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Showing posts with label Hulk Hogan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hulk Hogan. Show all posts

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Wrestling “Wish List” for 2014

Because I spend so much time on social media these days—for personal stuff as well as handling Twitter-related matters for @OfficialPWI—I think I have a decent feel for how fans feel about 2013. Generally speaking, the consensus seems to be that it wasn’t one of pro wrestling’s better years. In fact, many fans appear to think there was more bad than good going on in the squared circle in 2013. There was plenty of good, to be sure. For my money, Bully Ray was one of the most enjoyable workers in TNA and he made the promotion fun to watch. Then there’s Daniel Bryan, who had a banner year, as evidenced by the fact that PWI readers voted him “Wrestler of the Year” in our new issue (which, incidentally is on sale now at pwi-online.com).

But 2014 could certainly be better than 2013, that much is for certain. Hey, I’ve said it before: When it comes to wrestling, I can be pretty easy to please. I suppose that’s why I’m content to watch and re-watch the same old grainy footage of Kareem Mohammed tearing up Jay Youngblood’s headdress  from their feud in the early-1980s; I like the stuff that’s compelling and attention-getting without having to think or worry too much about what’s going on backstage. There are a few things that I’d really like to see in the coming year. Some of them are relatively “mainstream,” but I have a few offbeat druthers as well. All in all, what I’m hoping for isn’t exactly on par with the imaginations of Tolstoy or Melville, but it’s a little outside of the box, and that might be what we need to bounce back from a rather lackluster year. Here’s a sampling of my personal wish list ...

A “double-turn” from Daniel Bryan: I can’t claim this idea as my own, because I saw it being discussed in a chat room during this week’s Monday Night Raw, but I have to say it’d be way cool if Bryan’s turn to the “dark side” somehow resulted in him turning The Wyatt Family into an anti-Authority rebellion. It would be complex and perhaps difficult to pull off (kind of like “The Switch” episode of Seinfeld) but if everything fell into place, it would be well worth the long, strange trip. Whatever actually happens, it has to be better than the time CM Punk joined The New Breed. Or that time that John Cena joined Nexus. Prognosis: Possible, but not probable.

Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania: No doubt about it, if "Hulkster" came back at The Royal Rumble, it would turn the wrestling world on its ear. Everyone from Jimmy Hart to your typical fanboy in his shrunken, old-school PWI T-shirt wants to see this happen. It’s a sure thing that a 'Mania match that pits Hogan against any big name from today’s roster could easily make that show one of the biggest shindigs in wrestling history. Prognosis: All signs point to maybe.

Days gone by: Toby Keith
visits the Impact Zone
A new and serious contender in the wrestling industry: The hot rumor at the moment is that Jeff Jarrett and Toby Keith are set to announce a new project—something along the lines of a brand new wrestling promotion—in the very near future. To make things a bit more scintillating, Jim Ross is allegedly in the fold in some capacity or another. Details are sketchy, but some insiders, like wrestling vet turned podcaster Konnan, are saying that it’s really and truly in the works. It sounds almost too good to be true, really. I’m a lifelong fan of the southern style rasslin’ and that’s why Memphis-area brawler Phil Hickerson will always rank in my list of all-time favorites. So I can totally get on board with this idea in principle. But if the whole “Billy Corgan is buying TNA” affair from weeks past has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t get too excited until the key players get behind a microphone or in front of a camera and tell us that the ink is dry on a contract or two. Nevertheless, a collaboration between an innovator like Jarrett and a deep-pocketed enthusiast like Keith brings about the kind of potential that is the stuff of dreams for wrestling fans. And Ol’ J.R. would be the icing on that cake, too. Prognosis: With a little less talk and a lot more action, we just might have something to believe in.

A higher grade of women’s wrestling from TNA and WWE: I definitely miss some of the Knockouts who are no longer with TNA, but ODB’s recent rise to prominence as well as Madison Rayne’s return to the squared circle are encouraging signs of things to come. I’d hope that WWE might spend less time grooming their Divas for roles on a reality show, but it sure looks like WWE has hit upon a recipe for short-term success with the hype and ratings surrounding of Total Divas. Prognosis: Thank goodness for SHIMMER.

