Thursday, May 21, 2015

Destination America Cancels TNA Impact

It's over, Dixie.
Destination America has cancelled TNA Impact, with the final episodes airing in September. The move came before the decision to move Impact from Friday to Wednesday. The news was broken on the Wrestling Observer newsletter by Dave Meltzer last night, and the passage from the paid newsletter pertaining to all the details was graciously screen-shotted by Twitter user @DeathToAllMarks. The move comes as somewhat of a shock, as the network had JUST taken Impact into its schedule five months ago. However, rumblings that DA was unhappy with Impact started to be heard within months of airing.

The news does not mean TNA as a company is done. The group has survived other catastrophic events and could still carry on. However, its future as a televised entity may very well be non-existent. Destination America was a huge step down from Spike TV, its former carrier, and if THAT network is  unhappy with ad revenue or with costs of airing the show, it might spell the end. Not coincidentally, TNA announced a return to the house show game in September, so a continuation as a true "indie-style" company is probably in the cards. Without TV revenue though, it'll be hard to justify keeping the bigger names like Kurt Angle.

A live event oriented promotion would be a drastic departure for the company which was founded and always cultivated as a TV show from day one. If forced to exist without TV, then it wouldn't be hard to see it close for good. While it's never good to see decent folk lose employment - and believe me, folks whom most of the public don't see as reps of the company will be hit hardest - I can't say I'll be too broken up if the company shutters. While no wrestling promotion has ever garnered high marks for labor friendliness, TNA has always been worst among the scoundrels. Dixie Carter has run her company at times like a 19th Century factory overlord, and her boot has been mashed most harshly against female employees. If anyone deserves to lose their promotion, the folks who run TNA are they.

As for the wrestlers, I foresee most of them landing on their feet. It's a solid roster who could all fit in in various companies around the globe. WWE could take in Angle an some of the younger talents, while Global Force Wrestling is a destination for many others. Ring of Honor, AAA, New Japan, and even the high-drawing super indies of the world will make room for the rest. The situation isn't as dire as one might think for on-screen personalities.

But again, TNA has survived this long. It is the cockroach of wrestling companies and I won't officially bury it until it closes. Still, this news can't be good. At all.