There's been a lot of talk about TNA and the financial issues they have been dealing with. Rather than dive into it myself, Jesse jumped into it for us.
While everyone has been looking at the various issues plaguing TNA over the past few months such as a lack of creative direction, a mass exodus of talent, alleged pay failures, and contract disputes, I have been doing my best to pinpoint something a little more finite with the organization: their financial woes, specifically in the live events. Granted, I am not a Panda Energy executive, so these numbers are rough in areas. For the purpose of this example, I will be using an arena I know well, the Black River Colosseum in Poplar Bluff, MO, and the estimated attendance numbers from their most recent house show there, of which I attended.
To rent the Colosseum for a large event such as a TNA House Show, it costs $7500. The show had an estimated gate of 500 people, which was split 70% floor seats at $45 and 30% riser seats at an average of $20 a seat. That gives you a gate of $15,750 for the floor and another $3000 on the risers for a total of $18,750, depending on papering. TNA brings in 12-16 talents to work each house show and from what I was told from a reliable source, the average show bonus is around $750, making the average talent expense $10,500. That doesn't include all of the other crew and employees they have to pay for each show. Add in at least another $1000 for security, typically Atlus unless they can get a National Guard unit to work it, transportation costs for the ring, stage, and merchandise that I will estimate at $2000, and advertising costs. That means you have at a minimum between all of the other variables another $10,000 in costs unaccounted for. Add in the fact that the average fan will buy around $25 in merchandise while at the show and there is another $12,500 in income. So to break it down to brass tacks, TNA spends at minimum $28,000 in costs for these events for a take home income $31,250, for a marginal profit of $3250 if you ignore the fact that the merchandise revenue also goes to the performers. With that fact, TNA is losing money on every show.
Video > B
Nice to see them start the show with a video looking forward, not recapping. So much better!
In Ring Segment > B
I think it's a bit much that Bully and A&8's started Impact again, as they have done so much of it, but Bully is as over as anyone in TNA right now. But more than that, I loved how Bully talked up A&8's and how the rest of the crew went along with him, except Anderson. Anderson no-sold that hug better than almost any hug I've seen in wrestling.
Sabin vs Knux > C-
Sabin is one of those littler guys who can work with the bigger guys and make it look like it works. Knux, on the other hand, doesn't look at all strong, or able to handle himself against the smaller wrestler. Jesse, who is always on top of these types of things, said that Knux hasn't been in a singles match since January 10, 2013, before he was unmasked. That's really sad, and so much for A&8's being so dominant force. Even worse is having to give Sabin such a bad grade, but there was only so much he could do in the ring with Knux! The best part of it all was the hammer work – except Knux no-selling the hammer shot!
Winner – Knux via DQ (5:40)
Backstage Segment > B
I have to admit that I'm shocked that Velvet and Sabin are allowing their relationship to be brought onto the show as a storyline. They've done such a strong job of keeping it quiet. I hope this doesn't mess things up for them.
In Ring Segment > F&B
What is up with Mickie's overdone hair and cheesy ripped up trailer trash clothing? And I've heard enough about Miley this week! Luckily ODB came out and made the segment worth the time. Those fans love ODB, and for good reason. Wait, why is Mickie so worried about being seen in a tube top? We've seen her in so much less! And I gave this two grades because there's no reason ODB should be dragged down by that mess.
Backstage Segment > D
Sorry, but Knux with that sandwich made me gag more than Mickie's outfit and mic work!
BFG Series Gauntlet Match > B
I don't know why Bradley was suddenly trying to develop a character and storyline, but I'm not impressed. He came off as a beefy Robbie E. And seeing Bradley and Hernandez in the ring together is a snore-fest. Luckily Joseph was scheduled to get in there and make it at least worth watching! Even better was watching Anderson come out and try to force Joseph off the apron. Just when things were starting to get good, they go to commercial!
Interesting how certain wrestlers were eliminated, and how others didn't push eliminations too hard, but it was the way Anderson cracked his head on the rail when he landed. That railing looked really close to the ring on that side; dangerously close to the ring. I think someone screwed up here, and it's not as if they need that space for an extra row of seats. TNA is not hurting that bad for seating space at events.