Better times for TNA: I’m not the least bit ashamed to say that I love watching the TNA product. But at the same time, a lot of the company's recent moves have been pretty hard to get behind. They’re losing big names left and right, and at some level, with so many rumors flying, one would have to logically conclude that they’re going through a rough patch. But they enjoy a spot on prime time television and a dedicated following in the U.S. and abroad. They have a talented locker room, even without the big names who left in 2013. I agree with PWI’s Al Castle that one can hardly call TNA a distant second to WWE at this point but I also believe that folks who really want TNA to collapse or be assimilated into WWE are, at the very least, terribly misguided. TNA’s demise, at this point in the game, would leave a tremendous void in the business, and if you don’t like what you’re seeing from WWE right now, I’ve got sour news for you, Jack: An absence of TNA will mean more of the same from WWE for a long, long time. Still, TNA has some major problems to fix, and for things to drastically improve, they need to make some far-reaching, yet common sense changes, soon. Prognosis: Crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath.
PWI, December '95

Some good TV time for R-Truth
: Okay, I know this is probably not on anyone else’s radar, but I really see some potential for Truth to be a breakout star if the right people get behind him. His in-ring work has improved and he’s gold on the mike, especially when he’s “Crazy R-Truth.” I don’t care if he’s “good guy crazy” or “bad guy crazy,” this guy can really work. His current work with Xavier Woods and their rivalry with Brodus Clay give R-Truth the chance to get out there and make people take notice once again. Fort my part, I’d love to see him get to the top someday. Prognosis: Stranger things have happened ... like the time that Diesel and Mabel made the cover of PWI.

A decent sampling of indy wrestling on television: Indy stuff is all over the 'net, but there’s still nothing like firing up some wrestling on the ol’ boob tube. More and more these days, smaller satellite channels seem to be playing around with offering indy promotions time slots on their networks. Sometimes these promotions are getting regional coverage, and others, like Arkansas-based TCW, are inking deals that bring their action into homes all around the country. Sure, the time slots aren’t always great, but in the age of the DVR, it’s pretty easy to set your timer and watch something new and different whenever you want. In that respect, it’s a good time to be a wrestling fan. Prognosis: Take this one to the bank, brother.

Let's face it: The Attitude Era is a thing of the past and the original ECW isn't coming back. But there's still a lot to enjoy when it comes to wrestling, both with respect to what's already here and what could be right around the corner.

Mike Bessler
PWI Contributing Writer
@officialPWI Contributor


Friday, December 27, 2013

Of Styles And Substance

I don’t follow the logic. Whether the departure of AJ Styles from TNA is legitimate or part of a storyline isn’t really the issue for me. If it's real, TNA is letting one of its most talented performers drift away. If it's part of a storyline, then TNA is just doing what they've done so many times in the past, blurring the lines between real world concerns and storytelling to the point that fans don't know and don't care what to believe anymore. Either way, it's not good.
 

AJ deserves better, from the business and from wrestling fans. On December 16, Styles issued a public statement on his rather unceremonious (and relatively anticlimactic) parting of ways with the organization that’s been home to him for over a decade. Wrestling’s rumor mill is often rife with intrigue and venom, but with regard to Styles, the rhetoric seems uniquely ignoble. Here’s the backdrop: Since 2002, Styles has been an integral part of the U.S.' number-two promotion. Through some of the company’s more difficult stretches, he’s proven to be one of the most consistently entertaining folks on the roster. Hell, one could even make the argument that Styles helped build TNA into a credible, viable outlet for mainstream wrestling fans who might otherwise have ignored the company altogether. A top-ranked singles performer; a charismatic, energetic and able-bodied performer; a man with a passion for professional wrestling—it’s not too much of a stretch to say he’s TNA’s John Cena.

But that—all that—wasn’t enough for TNA to keep him down on the farm. And he’s just another name in a big list of folks who have slipped away from TNA this year. Stu Saks spelled it out in his “From The Desk Of...” column in the November 2013 issue of PWI when he provided a list of the folks who had been cut by TNA over the course of recent months. I wasn’t convinced, myself. Stu noted that his sources were saying that TNA was in “more trouble than it’s been in in a long while” at that point, but around the same time, I heard from some folks in the business that the state of the company was relatively strong. I don’t like disagreeing with Stu, anyway. It’s like arguing with my father-in-law about which tires are better for my car; I have my own reasons and preferences, but at the end of the day, I’d be crazy to go against the sage-like wisdom that comes with decades of experience.

