Shore's Blog: TNA has failed to capitalize on their new PPV schedule
By Chris Shore
When TNA announced they were switching to just four live PPVs per year, I was ecstatic. Members can go back and listen to Dot Net Weekly and hear me gush over the idea. I have thought for some time that four PPVs, held roughly once every three months, is the way forward for professional wrestling in the digital age. (There's more to that strategy than just the four PPVs, but that's for a different blog.)
What the schedule does more than anything else is give you time to develop stories based around serious character development. No longer do you have to throw guys at each other and convince people that they really don't like each other after a few five-minute spots over three weeks. You can slow down, give the tension between two men (or women or teams) simmer, and build to a rich and deep issue that can only be solved by stepping into the ring (and it might as well be at that big ass show we have coming up).
Lockdown was TNA's first show under the new schedule (Genesis had the standard time to build due to timing of the announcement). Did they take advantage of the new schedule? Not in the least. In fact, TNA did the one thing that they should have avoided the most from the new schedule: they wasted all of the extra time.
It started going downhill with the four week TV tapings in the UK. Once again I thought this was a good idea because it was out of the Impact Zone, and the UK fans are rabid for TNA. The tapings started out rough with the announcement that Jeff Hardy wouldn't be there. That certainly hurt their ability to build for the World Championship match at Lockdown, but it shouldn't have hurt the ability to build for the rest of the show.
TNA seemed loathe to do too much with these shows. I don't know if it was because it was taped or what, but so much of those shows were devoted to random matches that had little to no bearing on the feuds they have setup for Lockdown. Why waste an opportunity with a crowd that will literally cheer shit by taking advantage of that and giving them shit? Why not actually let the UK fans go crazy over your storylines and parlay that into hotter shows back in the U.S.?
Run through the matches and look at what has been built up. Admittedly, the Lethal Lockdown match has been given the best build on the card, though the vast majority of it was done in the past two weeks. Lethal Lockdown is one of those matches that doesn't need a lot of build, just a reason for two teams to want to hurt each other. They accomplished that much at least.
What about the rest? The Knockouts match is built around Gail Kim having issues with Taryn Terrell, the referee. It was only this week that they really tried to establish any heat between Kim and Velvet Sky. The tag match is designed to get two virtually identical heel tag teams in a feud. They moved the tag titles (and the Knockouts titles) in the UK, but since then it's been singles matches and random six man matches.
Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco might be the most disappointing. Revenge for being backstabbed is enough of a reason to have a match, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have been better. There was so much time for Brisco to spend complaining about Angle, but we only got one short promo this week. The rest of the feud is built around the weakly booked Aces and Eights gang (which is yet another topic for another blog).
Robbie E. vs. Robbie T. got more build than I expected, but the storytelling has been flimsy and mostly about E trashing the UK. Did you know there was a triple threat match for the X Division title or that Joseph Park is facing Joey Ryan? Not unless you've been to the Lockdown website. How do you have two matches that even haven't been mentioned on your TV show when you had eight weeks to build for the show? TNA may ultimately get this schedule figured out, but their first attempt at it has been a complete failure.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at email@example.com or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
And read my first work of fiction: The Following Contest is a Dark Match available exclusively on ebook for all eReaders, smartphones, tablets, and PCs for only 99 cents.
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