The fans at Impact were absolutely dead at this point in the night. After last week's Impact, then taping this episode, they have almost no reason to care at this point. Only Joe, AJ and Aries have brought solid responses from the fans. Even Hardy's reaction has been blah. I will give Daniels props for the "Appletini!" chants he brought from the fans, but that seemed to be an anomaly for me. Even Magnus, someone the fans love, got little reaction, and it was the first they saw of him.
Many people were calling for AJ to win this 20 points so he would be in the final four. He needed these 20 points, so it was convenient for the match to be put together for him to win them. Putting AJ in the top four makes the most sense, and is where he deserves to be. I just wish they didn't have to put together this match to cover for all their crappy booking of AJ for the past two years. So much for the face of TNA!
Winner – AJ +20 (23:29)
Backstage Segment > B+
Bully really ripped Anderson a new one for his loss. The creepy tone in his voice was just great. Before he was yelling that is. The way A&8's is crumbling, that was just one more crack in the foundation of the group.
Backstage Segment > B+
So now they're saying that Sting can't go after the WHC, even though Hogan put him in this match for the WHC against Bully? It's a huge plot hole – just like WWE has dug themselves into a hole this week as well. Beyond that, Sting and Rampage were really cute there together.
Storm & Gunner vs Wes & Garett > B-
Wes and Garett attacking from behind was the only chance they were going to get in this match! I was shocked at how long Wes and Garett held on in this match, but it's all about the booking. While I'm normally all about Storm and Gunner, but Gunner hit a really rough looking back breaker on Garett. Garett ended up landing on the back of his neck/head and I was worried until he bounced back up.
I loved the double team work from Storm and Gunner. It flowed well and looked lovely. Then there's Gunner who sold the cheap attack by Garett really well. He handled it really well after such a rough move earlier. I'm liking Gunner and Storm as a team more and more. Someone in the WNW Impact OTP said it would be a shame if they didn't find a solid team for them to face at the next PPV, and I absolutely agree as they're a great team.
Winners – Wes & Garett (5:58)
In Ring Segment > B+
Borash announced Magnus, Roode, Aries and AJ, and the fans barely reacted to them. There's a SERIOUS issue with TNA running two episodes of Impact in one night when the fans are that dead. They woke up some to 'help' AJ decide who to face at No Surrender, but not as much as they should have.
I love that AJ went after Aries first! That's going to be one sick match, and I'm so excited for next week for that match! I'm thrilled for Magnus facing Roode, but AJ and Aries will keep me up nights in excitement! The mic work was solid, but I have to admit that other than the Muppets comment by Magnus, they could have been singing Itsy-Bitsy-Spider and I'd have been happy because I'm wallowing in an AJ/Aries glow.
Bully vs Sting > B
Hogan comes out with the most illogical decisions. So Tito is tossed out, but it's No DQ? How much sense does that make? It was obvious when Tito was tossed out and Anderson wasn't that Anderson would be costing Bully the match. That's logical booking, but only after such screwiness.
Okay, I take away anything I said about logical booking! So they really hurt a lot of people with the booking of this match. Honestly, the only person who came out looking great was Sting. Honestly, if his hair wasn't thinning, you wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference in his work now compared to 10-15 years ago. He just keeps going and going, while looking great doing it. Hogan, on the other hand, came out with illogical booking for this match after really screwing up setting it up last week – in two ways. And then whoever booked to have Bully tap out to Sting should lose their imaginary friend, because they have absolutely no creativity. Yes, Anderson screwed him over while he was in the scorpion deathlock, but this is Bully Ray, the TNA WHC, and all he could do it tap out? How to make the Champ look weak people!
I've been calling for Anderson to be a mole, or something, since it first looked like he might be joining A&8's, and finally it's come to fruition! I was wrong about Brooke Hogan turning heel, but that whole thing ended in a screwy way. I blame Hulk Hogan, but we all know I like to blame him for all of TNA's problems – since Russo left – and it seems as though I'm not the only one these days. Make sure you read the TNA Premium info on WNW!
Winner – Sting (9:51)
While I could bash the heck out of this week's episode for the craptstic booking, the lackluster wrestling, and the pathetic mess Hogan made of things at the end of Impact last week, I'm not going to. Impact, and what I already wrote, speak for themselves. I'm going to just be giddy about Impact next week, and all the lovely matches that are scheduled. I'm thrilled for next week, and I'm going to hold out hope that next week's show will erase all memory of this week's show!
Queen of WNW
KB & Jesse