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KELLER'S TAKE: The verdict is in and TNA's 2010 Bischoff & Hogan experiment is a failure

Oct 26, 2010 - 7:31:07 PM


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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

The quarter hour ratings for last week's TNA Impact have been pushed off the front page because of Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, Bragging Rights, and Vince McMahon's meltdown in front of our very eyes. It's deserving of some attention, though.

In the course of 16 quarter hours over the course of two weeks TNA dropped from a nice 1.53 rating - not far off from Smackdown average rating the next week featuring the World Champ vs. WWE Champ - to barely above a 1.00.

Last Thursday's ratings trend was a continuation of the trend the week before, where the rating went from a 1.53 to a 1.23 over the course of two hours.

There's no credible sounding perch for the current TNA creative team to stand on anymore. There's no defense for this. The Eric Bischoff/Hulk Hogan TNA experiment has been a colossal failure and it's among the biggest few stories of the year.

With six months of build up, as Bischoff bragged about before the quarter hour ratings came in two weeks ago, TNA popped a rating that averaged near a 1.4. It looked like progress. But it meant about as much as if the Miami Heat jumped out to a 25-12 lead in the first quarter against the Boston Celtics tonight, but ended up losing by 40 and then lost their next several games by double-digits.

Bischoff declared victory too soon. This dream team of Bischoff, Hogan, Russo, Jeff Jarrett et al has performed so poorly that it's definitively erased all doubt that they should be setting the course for a wrestling company in 2010.

They gave it a shot. They had a great cable TV partner in Spike TV. They had an owner who spent loads of money to bring in the biggest name roster TNA has ever had. They were given six months to tell a story that climaxed at Bound for Glory. And four hours later, they're back where they were before Dixie was paying the salaries of Bischoff, Hogan, RVD, Jeff Hardy, and Mr. Anderson.

TNA's creative team is pushing a bankrupt philosophy. No chain match this week is going to reverse their fortunes or offset what we've learned this year time after time.

TNA can attract viewers. It's a misnomer that people just don't know that they're on TV (and a few random fans approaching Sting or Kevin Nash or Jeff Hardy at an airport asking what they're doing these days is a meaningless anecdote). Several times, most memorable the first Monday in January, the first Monday in March, and the first Thursday after Bound for Glory, they popped ratings.

Fans let themselves get excited and full of hope that TNA is ready to give them what they've been waiting years for them to give them. And each time they walk away disappointed.

It's time for the power base in TNA to be humbled by this. To stave off further humiliation, they need to either admit failure and resign or start studying the industry and brainstorming for a radical new approach, opening themselves up to totally new ideas on how to promote in 2010.

There's no room left for arrogance or slick talking or excuse making or "staying the course." Dixie gave this team every opportunity to prove themselves. We all learned together their approach doesn't work and that's not going to change with another similar hot-shot angle or another gimmick match or some half-baked work-shoot angle.

Source: PWtorch
 

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The company is turning a profit. Theyve had their highest rated shows 3 times this year.. which means they broke their own record three times.. which means there's interest in TNA. The problem is shitty advertising. Bottom line.

If i werent a hardcore wrestling fan... i can honestly say i wouldnt know about TNA. This guy proves nothing other than TNA sucks at marketing a product.

Since when did Hogan become in charge of marketing btw? Its funny how people want to blame Hogan.. HEY YOURE THE BIGGEST NAME IN WRESTLINGS HISTORY ANYTHING THAT GOES WRONG WITH TNA IS YOUR FAULT < THAT'S PRETTY MUCH THE INTERNET WRESTLING FANS OPINION

IF ANYTHING IT IS DIXIE CARTERS FAULT. NOT BISCHOFF, NOT HOGAN, NOT RUSSO.. (NO MATTER HOW BAD HIS WRITING SUCKS) BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY - DIXIE IS THE VINCE OF TNA.. SHE HAS THE FINAL SAY.
 

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people who follow wrestling knows that Sting,Nash,and Jeff Hardy is in TNA, wtf is Wade keller talking about?

also what an idiot bc everyone knows TNAs problem is marketing the Product..:rolleyes:
 

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TNA's marketing scheme is flashing a bunch of wrestlers walking on the ramp towards the ring while an announcer says they're name. TNA's marketing needs to show off TNA's unique features i.e. the X division, show clips of Samoa Joe doing a sick move on a wrestler. Abyss or AJ doing the same, then show off Kurt Angle and Hardy. Instead TNA's commercial announcer goes goes "Hulk Hogan, Sting, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, etc." The fact that the first 3 people you name aren't company originals, shows that you lack confidence in the stars you make, and you think tossing them infront of your other talent will somehow increase ratings, when it hasn't.
 

