When TNA started Gut Check, it started out as something different and was one of the first features that TNA launched as a new, inventive way of looking into the wrestling business. Websites reported that TNA's focus was to let the audience see how TNA works, how talent enter into the company, inviting guests such as Bruce Pritchard (SVP of Programming) and Al Snow (agent) onto the main part of programming and develop the concept from there.
TNA aimed to go where no one else had gone and show the process publicly. I have been very critical of "Gut Check" as have many, but one thing is for certain that it has caused enough buzz to be relevant and watchable. It also lets audiences decide for themselves if superstars really have the potential to be on the TNA roster. The one drawback TNA have with that is that audiences tend to be forgiving to the competitor and will vote positively online.
But, is it all just one big concept that is storylined?
Looking at the competitors that have already faced Gutcheck, the first two contestants, Alex Silva and Joey Ryan stand out. It was widely reported that Ric Flair was supposed to deny Alex Silva the chance in TNA but was convinced by his promo on the night to give him a TNA contract. Obviously, we all know what happened with Flair but had he have said no, would he be in Joey Ryan's position?
Alex Silva hasn't even been seen in TNA. I should think they have something for him but has largely remained quiet....on the TNA front, Via social media, he has had numerous back to back exchanges with Joey Ryan. Is this another way of promoting TNA and promoting the use of Gut Check? The main man keeping Gut Check relevant though is Joey Ryan.
Joey Ryan has constantly been relevant ever since he was "denied" the chance of a TNA contract. His bust up with Taz, his videos on YouTube, his social media use, his shoot promos. Then last Thursday...
Joey Ryan appearing on Impact was probably a step too far. There is no way he could have been in that building for that long without being noticed. There is also no chance of Taz confronting him like that on Live TV. They would simply escorted him out of the building and wouldn't give him the exposure. It was another way of drawing attention to the Gutcheck idea.
Taeler Hendrix. Before Gut Check, her and Joey Ryan had numerous conversations on Twitter which granted isn't the strongest argument in the world. However, she always looked very comfortable and never really nervous. This could be her personally and credit to her, she is a very good wrestler after seeing more of her matches, but is a step up from "indies" to TNA that easy?
Gut Check, storyline or not, is still a good way to give TNA the buzz that they've wanted. I don't personally like the use of the "insider" terms or that it's in the middle of a scripted show. Gut Check could work as a seperate show altogether for me, then see how the numbers do. It has the potential to be a good constant segment for TNA if you build around it. But, the whole Gut Check idea to me suggests the word storyline and whilst ratings have not changed, they will hopefully build on the idea.
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