Archive for May, 2010
Sunday, May 16th, 2010
Well that didn’t take long. The second go round of the Monday Night Wars is over before it really even began. TNA Wrestling’s Impact has moved back to Thursday evenings after what turned out to be a catastrophic attempt to attack WWE’s Raw in a ratings battle.
TNA brought in Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff to give Impact a complete shake up and take a run at top spot in the sports entertainment industry. Following a promising start with a plethora of surprises including the signings of Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, and a few weeks later Rob Van Dam (the current world champion), the wheels fell off the proverbial wagon.
Awkward signings of Hogan associates like The Nasty Boys, Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman began to stink of the dying days of the old WCW rather than a fresh image for TNA. I maintain that current wrestling fans have no interest in a re-birth of a modified nWo, especially one that focus on a noticeably slowed and aged team of Hall and Nash. Fans watch Impact to get away from the WWE type of product, and the Hogan/Bischoff regime took us back to the beginning of this millenium. Something as simple as eliminating the unique six sided ring gave the impression that the organization was trying to be like the WWE and not stand out as a different option.
One incredible bright spot has been Ric Flair’s manager role with AJ Styles. In my opinion Flair has been spectacular and has given Styles a personality that he can run with. I still get a kick that The Nature Boy can make his scarred up forehead bleed by slapping himself a couple of times with an open palm!
Before the move to Mondays, TNA was averaging a 1.1 in the ratings. The first week saw a dramatic spike in the numbers, and although the following two to four weeks remained above the norm they were starting to slide. As old WCW names kept reappearing and an uninspiring Abyss vs. AJ Styles feud brewed, the ratings dropped below 1. Even a surprise RVD world title win could not save things and soon the TNA head honchos had seen enough.
Bouncing back to Thursdays shows a rapid decline in the TNA fan base and is a huge blow to the ego of team Hogan/Bischoff who made no secret that they were going after Vince McMahon. Now Impact is in worse shape then before the Monday night attempt and will have to work their way to get back to a 1.0 rating!
While the WWE product is certainly not overly inspiring at the moment it does provide consistency and a solid fan base. It will be interesting to see what TNA will try next as they limp back into the shadows.
For now Vince McMahon has won a second Monday Night War…albeit a far less entertaining one.
Andy McNamara is a SLAM! Wrestling writer. He also is the play-by-play voice of Toronto Maple Leafs baseball on Rogers TV that can be seen live every Sunday at 2pm on channel 10 in Toronto.