June 25, 2014

Ask FK... 10

Why are the impacts after a ppv always better than the actual ppvs?

Because TV ratings are more important to TNA than PPV buys. The TV deal is what keeps them in business, so, frustrating as it is sometimes, that has to come first.

By technicality of Ring Ka King, isn't Magnus a two time world champion? 

Depends if you think RKK really counts. TNA apparently don't. And yet they like to call Bobby Lashley a "former world champion" just because he once held the WWECW title, which I think is kind of laughable. It all depends on who you ask. 

What do you think about booking of Magnus as world champion? 

I'm a proponent of Magnus, but the booking of him as the world champion I thought was handled very poorly. They went so overboard with the paper champion stuff that instead of simply making him out to be a smug jerk who was undeserving of the title, they made him seem like a joke that people couldn't take seriously in a top spot. It just seemed like a very counterproductive way to present him and probably ended up doing him more harm than good IMO.

Do you like WWE more than TNA right now? Tell us the truth.

WWE does some things that are much better and they do some things that are much worse. One particular episode of RAW a number of weeks back started with that terrific Bray Wyatt choir segment, which was quite unique and pretty chilling, but it was followed by Damien Sandow dressing up as Magneto and Hornswoggle/El Torito getting booked in a weeLC match. With those things being at the total opposite ends of the spectrum, for me, TNA falls somewhere in the middle.

Given a very close friend, do you think Alicia Fox would have a great future in TNA should she be released from WWE?

By "very close friend" I assume you're referring to Gail Kim? I'm sure Gail would push hard for them to sign Fox if WWE cut her, but the question is whether TNA would want to spend the money on her. A year or two ago I'm sure they would have jumped at the chance to sign another former Diva, but with them tightening their belts so much these days, I don't know if they'd pursue her aggressively. If they could afford former Divas right now, they probably would have tried harder to keep Mickie James. 

In the event that she actually did sign with TNA, I think she might have a decent shot seeing as Gail is so high on her, but I seriously doubt it would drum up any genuine interest. Fox has been around for a long time and there's nothing really new about her at this point. I think most fans are looking forward to the next generation of female stars now rather than women who've already been around the block and had their time. That's the way I feel anyway.

Are the Von Erichs being brought in permanently on the roster or a one time thing like the Great Muta and Yasu?

Lord knows TNA could use another good tag team, but as far as I know it was just a one time thing to help with ticket sales for the event. Based on their performance, I think the company signing Ross & Marshall Von Erich would be premature. They didn't perform badly, but they looked nervous and green. I think them getting more experience before TNA starts thinking about offering them contracts would be best for both parties because putting someone on TV when they're not ready to be there is never a good idea (ex. Lacey Von Erich). For the time being there are much more seasoned and polished tag teams that TNA should be looking at.  

Do you think it's time to give up on TNA ever signing new Knockouts? At this point it would do the division more justice to deactivate it.

I wouldn't go so far as to say deactivating it would be the best way to go, but I'm absolutely an advocate of hitting the reset button and starting fresh with a mostly new division, and have been for a long time now.

I don't know what TNA are thinking when it comes to the Knockouts anymore, but they seem to have it in their heads that the longtime stalwarts (Gail, the Beautiful People, Madison, ODB) will be there FOREVER and have unlimited mileage as performers, when in actuality the shelf life of most of them is either severely limited by now (TBP) or ran out a long time ago (ODB). It baffles me that TNA can do so much to revamp the rest of their roster to the degree that they have, but when it comes to the Knockouts they've got their heads buried in the sand and seem perfectly content to rest on their laurels with a watered down rehash of Gail vs TBP, which we already saw done a lot better 6 years ago.

I've given up trying to figure out why TNA are so maddeningly reluctant to revamp their women's roster even though they've needed to do so for ages. I'm glad Brittany is in there now and that Taryn Terrell is back, but they're the exception that proves the rule. Outside of a bright spot here and there, TNA have done embarrassingly little in the last several years to groom new female talents for the day when Gail et al. aren't there anymore. The division has stagnated for a long time, if not gone backwards in a lot of ways and eventually that's going to come back to haunt them.

Do you think Raven deserves to be in the Hall of Fame?

I'm the wrong person to be asking that type of question, since I'm of the opinion that TNA having their own Hall of Fame at this juncture is kind of ridiculous. I didn't see any point to it when they introduced it a few years ago and I still don't. Even the WWE HoF seems rather silly to me; it's always kind of felt like something the company uses to give themselves an annual self-congratulatory pat on the back and not much else. 

