Shore's Blog: It's time for TNA to put up or shut up
By Chris Shore
Tonight, TNA presents Impact live from Chicago, in what promises to be a make or break moment for the company. They have set everything up for this moment. They have changed every important title in the past four weeks. They had a hot reveal at their PPV on Sunday. There are no more excuses. TNA must either put up or shut up tonight.
The company is to be commended for the changes they have made building to this point. Going live, while not fixing 75 percent of the problems like Hulk Hogan claimed, did make for a better show. And the new PPV schedule, even though they did a poor job building to Lockdown, is setup to make those events feel like what they should be, major events that are ":must see" for their fans.
But TNA has a bad habit of staking out a "we've been holding back a little for (insert moment here) to happen and then we can show what we can do" position. By that I mean they will hold back on storylines and promotion because they have something major about to happen structurally with the company (i.e. going live, going on the road, etc.). Since there have been so many of these moments in the last year, stories have suffered from several stalling moments.
Look no further than Aces and Eights. Instead of pulling the trigger at Genesis and revealing Bully Ray as the leader, the story dragged on and on. Despite pulling out a wrestling wedding, usually the mother of insane moments, the story faltered in several spots, especially the last couple of weeks leading into the PPV.
It also led to some problems in the story. So many of the attacks on Bully Ray, especially the wedding, were brutal from a storyline standpoint. While I have faith in Ray to explain these away, it doesn't change the fact that there are giant plot holes that exist because of the stalling tactics used to get us to this moment.
All of this can be fixed tonight by a great show in front of what should be a great crowd. Picking Chicago, a place they haven't been since 2009, was very smart. It is usually a very good wrestling town, and the long delay, coupled with the first live Impact from the road, should draw in the most rabid of fans.
But they must produce. They must close the plot holes. They must stop all the stalling techniques and tell the stories that make sense and make the fans want to see more. They have all the pieces in place. Now they just have to deliver. I'm pulling for them tonight, and if they "put up" I will be the first to congratulate them on doing so. But if they fail tonight, I'm afraid all the air will be let out of the balloon, and even the most ardent fans will begin a slow matriculation away.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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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