With the final edition of Impact! Wrestling in the books, TNA has finally closed the chapter in what has been a very disappointing 2013 year.
Yet, despite the struggles, TNA has seen some bright spots in recent weeks in its transition into the post-Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff era.
The final edition of Impact! Wrestling, which aired this past Thursday on Spike TV, was watched by an average of 1.35 million viewers (via TV By the Numbers). This was up from the December 19 edition, which had just 1.24 million viewers. Despite ending 2013 on a higher note, TNA suffered greatly through the year, which resulted in the company cutting costs and returning to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.
TNA made a bold move in late-2009 when it had signed Hogan and Bischoff to jump on board with the company. Hogan and Bischoff, who have experienced tremendous success and downfall with WCW, brought years of experience and promise that TNA was moving into the right direction. Despite their star power and experience, things simply did not pan out the way they were supposed to.
Instead, TNA found itself resembling the final days of WCW. They resembled a company in need of dire change in their product. The final nail in the coffin for Hogan and Bischoff was the failure of the Aces and Eights story line. Shortly after Aces and Eights were beginning to fold, Hogan and Bischoff hit the road, ending a three-year run that never gained ground.
In addition to the speculated departure of Hogan and Bischoff, TNA dominated wrestling headlines with cost cutting moves such as trimming down its roster and taking Impact! Wrestling off the road and back to Universal Studios. Despite displaying a more major league product when on the road, TNA wrestlers eventually found themselves performing in front of nearly empty arenas. It was only a matter of time before TNA would pull the plug on this intended permanent move. On top of its attendance struggles, Impact! Wrestling suffered on television with declining viewership.
With the beginning of 2014 here, TNA finds itself in a rebuilding effort to draw in new viewers. It has been clear in recent weeks that the company is placing its primary focus on a younger generation of stars instead of attempting to bank on big names in the wrestling industry. Although TNA may not see the benefits at first, the company heads into the New Year with a low key sense of confidence and thrive to deliver a product that will tackle on new viewers and finally create that perfect alternative fans have been waiting for.