Bye, Bye Tennis Racket Guy, TNA/Playboy, Ric Flair & More

Mark Madden

BYE, BYE TENNIS RACKET GUY

TNA Impact dipped to a 0.9 rating last week, the program’s lowest since Aug. 14, 2008. The excuse: Impact was up against the NFL opener. The reality: If you do compelling programming, your fans stick with you. If not, they flip to a football game. It’s reminiscent of when Smoky Mountain Wrestling’s business slowed down every spring and Jim Cornette always blamed it on high school proms, matter-of-factly like everyone knew it was true.

Let’s see: Take Liz to the formal, or go to Volunteer Slam II? Difficult choice.

Speaking of Cornette, he and B.G. James took the fall for…well, for something. You couldn’t blame two agents operating on the periphery for bad ratings. Anyway, both got sacked by TNA.

Cornette supposedly flipped out over Eric Young’s sustained push. I don’t blame him. There is nothing compelling whatsoever about Young, not even as the leader of the nWo Black & White.

There’s a virus that was epidemic during the dying days of WCW that now runs rampant in TNA: Given declining TV ratings and the loathsome sales of PPVs, somebody within TNA creative surely knows that the booking sucks and that Vince Russo has to go. Maybe a broadcaster knows. Maybe a wrestler knows. Maybe everybody knows. You know how I know? Impact did a 0.9.

Problem is, Cornette spoke his mind, he was right, but he got fired. Better to be employed than right. No one will speak up now.

You want backstage to be pleasant. You want everyone pulling the same rope. But do you want employees rubber-stamping stupidity while the company goes down the toilet?

That’s what’s happening, whether Dixie Carter wants it or not. Are you telling me Mick Foley doesn’t know better? Or Mike Tenay? Or Terry Taylor? Or Jeremy Borash? Or Taz?

Of course they do. But it’s not worth getting fired over. That’s TNA policy now: You keep your job if your booking produces a horrible rating. You lose your job if you point out the folly behind a 0.9.

Some say Cornette and James got released because of their association with Jeff Jarrett. If so, why hasn’t Jarrett been dumped for good? Why should Cornette and James pay for Jarrett’s sins?

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