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-   -   Another Rebrand, This Time Done Right (http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?t=337933)

It's Damn Real! 09-25-2017 03:40 PM

Another Rebrand, This Time Done Right
I know, I know — the title alone is already a failure to launch. This is [Insert Company Name Here] we're talking about. At what point in history have they ever gotten this sort of thing right? If they had, we wouldn't be here today. We wouldn't be looking down the barrel of another rebrand within in a calendar year for one of the dumbest business reasons I've ever read about (Jarrett owning "GFW"). But bear with me. At the very least, this will spark some conversation, even if literally none of it is actually adopted.

I considered resurrecting my old "Seven Ways" series to do this, but my argument on a rebrand here hinges on an actual reset, not a refresh, or a light coat of paint (like changing the ring ropes). Part of that suggests that this company shouldn't be engaging in digging into their past going forward, so I won't dig into mine either. Instead, here's five ideas I'm offering, in no particular order:

1. Move the Company to Canada, and Never Go Back to the Impact Zone

The goal of a rebrand is to give your audience something new. Nothing is new about the Impact Zone and Orlando. It's been ground zero for nearly all of this Company's tumultuous history, and the site of its worst failures. I know I said in no particular order, but I'd consider this top of the list. Anthem is based out of Toronto, or the Toronto area, so establishing a new home north of the border is A-OK by me. It probably makes business operations a bit easier anyway, but it certainly makes for the kind of visual reset required to forget about all things Orlando.

This won't be without issue, as they'll actually have to sell tickets to fill seats for their shows in Canada, but you've got to start somewhere. Frankly, I'd take 500 vocal North American fans versus 1000 tourists any day of the week.

2. Settle on a Company Name, Copyright it, and SET IT IN CONCRETE

NWA-TNA, TNA, TNA Impact Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, GFW, GFW Impact Wrestling – this Company's history is like a pro wrestling version of Split with James McAvoy. Settle on a name quickly and emphatically, then lock it in with reinforced steel rebar concrete and encase the whole thing in a bank vault tended over by armed guards. Changing the name of this Company again should require the combined casts of the Oceans films, along with The Town, Heat, and Inside Man working in conjunction just to get inside the thing, let alone getting away with it.

Even though I think Impact Wrestling is/was actually a fine enough name (and one Anthem clearly owns the legal rights to), I'd strongly suggest going with something brand new if for no other reason than to truly wash off the stink of the last five years. Anthem Pro Wrestling (APW), for example, would work just fine. But regardless what name is chosen, it needs to be ironclad, forged in Valyrian steel. It must be unbreakable and untouched for the critical first few years. This name/logo will be plastered on everything from collateral to ring posts to broadcast graphics and more. That means not fucking around anymore by changing it every six months. Not only do you confuse your audience (and ultimately lose them), but you erase whatever traction you're building through brand recognition every single time. Not to mention the insane amount of money being pissed away. I don't want to see so much as a color shift or pixel changed for years.

3. No More Six-Sided Ring

Yeah, I know "it's their identity". So is Immortal, Jeff Hardy at Victory Road, Claire Lynch, Hogan, a reverse battle royal match, and countless other moments of profound stupidity and embarrassment. You can call it "tradition", but like the Confederate flag, it's a symbol most people associate with failure and a history of not getting things right. Lose it. Go back to a four-sided ring in the same way ROH and Lucha Underground didn't veer from. If they can still have a unique identity despite utilizing the same ring set up as WWE, then so can this Company. It's not like the talents wouldn't appreciate it, either. Dozens have spoken out against it over the years. Besides, if you're losing the TNA/IW identity anyway, what's the harm in ditching it?

4. No More X Division

Yes, it was the foundation upon which TNA/IW was built. Yes, it birthed the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and others. That's all true, and it'll live on in the tape library for as long as there's a heartbeat behind this Company. However, it, like the six-sided ring, is also a cornerstone pillar of the identity of old. Not to mention a constant reminder of how the company did wrong by the aforementioned men. Arguably the single greatest mistake they've ever made (and they've made plenty).