That aside, does Raven deserve to be in the TNA HoF? Sure. But keep in mind, the inductees thus far seem to be chosen for shoot and work related reasons, meaning that one probably needs to be currently working for the company in some capacity to be eligible. Raven's contributions to the company in its early days would make him deserving for the former, but for the latter there doesn't seem to be any point at this time. 

Do you think Hardcore Wrestling can come back if done right?

No. Hardcore wrestling was a fad in the 1990s that overstayed its welcome. I suppose it has its place in an occasional match stipulation here and there, but I don't see it making a major resurgence, nor should it IMO.

What are your thoughts on the X Division? Out of the two choices would you either (A) go with Talon's idea of putting the division on their own show, or (B) scrap the division and title altogether?

Frankly I don't think either is a viable option, but if you put a gun to my head and made me choose, I'd probably go with B at this point. If I thought for one second that TNA had any intention of making the X-division an integral and valued part of the company again, I imagine I'd go a different way, but I just don't think they do. Given the way they've presented the X-division in recent years, even in the highly unlikely event that the division got its own weekly show, I simply don't believe that TNA would devote the necessary time, attention and money to the show for it to succeed. We barely see the X-division on iMPACT once or twice a month as it is, even when it gets TV time we hardly ever see anything meaningful done with it, non-title feuds are a thing of the past, the wrestlers who compete in it are mainly used as cannon fodder, with guys like Aries and King not really given the opportunity to break out and shine until they leave the X-division.

Hard as it is to accept, I think the writing is on the wall; the X-division is simply not a priority for TNA anymore. It's something they cling to out of habit, not because they place any real value in it outside of a few weeks a year before and after Destination-X when they pretend that they do. It's really sad to see what's become of it. And as strange as this sounds, I wonder if it might be kinder to retire the division instead of watching it continue on as a shell of its former self. At least that way they might be able to preserve some of its legacy rather than continuing to chip away at it.

How would you fix TNA's house show attendance problems?

By having them actually advertise their house shows. Aside from briefly mentioning them during iMPACT and putting the dates on the website, this is something TNA just doesn't do. I've been to a number of TNA live events over the years and to this day I have not seen a single advertisement for any of them. Not a television ad, not a radio ad, not an internet ad, not a billboard. Nothing. Not one. And these were all shows pretty close to where I live. There are small local indie companies in my area that advertise more than TNA does when they come to town; just think about that for a minute.

Every single time I found out about the show because I went to the website and looked at the touring schedule because I was curious about when or even if TNA would be coming to my state and every single time I was surprised to find out they were because I hadn't heard a peep about it. So if I didn't actively go looking for the shows I would have had no idea they were happening. Just imagine how hard it must be to draw a real crowd for your house show if only the fans who care enough to actually hunt down the touring schedule even know the show exists. Forget about attracting new fans, that's never going to happen with this strategy.

I suppose TNA's excuse is that they just don't have the money to spend on advertising, but how on earth do they ever expect that to change with a business model like this? If you don't spend money, you're never going to make money.

What three Knockouts would you bring in from the indies to the Knockouts Division?

Kay Lee Ray


Nikki Storm

What do you think is the reason for TNA's low ratings?

Lack of advertising, subpar product, the core audience being alienated, TNA not recognizing problems when they arise and dealing with them appropriately. There are plenty of reasons. In large part, I think it has to do with the previous creative regime driving a lot of fans away from the company and the current one not doing what's necessary to get them back, preferring instead to either rehash many of the same things TNA have been doing for years and somehow expecting the outcome to be different, or making strange and ill-conceived creative decisions intended to be ratings ploys or shock tactics (ex. Eric Young winning the world title) without developing them properly or thinking them through well enough for them to be effective.

Do you think TNA would be more successful at this point if Prichard, Hogan and Bischoff stuck around or is this a step up from them?

Seeing as how the ratings were pretty much on the same downward trajectory during Prichard/Hogan/Bischoff's tenure as they are now, I think the company would be in about the same position. I suspect the main differences would be that instead of Dixie Carter and MVP getting tons of screen time every week, it would be Hogan, and Garett Bischoff would probably still be on TV in some capacity. So in that sense, TNA is in a much better position.

Talent-wise, they're saving the money that was lining Hogan's pockets and putting it toward something constructive, like acquiring the new talent we've been seeing recently. In terms of creative, we're essentially just getting another variation of the same evil authority figure/top heel stable/faction warfare angle(s) that TNA have been doing for years, but at least now it's guys like MVP, King, Lashley and EC3 as the big heels instead of the Aces & 8s, who were pretty much the worst faction of this era in any company.

