TNA have announced their biggest pay per view of the year, in fact, it will be the tenth Bound for Glory event. TNA announced that the event will take place in Japan. As much as doing an international show is a good idea to broaden the scope of the fan base of TNA, there was a much better choice, the UK. Yes, TNA have announced the second British Boot Camp, but, this is simply not good enough for the loyal fans of TNA here in the UK.
The UK have been promised by TNA for years that we would get a Pay Per View here in this country, but all we have had is a taped One Night Only event, which some people do not include as cannon for TNA and as filler events with no real significance to storylines. Just this year TNA had an Impact show from Scotland that aired live on Challenge and was delayed until the evening for the US broadcast. Also UFC are able to broadcast live shows from the UK to both countries. So a live show would not be impossible to do. The capacity of the shows for the TV tapings and house shows were so large that they sold out major arenas over here such as Wembley Arena. According to Wikipedia, the arena can fit 12,500 people. That amount of people looked incredible on television with the presentation of the shows and showed that TNA can still be a major player in the pro-wrestling world. If TNA decided to have Bound for Glory in the UK, they would have been the first American Pro Wrestling Company to host it’s major supershow here in England, beating WWE to the punch with annual rumours of their major event, Wrestlemania in the Stadium next door to Wembley Arena.
Oh what could have been, instead, TNA announced that Bound for Glory would be from Japan this year. Personally, I feel betrayed by TNA and so should the British Wrestling audience. After years of filling out arenas, after broken promise after broken promise and years of getting TNA on mainstream free television and building a loyal fanbase, they made their decision. What a poor decision that was.
The First issue I have is that time difference will be a major issue. For the show to start at 8pm in America, the show would need to start in Japan at 9am. The next day. If people have jobs or if you want a crowd that’s wide awake, starting at 9am does not seem to be the best idea. So the only other option is to pre-tape the show. This would also equally be a terrible idea, as this risks the chance of spoilers being leaked onto the internet about the biggest show of the year and with that the fans would have a chance to figure out if the event was actually good, before TNA gets the fans’ money. For a company that has not had the greatest PPV buyrates that would be catastrophic.
The second issue is the idea that the Japanese fanbase is not tried and tested as much as the loyal UK fanbase, TNA are taking a gamble and rolling the dice to try and broaden their fan base, when they could have done yearly tours of Japan instead like TNA originally did over here. They have only had a couple of cross-promoted shows in the country in the past. There are also more wrestlers from the UK on the roster, like Rockstar Spud, Magnus and Bram, unlike Sanada – the one sole Japanese star.
Third, the loyal fans have not been taken into account. Would a loyal TNA fan travel all the way to Japan to see their favourite stars? Maybe not. Travelling from coast to coast in America is one thing or a Brit travelling to America is another but for both to travel all the way to Japan maybe too much of a distance and a expense to do. Likewise people from neighbouring EU countries are much more likely to travel to an event in London than to Japan.
Finally, with all respect to The Great Muta, Wrestle-1 is a relatively new promotion. It is not like New Japan Pro Wrestling, which as a long and prestigious history. Ring of Honor and even Jeff Jarrett’s “Promotion” Global Force Wrestling have partnered with New Japan. The arena that Bound for Glory will take place in is also much smaller than any British major arena. As much as it is prestigious, the Korakuen Hall can only fit up to 2500 seats. It’s not exactly the Tokyo Dome. The other thing I can imagine is Wrestle-1 going against TNA, which is too similar to what Ring of Honor have done recently with cross promotion and matches against New Japan. In an era where TNA is being criticised for copying other wrestling promotions, this would not be a good idea either.
Overall, TNA have missed out on a major opportunity to have the biggest show of the year in front of the biggest number of loyal fans. They had an opportunity to do something that the fans of UK have been begging to do for years, run a supershow here. We are hungry for it. We want it. We need it. TNA failed to give us what we wanted.