Since my summer class ended last week, I have more time on my hands for the next several weeks before my fall semester starts. I plan on pumping out more articles during the time. With that being said, I was going to write a very positive article about TNA Wrestling and how people should leave the company go with bad rumors and hurtful insults. I mean, Impact Wrestling has been hot in the past several weeks and their viewership is significantly up. Why try to hurt their momentum? I was all set for it. I was passionate in what I was going to pen, but then news broke… news that surprised many… news that came out of nowhere… and that news is that Spike TV will not be re-signing with TNA Wrestling to carry Impact Wrestling!
Is the story true?
I covered the story on the site that TMZ was reporting. How true is it? Can the story be trusted? It was so hard to decide whether I should publish the story on the website in fear that it was a lie or fake. However, TMZ has been on the ball with their wrestling/sports coverage recently. Remember last year at this time when there were tremendous rumors that TNA Wrestling was up for sale and there were multiple buyers? Janice Carter actually emailed the TNA Wrestling staff about the rumor being a lie. TMZ never covered the sale rumor. They made the right call. This is a difference case. TMZ made the call to post the story about Spike TV and TNA Wrestling because they were confident in what they learned. They weren’t stating it as a rumor… but as a report! They had it on their front page!
Again, I was still skeptical late Sunday night on multiple levels. One, I couldn’t ask the people I know who either have connections or are my connections because it was in the middle of the night. Two, I come to realization that I can only believe certain people in regards to wrestling news and those are the people who I couldn’t reach because of the time of the night. I woke up Monday morning and the first thing I read was the information on WrestlingNewsWorld.com about the Spike TV/TNA Wrestling television deal situation (story found here) and at that moment I found out I was no longer sleeping… I was no longer skeptical… I was no longer in question. It in fact is true – Spike TV is not renewing TNA Wrestling’s television deal!
The moment when I read the TMZ post late Sunday night my mouth dropped. I was stunned. I was dumbfounded. However, looking back… I don’t think I should have been. From everything that was stated in the past month or so, I thought, “Maybe I should have seen this coming.” Not only has Richard Gray posted several updates about the negotiations and how it was not looking good for TNA Wrestling, I actually was told earlier this month, the beginning of July actually, from one of my sources that the talk backstage was that Spike TV may not actually re-sign with TNA Wrestling for a new television deal. I took it as a grain of salt though. I had confidence that they would re-sign. I was so optimistic. I should of dug deeper in the information I received. I should have never turned a blind eye. Why did I? Because it seemed like there was no doubt. Why would Spike TV not renew a television deal that deals with a show that gives them one of their highest viewership numbers, if not the highest viewership numbers, weekly? A successful television show is measured by a 0.5 cable rating and Impact Wrestling almost doubles that… sometimes even surpasses a 1.0. It looks like the viewership numbers don’t matter anymore. It seems like no matter how successful the show is on your station, it all comes down to money and secrets (again, read the story here). I realized that I, and we, shouldn’t turn a blind eye.
This situation regarding TNA Wrestling/Spike TV and whether it was true or not reminds me exactly of the AJ Styles contract status with TNA Wrestling. Remember in December of last year, early January of this year? AJ Styles’ contract with the company was coming to an end. Was he going to re-sign? Was he going to walk away? Some didn’t believe TNA and AJ would part ways. Some even said he signed a new contract. The fact is, he did walk. AJ Styles and TNA Wrestling split ways. People couldn’t believe it. There may be some who still can’t come to terms with the idea. They may think AJ is still with TNA Wrestling. He isn’t. Those people should be kicking themselves right now. I realized that I shouldn’t turn a blind eye them. We all should have realized that. Sadly, we didn’t and here comes the next situation. This time, I am understanding it and I won’t be kicking myself.
One of the main reasons why I was so confident that Spike TV and TNA Wrestling would agree to a new television deal is because of one partnership and that partnership is with United Talent Agency. TNA partnered with this company in April (info here) and in the press release, the following was stated:
UTA will represent the 12-year-old company to extend its television broadcast reach
Now, let that statement sink in. Try to digest it. If UTA is going to represent TNA Wrestling and extend their television broadcast reach, how can they even do that if they can’t even reach a deal with Spike TV? Sure, Spike TV isn’t everything and TNA Wrestling can find another network… a network that may offer more in terms of money and viewership, but TNA is established on Spike TV. They have been with them since 2005. It is a long-term relationship. It is a relationship that goes together. When I think of Spike TV I think of Impact Wrestling. When I think of Impact Wrestling I think of Thursday at 9pm ET on Spike TV. There was no ifs or buts about it. There was never a question what network TNA would be on. Also, if you are familiar with Twitter, then you know the highly powerful “#ImpactOnSpike” hashtag. Since TNA Wrestling used that, viewership has increased (as well as multiple reasons).
