After Building ‘Some’ Momentum in 2012, Where Can TNA Impact Wrestling Go From Here? (Bobby Roode, James Storm, Sting, Austin Aries)

The June 18 Wrestling Observer Newsletter features a cover story that talks in-depth about TNA Impact Wrestling. With TNA Slammiversary in the books as a good PPV show and Impact Live having a couple of solid weeks of TV, the Observer thought it would be a good time to examine the state of TNA now that they have built a little bit of positive momentum this spring. They also look at Sting’s TNA Hall of Fame nomination, which, as the Observer astutely reported, gives TNA a Hall of Fame member that is unique to their organization since he has not been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, at least not yet.

Excerpts from The Observer’s cover story are below, and you can click here to subscribe to see the full cover story and the rest of the June 18 Observer Newsletter.

Excerpt 1: Introduction – Where Can TNA Go From Here?

“Coming off Slammiversary, with TNA appearing at first glance to have the most momentum it has had in some time, the question becomes: In 2012, when wrestling interest overall is at a low point, what is the ceiling for a distant No. 2 promotion?

It’s a hard question to answer. For all the talk of TNA suddenly having the most entertaining pro wrestling product out there, almost a 180 from a few months back, that still isn’t hitting the average fan, because they still aren’t watching…

TNA is now producing better television, and the last two PPV shows have been the best ones they’ve done in a long time. Among our readership, Slammiversary seemed to have had more interest than any TNA show in a long time. But that’s not necessarily indicative of the public at large. In theory, if there is a turnaround, it would be quicker among the readership because they are more apt to watch everything, watch it closer, and more open minded to secondary products. Still, whatever their ceiling may be, it is always better to produce a good product than a bad one.

Excerpt 2: TNA Slammiversary Live Attendance Numbers:

“The 6/10 show at the new College Park Center in Arlington, TX, drew 5,000 fans, a near sellout. There were 4,000 tickets sold in advance, so that indicates little papering. There were only a few hundred empty seats total, and to TNA’s credit, their production team is good at making crowds seem bigger than they are. They actually had less than 5,500 in London at the January TV taping, but watching on TV, you’d have thought they packed a 13,000-seat arena. Carter in the ring said it was the company’s largest crowd ever in the United States. There have been a few crowds that those in the company had stated were more than 5,000 in the past, but not many. Mike Tenay, seemingly talking carefully, said that it was TNA’s largest crowd ever for a TV taping or PPV within the United States.”

Excerpt 3: Sting as the First TNA Hall of Fame Inductee:

“Sting was named the first member of the TNA Wrestling Hall of Fame as announced midway through the [Slammiversary] show by Dixie Carter… Sting was only expected to work one year, and retire at the end of 2006. We’re now six-and-a-half years into the deal, and Sting was main-eventing the show at 53. The one thing is, Sting is not in any major pro wrestling Hall of Fames, so in a sense that made him a good first choice. The crowd chanted “Thank You Sting,” loudly… They announced a formal ceremony would take place on the Bound for Glory show in October. Sting, since he wasn’t aware, wasn’t prepared, and just thanked Carter, the wrestlers and chanted “Thank you” a few times back to the fans. It did come across like a real moment.”

Excerpt 4: Conclusion – Where Does TNA Go From Here?:

“As far as where things go from here, not a lot has been made clear. With no tapings right after the PPV, the major direction hasn’t even been hinted at. The next PPV is Destination X on 7/8, which will be hurt coming the day after UFC’s biggest event of the year. Austin Aries did an interview at Slammiversary where he didn’t quite challenge Roode by name, but did say that he wanted a chance to be in the main event and be the man. Roode vs. Aries doesn’t sound like a PPV main event in the sense Aries has never been positioned close to that level. They have booked him strong, with wins over Ray and Joe. His interaction with Roode in a tag match on Impact a few weeks back was excellent. The positive is if the momentum is legit, and the numbers for Slammiversary will give an indication, maybe people will buy just because they like the brand. Usually that doesn’t work when it comes to PPV numbers, nor does the idea that on paper the main event could be one of TNA’s best potential matches, since really Roode, Aries, Styles and Angle (at least on PPV shows) are the company’s big four inside the ring. It’s fresh, should be excellent, and Aries is a guy who can be elevated in the fans’ eyes just having a main event world title match and losing in a great one. The only thing for Impact is the Roode vs. Anderson TV match, and the announcement of the Bound for Glory series. The problem with the series is that last year’s was such a complete joke of a tournament. Hopefully they won’t have last year’s attitude of that it’s just wrestling and doesn’t have to make sense. But the other problem is that Storm should win and get the shot, but it’s so obvious Storm should win, that you have to combat the mentality of that we can’t let people figure out where we are going.”

For the full June 18 Observer Newsletter, click here to subscribe.

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Source: The Wrestling Observer