TNA Wrestling: How Not To Mislead Fans The RCWR Show November 3, 2014 Editorials So right before a new TNA IMPACT WRESTLING episode which featured Bobby Roode taking on Bobby Lashley for the TNA title, the company released a very interesting press release that not many folks are talking about. Not even folks on social media and live radio/podcast shows are really talking about this. Here’s the press release TNA Wrestling put out after Bobby Lashley was victorious in his Bellator 130 fight against Karl Etherington on Friday, October 24th 2014: TNA Wrestling would like to congratulate LASHLEY on his dominant performance inside the Bellator MMA cage tonight! Lashley picked up a strong victory over Karl Etherington at Bellator 130, quickly moving up the ranks in Bellator’s competitive Heavyweight Division! Lashley finished the fight in the first round, picking up a brutal TKO win and improving his MMA record to an impressive 12-2! Now, Lashley turns his focus to Wednesday night and Bobby Roode. The TNA World Heavyweight Champion will face Roode in the main event, with special guest referee Kurt Angle, and TNA’s most respected prize is on the line! A major question we have is: how quickly can Lashley’s body recover from his rigorous training and fight at Bellator 130? Fighting at the highest level of two worlds is tough – fighting in Bellator on Friday and defending your TNA World Title on Wednesday? That’s completely unheard of! One thing is for sure, Lashley is The Destroyer and one of the toughest men in the world. He has run through all comers in both TNA and Bellator with relative ease. If anyone is up for the task, it is him. Don’t miss Lashley vs Roode II, this Wednesday night on IMPACT at 9/8c on Spike TV! Did you catch it folks? If not let me help you as that’s what I’m here for. Lashley fought on Friday, October 24th live at Bellator 130. This TNA match Lashley had against Bobby Roode for the title on Wednesday, October 29th was tapped over a month ago. TNA comes off a bit misleading and deceitful in this press release as they’re trying to paint the impression, the visual of one Bobby Lashley having two tough fights 5 days apart from one another. I know a thing or two about public relations as when I’m not talking or writing about wrestling, I’m spending a lot of my time at work collecting statistics and doing public relations work in organizing focus groups for TV pilots, video games, movies, food studies, you name it folks! A good press release from a PR standpoint should have congratulated TNA Wrestling’s Bobby Lashley for his Bellator win without a doubt. Here’s how I would have set it up for folks to read beyond that point: Without a doubt Bobby Lashley has proven to be a force to reckon with in MMA! It’s because of his performance along with strong work ethic and drive that made him become one of the most dominating and current TNA World Heavyweight champions to date. His greatest task comes in the form of a rematch with the “IT Factor” of professional wrestling, Bobby Roode. Three weeks ago on IMPACT WRESTLING the world watched Bobby Lashley barely escape with his championship still in hand to force Roode to seek one more match for the gold. TNA Director of Operations Kurt Angle would grant that rematch while ensuring that the match be called right down the middle by making himself the special guest referee! You don’t want to miss this epic encounter! TNA Champion Bobby Lashley vs the no.1 contender Bobby Roode with special guest referee, 1996 Olympic Gold medalist Kurt Angle on the next IMPACT WRESTLING at 9/8c on SPIKE TV! Now this press release could use a little bit of work possibly but it’s better than the initial press release TNA put out. Remember when TNA Wrestling did live episodes and eventually phased it out completely? Think back to how it was when it was live one week and then pre-recorded the next week but the way Mike Tenay and Taz would talk on that pre-recorded episode had you believing it was live. Many times we’d see something be re-winded, be it a backstage segment or a match on our television screen that would make us chuckle a little bit. Then we think about the hastag #IMPACTLive when it really wasn’t live. Let’s go a step further than that. Remember how Jeremey Borash use to host an IMPACT Live show in between IMPACT WRESTLING commercial breaks? They also tried to make it come off as if it was live and for the first few weeks it was but eventually that too ended up being pre-recorded. If you watched enough episodes on YouTube and on IMPACT WRESTLING’s website you could spot the whoopsie’s on there too. Eventually TNA changed their hashtag to #IMPACTonSPIKE. Look I’m not bashing the TNA product. I’ve been faithful to it since seeing the days it aired weekly on PPV to present. Perception is everything as you want to make not only a good 1st impression but come off honest with your product to longtime consumers and potential new consumers. When you do those consumers can in turn eventually see value in your product, believe in it, stand up for it and fight for it no matter what. They will spend money because to them it feels like a good investment and they want to represent. If you come off misleading or deceitful then you abuse that level of trust and from there it’s very hard to get back. People may forgive but they don’t forget and Heaven knows there’s a lot of people out there that haven’t forgotten every bad or questionable thing that’s happened with the TNA product over the years especially since 2010 post Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. I talked about this press release on my live webshow this week and some of the comments that came in from some was interesting. Take Alcuard who said: “I see what you’re saying about the press release but what did you want them to write? Bobby lashley just won at bellator now watch him fight on a taped show of TNA? Hmm no this was a white lie that’s ok. It not even close to some of the backstage lies we’ve heard TNA tell, like telling Daffney they’d paid for her medical but didn’t. Or Kyle who said: “It wouldn’t make sense for TNA to announce Bobby Roode winning the world title on there website before it happen, that would be spoiling the show for guys like myself who don’t look at spoilers. If you’re dumb enough to spoil your own show then be my guess.” Make no mistake about it folks, there’s folks like Kyle who do a good job of dodging spoilers, wrestling websites and podcast shows all in the name of being entertained. I applaud people like him as it’s something I try to implement for myself so I can really give a true and unbiased opinion of the shows I see weekly when I review them. At the same time no one is even suggesting TNA spoil their own show results despite the fact many wrestling news sites already have in some shape or form. It all comes back to one thing and that’s building trust and loyalty with fans as for TNA Wrestling those fans are their true consumers. They are the ones who will watch the shows, order the PPVs, buy merchandise, etc. While many of us are hoping for TNA Wrestling to strike a new TV deal, I personally am looking at the longterm picture. A new TV deal doesn’t mean anything if one’s house isn’t in order internally and TNA has a little ways to go in many aspects which I’ll discuss at a later date. It’s the little things though like with this press release that needs to stop now before it gets out of hand. All businesses do some form of self-hype and there’s nothing wrong with that as you’re trying to gain attention for your brand or product. At the same time there’s that thin fine line one has to make sure they don’t cross which is over-hype. Sometimes over-hyping can end up being self-destruction. Depending on the circumstances it can even be looked at as comedy relief aka a joke. Take for instance what a certain promotion in Connecticut did with a video of fans cheering specifically for the speedy recovery of a wrestler who needs to undergo surgery. The fan reactions where used for the Chairman of the company to hype their network being free to access for the month of November. He would then do throw his fingers in the air chanting “YES” as we see the fans spliced in chanting it along with him as his image, clear as day mind you has been inserted on the titantron as if the fans in attendance really did watch that live. Over exaggeration at its finest folks! To some it might not mean that much about this press release and to others, well you may feel as passionate as I do about this one. Was TNA Wrestling in the wrong for putting out this press release or were they in the right? Sound off as we’ll include your comments on our next episode of IMPACT Showdown covering TNA IMPACT Wrestling fallout Wednesdays at 11pm ET on YouTube.com/TheRCWRshow. SUBSCRIBE and be sure to join us!