New Era For TNA Wrestling, Busiest Days, Stakes At Survivor Series, Smackdown Airing Live

The following is today's edition of Ask WNW. Ask WNW is the most popular feature on the website where Richard Gray answers four questions daily, Monday through Friday. To submit your question for the next installment of Ask WNW, click here.

What is your reaction to TNA Wrestling’s new domestic TV deal with Destination America?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 is a great day for TNA Wrestling. They’ve officially calmed concerns from the doomsayers that had them going out of business. TNA will survive in 2015 and beyond and that is reason for every wrestling fan to be excited. I am also happy for the men and women that rely on TNA to make their living as I don’t believe even the most pessimistic fan wants to see someone lose their job.

Even without knowing the financials of the deal, TNA will have to scale back operations because of the fact Impact will be available in far fewer American households. What does that mean about live events? Wrestler pay? International tours? There are all kinds of questions that will have to be answered but what we know is Impact is coming to Destination America and new episodes will be taped for the series next year.

This has been quite the saga. TMZ.comreported on July 27, 2014 that Spike TV was not renewing TNA’s contract. They reported there was no bad blood and Spike gave TNA advance notice so they had time to shop for a new TV deal, noting their deal was good through October.

As it turns out, Spike ended up moving Impact to Wednesday nights and extending their agreement for an additional two months. However, it looks like the TMZ report was completely accurate. While Bob Ryder and Dixie Carter were quick to “debunk” the TMZ report in the days after it was posted, everything turned out just as they reported in July.

In the end, Spike made the decision to move on from TNA Wrestling and now Destination America will be their new TV partner. Will Destination America be the TV partner TNA needs to help compete against WWE or will TNA operate as a shell of its former self? Only time will tell but today is a good day because Impact will remain on cable television.

Aside from the Benoit tragedy, what else would you consider your busiest days ever at work?

Any time news breaks - big or small - business picks up. For example, just this morning things got very busy when TNA officially announced their new deal with Destination America. One of the busiest days I can remember recently was after Ultimate Warrior’s tragic death. Wrestlemania season is always busier than the summer months because there is more interest and more information flowing in. I actually view WWE’s offseason as two weeks after Wrestlemania through SummerSlam. If WWE had a “season” like professional sports, it would be the middle of August through the beginning of April. Those are the busiest days.

In my opinion the recently added stipulation to Team Cena vs. Team Authority makes the outcome obvious. What are your thoughts?

The stakes have been raised in Team Cena vs. Team Authority with an added stipulation to the Survivor Series main event that benefits the heels if they win. I don’t want to spoil it here but WWE wants to give this match an “all or nothing” feel. They framed as much in the weekly kayfabe Michael Cole interview with John Cena. You can watch it at this link or embedded in the video below:

As for my thoughts, I believe Team Cena is the overwhelming favorite to go over at Survivor Series. If not for anything else for the shear fact that Cena must be booked as strong as possible before he challenges Brock Lesnar again for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With that said, anything can still happen and I believe WWE has done a good job in utilizing the Survivor Series concept and making it a meaningful main event.

Should we read anything into announcement that Smackdown will be on USA Network (versus SyFy) for WWE Week?

Nothing should be read into Smackdown airing live on December 16, 2014 on the USA Network as part of WWE Week. In fact, Smackdown will repeat in its 8-10 PM timeslot Friday night on SyFy. The USA Network and SyFy are both networks owned by NBCUniversal and this isn’t the first time the USA Network has carried Smackdown live as part of a special promotion. Smackdown is changing timeslots next year as it’ll be moving back to Thursdays in the 8-10 PM on SyFy beginning January 15, 2015.

From the Ask WNW vault…

January 2013: In all of your time covering and watching professional wrestling, what would you say are the top 5 most shocking, jaw dropping moments? - In order to answer this question I have to pick a start date. Since I’ve been in the business for over 13 years but full-time since 2007, we’ll start with 2007. The most shocking, depressing and outrageous story I’ve had to cover is the Chris Benoit family tragedy. Other shocking in-ring moments include Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels together again in a WWE ring in January 2010, The Rock’s return to WWE in February 2011, Edge’s abrupt retirement in April 2011 and the emergence of CM Punk as a top star. Lists like this can always be debated and since I’m doing it off the top of my head, feel free to add to or debate in the comment area below. I do feel I should mention the reason I list Punk’s emergence here rather than other moments, Punk changed a lot of things in the business, especially how WWE views top independent talent which is something that will impact the business in the years to come.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, November 20, 2014.

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