Why TNA Won’t Make It:
TNA started in June of 2002 as a weekly pay per view promotion. Fans could pay $10 every Wednesday night and get two hours of wrestling. The shows were done live at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena in Nashville which was coined the “Asylum” and also fans could pay $10-$20 to be at the “Asylum” live. The problem was that TNA was still losing $50,000 a week. TNA needed to expand its audience and find a way to turn a profit because they were two million dollars in the hole after the PPV’s so they started IMPACT but the problem with that was that they are paying FOX Sports Net to be on television on Friday Afternoons. Most television stations and networks pay for shows to be on their channels and this is the other way around.
I am a senior broadcasting major at college and there are some things that TNA has got going right now that a freshmen should be able to tell you are wrong. First is that they are paying to be on FOX Sports Net as we mentioned above. When FSN picked up TNA they moved them out of the “Asylum” and to Universal Studios in Orlando which is of course their current location and the problem with that is that they are in a theme park and now charge no prices for tickets to see them. They were drawing anywhere from 800 to 1,500 people in Nashville and charging ticket prices for that, now though they are an attraction at a theme park so if you buy a ticket to the park you can watch TNA free! Now they are cutting back on expenditures by not going live but they could have been able to pay off FSN by being in Nashville and charging admission, now they make nothing.
Now being a broadcasting major you learn a very important lesson and that is that television shows are not developed for the public. Television shows are developed to draw an audience for advertisers. The keyword in there is advertisers. Most one hour television shows can have about 80 to 100 commercial advertisements now a commercial is when a company pays money to air an ad on your program so channel promos, affiliate promos and show promos do not count because they are shown free. With IMPACT most of their commercial time is taken up by promos for their own show and for FSN and affiliate promos and they only had 20 actual commercials during their entire telecast. Folks this means that advertisers have found no interest in the product and what is worse is now TNA makes no money again. Not only do they have no commercials they also have no sponsors. You notice that every WWF Pay Per View is sponsored by somebody (Xbox and Snickers for example) and they also show sponsors during their shows that the announcers say to you on the air. TNA does not have this. They also have no DVD or merchandise distribution as you can only get TNA goods online. You cannot go to your local video store and buy Victory Road on DVD. All of this is necessary if you are going to draw a mainstream audience and more importantly turn a profit.
Now I mentioned that TNA lost two million of its own money but they have also lost Panda Energy (Their parent company) 15 million dollars. Luckily for TNA Panda Energy has faith in TNA so they keep pouring the money in but at some point they are going to want a return on their investment. Other expenditures for TNA include renting the space they use to tape IMPACT, lighting, pyrotechnics, and paying their talent which is now getting to be a very noticeable expense. Did you know that Kevin Nash and Scott Hall alone make $5,000 a show? They feel to try and compete with the WWF they need to be able to get big named talent the problem with that is that they are making no money to pay this talent. Panda Energy will continue to just lose money. Paul Heyman said it best and that is that promoter Jerry Jarrett is the best spinmeister on the planet because he sounds like a great business man when he has lost 17 million dollars in three years while Paul Heyman and ECW lost eight million in eight years.
That is bad people when you have lost double the money of ECW in less then half the time. Now Panda Energy isn’t really hurt by TNA losing so much money but at some point they are going to be wondering why TNA has lost so much and they are going to want to see them get out of the red and I think that day will be approaching sooner then later.
TNA has no way of making money right now as the pay per views are breaking even; they have no advertisers or sponsors, free admission, no touring to charge admission and bring in money and no interest from a mainstream audience to gain any of these. So TNA fans I hope for your sake they can pull their heads out of the water but they are drowning in debt so badly that with the exception of a miracle I do not see TNA making it to their fifth anniversary.
Brock Lesnar vs. World Wrestling Entertainment:
For those of you who do not know what the lawsuit is about here is a quick recap; when Lesnar left the WWF last March he signed a contract that had a six year no compete clause to it. Lesnar thought that he would be in the NFL for those six years and thought nothing of it. He didn’t make it and now he wants out so that he can wrestle for other companies and make money. Now this sounds stupid because it is stupid. Most WWF guys when they opt out of their contracts early sign a 90 day no compete clause so Lesnar got shafted. I know that many of you disagree but let me explain. Lesnar gave the WWF two weeks notice about him leaving and while in pro wrestling that seems unreasonable, it is legal. You only have to give your employer two weeks notice before leaving and that is what Lesnar did.
