11 February 2015

Things Are Looking Good


Since the last instalment, quite a lot of have things have happened in the world of TNA, and there is even more on the horizon. Now I can't cover everything, but there are a few things I'd like to discuss, so like last time I'm going to cover a number of topics over the course of this column and share my views on a few things that have happened, that are going to happen and may potentially come to fruition. So now the small starter is out of the way, let's get to the main course.

Possible Name Change – Now the sub-title might be misleading, but don't worry, it's only a minor change. When images from the UK shows started to emerge, the first thing I noticed was the logo on the ring apron and turnbuckles, it was the new logo, but the word “wrestling” was missing from it. Now when I saw this I thought “surely this can't be a misprint, it has to be intentional”, this coupled with the fact the last few weeks TNA has been referring to the show as Friday Night Impact made me believe the show is returning to once again being just Impact. Since Lockdown last week the logo on the Youtube clips from the show as well as the Unlocked logo on the site have the edited Impact logo, which for me furthers the theory of change to the name. Personally if it is the case, I'm glad to see it be made.

Ever since the change to Impact Wrestling back in May 2011, there has been confusion about what the name of the company is, we were originally told everything would be cleared up, but after countless interviews and posts there are still people who are confused whether it's TNA Wrestling or Impact Wrestling. With TNA now on Destination America & them already having a portfolio of programming that is a mix of Impact Wrestling & TNA Wrestling, it's logical to get everything under the TNA banner for marketing and logistical purposes. Not only does it make sense in that regard, the Friday Night Impact moniker that the show has adopted works rather well, it roles off the tongue and also advertises both the show and the air day in one go. While it might be a minor one, I think that the change would be good, it would clear up all previous confusion and re-affirm that Impact is the flagship show of TNA Wrestling.

Galloway Arrives – Two weeks ago TNA broke the news that Drew Galloway (formerly McIntyre) debuted for the company in his home country of Scotland during the Maximum Impact tour. We don't know what Drew's role in TNA will be, but just from the announcement of his arrival I’m very excited about this signing. For reasons we don't know, Galloway in WWE didn't work, he went from being “The Chosen One” whose future was incredibly bright to one third of a comedy group that was insulting to his abilities. After seeing his work on the indies since his release, it's clear to me that WWE dropped the ball big time, and that TNA have signed the biggest free agent on the market & will allow him to reach the heights he should have with his previous employer.

Galloway is very polished in the ring, his promos are passionate & believable, and at 29 years old, Drew has time on his side to have a very good run at the top of the TNA card, and establish himself as one of the best in the industry. Like I said above, we don't know what Drew's role will be when he debuts, but I'm sure that he will arrive and get right into the mix with some of the top stars in the company. He's more than capable of working with the top guys and with the buzz around him, it would be silly not to capitalise on it and let him go out and show exactly what he can do from the outset. I'm excited to see what Galloway will do in TNA and all the fresh matches his arrival will bring, and while it might be early to say it, we could already be looking at TNA's best signing of 2015.

Viewership – Going into the move, nobody was really sure what average viewership number to expect on Destination America. After 5 episodes we're through the first block of Impact tapings, and we still don't know what the average will settle at, this is because since the premiere the number has risen almost every week, to the point where Lockdown garnered almost 700,000 viewers. It's been pretty clear that Destination America is more than willing to promote the show whenever they can, and along with promotion across other Discovery networks, the rewards are already starting to show just after a month of this partnership beginning. We don't know what the ceiling will be for the viewership, but the growth already is impressive, and the key here is to deliver numbers like this past Fridays as often as possible. It would be a little too optimistic to believe TNA can get back to the same numbers they did on Spike in the near future, but if they continue to post big numbers, the network will have more opportunities to grow their reach, and in turn better the chance TNA have to regain, and in the long term surpass the numbers they drew on Spike. After just a month of TNA on Destination America, one would assume both TNA & Discovery are very pleased with the numbers that have been posted and excited for the future & potential this partnership has.

Random Thoughts Round-up - I personally thought Lockdown was a great success, but my only complaint was the time constraints. We got a solid card that did deliver, but could have only benefited from having more time. If TNA are aiming to continue to deliver such stacked cards for these Impact specials, then I think they should seriously consider making the shows 3 hours. The extra hour would allow them to do more during the show, and would give things a little more space to breathe and more for even better shows.

Josh Mathews has been a great addition to TNA. Already Mathews & Taz have formed a great partnership, and because of the new presentation of the show, Mathews is playing the role of both play by play analyst and presenter, and in my opinion he's doing a fine job in his role. Having Mathews, who is now based in Nashville, also allows TNA to do more between Impact episodes online by having the voice of TNA at HQ every day. We've already seen the addition of the Impact Preview every Monday, and in the build up to Feast or Fired interviews with Mathews speaking to the participants to build up the match further. While it may only seem like minor things, it's nice little additions like these that make Mathews even more of an asset to the company.

Last off, this Friday is the first of six shows from the UK, and I, like my buddy Reece expressed yesterday, absolutely cannot wait. The UK tour is always a fun time in TNA, and with 3 great crowds on tap, as well as some of the great storylines we're seeing play out, this year's tour should be no exception. In fact, it could very well exceed it. Take into account the debut of Drew Galloway, the returns of Magnus, Bram, Rockstar Spud & Mandrews to their home country, and the finalists of British Bootcamp on the tour, the fans in attendance have a lot to cheer about over the course of these shows. Now when we break down some of the current feuds in TNA, BDC vs Lashley, Angle, Aries & co, Roode vs Young, EC3 vs Spud, Revolution vs The Hardys, Bram vs Magnus as well as the potential feuds that could begin & matches that could take place during this block of shows, we're in for a real treat in the coming weeks, and I'm stoked for the ride to begin this Friday in Glasgow!

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