Konnan Health Worries Increase, TNA’s New Financial Cutbacks


A rundown of the biggest events and top draws in 2006:

Largest MMA Attendance:
43,000 [Pride] – Osaka Dome, 05/05, first round of Open Weight Grand Prix, Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Yosuke Nishijima

Largest Pro-Wrestling Attendance:
24,000 [AAA] – Guadalajara, 04/30, Vampiro vs. Konnan vs. Shocker vs. Cibernetico
(19,726 [WWE] – Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, 01/19, The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton)

Largest Ratings (Show):
17.6 [Pride] – Osaka Dome, 05/05, first round of Open Weight Grand Prix, Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Yosuke Nishijima

Largest Ratings (Match):
27.7 [Pride] – Ken Kaneko vs. Charles Bennett, 12/31/05

Most Main Events Drawing Over 10,000 Fans:
Mistico with 18 (Highest WWE draw was John Cena with 10)

Highest North American PPV Buys:
925,000 [UFC] – Oscar de la Hoya vs. Ricardo Mayorga
(636,000 [WWE] – WrestleMania 22, John Cena vs. Triple H)

Largest North American Gates:
$3,452,123 [UFC] – Las Vegas, 07/08, Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock
($2,500,000 [WWE] – Chicago, 04/02, WrestleMania 22)

TNA talent were told on 12/20 that the company will no longer be paying for their hotel rooms or rental cars. It was a major morale killer before Christmas, especially for the lower level workers that earn around $300 per shot. Production workers will still be covered for their hotels, while only a select few wrestlers were getting their car costs covered originally. A lot of the workers were said to be furious about the decision – and about TNA spending so much money on Sting and Kurt Angle, particularly as Sting has done nothing for ratings or buyrates in months and does not work the house shows.

Konnan was unable to have his planned hip replacement surgery on 12/20 in Monterrey, Mexico, due to severe kidney problems that will soon require a transplant. Doctors found an infection and, with Konnan’s system being too low in antibodies to fight it, deemed the surgery too risky. He was ordered to undergo dialysis three times a week and are planning to try again next week for the operation. There was a lot of publicity about it locally thanks to one of the nurses, which quickly grew out of control as rumours of his situation being life-threatening started up. He was released a few days earlier than planned, returning to Chula Vista in California while going for outpatient treatment in Tijuana. Konnan’s original agreement with TNA was for them to cover half the costs of the operation (thought to be $25,000) but they later backed out due to financial problems. They are now loaning him money up front to be repaid at a later date, similar to the WWF’s stance in the ’80s. However, TNA will not be covering the estimated $35,000 for the kidney transplant (it would be nearer $100,000 in the USA). The Roldan family that now runs AAA told Konnan they would run benefit shows to help him pay for it.

Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter (click here for subscription information)