The winds of change are passing through TNA and I’m not referring to King Barrett. The new owners of TNA, Anthem Sports, as well as returning creative heads Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantel, are looking to give a soft reboot to the program. Unfortunately, the business side has botched contract renegotiations and The Broken Hardys, Drew Galloway, Jade, Maria and Mike Bennett all elected to not renew with the company. TNA was put in a precarious position and needed to start of their new era with a huge surprise, even if that surprise didn’t move the needle the way they were hoping it would.
Alberto El Patron, formerly Alberto Del Rio with WWE, made his Impact Wrestling debut in an impromptu match up against the World Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Lashley. After a hard fought contest, El Patron was our new TNA World Champion. This should have been quite the event, causing reverberations. However, the ratings didn’t spike. The week before, there were 293,000 viewers on the Thursday night program on Pop TV. This past week, they only nabbed 292,000. An athlete of Del Rio’s pedigree, who is not only known by fans of the biggest wrestling promotion in the world, has also done stints with Ring of Honor, AAA and Lucha Underground. The mixed martial artist also competed in MMA for several years in the early 2000s. Someone with this background should have caused a ratings boost for Impact Wrestling. Why was he unable to do so?
TNA is in a state of transition right now. The roster being in a state of fluctuation gives the audience little faith in the stability of the wrestling promotion. The regime currently making the bad decisions of the previous regime into an on-air storyline left a bad taste in the mouths of several of the performers there, who did bust their behinds to make it the best show possible. Instead of building up to Alberto’s debut on the show with a series of vignettes, they just threw him out there and hotshotted this main event/title change with exactly zero build up. But the main problems are the fact that it’s still on Pop TV, a network so deep in the cable listings that most people don’t know it exists and the fact that the TNA name is still an albatross.
Until there is a complete facelift and name change of the company and a deal with a higher profile network can come to pass, TNA will not reach the heights that many of its most loyal diehard fans know that it’s capable of achieving.
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