Veteran fans, explain what happened to TNA/Impact to me

Discussion in 'Wrestling Discussion' started by SPX, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. SPX

    SPX Dark Match Jobber

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    So here's the deal:

    I started watching TNA around 2010 or so just on a whim. I had been a wrestling fan as a kid but stopped paying attention in my late teens. Because I watched the UFC on Spike I became aware that there was a wrestling show that also aired on Spike and I decided to check it out.

    I had a surprisingly good time watching it and ended up tuning in the next week, and then the week after that, and so on.

    Eventually I started to tune in only occasionally and then they started regularly hopping networks until finally they landed on Pop, which I don't even have, and that pretty much severed me from their product.

    Recently I started looking up YouTube videos to see what the state of Impact is and, holy shit, it is NOT the same thing I used to watch!

    One of the main things I noticed is that it looks totally different now. One thing I used to love about Impact was the production. When the camera would fly in on the Impact Zone, and the pyrotechnics started going off, and Mike Tenay's voice started coming over the speakers, I knew it was time to get it on! I loved the red and black color scheme, and I really loved the warm lighting scheme and the way that the whole arena was lit up.

    Now the shows look like they were filmed in a warehouse somewhere with about a hundred fans, only 20 of which are actually interested in what's going on. It's often so quiet that you can hear a pin drop, and instead of a brightly lit Impact Zone you just have this lit-up ring surrounded by an abyss of dense darkness.

    So my question is: What happened? What has brought TNA/Impact to this lowly state? Where did all the fans go? Like, literally, where did all those people who used to pack the Impact Zone disappear to? For that matter, what happened to the Impact Zone? Did losing the Spike deal put the company on life support?

    Anyone care to help me understand?
     
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  2. Psykohurricane55

    Psykohurricane55 Moderator
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    From what i remember of the whole deal. TNA was bought by the carter family i think in 2003 if i remembered and they put their daughter Dixie in charge of the company, which was a big mistake because while she knew how to so publicity and negotiated deal, she knew nothing about wrestling.

    Fast forward to 2010, She was able to get hulk hogan and Eric bischoff to sign with the company. From what i recall Bischoff had a deal where he could give his input in the product so did Hogan. Since at the time you really didn'T have anybody that really knew what they were doing, Hogan and bischoff'S idea were going through without much resistance. So when it was suggested that they go head to head live with Raw, Dixie said o.k and Impact when head to head with raw live from the impact zone on January 5th of that year. They did a pretty good rating and decided to continue going live every monday. The problem with that is that putting a live show every week cost a lot of money and since the IMPACT zone was part of universal studios, they couldn't sell tickets to the show so they were losing a tone of money every week which almost bankrupt them after a few months. So they went back to taped shows after that and move around the schedule for a few months and then another scandal happened

    Spike TV, which was a big partner of TNA at the time, ask them no matter what to not hired Vince Russo because they couldn'T stand the guy. So what did Dixie do, she hired Vince back and just lied about it everytime Spike TV ask her about it. But If you know Vince Russo, you know how much of a idiot he is, so he wrote a e-mail pretty much saying that he was working with TNA again and send it to the wrong guy which got publish in a newsletter. Since the news got public, Spike execs found out about it and pretty much terminated the deal they had with TNA on the spot.

    Then, they got a tv deal with destination america which lasted a year and they didn't make any money, plus they were still doing tapings in orlando which didn't bring in any money either so the company was going in a downward spiral financially. But despite that, they were still able to get a tv deal with Pop tv which lasted until last thursday.

    So having seen enough and seeing how much of a money pit the company was, the carters decide to just sell the company which was bought by Anthem, which is a canadian company and owner of the fight network, around the end of 2016. The problem was that Impact didn't have any money left and the new owners didn't know anything about wrestling so they hired jeff jarrett and his crew back to get the company back on his feet. The problem with Jarrett is that he still old school and he still believed that if a gimmick was use on tv, the performers could use it anywhere else. So because of that, they lost the hardy's. But determine to make this happen, Jeff brought him everybody he knew from Bruce prichard to Jim cornette to try and be the on air authority figure. They had signed alberto el patron as their big star but he became such a headache that they had to let him go twice and Jeff even try to do the old invasion angle by bringing in the guys he had signs for is other fed GFW so that they could invade impact. That didn't work and after a night in edmonton where jarrett pretty much wrestled drunk, Anthem fired him and he was replace by Don callis and scott d'amore. They're first piece of business was to get out of the impact zone as it made no sense to taped the show and not sell tickets to the taping, so they started filming the tv show at the same place the PPV where to a somewhat of a success and then the last big name star they had left decide to not resign with them. Lashley left the company and it open up the door to pretty much reinvented the whole company and focus more on the young guys instead of trying to be WWE, which was the original vision of the company when they started it in 2003.

