Here we go again. Seriously, is anyone as frustrated as I am with TNA Wrestling? It's the eve of one of the most important shows in the company's history and here we are discussing Hulk Hogan's contract and the future of Impact on the road. There's a pay-per-view? How many people actually know that? And those of us that know that Bound for Glory is Sunday, how many actually care?
This is of no surprise. Last year, Hogan did a media blitz throughout the month of October. Only it wasn't TNA Bound for Glory he was promoting, it was the infamous sex tape with his ex-best friend's wife he was talking about. Rather than being a great "ambassador" for TNA, he was doing personal damage control.
It's been nearly 4 years since Hogan and his friend Eric Bischoff landed in TNA, yet would you believe viewership has actually decreased? I was reminded on Twitter on Friday that last year's go-home to Bound for Glory episode of Impact did an equally puny 1,200,000 average viewing audience with a 0.86 rating. Thursday's show did 1,110,000 viewers with a 0.84 cable rating but the fact of the matter is the numbers are terrible.
Viewership is flat, the audience isn't growing and those that are watching are increasingly frustrated. Rather than Dixie Carter using her 260,000+ followers on Twitter to put the focus on the pay-per-view, she's trying to play a role she's been dreadfully miscast into. The heat she's generating isn't heat generated by a good heel but it's the fact that no one wants any part of Dixieland (read the comments here).
Hogan and Bischoff have made a lot of decisions since coming to TNA but the two that will go into the record books are moving Impact from Thursdays to Mondays and taking Impact from its safe home in Orlando to a different location every 2 weeks. Both decisions failed and set the company back rather than moving it forward. In fact, Dixie Carter said her biggest regret was trying to run on Monday nights.
I'm frustrated and falling into the deep and dark hole of apathy. If they don't care, why should I? I'm not debating TNA's decision to pull Impact off the road. It's a decision the company needs to make but I will question the timing. Why did TNA decide to start deleting tapings from their touring schedule the weekend of their biggest show of the year? Couldn't it have waited until Monday?
Not only can we question the timing of the Impact debacle but why won't Dixie Carter set the record straight on Hulk Hogan? Whether she admits negotiations didn't work out or that a new deal has in fact been struck, isn't either response better than every TNA talent that does a promotional interview facing the dreaded Hogan question? It's up to TNA management and their promotional department to assure the attention is on the pay-per-view, not on the outside distractions. Yet every interview, people are asking the actual wrestlers about a guy that doesn't even wrestle.
I'll argue the attention is on anything but the pay-per-view. Talent are constantly asked about low attendance, rumored financial problems, unsettled contracts and anything other than Bound for Glory. The entire mess underscores TNA's problem all along. TNA's problem has never been talent, they arguably have as much if not more than any promotion in the world. TNA's problem hasn't been names, they've employed some of the biggest names in the wrestling business. TNA's problem has been that the average 18-35 year-old male in the United States has no idea they exist.
The mistakes being made seem so obvious, yet it seems every time someone questions TNA they're labeled your know-it-all Internet naysayer. I agree there are those that root for TNA to fail, some have been putting the company out of business since their first Wednesday show in Nashville. However, I'm not one of those people.
I'm someone that has sponsored TNA live events, co-founded a website (with Alex Barie) dedicated to the company and refused to bury them in situations I would have been justified. Yet time and time again they leave me disappointed. How much longer must we write about the obvious mistakes before someone takes notice?
I want TNA to succeed. Competition is good for the business, it's good for this website. However, I'm starting to wonder how serious TNA is about competing as a company. Seriously, do they even care? I say this with all due respect but the problems that are hogging the focus could have been easily handled if Dixie Carter would step up and address them rather than playing a ridiculous on-screen heel character.
The WWE product has struggled as of late yet TNA has done nothing to capitalize on the market share. It's almost as if they're looking at what WWE is doing with Triple H and Stephanie and trying to recreate it. It's absurd and truly bad for business.