Sunday 8 April 2012

Controversy Doesn't Always Create Cash

The most pushed new act in TNA right now is Garrett Bischoff. I know I’m not the only one who thinks that’s ridiculous.

TNA deserves praise for attempting to get new acts over. It’s what they need to do in order to expand as a company. The problem is that Garrett Bischoff is not a good choice for the top line treatment. He has displayed some decent verbal skills but nothing outstanding, while his in-ring capabilities are at best basic and unrefined.

What makes matters worse is that fans know how green Garrett is as a worker and are aware that the reason he’s working as a wrestler for TNA is because his father is Eric Bischoff. That has caused resentment amongst the IMPACT Zone faithful. That Garrett is feuding with his father and being presented as an underdog is a further slap in the face. Modern fans won’t be fooled by this storyline and TNA are foolish for presenting it.

TNA would be better off placing the time and energy they’re spending on Garrett Bischoff in a different way.

They could get behind an already established babyface acts like Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Mr Anderson and try turning one of them into the figurehead that it desperately needs. Joe and Styles in particular are in need of a profile upgrade: both have been with TNA for so long that they should be firmly entrenched at the top of the card much closer to the status of “household name” than they actually are. The men themselves are partially responsible for their current spots (they should have used the multiple pushes they’ve been given over the years to make themselves indispensable to TNA, but they didn’t) but the writing team needs to shoulder the brunt of the blame.

The sooner TNA bosses realise this man is not their next big star the better

The attention being lavished on Garrett could also be better spent getting over a completely new star. Were TNA to sign someone with genuine wrestling ability and back them with the treatment Garrett has had, including having Hulk Hogan endorse them as a future star, then TNA would be on its way to creating a new success story. A fresh face with a few years’ experience would make far better use of the position than Garrett Bischoff can at his current ability level.

They could even try a variation of that approach by bringing in a Japanese star and giving them a huge push, putting the world title on them and having them go over every established star. This approach worked well for Ring of Honor several years ago with their use of Takeshi Morishima. There’s no reason it wouldn’t work in TNA too.

It would work best if the star were to start out as a heel because such a push suits a bad guy more, but I think if TNA stuck with it (and made the right choice of talent) fans would get excited by the different approach and turn the newcomer face fairly quickly. If that didn’t happen, so what? A new heel star would be created to be vanquished by a babyface. You’d still get a new good guy, just in an alternate fashion.

The other plus point for that approach is that it’s something WWE would never do. TNA would be setting themselves apart from their main rival and creating new stars at the same time. That’s exactly what they should be striving to do.

The recent face turn of Austin Aries shows that fresh acts can get over on IMPACT. The creative team just needs to be a bit more choosey about who they get behind and listen to the reactions of their audience.

Garrett is not a bad addition to the roster in principle, it’s just too early in his career for him to be swaggering around in featured television feuds. He should be posted to TNA’s developmental league Ohio Valley Wrestling to mature as a performer and pay his dues. That would make fans more likely to accept and support him and less likely to view him as a guy who’s only getting a push because of his dad.

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