Matt Hardy Gives TNA Advice
In a recent interview with the RCWR Show Matt Hardy gave some creative advice to TNA:
“The first thing I would say to TNA is with your story telling and the personas and characters you are are telling stories for TV, be sophisticated. Make sure there’s continuity in every story you’re telling because the viewers are more intelligent in 2013 than they’ve ever been. There is so much information accessible to everyone who watches wrestling on TV. You can go online, you can Google anything. You can find out everything. So when you’re on there and you’re portraying a story of these two characters that are wrestling and ultimately it is good vs evil, you know, it is bad vs the hero and in this era of golden TV with shows like Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, whatever the show is, wrestling repeats are bad which is good storytelling.
“You have a specific universe. Walking Dead, there’s a walking dead universe where zombies live, you know but the show sets up parameters and they give you rules and guidelines and you know kinda what the extent of the cast can be, and everything makes sense. Sure viewers watching it know this is a fictional show but as long as everything makes sense, there is continuity they enjoy it. Because viewers want to be entertained, That translates totally over into the wrestling business and it’s been tied to the wrestling business for so long that it’s just been like—well it’s just wrestling.
“We can either throw this out or forget about this, lets drop this storyline or lets not let this guy go away, what about the fans? They’ll forget about it, they’ll forget about it. You cannot insult the wrestling fans intelligence because they are smarter now than they were then. So professional wrestling, my advice to TNA would be make your stories as strong as possible and make sure there’s continuity. Don’t insult the viewer’s intelligence.”
Austin Aries Discusses AJ Styles Storyline
Speaking of TNA creative new X-Division Champion Austin Aries gave his opinion on the AJ Styles storyline in an interview with Ring Rust Radio:
“Well, my opinions don’t really matter because the storyline, for me, is just to entertain the fans and keep them engaged in what’s going on with the company. I will say that any time that you have the opportunity to take the top prize in the company and take it internationally, and maybe compete and defend it in some territories and in front of some sets of fans that don’t normally get to have that honor, I think that’s a great thing for the company. That helps get the brand out there and helps put the product out there. A guy like AJ Styles is obviously a great talent and he’s going to go out there and put on a performance that’s befitting of a man who is the World Champion. So, from that standpoint alone, I don’t see how there could be anything negative coming from AJ taking that belt all over the world and defend it against anybody that wants an opportunity. I know that’s the same mindset I’ve had in my past when I’ve been world champion. Bring ’em all on, near and far, we don’t like to sit here and pretend that the only wrestling is the wrestling that happens in our universe. There’s professional wrestling going on all over the world and we want to acknowledge it and put our best against their best at any time.”
Aries was also asked if the product should have more in-ring action:
“That’s not really for me to say; ideally I think you have the right blend of both. I talk to a lot of wrestling fans, not only the hardcore wrestling fans who obviously have a voice that they are able to use via social media, via the internet and things like that, but I talk to a lot of mainstream, common wrestling fans. People who may be used to watch it back in the day and kind of get back into it now, and those people value the storylines and the characters as much if not more than the actual in ring competition. I think it’s important that we don’t alienate any type of wrestling fan and we give everybody a little something that they can grab on to and appreciate.”
TNA Exec Discusses Beating WWE In Europe
Andy Barton, TNA’s executive VP of licensing and international television distribution, discussed how TNA are getting more exposure in key European markets than WWE:
“Let me give you a global perspective; we at TNA play the long ball and this strategy relates to the entire world. If we look at the UK market – we have pushed ahead of WWE there and our show is watched more in comparison to WWE week in, week out,” he told IndianTelevision.com
“Ditto for Germany. In the US of course, it’s going to be tough to carve a space when there is already such an old and established brand and the same is with India.
“But looking at the history of the wrestling business, there have been a lot of brands that have come and perished like Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and obviously World Championship Wrestling (WCW), that was tremendously successful but it just boggles your mind that a company that was making that kind of money and was hugely popular went bust.
“There is healthy competition and WWE’s product is different from ours and it’s all going to come down to hard work and it is imperative that we sign on an Indian talent. We have earlier ties with India when we produced ‘Ring Ka King’ with Colors which gave us production capability in the country. We also opened a wrestling school in India. As far as professional wrestling in India is concerned, there isn’t a lot that is happening in this space. I think if we can help with the infrastructure and help the people in India who are interested in getting into professional wrestling.”
It should be noted that TNA is on a free to watch channel in the UK (Challenge TV) and WWE is part of the Sky Sports subscription package. WWE still draw larger live audiences and make more money through their TV broadcasts than TNA.