TNA Wrestling has received another stay of execution. An announcement on Thursday confirmed that TNA has found a new home for Impact Wrestling, giving Impact its third home in three years.
Dave Meltzer speculated in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer that a deal could go down between TNA and POP. TNA head honcho Dixie Carter tweeted a tease earlier this week about a big meeting in Los Angeles, although nobody took her very seriously. Financial details of the new deal are not available, although I would imagine someone will get that scoop at some point.
“Wrestling has been a fan-fueled staple since the ’50s, and continues to be some of the most-watched appointment television today. The die-hard fandom and extraordinary passion surrounding Impact Wrestling captures the spirit of Pop as a network that celebrates fan-driven entertainment and excitement,” said Pop President Brad Schwartz. “We’re committed to this new partnership and psyched to bring the show’s loyal fans a dedicated night to watch their favorite show on Pop every week.”
Interestingly enough, the move looks quite positive on the surface for TNA. POP TV reaches more homes than Destination America, with close to 75 million homes right now. POP is a joint venture with CBS and Lionsgate which brings some big possibilities for TNA if the company can gain some momentum on its new channel.
The show will debut live on January 7 on the network. TNA employee Jeremy Borash tweeted that the company had wanted to go live on Tuesdays since 2002. Tuesday is an interesting night and sees no competition presently from pro wrestling. It will also keep TNA secure from Thursday Night Football which hurt them badly during their Spike days.
“Pop’s enthusiasm for our partnership and the network’s fan focus is a perfect fit for our company,” said TNA President Dixie Carter. “Wresting has always been at the forefront of pop culture with the most passionate, loyal fan base. We’re thrilled to be in business with Pop and to bring Impact Wrestling to more than 80 million homes.”
What this means is anyone’s guess? TNA threw a parade when they signed with Destination America last year.
“We are very excited about Destination America being the new network for IMPACT WRESTLING and the partnership with Discovery Communications both domestically and across the globe. Their commitment to promote and grow our brand in innovative and compelling ways was instrumental in knowing we had found the right home,” said TNA President Dixie Carter. “Together we will create an experience that takes our fans on a new journey that will push the envelope of technology, including where we take our cameras, going deeper into our superstars’ lives and showing the reality of what it takes to create a weekly professional wrestling show, all while showcasing the very best male and female athletes in the world.”
What TNA does with this new opportunity is the big question. TNA had a fresh start on Destination America and were never able to gain much traction. The company has lost a lot of its major stars over the last few years with the exception of Jeff Hardy. With the WWE aggressively acquiring talent on the independents for NXT, TNA will have its share of creative obstacles going into 2016.
Overall it is a positive for the entire industry. While a Tuesday night show on POP TV is hardly competition for the WWE, it is something. It’s an alternative for pro wrestling fans and if lessons have been learned, it could be a great thing for everyone.
Unfortunately with the same people in charge, specifically at the top, I have a sneaky feeling TNA will be singing a different song a year from now.