I’ve been a wrestling fan since I watched the Big Bossman (with Slick) take on “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan at the Royal Rumble in 1990. I was 9 years old and I thought that this “wrestling” stuff was pretty damn entertaining. So I watched. And I grew older. And I grew up. And I went to high school. And I went to college. And I went to graduate school. And I got a full-time job. And I became successful. And here I am.
And the entire time that I was on my road to where I am today, I’ve been a wrestling fan. However, on my way to where I am today, I’ve kept my eyes and ears open. I “get it” when it comes to the general public’s perception of wrestling and wrestling fans. They think wrestling is a low brow form of fake sports and that wrestling fans are dummies who think that what they’re watching is real.
In essence, the outside world arrogantly believes that wrestling fans are ignorant to reality. They think that we live in our own world – a world where professional wrestling is real. They think that we live in, let’s say, 1952.
Makes you wonder which group of people is really ignorant, but that’s not the point of this particular column!
The point of this column is that for the first time EVER in my history as a wrestling fan and, more specifically, as a fan who is firmly entrenched in the online wrestling environment, I’m beginning to see evidence that some wrestling fans are just plain dumb. Again, as a diehard wrestling fan (iMPACT Wrestling, that is), let me show you what made me do a double take while I was browsing around the other night.
Most of you probably read the “news story” about Spike TV changing formats in the coming year and likely losing its UFC programming. There’s a lot to say about that change, but I would expect all of the internet wrestling “news” sites that copied and pasted this “story” from the same source to do a little bit of editing and take out the opinion that was embedded in the “news story.” Further, I would expect them to refine this information and boil it down to what makes it a story worthy of their readers’ time. In fact, do you want the story as it should have been reported this week? Here is what all of the copy and paste websites should have posted:
A widely read wrestling newsletter is reporting that last weekend, Spike TV reiterated that it would be changing formats to appeal to a broader audience over the course of the next year. Spike TV officials have made no comment on whether this will affect iMPACT Wrestling.
End of story.
Instead, many copy and paste website simply added extra opinionated lines that talked about how even though iMPACT Wrestling drew good ratings, this could be the end of the promotion. Completely pathetic in terms of “news reporting.”
But the reason why I wrote this article is because of the reactions that I read from wrestling fans on the “comments” section of these copy and paste websites. Here is a sampling of what these dummies had to say:
“TNA is dead if that scenario plays out. No one else is going to want 3rd rate wrestling that gets a 1.1”
“Nana nana, hey hey hey, goodbye….to TNA.”
“I will not miss tna if Spike decides. It has always been kind of dull, and way too predictable. RIP TNA!!!” [Editor’s Note: If Spike decides what? Finish the sentence!]
“[TNA has] a check book that is hemorrhaging money”
I admit, there were many more “Who cares?” and “TNA isn’t going anywhere,” comments, but those didn’t infuriate me when I read them. The ones above infuriated me – especially that first one. That first one is obviously written by a person who is so far into the anti-TNA hate websites that they don’t even realize they are now regurgitating the hate as expected reality. Let me explain. These hate sites bash iMPACT Wrestling because they get a 1.1 or a 1.2 rating when RAW is bringing in triple that number on a regular basis. These people are blind marks to WWE programming (they don’t realize it, hence why they’re “blind marks”). Meanwhile, what WWE scores on the USA Network doesn’t mean a thing to iMPACT Wrestling and where it would end up if Spike TV ended their contract with the promotion.
All you have to do is look at any of the ratings reports that I post on Friday afternoons and you’ll get a very clear understanding of why iMPACT Wrestling is in a good position. In fact, if you look at this past week’s rating report by itself, you’ll see that iMPACT Wrestling had 1,794,000 viewers and scored a 1.26 rating. Further, if you make it to the third paragraph of the report, you’ll see that the second hour of the show scored a 1.35 rating and that, overall, iMPACT Wrestling had more viewers than prime time and late night programming on ALL of the following channels:
The Food Network
The History Channel
In previous weeks, iMPACT Wrestling has also surpassed viewership for programming on ESPN and ESPN 2, as well. In other words, Spike TV is beating its contemporaries by airing iMPACT Wrestling, period. This information is public, it’s available for these “news” websites to report, and yet they don’t report it and the dummies don’t seek it out before they wonder who would want “3rd rate wrestling that gets a 1.1.”
Frankly, folks – I’m shocked. I’m absolutely shocked. As a wrestling fan, that type of dumb, stupid comment is embarrassing.
Now granted, HGTV and the Food Network aren’t going to put iMPACT Wrestling on their lineup. That doesn’t make any sense. But there might be one or two future suitors for iMPACT Wrestling on that list above – especially considering that Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment is one of the major programming providers for one of these channels (which has also been reported on TNAStars.com – not really anywhere else).
But it’s not these particular channels where iMPACT Wrestling would try to find a new home. No. In fact, I would expect that the promotion would want to find a home on a channel that isn’t even listed above! There are smaller channels actively looking for successful wrestling programming (WGN America, anyone?) that would love to have 1,794,000 predominantly young male viewers watching their channel on a Thursday night. It’s about as basic as you can get in terms of business sense.
And yet there are professional wrestling fans out there who write “TNA is dead if that scenario plays out.” Dead? DEAD? Ha! If this scenario plays out (which is highly unlikely), iMPACT Wrestling could be looking at a brand new beginning! In fact, they might even realize a great benefit from moving away from Spike TV just like they received a great benefit moving away from Fox Sports Net back in 2005!
However, as a fan of iMPACT Wrestling and a fan of Spike TV, I hope (and totally suspect) that the two organizations will manage to stay together. They’re cut from a similar cloth and they’ve both invested a lot of time and money into one another. I expect that this “news story” will die down in the near future, but who knows when the anti-TNA hate sites will try to bring it up again?
If we’ve written it once on this website, we’ve written it a thousand times: be careful where you get your news and information from in the seedy world of internet wrestling websites.
joe1897 [at] gmail [dot] com