Total Nonstop Action
October 2010: The Beginning Of The End
But as the Bischoff/Hogan regime took effect, the hype was there, but the quality of the show wasn’t. After the very first show under the Bischoff/Hogan regime hit a TNA all-time high television rating, it continued to go down in the ratings in the following weeks. Upon Hogan and Bischoff coming to TNA they signed wrestlers who were either well past their prime or guys that the WWE didn‘t want anymore, such as The Nasty Boys, Ric Flair, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson, and maybe the biggest liability yet…Jeff Hardy. With all of the older guys coming in it would seem like the company that supposedly thrived on being cutting edge and utilizing the young talent to take the ball and run with it, would soon become the land of old timers and WWE rejects. TNA had been held together in the past by their own home grown talent, like Samoa Joe, Beer Money, The Motor City Machine Guns, Abyss, and quite possibly their biggest star of all…AJ Styles.
At the time of the Bischoff/Hogan regime AJ Styles was the TNA World Heavyweight Champion and he was set to defeat Kurt Angle at the next pay per view “Genesis” for the TNA World title. This pay per event would be the first pay per view that the Bischoff/Hogan regime would take on, in which it would be highlighted by AJ Styles turning heel and aligning himself with professional wrestling legend, Ric Flair. The fact that AJ Styles was turning heel was a risky move at the time, but it was perceived that Ric Flair would be able to give him that rub to allow AJ to shoot to the moon and be one of the best heels in the business. That didn’t actually manifest itself, because AJ did not turn into the greatest heel in the business, he just turned into the greatest Ric Flair impersonator in the business. Jay Lethal might have even gotten a little jealous at first. But AJ Styles would not just be a heel, but he would be almost a carbon copy of the Ric Flair heel persona back in the 1980’s.
At another attempt from Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan to try and compete with the WWE, they would decide to start airing their wrestling show head to head with the WWE’s flagship program Monday Night RAW, just as WCW had done 15 years prior with Monday Night Nitro. Only difference was, this was a much different time. The WWE was not the multi billion dollar publicly funded corporation that they were in 2010, and TNA was light years away from being the corporation that WCW was in 1995. Mere weeks after Spike TV agreed to give TNA a Monday prime time slot against WWE RAW, they would have to reconsider that compromise and move TNA back to Thursday nights. This would prove to be a crushing blow for TNA and would break a lot of the momentum that they had early on in this Bischoff/Hogan regime…or at least the momentum that they thought they had.
It wasn’t until Rob Van Dam came into the company that Hogan and Bischoff decided that they needed a new face for TNA, and that face would be none other than 39 year old Rob Van Dam. He would defeat AJ Styles for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt on an episode of Impact in April. The crowd buzz in the Impact Zone at first seemed to be very positive of RVD becoming the new face of TNA, but as weeks came and went, RVD became just another face that TNA would try to force down our throats, instead of utilizing their own home grown talent.
Another misfortune for TNA would come when creative would decide that Abyss’s monster character did not have enough depth to it, so what would be the best way to give a character more depth and originality? They could give him another cheap imitation carbon copy persona like they did with AJ Styles and Ric Flair, except this time they would turn this barbaric, sadistic, and ruthless monster Abyss and turn him into Hulk A Mania 2.0. This would turn into another let down for the TNA fans and ratings would continue to plummet even further, back down to dangling on the 1.0 ratings range.
TNA desperate with getting SpikeTV’s approval would try to bring back even more wrestlers who were well past their prime and they would try to hold another half assed reunion show for the defunct ECW, which had little relevance during the WWE’s first reincarnation in 2005, and had little to no relevance in the year 2010 for TNA. This would continue on for months as TNA would try to paint the ECW guys as the baby face team against the super heel group led by Ric Flair and many of the TNA originals. The only problem is….the fans didn’t want to see a bunch of 40 year olds with their bellies hanging out of their jock straps. The TNA fans wanted to see the group of guys who brought them to the dance, the guys who aren’t old enough to remember the Gerald Ford administration as the ones who are “protecting TNA“.
Months would pass by and TNA would still be looked at as the second rate wrestling program with meaningless story lines and no real baby faces that the fans could get behind. TNA would continue struggling to get up to a 1.0 television rating. Not only would TNA fans start getting more and more frustrated with TNA’s product…but so would SpikeTV and their response with the plateau’ing television ratings for TNA. This would be enough for even Dixie Carter to realize that maybe Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff weren’t the saviors of TNA wrestling that they had been painted up as being.
Dixie Carter would realize that she would need someone with an innovative mind and someone who would know how to come up with booking ideals that could change the face of professional wrestling. And what better person for the job than former ECW booker, Paul Heyman. Dixie Carter would try to negotiate a deal with Paul Heyman, but it would be to no avail. Heyman would give her an ultimatum that if he was to come into TNA to “turn it around”, he would require that she would give him full creative control and control over all business of TNA. Dixie Carter would be hesitant to give in to Heyman’s demands, and would in the end say “no” after talking it over with business partners Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. Only thing is…Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan were more concerned with keeping their jobs and their inflated contracts than with helping the TNA brand. Dixie Carter would go back to try and ask Heyman once again by offering him a huge contract and other benefits, but Heyman would reiterate what he said before by telling Dixie that not only would he want full control, but his first plans in TNA would be to get rid of all the guys whom he felt were draining TNA for the worse. Heyman told Dixie that TNA would have a hard time separating themselves as the innovative non stop action promotion when they have guys like Hogan, Flair, Sting, and even Jeff Jarrett running around the promotion with the air time. This would turn out to quite possibly be the biggest mistake that Dixie Carter would ever make for TNA by simply just listening to the political games that the Bischoff/Hogan gang was spewing at her, along with current TNA wrestling writer Vince Russo.
As the television ratings continued to plummet down to ratings around the 0.7 range by early October, SpikeTV would decide to give TNA president Dixie Carter an ultimatum that if television ratings did not rise back up to at least a 1.0 within the next 3 weeks of programming, that they would have no other alternative then to not renew their television deal with TNA wrestling on November 1st. Things would certainly not be getting any better.
OOC: Sorry, it took me so long to post up another journal entry. But I can promise that more will be coming...and at a faster rate (: Thank you all for reading!
Heh, I take it when you said it was based on another BTB in a different forum you were talking about mine, I'm flattered lol. Anyway, I love the concept, as you can kinda carve the promotion into the way you want, if wrote well, which I'm sure it will be, it could be very very interesting, so I'll follow. Good luck.
Yeah man hahah. Were you BigPapa who was doing the one about WCW? If so, then yes I did get it from you (:
Either way, thanks for reading man! I really appreciate it!