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Why TNA is finally successful in the eyes of wrestling fans – Inside The Wheelhouse

aries vs roodeFor the first time in quite a number of years Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling is not the butt of most internet fans’ jokes. Instead TNA has become the “most-see” wrestling show amongst die-hard wrestling fans that patrol the wonderful world of the internet. But how has that all of a sudden come to be? The roster has certainly still been the same for the most part, Hogan & Bischoff are still involved with the company, hell even Brooke Hogan is!

The real reason (in my opinion of course) lies within a man, his pen (or computer) and a pad of paper (or keyboard). A man who has been able to take the roster put in front of him and delivered on an action-packed weekly wrestling show with one Sunday PPV a month. A man who has finally been able to take this talent and truly tap into it like no other booker has for TNA wrestling in sometime. This man is a former WWE & ROH booker, this man is Dave Lagana.

(That last paragraph sounded like a pretty cool movie opening if you ask me by the way)

For those of you who don’t know, Dave Lagana is a booker or what we like to call today a “creative writer” with TNA wrestling. He booked WWE, most notably the SmackDown & ECW brands from about 2002 to 2008. After that he went to ROH where he was with the company till about last year. Lagana reportedly was brought in to head up the TNA creative booking department after Vince Russo was let go earlier on this year.

Now if you ask Dave Lagana his thoughts on what I just wrote prior to my introduction of him to you the reader who may have not heard of him, he would most certainly deny it right off the bat. The guy isn’t egotistical at all and on a constant basis gives credit to the wrestlers that make his booking “look good.” The thing that is most appealing of Dave Lagana’s type of writing to that of today’s creative writers is that he grew up a wrestling fan.

Lagana also gets “it.” He understands what wrestling fans want and need for their fix of weekly wrestling. Hence the reason why he was behind the social media force that was #IWantWrestling at one time. It brought wrestling fans a platform to vent about wrestling, talk about wrestling amongst each other in social media and also promote various types of platforms that discussed wrestling or performed it on a weekly basis. It was a “ahead of the curve” movement at a time where we are still trying to figure things out with social media, the opportunity Lagana presented also gave him the chance to get insight on what wrestling fans were missing on their television screens.

That insight has been able to open up a great deal of very good TNA wrestling programming lately. The wrestling has been fantastic, the storylines have been pretty good and they are giving wrestling fans what they want…wrestling. The roster always had the talent to put on the show they are doing right now but without any guidance from a “head coach” (sports analogy) or the “booker” then it will just fall flat.

Wrestling fans just want an alternative to the product they are seeing on television today. That’s why ECW was so popular back in the mid-to-late 90s, why the WWF was successful during the “Attitude Era,” why ROH has its popularity amongst the hardcore fan-base at times and why TNA is successful right now. Wrestling fans want something new and different, hence the reason why they chant “same old s***” to wrestlers or segments they have seen time and time again.

To be successful in anything I truly believe you need to be ahead of the curve and evolving with the times. Lagana has been one of the few bookers who have been successful in doing so in various different wrestling promotions in the United States. While the roster is the one putting on the show and executing what we see on television I truly believe Dave Lagana deserves the proper gratitude from the wrestling world for what he has been able to help execute through his powers in TNA creative.

At one time he promoted the campaign #IWantWrestling and now he is once again giving wrestling fans the ability to say #WeGotWrestling.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday July 26th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

Check out Jeff Peck’s wrestling podcast “The Still Real to Us show” which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and www.wrestlechat.net

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck

“LIKE” The Still Real to Us Show on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thestillrealtousshow

“LIKE” 97.9 ESPN on Facebook: www.facebook.com/979espn

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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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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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