Friday, October 03, 2014

Does Wrestling Need An Off-Season?


Something about TNA has gotten me intrigued, and it has nothing to do with what happened in Pennsylvania over the last few weeks. According to various websites, TNA is leaving Spike TV and relaunching on a new network at the beginning of 2015.

While Impact going live in January is an amazing thought, I'm actually more intrigued by the preceding 6-8 weeks. Now, unless TNA announces more tapings, it's likely that the final shows on Spike will be a series of 'Best Of" shows, which may turn off a lot of fans, but the main thing I want to talk about is one of the byproducts of TNA taking a hiatus, or an "off-season" so to speak.

Off-Season

It's something that I have discussed on multiple occasions with other sports fans. A lot of people like to mention that wrestling is "fake" but it should be noted that all of the "legit" sports usually have a fixed number of games and a substantial off-season, whereas wrestlers have to perform anywhere from 2-6 times per week depending on the taping schedule. I feel a great sense of gratitude towards the wrestlers who put their bodies and their livelihoods on the line, not just for the money but for the benefit of the fans. TNA has always been quoted as having a much easier schedule than WWE because they don't travel as often....but is that enough?

Over the last month Davey Richards broke his leg at a house show and, not to give away any spoilers, two other stars were possibly injured at the recent TV tapings (though whether or not that is for storyline purposes remains to be seen). I know all three cases were probably just bad luck, but when you have wrestlers pushing themselves as hard as they do, it's not surprising when they start getting hurt. This is something that has always plagued wrestlers when they are constantly working through aches and pains.

TNA has always tried to give their talents some time off during the holidays to be with their families, and for the most part they have recorded several shows ahead of time, but this year it's different. After Bound For Glory, TNA has no further events scheduled until January, so that means they have two-and-a-half months where the talents will be able to rest their bodies so that come 2015 they are ready to give their best on TNA's new network.

Yes or No?

There are two sides to every story. Because most of TNA's roster are on PPA deals, an off-season may not be the best idea to make a living. However, it seems that TNA is allowing their talents to work independent dates, which I think could be a great system for the larger companies to use. That way, the wrestlers can refresh their skills and gain more exposure in other promotions. Also, with TNA's working relationships with Wrestle-1 and House of Hardcore, there's a chance that the footage can be used on Impact to advance any feuds or storylines that are going on.

While I seriously doubt that TNA would have a regular off-season as part of their schedule, I think this could be an interesting way to avoid overexposing their fans to similar content - a complaint that I have heard from many fans regarding WWE - and it gives the writers a chance to take a breather once in a while and to re-evaluate which storylines they want to run over the next year.

Penny For Your Thoughts

Do you think that an off-season would be a good idea in wrestling (not just TNA) - both for talent and fans?

Do you think that TNA should be relying on 'Best Of' shows when they still have an active TV deal?

With Taryn Terrell and Madison Rayne both making returns post-pregnancy, do you think we will see Mickie James make her return to TNA in 2015?