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Even Mick Foley Doesn’t Understand TNA’s Rebranding

Mick Foley TNA impact wrestlingI think it is fair to say that when the key player involved in explaining TNA Wrestling’s rebranding angle on television doesn’t even understand the rebranding, TNA has problems. If the on-air messenger can’t grasp the new direction, how in the world will anyone else?

Mick Foley sat down with my old friend Brian Fritz for a very revealing interview about TNA Wrestling and their current rebranding campaign. Foley joins an entire pro wrestling community that is struggling to understand exactly what the TNA rebranding campaign is all about. It is almost downright comical that the spokesperson for the storyline side of the campaign is just as clueless about it as we are.

“You know, I’m still wondering in a lot of ways,” Foley said. “But I think we wanted the name for the show specifically that made people instantly aware that we were a wrestling show.”

This has been the million dollar question for the last week in regards to the name Impact Wrestling. TNA appear to change their minds daily as to whether the entire company name will be changed to Impact Wrestling or just the television show. Hulk Hogan in particular has almost waged a public campaign of sorts to push TNA into changing the company name to Impact Wrestling. I think it is fair to say at this point that nobody in TNA Wrestling other than Dixie Carter, Eric Bischoff, and Hogan really understand this rebranding deal one way or another.

TNA has also spent a lot of money in the last week marketing a campaign entitled “Wrestling Matters.” TNA has posted videos on You Tube featuring several of its wrestlers talking about how important pro wrestling is to them. This all comes as a response to Vince McMahon’s recent declaration that the WWE will no longer refer to “wrestling” in its brand marketing. Ironically the WWE has provided better “wrestling” in the last few weeks than anything TNA has produced.

Ironically this “Wrestling Matters” campaign kicks off on a week that featured a match between Chyna vs. Karen Jarrett, Eric Bischoff and Matt Hardy vs. Generation ME, and Impact taping what appears to be a ridiculously long segment with Disco Inferno at the Impact tapings. At this point it appears that any marketing dollars spent on this campaign are just being wasted. TNA can tell fans that wrestling matters all they want, but it means nothing unless you show them.

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This point wasn’t entirely lost on Foley. Mick Foley responded to skepticism about the new “Wrestling Matters” campaign.

“I would say that personally, I’m doing my very best to make the show different and to make the show matter, and that hopefully we will see a positive change,” said Foley. We’re going to know one way or another in the next month or so if people are happy with the changes. If they’re not, we’ll try to tweak them again.”

Foley’s honesty and candidness in talking about this new rebranding campaign are refreshing on the same week that Hulk Hogan blames Spike TV for low ratings and buyrates. Unfortunately as confused or committed as Foley is, he isn’t the booker and he is in the least enviable position of all us.

He has to try and explain this crap on television and that is a job I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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