Next Monday, March 8th, TNA Wrestling takes its Thursday night Impact show and moves it to Mondays at 9 pm EST, making it a direct competitor to Monday Night RAW.  As we see the second round of the Monday Night Wars begin, I fear this war will end as badly for TNA as the original war did for WCW.

Currently TNA is not gaining ratings even close to what RAW gets, even with the addition of the highly popular Hall of Fame personalities Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair to the TNA roster.  In fact, with Impact pulling its best ratings ever, it still doesn’t get half as many viewers as RAW.

There’s absolutely no reason for Impact to move to one of the busiest nights on the television lineup.  Forget about the fact that RAW has three other WWE shows on different networks (Friday Night “Smackdown” on UPN, Tuesday Night “NXT” on SyFy and Thursday “Superstars” on WGN) helping it maintain high ratings by directing interested parties to the flagship show (on a fourth network – USA).  Look at the other programs on Monday Nights that Impact will now have to compete with:  24, House, How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, and Big Bang Theory to name a few of the heavy ratings hitters.  Not to mention that a dozen weeks a year you can add Monday Night Football to the list.

Why is Impact moving to Mondays?  Because Hulk Hogan / Eric Bischoff / Vince Russo want to prove that their failure to beat Vince McMahon & Monday Night RAW in the first Monday Night Wars was due to interference by the individuals in charge of WCW screwing things up for them.  They seem to think that with Dixie Carter in the front office, along with Jeff Jarrett and whomever else might be making decisions, that they have some sort of key to success.

I like the talent TNA has.  Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Mick Foley are all being utilized well in roles which require very little in-ring action from them.  AJ Styles is one of the best competitors in the business today, although many have questioned the decision to have him play a heel, since it’s so easy to enjoy his in-ring ability (which is second to none).  Kurt Angle continues to be an MVP candidate, working to help make other wrestlers look their best to help build up the main event.  Every time Samoa Joe brings his unique physique to the ring, he tends to gain fans he didn’t previously have once they see his ability.  Recent additions of Ken Anderson (formerly Ken Kennedy in WWE), Desmond Wolfe (Nigel McGuinness from Ring of Honor) and “Pope” D’Angelo Dinero (Elijah Burke – WWE) are already paying dividends, as is the continued development of Abyss and Matt Morgan.  Once TNA figures out how to integrate the tag team division, X-Division and both Knockouts divisions (single and tag team) into its Hogan-centric programing, those will all add to the ratings, but likely not enough to help Impact overtake RAW.

There’s no reason for TNA to move to Monday Nights.  Even if they do find a way to put on a great product and take away from RAW’s ratings, they’re not going to put WWE out of business.  They’re not going to significantly take away from WWE’s pay per view revenues.  All they’re doing is limiting their potential television viewing audience so that they can be seen as a “major player” by providing direct competition.  It won’t matter, though, because anyone who hasn’t watched TNA Impact up until this point will likely stay with RAW on Monday Nights.

The ratings will eventually show whether I’m right or not, but I will always maintain the opinion that any increase in ratings could likely have happened had TNA moved Impact to any other night of the week.  I want TNA to succeed in driving up its ratings because I like a large portion of their talent roster, but I’m not optimistic in their chances.


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