How TNA Can Be Taken Seriously Again

11/1/2023 5:24 PM

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How TNA Can Be Taken Seriously Again

How TNA Can Be Taken Seriously Again

November 1, 2023 5:24 PM
How TNA Can Be Taken Seriously Again
Wrestling News

The necessary steps that TNA Wrestling should take to be seen as serious competition again.

When TNA Wrestling first burst onto the scene in 2002, the company had all the potential in the world to be a true alternative to WWE. Granted, indie promotions like New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor existed around this time, but the key difference was that Jerry and Jeff Jarrett founded the company, which helped expose the product because a valuable name was attached to it.

Throughout the early 2000s, the two things that made the company stand out were the knockouts and X division. Even then, TNA Wrestling arguably had some of the best tag teams in the world and the quality of the in-ring aspect was top-notch. The booking was…hit and miss, but more of the former during the early years. The popularity was growing in TNA. Kurt Angle making the jump to the brand only made them hotter.

Then, everything crashed during the Monday Night Wars. TNA Wrestling tried to launch a war against WWE by moving to Monday nights. The ratings for the brand were consistently solid, making 1.0 million per episode, though it came nowhere near the ratings of RAW, which was drawing over three million viewers in 2010. The war backfired tremendously. TNA has failed to recover since that disastrous move to Monday night.

The brand has suffered a few close calls in terms of shutting down, TNA/Impact Wrestling is like cockroaches, you simply can’t get rid of them so easily. But with the recent announcement of the company re-launching back under the TNA Wrestling name, how can fans take Impact Wrestling seriously again?

Get Off of AXS TV

AXS TV is not doing the brand any favors. While it’s great that the show has a television deal, the big reason TNA goes unnoticed is that there’s no heat surrounding the network itself.

As of 2020, AXS TV is in 50 million households. Though lower than USA Network and TNT, the problem is that AXS isn’t a brand that’s known for television content. It’s not HBO. It’s not Netflix, CBS, or AMC; AXS is the type of channel you flip through in hopes of finding something interesting.

More importantly, we’re living in an age of streaming services. Cable television isn’t particularly dead, but it isn’t as big as it was during the early 2000s. TNA Wrestling needs to move to a different network ASP. This is easier said than done. Since TNA’s ratings are typically less than 150,000 then channels like ESPN or TNT won’t be knocking down the company’s door soon.

However, TNA could always try their hand at a streaming service. Or make the bold move by streaming exclusively on YouTube. That platform has over two billion users per month. None of these suggestions guarantee huge success, but the company should take a risk because AXS TV is just not the channel for them to be on if TNA truly hopes to grow.

Sign A Big Name

The product has been consistently good for the past five years. There are some missable episodes here and there, but TNA is not the terribly booked promotion that it was when Vince Russo was the key writer of the creative team.

Despite continuously producing a solid product, fans just aren’t trying to check out TNA again because many of them have been burned multiple times. TNA needs to sign someone huge. They’ve had the likes of Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay on their shows, but neither has given them significant momentum.

TNA needs to sign a name on the caliber of CM Punk. The former AEW star is likely going back to WWE, but if the company has truly said no for now then they need to do everything in their power to bring him to TNA. CM Punk is a draw. A massive one. And he will get fans to tune in and check out TNA.

At this point, someone on the caliber of Punk would ask fans to re-invest in the product again. The reason names like Kurt Angle were huge in TNA was because it made the promotion seem big league since Kurt Angle was an established name upon his WWE release in 2006.

Even if TNA can’t sign CM Punk, then getting a big name from the independent scene could help boost their attractiveness in the eyes of viewers. If hot talents like Will Ospreay or Kazuchika Okada signed with the company permanently then it would make TNA seem like a big-league company that everyone wants to sign too.

Give Something People Can Talk About

Being different in the modern age of professional wrestling is hard. Lucha Underground tried coming up with something that’s never been seen before in the business, but sadly, the product failed to truly gain momentum as a serious threat. TNA Wrestling has had flashes of brilliance that put eyeballs onto their product.

The most notable was Matt Hardy’s transformation into Broken Matt Hardy. It was fresh, fun, and for the most part, good. TNA Wrestling just hasn’t had that huge buzz since then. TNA doesn’t need to go back to that. In fact, the company was holding itself back when it kept trying to replicate that success.

Instead, the brand desperately needs stories that grab the attention of audiences. The product is solid, but there’s nothing that truly separates TNA Wrestling from any other promotion right now. TNA needs to find something that makes them stick out from everyone else like Lucha Underground did. And I don’t mean just bringing back the six sides of the ring. The storytelling and wrestling needs to be different from AEW, WWE, and all the other wrestling promotions out there.