Hogan’s departure, which followed the exodus that Stu Saks described, was a tremendous blow to TNA’s continuing assertions that everything was still going swimmingly for the company. The way he went out, with on-screen figurehead Dixie Carter on her knees begging him to stay, was especially embarassing. Maybe they didn’t expect things to shake out the way they did, but in retrospect, it’s really hard to see the wisdom in how the Hulkster’s exit was staged. Now we’re hearing that Jeff Jarrett, the architect of Total Nonstop Action wrestling and, for many years, the driving force behind the company on screen and behind the scenes, has officially left the company as well. Yet, as big as Hogan and Jarrett are with regard to the company’s origins and recent past, the potential loss of Styles is the biggest blow to an organization that is increasingly short on depth and substance these days.

Much to my surprise, I’ve seen a vocal contingent on social media sharing some rather bleak predictions about Styles’ potential future outside of TNA. I’ve read a lot of skepticism regarding Styles’ marketability as a WWE guy (which, all told, is likely more of a commentary on WWE than on Styles himself) and I’ve seen a fair amount of people questioning whether or not Styles could even become a formidable player in ROH and independent wrestling. Even grantland.com's
 David Shoemaker took a rather mean-spirited swipe at Styles shortly before his departure of TNA, as well as Adam Pearce and Christopher Daniels, suggesting they’d missed their moment and likening them to “30-year-old(s) playing Triple-A ball.”

A lot of the critique seems more like parlor games and puffery as opposed to substantive analysis of Styles’ abilities and TNA’s struggles. Styles’ noteworthy run with TNA makes one thing very clear: these entities—the grappler and his longtime home—are best served staying together. For Styles, he’s a big fish in a relatively small pond and, when he’s allowed to shine and flourish, merits top billing solely because of how and what he does in the ring. For TNA, Styles is a bankable, reliable star who never lets his fans down. Is Styles tainted through his longstanding relationship with TNA? Maybe, but only to those who make up their minds by judging individual workers on the missteps and poor decisions of the company itself, which is a rather unfortunate and shortsighted perspective. The fact is, Styles deserves better and TNA can and should do better by him. In the words of some other big-time wrestling guy, “It’s what’s good for business.”


Mike Bessler
PWI Contributing Writer
@OfficialPWI Contributor

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wrestling's Elite Eight

The hilarious NBC sitcom 30 Rock has recently helped popularize an entertainment industry term - the EGOT.

The word is used to refer to the elite few performers who have achieved the grand slam of entertainment achievement: winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

In the entire history of show business, only a dozen people have earned the distinction of being an EGOT. They include such heavyweights as Mel Brooks, Audrey Hepburn and Whoopi Goldberg.

Caught in the throes of awards season, I got to thinking: What would be the wrestling equivalent of an EGOT?

It would be the few wrestlers who have accomplished four of the most prestigious feats in the sport. I'm not talking winning a world championship, which is something of a given for wrestling headliners. Rather, it would have to be an achievement that relavtively few people in history have accomplished.

And so I came up with these four criteria: Having won a Royal Rumble match, having competed in a world title match at WrestleMania, Having won a PWI Wrestler of the Year Award, and having been ranked number 1 in the "PWI 500."

Unfortunately, there's no snappy acronym for the short list of wrestlers who have accomplished those four feats, so we'll have to settle for WRM1's (Wrestler of the year, Rumble winner, Mania headliner, and #1 ranked.)

And so, let me unveil, for the first time ever, wrestling's WRM1's!

1. Hulk Hogan
2. Steve Austin
3. Triple-H
4. Brock Lesnar
5. Chris Benoit
6. Batista
7. John Cena
8. Randy Orton

It's an interesting list, both for who is on it, and who is not. Lesnar, whose national wrestling career lasted just two years, makes the list, but some all-time greats, including Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, do not. (Flair is missing a #1 "PWI 500" ranking. Michaels, surprisingly, has never been voted Wrestler of the Year.)

Obviously, there are several reasons why the list is far from a perfect gauge of wrestling greatness. For one, since 1993, winning the Rumble and headlining WrestleMania largely go hand-in-hand (although two Rumble winners, Austin in 1997 and Vince McMahon in 1999, did not go on to get their world title matches at the big show.) But Hogan and Flair both won Rumbles and headlined WrestleManias before the two feats became synonymous.

