TNA – Much Ado About Nothing

25 Mar

If you’ve spent any time in the last few months reading around the internet you could be forgiven for believing that TNA is in a terrible way, losing money hand over fist, and about 30 seconds away from complete extinction, but is this actually true?

In some ways it is, and in some ways it isn’t.

Yes, TNA’s finances are not so great right now, they have over spent, and spent badly, and their PPV buyrate is down, but on the other hand their TV ratings are up on where they were a year ago, and they do have one or two guys capable of putting on some good matches, so it’s a case of good news, and bad news, but how do they now eliminate the bad, and capitalize on the good?

Whilst it might not be the fans choice the first thing TNA needs to concentrate on is the finances.

At present TNA has 60 people employed as full time on-air employees, exclusively contracted to the one show.

Compare and contrast this to WWE who has 77 people employed as full time on-air employees, exclusively contracted to three shows.

Whilst the soon to be cancelled Superstars can be written out of that equation, it would still leave 77 Superstars over two shows, for WWE, or 38.5 stars per show, to TNA’s 60 for one show.

Simply put TNA is overstaffed, and paying a price for this.

It’s very reminiscent of the WCW problem days, when at one point they had over 100 on-air employees, half of which were never featured, and paid to sit home.

It’s obvious that TNA needs to trim the fat, but where should they make the cuts?

Again we can look back to the demise of WCW for the answers to this question.

As WCW continued to run up debts, with an over inflated roster, one of the problems that further exacerbated this issue was the fact that many of the senior stars were over aged, over paid, and over stayed.

Looking at TNA you can see the same problems being repeated.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not come here to bury the old timers.

Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, these people were legends in their day, and that should never be forgotten, but the trouble is that day is a long, long time ago now.

These men, these legends from the past, have brought in new viewers, that much can not be argued against, however there will be no new fans tuning in to see these people now.

There are no Hulk Hogan fans who have spent the last 12 months saying to themselves “I love Hulk Hogan, so I’ll give this TNA a try, but I won’t bother tuning in for 12 months”.

All the money is in the price.

The novelty factor has worn off.

The draw is over, and now these over paid stars linger, acting as a bottleneck, and stopping new talent from rising.

I often see people asking why one star or another is not often seen on the show, or not pushed to the top, well there are your answers.

It’s because the roster is over laden, and there’s a bottleneck at the top.

So the first thing that TNA can do, and should do, is begin to fade out Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and yes, even Sting.

I don’t know when their contracts are up, so I don’t know how soon they can be released, but certainly a depush can begin immediately, as they wind down to their releases, thus freeing up the younger, emerging talent, to main event the show.

The second thing that needs to be addressed, with regards to finances, is the alarming fall off in the PPV buyrates.

The main reason for the fall off has simply been because these PPV’s have not been good value for money.

If we look at this years WrestleMania, which is only days away now, we see that, with the exception of the Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan, for the US Championship, none of these competitors have faced each other, one on one, in a direct match up, in the build up to the Pay-per-view, thus ensuring that we buy the PPV, if we want to see what happens in these feuds.

Furthermore, in the majority of the matches on the card there will be a conclusive ending to the match (if not the feuds), thus ensuring that if we want to see what happens we have to tune in on the day, rather than catch it on free TV the following week.

TNA to often does the opposite, they give us a pre-PPV match, where we see the two competitors feud, gives us an inconclusive ending, at the PPV itself, and then gives us the blow off on free-to-air.

Is there any wonder why buyrates are down?

At present you get all the premium content for free, while you’re expected to pay for the build ups, fluff, and other stuff you’re less interested in.

Vince Russo, and Eric Bischoff have fallen so in love with the swerve, and the concept of chaos, that they’ve lost all sight of the basic structures, and formulas required for a simple Sports Entertainment show (if they ever actually knew it).

I said I’d start with the finances, but if you fix the PPV’s, release the aging spotlight hoggers, to promote the younger superstars, to the new audience, that has been created, isn’t that most of the problems solved?

Suddenly your finances are in a better place, and you have a better product on the table.


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