Even with the impending Three Hours of Trending, people seem reluctant make the leap to a new federation. I've been thinking about it, and one of the that might be holding them back from getting into TNA is a simple lack of familiarity.
With WWE, we have context. Kane isn't some oversized luchadore in a Halloween mask — we can watch a mediocre Kane match and instantly recall everything from his legendary clashes with his "brother" to his tag run with X-Pac, and yes even the godawful Katie humpdown.
But TNA "originals" don't have that sort of mainstream recognition. Maybe you're new to the show, see Christopher Daniels and wonder: Who's this annoying bald guy interrupting every match? This affair angle is the worst part of the show!, etc, etc. And because you don't remember the early days, all the the AJ/Joe/Daniels matches, the freaking screwdriver, Daniels might come off as some Boflex spokesperson with too much airtime. When in reality, he's just an extremely talented individual killing time until his five star match against AJ Styles.
WWE is McDonalds, you know what you're getting, even if it's barely considered food. TNA is In-N-Out Burger. It's got a *secret menu*. The locals know it's the best in town, but tourists are going to blast right through.
So how can TNA attract viewers who don't know Samoa Joe from Sonjay Dutt? Maybe someone could put together a sort of Welcome to Impact video series. Little flashbacks, career highlights, a cheatsheet of finishers and personality quirks, just something to give curious converts a bit of context.
Well, the thing with wrestling in general is that as serial drama it's always shared a lot in common in the basics of soap operas. You generally don't NEED years of continuity to catch up, because the important things are what happened last week and what's happening next week. It's really not until the tape trading era and WWE constantly naval-gazing and celebrating itself that people even CARED about what happened with the characters and shows 10 years previous. The "video of the moment" thing is still one thing that WWE does really well these days, as the constant reinforcement of the simplest angles drives me CRAZY as a weekly viewer, but when I got back and watch a PPV from the dead 2006-2009 era I'm like "Oh, OK, now I'm caught up again in two minutes." And I think TNA does fine with the "Previously on Impact…" stuff at the beginning, too.