Also, some of these achievements have longer histories than others. For example, the "PWI 500" began in 1991, disqualifying some all-time greats whose wrestling primes came before then (including, arguably, Flair).

Nevertheless, considering the stature of the eight wrestlers on the list, I think my WRM1 concept has some merit.

Some trivia about the elite eight:

. Steve Austin is the only one to have accomplished all four achievements at least twice. (Two Wrestler of the Year awards, two "PWI 500" #1 rankings, three Rumble wins, and three WrestleMania world title matches.)

. Three of the eight men have also won WWE's "Triple Crown" - the WWE heavyweight, Intercontinental, and tag team championships. They are Austin, Triple-H, and Orton. (Benoit never won the original WWE heavyweight title, but rather the World title version created in 2002.)

. Three of the men are also past King of the Ring tournament winners: Austin, Triple-H and Lesnar.

. Six of the men have worn more than one version of a pro wrestling world title. Hogan and Benoit both won world titles in both WWE and WCW. Triple-H, Batista, Cena, and Orton have each worn both the WWE heavyweight and World titles.

. Lesnar is the only one to have won a world title in UFC.

. All have been WWE wrestlers. Four once competed in WCW: Hogan, Austin, Triple-H and Benoit. Only one of the men, Hogan, has ever competed in TNA.

. Two of the men - Hogan and Austin - are in the WWE Hall of Fame. Four are in The Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame: Hogan, Austin, Benoit and Triple-H.

. Lesnar was the youngest to earn all four achievements. He was 26 in 2003 when he won Wrestler of the Year. Hogan was the oldest, having been 38 when he was ranked #1 in the inaugural "PWI 500."

. Just one full-time wrestler is one feat away from making the list. That's Kurt Angle (#1 ranked, Mania headliner, Wrestler of the Year). The semi-active Kevin Nash needs a Rumble win to make it. As I mentioned before, the largely-retired Flair is missing a #1 "PWI 500" ranking.

. All eight men, in my opinion, are infinitely more talented than Whoopi Goldberg.

- Al Castle
PWI Senior Writer

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TNA Genesis: The Beginning of the End?


I hate to beat a dead horse or piggyback on Al's geometry lesson posted below. But as a wrestling journalist, it's usually my duty to cover the sport objectively, even if I don't like the product.

As such, I gave TNA a chance on January 4 (and going forward) because it was a "new era." While I didn't actively dislike TNA before then, I didn't follow it as fervently as others.

To me, it was the 1997 Florida Marlins of wrestling - sure, there were a handful of homegrown future stars, but the bulk of the product relied on past their prime former Superstars thrown together to make a run at the top.

Yet I had several TNA fanboys (who actually now seem more simply like WWE haters) telling me I needed to "cross the line" and that TNA was different, fresh, alternative, insert adjective here. They were wrestling, not sports entertainment - and no sirree, they don't just push WWE retreads simply because of their name value.

Then, I saw a 3-hour Impact where, not counting the outstanding Angle/AJ main, there was about 25 minutes of wrestling content in a 2 1/2 hours, every wrestler who has either ever been tight with Hulk Hogan or released from WWE in the past year show up and booking that made me feel like I was watching a "History of WCW Nitro" seminar.

Fine. First night, gotta establish new stuff, etc.

Then came Genesis.

Know what I saw on Sunday night?

I saw a PPV where the ring setup was changed to look exactly like a 1990 WCW PPV.

I saw 8 matches, all of which featured someone who made their name in WWE (half of which featurd people who have been in WWE within the last 18 months, no less).

I saw Daniels, a TNA stalwart who challenged for the TNA title just weeks ago, jobbed out in the second match to Sean Morley - who looked exactly like the Val Venis that hadn't been relevant since 2005, character and all, just with a different name.

I saw not one second of Jeff Hardy, Orlando Jordan, the Nasty Boys or 90 percent of the other "namedrops" that showed up on the Jan. 4 Impact.

I saw Hogan blatantly namedrop Vince McMahon in an attempt to bash his product - when McMahon's is, at least in terms of ratings, 3x the product Hogan's company puts out.

I saw two matches I had just seen (good or bad) on the 1/4 Impact.

