Impact Wrestling/Wrestling Matters
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!