On Spike TV last night, TNA Wrestling revealed a re-branding of their weekly 2 hour TV program from “TNA IMPACT” into “IMPACT Wrestling”. The name change was played out in a storyline with Mick Foley representing the ‘Network” and putting a power-play over TNA bosses Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.
In the video posted on the left, you can see a recap of this week’s IMPACT where several wrestlers discuss the new name and what it means for the company’s future. Watch it right here.
There is still some confusion within the wrestling world as many thought TNA would drop “TNA” completely as a company name, and become “IMPACT” in all of their DVDs, Pay Per Views, merchandise, and live events. Currently it is believed that only the Spike TV show has undergone the name change. If TNA really wanted to jump into the re-branding, they would not dip their feet in the water by changing only their TV shows name.
Many critics have cited TNA’s name as generic and too similar to a commonly known sexual phrase. Plus the ideals of “Total Nonstop Action” is something that the company has slightly gotten away from for a more story focused show with feuds and extended talk segments. Though dropping a name with 8 years of promotion behind it, TNA could benefit from new attention with a new company-wide name.
The “wrestling” is the key phrase that TNA is stressing, and it’s a clear counter action to WWE’s recent move to remove the word “wrestling” from all TV programming and marketing. TNA has consistently tried to stress they are a pro wrestling show, but much of their worst content in the past year has made many fans view the company as a second-rate WWE with a ‘sports entertainment’ feel. Could “IMPACT Wrestling” be a sign a fresh shift for the number 2 wrestling company? Does “wrestling” really “matter” for TNA now? The cliche phrase that comes to mind: “Only time will tell.”
TNA has done hard reboots of their programming in the past, only to walk away from those initiatives, and continue to stall their overall efforts to grow. No one can challenge the company’s roster which has a very capable mix of strong young stars and former WWE main eventers which could become a real challenge to their rivals from Stamford,CT. Yet history has proven that TNA can not deliver longterm creative storylines mixed with effective marketing to get new fans beyond their die-hard following.
Wrestling fans (whether or not they are supportive of TNA) should hope this name change will finally lite the big spark for TNA to become the big player they have always aspired to become. One of the greatest eras in Pro Wrestling history was the late 90’s when WWE and WCW went toe-to-toe trying to outdo one another with the best wrestling show possible each week. If TNA can get to that level, the fans will be the winners.
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