As you may have noticed, WWE and TNA have let people go in the last few months. However, it seems WWE has hired more than fired. Many of these people were interesting prospects or top Indy talent. Due to this, many people have been sending in messages to WWE about getting NXT on a TV station. Don’t worry guys, they’re trying with that.
Meanwhile people have been outraged at TNA, while some simply have given up on them. As a Pro-Wrestling journalist, I am required to at least somewhat care about all wrestling promotions in some way. TNA hasn’t killed me from a content standpoint, even though I really don’t get half the stuff that goes on there. My issue with them is business sense.
When TNA brought in Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan, then eventually
pushed away Jeff Jarrett, I was not immediately happy with the idea.
However, they were able to bring some things I wanted. I wanted to see TNA live each week, and I wanted to see them go on the road eventually. Both things happened. However, it did not happen at the right time or in the right way.
Hogan and Bischoff, as we have seen on TV, have had a lot of pull backstage. This has been a bad thing for the most part. This is mainly because the quality before them was much better than after. Production wise, things got a bit better. But quality wise? Not very good.
It’s not as if anyone expected TNA to compete with WWE. In fact, few thought they could right off. If you did seriously, you need a head examination.
WWE has always had a head-start on TNA, so no one has expected them to bring down the people up north. Although TNA marks will tell you that WWE should go down in favor of TNA. Hilarious marks.
What excited several fans at first was the competition aspect of it all. It would be a WCW/WWF battle again. There is a problem however.
This is not the ‘90’s. You cannot compete anymore when it comes to wrestling shows. With the rise of DVR, all a person has to do is record one or both programs and watch the other after they watch the one they currently are seeing. DVR numbers also count for ratings if a program is watched in a certain period of time.
It seems it is only a pride thing in the end. As Spike TV has the capability to compete with USA Network here in America. The issue is, not every cable package has Spike TV here. And not all cable or satellite package has Spike TV in each package.
Even in low packages for several cable/satellite companies, USA Network pops up. It helps to win the ratings war for 6 years straight.
Due to this, TNA would have to draw in a bulk of what Spike’s audience is and even those who only watch the TNA product. It doesn’t help however, that they haven’t had 3.0’s since WWE was there beforehand.
As a result of this, TNA cannot compete with WWE. But it’s not just the channel issues that bring TNA down a peg. It’s not even the fact that
they have only been around a decade.
TNA’s main issue is business and the finances that go with it. They see former WWE star and jump to bring them in. This is a good and bad thing. In the sense of a Jeff Hardy, it has been good and bad massively.
It was good because he is a proven draw. He can sell merchandise and bring people to PPVs. He’s a problem because he has always been a wildcard on his drug issues. You never know when an issue will happen with him. This makes him a risk. So you take what you can get.
When it comes to others like Ken Anderson, Bully Ray, Devon, Angle, etc. all are former WWE stars who are productive. But could TNA last without them? Yes. In fact, they did well without any of them beforehand.
Paul Heyman said it best. When talking about the TNA locker room, he said he’d love to have a locker room full of TNA’s young stars. But he’d also want that one, full time veteran. Because he’s special. He’s the guy that can help rule the locker room.
Other vets would be in other roles with the company so there would be no need for them to be full time talent. He said that TNA does not get this idea. They hire older guys or those who had the resume that said former WWE star, this despite their age or skill even. Heyman said that this is why they struggle a lot.
But his point is two-fold. One reason is that you can never create new stars this way. But also, it’s the money end of it all. Angle, Hardy, Ray, Devon, etc. are all making millions on the payroll. Meanwhile the current
TNA World Champion Chris Sabin is making significantly less. At one point, Sabin wasn’t making guaranteed money unless he wrestled. And even now that may still be the case.
This does not help an injury prone Sabin. But it doesn’t help other mid-card or jobber talent who cannot see money without TNA putting them on TV. And if under a contract that makes them only wrestle with TNA, they are stuck. Luckily TNA allows talents who aren’t under guaranteed cash deals to wrestle on the Indys when they are not doing any TNA work.
This is where WWE rules over TNA. This is because everyone is getting guaranteed cash in WWE. But again, they have been around longer and have managed to gain far more revenue.
TNA’s issue with this is that while they can offer guaranteed money to some, it’s only the top stars. Because they feel they have to keep them no matter what.
Meanwhile they have plenty of stars who could be used as top stars who have never stepped foot in WWE. They also could go out and do as WWE does now and bring in a lot of top Indy talent. Over time, these people would gain in popularity. This would slowly build TNA.
This slow build allows them to bring in more... (Continues on next page)