We all saw it coming when Hulk Hogan signed with TNA Wrestling. It was only a matter of time before TNA decided to move a show to Monday Night. It looks as if they are testing that out, as Spike TV has allowed TNA to have a LIVE TNA iMPACT on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.
This will of course go head-to-head with WWE RAW, and is the first time two promotions went against one another head-to-head on Monday night since the Monday Night Wars in the '90s.
This will also be the night Hulk Hogan makes his iMPACT debut. On top of that the show is going to be a three hour special, which means that it will be on an hour before RAW, which would hopefully help to steal some RAW viewers.
However, the WWE is not taking this lying down of course. It is rumored that the WWE has asked USA Network if they can do a three hour RAW on the same night! This is not confirmed as of yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it come to pass.
The WWE has a lot of pull with the USA Network, and usually when they want a three hour show, they get it. Some have even been hearing that this Monday Night RAW will also be commercial free, which means no one would have time to switch over to iMPACT. This is also rumored and not yet confirmed.
The WWE did do quite well in their last commercial free show, scoring some of the highest ratings for RAW since the '90s when they went head-to-head with WCW.
I know what you are going to say: Joe the only reason they scored so high was because there were World Title matches and on top of that Donald Trump was there as the new owner of RAW and people wanted to know more about it, so they tuned in.
You think the WWE won't do something similar this time around? I'm sure Trump won't make an appearance, and RAW won't be sold. But there may be World Title matches and on top of that The Great One is rumored to be hosting RAW in January.
It has been talked about for some time now that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be hosting in January. So the WWE may want to bring him in at this time seeing as it is a big show for them.
TNA won't move to Monday Night if they see RAW getting massive ratings against them. Sure, they can't do gimmicks weekly, but neither can TNA. Hogan can only make one debut, meaning if he is there every week it will be nothing special.
Rocky would be similar, but at least with RAW you have a different host every week and some of the top names in wrestling who can still go are there, not so with TNA.
TNA has some big names of course, but because WWE is still the powerhouse in the industry, TNA is not going to dethrone them anytime soon. Also, I remember during the Monday Night Wars that both promotions in WWE and WCW really stepped it up.
I am all for another war, simply because of the great shows we would see. But will TNA get the best ratings? Probably not. At least with WCW they had a ton of top names and their marketing was really good.
TNA doesn't have that, and not many top names are clamoring to go to TNA like they were with WCW. The only people who go there are ones who are let go by the WWE. So basically TNA is getting WWE rejects.
Now, there are a few who are there that simply let their current deal with the WWE expire or quit the WWE before going to TNA. But when you think about it, all of those people are older vets who are really not great in the ring anymore. Sure, Kurt Angle is still pretty good, but he is probably the only top name vet there from the WWE who can still go just as good as he did in the WWE.
TNA has a lot of work to do to get to the level of the WWE. Think of this, back when WWE and WCW were at war, the WWE was not as big as they are now and they still ended up winning in the end. Now they are huge in the public eye while TNA is still trying to get there.
Will I watch both shows? Yes. I mean the invention of TiVo and the DVR has really helped me out, and that is something WCW and the WWE didn't have to help them back in the '90s. Also, those recordings count as ratings as long as they are watched within a week after the recording.
So both will get views, but which will the fans prefer? That is the question that will hopefully be answered in 2010. It looks like the year is starting off well for wrestling fans if you ask me. But if you had to choose between which show you would watch, what would it be, RAW or iMPACT?