TNA Impact's Reality Television Style Proving Effective

By williambontrager
courtesy of Gunner-TNA FaceBook

TNA reminded me a reality show last night. The wrestlers were not just performers; they were people that everyone could relate with. There were real life situations showcased that revealed the business behind the wrestling industry — its glory and its countless trials. The camera showed men who were striving in this wrestling world.

The whole mood of the show was set up like reality television. Bobby Roode nearly convinced us that he was leaving the wrestling world for good. He was even making up for all the evils that he committed while he was clawing and scratching to be the best. He told Cowboy James Storm that in the pro wrestling business, Storm was one of the very few that he could trust.

The exchange was heartfelt, and we started seeing the man behind the sparkling robed gimmick.

It worked. By the time Roode got to the ring, he was a man that was forced to make difficult decisions and not just a character with muscles. The crowd in England was drawn in as well. They were shouting for Roode not to leave despite being the man that was responsible for retiring Jeff Hardy and Sting, two of the company’s favorites. Because of the reality television setup, we felt even more betrayed when he sided with Dixie Carter yet again.

Then there was Gunner and Magnus. Both wrestlers had scenes that revealed the men behind the camera. Magnus disputed the fact that he was a paper champion and claimed that he worked hard for everything he gained. It showed him in the meetings and behind the scenes of the company, and exposed that every champion is a sellout in a way. Even though Magnus is hated, it brought a greater depth to him.

Gunner was a former marine, and we were shown pictures of his love of pro wrestling back when he was a scrawny teen. The match was terrible between the two, but it did not matter. It ended with Storm kicking Gunner’s head off after inspiring him. It was done brilliantly! All of the wrestlers were men fighting for the highest prize. The belt gives the holder glory, money and power. TNA Impact did a great job of showing this.

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