Pondering with Plumtree is a column on the popular blog, TNAsylum, that is written by yours truly. The blog is focused towards being a fan site for TNA Wrestling fans where they can get news, rumors, opinions, and any and everything else, TNA Wrestling. Known as "The Haven for TNA Wrestling Fans", I'm hoping to bring some of my thoughts to an already impressive roster of columnist for as long as the site will have me. You can read the latest column here, or in the text below.
To: Carter, Dixie
Cc: McMahon, Vince; Internet Wrestling Community
Message: MUST READ!! How to Fix TNA Wrestling
Dear Mrs. Carter,
It has come to my attention this week that what a vocal minority of the wrestling world has been stating about you and your company for years rings very true. Much like you, I too disregarded and ignored these critical and constructive remarks as being fickle fans with a penchant for seeing the negative at all times and never being truly happy with anything your company does. However, that was foolish of me and I'm writing you to let you know that you ought to change your perspective on professional wrestling, its business model, and how us, the fans, operate to truly make your company flourish.
If I can be quite frank and honest with you - and I feel that I can because I practically know you since I've tweeted you a couple of times and have read your Wikipedia page - you haven't the faintest idea of what you are doing as president of a pro wrestling company. But, unlike rude fans who decided to antagonize you via #askdixie on Twitter, I've decided to send you this note walking you through the process to success.
Again, I'm pretty qualified in this as I've done some epic angles with my action figures when I was a young child, have built several smaller promotions into solid competition with the industry leader via the Extreme Warfare Revenge simulator, and continuously dominate the "Universe" mode (seriously, I kill it) in all of the WWE Games ever released.
So let's get on to business...be sure to take notes.
First and foremost, Mrs Carter, you really need to know what you are and who your company is. I watch your show on Spike TV every week and I just don't understand what you are going for. You need to understand this - either you give your viewers top-notch quality on par with the greatest events on television (e.g. The Super Bowl or even, American Idol), or you just slum it like you are a true underdog. Fans, us, We...don't have time for these in-between shenanigans with slow improvement you're into right now. You need to be "either/or".
So...either rent out a huge 19,000 arena and fill it with top of the line production and pyro, or go down to a local bingo hall and have a few hundred people in it with pipe and drapes dressing it up. Anything in between those two options won't cut it.
I also second the message on pay-per-view events. I don't think you understand that if you're not the top company in the market, us fans don't want to order your product via pay-per-view. We'll slam you for just trying. If you choose the "slumming it" route, we advise internet-pay-per-view. It's so hip and fresh. And once in a while, have the feed disconnect. Seriously, just disconnect it. Trust me, we won't have a problem with it. We don't always have to get what we want (more on that later). Actually, it'll reassure our thoughts of you being an underdog and we just love that! We really do. We'll even claim your company is "real" and "hardcore" because of it. We can get behind the struggle.
No one likes the overachiever. And your company is trying too hard to succeed right now and has done so over the past eleven years. Let's face it, your company is that annoying kid in the front row of class that ruins the curve for everyone else. Just stop.
And while we're on the production side of things, I recently saw you advertise watching your programming via second screens, mobile phones, and devices. It's an OK idea, not like a Network or anything (now that's an earth shattering idea! Especially at $10 - would be sweet if it were free though), but would it kill you to show us how to download the thing? Wrestling fans need that kind of guidance. Quite frankly, if you're not showing us how to download your app, your company is not getting it done, and it possibly kills the show for a lot of people. It did for me on the 1.15.14 free pay-per-view version of your show (what an idiotic idea! Why are you giving us free content?! Everything should have a price!). No download instructions from you and off went my TV. If you don't care about me, I won't care about you. And yes, it was just another reason that episode was awful.
Wrestling fans love tutorials! Figure out a way to get that on the program, but don't waste time with things that take away from the wrestling. Got it?