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) July 28, 2014
While writing this article, Dixie Carter, the President of TNA Wrestling, stated on her official Twitter account that the contract negotiations with Spike TV are “ongoing”. Adam Eaton published the update here. TNA Wrestling needed to address the situation. Whether it would be from Dixie Carter, John Gaburick, or even from TNA Wrestling’s official Twitter account. The story had to be addressed. On the flip side, how true is it? The tweet that Dixie stated the contract negotiations are still ongoing also turned a complete 180 degrees and plugged this week’s Impact Wrestling. Everyone would be reading that tweet, which is a smart business move to plug your upcoming show, but at the same time, do you completely change the topic of a story at this magnitude? Do I believe the tweet? I have been lied to by Dixie Carter on social media before, and I feel no different about her little update. It’s easy for her to get away with stuff on social media!
If Spike TV and TNA Wrestling do not end up agreeing to a new deal… where does that leave Spike TV and where does that leave TNA Wrestling? What is the future for both? For Spike TV… it’s easy! They will still go on and carry their usual shows. They will lose one of their highest viewership shows though (if not the highest). I for one, wouldn’t be watching Spike TV anymore unless they air a big blockbuster movie sometime during the night. I’m sure more people are the same. As for TNA Wrestling… they will continue chugging. They will continue the climb. I don’t think there’s any problem finding a new home for Impact Wrestling. Someone will pick them up. TNA Wrestling has the resources and the numbers to prove that they should be signed to a television deal. Will Impact Wrestling be on Thursdays though? Will it be at 9pm ET? Who knows. It may not be. Will their viewing audience follow? If they do sign with a new network, would that station be available to as many people as Spike TV was? We have to take that all into account.
Has Spike TV been a good partner with TNA Wrestling? Before rambling, I asked the question on social media and TNANews.com guru Ric Santos wrote:
@AlexAssumptions One sided and not fair to TNA. If they promoted TNA as hard as they did UFC or Bellator, they'd do better I feel.
— Ric Santos (@RealRicSantos) July 28, 2014
@AlexAssumptions TNA even HAD to promote Bellator on their own show. One sided.
— Ric Santos (@RealRicSantos) July 28, 2014
And with that, I completely agree! I heard countless times where Spike TV told TNA Wrestling what to do and what not to do. I was told TNA had to advertise whatever Spike wanted, which as Ric pointed out, had them promote UFC or Bellator. Spike would even go as far as shove Tito Ortiz to TNA Wrestling and make for one of the most horrible creative moves in company history, alas the “#August1Warning”. Spike TV executives even had a meeting with TNA Wrestling employees last year stating the direction they want Impact Wrestling to go and what the stars can and cannot do (check out the exclusive report here). Did you get what that sentence had? Again, Spike TV was telling TNA Wrestling employees what direction they want Impact Wrestling to go. TNA Wrestling wasn’t telling the employees what direction they want to take THEIR show… No, the executives who aren’t even working for TNA Wrestling were telling how to run their show. Spike TV became pushy and demanding. They used TNA Wrestling’s platform to plug their stuff INSTEAD of Spike TV using their platform to promote TNA Wrestling. If TNA Wrestling has to promote Spike TV to be on their good side instead of promoting their own product while Spike TV sits and doesn’t promote back, where’s the partnership? Where’s the help? We shouldn’t even doubt why Impact Wrestling’s overall viewership hasn’t increased in YEARS!
There’s so many stories going on whether TNA Wrestling and Spike TV are parting ways or if they are still talking. At any rate, at the end of the day, Impact Wrestling needs a home in the United States. They need a television deal to show their talent. If that is with Spike TV in the future or not is up in the air. We should stick beside TNA Wrestling and hope for the best. I’m confident that TNA Wrestling will get some television deal with some network, and I hope it is for the better of not only the company but for the network was well. There needs to be an equal partnership. There needs to be a deal that benefits equally. And lastly, there needs to be a deal for the TNA Wrestling fans! Wrestling fans are the most passionate fans in the world. It doesn’t matter what company it is. At the end of the day, we want our wrestling fix… TNA Wrestling fans want their Impact Wrestling fix!
Like my Facebook page for my full wrestling thoughts!
Update: Scan the box below on your mobile phone to check out an exclusive TNANews.com email newsletter about the TNA Wrestling/Spike TV situation