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WNS Column: What Happens If/When TNA Leaves Spike TV?

Posted By: Caylon Knox on Aug 31, 2014

WNS Column: What Happens If/When TNA Leaves Spike TV?

We've all been hearing the rumors that TNA Impact Wrestling might be leaving Spike TV soon and could end up on a smaller network, or possibly without a television deal at all. TNA has been on Spike TV for just short of a decade now since 2005 and has consistently been one of Spike's highest-rated programs. However, TNA, through all of their ups and downs, has not been able to come anywhere near WWE's ratings, particularly Monday Night Raw's ratings. TNA has averaged anywhere between a 0.8 to a 1.2 throughout their tenure on Spike, while Monday Night Raw usually averages at least in the high 2's if not the low 3's, often depending on what kind of competition they have on Monday nights.
 
And so now, one has to wonder: What will happen to TNA and the wrestling industry as a whole if/when TNA leaves Spike TV?
 
Many longtime TNA fans will remember that this would not be the first time that TNA has found themselves without a television deal. They spent their first two years of existence doing weekly pay-per-views on Wednesday nights for $10.00 a show. Finally, in the summer of 2004, TNA started on FOX Sports Network and had a one-year run with FSN where they had a weekly spot on Friday afternoon, originally at 3:00 and then later at 4:00. But their tenure with FSN was short-lived and they spent the summer of 2005 in relative obscurity without any kind of a television deal.
 
WWE parted ways from Spike TV in September of 2005 and TNA debuted on the network in October. The rest, as they say, is history.
 
Because of their spot on Spike TV, TNA has been considered the Number 2 wrestling promotion in the United States by default. But what happens if TNA leaves Spike TV? There are some rumors that TNA could end up on the Discovery Channel's VELOCITY network, which has been described as a "worst case scenario" for TNA, as VELOCITY is only available to about 48 million homes in the United States (I personally don't have it).
 
Would TNA be able to survive this? They have the financial backing of the Carter Family, but TNA is rumored to be losing money already even with their national exposure on Spike TV. What would happen to the company financially if they end up on a much smaller network or possibly without any television deal at all? Whether or not TNA would even be able to remain in operation is debatable, but one thing that is certain is that it would leave many wrestling fans without an alternative to WWE. Whether or not you are a fan of TNA, I don't think anybody would argue with me in saying that it's always good to have an alternative.
 
So how would this affect the wrestling business as a whole? It could be bad at first, but it could also open up the door for another promotion to step up as the new wrestling alternative.
 
The Number 3 promotion in the United States is Ring of Honor Wrestling. They seem to be doing okay with the Sinclair Broadcasting Group and it doesn't seem likely that they would want to end their relationship at this time. Just recently, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that ROH was now going to be shown on Saturday night/Sunday morning at 1:00 on a local channel where I live, so now I have a chance to watch ROH on a weekly basis and I have been.
 
The thought occurred to me this weekend: If TNA leaves Spike TV, some fans might argue that ROH would actually then become the Number 2 promotion in the U.S. Personally, I feel that ROH is a much better wrestling promotion than TNA and I would be happy to see ROH finally get recognized as the Number 2 promotion behind WWE.
 
But that's not to say that another promotion might not step up to the plate.
 
Jeff Jarrett has been making a lot of waves with his new Global Force Wrestling promotion and they haven't even held an event yet. It's known that GFW has been in negotiations with several networks. Even if Spike isn't interested, there is still a chance that another major network, such as CMT, could pick up GFW. There are many other independent promotions in the U.S. as well. EVOLVE & Dragon Gate USA have established themselves as major indy promotions. Even Chikara is a fairly well-known indy promotion.
 
And let's not forget about the National Wrestling Alliance, which has been in operation since 1948. Longtime wrestling fans know the illustrious history of the NWA, but unfortunately, the NWA hasn't had any major exposure since TNA stopped using the NWA World Heavyweight and World Tag Team Titles back in 2007. What if the NWA were to come back from obscurity and rise up once again as the alternative to WWE?
 
It's hard to say what will end up happening with TNA, but all signs point to them leaving Spike TV soon. It will be interesting to see what happens with TNA and how this will affect the wrestling business as a whole. It's hard to imagine that WWE could once again end up being the only promotion on television like they were from 2001-2004.
 
What would YOU like to see happen? Do you want TNA to remain as the Number 2 promotion or do you think it's time for another company to step up as the new alternative to WWE?
 

Tags: #tna #impact wrestling #columns
https://wrestlr.me/35871/  
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