And I saw two more matches where there was a last minute bait and switch replacement. Sure, I'd infinitely rather watch Kevin Nash and Ken Anderson than Scott Hall and Bobby Lashley, but the point remains.

Does any of this sound like a bad WCW flashback to you?

Because it does to me.

Yes, they pushed the homegrown guys a bit. Beer Money Inc. went over "The Band," Matt Morgan & Hernandez won the tag titles, and A.J. Styles is still the TNA champion.

Great. Booker T was WCW champion at the end too.

Unless Hulk Hogan has grand plans to get out of the Impact Zone, TNA has a very good chance of being dead by the turn of 2011.

Considering that people can get into the Impact Zone for free (seriously - it's $20 for a picture of you riding the Mummy inside the park, but Impact tapings are basically just another attraction) there will always be a crowd.

But he's already alienating the diehards within the Zone, and within a year, the nostalgia kick for those who started watching TNA again will have worn off.

What'll be left is a crowd full of attraction seekers that will make the old WCW Disney taping audiences look like the ECW Arena by comparison and a 1.0ish rating of apathetic TV viewers who are stuck in 1998.

The only reason I watched WCW in its dying years was because it was habitual. The product was god awful, but the cable loop in my college dorm didn't have TNN, so if I wanted to continue watching wrestling on Monday nights (like I had since 1986, when my parents used to let me stay up late one night a week to watch WWF Prime Time Wrestling), it was Nitro or nothing.

The way things are going for TNA, a lot of their diehards might find themselves in a similar position.

Changes, indeed.

-Louie Dee
PWI Contributing Writer

Four sides or six? It actually does make a difference


Here are two topics you don’t see combined too often: Professional wrestling and geometry.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the wrestling community since Hulk Hogan banished TNA’s signature six-sided ring and replaced it with a standard four-sided wrestling at Sunday’s Genesis pay-per-view. While some TNA officials, including Hogan and color commentator Taz, both praised the change as a welcome “back-to-basics” move, other TNA loyalists had become quite attached to the six-sided ring, which they saw as a symbol of TNA’s distinctiveness. Many of the latter group of fans made their preference quite clear as they chanted “We want six-sides!” at the start of the pay-per-view.

The majority of wrestling fans likely fall into a third category – those who don’t really care one way or another what shape TNA’s ring is. They believe the company is wasting time and energy spending more than a second addressing the matter – especially when so much else needs fixing. Those fans would argue that, other than aesthetic appeal, there is no significant difference between a square ring and a hexagonal one.

But I beg to differ. While I agree that the six-sided ring did serve to set TNA apart from WWE – if only in a largely shallow way – I applaud Hogan and company for making the change back to a standard-issue, four-sided ring. Besides the fact that they simply look right, wrestling rings have historically had four sides for several reasons. Here are a few of them:

. A four sided ring has more space: Take a couple of slices of hard salami, some pepperjack cheese, and honey maple turkey, put them between two slices of white bread, and you’ve got quite the appetizing lunch. Now, take your knife and cut off each of the four corners. Indeed, the length of the sandwich from the top to the bottom, and from the left side to the right would all remain the same. But the perimeter is quite a bit smaller. In other words, you’d have considerably less sandwich to eat. It’s simple geometry. While the distance between opposite sides on the six-sided ring may be the same as in a four-sided ring, overall wrestlers have lost square footage in their workspace. If you believe otherwise, I’d encourage you to attend a live TNA event. You’d be surprised how small the ring looks up close.

. A four-sided ring has right angles: My fifth grade teacher Ms. Youngs would be so proud of me for what I am about to write. You see, as a square, a standard wrestling ring has four 90-degree angles. However, an equilateral hexagon, as TNA’s six-sided ring was, has six angles of 120 degrees each. While that may mean little to you, right angles actually serve several purposes within a wrestling match. For one, they allow wrestlers to plant there feet in a more natural forward-facing position when standing on the top rope – giving them firmer footing when executing high-risk maneuvers. Right angles are also effective tools for inflicting punishment. Ramming your opponent back-first into a sharp, 90-degree angle during a ringside brawl could do considerably more damage than a wider 120-degree angle.

. A four-sided ring keeps wrestlers further away from the ropes: Nothing takes the suspense out of a potentially perilous submission hold like having the ring ropes just a few inches away – almost ensuring that the wrestler in danger will reach the ropes, and force the referee to break the hold. In a standard ring, a wrestler –in-peril can hope to be within reach of one of four sides. In a six-sided ring, he’s got a 50-percent better chance of forcing a break – making submission moves considerably less suspenseful.

