You’ve read the rumors. You’ve seen those rumors denied. But after more than a decade of survival, it seems it’s finally happening.
TNA is dying. Impact Wrestling is dying.
I’m not happy about that, mind you. I know I’ve sworn off TNA, but that’s not because I want the show, or the company, to fail. It’s just because I can’t stand the show. Pre-reboot, at least.
But the little engine that could, the de facto #2 company in the world of American professional wrestling, seems to be falling off the dial. Word is that Spike TV has grown tired of keeping the TNA ship afloat, and is pulling the plug on Impact Wrestling on Thursday night. If TNA can’t find a new home on cable, on a station willing to foot a good chunk of the bill, the company is HISTORY.
WCW 2001. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
For a long time, I’ve waited for TNA to “make it.” I watched when Impact was an online-only entity. I watched when they had a half-assed show on Fox Sports. I watched religiously when they first came to Spike. I even tagged along when TNA made its miserable Monday night debut.
Eventually, the BS became far too much to take. The bad outweighed the good, and it was time to go home.
But I still hoped the company would be a viable number two.
It never was.
Now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Spike TV is talking to Jeff Jarrett, in an effort to pick up Global Force. 1.5 million people are already tuning in for a pretty terrible show every Thursday (recent NYC reboot aside). Why wouldn’t they tune in for something GOOD?
There’s still a chance that TNA and Spike will kiss and make up, but it’s not looking good. If Spike does renew Impact, it’s going to come at a much lower price, forcing TNA to cut a substantial portion of its budget. The company is already losing $50 million a year WITH Spike subsidizing the show. That’s a million dollars per episode of Impact. Think about the talent that’s left on the roster, and tell me where the hell the money is going. Tell me what’s left to cut.
Unless and until TNA and Spike crawl back into bed together, like an unhappy couple who accept their mutual inability to do any better, Impact is a lame duck show. The NYC tapings can be the best thing ever, but that won’t matter. If no one sees the shows, if the show goes off the air…those supposedly awesome reboot episodes don’t exist.
Not until they land on the WWE Network, at least.
I’m so frustrated right now. I want the company to do well. I want options as a fan. I want my pro wrestler friends to have options for work. I want to see them succeed on TV. If the only option is WWE, we all lose.
The sad thing is there are a bunch of things TNA has done right then dropped. There’s another bunch of things TNA did that ANYONE who EVER watched a wrestling show could tell you were just asinine.
I don’t have time, and Juice Make Sugar doesn’t have the bandwith, for me to mention every mistake TNA has ever made. Instead, I’m going to do my Buzzfeed best, and give you my “TOP TEN MISTAKES OF IMPACT WRESTLING.” Are they the worst mistakes TNA has ever made? Maybe, maybe not. But they’re the ones on my mind, and you’d be hardpressed to disagree. I’m sure I’m missing plenty, but hey. This is MY list. I could probably do one every week.
Tweet me your list @AndyMillerJMS.