What TNA Can Learn From UFC But Never Will

Kevin Kelly


I watched Brock Lesnar’s fight and Impact on Saturday night. While my jaw dropped at Brock’s loss, I threw up in my mouth watching Impact.

Yes, I comment on wrestling but to be 100% honest, I rarely watch Impact and never watch Smackdown. Raw is a staple but the rest is “catch as catch can”… little play on words there.

Is Impact always that moronic… so poorly booked? Does every heel have a girl? Hell, even the heel women’s champ has a girl. Crappy, lazy finishes and nothing means anything. Welcome to TNA!

Who the hell thinks Shark Boy pretending to be Stone Cold is a good idea? While the Jarrett’s wanted to have David Young be a guy called “Austin Suggs” because they hate Steve for burying Jeff in the WWE it’s probably the same people that think Jay Lethal’s gimmick is a good idea. You can’t think of a good way to get a wrestler over on a TV show that features wrestling because TNA cares about everything but the wrestling.

Glenn Gilberti crows about the ratings for Impact in the mid 1’s while at the same time talks about the glory days of Nitro at the mid 6’s. Glenn, bragging about good ratings for your show only works if you have good ratings. Impact’s ratings are just above a 1.0. Don’t spin the numbers and say how “this demo” and “that demo” blah, blah, blah. What are TNA’s PPV buy rates and how much money is the company generating? If TNA is doing great buy rates and for argument sake, let’s say 25% of WWE buy rates, then those are numbers worth touting. But since you never hear TNA PPV numbers, I wonder if they are in that range.

Just like in politics, guys like Glenn spin the numbers to make fiction reality. But if you are happy doing what you are doing, drawing a check then by God, keep spinning the numbers and fooling them.

In the lead, I said what TNA could learn from UFC but never will. Good booking comes from this statement… what happens if this guy beats this guy? What happens if the other guy wins? Treat it as a shoot, even in the worked world of pro wrestling. Sure, Brock was the favorite but he lost. Good booking says how do they capitalize on Frank Mir’s win and make the most of Brock despite the loss. Dana White had the “what if’s” figured before the opening bell and UFC will make the best of a unique situation. TNA doesn’t care about the wrestling so wins and losses, winners and losers don’t matter.

UFC promoted the hell out of Brock’s debut and I bet they do a good buyrate. Again, the numbers that really matter are punctuated with dollar signs, not Nielsen numbers. Yes, the folks from Spike want ratings and network stooges always spin accordingly because they are always in CYA mode but wrestling is a dollars and cents business.

Who the hell thinks Shark Boy pretending to be Stone Cold is a good idea? While the Jarrett’s wanted to have David Young be a guy called “Austin Suggs” because they hate Steve for burying Jeff in the WWE it’s probably the same people that think Jay Lethal’s gimmick is a good idea. You can’t think of a good way to get a wrestler over on a TV show that features wrestling because TNA cares about everything but the wrestling.

The fact is this… good drama is built around caring for the characters. Good booking and good drama make a good wrestling show. Wins and losses, winners and losers. That’s why Jeff Hardy’s push was so well done. For the first time in Jeff’s career, it seemed that winning was more important than the big spot, the big pop.

Who would have ever guessed that someone could tell a wrestling company to learn from MMA? Care to share your thoughts. Post up and man up in the forums.

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