Strikes & Bumps: It’s Called Build
Originally posted at WrestlingNewsSource.com
So let me get this straight. We’ve had a hot feud in TNA where the protagonist and antagonist not only have hated eachother across the world in other organizations, but also have seemingly unmatched cardio. Segment after segment shows them fighting in back parking lots, behind the scenes in interview segments, even in the back stage dining area. Obviously I’m talking about Mickie James and Tara formerly Victoria in the WWE. The women in TNA have been known for creating some of the best ratings throughout the show, whether or not they are in the 5th quarter or not.
This past week they had a main event cage match. I’m pretty sure this is not the first time a Knockouts match main evented Impact, it was the first Knockouts Cage Match to main event an Impact. But was it really necessary?
Last week I wrote an article that actually praised TNA and while it did not receive much feedback at all, it did show me something. When TNA does something right, a lot of people don’t care because they know that this is something that is supposed to be done, but when they do something wrong the fans come out in droves to defend TNA mostly because they know it’s going to be dredged throughout the internet. But this week, I haven’t seen much backlash from the main event despite it showing a fundamental problem with TNA. Let it be known that it coincides with many of the other aspects that are heavily criticized with the TNA creative team. The point that I want to focus on is that TNA does things with no build, and thus basically sabotage their own shows ratings.
Everytime I read an interview with an exec from TNA they always state that they are focusing on ratings. So let me get this right, you want to get ratings but you don’t build up to matches that people are going to care about. Instead they give away matches on TV that a paying customer would gladly pay for on PPV or that they could put on the next weeks show and actually build the fan interest. This week is no exception. Lets go through what happened this week.
Tara has a somewhat infatuation in her new cougar gimmick with Generation ME. They came out with her to do a faux concert. Then because they were mocking Mickie James from her previous concert from the week before, Mickie came out and basically laid waste to Tara. In the meanwhile, Eric Young who decided to crash the party during Mickie’s concert came out to help her as he beat back Generation ME.
It was announced that Tara and Mickie would have a cage match ON THIS SHOW while later on during the show Generation ME challenged Eric Young and Orlando Jordan to a match FOR NEXT WEEK. So arguably the hottest feud that TNA has going on right now, not only in the Knockouts Division but perhaps in the entire promotion and we have the throw away feud between two decent heels in Generation ME and two guys who the fans could really care less about. Which one do they decided to put on next week in hopes to build fan interest in watching and which one gets to be on the show immediately doing absolutely nothing for ratings? Hmmm….
Apparently they felt that the team of Orlando Jordan and Eric Young are going to get the fans talking so much that they will be calling their friends, blogging, and making sure that everyone knows to watch next weeks Impact to make sure they see their epic match against Generation ME while Tara and Mickie James are going to be in a cage match later on in the show, giving almost no time for fans to build interest or that fans that may not have watched this week will turn in next week to see what was a god damn great cage match between two top women talents. I can’t even begin to understand why they felt that Orlando Jordan and Eric Young vs Generation ME had to wait a week. No one cares about Eric Young or Orlando Jordan besides their immediate family. Generation ME is one of the best heel tag teams in TNA right now and no doubt they should crush these two and then move back to feuding with the Motor City Machine Guns. Tara vs Mickie James on the other hand could have been featured in ads, featured on online videos, and built up on Facebook and other social networking sites as a reason for fans that don’t normally tune in to actually come back to TNA to see what will be an epic culmination for this feud.
This isn’t the only time TNA has done this. They do this so much in TNA that it almost becomes the norm that Impact has more happenings than the PPVs that fans don’t care to buy the PPVs because they know that Impact is probably going to be better and it’s free. WWE isn’t flawless and does this many times as well though I am still willing to argue that the Miz winning on Raw was a good time and that Survivor Series would not have been the place to have that event happen but that is another column for another time. TNA does this much more than WWE and in the continuing trend, TNA still is losing fans as their show progresses. While I don’t have the quarter breakdown for Reaction where the ending of the main event cage match took place, but it got an overall 0.58 rating. So a little more than half the audience that tunes into Impact actually got to see the main event ending overall. This did nothing for Impact or Reaction. Had TNA perhaps decided to advertise that next week we’re going to have a Knockouts Cage Match between Tara and Mickie, they could have probably gotten a ratings boost at the end of their show. But no, this is what TNA does and has been doing. The numbers shows that fans just don’t care. The decline in viewership throughout Impact shows that they don’t care and most likely they aren’t buying PPVs either. Why is it that TNA can’t figure out that they probably should actually BUILD towards these gimmick matches that draw numbers instead of just giving them away on a single episode without even advertising them?
Build does several things. It gives fans some time to digest the feud so that when they know the end is coming and will tune in to see the culmination of what has been given to them so far. Normally this means that fans who haven’t tuned in normally might say hey I want to see the end of that I’ll tune in this week to do so. Thus higher ratings and higher interest in the talents concerned. This also, when done correctly means that the show with higher ratings can build towards the PPV where they might garner more buys for the PPV instead of just hoping fans buy the PPV based on brand alone. TNA does not have that kind of success and needs to realize that they need to do whatever it is they can to get more eyes on their product. Of course I don’t expect this to occur over night, but this did not help their cause.
Let it be known that I’m not saying the match was bad between Tara and Mickie. I’m saying that had TNA decided to advertise it for a week, it might have had a larger audience watching it and that it might have garnered some fans to come back to TNA Impact. What do you think? Are you deeply waiting for Generation ME vs Orlando Jordan & Eric Young? Let us know in your comments here or as always you can leave comments on my personal blog page