The date was March 8, 2010. This was the night where the two companies finally were set to wage war. Everything before then was just speculation.
TNA Impact was throwing the first punch at WWE and seeing what would happen.
Sadly, that would be like me punching Floyd Mayweather. All they would do is laugh and knock me out in two seconds. Not a smart move...
Of course, Hulk Hogan had just signed on with the company and was looking to make a big splash right off the bat. With Eric Bischoff and the Nasty Boys by his side, what could go wrong?
Well, everything that could go wrong...did.
Impact was set to air live head-to-head with Raw, and they were throwing everything at Vince McMahon. It would be taped every other week, after starting out live. Also, they moved to an hour earlier a month into this "move."
The first night on Mondays, TNA had made a huge match for all of their great fans.
Hulk Hogan and Abyss vs. AJ Styles and Ric Flair!
Yes, the company was still trying to get AJ "over" as a heel and Abyss as the "next John Cena." Talk about purposely sabotaging somebody, there were two prime examples in DixieLand.
In typical TNA fashion, they began the show with that huge match. Don't ask me why. They are the ones back on Thursday night in a taped format, not me.
Quickly blood was all over the place (TNA didn't get the memo yet that it was 2010, not 1996). In a sudden shock, the lights went out!
Sting returned to the company, got the crowd pumped up, and then he turned heel.
The night was off to the usual "Impact" beginning, and it wouldn't get much better. With Dixie Carter in the building and Brooke Hogan at ringside, the show wasn't going to get any better.
The next match was Kaz vs. Doug Williams vs. Daniels for the X-Division. Sure enough, it ended and former WWE star Shannon Moore ran out afterwards.
That brought out Eric Bischoff, who instantly put him in the title match at the next TNA PPV. Not shocking in the least.
Next was the Knockouts tag team title match. Those mean less the Legends/Global/TV title, so let's all just move on.
After some filler backstage segments, we were treated to the TNA debut of Rob Van Dam! He comes out and beats Sting in less than 10 seconds. Yes, the big heel turn earlier was already dead.
RVD was in the company, and two years later, all you have to do is laugh at all the hype about seeing him in TNA. Sting beat him up for the next five minutes with a bat, before Hogan came out to try and save the day!
Yes, more Hogan as the "hero." It is 2010 at this point, right? Sorry for him, but Sting took him out as well. I am sure most don't care, but Bubba the Love Sponge was also on the show here. Didn't you love TNA in 2010?
Sean Waltman defeated Eric Young in two minutes next. Of course, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were also employed by TNA here, and they would all soon join each other in a big group.
Yes, another pointless swerve.
After some Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett, Ken Anderson, and Kurt Angle filler, we were treated to Beer Money beating Jarrett in a short match.
Do not ask why. Roode and Storm were heel/face/heel/face at this point that nobody cared. It was more of the same during their 2010 Monday night run.
Finally, we get to the main event. It was a re-start of the first match of the evening. To nobody's surprise, Hogan's team won, and a huge brawl broke out!
Desmond Wolfe ran out. The Pope ran out. Of course, they aren't big former WWE stars, so they wouldn't get much shine. That all went to Jeff Hardy, who came out moments later.
Just as he went to the top rope for his big Swanton Bomb, the show cut off the air. Planned or not, that just about summed up TNA's run on Monday nights.
WWE, on the other hand, did absolutely nothing of note. They continued their build to WrestleMania, and Raw was hosted by Criss Angel.
They never took one "shot" at Impact and all but acted as if they didn't even exist. It is the same situation in 2012 with inducting Ric Flair into the WWE Hall of Fame, despite him being in TNA.
Vince McMahon doesn't care, nor should he.
The ratings on March 8, 2010 were basically the same you see today. Raw garnered a 3.4 vs. TNA's 1.0 number.
Three weeks later, WWE earned a 3.7 vs. TNA's 0.6 rating. Yes, Impact lost nearly half of its viewers in less than a month. Yet another lesson in just signing "big names" means nothing!
On April 26, TNA drew a 0.5 rating and quickly ran back to Thursday nights (in a taped setting) one week later.
Notice how I never mentioned this as the second coming of the "Monday Night Wars." It never was, and I am shocked some actually thought this would last more than a few months.
I remember thinking TNA would realize their mistake by summer. Well, they didn't even last that long. Less than two months after moving "permanently" to Mondays, they had lost half their audience and was back on Thursday nights.
WWE continued business as usual...
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