WWE | Pro Wrestling

Despite low ratings, TNA Impact Wrestling is out-doing WWE

Austin Aries Destination X 2012I have always enjoyed attended the Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling house shows when they have come to my area, but gave up on watching Impact in 2009 out of frustration over the product. But in May of this year when TNA President Dixie Carter announced that Impact would be a more reality based wrestling show, starting one hour earlier and going live for the summer, I decided to give the television show another chance.

Going live each week has made the talent step it up and has done something to the Impact Zone crowd in Orlando. The fans seem more alive and much more into the show each week. The lighting and all the camera angles have greatly improved. Eric Bischoff has done a great job of making Impact Wrestling look more major league with the limitations at Universal Studios.

TNA Impact Wrestling is not the perfect pro wrestling product as it still has flaws such as the stupid soap opera storyline with AJ Styles, TNA President Dixie Carter and Claire, or “Crack Baby Claire.” But despite that awful storyline and the continued low ratings, TNA has the most compelling professional wrestling show on television today.

The wrestlers continue work good and entertaining matches and TNA is doing a much better job of slowing things down, making the matches longer with shorter backstage segments, less in-ring talking and not so much stuff crammed into the entire show each week which makes the company work better at taking longer to tell a story.
Sting’s mystery attackers that surfaced a few weeks ago, the small doses of Joseph Park and Bully Ray, and Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, along with the resurgence of the X-Division is one of the many reasons I set my DVR each week for Impact. Hulk Hogan as the company’s on air authority figure is impressive in putting over the younger TNA talent and TNA veteran’s each week as well.

At their July 8 Destination X pay-per view, TNA company took a big gamble by taking the TNA title belt off the longest reigning TNA champion in Bobby Roode and put it on Austin Aries. Like me, I think most people expected Bobby Roode to hold onto the title up until Bound For Glory and not lose clean to Austin Aries at what is considered to be by most fans (at least me for me) a throw away pay-per view.

Both WWE Raw and Friday Night SmackDown continue to be predictable and boring for the most part with the exception of the A.J., CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Kane storyline. WWE had some much potential with the Brock Lesner and Triple H angle, but because of the limited working schedule for Lesner, I have lost interest in this story.

Paul Heyman has done a great job being the mouth piece for Lesner, but if Lesner would least show up in small doses every other week, I would find this storyline to be more exciting.

Doing the unexpected is what has been missing from Professional Wrestling for a long time after the demise of the original Monday Night War back in the mid 1990’s to the very early 2000’s. However, since making the big decision to go live, TNA has done a better job with intrigue and is improving on bringing back the element of surprise.

The live environment each week over a taped environment has definitely made a huge difference overall for the product. I don’t expect a major ratings hike, but would like to see Impact Wrestling jump to a 2.0 during the show’s live summer run. I know the cost of running a live show is more expensive, let alone a live show on the road. But if the ratings stay at the average 1.0, hopefully Spike Executives will see the value in live television and continue to keep Impact Wrestling live the remainder of 2012.

For more from Jerome Wilen check out his website, Pro Wrestling Ringside – http://prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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