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Impact Wrestling: A Genius Business Move

Rating: 6 votes, 3.83 average.
I may not know much of how the wrestling business works behind the scenes, but neither do many of you. I am pretty sure we do not have any former-wrestlers of a large promotion on this site (sorry to say, Ryan Clark). I do however, know a thing or two about business in general. What TNA is doing is exactly what they should be doing at exactly the right time, everyone just needs to see it from a business point of view.

We all know WWE is now dropping the word wrestling from the shows and from it's name. If I remember correctly, many people were disturbed by this. I know my first thoughts were, "why?" What Impact Wrestling (IW) is doing is playing off this emotion, your emotion. Business 101 says that all companies need to change with the competition and evolve with the times if they want to survive. Marketing the idea that you are a wrestling company when your biggest competition is scared to use the word is a simple but ingenious thing.

TNA needed a name change anyway. Sure the abbreviation was different than the competition, not including a 'W' in the mix, but when many people outside the internet fans think TNA stands for "Boobs and Butts" (PG people), you may have a problem. Again, what a perfect time to get rid of that name, and get a name that has wrestling in it. A name that forces you to say "wrestling." The competition is getting wrestling out of it's name, so to make your product stand out put something in that not only the people are looking for, but something that makes you different. I am sure if I asked you if you rather watch good wrestling on Raw or 1 hours of decent promos, you would choose the former. Differentiating your product is key in any industry, and this name change does an awesome job at that.

My next point has to do with everyone that say "TNA always takes shots at WWE" or "TNA needs to stop mentioning WWE on air." They should keep doing it, why? Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who watches TNA knows that WWE exists. Everyone also knows that WWE is the top company in the US. So why hide it? You see it all the time on TV and in advertising:

"Dominoes Pizza beats Papa John's Pizza 4 to 1 in a National taste test"
"Dominoes Pizza uses fresh ingredients, not like those other guys."

And after a while, IF (yes, IF) this IW direction works, you are going to hear "we didn't turn our back on wrestling, like those other guys," and many people are going to get the idea that WWE did. Many of us already think that, but we let our hatred for TNA blind us. We are NOT that casual wrestling fan, we are the marks, like it or not. Both WWE and TNA are not going to cater anything towards us because we are the minority. So trying to convince that fans that are not nearly as passionate about the product and just want to see good wrestling to tune is, is what IW should be doing. So whatever IW is saying may seem like bull to you, but it is not for you.

For those who say the TNA is just re-branding because of WWE is 100% right. Those of you who say that TNA is copying WWE is 100% wrong. TNA is going in a direction that the fans want, marks or casual. If your disregard the names, and I gave you these two choices, which one would you pick?

Choice 1: Company who focus hard on the in-ring product to provide the best wrestling they can offer.

Choice 2: Company who focuses on other types on media, occasionally focusing on the in-ring product.

Business 101 says find out what your target market wants, find out what your competition is doing, and adjust accordingly. TNA or IW is doing a perfect job of this. So bash it if you want, but TNA is doing the same thing WWE would do in this position. Did WWE not adapt it's product to compete with WCW in the last 90s? Exactly.

Of course Vince Russo could book this all down the drain and make this a complete waste of money for IW, time for us, and energy for me defending them, but that is for another blog.

Appreciate the read if you made it this far!
Crack, out.

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  1. heehaw's Avatar
    i watch impact and raw, each and every week. For the last two months, since TNA victory rd with the jeff hardy incident, TNA has been MILES ahead of the WWE in terms of wrestling quality, talent and storylines. The Angle/Jarrett storyline has been done successful, whens the last time WWE has a storyline go for two months that was good? What, the Cole/Lawler Feud? How about the feud between orton and punk, where orton won every match.
  2. heehaw's Avatar
    the WWE is more like TV-G, TNA you can see the passion, look at robert roodes promos, or the foley promo as he was revealed to be the network exec, or the Mr anderson promo at the end of the battle royale, or the angle promo where he came out to open the show.

    Now does that compare to R truths hospital food segment?
  3. Yooka's Avatar
    I work in marketing. Genius is quite the overstatement, but basically, I agree with everything you're saying, crack. It is a step in the right direction (one of the first for this company in quite some time), and that right direction is anything but parallel to WWE.

    From a business perspective, people shouldn't discount TNA's accomplishments - they are considerable. A fledgling company turning the kind of profits they have been, when MacMahon is still out there as top dog? And it's not like wrestling is at it's peak right now - not by a long shot.

    Where fans (like me) who can barely stand watching either company for more than a half hour should be encouraged is that finally, Dixie and her ilk are starting to want to differentiate themselves from WWE, no longer content with the financially dependable route of imitating them.

