashville headquarters, and vignettes shot at different locations (such as the Revolution pledgings).  Not that it is all totally ground-breaking TV but it is a different approach when you combine it all together and consider this alternative method of how a pro-wrestling product is presented.  I am enjoying it personally but I can see where it may be jarring and off-putting for some fans.  They are conceding that the shows are indeed taped far ahead of time and TNA has made the decision to own that.  No more pretending that the announcers are there in the arenas/buildings calling the action LIVE.  Now, IMPACTs and the announcers are being shown in a way that is the best compensation possible as they make no qualms that they are indeed commenting on a taped IMPACT.  I think it's great to just own up to it and present the show like it really is.  The LIVE shows will eventually come back but this is the best solution possible going forward in the meantime.  Videos and vignettes of high quality threaded in the show throughout should also be a regular addition.

When we learned of it in the last week or so, we all figured that TNA was going to put out an impressive promotional/advertising campaign that would be unlike any we had ever seen before from the company.  Boy, did they ever.  Regardless of what the actual viewership numbers end up being, there is no doubt that TNA is reaching new potential viewers even if the numbers aren't that high.  It's all relative to the size of the channel they are on.  Are you telling me that every person that already was a regular Destination America viewer is now refusing to watch IMPACT and their other multiple TNA shows/replays?  Are you telling me that every person that saw the IMPACT commercials on ESPN, on USA (during RAW), NBA TV, and 10 Discovery Communications channels decided not to tune in to Destination America during some point of their 18-hour marathon last Friday/early Saturday morning and subsequent 3 hour block shortly after on Saturday morning/early afternoon?  Come on.  TNA is reaching new eye balls.  TNA is the flagship programming for Destination America now and that is a fact.  Slowly, but surely, the audience will increase and I have no doubt that the process of expansion and growth for the channel is already happening now.  It's simply in the early stages with an unpredictable ceiling.   

I want to recognize that we continue to sympathize with our Canadian readers and commenters.  We thank you so much for continuing to visit TNAMecca.  It is difficult to see our own columnist, Nick Mann, have to go through not having access to the product on his TV lineup as he has been such a vital part of our LIVE tweeting during the shows.  His talented writing skills have been a consistent, loyal contribution to TNAMecca since the beginning of the site and I am sure it will return as soon as possible.  I implore TNA to find a TV deal for their Canadian fans.  Please give them access to the product. And then, while you're at it, please deliver on that Canadian Tour that has been whispered about for years.  Please make things right with Canada because it needs to happen.  Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Crazzy Steve and Gail Kim all want to go see their fellow countrymen in person for TNA shows.  Christian Cage would also be a nice addition for a Canadian Tour and one last run with TNA...just sayin'.  When will we hear details on that TNA tour of India too?  And just what was that other country mentioned at the NYC tapings?  Stay tuned!

With the much-anticipated 2015 UK Tour approaching, keep in mind that TNA is going to have a HUGE chunk of taped shows in the coffers.  We made the choice since the very beginning of TNAMecca to remain spoiler-free and that will continue to remain the case. Please respect that policy as we have had some recent "hints and references" to spoilers since the NYC shows were taped earlier this month.  If you want to talk about it on Twitter or other sites, do what you please.  Do not bring that discussion here.  It's the fastest and easiest way to get suspended or banned and, quite frankly, our Ban-Hammer has been begging to be used again.  We had 10,000 plus comments on our CHAT post last week. With that many comments, there are bound to be some things that push the limits when it comes to our rules and etiquette policies.  Just play nice and respect the community.  In relation to that, there will be an increased focus on the U.K. with this upcoming tour which will probably also bring more U.K. fans to the site.  If you are from the U.K., just keep in mind that if you want to avoid spoilers according to your TV schedule with Challenge, please check in with us starting on Sundays after IMPACT concludes on Challenge TV and enjoy the site spoiler-free until the following Friday.  Of course you can visit the site in that weekly 3 day span too if you choose to do so.  Unfortunately there's not much we can do to compensate you for your version of being spoiler-free from Friday's IMPACT showing in the U.S. until Sunday before our Ringside IMPACT Review posts at 6 PM EST. 

The annual U.K. Tour being televised is my favorite thing that TNA does each year, and with the new TV network and production approach recently implemented, it should be off the charts in 2015.  The British Bootcamp participants and the recently signed winner of said competition, Mark Andrews, add extra intrigue this year.  If Andrews can contribute great X-Division wrestling and have a similar overall-effect, like Rockstar Spud (BBC1's winner), we are in for quite a treat.  They are of similar physical stature but most of us agree that Andrews will be featured as more of a "wrestler" than Spud.  However, with the increased behind-the-scenes direction from TNA, it's very likely that we'll see some type of coverage and/or backstory with Andrews and his music career and bandmates.  Add in the anticipated increased focus on Bram and a hopefully reloaded Magnus for good measure.  Also, a returning Awesome Kong that hasn't been seen in TNA for U.K. fans for multiple years and Matt Hardy (unfortunately not Jeff Hardy still as far as anyone knows) add some extra oomph.  Throw SoCal Val into the mix (subbing in for a recovering Christy Hemme) and it seems like a perfect storm for the highly-attended shows from Great Britain.  This first quarter of the year for TNA has the potential to be absolutely tremendous.  I leave you with a fantastic picture of the nicely modeled TNAMecca hoodie that our own columnist, Lewis Harris, will be wearing to the Wembley Arena show in London, England.  How awesome is this?!?

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