Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling has been in business for over 9 years. Since the debut of TNA Wrestling on SpikeTV in 2005, the ratings from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, TNA’s average television audience is roughly 1.8 million viewers a week.
According to TVbuythenumbers.zap2it.com, SpikeTV is available in 98.6 million homes. So the question is, with a network as large as Spike, why does TNA continue to struggle at not even breaking 2.0. Even when World Championship Wrestling was at its low, the average ratings were just above the 2.0 mark.
When TNA first debuted in June 2002 as a weekly pay-per view show, they promoted themselves as an alternative to WWE. More in ring action (which they had), unique matches such as Ultimate X and the reverse latter match, King of the Mountain. TNA has struggled to have its own unique niche and identity.
[adinserter block=”2″]When TNA first launched, they started in the direction of a ‘lighter’ version of the WWE attitude era. Then just before debuting on FOX SportsNet in June 2004, they shifted to a more family friendly product with more wrestling in one hour than WWE had in four hours of programming in the same week. But then, shortly after making their debut on SpikeTV in October 2005, they announced some changes were coming to the company, which was again shifting back to the adult oriented format with less wrestling and more talk, again looking like the WWE attitude Era.
So the big question is what does TNA need to do in order to make company history with a 2.0 rating for Impact Wrestling? There are five areas TNA could change that could possibly increase their ratings. 1) Make the company what they are supposed to be based on by their name. ‘Total Non-Stop Action’ – and put their new slogan, Wrestling Matters more into their Impact Wrestling television show – less talk and longer matches.
2) Really consider investing money into taking their weekly show on the road more and when they do, air it live and not tape it ahead of time.
3) Stop wasting money on former WWE talent that continues to do nothing for their ratings. It only is eating up funds the company could save.
4) Drop the old WWE attitude era format. It’s old and if fans really wanted to see it, then TNA’s ratings would be higher.
5) Do something different and unique that will get people talking. TNA has a very talented roster, and like him or not, Eric Bischoff has the ability to make TNA a top wrestling company. He almost put WWE out of business during the Monday Night War in the mid 90’s.
Now with Sting recently being given the TNA World Title yet again, I believe the company is desperately looking for that ratings pop, but as we have already seen putting the title on a 50 plus year old legend has done nothing for television ratings. Sting has been a great champion is previous years both in TNA and World Championship Wrestling.
I don’t think Ken Anderson has been given a fair enough amount of time to prove himself as a champion. I think that if they kept him as a face champion, he could have great potential for some good fan reaction, but instead, continue to go back to the past.
This is exactly was World Championship Wrestling did during the New World Order era. Giving the older talent their championship belt and not looking to the future.
[adinserter block=”1″]According to Jason Powell at ProWrestling.net, talent meetings were recently held in Orlando before the last set of Impact Wrestling tapings in which both Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter stated that talent needed to “step up their games when it comes to storytelling in the ring.” How much more can you ask of talent when creative first needs to change. The talent can only do so much on their end.
How much longer will SpikeTV and Panda Energy keep dumping money into TNA before the funds run dry? If your television product is weak and full of stuff nobody wants to see, then a six-sided ring with all unique matches no other promotion has, and spending big money on former WWE and WCW talent won’t make a difference. Sadly, when I look at company who has great potential, all I continue to see is WCW 1999-2000.
For more from Jerome Wilen check out his website, Pro Wrestling Ringside – http://prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com
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