Saturday, 4 October 2014

Freezing, Can't Move At All

A tournament doesn't have to put all the plot in your company on ice.

Image © Steven Depolo via Flickr.

You'd think this is obvious, but the New York Gold Rush showed that it's still possible to get this wrong.

The entire episode was a holding pattern for every single storyline.

And no, Taz and Mike Tenay bringing them up casually in commentary doesn't count.

Why do I care?

Because bringing everything to a standstill disrupts the tension.

Yes, you can leave a week between developments in a certain plot. But if you do that for them all, the audience starts to loose track of why we should care.

I'm not asking for giant leaps of progression.

But TNA should be able to remind us that plot is happening without just telling us.

Taz and Tenay telling us things is poor story-telling. Show, don't tell.

Here are three examples from the Gold Rush and suggestions to fix them.

First, James Storm and his cult hate everyone linked to the Great Muta.

Image © Harry Li via Flickr.

And that includes Tajiri.

Yet when Tajiri's Gold Rush match took place, there was no sign of them.

Tajiri was a surprise entrant. But from what I've seen of Storm, I'd expect him to being keeping an eye out anyway.

So here's what I would do.

After Tajiri won his match, I would show Storm and his cult backstage watching on a television. And Storm would tell Sanada and Manik to study Tajiri's moves.

That would show Storm being smart. It would show him preparing for war. And it would show that he's here and still invested in what's going on.

Second, Bram and Magnus are great friends, aren't they?

So where on Earth was Bram during Magnus's match?

Simple. He should have been on commentary.

Think about it. We haven't had a lot of chances to get to know Bram yet.

Image © TNA Wrestling via

And this would have been a great opportunity for him.

He could have talked himself up, developed his relationship with Magnus, and shown that he's here to stay.

And third, Samuel Shaw is friends with Gunner and the object of Brittany's affections.

But we didn't see either of them on the show and they should have been.

A good opportunity would have been after Shaw's match.

Abyss flattened him. He's going to be feeling sore.

So we see Gunner suggesting that Brittany go find him and offer him some comfort.

Again, this would progress their potential relationship. And it would remind the audience how these characters connect without telling them.

So why didn't TNA do any of these things?

Because they ran out of space.

And why did they run out of space?

Because they have an obsession with flashy video packages that look good but don't expand on plot.

Image © sjr via Wikimedia Commons.

TNA are a wrestling company. And the Gold Rush had good wrestling.

But wrestling is also a story-telling medium. And they shouldn't neglect that for no good reason.

Tournaments don't have to freeze your plot. But only if you use some common sense.

– Stark

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