The Monday Night Fallout continues. The Jan. 4 live iMPACT broadcast has set the Internet Wrestling Community ablaze with opinions and more rumors of future plans.
One of the things that many lamented was the poorly booked X-Division “Steel Asylum” match that opened the show. It ended in a disqualification finish after Homicide used a baton on the other competitors.
The X-Division is capable of better matches and TNA has used the Asylum gimmick better in the past as well. Fans at the taping chanted "this is bull**it" when the match ended as it did.
One other complaint that had surfaced, apart from the poor booking and DQ finish, was that the Asylum itself did not translate well onto television. The construction of the cage made following the action difficult.
Hulk Hogan made an appearance on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show today and discussed the event from Monday night. One of the things that they discussed was the Steel Asylum match.
When he and Bubba were in the production meeting the day before, about 10 people said there was a decent door to the cage. Hulk then got to the soundstage and found out it had no real door on it. It was also discovered that none of the wrestlers could climb out of the top, hence the reason for booking a DQ finish.
There were plans for a big bump off the cage, but it just was not possible. Hulk and Bubba agreed that the Terrordome (as they were calling it) needs to be scrapped for good. So we’ve likely seen our last “Steel Asylum” match in TNA.
I can't say that I'm disappointed by this choice, if it truly comes to pass. TNA has had good matches in the Asylum, however, the X-Division is capable of putting on even better matches without it when given the proper time and booking.
The other key item discussed was the future of programming on Spike TV. Hulk admitted that TNA “kinda dropped the ball” by taping a Thursday broadcast on the heels of the live Monday event.
Hulk was adamant that he was going to call Dixie, Eric, and Spike TV executives and tell them TNA needs to be on Mondays and live from now on. This goes hand in hand with a report that surfaced on PWTorch.com yesterday.
Kevin Nash had already commented on this possible move on his Twitter page with this remark:
“I think going head 2 head every monday is in the works. Spike was happy with the ratings. special 4 me to be back with the band, great night!!!”
Spike TV officials were thrilled with the rating results from Monday night’s telecast. The most likely scenario that is being talked about is broadcasting iMPACT from 8-10PM EST.
This puts iMPACT in position to compete with Raw head-to-head for only one hour.
Hulk went on to say in his interview with Bubba that “you gotta spend money to make money” in regard to the costs involved with such a move. He also believes that he will slowly capture the WWE audience as he did in the WCW days.
TNA and Spike TV have a strong relationship, which favors TNA in a discussion of this nature. Jim Caldwell at PWTorch.com cited this strong relationship as a key reason Bischoff and Hogan got involved with TNA.
The ratings were no doubt encouraging in that they set records for Spike and TNA. The trouble with this information is that it is a one-time rating, and not a consistent track record of performance.
Consider that this past Monday night’s show contained “first time ever” moments for both Hogan and Ric Flair. There were also other surprises along the way and the nostalgia of the NWO members that appeared.
Between the star power and surprises, it drew a lot of viewers. What about the corporate direction going forward though?
Many fans have voiced their objections to seeing another reincarnation of the NWO. The sheer thought of a Nasty Boys vs. Team 3D feud screams “ratings fail” because of the lack of wrestling ability from those teams.
Val Venis and Orlando Jordan are not people to build the company’s direction around.
For months we heard that wrestling ability was going to be featured on the TNA landscape. This should be good news, as TNA has a roster loaded with talent that can wrestle well.
Monday night’s broadcast was anything but that. Segments featuring the arrival of Bischoff, Hogan, and his friends carried a fair portion of the broadcast.
Given the special nature of the night, perhaps some of that was necessary. I still feel the show’s booking could have been improved in order for TNA to set themselves apart as a “wrestling company.”
There were a number of segments that centered primarily around, as Kevin Nash referred to it on his Twitter page, the "band" being back together.
Not only that, unnecessary time was spent watching Bubba the Love Sponge think he solved the case of the mystery beatdowns that happened throughout the night.
Meanwhile in the ring, matches such as The Pope vs. Desmond Wolfe got a paltry four minutes of airtime. As mentioned, the X-Division was poorly booked and had the fans chanting “this is bull**it” in the opening of the broadcast.
The Knockouts are generally considered better wrestlers as a group to WWE’s Divas. Their two matches got a grand total of 12 minutes of ring time.
TNA could have concluded the night with a pay-per-view quality wrestling match to keep fans’ interest. Instead, they chose, as Ivan said here , to wrap the night up with three former WCW/WWE talents who haven’t drawn money since 1998 beating down the WWF’s champion from 11 years ago.
If this is the kind of booking that TNA is planning to feature going forward, I am convinced that they cannot maintain enough viewer interest to continue to draw 2.2 million viewers on any night of the week.
Only time will tell what direction will unfold for TNA. All that can be said for sure is that changes are apparently on the horizon. The TV remote controls of the fans will give the final verdict if those changes are good or bad.
Source Credits: TNAWrestlingNews.com, PWTorch.com