TNA is in the process of re-branding, and I’m a huge fan of their approach. They’ve been rechristened Impact Wrestling, perhaps trying to distance themselves from the stigma they’ve created through their years of subpar programming. Plenty of wrestling fans, myself included, tend to roll their eyes at TNA storylines before they even play out because we’ve seen how they have a tendency to spiral out of control in disastrous ways. I think that dropped the TNA letters from the title of their show could do wonders for shedding the negativity associated with the company, so long as they straighten out their product correspondingly.
Also, their new slogan, “Wrestling Matters,” is a great countermeasure to WWE’s recent ban on all things “wrestling.” Vince McMahon’s company has been the subject of much scrutiny and criticism for their decision to become a strict “entertainment” organization, ignoring their ties to their industry of expertise. Longtime fans who feel alienated by the bizarre change to the WWE might find an alternative in a company that prides itself on its wrestling. I also commend TNA for going all out in their pushing of this new image. They’ve released a ton of commercials in which wrestlers explain why wrestling matters to them. Samoa Joe’s is featured above, and other wrestlers appearing in the advertisement series include Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Matt Morgan, Mickie James, Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, Robert Roode, and the Pope. Word is that TNA is plastering the phrase “Wrestling Matters Again” all over billboards, too. Apparently a few have sprung up in the Stamford, Connecticut region already, not far from WWE headquarters. It’s said that similar billboards will be appearing nationwide soon.
Of course, all of this will be useless if TNA doesn’t commit themselves to reform. They’ve always had the pieces to run an entertaining wrestling promotion, but they’ve lacked the direction in the past. I’m in no way confident that they’re about the right the ship, either. I’m just saying that if they can, an improved product combined with this strong advertising push and garbage that WWE is currently pulling could create a perfect storm that legitimizes them as actual competition to the ‘E.