The other night I was watching the Red Eye program on the FOX News Channel and they ran a segment that I found pretty entertaining. It was a segment on what they are happily saying “goodbye” to from 2011 (this was one of those New Year’s Eve themed episodes of the show). I think I also saw one of those segments on The Five earlier in the day, which would only make sense since much of the same talent carries over between those shows both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
Watching those segments got me thinking about what I was ready to say goodbye to in the world of iMPACT Wrestling – both as a regular fan of their weekly television show and as a mark who operates a fan-fueled professional wrestling news website. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this column was also inspired by the recent A Mark’s View column written by our own Mark Littles. If you haven’t checked that column out yet, then use the link above to read through Mark’s thoughts on some new year’s resolutions for iMPACT Wrestling.
If you’re ready, here is my list of things that I’m ready to say goodbye to in and around the world of iMPACT Wrestling:
Hateful and False Internet Comments About Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. This one boggles my mind because if you owned a professional wrestling company in late 2009 and if you were looking to bring your company to the next level, then there were really only two free agents in the business that were the obvious choice to sign to help accomplish that goal. Sure, some folks would say that they would prefer to have Vince McMahon and John Cena to build a company around or Paul Heyman and Randy Orton, but let’s get real. There was a reason that Dixie Carter and her advisors (i.e. her father’s money people) were willing to sign contracts with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. And any logical reading of the promotion’s progress since these two were brought on board shows a clear trajectory in the upward, positive direction.
Yeah, you’ll read internet hate sites that talk about how the company is on the brink of failure, how everyone under contract hates everyone in charge, and how Bischoff and Hogan are killing the promotion with politics in the locker room, etc. But if you’re an honest consumer of the information available on the internet about iMPACT Wrestling, you’ll find interview after interview where the primary owners of the company say that the promotion has been profitable for the last few years, how there are people who want to enter iMPACT Wrestling at the highest levels because they love the potential of the group (Bruce Prichard and Paul Heyman sound familiar?), and how the “new” faces of promotion are very open and welcoming to the younger talent.
And what gets me is that the denizens of the internet choose to believe the purveyors of false stories (i.e. lies that never, ever cite a real, legitimate source) versus the very real, extremely verifiable information gleaned from personal interviews with the owners and operators of the company. It’s amazing, really. And what’s more than amazing is that the people who write the conjecture and lie-based reports typically write in an anti-TNA, anti-iMPACT Wrestling style that exposes their true agenda (and yet no one ever calls them on it). It’s disgraceful.
In 2012, I’m ready to say goodbye to the woefully uninformed anti-TNA, anti-iMPACT Wrestling hatred towards Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan on the internet.
The Lack of a Global “B” Show to Push More Talent. I had to word this goodbye carefully because TNA Entertainment, LLC absolutely has a “B” show in Xplosion. However, the only big market that currently receives Xplosion on a weekly basis is the combined United Kingdom and Northern Ireland market. There is such a wealth of talent in iMPACT Wrestling right now that it’s somewhat annoying to have performers like Mark Haskins, Shannon Moore, Rosita, Sarita, Mr. Anderson, Winter, Angelina Love, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin just sitting on the sidelines. In no way would I recommend that Xplosion be blown up (see what I did with the play on words there?) into a full-blown (pun number two!) two hour show. However, I would be very happy to have a second TNA program to watch each week that was an hour long. This doesn’t even need to be a prime time show – give me an hour long show on Saturday or Sunday morning show with two or three matches from the iMPACT Wrestling Zone showcasing talent that I’m not currently seeing in big-time storylines on Thursday nights and I’d be very happy with that show.
In 2012, I’m ready to say goodbye to the lack of a global “B” program that showcases all of the great talent currently signed to the iMPACT Wrestling roster.
The Screeching, Shrieking Girl and Other Bad Piped In Audio. To the great credit of iMPACT Wrestling’s producers, the amount of the not-really-there screeching, shrieking girl that is piped in to each episode of iMPACT Wrestling has been dramatically reduced. Yet every once in a while you might be unlucky enough to hear her false screaming in the background of an otherwise entertaining segment and – like someone wrote on this site once before – once you hear her you simply cannot “unhear” her again.
Look, as fans of iMPACT Wrestling we all understand that the freeloading crowd on-site in the iMPACT Wrestling Zone is not the best audience to perform in front of when taping a worldwide television program. By and large, they just don’t care about what’s going on in the ring or the character progression and that comes across very clearly whenever you watch an episode of the show. But there’s a fine line between an acceptable level of piped in audio featuring a cheering crowd and an unacceptable level of piped in shrieking from an annoying woman who isn’t even in the building. On occasion, the gang behind the scenes at iMPACT Wrestling can get that balance out of whack and then the show becomes torturous to watch.
In 2012, I’m ready to say goodbye to that shrieking idiot because she is the only thing that has ever made me turn off the show and the change the channel.
An End to Over Analyzation of iMPACT Wrestling’s Ratings. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my nearly two decades of playing in the internet wrestling world it’s that almost no one knows a damn thing about how ratings work. Further, once people learn a single fact about how the ratings work in certain scenarios, they try to apply that single fact to every wrestling show on every channel at every time of the day.
I’m not going to go into major detail on how the ratings work in this column because I could literally write for hours about proper interpretation of the domestic ratings and, much more importantly, the estimated viewership. What I will write about this, though, is that there are two big issues that folks need to understand in order to really understand the ratings. First, network television ratings are not calculated the same way as cable television ratings. So there is no reason to ever compare the final ratings number of a show on NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, or the CW with the final ratings number of any show on cable.
Second, estimated viewership and final cable ratings are not always positively correlated. In other words, higher viewership doesn’t always equal a higher final cable rating. However, these two measures are not negatively correlated either. They are just calculated differently, but reported in the same short, easy-to-understand blurb for the ease of readers’ consumption.
In 2012, I’m ready to say goodbye to the more widely read internet wrestling websites providing totally unnecessary over analyzation of iMPACT Wrestling’s weekly ratings.
In the interest of quitting while I might be ahead, I’m going to end this short list right here. Is there anything that you’re ready to say goodbye to in the world of iMPACT Wrestling? If so, use the comment box below and let us know!
joe1897 [at] gmail [dot] com