Below I will discuss the questions asked, briefly mention the top results and give my own take on the question.
With 42%, IMPACT Wrestling came in first. TNA Wrestling followed up with 34%. 23% of voters believed the company should move forward with a completely new name?
I honestly should have asked if people felt the company had an identity crisis. While members of management have addressed what the company is called, their marketing and presentation creates confusion for this and many fans of the company.
I am of the mindset that the best way forward would be to call the company IMPACT Wrestling. The company has been building up the name since the rebranding in 2011 while also phasing out the TNA brand. I also believe it would cost less to transition to IMPACT Wrestling fully than to go back and call everything TNA Wrestling.
The IMPACT Wrestling brand also means more for the company. IMPACT Wrestling is named after IMPACT, which is their premiere show. Really, IMPACT is their main show so calling it that makes sense.
Some fans in the survey mentioned that TNA Wrestling represented the good 'ol days when the company was at its best, the X Division flourished, top stars jumped at the company and the show had millions of fans. For this exact reason, I feel like moving back to TNA Wrestling is not a smart choice. The product since the Spike Fallout is completely different than it was. Its great to appreciate that time period but its also time to recognize that the company is in a rebuilding phase and is far off from reaching that status again.
How many major PPVs should there be a year? (excluding One Night Only)
As of now, only Slammiversary and Bound for Glory are PPVs. Only 1% agreed that there should only be two PPVs a year. The top three choices were four with 45%, six with 31% and three with 10%.
Its fairly clear that the fans want more three hour wrestling shows where the wrestling takes a bit more focus. PPVs are where feuds are blown off and as of now, there is a general consensus that that concept is missing in today's product.
To me, the top PPVs are Bound for Glory, Slammiversary and Lockdown. Destination X, Genesis and Sacrifice follow that up. If I was in charge, I would probably go with three PPVs a year: Lockdown (February), Slammiversary (June) and BFG (October). Between the shows, I would air Bell to Bell specials (Sacrifice, Destination X etc.) on free TV when they are needed.
What should happen with One Night Only?
43% of voters believe that ONO should be kept but made more important. 51% think that ONO should be dropped (with 23% of those saying ONO should be replaced by other PPVs).
When One Night Only was first announced, I was excited for the concept. Themed shows with special guests and some good wrestling. Unfortunately, these shows were taped so far in advance that they were outdated by the time they aired. You would see wrestlers on these shows with new gimmicks or who weren't even with the company anymore. This has improved a little since this year.
The issue with the current version of ONO is that they aren't themed and none of the results matter. In the ONO world a wrestler would win a contract or a title shot and it would never come to fruition on the main product. I have described it before as having a dream that you may enjoy while you are in it but will forget about it as soon as you wake up.
The price tag and themes are what draws me to these shows. Look at the themes they could use: Xtravaganza, Knockouts Knockdown, Hardcore Justice, Joker's Wild, World Cup, Rivals, Gutcheck, Victory Road (one night tournament), Open Fight Night etc. You can have themes for the location such as Battle of New Orleans or Mumbai. You could have a crossover ONO with another company (ROH, GFW etc). Matt Hardy could host an ONO at the Hardy Compound which could be like Total Nonstop Deletion (One Night Only: Deletion).
One big thing that needs to happen is that the results need to be referenced on the main product. Perhaps, a wrestler earns a contract on Gutcheck. He should then appear on the main show and it should be referenced. Also, the show needs to be promoted through social media and on the TNA website. Build these things up.
What would you most like to see in this upcoming year?
With discussion that Live Events are returning in 2017, 46% of our readers felt that touring was the thing they would like to see the most. In second was forging partnerships with other promotions at 17%, and a big increase in production value at 11%.
The rumor as of now is that there will be four marathon tapings this year to cover IMPACT Wrestling and other television. The January taping is supposedly covering 12 weeks of IMPACT, which takes them up to March 23rd.
I have personally not been as much of a fan of the House Show approach. House Shows are mostly inconsequential. I would much rather tour with TV and make every event matter to the product. With that said, we are getting house shows in 2017. If that's the case, I would like to see TNA take the Ring of Honor approach and make House Shows matter. Give each house show a special title and make these events like the latest One Night Only shows. If they have the money, film these events and put it on the TNA app or film One Night Only in different locations.
I like Anthem's approach about allowing talent to appear on other shows (even if they have TV). If the company continues to do this, you are building goodwill between your talent and company and between TNA and other promotions. For example, The Hardys, Cody and Drew Galloway have shown interest in working for numerous promotions. I am guessing that continuing to let any TNA talent compete where they want is something desired by much of the roster.
One interesting thing about Anthem being new owners of TNA is that A) its a fresh new face on TNA and eliminating bad blood between everyone and the company and B) Anthem owns a network looking for wrestling content. I believe Fight Network showcases Ring of Honor in Canada. If TNA continues letting ROH use talent, there is a possibility that down the line, they will let TNA use their talent or even do a crossover show. Imagine One Night Only: Supershow- ROH vs IMPACT Wrestling.
Breaking down the barriers between these promotions will allow the rest of the non-WWE wrestling world to have better footing to compete against the juggernaught. The Young Bucks are a true example of a team that has been very successful without WWE. Imagine if TNA let the rest of their talent make more money while keeping priority bookings.
