Ratings Increase for Third Episode of Impact on PopTV

TNA saw a ratings increase for its third episode of Impact Wrestling since the show moved to PopTV. This week’s show drew 321,000 viewers at 9pm ET and an additional 122,000 for the midnight replay, according to Dave Meltzer. Those numbers are up from the previous week’s 288,000 and 77,000, respectively.

The increase can be attributed to both Matt Hardy saying he would either win the title or quit TNA, as well as an 11% increase in providers carrying PopTV week-over-week. Meltzer points out that the real growth was in the midnight re-air, since the increase in viewership from the prior week was more than the increase in providers.

While these numbers are not gargantuan by any stretch, growth is always encouraging. It will be a while before TNA reaches the near million viewers the company was bringing in during a chunk of its time on Spike – if it ever happens – but positive momentum is all Dixie Carter and friends can ask for at this point.

Matt Hardy Turns Heel, Wins TNA Title

During last night’s TNA World Championship Last Man Standing match, Tyrus turned on Ethan Carter III and aligned with Matt Hardy, who turned heel and won the TNA World Championship. Following the title win, Hardy embraced his heel persona to the fullest, going off on an excellent Twitter rant calling fans “insolent underlings” and demanding they address him as “YOUR GRACE” or “MY LORD,” and claiming he offered Tyrus twice what EC3 was paying him.

While it’s often been easy to criticize TNA, I very much like how this storyline has played out, especially with Reby Sky becoming more and more enraged as the weeks have gone on and coming off like the puppet controlling Matt. It will also be nice to see EC3, who has become one of the best parts of TNA each week, as a babyface.

Ringside Rewind: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles, Last Man Standing Match, TNA Hard Justice 2008

With Matt Hardy challenging Ethan Carter III on tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling for the TNA Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match, the company has uploaded a few classic LMS matches to its YouTube channel. It might also have something to do with both matches featuring AJ Styles and his hype levels at an all-time high thanks to his rumored impending WWE debut, but whatever.

Either way, we’ll use this as a way to watch a really good match one more time. While dubbed a Last Man Standing match, the contest was actually wrestled under Texas Death Match rules, in which you have to pin or submit the opponent before a 10 count begins.

Ring of Honor Done Airing at 8pm ET on Destination America?

In a much ballyhooed move that many thought signaled the end of TNA’s relationship with Destination America, Ring of Honor was brought in to re-air the company’s Sinclair broadcasting show at 8pm on Wednesdays, leading into Impact.

After only eight weeks, that will no longer be the case.

According to Destination America’s TV lineup (via Cageside Seats) Ring of Honor Wrestling will be replaced by Bigfoot in America, at least for the next two weeks. ROH will still air in its regular 11pm ET slot, except this will be the first run on Destination America.

Ratings for the 8pm ET showing of ROH on Destination America rose through June after a 163,000 viewer debut, then sharply declined through the first three weeks of July, landing only 80,000 viewers on July 15th.

Ethan Carter III is the New TNA Champion

It’s been a long time coming for Ethan Carter III. One of the best performers on TNA’s diminishing roster, EC3 has gotten better and better each week. His social media presence, mic skills and look have solidified him as a breakout star. With that, TNA decided it was time to give the kid the strap. Carter pinned Kurt Angle on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling to become the TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

Full Card for Tonight’s Destination X Episode of Impact

TNA presents a special Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling tonight at 9pm ET on Destination America. Josh Mathews previews the card, which features three title matches, in the video above.

This year’s Destination X special is certainly a packed show. Following disappointing ratings from last week’s first run on Wednesday nights, the company and network are both looking for improved numbers. A stacked card like this along with a second week in the new timeslot should help.

Here is a rundown of the card:

TNA Heavyweight Championship Match
Rockstar Spud v. Kurt Angle

TNA Heavyweight Championship Match
Austin Aries v. Winner of Rockstar Spud/Kurt Angle match

TNA Knockouts Championship Match
Awesome Kong v. Taryn Terrell

X Division Championship Qualifying Matches
(Winners of each match will face each other in a Triple Threat for the X Division Championship at a later date)
Kenny King v. Grado v. Cruz
DJ Z v. Mandrews v. Tigre Uno
Low Ki v. Manik v. Crazy Steve

Ring of Honor is Coming to Destination America

Destination America announced via Twitter this afternoon that Ring of Honor wrestling will be televised by the network, beginning June 3rd at 8pm ET. That’s also the date that TNA’s Impact Wrestling moves to Wednesday nights.

The addition of ROH creates a two hour wrestling block for the Discovery-owned network, with ROH at 8 and TNA at 9. Wednesday nights have become a very crowded wrestling night, with NXT and Lucha Underground also airing.

New Impact Wrestling Logo Revealed

New @impactwrestling logo!!! So dope!!! #wereback

Una foto publicada por Robbie E (@robbieeimpact) el

TNA superstar Robbie E provided us with a look at the new Impact Wrestling logo for the company’s debut on Destination America. I personally really liked the current Impact Wrestling logo and this one feels a little “1990s Geocities” to me, but new is new.

Kurt Angle is Staying in TNA

Kurt Angle will stay in TNA, despite rumors that he might be returning to WWE for one more run, according to Vince Russo. The former WWE, WCW and TNA creative team member had Angle on his “The Swerve” podcast, where the news was confirmed.

While it would have been cool to see Angle back in the WWE for a short run – the pop when his music hit and a confrontation with Rusev would have been amazing – it didn’t really seem all that close to happening. Many were reporting that Angle wouldn’t be able to pass a WWE physical and there were concerns about how his body would hold up even if he did pass.

According to Angle, the relationship with he and Vince McMahon has been repaired, as the two are on speaking terms. He also went on to deny speculation of heat between he and Triple H, as well as rumors that Triple H was the one stopping a potential Angle return, saying that they had always gotten along and you can’t believe everything you hear.

Angle kept the door open to a WWE return, at least in a training or agent capacity. For now, though, he’s excited about the future of TNA with its new television partner, Destination America.