DR TNA: Mind the “Seven Ps”

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When I was in college I had a professor who was fond of stressing the “seven Ps” – Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.  The lesson of the saying, of course, is that if you put in the proper preparation you will avoid many of the embarrassing short falls that can plague those who do not do that preparatory work.  TNA would be wise to hire my former professor to simply follow their creative department everywhere they go and remind them of this fact.

Thursday’s iMPACT marked T minus 10 days for TNA’s hardCORE Justice PPV.  If you’re reading this column, you likely know that Tommy Dreamer was put at the helm of the TNA ship for the August 8 event.  TNA is no doubt hoping that the ECW invasion and Dreamer’s role in Justice will lead to better ratings. 

While the quality of the show could be very dependent on the booking ability of Dreamer, there is no question the ratings will be more dependent on the ability of TNA to build anticipation for the event.  If the ratings are to truly show a significant increase, fans must be given a reason to tune in next Sunday, beyond mere nostalgia.  Consider building anticipation for this event to be the preparation TNA needs to do if they hope for success in the ratings department.

This week’s iMPACT was a step in the right direction, in my opinion.  The episode had the chance to be even a little better, but give credit where it is due.  It began to build something.

The show opened with Dreamer’s crew in the ring announcing that, from this point forward, they shall be known as EV 2.0.  This may not be the best name – try coming up with a spontaneous chat for EV 2.0 – but it’s not bad.  Fans then were able to see Team 3D bury the hatchet, at least for now, in the name of one last ride with the old ECW guys.

Following this segment, the show included two tag matches worth noting even though they were outside of the main script line.  If you didn’t see them, check out the clips of another great Motor City Machine Guns versus Beer Money match, this time in a steel cage and a good handicap tag match, pitting Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson versus Matt Morgan and two newcomers.

Aside from these matches, the best parts of the show centered on priority number one, building the intrigue for hardCORE Justice.  First step: the in ring return of Tommy Dreamer.  The hard core match between he and Abyss was a good one.  While Dreamer may have shown a few signs of rust, he made up for it with his willingness to take punishment.  Some of which you can see in the video below.

As you saw at the end of the video, the match also left us with a bit of a twist.  Raven seems to have joined Abyss on the train to crazy town.  Not that he ever has given us the impression he 100 percent sane, but to this point he had been loyal to his invasion brethren.  Now, it appears he and Abyss are listening to the same voices.

While Dreamer’s faction was showing signs of cracking, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bishoff were dropping hints that there may be another move in the works.  Both of them alluded to it during the show.  Given the rumors swirling around Paul Heyman, I suspect this was to raise suspicions with fans that we may soon see his arrival. 

That would certainly be big news – if it happens.  However, there is a large risk that comes with hinting at this.  If it does not happen, fan disappointment does not equal ratings improvement.  In fact, to go a step further, “hints” do not equal ratings, announcements do.  I’d suggest TNA would have been wiser to withhold the hints, focus on what they are working with right now and wait until they can make an announcement on any further moves. 

Despite that, all in all I found the show to build some intrigue towards Justice.  However, there is still a lot of preparation that needs to happen before the PPV.  If TNA can build off of this past week’s show, they could very well see some improvement.  If they do not, I fear a small bump for the novelty of it, but nothing that will be substantial or sustainable.

Here’s hoping the “Seven Ps” are posted on the bulletin boards as a reminder.