December 11, 2007
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I received a ton of email regarding my TNA is retarded post. I was surprised however that I actually received more email agreeing with my stance than just outright hate mail from the TNA diehards. Some of the TNA defenders got quite rude with me but I did respond to a lot of them and I think Iíve changed at least a few of their views, after explaining my stance better.
In light of that, I thought I would take the time here to clarify my stance, in a calmer manner, and explain to everyone why I get so frustrated and angry with TNA Impact. Most of the TNA defenders defend the current product with the same argument that argument being that Impact is better than WWE programming, and that WWE sucks as much, or even more, than Impact. To this I say, so what! Whether WWE is putting out a worse product or for that matter the worst product in the history of the planet really shouldnít enter into the argument.
WWE can do whatever the hell they want. Vince can book leprechauns running through spray painted doorways in cement block walls, Mae Young can give birth to a hand, HHH can pretend to have sex with a corpse, it really doesnít matter. Itís his show, itís his money, and at the end of the day Vince is making a shit load of money. When quarterly dividends are paid out, every quarter, to WWE shareholders, Vince McMahon makes about 12 million dollars. His product is a success, whether you enjoy the show or not.
TNA on the other hand is losing money, lots of money, and it has been since its inception. Now several people asked why does it have to be about money, and to that I point out that pro-wrestling is a business and for a business to succeed or even survive, it has to make money or at the very least break even. So if you like TNA and want TNA to exist (which I do more than you could possibly know) you should want TNA to make money, because companies that continually lose money eventually go out of business (Note: WCW).
TNAís main income stream or at least its biggest potential income stream is PPV revenue. Increased buy rates could generate a huge increase in revenue, for TNA, at no additional cost what so ever to the company. Impactís primary goal should be to generate interest in TNA PPVs in hopes of driving PPV buys. If Impact fails to do this, Impact is a failure.
So let's look at buy rates. TNA is drawing in the neighborhood of maybe 20,000 buys per PPV. To give this number perspective ECW (WWEís third brand) at its absolute worst (The December to Dismember PPV) drew approx. 90,000 buys on PPV. This number was considered so bad that Vince McMahon pulled the plug on ECW as a PPV entity, deciding that it wasnít a strong enough show to carry itself on PPV. TNA is currently doing maybe 25% of that number. Even TNAís most successful PPV only did approx. 60,000 buys (Angle Ė Joe 1).
So this brings up the logical question; why is TNA doing such poor numbers on PPV? I would say these numbers are bad for all the reasons I rant about in my TNA commentaries. Confusing nonsensical booking, bait and switch booking, not honouring stipulations and promises, pointless gimmick matches, comedic portrayals of far too many characters, over booking and watering down of everything that could mean anything, etc.
For TNA to draw on PPV they need to start booking some serious angles that consistently make sense that fans can get into. You donít even have to take my word for it; you can take the word of Jim Cornette. Jim Cornette has far more experience in the wrestling business than I do, and knows more about it than just about anybody. He even works for TNA. The following is what he had to say in a Power Slam magazine interview, several months ago about pro-wrestling and drawing money.
ďEvery big money gate, every big rating and every bench mark and record in this business is set by something that people can buy into and take seriously and a conflict they want to see resolved. Thatís what itís all about.Ē
I couldnít have said it better myself! I canít buy into ďChrisĒ Abyss going to jail for shooting his father in the back 3 times. I canít take Kurt Angle in a pilgrim suit seriously, nor do I see what conflict reverse battle royals or brief cases on poles solve. And letís look at all the conflicts that do exist in TNA: Robert Roode and Tracy Brooks are in conflict, Kurt and Karen Angle are always in conflict, Leticia Cline and the new announce girl were in a conflict that one week, James Storm and Miss Tennessee were in conflict, Jim Cornette and Matt Morgan are in conflict, on the PPV Kevin Nash and Samoa Joe were in conflict.
Are any of these conflicts something we can get behind in hopes of seeing resolved? Of course not! None of the guy - girl conflicts can be resolved in TNA because guys canít touch the girls so there will never be a match we can pay to see, to resolve these conflicts. Jim Cornette and Matt Morgan certainly arenít going to work on PPV, and Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash were buddy buddy on Impact last week with no explanation of how their conflict was even resolved. All of this conflict is a waste of time and just a distraction from any conflict that could potentially draw money.
Even look at what has drawn money for TNA. Joe and Angle 1 was the biggest draw in the company's history, drawing nearly triple their usual buy rate. What did they do to draw that number? Kurt Angle showed up on Impact and head butted Joe right in the face and the two guys tried to beat the shit out of each other. It looked very serious; fans bought into it, and wanted to see the conflict resolved. End result: 60,000 buys.
Since then Kurt has sought psychiatric therapy from Kevin Nash in a sun bed, wandered around back stage in his underwear looking for his clothes, argued with his wife and convinced her to try to sleep with Kevin Nash, and held a Thanksgiving dinner in his house (which oddly enough is both in Pittsburgh and only a few short minute commute from the Impact Zone) where he dressed up in a pilgrim suit, and acted like Eric Youngís older brother. The end result of all this great booking: 20,000 PPV buys or less. 2 out of every 3 people who bought Angle Ė Joe 1, are no longer buying PPV, why do you think that is?
Now is not the time to celebrate killing ECW in the ratings, now is the time to change the creative direction of this show in an attempt to drive buy-rates, and try to make this company money, so it doesnít become WCW 2. Those who defend this show are part of the problem not the solution. Blind Faith is never a good thing and people need to not only open their eyes but also try to open the eyes of those in charge of TNA. I get mad and rant about TNA because I care about TNA and everyone who works there. I want to see TNA become a viable company financially so it will be around for the long haul. I want TNA to succeed for the good of the fans that watch it, for the good of the boys who work there, and for the good of the industry as a whole. Maybe if we all just scream loud enough someone will eventually hear us. If they donít, eventually I wonít have TNA to rant about because and the die-hard TNA fans wonít have a show to get behind.