    People blamed Hogan and Russo for this, and to some degree, they were right. But ultimately, I feel it was Dixie, and Hogan and Russo were just accomplices. Her background is marketing too. All the market research told her that at the time, the best way to sustain the financial health of the company was to put out the sort of product that they did for the last five years. They could have gone higher risk, and more wrestling oriented. They could have focused on better matches, innovative angles, and developing new talents. And maybe it would have caught on. Then again, when you look at ratings over the last few years, can you seriously correlate the better angles and matches to the higest rated segments anymore? If you are reading the insider stuff on the net (and its blogs), then you are most likely a male, age 18-35, and not a casual fan at that. We are no longer the profitable demographic. Maybe when the industry peaks again we wil be. Who knows?

    The point is, TNA played it safe, made money, and is still a viable option for many good pro wrestlers. And now that they have a parachute in case they fall, they might be slowly starting to transition to a more innovative federation - the sort of product true pro wrestling fans (and their gifted roster) deserves.

    Or maybe not. Who knows? Only time will tell if they will take the risks they need to take to be an overall better product than WWE.
  4. ComingToCinemas's Avatar
    I only had to read two comments on this blog to get the jist here... WWF did the same to combat WCW.

    There's a major difference in the way WWF made the change to how TNA (or IW depending on your preference). WWF did it to combat WCW because they were at the risk of being physically put out of business by WCW's success (Read Mick Foley's "Have a nice day" for reference). TNA has no such problem. Whilst I stopped watching TNA once Hogan and Bischoff came into it (I'm a believer that TNA once had potential and it has now been squandered), I cannot dispute that they have the wrestling side of their product down to a tee. My problem is with what they lack, entertainment between the in-ring action to build a storyline (it has been their problem for a long time).

    Back to my point, TNA is in no danger of being put out of business purely because it is not acknowledged by Vince McMahon or WWE enough to warrant it as competition. I agree with this blog that it is a good business decision, but it is in no way similar to how WWF entered into the "Attitude" era since TNA is not strong enough to compete with WWE. It is unlikely that it ever will be.

    TNA's re-branding simply reflects its own strengths, and for once it is potentially not a pot shot at WWE (but if it is I'm not surprised).

    But what do I know, I'm just a mark...
  5. Yooka's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ComingToCinemas
    I only had to read two comments on this blog to get the jist here... WWF did the same to combat WCW.
    I just wanted to say I spent ten minutes between writing a rebuttal to this, and watching the Grizzlies/Thunder game (and drinking) before I realized you were absolutely right. To combat WCW, WWE stole the major themes from ECW to gain an edge. In this day and age, it seems like TNA is going to steal from ROH (as far as the emphasis on wrestling) to combat WWE. However, your stance that the WWE did it to avoid extinction is irrelevant. It doesn't matter why they did it. The urge to become more competitive and combative on the free market is all that matters, and I agree, that is what we're starting to see.

    ..My problem is with what they lack, entertainment between the in-ring action to build a storyline (it has been their problem for a long time).
    You're not wrong in saying that this is a major problem in TNA. But just in terms of how small a percentage of in-ring action is on their weekly show - to me, this is their biggest problem. At least, as it pertains to my interests. And it seems like they are starting to turn the corner on this, so I'm hopeful. However, I have to acknowledge, if they have found a way to stay as profitable as they have, maybe the wise move isn't to cater to guys like me (as much as that sucks for me).
  6. wallyman's Avatar
    love ur blog...idk why people have to hate tna so much...i dont know how much u can defend wwe when they dont care about u. i also understand that wwe is not eliminating wrestling. but they wanna expand beyond wrestling so thats their move. as far as tna goes why not fill that whole that wwe has left by not being wrestling no makes perfect sence if i was the number 2 company i would do it 2. u can call urself the only wrestling promotion
  7. candlelarbra521's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Sheep
    Are you kidding me? This is a retarded move. TNA is so completley obsessed with what WWE is doing, that everything they do is in reaction to what WWE does. I officially stopped watching TNA the night they aired the Sting promo that was an exact rip off of the Undertakers promo video. Not to mention bringing in a "luchador" to combat Sin Cara, and now this name change.

    TNA has the best young talent in the world, no question. From Abyss to AJ, roode, Kaz, Joe, Pope and so on. So whats their big angle they are building up to.... STING V HOGAN? They cut guys like Jay Leathal and Awesome Kong (shes kind of a guy) and bring in CHYNA? Really?

    TNA is a company who had all the potential in the world, till Hogan and Bischoff took over creative. I gave them a chance, but they came in under the false pretenses of pushing the young guys, and continue to bring in and put over guys from the 90's (Chyna) and the 80's (Hogan and Flair)

    And now their entire marketing plan revolves around being the extreme opposit of WWE. Business 101? How about worrying about your own product 1st instead of WWE 1st? TNA had it right back in 2005, but they lost track over the last couple years. I see nothing but bankruptcy in TNA's future. And Vince scooping up the real talent that is the bleeding heart of TNA and hopefully giving them a better chance at a future.
    Totally agree, the idiots who said that you didn't read the blog didn't read your comment, anyway i won't be explaining it to them, but i agree with you.
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