Happy Sunday, everyone! I’ve had this particular column brewing for a few weeks now and I couldn’t think of a better day of the week to post it on TNAStars.com than a Sunday. Why does this column have to be posted on a Sunday, you ask? Simple – because this column has to do with TNA’s future in the pay-per-view world.
First, though, it might be worth revisiting a news items that was hot a few weeks ago. Some of you may remember that Dixie Carter teased that a big change was coming to TNA and that Spike TV had signed off on that change. Once this news item was posted on Carter’s Twitter account, the interwebs went nuts.
Initially, they did what dummies always do and confused the issue. They suggested that Carter’s tease was for a big “surprise” instead of a “change,” and though I try to shy away from semantics, there is a difference between the two words. Unfortunately for some of these idiot fans, they couldn’t understand what a “change” was nor could they digest the clarification tweet that Carter posted shortly after her Spike TV post.
For those of us who understand the difference between a “change” and a “surprise” and who are able to clearly comprehend what, “To clarify. I will not be making an announcement about how TNA will change forever. You will just see for yourselves in the coming weeks,” means, the speculation game was on! And one of the major speculations about what this change will be is the focus of this column. I’ve read many different ideas on what this change will be and the one that seems to make the most sense to me and the one that isn’t immediately denied by folks in TNA has to do with future TNA pay-per-views.
In short, I agree with the cohort of TNA fans that believe the big change coming to TNA is the end of monthly pay-per-views and the return of quarterly pay-per-views separated by televised specials on Spike TV.
For this older wrestling fan (and I’m not really “older” since I’m only 29, but in an internet wrestling scene inhabited by preteens and teenagers, I’m ancient!), the thought of less pay-per-views to follow is very appealing. Not only would holding less pay-per-views set TNA up to create truly “major” events (outside of the iMPACT! Zone, please), but it would make the storylines mean more. In fact, like many older wrestling fans I’ve been yearning for the days when a feud had some real time to build before a rushed pay off match at the standard monthly pay-per-view event. Quite frankly, that cycle has become boring.
And I’m really intrigued by the idea of two big television specials during the off months when there isn’t one of the “Big 4” pay-per-views. For those of you who are older wrestling fans, think of the old WCW Clash of the Champions format; I don’t know about you all, but I was a big fan of that format! And for the television special, I wouldn’t mind watching the show emanate from the iMPACT! Zone, either.
I don’t want to gloss over one of my statements above, though. Reducing the number of pay-per-views each year from twelve to four gives the company more time to build a live audience in areas off-site from the iMPACT! Zone. In other words, if TNA reduces the amount of pay-per-views that it holds each year, then they can focus on a Daytona Beach, Trenton, Asbury Park, Manhattan, Lincoln, etc. And by focusing on a particular area for for than three or four weeks, the company should be able to build up a good, paying audience for each of the now-major pay-per-views.
But the reason why I wanted to write this column – and if you’re employed by TNA, now is the time to pay attention (I know you’re out there) – is because the format suggested above would entice me to buy the pay-per-views. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, I can’t remember the last time I purchased a wrestling pay-per-view. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever purchased a wrestling event (my uncle used to get them when I was younger so I’d watch over at his house or I’d watch with my Dad if the show wasn’t scrambled at our house – which happened on many occasions). However, if I knew that the pay-per-view that I was watching was truly a major event for the company where major feuds would come to a head and/or a resolution, that it was being held in an arena that didn’t look like a converted WCW Worldwide television studio, and that it actually had a few thousand paying TNA maniacs in the stand – well, then that’s a show that I want to watch and I’d be willing to pay for it!
So, hopefully, TNA takes this opportunity to really make a change in their programming by reducing the number of pay-per-views on their schedule and, at the same time, increasing the value of each pay-per-view show. That change would get my eyes watching… and my dollars being sent to TNA.
joe1897 [at] gmail [dot] com