Powell's Blog: The future of WWE NXT, Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, and Dixie Carter are too selective in the feedback they listen to, Sunday's TNA Lockdown PPV

Posted in: Powell's Blog
By By Jason Powell
Apr 16, 2010 - 01:41 PM

Friday, April 16 – 1:41 P.M. (CT)

-WWE Smackdown moving to Syfy in October is among the bigger news items of the week. In the official press release, it was noted that the NXT television show will leave Syfy once Smackdown debuts. WWE officials are said to be actively shopping the show to other networks, but I wonder whether the concept will be scrapped.

Let's face it, WWE hasn't gone all out to make the NXT concept work. Sure, the show tends to get more hype on the WWE Raw show than ECW did, but they didn't even bother to figure out or at least explain the basics of the contest until several weeks in. The show has had some decent weeks, but not have approached the level of the debut episode.

I cringed when it was announced on television a couple weeks ago that it would be six weeks until the eliminations started. My immediate reaction was, "What in the hell are you going to do to fill time until then?" Unfortunately, the answer has been Diva Search-like skits to open the last two weeks followed by mostly throwaway matches.

NXT is an easy show to produce, the programming fee they collect is nice, and it is providing some exposure for developmental talent, yet I find myself bored by the halfhearted approach that WWE has taken. Maybe they are legitimately trying to find a new home for the show, but it also wouldn't shock me if it simply disappeared when Smackdown pops up on Syfy. If I had my way, NXT would replace the throwaway WWE Superstars show on Thursday nights.

-I'm so bored by the accusation from Vince Russo and now apparently Eric Bischoff that the "internet wrestling community" wants nothing more than long matches on pro wrestling television shows. Bischoff quoted one of his Facebook page readers who claimed that if it were up to the online fans, "every match would be vanilla midgets doing moonsaults and putting each other in submission holds for 45-plus minutes, withe zero characters and storylines."

Maybe there are some fans out there who would love that. However, I read a lot of feedback in email and in the Dot Net Members' forum. Would the readers like longer matches than we get on WWE Raw and TNA Impact most weeks? Sure, but I've yet to read anyone pine for ridiculously long matches and shows filled with zero storylines or character development.

Perhaps the TNA brain trust has actually convinced themselves that internet fan reaction is meaningless, but the truth of the matter is that the bulk of the feedback is that the storylines and character development that TNA is presenting leaves a lot to be desired. I guess it's easier for people in TNA to claim the "IWC" just wants ridiculously long matches than it is to acknowledge that they simply don't like the creative direction.

Given the ratings that TNA is producing these days, they'd be wise to stop being so close minded and actually listen to the honest feedback they get from online fans. Unfortunately, it looks like Bischoff, Russo, and Dixie Carter are more apt to listen to the Facebook friends who tell them how great everything is even though the ratings tell a different story.

-Sunday's TNA Lockdown card has the potential to be a good pay-per-view. The main event match with A.J. Styles defending the TNA Title against D'Angelo Dinero looks good on paper, as does the latest chapter in the Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle feud.

I wish I could say I was a fan of the Lethal Lockdown match concept. Sure, it's the TNA version of War Games, but there's just something that screams "low budget" when the roof of the cage is lowered and has all the unnecessary weapons attached. Maybe it's just me, but the War Games concept is more than enough.

By the way, I really hope TNA officials will examine some of their gimmick matches now that the new creative team is in place. I've never liked the King of the Mountain match and the chaotic rules. Likewise, the "feast or fired" concept is silly, and I hope we've seen the last of the Thunder Dome X Division match.

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