Now after looking at the lawsuit it is painfully obvious that the WWF got their world confused with the real world. The contract specifically stated that Lesnar could not work for any other sports entertainment entities or ultimate fighting of any kind. Vince McMahon coined the phrase sports entertainment and his company is the only company under that name and that is important. If Vince McMahon has said it once, he has said it a million times and that is he is not in the wrestling business, he is in the entertainment business. This is important because his company is not classified as a wrestling company. It is instead known as an entertainment provider and because of this there are rules and laws that are intended for wrestling companies that the WWF does not have to follow. One example of this is that it is illegal to blade in New York State if you are a wrestling promotion but since the WWF is an entertainment provider there is no such law and therefore Brock Lesnar can wrestle for other wrestling promotions, most specifically New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW).
The other flaw is Ultimate Fighting. We know what Vince McMahon meant but he or his lawyers forgot that Ultimate Fighting is a brand name. We use the term like we do Kleenex meaning that we it is the general term for that product but UFC is a specific company so that does not stop Brock Lesnar from competing in PRIDE, K-1 or any other real fighting promotion if he feels like it.
I understand that people are upset with Lesnar but World Wrestling Entertainment made a catastrophic mistake by letting their ego get the best of them and right a contract that only people in their type of business would understand. The supreme court while they may understand the lingo and jargon have to apply the law as it is in the real world and not in Vince’s world so yes Brock Lesnar will win his lawsuit. It is my opinion that Lesnar will be enforced to sit out the normal 90 days which will be up when this case is over but Lesnar will make very little if no money off of this as the 90 days will be up and he would be able to compete and work immediately. Fans can be as angry with Lesnar as they want and they are right Lesnar was wrong in signing the contract but the contract is just way too flawed for McMahon to win this case.
The ramifications of this in the long term are that the WWF will make contracts in English for now on and not in wrestling. Also with Lesnar leaving and the Rock leaving expect more wrestlers to get agents who will be looking at their best interests. Times are changing big time as how the WWF deals with talent and it will be interesting where they go with it.
Whose Fault is it?
If you have a wrestler that does not fit your mold such as a Chris Benoit and you make him champion then it is on you to change the mold and not the other way around.
You made them champion so there was obviously something you liked about that character and that direction that wanted you to make them champion so why when the reign goes bad it is the wrestlers fault? Lets take Chris Benoit because he may be the most recent and obvious example. As we all know Benoit has never been much of a talker which is fine but just because he is not a talker does not mean he doesn’t need the spotlight. See in my opinion the spotlight doesn’t always have to be the same way. Sometimes it has worked which is obvious with JBL but with some guys, talking and stupid storylines just does not get the job done. I personally felt that Benoit was going to hold the title for a year because he is such a great wrestler but I was wrong.
What hurt Benoit the most was that the spotlight was never on him! Him going for the title was all about HHH and Shawn Michaels, his feud with Kane had nothing to do with Benoit but everything to do with Lita. The feud with HHH was all about Eugene and he never really ever got to feud with Orton so how can you blame a guy for a bad title reign when he was never given a ball to run with?
You can’t. This falls solely on the promotion. Same goes for Chris Jericho and his reign as undisputed champion. The feud with HHH was all about Stephanie and nothing about Jericho. There is only so much a wrestler can do in the allotted time so it is on the company to make the changes so that the title reign is credible and entertaining.
I am only just a fan but I question why you even make a guy your champion if you have no plans of giving him the spotlight? To me that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I wonder why they couldn’t have a guy constantly beating Benoit by interference or cleanly in non title and tag matches if it could give the challenger a big push and more importance going into the title match? I wonder why Benoit could not get longer feuds that meant something. I wonder a lot of things but that’s ok. The point is that the company is to blame if a title reign goes bad, not the wrestler. Unless your name is HHH, the wrestler has very little say over who he is going to feud against, drop his title to and how his storyline is going to go so that is why I blame the company. If the champion does not fit your mold either change your mold or don’t make him champion.
Who did the Honkey Tonk Man beat to become Intercontinental Champion?
Ricky Steamboat-Steamboat was originally scheduled to lose the title to Butch Reed but for some reason Honkey got to win it instead and the rest is history.
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Well here we go with this weeks question and remember if you think you know the answer then send it with your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and as always good luck.
Well were almost at March which means its getting to be WrestleMania time so I figured I would give you my first WrestleMania trivia question of the year with the following…
Who was the Guest Referee for the main event at the first WrestleMania?
Well kids that will about wrap it up for this edition and as always I hope you all enjoyed it thoroughly. Remember to send your feedback and trivia answers to email@example.com and until next time LATER!
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