    Anyway to make a story short, the peoples that own the company made a lot of mistake, fans tune out because of those mistakes and the new company is trying to build up the reputation of the company but it'S getting harder to do with all the competition they have.
     
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  3. Razz

    Razz Pre-Show Stalwart

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    There was also the fiasco with Billy Corgan.

    I started watching TNA since around 2005-2006 when they became a more mainstream with regular PPV's and easily accessible through internet and then through Spike TV. After the Spike TV era they went through so many regime and backstage changes it become pretty ridiculous. I think losing the regular time slot on Spike hurt it alot. There are still probably the core fans like me who follow it, but the numbers began to dwindle as it became harder to find and follow. There have still been a lot of good things over the past few years through it all, like the stuff Lashley was doing, Broken Hardyz Universe, Drew Mcintyre reinventing himself, Maria/Mike/Chelsea/Allie/Braxton stuff, Eli Drake's rise etc. I enjoy the current product under Scott d'amore/Don callis the last year or so. It has mostly concentrated on in ring and the storylines have been relaltively good like LAX vs OGs, Eddie Edwards going off the deep end etc.. Brought in some good performers from Lucha Underground and other organizations around the world. Foster new talent like LAX, Killer Kross, Moose, Ove, Tessa, Su Yung etc. And given second platform/chance to reinvent career for many who leave WWE, like it always has since the beginning.
     
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  4. FromGlasgowScotland

    FromGlasgowScotland Dark Match Winner

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    For me as a fan, TNA was the number one wrestling company. Having attended live WWE events for years in the UK the last few had been quite uneventful and not very exciting or interesting. When I started attending the TNA events in my opinion they completely surpassed anything WWE had done. At one time they had in my view the best roster with big names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray, Devon, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Mick Foley, Booker T, Scott Steiner, Bobby Lashley, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Rhino, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Chris Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Magnus, Austin Aries, Eric Young, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Velvet Sky, Angelina Love, Madison Rayne, Lacey Von Erich, Awesome Kong, Tara, Mickie James and Gail Kim, just to name a few which was a great time but only a couple of years later every single name on that list was gone so it's not surprising they lost a few fans including me. Occasionally I'll watch but it's just not the same anymore.
     
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  5. SPX

    SPX Dark Match Jobber

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    Awesome man, thanks for the info!

    I know a lot of people complain about the Bischoff/Hogan era, but that is exactly when I dropped in and I thought that was a good time. Sure, you had your older guys, but you also had plenty of younger talent as well.

    I still remember the very first time I turned TNA on, there was Mr. Anderson walking out and calling people assholes, LOL. That was my initiation. So while I certainly remember the old guys being involved, I also remember Beer Money and the two Robs and Velvet Sky and Jeff Hardy and The Pope and Aces & Eights and a bunch of other guys too.

    What I also remember though is that the LOOK of the product was so much better. The Studio 21 version of the Impact Zone was great I thought. It was home. I mean, just watch this video:



    The Impact Zone looks quite big and obviously customized for the show and it's also packed with people. A pet peeve of mine also is that I like to see the crowd. I don't like when you basically just see the ring and everything else is dark, and in the old TNA they always did a good job of lighting everything up. I dunno, when they had Studio 21 set up for the show and packed with fans I always thought it looked fantastic.

    In regard to Impact going live, why would broadcasting the show live be more expensive than broadcasting a taped version? It seems the production of the show would largely be the same either way.

    I remember hearing about this one actually, and I remember hearing conflicting information.

    As you said, I heard that Russo was the reason Spike terminated the contract. But I also heard that it was because Dixie refused to accept Spike's offer and kept trying to negotiate and eventually Spike just cut the whole thing loose. I also heard that low ratings were at play as well.

    I know that Universal Studios refused to let TNA charge money for tickets, but it seems like if they were going to do that, then they would compensate the show directly themselves.

    I remember when the move was made to Destination America, and by then the show already felt like something pretty different from what I had started watching a few years earlier. Once they moved to Pop I was totally cut off because I didn't have the network and had never even heard of it.

    It seems like one of the larger networks would see an opportunity here, even if they have to buy a percentage of the company and put some money into the show to help build it back up to its former glory.

    That's interesting. By this point, I was totally gone as a fan since I didn't even have the network the show airs on.

    Last night I actually found the most recent episode online and watched some of it. As you say, it does indeed feel reinvented. Virtually everyone is new. The look and feel is totally different.

    I guess we'll see what the future holds for the company. It seems now to be Impact in name only -- same name but a different company and a different show.
     
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  6. SPX

    SPX Dark Match Jobber

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    What exactly was the story here? I remember hearing something about him getting involved but I never knew the details.

