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TNA's New TV Home Gives Bored WWE Fans Another Option

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2016

TNA Impact Wrestling
TNA Impact Wrestlingcredit: impactwrestling.com

TNA is a company that many believed would be out of business by now.  Struggling to build its fanbase beyond its dedicated number of followers, TNA has attempted to keep itself upright while WWE continues to be the worldwide leader in pro wrestling.

But even though the Tennessee-based promotion will likely never overtake Vince McMahon's company, the fact is that its another option for bored WWE fans.

For a lot of people, "bored" doesn't even begin to describe it.  Every week, The Authority of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, neither of whom are active performers, dominate a good chunk of time on Monday Night Raw while thumbing their noses at fans on social media.

Then there's Roman Reigns, whose WWE world title reign may be off to a good start but could all come apart if he gets too much mic time.  Though he's the one the company wants at the top, it has spent the better part of a year making it happen, and still some fans are not buying it.

Roman Reigns
Roman Reignscredit: wwe.com

Perennial favorites like Dolph Ziggler and even Zack Ryder continue to settle for table scraps while everyone else seems to pass them by.  Bray Wyatt is perhaps the best promo man in the locker room aside from Paul Heyman, but WWE can't seem to find anything meaningful for him or his family to do. John Cena continues to reign over the company as world-traveled veterans in NXT are waiting for call-ups that may or may not come anytime soon.

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In the midst of all this, Superstars are going out one by one thanks to injury.  For a company full of talent from top to bottom, there never seems to be a Plan B when WWE needs it most.

But while all of this has been happening, TNA has continued to move along.  Defying critics and working to impress fans, TNA has once again landed on a new network, and this time it may just be the move it needs.

Pop TV is available in over 75 million homes in the United States, compared to just over 57 million homes that Destination America reaches.  This is good news for TNA, because the more eyes on the product, the better; it's the only way to build the brand beyond what it already has.

The production value is good; the lighting is right, the video packages are top-notch and the music is crystal-clear.  It's obvious that the team working to put the program on the air is experienced and knowledgeable, which is great for TNA's television presence.

The talent is there as well.  Ethan Carter III is the TNA world heavyweight champion and is considered by many to be the best young hand in the company.  Lashley is another top guy, as are Matt Hardy, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle, James Storm and Jeff Hardy.

A roster full of young talent is also on board, including Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, Jessie Godderz and The Wolves.  The Knockouts division of Gail Kim, Mickie James, The Beautiful People and The Dollhouse are also getting it done in the ring, representing women's wrestling at its finest.  

While some of the talents may or may not be familiar to fans, the fact is that TNA has made great strides when it comes to trusting its own roster to carry the load.

Gone are the veterans that once ran Impact Wrestling every week.  Guys like Hulk Hogan, Rob Van Dam, Scott Steiner, Booker T, Kevin Nash and Sting may all be legends in the industry, but many fans felt TNA could not move forward because of their presence.

Indeed, the future of a wrestling company ultimately lies with its young talent.  TNA now has a good mix of veterans and fresh faces, which is a good combination for growth.

Of course, TNA has always had an issue with booking.  Ridiculous storylines and silly scenarios were once the norm and led TNA down the wrong path on more than one occasion.  The commonly held belief among fans was that if TNA could get that part of it figured out, the company could perhaps have a chance to truly see some serious growth.

With the combination of WWE's typically stagnant programming and TNA's positioning as the highest-profile alternative wrestling program on TV, there is a real chance for great things to happen.  

As has always been the case for TNA, there must be patience.  Attempting to grow too fast too soon has never helped in the past and certainly will not now.  Slow and steady wins the race here, and as fans change the channel to discover Lucha Underground and Ring of Honor, TNA must stand out as the one company dedicated to getting better every week.

No promotion will ever be able to competitively match WWE, but TNA is a true second option now thanks to its new TV home and its renewed focus.  It's not about competing with Vince McMahon now, but rather about gaining more ground today than yesterday.

That is exactly what TNA seems to be doing.

Tom's work can regularly be found on Bleacher Report and his podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here

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