Friday, November 21, 2014

Destination: Bargain Basement---TNA finds a new home that few have heard of

The text was originally published at on November 20.

An era ended on Spike TV (formerly the Nashville/National Network, or, TNN) on November 19. However, TNA's era of errors continues unabated by common sense.

Raise your hand if you've heard of Destination America, the new home for Impact beginning in January. All we know is that it's one of the Discovery Communications family of networks, but most people know Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Family (formerly the Hub & Discovery Kids), and the Oprah Winfrey Network (formerly Discovery Health). Destination America? That sounds like a clone of the Travel Channel to me.

So, when TNA books Slamniversary in June, marking its 13th birthday, they will have been on 3 networks in the course of about 11 years, starting with a floating timeslot on Fox Sports Net, then 9 years and change on Spike, when they replaced the WWE, and now Destination America. Early rumors had them going to another Discovery network, Velocity, which in some cities is only available on the HD tier of your cable system. Heck, I had to do a search to see if my cable provider had Destination America, which they may just be adding in time for the addition of Impact.

The point is, insofar as I know, Destination America, or, DA for short, is in fewer homes now than Spike is. As usual, TNA went shopping in the bargain bin for a new deal. Once again, Dixie Carter demonstrated the business acumen of a blind mosquito. Then again, the fact that Fox wasn't interested in reacquainting themselves with TNA, despite the departure of founding father Jeff Jarrett, coupled with Spike, a Viacom network, deciding to get out of the wrestling business, left Dixie with few options. Time Warner wasn't interested, else TruTV, which is in more homes than DA, would've been a perfect fit. With WWE firmly wedded to NBC/Universal/Comcast, TNA wasn't going there without raising the ire of the McMahons.

Considering the questionable state of TNA of late,and the fact that one of their hottest heel characters, Ethan Carter III, the fictional nephew of Dixie Carter, is on the shelf with an injury, I'd not be surprised if we read in a year's time that TNA on DA ends up being DOA. TNA let Sting, AJ Styles, Frankie Kazarian, Mickie James, and Christopher Daniels walk, and Kurt Angle and Team 3D may be next, depending on negotiations. WWE can always dangle the carrot of a Hall of Fame berth, which Team 3D got last month at Bound For Glory, to bring Angle, Ray & Devon back, bringing Tommy Dreamer with them. WWE could do more for Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion, given the sloppy way TNA did an angle with Dreamer over the summer in New York. Angle, in WWE's eyes, would be better suited not as a wrestler, since Vince McMahon had advised Kurt to retire 8 1/2 years ago, but as an administrator, the role he has now. Daniels & Kazarian are in Ring of Honor. Styles is floating between ROH & New Japan, and is the IWGP champ and a member of their NWO-esque faction, the Bullet Club, which just inducted one Jeffrey Jarrett into their ranks recently. Then again, Jarrett helped kill the NWO in WCW by joining in 2000 after it'd already jumped the shark. Maybe the Bullet Club is on its last legs.

What I'm trying to say is, quite frankly, TNA shot themselves in the collective foot again. Dixie's role models aren't the McMahons, whom she's tried to imitate, but, rather, classic bumblers like Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry on F-Troop, nearly 50 years ago), and Inspector Clouseau of the "Pink Panther" movies (Peter Sellers or Steve Martin, take your pick). To borrow from the Climax Blues Band, TNA still "Couldn't Get It Right". A year from now, I may be writing their final epitaph. Watch & see.

No comments: