*Disclaimer: I’m a huge TNA fan that watched the product for years. What I’m about to say may shock you, agitate you, irritate you and want to throw me off the roof of my own beach house, which I’m at now. Consider my next few paragraphs real and very possible. *
TNA could be closing its doors in the relevant future. What a loaded statement right? I mean; the company is only in its eleventh year and still in a form of infancy as far as businesses go.
I can admit that for an 11-year old company, TNA is doing quite well for themselves. Many pay-per-views are great enough to be considered the greatest matches of all-time. AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bully Ray, Gunner, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries on a roster full of other great wrestlers can be considered an amazing wrestling promotion.
Let’s not look at the sole fact that it’s not succeeding at this moment. To clarify, they aren’t succeeding in the business-world, but may be in the fan’s world.
To make my insane judgment come to pass, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
July 3rd, 2013: With the help of pro wrestling.net as a partial source, it was reported that TNA was a month late on the payroll and it got so bad that a former champ claimed to be six weeks behind on his pay. This did happen one other time, but someone in the office was behind, which is understandable if true.
July 3rd, 2013: TNA releases five talented stars from the roster including Crimson, Christian York, Madison Rayne, Joey Ryan and Taeler Hendrix. A few weeks later, Matt Morgan was released, so was D-Lo Brown. To add on, they re-signed Tax after the slew of cuts.
July 3rd, 2013: Reports of OVW and TNA’s relationship in shambles. Those problems include former head trainer Rip Rodgers’ problems about money. Also, sources to Al Snow claim he is making promises to wrestlers that he can’t keep.
July 4th, 2013: According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, TNA house shows that took place on June 26th and 27th accommodated fans of 750 fans and 700 respectively. While the Impact Zone holds 1,350 fans, scoring only 700 is not something to be proud of.
July 4th, 2013: More from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, those long waits for pay aren’t just wrestlers, but officials as well.
July 8th, 2013: Thanks to tnawrestlingnews.com, EWN and they found that one source blamed the late pay on the Panda Energy (owner of TNA) side of things. Just to add something, Panda is worth billions of dollars, much more than WWE.
One wrestler said he knew of wrestlers who were four weeks behind on pay. And, there were reports of third party vendors having problems with receiving payment. Lastly, over the past few weeks, regular office workers have been departing the company. Not one of them were Impact executives.
July 17th, 2013: Bruce Prichard has been officially release from his position as Senior Vice President, Programming & Talent Relations position that he has held since October 2011. Eric Bischoff commented on it saying, “Been a tough, productive week. Great teamwork netted a great Impact on Spike Thursday. I’m going to miss working with Bruce Pritchard…”
“Bruce has been a key player at the Big Show and knows the business. But I respect the fact that he puts family first.” And that was according to wrestlingnewssource.com.
July 22nd, 2013: The night prior, there was a huge complication at a house show in Missouri that six wrestlers could not even compete at the show, due to not having a license to wrestle in the state.
The Missouri Athletic Commission would not allow Chris Sabin, Garrett Bischoff, Jay Bradley, Wes Brisco, Gail Kim and Miss Tessmacher to work. Eight wrestlers performed for an hour and a half in front of a crowd of 500.
That brings us to where we are today, a week after Destination-X. The former PPV brought in a 1.16 ratings on the scale, which is much better than normal TNA shows that usually provide a .8.
Now, I told all of you in the beginning of this post that I enjoy TNA. I like the fact that wrestling is a priority because in WWE, that is not the case. It’s all about Entertainment over at the “E”.
I urge all of the wrestling fans reacting to this post by considering the “business” aspect of it all. You can be a fan of the product all you want and I believe the product to be quite good, much better than a couple of years ago.
Although I proclaimed on my twitter page yesterday, the product will not exist without the business. Think of ECW, the wrestling was fun to watch and very entertaining, but they were bought out.
That doesn’t mean the product wasn’t good rather the business was terrible. TNA’s product is great, but the business-side is not very good. Which is why, I don’t think TNA will be around very much longer IF this trend continues.
If it doesn’t, then fantastic. One of my favorite wrestlers is Austin Aries and I enjoy watching him every Thursday, but like I keep saying, think about the business first to create sound logic.
Here’s my question to all of you: what should TNA do? Clearly, the current plans aren’t working at all and something should be done. I didn’t even touch on the “going on the road” initiative or how TNA only has four PPV’s a year.
Everything was great in the Impact Zone, but Dixie and co. wanted expand. Excellent thinking and confidence, but it’s losing money.
So, what now?