DR TNA: iMPACT Makes Me a Day Dreamer

On Thursday’s iMPACT we were given a bit more of an explanation for Tommy Dreamer’s apparent purchase of iMPACT season tickets and for the subsequent ECW invasion.  Personally, I found it to be a quality segment and probably the strongest segment of the show.

Don’t get me wrong there were some quality matches.  For example, Kurt Angle continued to show why you can’t change the channel at any point in his matches, putting on a great show with Hernandez.  Jeff Hardy vs Samoa Joe was a matchup of opposites that lived up to what you would expect from these two, while Beer Money and the Motor City Machine Guns, continued their rivalry.

However, the meat of the show was the segment with Dixie Carter and the ECW guys, led by Tommy Dreamer.  The big announcement was that Dixie had heard from the fans and sought to give them what they wanted.  As a result TNA would be putting Dreamer in charge for one night.  This turns out to be their next pay per view – HardCORE Justice on August 8.

It will be interesting to see how this event comes together.  Admittedly, while I like a good hard core match, I’ve never been one to tune in for an entire evening of it.  That said, if you read last week’s column, you will remember that I released a public letter asking Dixie Carter to shake up her creative team.  Now, I understand it’s only for one night, but I appreciate her giving Dreamer a shot.  Consider me officially hoping he makes a strong case for an encore.

Not that he has asked, but I thought I’d offer a few thoughts that I feel could help him achieve a second look.

  • Give the people what they want and what they expect. I suspect that most will be tuning in to see something resembling the old ECW.  Don’t run from that.  Decide who you believe are two best hardcore wrestlers you have in that locker room, and feature them prominently.  This may not be your best wrestlers, by the way.  For instance, I am very high on the Pope, but he’s not likely who I would pick for this.

  • Give the people what they may not expect. If the first bullet was all there was too it, anyone could do it, right?  While there needs to be an Extreme Hardcore Main Event, and while much of the PPV needs to follow suit to live up to billing, don’t be afraid to throw in one or two more traditional matches.  Ideally, find a couple of guys with big followings (pro and/or con) who you feel do not have a style that fits well in the hardcore style.  Rather than forcing them into it, or leaving them on the bench, book a big matchup or two that stands out for being different.

  • Pick a couple story lines and find a way to advance them. I realize you may not have full creative control of the scripts, even for that one night.  However, to the extent that you are able to do so, demonstrate your ability to maintain a compelling consistent storyline.  Ideally pick one of the many story lines left hanging out there unresolved, and resolve it.  Think Samoa Joe’s kidnapping…

Obviously, I realize there is a lot more to successfully booking a PPV than what I have listed above.  That said, I do think, however basic these may seem, that if Dreamer can successfully execute just these three suggestions he will be well on his way to turning an audition into a trail period, at the very least.  While some of this may seem common sense, I do not believe we have seen it consistently in TNA.

I can’t say definitively if I hope he becomes a TNA booker or not before I see how he handles this.  What I can do, is reiterate my desire for some fresh blood in TNA’s creative/booking department.  Will this be what is needed?  Well, we can dream…

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