Hey wrestling fans. You’ve known me before as DK Wrestling Savior. I’m grateful to the awesome people who have offered me an opportunity to continue to write here at EWN. If you’re familiar with me, then you know that Sudden Impact and Coffee Talk were two of my more popular blog series. I’ve gotten reviews and feedback, both good and bad, and all is welcomed.
Now that the intro is out of the way, I wanted to post a Sudden Impact special here focusing on the current state of TNA. When I last left you, Sting, AJ Styles, Aces & Eights, among others were major parts of TNA Impact on a weekly basis. Well, other than Anderson, Bully, and lately Knox in the form of little video vignettes where he’s trying to find himself, these are all people in the past. And sadly, Sabin, and Bad Influence have joined them. With each report that comes out, we become a website divided. Everyone thinks TNA is on its way out. EWN’s own, Matt Boone has predicted they won’t survive this year. While I don’t have anything concrete as far as evidence goes, or any connections that tell me otherwise, I’m going to speculate here a little bit and give you all both sides of the coin from my perspective as a fan.
First, I want to start off by stating that I am a fan of TNA. I find it entertaining. Not everything, but as a whole, I enjoy another wrestling option. I know there are people that don’t. Or if they do, their preference is ROH. Hell, some have even anointed Jeff Jarrett’s new promotion, Global Force, the next great thing when it hasn’t even started yet. The hatred for TNA runs deep with many people. They hated Hogan when he was there. Surprisingly enough, they’re the first ones with yellow and red on when it was announced Hogan would be returning on Raw. But that’s not the point. The point is, TNA has taken a lot of cost-cutting measures over the last year which has included eliminating PPV’s, taking Impact off the road, returning to a smaller Impact Zone, and releasing some of their bigger-named, high-priced talent. Among those released or not re-signed are three of my favorites, AJ Style, and Bad Influence. But life goes on. I’m now used to not seeing the three of them on Spike every Thursday Night. So when/if they do return, it’ll be a pleasant surprise. However, in the midst of these cost-cutting measures, it has sparked a little debate among us here on EWN. Is TNA dying? Or are they making the smart money moves to remain alive and well? Let’s jump in.
The first of many myths when it comes to the business world is, Cost-Cutting does not mean going under. Did TNA low-ball their offer to AJ Styles? Perhaps. But look at it from a business standpoint. When AJ Styles was there, no matter how much we all love him, ratings weren’t exactly shooting through the roof. Attendance wasn’t overwhelming. So as a business person, would it have been smart to give AJ Styles his asking price, which I believe was reported at being in the $300K to $400K range? Or do what TNA did, and use that money to invest in Samuel Shaw, Tigre Uno, Senada, The Wolves, etc? You hear it all the time in the sports world alone. Recently, the Philadelphia Eagles released DeSean Jackson, who is arguably their best offensive player. He was due upwards of $10 million dollars this year. He has since signed on with the rival Washington Redskins for similar guaranteed money. Does this cost-cutting move mean The Philadelphia Eagles are in danger of going out of business? Not at all. They are using the $10 million they saved to re-sign other players to longer-term contracts and they may end up better off for it. Does that same principle apply to TNA? Well, since releasing some names and not re-signing others, they’ve given other guys new contracts such as Gunner and Robbie E. Currently, Gunner is more over and more relevant than he’s ever been and I’ve seen more Robbie E on TV now than in the last 2 years combined. Smart move? Only time will tell.
The second biggest issue is their attendance numbers. If anyone remembers my past Sudden Impact blogs, you’ll remember that I was pushing big time for TNA to do exactly what they did last year, which was take Impact on the road, tour campuses, and go live. Unfortunately, it was a failed experiment that cost them more money than they anticipated and ultimately forced them back to Orlando. It was a shame to see their Lockdown attendance down in Miami on the campus of The U. From the photos I’ve seen, they were lucky to have had 1200-1500 people there. So why is TNA having such a hard time with their attendance numbers? Could it be that they’re still relatively unknown? Think of the last time you watched a channel that didn’t broadcast WWE programming, such as ABC, Fox, or CBS. And when Wrestlemania was approaching, how many commercials did you see for it? I know I’ve seen many. But what about TNA? How many commercials have I seen leading to Lockdown? Outside of Spike TV, none. Now, I don’t watch much Viacom programming like MTV or Nickelodean, but it makes me wonder what kind of support TNA and Viacom are giving each other. It’s almost as if TNA merely exists, and that’s it. This can easily be fixed by putting their own marketing machine behind it to reach their audience. They should be promoting the living hell out of this trip to NY coming in June. It should be all over the place. TNA should have their top stars doing appearances and marketing and media blitzes all around NY to get this event noticed by as many people as possible. They don’t seem to do that. Attendance won’t get fixed until they do.
Finally, Can TNA find themselves on the verge of a Re-birth? In my opinion, the answer is yes. There is one man who can turn this whole thing around. He’s a major cult favorite with a large fan-base. You all know who I’m talking about and the haters are probably laughing hysterically as they continue reading this. But that one man’s contract will be expiring in July. Apparently, there’s a 90 day non-compete clause which brings us to October. What happens in TNA, in October? That’s right. Bound for Glory. TNA’s version of Wrestlemania. If I were TNA, that event would be taking place in Chicago or the surrounding area. Even if the man isn’t signed, that’s where BFG should be this year if even to spark some interest or intrigue. Now of course, if at any time after July this guy shows up on TV somewhere else, well, it’ll shoot any hope down. But if there was a single building block, at a single event, that can give TNA that resurgence and spark a rebirth, it would this guy. It would be in TNA’s best interest to do whatever it takes, to sign…CM Punk. Whatever TNA’s financial situation is, Dixie Carter should make this happen. Will it? Probably not. We, the TNA faithful, would love to think it’s a possibility. But that’s just it. That word…that single word that gets the gears in all of our heads spinning….POSSIBILITY! We know, from all of our long years of being wrestling fans, that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE. Is it possible? Could TNA sign CM Punk? I absolutely believe it’s possible. It’s highly unlikely and almost improbable, but definitely POSSIBLE.