A week or so after World Wrestling Entertainment announced that they would now be known by just WWE, a report from The Wrestling Observer Newsletter indicates that Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling is considering doing a re-branding of their own.
While TNA has no plans to drop the TNA name, they want to emphasize their Impact television show by possibly changing the look and feel of the product and simply changing to ‘Impact Wrestling.’
[adinserter block=”2″] I find it interesting that TNA is considering making changes to their product around the same time WWE changed theirs. Many have said, which I echo, that TNA needs to change their in-ring and television product first. Many have questioned why the company gave their World Title to 52 year-old Sting who looks like he is slowing down in the ring and can’t go in the long matches like he used to.
The world title match he had at the TNA Lockdown pay-per view was estimated at around eight minutes long.
When TNA began in 2002, their goal was to be an alternative to WWE– a new promotion that was all about action, longer matches and less talk. When TNA started a weekly show on pay per view, and then eventually secured the deal with Fox Sports Net (now ROOT Sports), they had more wrestling action in the one hour on television than in the four hours between Raw and SmackDown.
It wasn’t until they left FSN and started on SPIKE TV that they began to become a carbon copy of the WWE Attitude Era. If you are going to re-brand yourself, you need to do it in such a way that it is different from your competition and causes heads to turn, and people to tune in. That is what made World Championship Wrestling successful for so long.
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[adinserter block=”1″]In the mid 1990’s, while WWE had cartoonish type characters — much like it is returning to a little bit today with their now PG product – it was number one, with WCW struggling behind at number two. Eric Bischoff and Ted Turner decided to take a big risk by shifting WCW in a different direction with new innovative storylines and angles that looked real (i.e. New World Order), enticing fans to turn their heads and change the channel, thus becoming the number one wrestling promotion for 88 weeks.
Taking a chance, WWE changed their product to TV-14 in desperation to win over WCW and the rest is history. The reason WWE’s Attitude Era worked is because they not only re-branded the company with a logo change, but also with a product change. WCW was growing stale and the adult oriented WWE product was edgy and different. I am all for re-branding, but if what comes across on television with each weekly episode doesn’t change, then you have wasted time, money and other valuable resources.
For more from Jerome Wilen check out his website, Pro Wrestling Ringside – http://prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com
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