Many fans are growing disillusioned with the WWE's dull and repetitive output in recent months, with some not even making into it to the end of Raw. Many have been left wanting for an alternative wrestling show and TNA represented that in 2010 with the high profile debut of worldwide wrestling icon Hulk Hogan. However, many fans didn't like what they saw and haven't bothered with the company since. But 2015 is set to be different, TNA have stumbled through 2014 with a Hogan sized hangover and look to a new dawn or reboot in 2015.
Here's 5 reasons why you need to watch TNA in 2015.
5 – UK Tour
TNA head to Glasgow, Manchester and London this coming January 2015 in what many believe are their biggest shows of the year. Sold out arenas with passionate fans, who are invested and consumed within the product.
TNA, as they did in 2014, have made the right choice to undertake Impact tapings at all 3 shows giving us at least 6 weeks of Impact on TV. Even better, there's the added edge of the final six stars of British Boot Camp 2 added to the mix that are sure to challenge the likes of Lashley, Aries, Low Ki and Roode to steal the show.
TNA have started to build excitement for these shows by already announcing Scotland’s own Grado Vs Al Snow in front of a partisan Scottish crowd in the Glasgow Hydro, and the Ultimate X match set to take place in London’s Wembley Arena. British wrestling fans love TNA, and it’s clear that TNA loves Britain, and with their stars now rested, TNA stars will be ready to show off their skills to a vocal and appreciative crowd that the UK tour now guarantees. It could also cause intrigue to American wrestling fans that will see a product that puts bums on seats. So the more TNA is filmed away from America, the more America will want TNA, which will be better for the company in the long run.
4 – New Channel, New Branding, New Attitude?
As you’ll all know, TNA Impact is heading to the Discovery Network owned channel Destination America within TNA’s home market of the USA. The multi-year deal has come with assurances that Impact will not be the only TNA programme on our screens, opening the possibility for other TNA specials, British Bootcamp, Xplosion and highlight or recap shows.
Also, Discovery and TNA have negotiated a key element that SpikeTV overlooked and that was promotion. In the UK, it’s not unusual to see a TNA advert to pop up on other Sky TV (parent of Challenge TV) owned channels promoting the upcoming Impact show or Pay Per View. It’s a simple request that Spike TV and Viacom should have done but came across as unwilling to do, which was to theirs and TNA’s detriment.
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Now SpikeTV is a thing of the past, TNA now look to a bright new future and shortly after the announcement of the Destination America deal the internet became awash with rumours of Impact taking on a different look, set, style, announcers and format all together. In some wrestling fans opinion Impact could be taken back to the firm set of wrestling rules and sporting competition. We as fans know we have to suspend our belief when watch, but remember perception is everything. This would differentiate from WWE whose rules set and overall point of a referee has diminished greatly in recent years.
3 - Character Development and Story Telling
In 2014 they started to invest in younger, hungrier talent and if TNA can keep their character development and storytelling on the right tracks the show can turn into must watch TV for all wrestling fans. They have started especially with the younger talent like Bram, Samuel Shaw, Brittany, Ethan Carter and The Great Sanada have all been given old fashion style gimmicks and back stories. Some have proved popular such as EC3, who could claim to be the most over heel in all of wrestling presently, and Bram who comes across as nothing short of crazy. Others like Shaw and Brittany have clear foundations to build on and need to continue their character commitment via TV, live shows and social media. The more involved emotionally we as an audience are, the better response from the live crowds will be and those all important TV and DVR ratings. Good characters, make good television! #OhTommyBoy
2 – The X Division
The X-Division was systematically taken apart under the Hogan-Bischoff era to the point where we had Kenny King Vs Suicide Vs DJ Zema Ion under their 3 way rules for what seemed like months on end. We now get the X-Division slogan of “It’s not about weight limits, it’s about no limits!” Back when TNA did weekly PPV shows and they introduced the X Division most people thought that it was just going to be a continuation of the awesome, often amazing WCW cruiserweight division. But with a notable exception TNA made sure that there would be no weight/size limits in the division and it was all about promoting a more exciting style of wrestling not normally seen in US or UK wrestling promotions.
The X Division has been unique to TNA since its start in 2002 and was one of the primary factors in putting TNA on the map. Its exhilarating matches and the extremely athletic talents that partake in them are what make the X Division fun to watch. In 2014 we started to witness the return of the X division with amazing matches and moments at Slammiversary in Dallas and Bound For Glory in Tokyo. At the moment TNA have made the right decision to place the title on Low Ki and can now look to build the division back up to its former glories with him being central to that. Talents around him include, DJ Zema Ion, Crazzy Steve, Homicide, Manik and The Great Sanada if TNA are smart they will add some independent talents like Brian Cage or Richochet or even look to take on board Noam Dar and Mark Andrew from the successful British Boot Camp 2 to bolster the ranks. The division needs to continue playing homage to its spot fest roots that gave it notoriety throughout the 2000s. When the division was hot, general wrestling fans and pop culture media had real hope for TNA. Don’t let it drift off like they allow it to do so before.
1 – In Ring Product
TNA must always remember they are an entertainment company and what has got them this far, is their immense in ring product. In 2014 TNA was hit with various issues including budget cuts and most notably SpikeTV calling time on them. Despite this and more authority based stories the in ring product didn't suffer. The talent continued to put on amazing match after amazing match. Keep a focus on continuing this trend in 2015, as we know the wrestlers are capable of this. Bobby Roode Vs Lashley 1 and 2 proved to be stunning matches and with The likes of Bram, Austin Aries, Kenny King, Robbie E who can all deliver in the ring, and they are not in the current title picture. It goes to show you how much talent they have with that smaller roster compared to the WWE. Many of us know and can clearly see they have the best wrestlers on television in the US and UK markets. So TNA, please use them effectively let them all men and women express and perform to the best they can in the ring and it will be another unique selling point, over the competition in 2015.
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