In a tweet this afternoon, Dixie Carter says TNA’s negotiations with Spike TV are ongoing.
Dixie Carter has been known to stretch the truth and not live up to expectations in the past, so take this with a grain of salt. The flip side, of course, is that TMZ may not be correct in their original report. Spike TV may have told Carter they do not intend to renew the Impact Wrestling deal as it currently stands, meaning a ratings boost or lower dollar figure could possibly sway them.
TMZ is reporting that Spike TV will not renew its deal with TNA and will no longer air Impact Wrestling when the current contract expires. According to their sources, the deal will run out in October, with no clear indication as to when the final episode of Impact Wrestling will air on Spike.
The news is obviously a huge blow to TNA and could not have come at a worse time. The figure WWE got for its television rights from NBC Universal was well below expectations, meaning TNA would almost certainly have to settle for a lesser deal than its current figure with Spike TV if it finds a new television partner.
This is a wake up call for TNA. The company’s only hope is to keep improving – the show has been better in recent weeks – until time runs out in October, with the idea that another network – large or small – will come calling, knowing that a viewership of one million a week is hard to find on cable. The only problem will be finding that network.
AMC recently agreed to a deal with Billy Corgan for a wrestling program. Spike and its parent network, Viacom, are out of play. NBC and Universal aren’t a fit since they have the rights to WWE. FOX and ABC could be interested, since they were in the hunt for WWE rights, but Raw and Smackdown bring in higher viewership numbers – and, by extension, advertising dollars – than Impact Wrestling.
TNA has time to figure something out but in the world of television, where deals are struck sometimes years in advance for new programming, it’ll be hard to find a solution in just a few months.
TNA once again loosely borrowed a page from WWE’s book on last night’s Impact Wrestling, with Eric Young winning a gauntlet match in the opener to earn a World Title shot later in the night, where he would go on to defeat Magnus to win the belt.
The night also saw the return of Dixie Carter in her “Triple H heel authority figure” role, with Bully Ray playing the role of Daniel Bryan, telling her that it’s all about what he fans want, not what she wants.
Magnus defeated Samoa Joe in a Falls Count Anywhere match and Bobby Roode defeated James Storm in a “Florida Death Match” after Gunner threw in the towel on last night’s Turning Point episode of Impact Wrestling.
Magnus advances to face Kurt Angle in the semifinals, while Roode will take on Jeff Hardy. The semifinal matches won’t take place on next week’s taped edition of Impact, though, as Dixie Carter announced during last night’s show that we’ll get a Team Angle v. Team Roode 4-on-4
Survivor Series elimination tag match.
The tournament for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship continued on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling, with Kurt Angle defeating Austin Aries in a submission match to advance to the second round. Angle will face the winner of Magnus v. Samoa Joe.
There will be two championship tournament matches on next week’s Turning Point-themed live episode of Impact. Bobby Roode will take on James Storm in a Bull Rope Match, while Magnus and Samoa Joe battle in a Falls Count Anywhere contest. Both of those match types come courtesy of the “Wheel of Dixie” stipulation.
Also scheduled for next week’s Impact: Abyss v. Joseph Park, which will involve either Abyss not showing up or a ton of shenanigans.
Earlier in the week, TNA President and horrible actress Dixie Carter teased that a “former World Title holder” would be returning to the company on Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling. Wednesday, she revealed in another video that the “mystery man” wasn’t former champions Kevin Nash or “Wildcat” Chris Harris, even though either of those choices would have been far better than the actual guy returning: Adam “Pacman” Jones.
Technically, Jones is a “former World Title holder,” capturing the TNA World Tag Team Championship in 2007 during his one-year suspension from the NFL as part of “Team Pacman” along with Ron “R-Truth” Killings.
The catch? Pacman didn’t actually wrestle in the match, since his NFL contract – even though suspended – would not allow him to engage in physical contact.
Either way, a former World Title holder did return on Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling, as Jones and Bengals teammate DeQuin Evans hit the ring after being confronted at ringside by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian.
Jeff Hardy defeated Chris Sabin in a Full Metal Mayhem match on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling to advance in the TNA World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
Hardy will face the winner of the James Storm v. Bobby Roode match. It was also announced that the Kurt Angle v. Austin Aries match, which will take place on next Thursday’s Impact, will be a submission match as part of the “Wheel of Dixie” stipulation.
Dixie Carter finally revealed who the former World Title holder was that she said would be returning to Impact this Thursday in a video on the Impact Wrestling YouTube account.
It’s Pacman fucking Jones.
In the video, Carter teases Jeremy Borash and some other schmuck that got stuck appearing on camera that she’s surprised they can’t guess it. Then the two go on to name people they think it might be, like Raven or Kevin Nash. In fact, every single person they mentioned would have been better than Pacman Jones.
And that’s no disrespect to Jones, a former TNA Tag Team Champion, but this is getting ridiculous. After years of “crying wolf” with these teases, Dixie Carter let everyone down once more.
Dixie Carter says in the above video that a “former World Title holder” will return to TNA on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling.
Obviously, this is a vague enough statement to cover any number of champions, from TNA to WWE to even MMA. Carter also doesn’t have a great track record of following through on big teases but at least she’s covered her bases here with her word choice.
There are a lot of rumors that it’s the return of Hulk Hogan, which makes a lot of sense, but it sounds like Hogan is done with TNA. Hopefully Carter and the rest of the TNA brass realize how stupid they would look if they make a tease like this and it ends up being Tito Ortiz or Rampage Jackson, who fans really don’t seem to care about at all. It certainly would be a letdown if either of those two men were the subject of her tease.
My money is on Jeff Jarrett, who has been playing a role backstage once again with TNA. His return would actually be quite welcomed, I think, since he’s been gone long enough and is probably viewed by a lot of people as someone who could help save TNA from itself.
From the @ImpactWrestling Twitter account, the above is a photo of the bracket for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
There should be some high quality matches in this tournament. I have a feeling we’ll get a Kurt Angle v. Bobby Roode final, with Roode coming out victorious. Obviously whomever wins this tournament will face AJ Styles to determine the rightful champion, and a Roode v. Styles showdown would be fun.
Magnus could also be bound for glory (pun intended) and win the championship, which would make a lot of sense given how the past few months have played out, with him defeating Sting and winning the gauntlet match to gain entry into the tournament.