When it comes to age, wrestling is like any sport. At a certain age, a wrestler’s body can’t keep going and his/her arsenal of moves are then limited, which leads to retirement. This means the company has to look for young and hungry talent to train and develop in order to fill in the gap. Hopefully, they can carry the company into the future. When I heard about Gut Check, I was really excited because, let’s face it, wrestlers like Sting and Kurt Angle will retire sooner or later and they need young talent to secure the company’s future. So did Gut Check work out for the company?? Was it a success??
As a TNA fan, I wanted to say ”YES” it worked out for the company and it was a success. The reality is Gut Check was an EPIC fail!! But instead of bashing TNA, let’s try to analyze the reasons behind the failure of such a promising idea, especially after releasing most of the Gut Check winners.
1 – To be a good wrestler and make the people interested in your character like AJ Styles for example (everyone loves the guy), there are 3 essential skills that a wrestler must have:
a) Good in ring abilities.
b) Good mic skills to sell your gimmick to the people and create heat like Bully Ray, for example.
c) A good gimmick that makes people interested in you and your match.
TNA failed in making the Gut Check contenders show their skills and their abilities. Let’s face it, one match isn’t enough to leave an impression. Plus, Gut Check was the first appearance on national TV for the majority of the contenders. This means that the way Gut Check was implemented was bad and inefficient.
2- When TNA released most of the Gut Check winners, it made me realize that the company didn’t have any plans for these guys!! Did management sit down with the creative team and producers to ask whether or not they had any creative plans for these wrestlers before hiring them?? Why hire someone you don’t have a plan for?? Will they fit in the current mix?? I really don’t know the basis that made TNA hire these wrestlers, but there was something wrong with the decision making process which led to the failure of a really promising idea.
3- From the above you will realize that the real problem was time. This is the key word here which takes me to these questions: What if TNA decided to bring back Gut Check in the future? What should they do with it so it can stand out?? The answer: TNA should create their own version of NXT. By creating a program dedicated to young and green wrestlers, TNA will have all the time it needs to make the fans care and buy into these new talents, to find creative plans for these wrestlers and make the wrestlers develop their skills and abilities. With such a program, TNA could create small stories and test gimmicks on the wrestlers to see how good they are and how the fans react to them. If they prove to be good and create some buzz, promote them to Impact. TNA doesn’t need a network for such a show. For example, TNA could broadcast the show online. As for the location, TNA doesn’t need a huge arena for such a show. Perhaps TNA could consider the Impact Zone as a location. TNA could also use the big names they have like Hulk Hogan to help put these young guys on the right track and help them in developing their skills!! Imagine the advantages of such an idea. TNA doesn’t need young talent to use immediately, they need them for the future, so TNA should take it’s time in training and choosing the talent needed to prevent what happened in the last couple of months.
(Putting their story with John Cena aside, the Nexus were a great faction created by NXT. I loved this group, but they were booked in a bad way though).