I can not take full credit for the title of this blog I have written. All credit for this topic comes from the Twitter page of ROH producer & writer Dave Lagana. Dave, who spent time in WWE writing for its creative team can be found on twitter @lagana. When he asked his twitter followers this very question, I thought it would be a great idea to write a blog stemming from that very question.
I’m sure there are many wrestling fans that have a laundry list of items they would want to see changed in anyone of the big three United States wrestling promotions. I’m sure people want John Cena out of the WWE or Hornswoggle no longer under contract, they want TNA to actually be good and for ROH to go more mainstream. But when you think about the subject it’s one that is very challenging when you pick one exact thing. I thought about for sometime and here is what I came up with for the three promotions.
Starting with Ring of Honor wrestling, a promotion that I would think most wrestling fans consider the #3 wrestling promotion in the United States and quite possibly the #1 or #2 promotion in the United States to a decent amount. ROH is a company that has survived the last 8 years due to DVD sales, Internet promotion and word of mouth. A very old school independent approach to getting your wrestling promotion recognized and possibly one of the last types of Independent promotions like this, that we may ever see again.
Who knows if ROH would have survived the economy collapse if not for their television contact with HDNet last year? They may have ended up like many independent promotions before them that sadly faded away due to economical and/or financial obligations that just couldn’t meet anymore. But thankfully ROH is still around and their wrestling quality continues to improve as time goes on.
When look at what ROH could change, the one thing they could change, to me it would be their production value. Sure it’s a cosmetic change, but it’s one that catches a wrestling’s fan eye on if they should tune into a show, especially if they don’t know what the promotion is. When I watch ROH on HDNet, I can’t help but be distracted at times by what appears to be a low attended crowd that is lacking the passion that ROH is known to have from their fans.
[adinserter block=”2″]I have attended a good amount of ROH shows and know what the crowds are made of. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a long time for the fans for the tapings but they just look dead. They don’t appear to be as rabid as fans in the bingo hall did 10 – 15 years prior, which, looking back at ECW gave it the appearance of a place you want to be. I don’t get that watching their TV tapings.
They need to freshen it up a bit and turn the production value up a notch to have it look like a company competing with the WWE & TNA. Move your TV Tapings to other areas of the country like NYC or Virginia, places where they have just as good following as Philly. The TV production is getting there but they still have a ways to go. If they can get something like the TV down then this is a company that’s ahead of TNA in my opinion.
Speaking of TNA, now here is the hard part. I have bashed TNA in my blogs and on my radio show for the last 8 months. Now I am making myself pick one thing that sticks out as to what I would change about TNA. At first I was a little bit flustered I must admit because there is many things I would change about TNA, but once I gave it some thought I quickly remembered what I would immediately change about the TNA product.
The TNA creative team.
Shouldn’t really come as a surprise I would write that because even the fans at the iMPACT! Zone chant it every once a while. I believe that chant is “Fire Russo” and sometimes I even see signs in the crowd with that same sentiment.
Creative is just god awful in TNA. I don’t know if it’s Vince Russo’s fault, Eric Bischoff’s fault or Hulk Hogan’s fault, but it is so uninteresting and horrible that it has made it hard for me to even watch TNA the last year. Sure they have their moments the creative team but that’s it, they are just moments and nothing else. For the most part the booking and storylines are hard to follow & confusing, that makes bad television programming for a wrestling fan.
There is a domino effect when the creative team does a horrible job for a company. It affects the in-ring performance for wrestlers, crowd reaction, television ratings etc. If a wrestling promotion were a human body it would be the brain, once the brain has trouble everything else has trouble the rest of the way and in the case of TNA it’s as if they have brain damage at times.
One minute a wrestler is a face, the next minute they are a heel, then ECW is back, then they are gone. Then this guy is getting a push, and then he is no where to be found, then this guy is taken off TV and this guy doesn’t even get an opening match. It’s confusing and frankly gives me a headache. It’s the worst part about TNA and it’s something that they have tried to change this past year by trying to bring in Paul Heyman. That obviously won’t be happening and TNA will continue to struggle until their creative team gets their stuff figured out.
Now onto the WWE, the big dog in the world of professional wrestling. They are the bar that is set for wrestling promotions in the entire world. Whether you love the company or you hate the company, you have to respect what they have done.
When I look at the one thing WWE needs to change about it’s product it’s becomes pretty simple to me. They need to change the PG-13 rating back to TV-14 like it was during the attitude era and most recently. It gave the WWE edgier television that made it fun for fans to watch, now in PG-13 it has a strict rating it must stick to at all times. The days of “pushing the envelope” are now gone for a “kid friendly product.”
I get why the WWE is doing what it is doing. Linda McMahon is running for senate in Connecticut and they want to do everything they can to make sure she wins. That means changing the TV rating, having no more blood on television, oh and all those divas you knew and loved? Yeah they won’t be doing bra & panties matches or giving you the eye candy you were used to the last 13 or so years. Those days are gone.
But what is gone from all the rating stuff is the boundaries that angles had, which usually meant they had no boundaries. In a PG-13 world they would be no more Stone Cold salutes, beer drinking or Rock-isms that we were all used to. Now it’s John Cena telling his opponent he is going to kick his “butt.”
The TV-14 rating made it cool to watch wrestling. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s it was the same thing as South Park. If you weren’t watching wrestling you were out of the know. Now it is as if watching wrestling and the Disney channel goes hand in hand. I’m not a fan of kid friendly programming in wrestling and eventually I’m sure my opinion will change once I have children of my own. But for the time being give me the pushing the envelope programming that I’m used to.
[adinserter block=”1″]If Linda McMahon loses her run at the CT senate we may possibly see the TV-14 era return, especially if TNA can find a way to breathe down the WWE’s necks and give wrestling fans the type of programming they have been waiting for. We will see TV-14 return again once wrestling needs a boost or a jump start in the eyes of its fans. When that will happen, one can never tell but I’m hoping sooner rather then later.
What are your thoughts on the one thing you would change about WWE, TNA & ROH? Tell us your thoughts on “The Still Real to Us Show” by e-mailing us over at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your thoughts on whether you agree with more or not! Then go ahead and download the show this Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net to find out if your pick made it to the air!
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