TNA Wrestling needs to start showing its work. Rumors are flying around, people are getting released left and right, and the numbers just aren't adding up. If Impact Wrestling was a publicly traded name, their stocks would have gone under this month.
Dixie Carter treats TNA like an indy company. She goes out of her way to attend live shows, meet with the fans and uses her Twitter account to announce the company's week-to-week activities. Cary Silken used to be at damn near every Ring of Honor show. Gabe Sapolsky is the most socially active promoter I've ever seen. When was the last time Vince McMahon showed up to a live event and did a meet-and-greet?
It doesn't actually matter how active Dixie is with the fans. She can go to shows and tweet whatever she wants to. She can attend major PPV events and talk about how great they are doing, and how happy she is to be in Texas. It shows she's a kind person who cares about her business. But I'd much rather see her in board meetings, discussing TNA's annual earnings and sharing with people that matter A) where the company is going, and B) what changes they are making to see that happen. Dixie Carter is the president of an internationally televised sports entertainment company. There are other more suitable people who can cheerlead for Impact. Hulk Hogan, for instance.
Wrestling fans – or at least the vocal minority – aren't feeling too great about the stability of TNA's product. Everyone was delighted to see them leave Orlando and branch out to the rest of the United States, but we all know that comes at a cost. It's cheap to record at the Impact Zone; that's why they did it for so many years. Mommy and daddy are having issues, and the kids are getting scared (in this instance, "mommy" is the TNA product, and "daddy" is the Carter family trust fund).
People like myself and Mark Madden are going to keep criticizing the company until they show their work. You can't cut eight shows a year, pay your performers half the money for road performances, and fire a dozen people without, at some point, being accountable to your fan base.
Matt Morgan's release was requested by him, but it probably wouldn't have been granted if TNA didn't desperately need to cut the budget. What about Christian York? He was the only Gut Check star besides Joey Ryan that TNA had invested any time into. Not that it matters; Ryan is gone too. Impact Wrestling is sending a mixed message, and it's forcing me to lose interest in their product. Here are some of the frustratingly backwards things they are saying:
–We want to use Matt Morgan in a huge way, so we're going to give him a program with Hulk Hogan and Sting. Just kidding, instead we'll have him on TV once out of every two months, have him lose clean to Sting, and then release him. Don't worry, he can keep the old fart's robe, it was fake anyways.
–We are super proud of our X-Division, and will be striving hard to once again make it a focal point of our weekly programming. But first, let's get rid of Christian York, the only Gut Check star we've invested any time in. Then lets bring a bunch of names from the past in for one or two weeks, film a few on-demand shows and hope they don't see the difference. Also, remember the X-Division title is expendable, and only a stepping stone to our more popular world heavyweight title.
–Look how awesome our Knockouts are! Don't you just love how much better we treat women than WWE? In fact, here's two amazing matches between Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim, two women were were "mistreated" and "never properly used" in WWE. While you're fixed on that, we're going to get rid of Madison Rayne; don't worry, she's pregnant. If you don't mind, we'll also fire Taeler Hendrix from developmental, and release the most talented woman in the company, Lisa Marie Varon, because we can't afford her contract.
TNA is down to three active X-Division performers – Chris Sabin, Kenny King and Manic. Why do you think Austin Aries was brought in to try and steal a world title shot? Why do you think Sabin is currently working Bully Ray, instead of building his own division?
TNA is down to ten recognizable women. Two of them are ring crew. One of them is a referee. One hasn't been seen on television for several months. One of them is Dixie Carter, another Brooke Hogan. Effectively, their entire active female roster is now Gail Kim, Mickie James, and Taryn Tarrell.
There are more people in Aces & Eights than the Knockouts and X-Division combined. Hulk Hogan gets paid more than all of them.
Have a news tip?Attended an event and want to send a live report?