. A four-sided ring allows fans to be closer to the action: While TNA officials may have had no problem in laying out the Impact Zone so fans would be seated facing each of the ring’s six sides, such a layout can present a challenge in most other arenas. And so, while TNA’s ring may have had six sides, ringside fans were routinely seated on four sides. That means that fans seated near the corners would be considerably further away from the ring than fans seated in the middle of the rows. And I bet there tickets weren’t any cheaper.

If I racked my brain out, I could probably think of other reasons to favor a traditional four-sided wrestling ring over TNA’s experimental six-sided one. And, of course, reasonable people could probably find some benefits of keeping the hexagon. Chief among them would be that TNA’s will likely now have to scrap some of the infrastructure that was especially built for the six-sided ring, including its steel cages.

But, I for one, am a firm believer in the old adage about not fixing something that ain’t broke. It’s called the “squared circle” for a reason.

- Al Castle
Pro Wrestling Illustrated Senior Writer

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TNA shouldn't get its hopes up

Yay. Yet another forum for me to pontificate about my favorite sport.

Al Castle here, contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and its sister magazines, and author of the columns “Quick Counts” and “Workin’ Stiff.” I’d like to thank Stu and the team over in Blue Bell for putting this blog together, and I look forward to dropping by regularly and offering my two cents on the latest pro wrestling headlines.

I thought I’d start by talking about one of the major stories coming out of a very newsworthy weekend for wrestling – Hulk Hogan’s announcement on Spike TV Saturday night that TNA Impact will be going head to head against WWE’s Monday Night Raw on January 4. From the Hulkster’s rhetoric, as well as TNA’s subsequent press release, it seems apparent that TNA has some pretty high expectations for the show. They’ve all but declared a new Monday Night War.

Dixie Carter is in for quite the reality check.

TNA declaring war on WWE would be somewhat akin to Jamie Noble challenging the entire WWE locker room to a fight. It will be a blow out.

Just like the multitude of acquisitions of ex-WWE stars, or moving to Thursday nights, or going to two hours, or every other smoke and mirrors tactic that TNA has attempted to give its product a boost, this latest dawn of a new day for TNA will not make much of a difference to its bottom line.

If Dixie Carter thinks the only thing keeping TNA from seriously competing with WWE is a Monday night time slot and the addition of Hulk Hogan, she is nothing short of delusional. If Carter and Hogan are using WCW as inspiration that a wrestling company could give WWE a run for its money, they are missing the big picture. WCW had decades of history behind it when it created Nitro, and more importantly, had a product that was good enough – and for a while considerably better – than what WWE was offering. TNA has none of those. And while WCW Nitro’s success was driven by Eric Bischoff’s determination to do things differently than WWE, TNA has repeatedly failed at carving out its own identity – or at least a positive one.

If I were asked to list some of TNA’s unique qualities I’d mention: 1). Overly complicated and undisciplined booking 2). Convoluted and inefficient gimmick matches 3). Washed up stars from the Monday Night Wars and more recent WWE mid card cast offs. 4). Short matches. 5). An abundantly talented and mis-used cruiserweight division. 6). A small-time TV studio setting. None of those things put TNA in a position to compete with WWE.

All that said, moving to Monday nights is not a bad idea (although doing it as a one-time experiment could have disastrous results and make Spike gun shy about making the move permanent.) If the Monday Night Wars left us with anything it is the broad recognition that Monday Night is wrestling night. ROH and HDNet were wise enough to figure this out when they moved their program to Monday Night.

So while I don’t think for a second that TNA, as we know it today, could ever come close – much less beat – WWE in a ratings battle, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Impact’s ratings climb a bit (and just a bit) as more fans are apt to watch wrestling on a Monday night than they are a Thursday night. If TNA ever were to move permanently to Monday nights, they would be wise to run 8 to 10 p.m., so they can have that first hour to itself.

Everyone has his prediction of what rating TNA will do on January 4. Some are expecting ratings in the 2’s, which TNA would have to see as a major success. Other are expecting a disaster in the range of 0.8 or lower. I’ll predict they do around a 1.2.

What do you think?

-Al Castle