The rumors are ongoing that TNA is looking at selling a minority interest in their company in order to finance television tapings and continue being an entity. Their buy-out potential is being decided by a company called Summit Strategic Investments. They’re a multi-million dollar investment company who are known to purchase companies in financial trouble and turn them around into successful companies. They are most famous for turning around the fortunes of Segway and Fisker Automotive, so the hope is that they would be a company with a vision that could turn TNA around. Yes, the Harris Brothers (former wrestlers Ron & Don) work for a “production arm” of the company, but I would like to think that they simply wouldn’t be considering this investment only because of those two employees.
My issue is that Dixie Carter doesn’t want to give up majority ownership of the company, which I think is a massive mistake. The problem with TNA right now is the fact that it’s ‘TNA’. If you’re not familiar with the product, you hear “TNA” and automatically think old-school 90’s Attitude Era “T & A”. That’s NOT the type of reaction you want casual wrestling fans to get when they are exposed to your product for the first time. Personally, I was hoping that they would change their image when they moved to Destination America, but when they got there they continued to go with the TNA “brand” in spite of all the excitement and buzz about their product on the channel.
Let’s be honest here…the name ‘TNA’ absolutely reeks of failure at this point. The years and years of “potential” have disappeared and in spite of their current best efforts, they will continue to barely survive under the current branding of the company. The lack of fans at live events and PPV’s (in addition to their low television ratings) are not going to improve under their current infrastructure. That has to be something noticed by everyone by this point, isn’t it? Do people still look at TNA right now and think that they can still grow?
At the end of the day, TNA needs to completely change their company name to ‘Impact Wrestling’ or something else entirely different in order to be successful. In addition to that, they need to rebrand themselves and really try to differentiate their product from WWE. Of course, those ideas have been thrown at Dixie & Co. for years now, but nothing seems to have changed.
If they want to see what could be happening for them, all they have to do is look at the success of both Lucha Underground and NXT, in particular. These two promotions are garnering large followings because they are offering something different from WWE. Yes, I fully realize that NXT is a part of WWE but it’s not difficult to see that they are successful because they are offering a product completely different from that of the main roster. And Lucha Underground? Even if you’re not the biggest fan of the lucha style (I’m not), it’s such a different form of sports entertainment that you can’t help but be impressed at what they’re trying to do.
TNA has a very talented roster right now that could do a TON of unique and different things, but the majority of fans still firmly believe that TNA is a WWE-wannabe company. Even though they’ve recently tried to rebuild their roster with a number of TNA-branded talent, they’re still seen as ‘WWE Lite’ by most hardcore wrestling fans (i.e. the fan base that’s disenchanted with the WWE product). Until TNA can find a way to reinvent themselves and rebrand their product and company completely, they will not be profitable or successful, nor will they grow in any way.
This isn’t about the talent in front of or behind the cameras right now…I’d like to stress that. You’ve got a helluva hard-working champion in Drew Galloway, who wants to be the type of world champion that Ric Flair used to be…hitting all of the independent promotions around the world that he hits with his current schedule (he’s one of the hardest working independent wrestlers on the planet), but defending the TNA championship in an effort to get the brand out there. You’ve also got performers like Matt Hardy, Bram, James Storm, and Ethan Carter III giving us all a mix of youth and veteran leadership who are working their asses off in an effort to make the company successful. I fear, though, that it’s all for naught.
The stench on TNA is simply too strong to wash off at this point. The only way that they can clean themselves is to completely rebrand and restart. I only hope that Dixie realizes this soon so that the company can be purchased by a group that might actually find a way to do just that and make this company the success it deserves to be. Her incessant need to retain 51% of the company is only going to spell the company’s downfall…and she’ll only have herself to blame.