I don't know that TNA would be doing better or worse business if Prichard/Hogan/Bischoff were still there (worse would be my guess), but they're probably in a much better place when it comes to talent usage/acquisitions and proper allocation of money.

Do you think TNA is past the point of being a legitimate number two to WWE? Have they had their time to shine or is that still to come?

I think they are and continue to be the #2 to WWE by virtue of the fact that they have a TV deal on cable television and a show that (most of the time) pulls in over a million viewers a week. That could change soon if they can't get a new deal worked out, but this is the case for now.

The second question is harder to answer. TNA have had their time to shine in the sense that they've spent all the goodwill they had in the early years by making a lot of questionable creative and business decisions, and mistakes they never seem to learn anything from, effectively shooting themselves in the foot more than a few times. Many fans aren't willing to give them the benefit of the doubt anymore or take "We're a new company still learning to walk," as a legitimate excuse because at this point that line simply doesn't hold water.

Their fanbase's patience and loyalty have been eroded over the last several years, and now TNA are in a position where they have to get their act together and earn those things back. If they can do that then their real time to shine may be yet to come. Unfortunately a lot of fans these days are skeptical that TNA can pull that off and changing their minds is going to be difficult.

Do you think MVP's faction should get at least one championship on one of their members?

Maybe if the right storyline called for it, but I don't think it's necessary. It doesn't seem like titles are what they're really concerned with, excluding MVP wanting the world title, which he can't go for now due to an injury. The main focus of the group seems to be just beating down the faces that are opposing them and dealing with Dixie Carter, none of which really involves the hunt for championships. Unless they change their goals and start going after titles seriously then I don't see much point in any of them having one. The one exception being that Kenny King as the X-division champion might mean the title would been seen on TV more often, but that's about it.

If you had 100% control of the Knockout division what would you do with it up to BFG?

Step #1: Cut ODB from the roster. Fill her spot with a new Knockout.

Step #2: Gail wins the title from Angelina at Slammiversary. Taryn Terrell returns the following Thursday.

Step #3: Cut Angelina from the roster. Make Velvet a full time manager/valet. Fill their spots with 2 new Knockouts.

Step #4: Build up to the Taryn vs Gail rubber match for the title at Destination-X. Taryn wins and becomes the new champion.

Step #5: Start building the division around the newer girls. Build up to a title match at BFG between Taryn and Brooke, Brittany or whichever new girl is the hottest by that point.

Do you think Austin Aries can make money for TNA as the top guy of the company?

Well, he was getting cheered over Eric Young in the Slammiversary main event, so what does that tell you? Honestly, I think TNA are leaving a lot of money on the table with Austin Aries. He's easily one of, if not THE most complete package they have on their roster, and they've been wasting him for the last year or so. A guy as talented as Aries should be at or at least near the top of the card at all times because he can outperform almost anyone else they've got on their roster.

IMO, Aries could do big business for TNA if they pushed and marketed him the right way. I thought he was great as the world champion even though they had him playing second fiddle to the Aces & 8s crap (ugh), and I really hope he gets another run with the belt at some point because there's money to be made with the guy if they use him right.

4 sides or 6 sides?

If you'd asked me this a few years ago I would've said 6 sides all the way. The 6-sided ring was one of the things that made TNA different and helped them stand out from the competition. It was part of their identity and I hated that they got rid of it. But since then a number of the wrestlers have said that a 4-sided ring is less taxing on their bodies and is generally a lot easier to move around and take bumps in, which seems like a much stronger argument in my mind.

And honestly, I think a big part of why I hated them doing away with the 6-sided ring in the first place was just because of HOW they did it, with Hogan & Bischoff belittling it, calling it a playpen ring, acting like they were doing the fans the biggest favor in the world by getting rid of it while the crowd shit all over them and chanted, "We want 6 sides!" That made me so angry because they came off like egomaniacs just doing whatever they wanted and to hell with what the fans thought.

If they had just come out and said something to the effect of, "We know you love the 6-sided ring, but 4 sides makes for less wear and tear on the wrestlers' bodies, and we're trying to prevent injuries," I don't think there would have been anywhere near the backlash that there was. And personally, I still wouldn't have liked it, but I would have understood and accepted it. I have a great fondness for the 6 sides, but the wrestlers' health/safety/comfort is a lot more important than what shape the fans want the ring to be. IMO, the company should do what's best for the talent. If that means 4 sides, then stick with 4 sides.

Source: TNAsylum

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