Speaking of in between, you really need to stop this "being different" thing. You need to do less. But do more than what everyone else is doing. Be innovative. But don't do something no one else is doing - that's just strange (reverse ladder matches? What the...?). Be an alternative. But don't do anything that is outside of what we traditionally know - that's just weird and stupid. Give us non-stop excitement for an entire program. But don't rush through everything, throw some fluff in to slow the pace down a bit and "allow the episode to breathe". Give us two hours of long matches and great wrestling. But yet, give us lots of drama and storylines as well. It's really, really simple. Too simple. You've been missing the mark for a few years now, Mrs. Carter.
When it comes to catering to the fans, you also have been dropping the ball. I watch your product and all I see are young wrestlers no one has ever heard of. You even have a non-American as World Champion. That's crazy! That's absurd! Do you even like America? Are you a commie?!
Us fans want older wrestlers. We LOVE when +45 year old guys return to win a huge match; or when those who were stars two decades ago come back to win championships; or even when the product is chucked full of part-timers who only return for part of the year and displace the hard-working favorites who have been there all year. It's exciting! It's thrilling! It's what wrestling should be. It's why your product absolutely stinks right now. You don't have any of this! I'm still really baffled why you have such youth on your program? Again, just silly.
Also, this is a big one, you HAVE TO STOP giving your fans everything they want. We know what we want, but you don't need to give us what we want. It's OK when you keep a wrestler off the card who we all adore and love. It's OK to make us feel cheated once in a while when we order a pay-per-view. It's acceptable to give us rematch, after rematch, after rematch, after rematch of two wrestlers along with recycled feuds and happenings.
We also give praise and will continuously watch television programs with nothing going on in the under card. Random matches are fun. Your program currently has too many things going on that has meaning and purpose. It's like you want to make the entire duration of the show matter. What the heck kind of idea is that? Again, stop being so "different". It's why we all complain about you having crappy storylines. Stop making things compelling. After all, some of that time you focus on others who aren't the main guys on the roster, could have went to giving us some downloading instructions...but whatever.
And would it kill you to have some celebrities on your show once in a while? I personally recommend the Muppet Babies.
Another personal grind is this focus on women's wrestling. I know as a woman, Dixie, you probably believe in equal rights, Title IX and all of that jazz, but women's wrestling should be relegated to multi-person matches based on either reality television, magazine shoots, media outlets, or music careers. Anything else is not good. Not good at all. Your program forces us to take women's wrestling seriously and again (see above), that's just strange, not random, and doesn't fit the description of what a match should be base around.
I don't care to see a last person standing match between women. Give me more of who they are dating and the drama surrounding their lives. Tie that into the program. Again, simple!
Also, would it kill you to add a few more titles. Possibly three or four more. There are so few of them. I once turned on your program to see one of your stars carrying two belts and I said to myself, "finally, they are getting it!", just to see that scrapped immediately. Champions have TWO belts these days. C'mon, Dixie...
Speaking of additions, is your character the only person in charge? Can we get some other authority figures on the program. We like to know who is in all of the roles, from President, right down to the concessions manager. And yes, the concession manager should be able to make matches too. Give us an organizational chart. Maybe even add it for fans review to a future app (which you need to get, and of course, show us how to download). I personally believe any administrative employee of a wrestling company should be able to make a match. It adds to the program.
One last tidbit, your promos are terrible. Horrendous, actually. Absolutely terrible. People boo you because of that, Dixie. It's what us in the business call, "X-Pac heat". But you probably haven't gotten there yet in your experience of insider terms and knowledge. No worries, I understand it takes time. I would advise you having Serge stand by your side when you do them...yeah, yeah, possibly even have him deliver half of the promo...I think that'll work. And of course, he should be able to make matches too.
I hope I haven't been too harsh in this letter. Since I care about your company and hope it does well, I felt these subtle points need to be offered to you on how to improve the company. If you do these things, I can't promise we won't complain, because we always will, but I can promise you we will very much blindly and loyally follow your company to greater heights.
Trust me, Dixie.
I thank you for your time and consideration.
A Concerned Wrestling Fan
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