The first week or so of 2016 has been a successful one for TNA. Now, many people would argue that point based off of the initial viewership numbers but it's important to keep a long term point of view and to not get too caught up in the week to week ratings. There are a lot of factors involved with their current PopTV deal that we are all well aware of. The focus for the company really needs to be on giving the audience quality Impact episodes and staying consistent. As long as they do that, the promotional aspect and word-of-mouth buzz will come along naturally. The fans will return slowly but surely and TNA should continue to repair their public image. Based off of the debut episode of #ImpactOnPop and the One Night Only LIVE Pay-Per-View, it looks like a major emphasis is going to be on their younger group of talent which is a wise and durable philosophy. Yes, Kurt Angle is being highlighted for the next couple of months with his U.S. and U.K. "farewell tour" matches, but the end game there is to put over the younger wrestlers who will be around in the future to carry the torch. TNA's roster is really good right now, and with a couple more key additions it could be GREAT. We'll have a clear idea where things are by the time the U.K. shows have aired.
A lot of the new developments that have taken place in the first week of TNA's programming in 2016 have been very pleasing to our community here at TNAMecca. The Miracle has been fantastic so far as Mike Bennett and Maria have really exuded a big time presence on screen. The pairings of Eric Young and Bram and also Jessie and Eli Drake have been a joy to observe. The formation of those 2 new tag teams has brought up the notion in our discussion posts that perhaps TNA officials have listened to some of our suggestions. It seems like maybe, just maybe, our writers and commenters have influenced a few of the recent developments. I won't pretend that we have some huge sway when it comes to what ends up on Impact. It's foolish to think that it really works like that. However, we have told you for a long time that TNA employees do read this site and that having that kind of direct fan feedback is valuable for them. I challenge anyone to tell me where else you can find thousands of comments on weekly posts from real TNA fans. It doesn't exist anywhere else. You do have a voice as a TNA fan here at TNAMecca. We are honored to provide a platform for you to express your opinion. Please do not take it for granted because this is a unique environment that you have all had a part in creating and maintaining. Dixie Carter has repeatedly said that PopTV is all about the fans. You do, indeed, represent the voice of the fans.
It really does feel like the product has a pleasant, new vibe to it. The new video screen entrance set-up is very impressive and adds a much needed newness to things. Having things be aesthetically pleasing in the venues where we see the show take place is important. Being out of the Impact Zone has been a much needed change, although the ONO crowd was bizarre to say the least. The tag team scene appears to be revitalizing. There are fresh, new feuds taking shape and each division should receive attention going forward. Fan favorite talents like Eli Drake, Bram, The Wolves, Trevor Lee, Jessie Godderz, Drew Galloway and others are in line to be heavily featured in the foreseeable future. Like Chris recently mentioned, they are finally moving away from relying on ex-WWE stars to be the main concentration (for the most part) which is extremely refreshing and satisfying. I've been beating the drum of keeping Impact on the road for years. I really hope there is a plan in place to not return to the Impact Zone after the U.K. Tour. It would be difficult to keep momentum going if you go back to that crutch and take the easy path. Please tell me that they have budgeted properly to continue to tape episodes on the road. I just can't envision a majority of 2016 with the show camped out at the Impact Zone. Please, say it ain't so.