According to a recent report published by f4wonline.com, two recent TNA pay-per-view events pulled in some rather dismal buy rates.
Both "Sacrifice" and "Slammiversary" received around 8,000 buys each, which is an incredibly low number when compared to the hundreds of thousands of buys that the WWE averages each month.
Obviously TNA has never been able to match up with the PPV juggernaut that is the WWE and this kind of news isn't really a huge deal when it comes to the big picture. It is an interesting statistic though, given the recent developments within TNA that have lead to the upcoming "Hard Justice" event on August 8.
With buy rates nearing record lows for TNA, do Dixie Carter and company truly believe that an ECW reunion show featuring Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn in the main event can help sell more PPVs?
Rumors have been circulating for the past week or so about the two heated rivals from ECW squaring off one more time at "Hard Justice." While nothing has been announced by TNA as of yet, it is worth noting that the match is listed on Lynn's schedule on his official web site (http://jerryfnlynn.com/schedule.html ).
It was 11 years ago when Lynn and Van Dam battled in some truly career-defining epics in ECW. Their matches at "Living Dangerously" and "Hardcore Heaven" in 1999 still rank amongst my favorite matches of all-time.
Those battles once again reinforced that ECW was not only the home of some of most brutal hardcore action but also some of the most incredibly athletic wrestling anywhere during the late '90s and early 2000s.
Then again, that was 11 years ago.
Fast forward to 2010 and Rob Van Dam has reinvigorated his career by becoming the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Jerry Lynn has spent most of his time competing for Ring of Honor, where he held the ROH title for just over 3 months after ending Nigel McGuinness' year-and-a-half long reign.
After digging into my video library and re-watching the classics these two put on in ECW, the idea of seeing them go at it one more time does admittedly seem interesting. Then again, this is coming from someone who was a fan of ECW during their glory days.
Is RVD vs. Lynn going to bring in the casual fan or even the TNA die-hards who aren't as familiar with the history these two have?
One of the biggest complaints that TNA fans have had about the upcoming "Hard Justice" event is the fact that the PPV is apparently going to revolve entirely around the ECW alumni. If TNA is willing to devote an entire PPV to guys that are not even on the company roster, then why did the powers that be refuse to do the same with the X-Division at "Destination X" a few months back?
TNA seems to be willing to put more faith in guys like Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards and Raven to sell PPVs than their own young talent in the X-Division. Sure, it may appeal to the nostalgia factor of the hardcore ECW crowd but will "Hard Justice" appeal to the fans in the Impact Zone?
Jerry Lynn is 47-years-old. Van Dam is approaching 40. They can still go inside the squared circle, there is no doubt about that, but the chances of this pending encounter living up to their epics from the past is very slim.
While the potential of seeing a final clash between these two may be somewhat appealing to me, it surely does not seem like the right step for TNA to make. Instead of focusing on things eleven years in the past, TNA management should be looking towards the future of the company and giving the spotlight to the talent already on the roster.
AJ Styles, Desmond Wolfe, Mr. Anderson, "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero, Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, Kurt Angle. These are the names that TNA should be building their next event around.
Then again, all of this talk of an ECW-themed event has the Internet buzzing and people are talking about TNA as much as they have since Hulk Hogan first set foot in the Impact Zone. Perhaps the nostalgia factor will have the desired effect on the sagging buy rates TNA has experienced lately.
Either way, Dixie Carter and company are taking an extreme risk with the hopes that they can beat a dead horse one last time.
Photo courtesy of Scott Finkelstein