|By Raj Giri||February 01, 2013 | Comments|
Source: Ministry Of Slam!
Bischoff: Quite honestly, I'm not involved in the British Bootcamp project, and as such haven't been over in the UK looking for talent. There are other people doing that, but it's not my role so I can't possibly comment on who TNA are looking at in terms of talent.
I did meet the group who are competing on the show at Bound For Glory, as well as watching them perform in the ring a few nights ago. They're a very talented group of young people who all have a great deal of potential, so it's sure to be an exciting show.
Despite not being involved at all with the project, what I know of the format and talent leads me to believe that it's a really positive, great idea. I've been a big proponent of TNA expanding into reality television since the day I got here, and I think that the opportunity for the British Bootcamp concept is great – especially given the strength of the TNA brand in the UK. I think it's a phenomenal idea and I'm sure it's going to be a successful one.
MOS: A similar concept on TNA TV currently is the Gut Check portion of the show, wherein men and women compete to impress the judges and earn a TNA contract. What are your thoughts on the segments and how successful they have been?
Bischoff: I'm very excited about it, and it was actually something Jason Hervey and myself created and brought into TNA as a means to bring a reality element to Impact Wrestling. We've discovered some great talent throughout, I think the deliberation process and judging is entertaining as hell also. It constantly throws up surprises, with even us being surprised at some of the things which have been out of our control. It's live television, so anything can happen!
Overall, the segment is a very good one, but we're still developing and fine tuning the concept. Maybe it's not as good as it can be quite yet, but we're getting there and I love the reality element and it can only be a good thing for our show.
MOS: Joey Ryan is someone who has flourished due to the Gut Check program, recently making his way onto Pay-Per-View at Bound For Glory. Is that evidence of its success?
Bischoff: Definitely. This is a way to creatively introduce new talent and angles outside of our regular format. Wrestling has been done for so long, by so many people, in so many different ways, that it's hard to come up with anything that feels new. The Gut Check format definitely gives us that new, fresh feeling. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to build an entire show around that format, but it's certainly a great segment to have once a month. It feels fresh.
MOS: TNA have went through some big changes in management, choosing to go in a different creative direction over the past number of months. The product is definitely hot, but do you feel TNA are getting closer to being as big as they can be?
Bischoff: The term 'hot property' means different things to different people, but I do feel over the past year that our show has taken on more focus. There's more discipline in our storytelling and character development, which is one of the things fundamentally flawed about our product previously. Storylines were all over the map and there wasn't that follow through or commitment to detail. When suggesting ideas to the people I work with, the audience will only invest in a character or story as much as we do! For instance, if we ask the audience to invest in a long-term storyline and then decide to cut things off right in the middle, maybe because we're not as excited about it as we used to be, and shift gears – that's very disappointing for the fans to change gears just like that.
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