Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On the fast track to disaster

After improving its rating from 0.56 to 0.9 on Monday, Total Non-stop Action Wrestling (TNA) co-owner Dixie Carter announced via Twitter that Impact will remain from 8-10 pm (ET) on Mondays, effective immediately, and, on top of that, Impact will resume with repeats on Thursdays in its former time-slot (9-11 pm). One idea defeats the other, par for the course for TNA.

The company made the hasty decision to move Impact from Thursdays to Mondays last month at the behest of Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff, the belief being that it's the only way they can compete with WWE Monday Night Raw. After 4 weeks of direct head-to-head competition with the more established program, TNA & Spike "experimented" with moving Impact to the earlier hour, but obviously this wasn't just an experiment. The ratings didn't improve all that much, but just enough to warrant a permanent move to the 8-10 block. In truth, for all the talent on the TNA roster, much of it pruned from the WWE's waiver wires, the company remains hamstrung by poor booking and/or personnel decisions resulting from cronyism (Hogan) or just plain stupidity (just about anything written by Vince Russo) or an improbable combination of both. For every positive move made, there are 3-4 negative ones that set TNA back further than they were before.

Common sense suggests that TNA could've waited a few more months before embarking on this ambitious, but risky, schedule move, but we all know common sense is a foreign concept to them. Just because both shows are pre-taped next week doesn't really mean TNA has given themselves a perceived advantage. Viewers will already know what happens if they've surfed the internet and found the "spoilers". Raw will be in England, on same-day tape, meaning that their creative team will still have had ample time to assemble the program to offset anything on Impact that might be remotely buzzworthy.

The final, bottom line: TNA is doomed. But, then, as a would-be philosopher in WWE once remarked back in 2003, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

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