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(reads topic)

Well...duh. I think most of us knew that by March, lol.
 

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once again i think people expect too much too soon. this company is what 8 years old? it was never going to be superhuge over night. they have made decent progress as far as ratings go over the years though. it's like everyone else has said, the only thing they are lacking is better marketing strategies. people also need to remember that while tna is on thursday nights wwe is on monday thurs and friday nights. there is just more coverage because there is more show time. it also gives them more time to develop storylines because their is 7-8 hours per week vs 2-3. anyway i actually like pretty much everything they are doing atm if anything it almost looks like they are turning a corner. at least over the last month or 2 of watching impact it has been incredibly solid imo. the roster is stacked and the show is solid atm at least for the short term.
 

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The company is turning a profit. Theyve had their highest rated shows 3 times this year.. which means they broke their own record three times.. which means there's interest in TNA. The problem is shitty advertising. Bottom line.

If i werent a hardcore wrestling fan... i can honestly say i wouldnt know about TNA. This guy proves nothing other than TNA sucks at marketing a product.

Since when did Hogan become in charge of marketing btw? Its funny how people want to blame Hogan.. HEY YOURE THE BIGGEST NAME IN WRESTLINGS HISTORY ANYTHING THAT GOES WRONG WITH TNA IS YOUR FAULT < THAT'S PRETTY MUCH THE INTERNET WRESTLING FANS OPINION

IF ANYTHING IT IS DIXIE CARTERS FAULT. NOT BISCHOFF, NOT HOGAN, NOT RUSSO.. (NO MATTER HOW BAD HIS WRITING SUCKS) BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY - DIXIE IS THE VINCE OF TNA.. SHE HAS THE FINAL SAY.
that's what he's talking about. they increased the rating 3 times and it always went back to normal. so they attracted more viewers but couldn't hold on to them. this doesn't have anything to do with marketing but rather with a bad product.
so even if they market it better and more people tune in, if the product sucks, they'll tune out again (as it happened 3 times this year, fact). and that's the responsibility of creative.
 

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that's what he's talking about. they increased the rating 3 times and it always went back to normal. so they attracted more viewers but couldn't hold on to them. this doesn't have anything to do with marketing but rather with a bad product.
so even if they market it better and more people tune in, if the product sucks, they'll tune out again (as it happened 3 times this year, fact). and that's the responsibility of creative.
Well, Raw sucks lately but its viewrship continues to grow for the past few weeks. TNA is fine by the way. Kurt stated lately that they were up 700% merchandise sells and 30 % hous shows!
 

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that's what he's talking about. they increased the rating 3 times and it always went back to normal. so they attracted more viewers but couldn't hold on to them. this doesn't have anything to do with marketing but rather with a bad product.
so even if they market it better and more people tune in, if the product sucks, they'll tune out again (as it happened 3 times this year, fact). and that's the responsibility of creative.
impact a bad product? really? raw is a steaming pile of grade a monkey crap. just because viewership goes up and down doesn't mean it sucks. if that was the case what would you say from raw going from 3.5+ to the times it hit around 2.5-3.0 ? that is a stupid correlation. things are far different now with things like dvr and the internet.
 

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WWE sucks monkey nuts, but they have the established brand recognition & a large enough devoted brainwashed fanbase to get away with it. It sucks, but that's the way it is. Me personally, its because of the WWE's past that I expect a better show from them, and I find their current product to be unacceptable, but there you go.

but TNA they DONT have the history and they DONT have the recognition, and they DONT have the faithful fanbase to stick with them through thick and thin (not nearly as big as WWE's anyway). So they really don't have the luxury to constantly alienate their audience with bad decisions & poorly written television shows.
 

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Thanks, Wade, didn't know.

Seriously, though, he's right. The steep drop off in the ratings was, once again, entirely predictable. Though both Keller and Bischoff are wrong on opposite ends about ratings necessarily being everything that drive a wrestling promotion, it's a critical sign that TNA's fanbase cannot grow under these poor conditions created by The Gang That Couldn't Shoot-Work Straight.
 

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If Impact was doing a 5.0 and PPV buys were at 200k+ a month Keller would still find something to moan about in relation to TNA....just ignore it. Russo and co could be shitting out perfectly written show after perfectly written show and it would still struggle to do a consistent 1.2 tbh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If Impact was doing a 5.0 and PPV buys were at 200k+ a month Keller would still find something to moan about in relation to TNA....just ignore it. Russo and co could be shitting out perfectly written show after perfectly written show and it would still struggle to do a consistent 1.2 tbh.
TBH your right, Keller is a wrestling critic and he makes his money being a wrestling critic if he bitches about nothing I doubt many people will keep reading.

