The TNA brand is going through a complete overhaul financially right now, which obviously leads them into a complete overhaul with the whole company. From talent to crew, a restructuring in all departments is required if TNA wants to have any type of sustainability in the ever so present future. We as fans have been witnessing first hand some of the changes with our roster of stars, as some TNA wrestlers don’t make sense financially for the company. TNA has been vigilant in their roster cuts, hoping to find the perfect medium to a balanced company- wide budget and producing an entertaining product. Stars like Matt Morgan, Crimson, Madison Rayne and just recently Tara have all felt the dropkick out the door from the powers that be. But much of these changes should come to no surprise. TNA has been changing their format a bit by taking the show on the road and holding live events, instead of just staying stationary at Universal Studios in Orlando, which is what they were accustomed to in the past. They have also changed up their monthly PPVs from twelve to four, making it a necessary evil for all the unwanted changes to happen.
As a huge fan of TNA for many years, I hate to see some of the wrestlers that I love have to go, but I understand! I absolutely get it! This is what has to happen for the company to survive. But how far is too far? Will we start to see changes that are so drastic we even begin to lose our bigger name stars from the roster? Stars like AJ Styles, who has always been the face of the TNA brand for me and so many others. Whether playing the heel or baby face roles, he has always bled TNA. From his high flying antics, super human speed and off rope acrobatics, to his enigmatic charisma, it has consistently made him the man to watch in TNA for so many years. AJ Styles has always been in the forefront of the so-called “Homegrown” talent within the ranks of the promotion. In my opinion, he has exemplified excellence in and out of the ring and has always been the poster boy for the X-Division, which is after all, the house that AJ built. What if AJ no longer worked within the brand that we all are so passionate about? What if he started showing up in other places, mainly the WWE? Would it still be the same? Would he show the same passion there that we have all come to know and love? It just wouldn’t be the same.
We are now in the evolutionary process for TNA and their success depends on how they handle this financial curve ball thrown their way. TNA now has to mainly focus on budgeting their brand more effectively and efficiently. They have to operate like all business models do, and that is forecasting a budget and sticking to it no matter the situation. Do they seek out bigger names at the cost of cutting those off the roster that have helped develop the brand? Hypothetically speaking, of course, what if they signed a star like, let’s just say for argument’s sake, Chris Jericho, and because of the large cost of an acquisition like Chris Jericho they had to cut others not so financially profitable. Would you be happy with those results or would it make you feel like TNA made some bad choices? Would you cut AJ for Chris? Not to say that this is a dilemma that TNA may be facing at the present time, but it still brings up a valid point. As a company TNA has to think about the bottom line, and that is plain and simple, dollars and cents.
Ratings on Impact Wrestling have become stagnate as of late and the company is definitely searching for opportunities of growth. With changes in the home office, trainers and creative executives, TNA seems to be gearing up for something bigger. When Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff came onto the TNA scene in January 2010, the wrestling communities were in an uproar. There was so much buzz about what was going to happen to TNA from this point on and no one had a clue what they were in for. It was a ride that began to focus TNA for a new war with the massive universe that is the WWE. TNA, at the time, was still a relatively new company for the majority of the viewing nation and so many were still getting to know the roster and the brand. Hogan’s name began to attract other bigger names, stars like Booker T and Mick Foley joined the TNA ranks and within an instant, people saw TNA in a different light, a light of a competitor. Although TNA enjoyed huge name recognition from adding known wrestlers to their already talented roster, their profitability was very low, in some cases, non-existent. And with the new names that were added to the roster with the “Coming of Hogan”, those already working hard to help build up TNA, had to go. There just wasn’t enough room, financially or physically. That was nearly four years ago and I think that it may be time for thing to come full circle for Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. It may be time for TNA to take a look at the large salaries of these two and make some tough financial decisions. Hogan and Bischoff have both earned their names and their salaries for that fact, but right now, they may be too costly for TNA and both may have outlived their usefulness if you know what I mean.
Look the reality is that more changes are coming for this brand, there is just no way around it if we all want to be watching ten years from now. We all hope, I am sure, that TNA makes the best decisions for the company and not for the individual persona, like they have in the past. I think if TNA always remembers where it came from while restructuring, what helped gain their popularity for them, then they will always be successful. Rebuild the weakened Knockouts Division, we love our lady wrestlers that had their hands in the building of the brand’s success! Bring back the six-sided ring! The six-sided ring was something that may have been done before by other international federations, but it was completely brand new to the U.S. audiences and it set TNA apart. Finally, don’t forget about the ones who have been there from the start. The ones who put their blood, sweat and tears into the federation and helped build it to national recognition. Remember, TNA was on TV before Hogan came! Without a doubt, we all foreseen changes like this coming, I just hope TNA doesn’t break this incredibly amazing foundation open too much. But then again, that’s just my Chaotic Theory…