If I were Anthem, in my discussions with Jeff Jarrett, I would talk about his business plan for GFW. I might even offer a one-hour timeslot on Fight Network in exchange for a partnership with IMPACT Wrestling. You not only build up IMPACT but also help GFW grow. You have a natural born relationship against two similar companies a few years down the line.
The third major improvement I would like to see is an improvement in production value. Step #1: Hire someone to fix the website. IMPACTWrestling.com is one of the more embarassing wrestling sites I have seen. I would like to see the site revamped. It should have some sort of roster page, a page to buy tickets and a basic information page about TNA. The old site was solid and many other wrestling promotions have websites that get the job done.
Step #3: Make each show stand out. Why don't we have aprons, turnbuckles, graphics and even sets for different shows. Slammiversary, Bound for Glory, Lockdown, One Night Only, Xplosion and IMPACT should all feel different. ROH, Evolve and many other independent companies get pretty cool looking aprons and sets; IMPACT can too. I would also love to see the IMPACT show posters that we saw while on Destination America.
How would you approach the "Broken" universe?
This question had the biggest gap in results as a resounding 88% of voters believed that while the Broken Universe should be part of IMPACT Wrestling, it should be how it is now and not take over the entire show.
There's not much to say about this. I view the Broken Universe through the lens of Matt Hardy. What we are seeing may/may not actually be happening like shown. I have enjoyed what we have gotten from the Hardys this year (Final Deletion, Delete or Decay, Great War, Total Nonstop Deletion) but I don't want everything to be like that. I discuss this more in the next question.
What creative direction should the company take in 2017?
44% of voters believed that the current direction is the best approach.
To me, what makes IMPACT Wrestling such a fun wrestling show is that it really is a variety show. You have drama and action. You have heavyweights, Knockouts, high flyers, tag teams, gimmick matches, MMA based action (Grand Championship Title) etc. The Broken Universe is just another aspect of the variety we get on the show.
Currently, the bread and butter of the company is the main event scene. The Knockouts, X Division and undercard get a little piece of the pie. This year to me has been the most successful the product has been ever. Why change that?
What should happen with the IMPACT Grand Championship?
While I disagree with it, 42% believe that the Grand Championship rules should be dropped but the title should remain. As mentioned above, I feel what makes the show so interesting is the variety. The Grand Championship rules offer that MMA/sports-like aspect to the show. I would like to see them continue the concept and mix in a few storylines. At least, don't drop the round based rules completely. Just use them on more special occasions.
Aside from TNA, what other promotion's product appeals to you most?
The answer to this question says a lot. A whopping 69% of viewers enjoyed a combo (WWE, just TNA, Lucha Underground) as opposed to ROH, NJPW and other coming in last. I find it interesting as it tells a lot about the current TNA fan and what they enjoy.
As mentioned in a former question, 44% feel the current TNA product is good. An additional 23% think the show should be more storyline-based. That is 67% that feel the show is has enough story or wants more. I feel that the current WWE or Lucha Underground products cater to the entertainment and character aspect of professional wrestling.
What these two questions say to me is that people don't necessarily want more in-ring action. They just want the in-ring action to deliver and be memorable. Increasing the number of PPVs and Bell to Bell specials is how you deal with that.
What should be done with the X Division?
85% of viewers feel the X Division should be spotlighted more. Many of the comments mentioned that the X Division currently has no direction as we get numerous multi-man matches. Many of the comments suggested that we get more storylines and character development from the wrestlers.
A few people commented that TNA needs to make the X Division like it used to be. I don't currently think that is possible with how WWE, NJPW, Lucha Underground and WWE are signing cruiserweights left and right. There aren't too many free agents left.
I would like to see the X Division more streamlined and include the stars in more storylines. I realize that the X Division will probably never reach the point they were before but that doesn't mean they can't be a vital part of the company and a special attraction. I would like to see TNA use Xplosion as a way to feature the X Division more. Let the guys cut loose on Xplosion. Along with that, use Destination X and Xtravaganza as an opportunity to really let the X Division shine.
If given the option, how much would you honestly spend on a TNA: Total Access app?
When it was announced that International viewers in the UK and Ireland would get the Total Access app with access to IMPACT, Xplosion and a variety of other content, I thought to myself "it is finally happening." I mentioned last year that it was a waste for TNA not to capitalize on their library. Finally, Anthem is doing that for them.
I honestly believe that between the Total Access App, the Fight Network OTT app and the Fight Network itself, that we are looking at the future of IMPACT Wrestling.
When I envision a Total Access app, I view it as "IMPACT OnDemand" with an on demand library of content. It would include previous episodes of IMPACT, Xplosion, PPVs, One Night Only as well as a long list of other TNA shows and even some specials.
I imagine TNA uploading IMPACT Wrestling and Live PPVs on the app as well (either during or directly after the shows air).
The real question is what would a fan pay for it. 41% say they would pay up to 5.00 for it, with another 19% saying they would watch if it were free. 21% said it didn't interest them. Only 19% said they would pay over 5.00 for it (3% said they would pay over 10.00).