Spike TV Possibly Puts Final Nail into Impact Wrestling’s Coffin
Rumors have been circling the wrestling world for a long while whether TNA Impact Wrestling would be renewed on Spike TV once the contract comes to an end in October. Late last night, TMZ reported that the Viacom television station would not.
Now, reports are out from Impact Wrestling's President Dixie Carter that they are still in negotiations.
If Spike TV does elect to not renew the contract, the end could certainly be near for Impact Wrestling. TNA Wrestling began in 2002 as a weekly PPV show, before being picked up by Fox Sports for a couple years, and then moved to Spike TV in 2005 (while being rebranded as Impact Wrestling).
TNA Wrestling became the alternative for those who watched WWE. They provided more of a wrestling based program, built a X-Division full of excitement, and used veterans to increase interest in the product.
On January 10th, 2010, TNA Wrestling attempted to go head-to-head with WWE in competition. They brought in Eric Bishoff and Hulk Hogan to attempt to take them to the next level. What the company didn't imagine is that day became the start of the downhill slide for the company.
Hogan and Bischoff started changing the culture of the business. The popular 6-sided ring quickly went back to 4 sides, the X-Division went from a draw to essentially eliminated, and more emphasis was put on the veterans than the guys who drew the excitement.
Over the course of a few years, TNA Wrestling went from popular to being behind reruns of Cops in terms of ratings. Now, Spike TV might be calling for the end.
TNA/Impact Wrestling needs TV. If Spike does pull the plug, it isn't completely over yet for the company. They will still have the chance to secure another TV deal with another station. Considering that reruns of Cops is getting more viewers than their TV program, it isn't looking very good for Impact Wrestling. On top of that, house shows around the country have shown decreased attendance over the last few years.
What was once a company that was looked at competition, is now a company that is looking like it is approaching the grave. Hopefully, for wrestling fans, this won't be the end of TNA Wrestling and it will turn to be a positive turn for them. Spike TV has until October to really decide if they want to pull the plug. If so, and if TNA Wrestling fails, it was a good run.