I realize I might ruffle a few feathers when I say this but the genre of pro wrestling is at its core not a sport, it's a form of entertainment. And with any form of entertainment, it's important that those in production, whether it'd be writing, directing, etc, put together a plan that will ultimately produce, in this case, a wrestling show that does two things: enable viewers to, firstly, invest emotionally in the product and, secondly, suspend their disbelief. Unfortunately, I feel that TNA for me personally, at this moment, is accomplishing neither one. And quite frankly, I'm puzzled as to why that is.
I tend to give TNA the benefit of the doubt most of the time due to budgetary matters that affect the way the company works and makes decisions but I can not and will not give them a pass on their creative team's inability to write and create a television show that's equally thought-provoking and well-thought-out. In fact, I can't help but question John Gaburick's and Dave Lagana's and Matt Conway's and yes, even Billy Corgan's ability to put together a product that delivers the goods, and does so in a way that isn't insulting to my intelligence.
And I think that's part of the problem. It's the inability, perhaps even the unwillingness, of those in TNA to recognize and accept that the demographics of wrestling fans and viewers have changed drastically in recent years, and have practically metamorphosed in the last ten-plus. Wrestling fans have never been more sophisticated, informed, or diverse, yet the company has been slow to adjust to the emergence of wrestling enthusiasts who have the sort of inside information and knowledge that their predecessors never had.
My father was a passionate wrestling fan in the 70's and 80's, so much so that he regularly took the entire family to shows in our area, ordered every PPV, and watched as much wrestling as he could on television. I inherited that passion from him. But as much passion as I have for pro wrestling, my knowledge of the industry far exceeds that of my father's simply because I've studied the genre in ways that he couldn't even fathom, everything from the goings-on behind the scenes to something as simple as the names of each wrestler's finisher. I've even created a wrestling blog where I share my thoughts on wrestling in my weekly column. But the important thing here is that my father was not unique at the time and neither am I. Just like me, there are millions of fans who spend much of their time on the internet talking about wrestling, and more importantly, learning about the industry. We have access to so much information and sometimes it complicates matters for TNA and other wrestling companies because it's their responsibility to find ways to stimulate us when we're, in fact, overstimulated.
That's the challenge for TNA, and I wish I can say that I have confidence in Gaburick and his team to even be as creative and relevant as they think they are, but I can't. That's because I'm looking down the road and I see another invasion angle that will likely lead to a power struggle, and I have to ask, was there nobody in the creative summit to point out the simple fact that we've had enough invasion angles in TNA? Evidently not.