The concept of a "no limits" division is fine, but I'd do away with the "X" concept and any of its historical associations (like the X Cup, Ultimate X, etc). Fans simply need to be given the opportunity to appreciate a new set of titles. A new division. Even if it still embodies some of the high spots and exhilarating speed of the X Division, it simply shouldn't be called such. The X Division is dead. They were able to bring it back for a short while with Austin Aries, but even his work ultimately hurt it as champions year-after-year emphatically cashed in the title for a shot at the Heavyweight title. While 'Option C' made sense on paper, alluding to the process by which performers in the past have used the X title to "graduate" to the Heavyweight rank, the manner in which it was booked (or more accurately the manner in which the division was booked around it) made it a mad scramble for who could earn the winning lottery ticket. It buried itself.

If there's an insistence on still having a mid-card title—and I do agree there's value there—something closer to what GFW originally envisioned with their "Next*Gen" title probably makes more sense. It can be like the X Division, it just can't be the X Division.

Just make the title belt itself less ugly, please.

5. Adopt an NWA Model

In many ways, this is already what they are currently doing based on what I presume was largely Jarrett's vision. They have working agreements with NOAH, Crash, and AAA, and I suppose Lucha Underground, though that one seems informal.

This Company's roster should effectively have a core of around a dozen male singles competitors, half a dozen female singles competitors, and two stable tag teams. This would make up a "core roster" of around 20 (give or take) names that would constitute "Company" performers. Using the working agreements with the aforementioned companies, talents should be regularly traded in the same way they used to be during the territory days to expose Company viewers to new faces while allowing Company competitors to refresh and liven their scope of work by also taking their talents overseas for stretches.

I don't know the exact contract status of anyone on the current roster, but I'd imagine the end roster could look something like this:

Male Singles: Johnny Impact, Moose, Eli Drake, Trevor Lee, Eddie Edwards, Dezmond Xavier, DJZ, James Storm, Lashley, Matt Sydal, Alberto El Patron (since they're clearly keeping him), and Abyss.

Female Singles: Sienna, Rosemary, Allie, Laurel Van Ness, Taya Valkyrie

Tag Teams: LAX, oVe, and maybe VOW.

It's not the strongest possible group, but given who I assume is under contract, it's good enough to start.

If there's room to negotiate with free agents, I'd also be throwing offers at Ricochet, Zack Sabre Jr., and would have gone hard after Cody, who unfortunately for this Company, signed an exclusive deal with ROH.

I do have more ideas, but I think these five could be the cornerstones of a phoenix rising from the ashes of TNA/GFW/IW to finally, truly, give them new life.


ABMorales787 09-25-2017 04:06 PM

That's nice and all, but we both know it's not happening. Now as far as your ideas are concerned, any kind of divisional title has become passe. There is no point to titles with that form of branding and it's become way more aceptable to simply make a midcard belt that guarantees good matches. Hell, NJPW tripled down on it after setting the pace with their Intercontinental title. IW kinda has that with the Grand Championship except the rules throw any possibility of a good match out the window.

And while alliances are nice, we do not need them taking as much TV time as AAA & The Crash have been. Especially when you go from 900 in a studio in Orlando to 4,500 in a concert hall in southern Mexico. It looks terrible for IW.

What the company needs is a fresh set of eyes that don't become obsessed with WWE-style theatric TV and to try and have better matches than anywhere else because, the in-ring work is extremely lacking and there are way too many alternatives to chose from now.

It's Damn Real! 09-25-2017 04:21 PM

Actually, I agree. In fact, I'd simply drop the X Division title entirely and put all the focus on the Grand Championship, except I'd also drop the silly gimmicks. The overreliance on gimmicks and stipulations was actually cut just short of my list, in fact. I didn't think it strong enough to add a sixth pillar.

As to alliances, again, I agree. What they're doing right now is mini-invasions, which defeats the real value of a talent exchange program. What I'd much rather see is what just occurred with Edwards capturing the GHC in NOAH. It's a straight swap of talent where Edwards is clearly being given an exceptional focus. That may actually be exactly what they're doing with Johnny Impact. I have no idea what his contract looks like, but I doubt it's longer than a year.