There's entertainment value in negativity that's why I like Bryan Alvarez his audio bashing of professional wrestling is almost as good as Jim Cornette's.

And out of all the critics out there I feel Keller is the one that sometimes goes overboard just to justify having something to bitch about as it relates to TNA.

But in this case I feel he makes some valid points especially when talking about TNA's ratings; they do achieve ratings spikes they just can't maintain them. Meaning there is a larger audience out there for them they just are unable to convert the curious into regular Impact viewers.

And I don't think Russo could write a perfect show if he sat at his house watching old tapes of the Smackdown Six and Bill Watts UWF and simply wrote down what he saw and applied it to TNA.

He'd still fuck it up.
 

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impact a bad product? really? raw is a steaming pile of grade a monkey crap. just because viewership goes up and down doesn't mean it sucks. if that was the case what would you say from raw going from 3.5+ to the times it hit around 2.5-3.0 ? that is a stupid correlation. things are far different now with things like dvr and the internet.
where did i talk about wwe? didn't notice they're a topic.
tna is an unestablished brand and need a strong product to capture viewers and have failed to do this under hogan/bischoff. as bischoff would say, fact.
 

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Wow, Wade Keller said it, it must be true. :rolleyes:

He's the most qualified person to talk about this, too. Remember that great match he had at Wrestlemania 7? Remember how he left the WWF in a blaze of glory and formed his own promotion, one so successful it's still the top dog today?

Oh, no, that wasn't Keller. He was busy sleeping on his parents' couch wondering why he didn't graduate high school.

Seriously, who the fuck cares what Keller thinks? It's not like he's a man wit any solution. The fact that he thinks fans of Sting, Nash and Hardy not knowing where they work is inconsequential tells you everything you need to know about Keller's credibility.
 

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In January of this year I made mention that I would give Hogan and Bischoff until BFG 2010 to improve the company and see what they could do. When Russo was brought back to TNA in 2006 I gave him 6 months. I gave Hogan/Bischoff nearly a year. Overall the product isn't as stale as WWE's and at times offers more unpredictability (for better or worse) and comedy (intentional and otherwise) then WWE.

Anderson, RVD, Flair, Hardy all coming in was a great move by the company and peaked my interest. The 1/4/10 episode of Impact and the 4/19/10 episodes stand out. The move to Monday bombed huge but pound-for-pound TNA was more entertaining then Raw when they ran head-to-head (Raw actually had direction and created stars, but that's another story). The weird hiring(Rossie Lotta Love, Orlando Jordan, Tara), weird firing ( Flash, Kong, Creed, Daniels), and the weird hard on the company has to bring back nostalgia acts and push '90's guys' to the top while the young and capable like Styles and Joe have to take a backseat.
 

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Everybody knows that Hogan and Bischoff in 2010 has failed. Dixie Carter thought that they would help the company when they've not done much. Oh and she kept Russo around instead of firing his ass. Anyway, management are probably pissed at her anyway for what she's doing and even though she tries to find others to join TNA to improve the company, most of them aren't interested or demand things because of certain people there.
 

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This dream team of Bischoff, Hogan, Russo, Jeff Jarrett
I think Keller is the only person to ever use those names and dream team in the same sentence....

WWE's following is just like Howard Stern's following....both haven't been good in years,but there is a huge fan base that wont stop watching\listing no matter how bad it is...
 

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I think Keller is the only person to ever use those names and dream team in the same sentence....

WWE's following is just like Howard Stern's following....both haven't been good in years,but there is a huge fan base that wont stop watching\listing no matter how bad it is...
Yes, 'cause of the kids. It is a fact that kids are easy to amaze! That is why Vince is aiming at kids. I know, it is not ONLY them, but lots of them. And many of the adults are parents who would not go to such an event! But kids can be a pain in the ass and Vince is planning with that. Bad show? So what... Kids do not care, as long as Cena is coming to the ring! And the wrestlers are not happy with that... Batista said, he knows first hand that the lockerroom is not happy with that crap, at least many. PG-13 I meant. And they won't admit.
 

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The company is turning a profit. Theyve had their highest rated shows 3 times this year.. which means they broke their own record three times.. which means there's interest in TNA. The problem is shitty advertising. Bottom line.
How is it bad marketing when they're able to get over 2 million people to sample Impact yet those new people don't come back? It's not marketing-- it's the potential new fans not being interested in what the creative team is offering.
 
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