Last week, Bob Ryder of TNA Wrestling tweeted the following on his official Twitter account:
">March 11, 2015
If the tweet doesn't appear, here's what he wrote:
Had meetings yesterday about plans to add several non-televised live events starting as soon as June. Stay tuned for details. #TNAOnTour
This left me to wonder... This left me to ponder... I have to ask... Should TNA produce live event house shows again?
I went to multiple TNA Wrestling shows ranging from Impact Wrestling tapings to just live event house shows and I can seriously tell which one is which, which most can no matter which company it is, but one way I can tell the difference is through the audience in attendance. The Impact Wrestling I attended was almost sold-out. The small arena that it was produced in almost had every seat taken. It was very sweet to see! Even though it was in a small arena, which meant a smaller crowd compared to the WWE, it felt more interactive and had a much better atmosphere. It felt like we mattered.
Anyway, a year later the company came back to the same small arena, but produced a live event house show. This show, sadly, saw 1/3 of the crowd. It was embarrassing, to be honest. It was upsetting. It was disappointing.
I am not here to speak on behalf of TNA Wrestling on the financials about this live event, but I would like to bet that TNA Wrestling received higher sales through merchandise and 'special opportunity sessions like autograph signings and pictures' compared to the actual ticket prices.
Sure, there are several instances where TNA's live event house shows receive a thousand people in attendance, but there are so many cases where these shows only see several hundred, if that. I can't wrap my head around how TNA can be in the plus with these shows. Maybe they are, and if they are, GREAT for them. But, I am not the only one who questions the ability for the company to be in the black in regards to the live event house show category. Any great business entrepreneur should know to cut their losses. Eliminate the category that slows your company down. Get rid of the category that loses money.
One perk about these live event house shows is that the talent involved receive extra money. The talent were only getting paid for the Impact Wrestling shows, plus a small downside guarantee, but more shows mean more money. However, when I attended a live event house show last year and saw between one hundred to two hundred people there, I felt sorry for the talent involved because they deserved better. They deserve to be seen by thousands, and millions. The likes of Kurt Angle, who wrestled in front of millions of people from in the arena and on television was appearing at an event that housed one to two hundred. You then had amazing talent like Ethan Carter III and Bobby Roode showcase their talent on such a small stage where they should be highlighted in front of so many more.
If/when the company produces these house shows again, I don't want to see shows being thrown together with two hundred or so people attending. It's not worth it. Even if Destination America helps with the costs, where's the actual benefit? TNA Wrestling once had an audience of over 1,000,000 people on a regular basis and is now being seen by around 500,000. Hopefully, just hopefully, the other half who no longer watches the show still follows TNA and would attend an event if it came to their area.
TNA Wrestling is like a tree. It is growing in each direction, but some branches are stronger than another. They need to trim the tree and get rid of the weak branches and give their nutrients to the strong branches and ones that are growing. The live event house show branch has been weak for years and years. It's time for a trim.
What would be great... What would be absolutely fantastic... Is that TNA (and/or Destination America) focuses those finances for the live event show category into the supposed "pulling back the curtain" element that Dixie Carter plugged to nauseam.
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