Please help me make some sense of the situation with Impact Wrestling. Has it been canceled? If not, how did the rumor get started? If so, is this it for TNA? Is NXT the new No. 2?
I want to back up and break this story down from the beginning.
Dave Meltzer wrote in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Impact Wrestling has been marked for cancelation at the end of the third quarter of 2015 (which ends on September 30, 2015). He claimed the decision was made prior to the announcement Impact was moving from Fridays to Wednesday and was due to “just okay” ratings that did not justify the show’s cost and lack of advertising revenue.
His report was much more detailed and can be read at the online home of his publication. For those that do not subscribe to that publication, James Caldwell from Pro Wrestling Torch provided a further free recap at this link.
On Sunday, we got the full story from Court Bauer and Mister Saint Laurent on Episode 181 of MLW Radio. While this report doesn’t contradict anything Meltzer wrote, it clarifies a number of things that are important to properly understand this story.
To recap the full story — that we published here on Wrestling News World — this all started with Destination America sending out viewership numbers that Impact had been doing in mid-late April. According to the MLW report, Dixie Carter was upset because they were apparently sending out the live viewership numbers and not the C3 numbers. C3 numbers are the live viewership numbers plus three days of DVR viewership and are the metric used to sell advertisements (the network sends advertisers C3 numbers).
Mister Saint Laurent stated that Carter reportedly sent out an internal email, complaining about the Impact viewership numbers being sent out by Destination America. However, according to the report, she accidentally copied the president of Destination America on the email.
After this, Carter reportedly missed the quarterly meeting between TNA and Destination America. Shortly after that, employees from Destination America were notified that Impact would not be included on the upcoming Fall schedule. Now, according to the story on the MLW podcast, TNA was informed of the decision as well.
If I had to guess Dave Meltzer’s source, I would guess that someone made him aware of the communication that Impact IS NOT on the Fall 2015 schedule for Destination America. He then reported that detail, along with it was communicated BEFORE Destination America announced they’ll be moving Impact from Fridays to Wednesdays.
Until we hear otherwise, we are operating under the assumption — based on the report from MLW Radio — that Impact Wrestling is not on Destination America’s Fall 2015 schedule.
TNA responded but were vague and didn’t specifically address anything. Their statement read as follows:
Statement from TNA Regarding IMPACT WRESTLING
It has come to our attention that several internet news sources have falsely attributed statements to TNA, its executives and broadcasting partner. These false statements constitute defamation and if necessary we will seek all legal remedies available to us.
I specifically detailed here on Wrestling News World why Destination America must publicly address Impact’s status and until they do, this story will linger. Anything TNA says — be in a formal statement like you see above or by their executives on Twitter — is going to be held with great skepticism. This is due to a pattern of lying in the past.
In fact, many of the same TNA officials were quick to “debunk” TMZ.com’sJuly 2014 report that Spike TV would no longer be carrying Impact Wrestling following their agreement that expired last Fall. If we go back to the TMZ report, we see it was 100 percent accurate.
You can read it below:
TNA Wrestling's flagship show "Impact Wrestling" could soon be without a home -- Spike TV quietly let the league know it's not renewing their TV contract … TMZ has learned.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the deal ... tell us Spike execs contacted TNA President Dixie Carter late last week to break the news -- and the following day Carter informed members of her inner circle.
TNA's current deal with Spike reportedly runs through October. It's unclear at this point when "Impact Wrestling" will stop airing on Spike.
We're told there's no bad blood, and Spike gave TNA such advance notice so it would have time to shop for a new TV deal.
TNA's show debuted on Spike TV in October 2005 -- and helped the league rise to #2 on the wrestling scene … behind the WWE.
We've called TNA and Spike for comment ... so far, no word back.
Nearly a year later, we know Spike allowed for Impact to air in some form through the end of 2014 but the above report is accurate. Where TMZ got in trouble was using the term “cancelled.” It’s why we are no longer using it to describe this situation with Destination America.
“Canceled” (I spell it with one l) can mean a lot of different things and usually implies that production of the show will cease completely. TNA has announced nothing of the sort and the only formal statement that has been released is above.
What we know — at least through the reporting of the individuals mentioned here — is that Impact Wrestling is not on Destination America’s Fall 2015 schedule. That could change and Meltzer even reported the story is ongoing.
Destination America — or their parent company Discovery Communications — is the only party that can resolve this story. One press release featuring an official statement would solve all. The longer Destination America is silent, the bleaker Impact’s future will look on the network.
We’ll be clear this does not mean TNA is going out of business. This doesn’t mean that TNA will cease operations. The only thing that is known as of Memorial Day 2015 is that, according to reports, Impact was not included on the Fall 2015 schedule and that was communicated to others.
As for NXT being the new “#2 promotion,” it’s already getting close in the United States of America. What we’re seeing in terms of WWE Network subscriptions and live event tickets is that NXT is firmly establishing itself as a big deal. Due to WWE’s budget, resources and over the top network, it’s fair to say it could only be a matter of time before NXT is recognized as the number two in the United States.
That doesn’t mean that TNA, Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate USA, Lucha Underground, etc. aren’t there but none have the resources or platform to distribute like what WWE has. Because of those factors, NXT is ahead of the pack.
I personally want to see TNA Wrestling healthy, just as I want to see Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate USA and Lucha Underground healthy. The more successful promotions, the more places there are for talent to work and the healthier it makes this website. For anyone to assume that I want TNA — or any other promotion to fail — is sadly mistaken.
Do you have a wrestling-related question? If you're a WNW Premium Member, YOUR ANSWER IS GUARANTEED! Send it to us at this link or to Premium@wrestlingnewsworld.com for inclusion in the next WNW Premium Mailbag.