These last couple of days I have sat back and read the post of my fellow die hard wrestling fans. Every one seems to have their opinions of what makes a good show and the factors that contribute to it.
Some of you feel that TNA is the new breed and delivers the best chance to see the exciting PG14 rating of old, while others say that TNA will not reach the WWE status because of the lack of stars. Then there is the group on both sides who want the other company to fail, no matter what.
The move to Monday for TNA saw some success as well as failure, ratings wise, that has cause concern for wrestling fans and TNA employees alike. Many wonder how TNA could put on a slightly better show than RAW, but still have its ratings decrease compared to the show in January.
Some point to the fact that TNA is on a lesser known network without the fan base WWE had when it was on the network, and others say it is due to the sloppy direction the program takes some times in between matches. The truth is some where in the middle of the two.
The biggest difference between TNA and the WWE cannot be seen on television, its not TNA's X Division or WWE production skills. It is all about how each company markets itself and the time each company takes to change the face of their product.
In this department you can expect WWE to have the advantage since they have been around longer. However if the TNA wants to compete they will have to use some of the WWE tactics. This requires them to learn how draw in fans despite other products being on.
First off TNA must learn that, RAW is not the only opponent that can hurt or support TNA ratings on Monday night. With the route TNA has decided to take in terms of its male 18 to 45 target market, the biggest threat to the company are sporting events like Monday Night Football and College Basketball, and fast pace shows like 24.
Many may come back and counter my argument with the fact that RAW still receives good ratings despite all of the things I mentioned above and having the status of being perceived as a being a worse product when compared to its heyday in the height of the Monday Night Wars.
Trying to figure why RAW has success requires a two part answer. For one RAW has a die hard loyalist type fan base who will watch the product no matter the rating or what is on another channel, something TNA has not yet developed. The second thing WWE has done is figuring out the trends of television on Monday nights and adjusting its product to draw in the viewers, something TNA must learn to do.
This is not something the WWE does with just RAW, but Smackdown to has seen major overhauls in the past five years, and went from being the B-show to now being consider the best wrestling show on television.
Both RAW and Smackdown changes occurred slowly and over time. The whole PG rating thing was not a idea that was spawned over night. I am sure that WWE was calculating that move months and maybe even years before they actually did it.
It may have pissed us off, but the toning down of the hardcore in your face elements of the RAW of old, has helped the show bring in families who watch the show weekly. While the numbers will never compare to the family viewing of American Idol, it does however help soak up the damage that may happen if there is a good game is on another channel, that may cause the adult audience to leave.
TNA on the other hand has not even showcase this type of marketing on Thursday nights and at times lost viewers to Thursday night games and events. Since the beginning TNA has rarely shown a constient product when deciding who is apart of it niche audience.
To many times it seems as if the TNA has no direction and does not seem to build off its shows. This can be seen in their storylines and the way feuds break off and do not build off one another. That image seems to have crept into how TNA chooses to go after their market.
Let me say there is nothing wrong with TNA trying to acquire more attention to its product, however the way they go about achieving it will hurt the company in the long run because of the lack of having a stable show and goals over the course of the years.
If TNA wants to compete with the WWE on Mondays, they will have to do more than try to capture the WWE audience attention. It will require them to take on all shows that compete with their target market. They have to also be able to maintain their fan base despite what else is on or the 1.0 rating is just the beginning.
I was saving this piece for my Monday article, but I might as well just get it off my chest. This article was inspired by reading the comments of Armin Husakovic and Adam Kopp, along with other wrestling fans in this article:
Note for people who want to label me as being hard on TNA, just read my past articles on the WWE. I am far worse on them than TNA.