0.8. The lowest television rating for TNA since 2006. Despite a main event featuring former WWE Champion Jeff Hardy, and a show centered around wrestling’ s most famous name, Hulk Hogan, TNA Impact was destroyed by WWE’s Raw.
Without wasting any more time, let’s get into why TNA was defeated so soundly by WWE this week. If you’re just running through this list, the reasons are in bold.
Raw Wasn't Great, But TNA’s Show Simply Sucked
Imagine this. You are less than 15 minutes into the show, and you see this advertisement:
"Will Eric Bischoff Shave Mick Foley’s head?"
That’s a cool question. I got one of my own, by the way.
Who the hell cares?
We have been treated to this storyline of Eric Bischoff trying to teach Mick Foley how to be more “professional” over the last few weeks.
It’s one thing to have a mildly comedic and totally forgettable storyline; it’s another to have it hyped up as one of the biggest events for the night.
Then TNA gave us another match between the Nasty Boys, Jimmy Hart, and Team 3D, minus any weapons, except for a bike helmet at the end.
Thus, the audience got to see Jimmy Hart pin Bubba Dudley.
Jimmy Hart pinning Bubba Ray Dudley. In 2010.
Seriously, TNA just don't do themselves any favours.
To cap off the night, we had Abyss imitating Hulk Hogan before and after the main event.
Over the years, we have seen a fair share of Hogan imitators.
Eugene in particular, comes to mind.
Would you want Eugene headlining a PPV? I’d wager the answer is no, and TNA needs to apply that logic (if they ever do) when they book Abyss, and realize he just isn’t going to be taken seriously if he’s saying “Watcha Gonna Do?”
Stone Cold Steve Austin Returned
The Texas Rattlesnake, the man who kick-started the “Attitude Era” returned to Raw as a Guest Host this Monday for one night only.
Although WWE have embraced a PG attitude that censors most of Austin’s trademark dialogue, the WWE “Universe” still has a reasonable proportion of older fans that remember and idolize Stone Cold.
The conundrum for TNA this week was their fan base skews a lot older than WWE. As TNA try to attract old school wrestling fans with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, and the like, they could not change the FACT that all of these fans would know just as well who Stone Cold Steve Austin was.
WWE started Raw with:
Austin, live in the ring, garnering a 3.90 quarter rating in the process.
TNA meanwhile, kicked off Impact with:
AJ Styles, Ric Flair, and Jeff Hardy talking. Plus Eric Bischoff saying he was going to shave Mick Foley’s head. This brought a 0.87 rating.
So that was how TNA countered Stone Cold? Having AJ Styles talk? I’ll give credit where it is due, and AJ Styles has improved a lot on the microphone.
However, he was never going to prevent people from flipping the channel to see Austin. If Jeff Hardy didn’t get himself involved mid way through this segment, TNA might well have suffered even more.
Just looking at those descriptions, along with the fact that TNA knew in advance Stone Cold was going to be on Raw, they just didn’t set themselves up well enough to prevent losing viewers to Raw.
WWE Is In WrestleMania-Mode
The Road to WrestleMania is one that has a lot of momentum. Mania garners a massive amount of mainstream attention for WWE in comparison to others events during the rest of the year, by far.
And if fans are tuning into WWE now having fallen out of love with the show earlier in the year, you can pretty much bet that WrestleMania had something to do with the change in their mindset.
The overrun (the part of the show after its final quarter) of Raw this Monday was:
The conclusion to the contract signing between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon.
This scored a 4.29 rating, a high for the night.
TNA on the other hand were giving us, at the same time:
The end to the Jeff Hardy/AJ Styles match, with Abyss putting Ric Flair through the ramp. They got a 0.74 rating.
Though some people were interested enough in TNA to watch Flair take that insane bump (at his age), everybody else cared far more about Bret Hart and what he was going to be doing at WrestleMania.
Some Light At The End Of The Tunnel?
The night was not an endless downwards spiral. In fact, TNA did have some positive moments, particularly in the fourth quarter.
In Q4, WWE scored a 3.39 rating, a significant drop of 0.51 in comparison to the opening of Raw with Austin. That was also the lowest quarter rating of the night.
An Undertaker and Shawn Michaels feud video, Michaels vs. Chris Jericho and several commercial breaks.
At the same time, TNA presented their Knockouts with Angelina Love against Daffney, and the start of Rob Van Dam attacking Sting.
They scored their highest quarter rating of the night; 0.96. That would have been more in line with last week’s Impact rating, which Spike TV approved of.
TNA scores their highest number while WWE scores their lowest (albeit still ahead of TNA). Coincidence? Not a chance.
The Bigger Picture
A few weeks of bad ratings are not going to destroy TNA. Spike has been patient with them thus far, and the fact remains that Impact does well in the key male demographic which Spike markets itself to.
That being said, if the overall quality of the show does not improve soon, TNA will not attract new viewers. Until Bischoff and Hogan optimize the usage of the talent they have at their disposal, fans will continue to flip the channel.
Or will they? What do you think? Why did TNA lose this week, in your opinion? Has TNA already lost the Monday Night War?
Will they even hold up a decent rating next week? Has Hulk Hogan damaged TNA beyond repair? Feel free to comment on these issues and anything else you have on your mind. Thanks for reading.
Image Credit: TNAWrestling.com
Ratings Credit: Prowrestling.net
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