From the first tapings at the Manhattan Center in New York City last June, Impact Wrestling and TNA overall finally started to make the very long and arduous turn back to becoming a better wrestling promotion. They have started to make the turn back into a respectable promotion and have stopped the bleeding of negativity that have clotted the company since the promising days of the 60-minute adrenaline rush.
Ironically, TNA is back to where it was back in 2006, but they have basically not made any progress. I’m not going to list all the mistakes this company has made: Hogan/Bischoff, Vince Russo, Aces and Eights, Immortal , Orlando Jordan, we remeber and cringe at them all.
Remember when Mick Foley was general manager during the rebranding of Impact Wrestling with the slogan, “Where Wrestling Matters”, and only years later that the promotion has inadvertently gone back to an old school philosophy.
The World Heavyweight title picture has had Lashley holding the belt for 256 days, restoring validity and prestige back to the belt. Kurt Angle as new world champion only reinforces the importance of the title in the company. The Wolves as tag team title holders got elevated with the titles given all of their great matches with Team 3D and the Hardys. Even with the forfeit of their belts last week, TNA has been smart to give a lot of focus to a tag team tournament to crown new champions by including some of their main event talent in the mix including the Hardys, EC3 and Austin Aries. Then there’s the Knockout title picture with a returning Awesome Kong, Gail Kim and champion Taryn Terrell.
Promos and backstage segments have been scaled back and more TV time is spent in the ring. TNA has made the most of a huge step back from getting dropped by Spike TV and landing on Destination America. They have used their roster effectively, they have cut costs from the taping schedule to the elimination of house shows.
Although they have lost more than half of their audience from the TV move, TNA does have a chance to monetize from their situation by coming back to pay per view for Slammiversary this summer and Bound for Glory in the fall.
TNA has been very smart with their booking of their television show and more notably their main event matches each week, they are well positioned to make some waves with a limited number of live pay-per-views once again.
Staying the current course, TNA’s growth back to a million viewers from last year will probably take more than a year, but at least their course is back on track. -KOP