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Is TNA Wrestling doomed for Failure?

I was excited when I heard that Total Non-Stop Action was taking their main show Impact Wrestling television show live on the road. I was hopeful for not only a better looking product, but also better fan reactions and higher ratings. None of which have really taken place.

[adinserter block=”1″]I recently read reports on various wrestling media outlets that Impact on road each week is costing around $600,000. While that isn’t a lot compared to World Wrestling Entertainment, it is a lot for a much smaller promotion in TNA Wrestling.

Recently TNA cut both wrestling and office talent, and in additional have requested contracts to be reconstructed. Now I have heard that this could be contributed to the fact of TNA spending so much for Impact on the road. I can understand and respect the decision of TNA feeling the need to take their flagship show to other parts of the United States, but so far, for the most part it seems to have been a failure.

I’m not a promoter, a booker or pretend to know everything about wrestling, but I have followed it since 1986. Instead of cutting talent, TNA needs first examine their product. There really has been no substantial increase in television ratings or revenue as from reading, both TNA officials and SPIKE TV where hoping for both.

It seems that no matter how hard TNA tries to do something different that looks like it could work, it fails – from a more reality based format, innovative matches (i.e. Destination X, LockDown). WCW experienced this for a long time. It was combination of Nitro, a revamped product and the NWO that took WCW to the top for 88 weeks that almost put WWE out of business. At first I thought the Aces and Eights storyline had potential in the beginning, but after several losses and some talent cuts from the group, the faction really has no credibility.

Now I’m not trying to be nit-picky, but the company needs to focus on what they need to do in order to be number one. I still think they pay too much attention to WWE. They either need find smaller low cost venues’ to hold Impact at, or find a new centralized location for weekly shows and hold TV specials (i.e. Destination X and Hardcore Justice) in other arenas’ across the U.S. in addition to their four pay-per-views. They need to not look so much like WCW 1998-2000 and even prior (they need to get rid of the walk ramp – WCW tried it in the early 1990’s).

The questions many may ask, at least I do, is that when TNA brought in Christian, Sting, Kurt Angle, the Dudley Boyz (aka Team 3-D), Taz, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Hardy, Ken Anderson, Rob Van and others, why hasn’t TNA seen an increase in ratings? I believe it’s the overall television product.

Cutting other talent to attempt to cross over with Mixed Martial Arts talent in Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz really isn’t the answer. WCW tried during their dying days and it didn’t work.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am no means trying to intentionally bad mouth TNA or be negative, I want TNA to succeed. TNA needs to succeed. It’s healthy for industry and it is health for the business overall. Every time TNA has come to my market for a house show, I have gone. They are very fan friendly, which is something they have an edge on over WWE.

TNA should tap more into Eric Bischoff if they already haven’t. The overall production of Impact Wrestling is much improved since going on the road. Both Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey have done an excellent job with the product part of the show.

[adinserter block=”2″]If TNA doesn’t so something soon to change things up, I fear they could be soon doomed.

By Jerome Wilen (www.prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com)

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I really think people are misunderstanding the issue here when they talk about ratings. Stagnant/decreasing ratings is not just a problem for TNA, it's a problem for the wrestling industry as a whole, including WWE.

    I can't understand how everyone thinks TNA is suddenly going to find new viewers, when the wrestling industry has been in decline for the last 11 to 12 years. Neither WWE, nor TNA are going to see any big ratings growth; there are simply less wrestling fans than there were a decade ago.

    What happened to wrestling during the 1997/98/99 golden years, was that product suddenly and quickly caught on with non-wrestling fans. Guess what, those non-wrestling fans got bored and didn't stick around, precisely because they weren't wrestling fans. They aren't coming back, no matter what the wrestling industry does because those fans don't give a damn about wrestling and never did.

    Why hasn't any of the talent made a difference to TNAs ratings? Because they're trying to attract an audience that doesn't exist anyone, and that couldn't care less about Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, or wrestling in general.

    The only people who care about those names are wrestling fans. And 99% of those people are not really wrestling fans, they're WWE fans. WCW had the marketing dollar to draw some of WWE's fans away, but TNA does not.

    So they're caught where they are today; they don't have the funds to out-market WWE and attract their fans, and they can't attract casual fans because late 90s wrestling was a trend that isn't coming back – those fans have moved on.

