“Wrestling Matters” – I Believe It When I See It

Bob Bamber

“Wrestling Matters” – I believe it when I see it

So TNA this week has finally changed the name and the branding of its product to ‘Impact Wrestling’ and in turn finally seems to have taken a step in it’s own direction – so why am I still not sure they have the balls to follow through with it?

Firstly to the name – ‘Impact Wrestling’. Nobody is quite sure whether it’s the TV show or the entire company name that has changed. Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle are all saying conflicting things. It’s not blown me away, but it’s a big improvement on ‘TNA’. Not only is it a horrible name, but it’s also been tarnished over the years.

But the name is one thing, what it means for the look, feel and most importantly – content – is another. We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘polishing shit’ – and a similar doctrine applies here. For those disillusioned with TNA – next week’s TV tapings offer a huge change for redemption.

That’s all though. Don’t be surprised to see a ratings spike in the first quarter hour. The bigger question is will that stick. I’ve always maintained that TNA has proved that they can get people through the door, but they’ve proved that they’re not keeping them there. If next weeks episode starts with a 15 minute talking segment with Hogan/Bischoff et al – any ratings increase will vanish within the hour.

I will give TNA credit for at least trying to be different to the WWE. As I said, it will remain to be seen whether they follow through with it, but the company have been guilty for too long of trying to be a soft-core version of the WWE. The early signs weren’t spectacular. A 3 minute triple threat followed by a 30 minute battle royal. If TNA really want to mean business, they’ll give us two hours of wrestling next week. I’m not saying that should happen all the time, but they’ve got an opportunity to make a big statement next week – make it count.

One thing TNA must do, if wrestling really does ‘matter’. Is take the focus off non-wrestling personalities on air. TNA has an incredible roster of talent, but it’ll be hard for us to take the tag line seriously if our screen are filled with Foley, Dixie, Hogan, Bischoff, Flair.

But I can’t criticise until I see it. In embryo it’s a really good move – but this mustn’t be a half effort. If it is, it’ll be a massive let down.

As ever you can contact me in the following ways. By email – bobbybamber@gmail.com, and via twitter – @bobbybamber. I would also like to draw attention to my new website – www.bambermedia.co.uk. Full of all of my work – some wrestling, some not. If you scroll down the main page you’ll be able to read and listen to my interviews with Magnus and Mick Foley.

I’m also now helping run the WrestleZone Facebook page. I’m hoping that we can get a lot more use out of what has been an untapped and underutilised resource. If you’ve got any ideas about what you’d like to see out of the Facebook page, drop me an email.

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