TNA have recently entered one of these periods. Dixie Carter (overexcitable president of the company) has taken to Twitter to tell fans that there are lots of changes coming to the TNA product in the coming months and lots of surprises in store for June's Slammiversary pay-per-view. That's the show that will mark TNA's tenth anniversary so the news that big plans are being made is welcome. We don't need to be told though. The lead up to the event and the event itself should be what excites fans, not promises of the build-up. Telling us big things are planned only serves to heighten expectations and detract from the sense of anticipation, one of the most enjoyable elements of wrestling.
The latest attempt to reinvent TNA has also (predictably) hit IMPACT. Not satisfied with simply incorporating changes and letting fans notice for themselves the promotion instead decided to have Hulk Hogan dedicate a fifteen minute promo to the topic. That was patronising not only to fans but also to the champions who were made to stand in the ring while the GM painstakingly explained the alterations to the way IMPACT will work from now on.
Open Fight Night is coming to IMPACT, brother!
That the champions were made to stand there and either nod and clap (faces) or shake their heads and mutter off mic (heels) just made them look like extras on the Hulk Hogan Show. They're meant to be the best TNA has to offer, not a bunch a voiceless nonentities too scared or awed to interrupt 'The Immortal One'. That Hogan was the star of that segment showed that the very changes he was discussing are not actually forthcoming.
Want to know what delights Hogan has in store for IMPACT viewers over the coming weeks? Of course you do! Who wouldn't? Firstly the TNA world television championship will be defended every week. That means we're guaranteed a weekly Devon match. As if that wasn't fun enough there's also Open Fight Night to be held once a month. That will feature a wrestler not contracted to TNA challenging any champion for their title.
That the TNA creative team have nothing better to offer us than this is worrying. The news of Devon having guaranteed airtime is an annoyance but it's not catastrophic. There is a bright side to be seen: he may lose the title to a wrestler who actually deserves that level of exposure.
There's no such silver lining to be found with Open Fight Night. By allowing outsiders to come into the promotion and challenge for the world title TNA are devaluing their top belt and their entire main event scene. Why should we care about Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy or James Storm toiling for a title opportunity when some random indy wrestler that nobody's ever heard of can come in and claim a shot? It makes TNA look like a very small operation. If they want to be America's number two promotion they have to avoid that label at all costs.
Perhaps there are long term plans to use these Open Fight Nights to elevate Bobby Roode as a heel or introduce a new star. I hope TNA has something planned because at the moment it just looks like a great way to make titles and wrestlers mean less. That's not going to do anyone any good.