Posted by Alex Barie
I have been getting asked my multiple people recently about TNA Wrestling‘s pay-per-view model this year. Let me be the first to say that it is quite extensive. Not only does TNA Wrestling have 4 main pay-per-views, Genesis, Lockdown, Slammiversary, and Bound for Glory, but they also have One Night Only PPVs. The One Night Only PPVs are shows that TNA recorded back in February and March. They recorded a total of 7 One Night Only PPVs. That has been the model throughout the first half of 2013. We are now seeing a new concept involving pay-per-views and that is special Impact Wrestling PPV shows. These are free to the public as they are airing on Spike TV. People have said that the PPV model is a failure. That is a one dimensional statement as it doesn’t look at all of the factors.
4 Pay-Per-Views A Year
When TNA Wrestling announced that they would be cutting their live pay-per-views back to 4 a year I was quite skeptical. I wasn’t sure if TNA could pull it off. 4 a year means they need to create lasting stories that keep the audience’s interest. If there is no interest, people will tune away and ultimately no one will want to see a PPV. Genesis was the first of the year as it aired in January, but it is notably the least talked about TNA PPV so far. Lockdown wasn’t a great build for TNA because they filmed Impact Wrestling for a full month in the United Kingdom. They filmed them within days apart instead of weeks like they are doing now. Slammiversary had a great build with all the eyes on the main event: Bully Ray vs. Sting for the TNA World Title with the stipulation that if Sting loses then he would no longer be able to compete for the title again. As soon as Slammiversary ended, the Bound for Glory stories started. TNA has been building their way to the biggest pay-per-view of the year for months now. There’s no doubt that the stories will all come to a closing or a huge leap at the PPV.
One Night Only Pay-Per-Views:
Just like the 4 live pay-per-views, I was skeptical about this model as well. I loved the idea of the One Night Only specials as they were cheap in price and they all had some sort of gimmick feel to it whether it would be extreme or an old school setting. As months past, I come to realize that the One Night Only specials are a failure. They aren’t a failure in which the shows aren’t good, but they are a failure because the shows have been filmed back in February and March. Who is going to pay for a show where the spoilers can easily be read online for months as well as the fact that these shows revolve around past storylines and around stars who are probably gone from TNA Wrestling now? We don’t know the buyrates for any TNA pay-per-view, live or taped, but I can probably guess that very few, thousands if not hundreds of people, are actually buying these One Night Only specials. They are a great price and a great concept, but they are out of date and unnecessary. Sadly, we do know why these were filmed and that is because TNA had extra dates left in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and they filmed these shows for the dates.
Impact Wrestling Pay-Per-View Specials
TNA Wrestling just started this last month with Destination X. Destination X was on Spike TV for everyone to watch. Really, it was a special concept show for the weekly Impact Wrestling. This month, we saw Hardcore Justice. Again, this was free for everyone to see. People will knock wrestling companies because they are giving away great matches and special PPV specials on free television. The fact is, this is a better situation for TNA Wrestling.
We all look in the past and compare and contrast it with the present. The realization, not everything works in today’s time. The market has changed. The people have changed. We can directly see that through WCW. Ted Turner moved WCW to prime time on Mondays while Eric Bischoff brought in major well known stars in the company. The same thing has been done with TNA Wrestling in 2010 and it wasn’t successful at all. Everyone criticized WCW when they gave Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hogan for the WCW Title free on Nitro. WCW could have made some big bucks by getting a tremendous buyrate with that match, but they didn’t take that route. TNA Wrestling, however, could have a huge match with a well booked and planned story revolving Sting and Bully Ray, but it won’t get a tremendous amount of buyrates because TNA’s audience is very small compared to WCW or WWE.
Building a story and having a huge main event match result from it works better with more people watching. There are more people watching Impact Wrestling than there was Slammiversary. Just like there were more people watching Total Divas than WWE Summerslam last night. Just look at the numbers and we can easily say that the Impact Wrestling PPV specials have helped. If you look at the week before Destination X and then look at the Destination X show itself, you can see that the viewership has increased. The same goes with the week before Hardcore Justice and the Hardcore Justice show. We all love wrestling shows, but the same show every week will get boring. It’s nice to have variety. It’s nice to see something new. The PPV specials give us that variety… that new feeling. It’s just not a normal Impact Wrestling. We will have No Surrender next on Spike TV for free and, by the looks of it, the viewership should rise from the week before. More viewers mean better and more advertising on the show… meaning more money in the pockets for TNA Wrestling.
I feel like the Destination X PPV special appeared out of nowhere, as I described in this article. TNA saw the success of the Impact Wrestling special and decided to run with it by announcing Hardcore Justice and now No Surrender. The easy realization is that not only that more people will watch this show instead of making it is a pay-per-view that you have to pay, but it also increases the viewership of the show itself. Sometimes the most impromptu decisions are the best decisions. This decision, whether planned or not, has worked in the favor of TNA Wrestling!
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