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Inside The Wheelhouse: Has TNA Wrestling begun to crumble?

Dixie Carter and Hulk HoganWord got out last week that TNA wrestling was suffering from some financial woes and that there would be a new person in-charge of the money at TNA. No more is Dixie Carter able to write an open amount of money for any old or recently released WWE wrestler, because from here on out it will be Dixie Carter’s mother, Janice Carter, who will be in control of writing the checks for TNA. With that news being released, one has to wonder is this the beginning of the end for TNA wrestling?

Money makes the world go round and to make money you must spend money. Well TNA has most certainly done that in the past year with little to no decent outcome in favor of the wrestling promotion. Quite frankly TNA has sped backwards rather then forward in regards to their wrestling promotion.

For a while now on “The Still Real to Us Show” I and co-host Eric Gargiulo have been speculating when & if TNA wrestling will shut their doors. It has been almost a situation of “when” and not “if” for most of the years as TNA has suffered lower ratings then before the Hogan era in TNA began in January of this year.

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The abundant amount of money TNA has spent this past year to be competitive with the WWE is well known. TNA went out and has spent money on bringing Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman and Mr. Anderson to name a few to the company in the past year. While most in that list are regarding wrestling legends, it hasn’t transcended with TNA’s ratings as many wrestling fans aren’t interested in watching older wrestlers compete on television again. That mixed in with TNA’s often confusing storylines and you have the continued recipe for disaster that is TNA wrestling.

TNA even went out of their way this past summer to negotiate with Paul Heyman in hopes that he could be brought in to freshen the product and bring fans to TNA wrestling. The deal never went through as Heyman wanted complete control over the product and Dixie Carter wasn’t ready to give that up. Heyman wasn’t coming, Russo was still in on the creative team and TNA continued to struggle this year.

Now add that all up with the recent news of TNA’s financial woes and you have to wonder if TNA is starting to crumble right before our eyes.

TNA recently received a mixture of 300+ and 500+ attending fans at their last two house shows. An attendance rating that is eclipsed by Ring of Honor wrestling and small market Independent shows that have a small youtube channel in hopes of bring to their shows. The number is pathetic and is the reason why TNA had to recently cancel all their remaining house shows with rumors that it may be a while until we see TNA house shows again.

Then you need to look at their PPV buyrate numbers throughout the year. If the WWE drops to 250,000 buyrates for their PPV then they have a bad PPV financially. TNA on average sees 10,000 buyrates for their pay-per-views. If those numbers happened to the WWE it would be titanic for the company. Yet TNA continues to put money into a product that isn’t producing.

There are also concerns amongst those in the TNA locker room now that we won’t be seeing any new talent additions coming on the roster anytime soon and that we should be expecting some talent cuts in the near future. That really shouldn’t come as shock to many people when you look at the TNA roster.

TNA does one show a week with iMPACT! that is 2 hours long. They have a syndicated show called Explosion that airs in overseas markets as well as some small networks here in the United States. Yet they have a roster that is the size of the WWE (who have 7 hours of programming a week) with very little programming on television every week (TNA has 3 hours of programming a week). With that being said it was bound to happen that they would see issues arise with their talent roster!

Let’s face it; TNA spent their money like a “drunken sailor” in an economical state that isn’t seeing any let up anytime soon. What TNA did by putting more and more money in a product that wasn’t bringing in any money should surprise anyone. You don’t have to read a “get rich for your business” book to see that writing on the wall.

Yes while you have to spend money to make it, you also have to look at yourself after; I don’t know, let’s say six months, realize that your product just isn’t producing and pull the reigns on the amount of money being spent. TNA did not do that and they may be in worse shape they are making it out to be right now. With the recent news of house shows being canceled, which at one time were huge producers of money for TNA, and their being a new money manager in TNA, we have to wonder if this is the start of the end after all.

At this point, with the way things are going for TNA, I will be surprised if they will be around a year from this time and if they are it won’t be with the current roster. We are seeing big changes starting to happen in TNA with little publicity. The steam engine that is TNA into that brick wall of bankruptcy is getting closer.

If Spike TV pulls the plug on this product and gives up on it like a Dallas Cowboys team giving up on Wade Phillips then the company will be done. I truly believe there is no coming back from here and we are hitting a very crucial point in the life & success of TNA wrestling. For them to stay alive for the long haul they need to continue to make drastic changes for their product. The question isn’t only if and when the next change for TNA will be but also what will that very change be?

Is this the beginning of the end for TNA wrestling?

What are your thoughts on the financial woes of TNA wrestling? Will they make it or are we seeing the beginning of the end? Tell us your thoughts on “The Still Real to Us Show” by e-mailing us over at [email protected] and give us your thoughts on whether you agree with more or not! Then go ahead and download the show this Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net to find out if your pick made it to the air!

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”

You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected].

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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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