There is a glaring consistency when it comes to where the Impact Wrestling crew travels for their live Impact television broadcast. With the announcement of 6 new Impact Wrestling dates, the consistency is proven: TNA Impact Wrestling is limiting itself to southern territories. This can hurt the expansion of the product.
As mentioned above, Dixie Carter sent out a tweet with new dates for Impact Wrestling live: Peoria, IL; Las Vegas, NV; Louisville, KY; Wichita Falls, TX; Norfolk, VA and Cleveland, OH. As you can clearly see, half of the locations mentioned are southern territories. Two Impact Wrestling episodes were taped in Jonesboro, AR with two more tomorrow and the next week in Corpus Christi, TX (next week’s episode will be taped tomorrow after the live broadcast). The next round of tapings after Corpus Christi will take place in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Florida and Georgia. It appears that Impact Wrestling is sticking with the south and southeast areas.
Why should this be of interest to you, the faithful TNA Impact Wrestling fan? Well, how does TNA expect to expand and become competition to the WWE if it does not expand further outside of its comfort zone? TNA headquarters is based out of Nashville, TN and we get that. Being “close to home” is the wrong move. If TNA is going to take the risk of delivering an Impact broadcast on the road, they have to grab the risk by the horns and push the product. If they continue this trend, it will essentially become another case of The Impact Zone syndrome. Even if the show is televised nationwide, no expansion equals no chance to showcase the brand to other parts of the nation and will not gain new viewers.
Let’s look at the WWE quickly. They are based out of Connecticut and they do have an east coast vibe. However, Raw and SmackDown! emanate from various parts of the nation from the east, west, north and south. Many times they go east one night and then west the other only to travel back east and then back out west or south or north. People who are jaded wrestling fans go to the televised event and get an experience: the huge tron, lights, sounds, action, etc. If they have fun, a new viewer may have been made. TNA should aspire much more to get that new viewer and really take the show out of it’s comfort zone to conquer uncharted territory. You would be surprised as to how many people still don’t know about TNA and Impact Wrestling.
Being a New Yorker, TNA Impact Wrestling at the Manhattan Center (where WWE Raw’s first episode was held and was frequented by the old ECW crew) would be a fantastic experience for TV. New York/ New Jersey is heavy in wrestling pride (Monday’s WWE crowd from New Jersey was on fire). TNA better had paid attention.
TNA won’t fill up Madison Square Garden or Staples Center, but they can and have found arenas where they’ve gone to and have produced a professional wrestling broadcast. TNA does travel outside of the region for house shows, but this article is strictly looking at the televised broadcast and the booked location for the shows on Spike TV. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe there is more to it than just sticking to the places they know. Money is most likely the number 1 reason for sticking close to the south. Travel expenses and such. Or maybe there is a strategy in place to slowly bring Impact to other locations on a regular basis, and not just for a main pay-per-view.
TNA management, ultimately, will need to exert a bit more gumption when it comes to Impact on the road. Otherwise, TNA will be stuck in the same place and will remain that small wrestling promotion that could have but didn’t. There is a huge opportunity here to really make an impact (no pun intended) so the ball is in TNA’s court.
How do you feel about TNA limiting itself to the southern/ southeast region? Do you mind it at all? Do you not care as long as the product is presented well? Sound off in the comments section below and share.
Thank you for reading and remember to check out the other great articles here on TNANews.com. Until tomorrow’s Booking Impact!: “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”
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