In that regard, I want less invasion-style storytelling and more talent injection. Don't treat these people like an invading army who need to be cast out. Treat them as the internationally acclaimed talent they are (most of them, at least), and give them solid individual feuds and runs worth talking about.

Starkist 09-26-2017 06:28 PM

Anthems needs to take this company from Florida to Canada. Then the beginning of next year, introduce a "new" wrestling promotion called Anthem Pro Wrestling or something, and go about this brand new. I enjoy this company but hate the impact zone and the Disney world feel it gives Impact Wrestling. Move to Canada and sell actual tickets for a change. Get newer guys and show them that you are a sustainable company so maybe people would want to go there instead of ROH, NJPW, AAA, and of course, WWE.

I am okay no X-Division. It is fine with me. It's bleak, dry, boring and uninteresting. Bringing old guys doesn't do it any justice. I do like the Grand Title as the matches are hard hitting which is cool to see. I do not like the time limit as 3 minutes is too quick. 5 minutes and 5 rounds woils work for title matches and 3 3 minute rounds would work for number one contender matches. Explain the rules that you can only win by pin fall or submission. No outside the ring fighting and judges judge based off of moves. That's cool but ether way, if they come back a new company, then do away everything from the past and create new.

I hope this post makes sense.

wrestlingmasters55 09-27-2017 09:32 AM

I think we will know more about the future of Impact wrestling after bound for glory. The rumor is that Anthems would want to make this a more canadian company and i'm feeling that's why they decided last minute to bringing Bound For glory and the TV tapings to Ottawa. If they have as good of a turnout to the PPV and the tv as they had in orlando then i could see them moving everything to canada and tape tv somewhere in Toronto were the anthems offices are.

They could even do tv tapings in various markets throughout canada since they're are a lot of town that are hotbed for wrestling within canada. But for that to happen, they need to press to reset button once and for all at bound for glory or the tv tapings the next night. Be Impact wrestling and make fans forget the history of TNA and GFW that have been 2 brand that pretty much we're failure.

Use this rebrand to start Fresh with new championship, new division and focus on the current talent that you have right now. Everything that was TNA or GFW like the x division, the knockout moniker and the grand championship need to disappear. The women's division should be call just that, the women's division. You could rebrand the x-division as something new that has not connection to anything that's been done in GFW or TNA. As for the grand championship, the concept isn't working so just eliminated it and have a new midcard title instead.

In the end, they need to overall the perception of they're product and distance themselves as much as possible from what TNA and GFW was if they want to make any profit with this brand.

GhettoV1 09-27-2017 04:33 PM

If Impact Wrestling sells out that venue for the PPV /tapings then it is a success where they couldn't sell tickets at Universal Studios and bring back the four side ring and permanently retire the 6-side ring, X division and Knockouts names.

wrestlingmasters55 09-27-2017 05:00 PM

For the PPV to be considered a success as far as ticket sales his concern, they need to be able to sell as much VIP packages as possible because general admission is only 20$ so even if they sellout general admission tickets, they won't be able to make their money back of general admission tickets alone.

wrestlingmasters55 09-27-2017 05:43 PM

Update on ticket sales, the pre sale seem to be going well for Bound For Glory because has of now, they only have bleachers seat available so all the floor seat tickets that they made available for the presale are sold out.

Let's hope that this is a good sign for them because right now they truly need to some good news right now with the rough start of the rebrand. if they can sale even half of those expensive VIP packages, they could actually make a profit with this and this might be a new start for a company that quite frankly does have a pretty enjoyable product right now.

ShinChan 10-01-2017 03:51 AM

I totally agree with all five points noted in the OP.

Consistency is what this company needs very much. Take a new name and fix it for the coming future. At least 2-3 years. More would be better. Stop giving more importance to other feuds over your Top Champion. He should be the focus. It was like Alberto was being focused too much while Eli's title win was overshadowed by MMA stuff. That shouldn't happen. X-Division is in dire need of some stars. Grand Championship doesn't work anymore due to time restraints.

GhettoV1 10-01-2017 05:04 PM

Take the Grand and X division titles and unify them because GFW does not have enough talent for three singles titles right now.

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