Booking TNA

July 26, 2010

I’ve got a few TNA topics I want to discuss, and uncharacteristically for me this won’t even be a burial. The first piece of business I’ve already addressed in my NEWS section but in case you missed it I turned down the offer to be a part of the TNA, “ECW Themed” PPV.

There aren’t any more details I can offer you. Many people wanted to know what they offered financially and creatively but to be honest it never got that far and if it had that wouldn’t have been any of your business anyway. I was asked if I would like to be a part of the show, and I said thanks for the offer but no thank you. My love the guys from my ECW days, and my respect for those on the TNA roster aside, I just have zero interest in being a part of anything even remotely associated with Vince Russo.

That all being said I do have a creative direction I’d like to offer up for this TNA / ECW PPV to counter balance all of the people who are bashing TNA for dropping the Invasion theme concept and making this a reunion style show. I have no idea if people in TNA have thought of this or not, and if not feel free to use it.

Many people I often agree with are burying turning this into a nostalgia type show complaining that it has been proven that there are no legs to this type of show and at least if this was an Invasion Angle they could put there TNA guys over to move forward once the ECW guys run their course. While I agree with them for the most part I think my idea is a case of getting the best of both worlds with even a few extra advantages on top of that.

In my opinion an Invading force is generally viewed as the cooler faction. Anti-establishment has always had more of an edge to it, and new faces (even old ones we haven’t seen in a while) are always more exciting than the ones we’ve been seeing every week for years. Because of that doing the ECW Invasion sets the ECW guys up as the “cooler” group more in the baby face role. That is obviously a bad idea long term for TNA because, lets face it, all of us ECW guys are old and TNA needs to push younger guys and move forward.

By “inviting” ECW to the show and giving them their own PPV, they have removed the “outsider” feel to the ECW guys, which does to an effect make them a little less cool, but I think that is okay because the PPV has become a nostalgia show, which should do good (by TNA standards) business with out any angles or current coolness needed. If they completely remove the TNA rooster from the PPV it can be sold as a reunion show and over the next few weeks of television they can just promote the guys who will be appearing on the show and start hinting at the fact the TNA guys are upset with Dixie of bringing these guys in and giving their PPV spots to them.

With this established it opens the door for the TNA guys to Invade the ECW show, and restart the conflict that had everyone excited 4 weeks previously when they first thought there was going to be an ECW Invasion. This gets TNA right back where they started but with 2 very important added benefits. They got the one extra PPV bump (assumingly) out of the reunion show, and now with the TNA guys being the “Invaders”, the guys who attacked ECW they come off as the cooler anti establishment guys. The young TNA guys are going against Dixie Carter’s wishes trying to take back their own show.

I could see people really getting behind guys like Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, MCMGs, Beer Money, etc if they unite to Mutiny against Dixie Carter and the way she has been running TNA. You could even have the older former WCW/WWE guys unite to support her (wanting to protect their pay cheques) and you are left with a TNA rebellion with the guys who should be the company’s future as the cool rebels (baby faces) who are sick of Dixie Carter and how she has been running TNA, facing her older empire of former (WCW/WWE/ECW) stars.

To me this angle has legs, with the cooler, younger, TNA faction saying they have been here all along busting their ass and Dixie Carter has over looked them always looking for the quick fix by bringing in other stars; she tried it with WCW stars, then WWE stars, and now ECW stars, and enough is enough. They are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. They can basically shoot on her pointing out that bringing in all these guys from the past has accomplished nothing and TNA was cooler in the beginning when they first put it on the map with the X-Division over 5 years ago.

TNA can then do the “Invasion” style PPV with TNA vs. ECW, with TNA in the baby face role and when the angle runs its course you can put the baby faces over and have the younger TNA guys the victors, winning the rebellion, standing tall, and reclaiming “Their TNA”. You could even use this point to “restart” the company with a new creative direction, by having the TNA guys threatening to mutiny and walk (Our TNA or No TNA) leaving Dixie with nothing if she doesn’t step down as head of TNA and name “fill in the blank” as the new boss.

I don’t know who you can name as the “official” Head of TNA from that point forward, because it can’t be anyone formerly associated with ECW, WCW, or WWE, because they just finished ousting all the non TNA people, but I think they should get away from that character being an active role on the TV anyway. “TNA Management” has been an ever changing, never ending, and confusing storyline in TNA so they should get away from that and put the focus back on the guys in the ring.

That being said I did think of a guy who could come in behind the scenes to run things that I don’t think anyone has thought of before. I know everyone is talking about TNA getting Paul Heyman, but I doubt that is going to happen and to be honest I have no idea if my candidate would be interested in coming in either, but what about John Bradshaw Layfield, as the legit head of TNA?

I know he doesn’t have a proven track record as a booker, but it’s not like TNA’s current booker’s track record is all the impressive either. On the up side however, JBL has a very successful track record as a business man, which is never a bad thing when trying to run a business. John Layfield is a very, let me repeat that very intelligent business man, he has approximately 20 years experience in the wrestling business, and has more of an old school logical wrestling mentality.

Even if he is not a creative booker, I guarantee you if he were in charge we would know who the heels and faces are and more importantly actually dislike the former and like the latter. John has a great understanding of the business and is the kind of strong, won’t take any bullshit from anyone, kind of presence a company needs at the helm. It can’t be about making everyone happy; it’s got to be about getting a few people over as legit stars and making money. John understands that and would be more than happy to step up in anyone’s face that doesn’t understand it and explain it to them. I also believe he is the kind of guy who if he needs help creatively as a booker would be smart enough to find that help and he would pick someone who actually books wrestling, rather than someone who writes supposed scripted entertainment.

That’s my take, and if anyone in TNA likes the idea, they are welcome to it completely free of charge.

Lance Storm