Hi, I’m Justin Watry. You may remember me from such classic columns as “WWE WrestleMania 28: Sheamus Should Defeat Daniel Bryan in Less Than a Minute” and “WWE Should Send John Morrison Down to FCW Right Now.”
Today, I will be writing about TNA Impact Wrestling heading into the new year.
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I will be writing a similar column about WWE in the coming days. For now, bring on TNA Impact Wrestling!
I wish for TNA to pick one direction and stay with it for the full year. At least. It has become a running joke that the company must reboot and reset every six months. The sad truth is that for the past few years that is exactly what has indeed happened. Do not give a big rah-rah speech in January about how you have turned over a new leaf, it is the dawn of a new era, etc. Blah, blah, blah. TNA has to know their fans are sick and tired of hearing that garbage. Seriously, they have gone from over 2 million viewers for an Impact episode in late 2011 to 111,000 viewers last Tuesday night. Yes, there are circumstances and such surrounding those numbers, but they are still factual. Whatever the direction is, go with it.
I wish TNA would stop changing nights for their program to air. Friday is the perfect night. No, Wednesday is the perfect night! No, no, it must be MONDAYS! No, wait, let's try Thursday again...or Saturday. Yeah, Saturday is the key to success.
Now it is Tuesdays. Apparently, now Tuesday night is the best night of the week. I can't wait until rumors begin of yet another television schedule change in two months. As I outlined above with the viewership figures, none of that stuff helps. It always, always, always hurts. If TNA believe that Tuesday night is their night, then fine. However, do not be shocked if all the usual excuses come up again in a few months about why Tuesday night is NOT their night. Cable competition, sports on TV, RAW fatigue, Smackdown tapings, and the list goes on and on...
I wish TNA would just build up a pay-per-view see how it goes. Push all-in and hype the heck out of an event. I guarantee you the results will be better than what we saw in 2015 and 2014. The "effort" put into Slammiversary and Bound For Glory the past two years was embarrassing. I do not use that word lightly, but it is true. Everyone involved with promoting those events and then charging $50 with a straight face should feel ashamed. If you build it, they will come. Despite what some say, the PPV business is NOT dead. Boxing does huge numbers. UFC does big numbers. Even some WWE events do pretty good numbers, and that is with 1.3 million paying $10 on the WWE Network. There is money to made. All you have to do is try.
I wish TNA would get rid of the six sided ring once and for all. It's dumb. It's silly. It's a pointless gimmick that has not worked in 13 years and will not work in 2016. Wrestling is best in a squared circle. Not a "playpen" as Hulk Hogan called it.
I wish TNA could be the TNA of old again. You see Lucha Underground? You see NXT? That is the place TNA should be right now. Not at the bottom of the pile collecting dust in the wrestling world as a laughing stock. Their grasp onto a TRUE #2 position was theirs for the taking in 2005, 2006, and beyond. Yeah, it all crumbled five years ago, but man - that luxurious slot behind WWE was there to be taken. It slipped away, and other promotions have stepped up. TNA has either stepped down or simply stepped aside.
Get that fire and drive back. Be what Lucha Underground is. Be what NXT is. Heck, be what Ring of Honor is. There is indeed an alternative audience waiting for something besides WWE...but it certainly isn't present day TNA.
I wish TNA would slow down on signing new talent in 2016. Seriously, Bill Goldberg, Maria, Mike Bennett, MVP, and countless other names have been linked to TNA/rumors in recent weeks. Um, like really?
None of those guys will move the needle, just like all the other countless legends they brought in did nothing for business. If Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Lashley, and Kurt Angle are drawing near bottom level numbers, you think Mike Bennett is going to jump start viewership? Or a tag team from Ring of Honor? Or bringing back MVP?
Come on. Get real.
I am a fan of MVP, but there is no reason to bring him back into the fold. Or throw a six figure contract at Goldberg. In 2016! Or pick up every single ROH free agent. Sign a few good wrestlers and be cautious when approaching any established names that may become available. Signing ten guys to fat contracts just for the sake of doing it has not worked in the past and will not work in the future.
I wish TNA would finally just change their name to anything other than TNA. The logic is that there is too much equity built into the brand, but that is ludicrous. There is no goodwill in that name anymore, and their reputation is in the toilet with fans. If WWF can change their name to WWE after their long history, so can TNA. Get rid of it already and start anew. Been long overdue.
I wish TNA all the best on POP TV. The better they do, the better I do if we are being frank about it. Their Destination America run was a disaster - something I predicted from day one. Their run with Spike TV ran sour and is not likely to be a strong option going forward. You can only get canceled so many times and have 111,000 viewers watching with a nearly invisible 0.03 main demographic number to show off to advertisers. It is now up to POP TV (a channel few watch despite the wide network reach), and their heavily skewed female audience to tune in after soap operas and TV reruns to watch a male dominated wrestling show called "TNA."
Good luck with that. I mean it - good luck with that.
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