The big story on Thursday is news breaking that TNA is taking Impact Wrestling off the road and returning to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, a strong change of direction from decisions made less than 9 months ago.
TNA President Dixie Carter delivered the following statement on the January 31, 2013 episode of Impact Wrestling:
“For the past 8 years the most amazing wrestling fans today have traveled from all over the world to come see us at Universal Studios in Orlando. Now it’s time for us to take the cameras to you. I’m so excited to announce that the television tapings for Impact are going on the road permanently and we’re going to do that starting March 14 when we go live from Chicago at the Sears Centre Arena. We couldn’t have done any of this without you. So from all of us at TNA – thank you – thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything and for making Impact Wrestling a global success. And we will see you in your hometown very soon.”
At the time, the announcement rejuvenated talent and morale throughout the company. We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com on February 10, 2013 that several workers had described the Universal crowd as “spoiled,” “calloused,” and even “exhausting” to try and garner a reaction from. The feeling amongst several people was that so many of the Impact regulars had become conditioned to the point where it didn’t matter how good the in-ring work was, reactions remained mundane.
Frankie Kazarian stated in a media interview back in March that he could joke and say ‘I can’t wait to get out here’ [referring to the Impact Zone and that part was true. Bobby Roode told me that taking Impact on the road was a huge step.
Tara, who is no longer with TNA, was on record as to saying “thank God” they were going on the road and that fans in Orlando “got a bit spoiled.”
In the announcement issued on Thursday, here’s what Dixie Carter had to say:
“The way that people view television has dramatically shifted, and it is incumbent upon us to deliver a modern, revolutionized way of watching professional wrestling to our fans,” said President Dixie Carter. “Our reality is that we only have 82 minutes of programming each week and a large roster of talented professionals that deserve more exposure. With our new ‘Where Action Never Ends’ creative direction, we will deliver just that for both them and the fans.”
Carter continued, “Bringing live events to our fans across the globe will remain a vital element of TNA’s business; however, our renewed focus, as it relates to our television programming, will shift from live event touring to 24/7 show content, so that fans can really get to know our talent. And, in making Orlando’s Universal Studios our programming hub, we have the powerful combination of state-of-the art production facilities and incredible soundstages that will make it easier for us to launch this new production-intensive initiative. We will also be working with Universal to develop new and creative ways for park guests and fans from around the world to experience a unique TNA attraction.”
Pamela Tuscany, Vice President and General Manager, Universal Studios Florida Production Group, said the following:
“We look forward to the successful launch of ‘Where Action Never Ends’ giving viewers the chance to experience IMPACT Wrestling 24 hours a day/7 days a week.”
Richard Reacts: The point in posting this is to show the excitement the roster had in taking their product on the road. The locker room wanted a different environment and while I understand this was a business decision that really was best for business, it’s going to effect morale in the locker room. While we quoted a few names, their opinions were shared by the consensus of the roster. TNA has a brutal task in front of them in trying to revive their roster and their fan base.