    I'd really like to know, if they had never lost the Spike deal where would they be today?

    It really does seem like that was a pivotal moment for them. It would be interesting to know just how much that changed the company's fortunes.

    I just read that, with the move to Pursuit, Impact is going to starting airing simultaneously on Twitch. Maybe I'll start trying to keep up with it again and see how it goes.
     
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  7. SPX

    SPX Dark Match Jobber

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    I definitely thought they had an excellent roster back in the day.

    Regarding WWE, I've tried to watch it and get into it but I just can't. The storylines and characters are just not that interesting.

    And frankly, I think part of TNA's appeal was that it was this scrappy underdog trying to take on the giant.
     
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  8. SPX

    SPX Dark Match Jobber

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    BTW, what happened to this forum? Did it also get TNA'd?

    I came back and it was totally redesigned and it looks like most of the members have disappeared.
     
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  9. pbancroft32

    pbancroft32 Dark Match Winner

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    i watched TNA almost from the beginning and loved how different it was how it looked felt everything about it screamed what people wanted wwe to do on a smaller scale. but it suffered many problems firstly you had jeff jarrentt putting himself in all the big spots all the big stroies which hurt the show in my opionion then dixie bought in and totally ruined the company in so many ways. now i am not a hogan fan so some will say i think this due to that but allowing him to come in was always going to be the beginning of the end as he serves hulk and no one else anyone who disagrees is a mark for hulk and really has no clue.
    so eric and hulk came in and within half a second knew dixie didnt know a thing like not a single clie what she was doing which was the beginning of the end. hulk and eric with someone who knew what they was doing would be hard but give them dixie they where in dream land they did what they want when thery want and how they want. if you look at it prroperly and as someone who missed very few shows since day one it was WCW all over again.
    they brought in all there mates on huge contracts with hulk and eric pulling the strings and all the tna home grown talent getting buried most weeks. now granted there was moments the tna guys got there moment in the spotlight as even hulk and eric know you have to do it but its was few and far between.
    Then dixie got rid of them two or they left i dont remeber most likely they had burned up most of her daddies money so left.
    so now you had just dixie who still had even less of a clue how to run a wrestling company in charge and she added russo.
    If you was to sit down and write a business plan on how not to run a wrestling promotion thats how dixie ran the company.
    so in time dixies dad got sick of buring money and pulled the plug by which time the company was almost dead and buired all the talent had gone and its reputation was in the toilet.
    Most networks wouldnt even negoatiate a deal for TNA these days due to how bad dixie ran it.

    they are now in reality a new promtion starting again which is why when you watch it now it feels like ecw did back in the day small gyms 500 people at best no pyros and i still to this day tune in most weeks.
     
  10. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!

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    I think the problems began with TNA basically throwing out what it was that made them so different in favor of trying to be a less well known and less successful version of WWE or WCW. The first several years, TNA was focused on building its brand and that's it. They weren't worried about what WWE was doing, they weren't concerned with what Vince McMahon was putting out as their focus was on building their base and doing enough that was different to make them stand out from WWE. When they signed Kurt Angle, however, that started them down the road that would ultimately prove their undoing because they gradually became more and more focused with looking at what past promotions like WCW and ECW had done and figured the best way to do that was to hire stars who's best years, in the vast majority of cases, were well behind them and build the company around them at the expense of younger, more vibrant workers who had brought attention to TNA in the first place. Once Hogan was signed and 2010 started, that's when TNA started going to shit; it was a gradual, slow decline to the point where TNA had become a poor man's version of WCW; they still had talented wrestlers on the roster, but guys like Hogan, Nash, Booker T, Steiner, Foley, Sting, any ECW guy they could get, any Attitude Era guy they could get, etc. were made the focus of the company. Somehow or another, TNA officials got it into their heads that they should try taking on WWE and that they could do it with over the hill former WWE and/or WCW and/or ECW wrestlers as the focal point of their product and by Dixie, or the Money Mark as she's sometimes called by some writers, getting her old man to sink millions upon millions into the company

    You also had problems in that TNA, especially under Vince Russo, did only one thing in that just about every year for the next several years, they'd do some sort of faction wars/power struggle storyline that would be the focal point of 99% of what went on. If a wrestler wasn't part of the factions like Immortal, Fortune, Aces & Eights or whatever, then they didn't matter and were essentially little more than filler. They'd go this route for roughly a year, maybe a little more in some cases, the big heel faction would be vanquished, another one would pop up and they'd essentially do the same big storyline all over again. Within a year or so of Hogan's arrival, TNA stopped being this vibrant, young, hungry organization looking to establish itself as a legitimate alternative to WWE, it settled for being WWE Lite.
     

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