  2. Het rid of the walk ramp. Bingoooo. That is one aspect of how dumb the Dix is. She concentrates so much on the WWE, but she still can,t copy what makes them good.mthe size of their ring, the entrance, entrance music. Instead she hires the losers of WWE and jumps as if she is going to now compete. It's simple. Copy what works, innovate where WWE lacks. TNA will always be on the edge of failure if you have someone like Dixie and Bischoff in charge. All they need to do is better the product and everything else will come, the fans, ratings and money. But instead she wants the product to act as if it is on par with the WWE and tries to hide the bad ratings, story lines, etc. DIxie is a classic business person to study. Just do everything opposite she does, and you are bound to succeed.

  3. I think that one of TNA's issues is too much Hogan. I was the biggest Hulkamaniac in 1988 when I was 8 years old, That gimmick has passsed Brother! I feel like if they are going to use Hulk, he needs to be more a professional and not be the "Hulkster." If you watch HHH in WWE he is only really "The Game" when he wrestles, not when he is working as a boss. I also think that TNA really got lost when AJ was no longer the focus. He is an amazing talent, but he has been pushed to the back my names like Sting and Kurt Angle. In my opinion TNA needs to simplify what is does now and be a traditional wrestling company and do that really well or they need to go back to focussing on what made them the alternative to WWE in the first place. Bigger isn't always better, sometimes better is better.

  4. I think that TNA and WWE are both experienceing similar issues. Poor story-lines, poor story telling, poor match build-up and to many poople at the top. The difference is that the WWE can skate by on star power and reputation. All business's go up and down, WWE is hot in the 80's, dead in early 90's, hot in the late 90's, slowed way down in the mid-late 2000's. Maybe it is starting to feel like it's picking up again.

  5. You aren't trying to badmouth TNA? C'mon man. You titled the article "Is TNA Wrestling doomed to failure." That's a title to make people click it…then you tell them everything that's wrong with TNA. They are doing just fine. Just because WWE is bigger doesn't mean they are closing their doors.

    WWE has cost-cutting releases every year. Are THEY doomed to failure? Of course not. This is a nothing, nonsense article. And this writer is a fraud.

    • WWE has been reporting record low ratings, mostly due to a stale/stagnant product. He has a point, TNA's answers to their problems haven't done them much good, and there's two reasons for this: Poor network & advertising, and very poor writing and booking. The people currently writing the storylines at TNA can't seem to keep to a good storyline, and tend to kill off things that have serious potential. It seems TNA doesn't get it, wrestling is meant to be violent, and it's not always about the good guy vs the bad guy. TNA writers think to much in the time frame of the 80s and 90s, its not about face vs heel or good winning over bad.

    • I appreciate and respect your comments on my column. I did indicate what I do like about TNA that they are a very fan friendly promotion. As I stated I want to see TNA suceed. I like the Densination X concept, I like the King of the Mountain concept and I look forward to what I hope will be stood cage match at the Hard Core Justice Impact special. I love good old fashoned cage matches. I just see a lot of WCW 1998-1999 in the current product. I respect Jeff Jarrett for taking a gamble and creating an alternative promotion. There are areas of WWE I wish would change as well. I grew up on the old NWA era which I know can’t be duplicated. ROH may as close to that as possible but I don’t have a Sinclair station in my market yet.

    • This was originally meant for C’Mon writer so I’m posting it to the proper place. Still getting used to my all touch screen smart phone.

      I appreciate and respect your comments on my column. I did indicate what I do like about TNA that they are a very fan friendly promotion. As I stated I want to see TNA suceed. I like the Densination X concept, I like the King of the Mountain concept and I look forward to what I hope will be stood cage match at the Hard Core Justice Impact special. I love good old fashoned cage matches. I just see a lot of WCW 1998-1999 in the current product. I respect Jeff Jarrett for taking a gamble and creating an alternative promotion. There are areas of WWE I wish would change as well. I grew up on the old NWA era which I know can’t be duplicated. ROH may as close to that. I don’t have a Sinclair station in my market yet.

  6. The croos over with bellator, imo, isnt worth it. It may work and ill be wrong but so far it hasnt had any effect. I agree that TNA needs more advertising from beyond Spike. In the UK It is on Challenge tv and that is advertised on other channels such as Dave and Yesterday

  7. The main problem I see is promoting the TNA product as I have not seen 1 ad on another network besides SPIKE showing any of the upcoming TV shows. The August 1 event is an excellent example all those you tube videos were for the IWC not for the public this is the wrong audience for TNA to attract as these people already know about the product.

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