Thursday, May 31, 2012

TNA's latest quick fix might be more damaging than helping

As TNA (Total Non-stop Action) Wrestling approaches its 10th anniversary in June, the company continues to struggle to find its own identity. As I've often written here and elsewhere, they keep tripping over themselves looking for the right formula for success.

Beginning tonight, and lasting through the summer at the very least (and probably no further), Impact Wrestling will be broadcast live from Orlando, and, if they're very smart (doubtful), they'll finally take the show on the road on a more consistent basis, which has been the one major stumbling block that they have been hesitant to address in 10 years. Not only that, but, TNA is moving their show up by an hour to 8 (ET), rather than 9. That, I don't have a problem with, even though I don't follow TNA much anymore (and WWE is getting close to that same point, based on recent follies). Where I do have a problem is the patch for this latest quick fix in search of higher ratings.

TNA President Dixie Carter, proven time and again to be both a mark for the business and an easy mark for fading stars looking to extend their careers in exchange for easy money, is letting figurehead GM Hulk Hogan play the nepotism card by hiring on his daughter, Brooke, as the figurehead in charge of the women's division. Apparently, the failure of her VH1 reality show and her singing career hasn't deterred young Brooke from pursuing a career in show business, and she thinks riding on her dad's coat-tails is the only way she's getting anywhere.

Brooke spent what amounted to a cup of coffee in WWE 6 years ago as a supporting player in a storyline involving her father and Randy Orton, leading to a match at Summerslam. In this writer's view, she had all the charismatic presence of a broken toothpick. Apparently, she went to the same acting teacher as her father, which isn't saying much. It's not the first time that TNA has hired on the daughter of a famous wrestler. Just a couple of years ago, they had Lacey Von Erich, whose father, the late Kerry Von Erich, spent some time in WWE in the pre-Attitude Era 90's. Unfortunately, she lacked his charisma, too, and had the skills of a mannequin. Seriously. TNA let her go less than a year later, at her request.

Insofar as I'm concerned, Brooke is better off having her dad find her a gig doing commercials, just like Daddy (Hulk, in case you've been living in a cave, teams with Fox NFL analyst and former Cowboys QB Troy Aikman in a series of spots for Rent-a-Center.), but apparently, Hollywood has enough girls in her age range such that there aren't any openings.

For once, I am going to watch Impact tonight, just to see how things turn out. I think I know the result already, but if I'm Brooke, I'm asking Eric Bischoff (who produced her reality show) to find her another gig that will require her to actually do some acting, just in case she decides this ain't for her. Dixie Carter has said that Brooke won't don a leotard, tights, and boots to wrestle in the footsteps of her father, but I've a feeling the lure of the squared circle might be too tempting before the year is over. I hope I'm wrong, and I'd rather see her audition for General Hospital or 90210, anyway.

Like, look at it this way. Vince McMahon's daughter, Stephanie, made only one commercial (AT & T, w/Carrot Top, 2003), and quit while she was ahead, WWE PPV promotions aside. She proved she has screen presence, but opted to take the Kenny Rogers approach ("You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away....."). Brooke might be well served to follow if things get too risky too quickly, and in TNA, well, let's say Murphy's Law does apply........

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