Monday Night Wars…Again

Mark Madden

TNA’s Monday night show Jan. 4 is not a one-off, nor being done to test the waters. Sources close to Hulk Hogan say that Hogan would not have signed a two-year deal to run TNA were a Monday night show anything but definite. It’s not certain whether Jan. 4 is the start of a weekly Monday show, but TNA programming on Mondays is a lock.

Count Hogan out as a wrestler. He came back from Australia nearly crippled. Hogan may wrestle occasionally, perhaps in a tag team, but will not work lengthy programs, let alone weekly on TV. Hogan’s primary role will be administrative. Hogan is to TNA what Bill Watts was to Mid-South.

Most say that TNA will be blown out of the water on Monday nights. Don’t expect Eric Bischoff to be scared. That’s what they said when WCW Monday Nitro went up against Raw. Nitro not only beat Raw 84 straight weeks, but beat Monday Night Football 17 straight weeks. Nitro was a viable cable ratings getter for the length of its existence.

TNA’s Monday show shouldn’t be about beating Raw. It should be about competing with Raw and establishing a viable audience of its own. It should be about using the nostalgia of a Monday night wrestling war to recapture WCW fans that stopped watching wrestling when Nitro folded.

Nitro competed with Raw because WCW had a solid product.


Not only does TNA not have a solid product, but the presumed lame-duck status of creative management will almost certainly lead to a total lack of preparation thereof when it comes to Jan. 4. Vince Russo says that he has no idea if he’ll still be employed or what Hogan wants, so he’s booking taping-to-taping, with no long-term plan.

Then again, isn’t that what Russo always does?

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