Okay, I’m going to level with everyone reading this. This is actually the second time I tried to write a column this week. The first one mysteriously vanished with 500 words written on WWE Survivor Series, The Macho Man Randy Savage Documentary and more. To say I was frustrated losing all that is beyond words. But I’m back today to give my thoughts on all the latest going on in the world of wrestling. Hopefully you’ll get to read this.

 

Impact wrestling destination America

Let’s begin with with some TNA talk, after months of speculation it was announced this week that after nine years Spike TV and Impact Wrestling are parting ways. Starting in January, TNA will be moving to Discovery’s Destination America. This announcement is definitely a double-edged sword in a lot of ways.

Destination America is a lower tier cable channel that not many people receive in the US. Reports are that 40% of Spike’s television coverage actually get the channel. Given their trouble even getting their audience back changing nights on a well-known channel. Moving to a lesser known network may really affect their future. And while it’s not been officially reported one can only assume that they are getting much less money. This will affect the product in a lot of ways from roster, presentation, and other small aspects.

TNA has been making small cutbacks on production, talent and other changes getting ready for this crucial time in their existence. PW Insider reported yesterday that their plans to revamp the Impact Wrestling television product from top to bottom. I see this as nothing but a positive as they can go back to square one, and really think about what their product unique and special and would emphasize that greatly.

I would do more character profile interviews. This would help get over international personalities in the X Division, Knockouts and the other stars. One because if you have an understanding of who these characters are your more invested in the storyline. I’ve said this before and it bears repeating. If you’re not invested in what the characters are you will care what they do. It’s nice to have moves and like a fighting style. But if you really believe in a character you become more invested in the storyline and the universe and try to create. Instead of taking the hard-core style from ECW. Watch their episodes and show how they build their characters. It was very subtle and while it’s wrestling style had become dated and passé. Their presentation on the characters will always stay in vogue. If you look at what Lucha Underground has been doing, it proves it still works if you do it correctly.

The second thing I would change is no doubt the announcers. I love Taz and Mike Tenay and think they are much better than they have been in recent years, but if you really going to rebrand yourself as a new show I think you need new voices. You have Jeremy Borash and Josh Matthews Under contract, I would use them as your announcers. You can still have Taz work as a trainer in a TNA branded wrestling school You could find new talent and bring more money into the promotion that way. And you can have Mike work backstage in production for the company. Or you could have The Professor be a correspondent on television doing special interviews. Given how much TNA has to be paying the guys, I think this would be a much effective use of these two men then in the booth.

And of course, TNA has to remember don’t try to be WWE. This is a chance to really start over and be better than you were. Destination America has said in the press release for the deal that they will be doing additional programming for the network. This is the opportunity TNA has been hoping for. And they really need to put their best foot forward and show why they are different than all the rest. Being a better program for Destination America is a lot of pressure for the company. And they need to use this pressure and make diamonds out of it. Will they? Who knows? They may fall classic old habits again. But only time will tell what will happen with the company? I can only hope that TNA realizes the position they are now in and puts everything may have in the next two years. So the company has a much higher profile than they ever have before because competition makes everyone better.

 

Randy Savage Blu-ray Cover

Moving on to WWE related subjects, I had the chance to watch the new Randy Savage documentary that was released earlier this week. Overall I thought it was great. In a year of really great documentaries produced by WWE this has the pomp and circumstance that everyone was looking for.

The main feature is told in the style of an NFL film and opens with a really great imagery of Savage’s hometown in Illinois. The use everything from family photos, home movies and interviews from family and friends To really establish the man behind The Madness. They paint a great picture of a man of pure passion and intensity no matter what he did. Living in the shadow of his famous father failure was not option. He was driven to be number one matter for it was on the baseball diamond, on the hardwood or in the wrestling ring. The presentation is mostly positive. But they do get into some of the negative parts of Randy’s personality. Particularly when it comes to the treatment of Elizabeth backstage. They have plenty of people in the wrestling world that say the stories that have been told are true. The Poffo Family said their stores are not true. Also, they get into the relationship between Vince and Randy being strained following his departure WWF in 1994. They don’t really go into specifics on what happened with the relationship in the last few years, but they do say that both men were heartbroken that they had to part ways. No McMahon actually appears in the documentary itself is a little strange. Because all that does lend credence to the rumors that we’ve all heard about Savage had an illicit affair with Stephanie McMahon. It just seemed a little on the the main officers of the company would not talk about one of the biggest stars in WWE history.

Overall, I really thought it was well done and told the story of one of the most iconic personalities in the business very well. It really covered Savage’s cultural impact and why he will be remembered for years to come. If you are Randy Savage fan or even a documentary fan, I would get it without question. I would imagine it will be on The Network soon. But if you can’t wait run out and get the DVD. It’s well worth it.

wwe_network_2011_background_no_logo_by_mrawesomewwe-d51apb9

Moving on to the latest WWE pay-per-view, I’m not going give my thoughts on Survivor Series as a whole. But I will say that the event this Sunday has a lot of intrigue going into it. From the rise of Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and others in the main event to the states that on the line for that match, the company has done a good job making this years Survivor series feel more important than ever before. And with the free trial almost over. It will be interesting to see whatever happens at the ScottTrade Center will translate into more subscribers for the struggling WWE Network. I understand that most fans don’t want to subscribe because the product is not as hot as he used to be. But with things like NXT, and the documentaries that the company is producing exclusively for The Network. I see a great value in the WWE’s over-the-top endeavors. Hopefully they will do more original programming for the Christmas season. i.e. MSG shows, Tribute to the Troops, Primetime Wrestling Christmas episodes,World Class Championship Wrestling Star Wars shows, Etc. I know that probably won’t happen. But here’s for wishful thinking.

I hope you enjoy my ramblings. I will see you again soon. For those in the states have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and for everybody else have a great week.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.