Something’s going down in the world of TNA and it doesn’t seem to be a positive thing. With rumours suggesting that Destination America are set to cancel Impact, the company’s future is on, at best, shaky ground and with the further announcement that ROH will be getting a six month deal to appear on a Wednesday night. It looks more and more likely that the network is moving on to a cheaper product. So where do TNA go now?
First thing first, without their TV deal in the States they can’t survive in their current form. They already have issues paying talent and it is well-known that those at the bottom of the card don’t make enough to live. A non televised TNA would need to cut back on talent and essentially become an indie company. For all their fabled success in the UK, they are still not big enough to survive.
Which brings you to an idea I have seen TNA fans discuss before, having the company move in order to become a UK-based organisation. This doesn’t work on any number of levels, but lets start with the simplest, TNA isn’t that big in the UK. Yes, it gets better numbers than WWE, but that’s because it’s on free TV while WWE is on Sky. When it comes to public perception, non wrestling fans or those that just watch around Wrestlemania season think that wrestling is WWE. They have never heard of TNA.
There’s also the problem that American talent is not going to move to the UK to be part of Impact. They wouldn’t make enough money and you can bet the crowds would dry up if Impact was taped here every month. Your Kurt Angles of the wrestling world could make more on the independents than they could make working for a UK-based TNA and they could definitely make more in WWE. So that leaves British talent. Now, I would love to see British talent get a program that they could show their skills on. British wrestling is on a high at the moment and it’s great to see. However, does your average wrestling fan give a shit? They go to TNA to see Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray.
On the flip side, this is great news for ROH. While the company has definitely struggled since their heyday when Joe and Punk and co were ruling the roost, it still has a lot of upsides. There are some great wrestlers on that roster and they put on great matches. However, their unusual taping schedule has always made keeping up with the TV show seem a bit of a chore. The chance for them to have a weekly show on a network wrestling fans are at least aware of, means that becomes less important.
TNA’s potential demise is genuinely worrying for the wrestling industry. While they have never actually achieved being competition to the WWE, they were at least there. It was an alternative. Unless ROH can really make the step up, a lack of TNA takes that away. It leaves the WWE as the only dog in town, as opposed to just being the biggest and baddest dog. I hope that they find somewhere else to call their home and that if they do they go from strength to strength. However, at the moment things look bleak for wrestling’s second biggest company.