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Kyle Fitta

Wrestling Fans Prove Eric Bischoff Right

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Since 2007, TNA fans/haters have complained about the lack of focus on the x-division and its wrestlers. They thought it was unintelligent for TNA to put the x-division on the back burner for the former WWE, WCW, and ECW talent because the product was going to end up like WCW and because the x-division was what made TNA stand out and allowed TNA to be an alternative in wrestling.

Last month TNA gave the x-division a shot as they allowed them to have their own PPV with wrestlers such as Samoa Joe, Chris Daniels, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Low Ki, Jack Evans, and even RVD and Jerry Lynn on it. Granted TNA didn't build the PPV up as an extraordinary show (or anything remotely close) and made the Impact the week after the PPV seem more way more important, but that should NOT have mattered. This PPV was not about how great the content was on the show. It was about sending TNA a message that people rather see the X-division wrestlers than Sting, Hulk Hogan, Ken Anderson, Scott Steiner, etc.

Destination X ended up doing about 8,250 buys, making it now ridiculous and now hypocritical for people to complain about what TNA is doing wrong now since they had a chance to prove to them what they need to focus on more.

Does this mean that the x-division would’ve been used perfectly if the PPV did a monster buy? I mean there's no denying that TNA never listens to their fans and, as a result, has lost a lot of their hardcore fans because of: people's ego in charge, trying to hide that fact that their big accusations weren’t a flop, and Vince Russo, their head writer, trying to emulate his magic that worked a decade ago even though nobody wants to see that style of writing these days.

I mean even Kurt Angle, arguably TNA's biggest signing ever, wasn't drawing as much a TNA's biggest star before him, Samoa Joe. I don't believe these numbers are a coincidence:

35,000 for (2006) Turning Point (Joe vs. Angle)
34,000 for Final Resolution (Joe vs. Angle)
23,000 for Against All Odds (Angle vs. Cage)
36,000 for Destination X (Joe vs. Cage)
35,000 for Lockdown (Team Angle vs. Team Cage)
21,000 for Sacrifice (Angle vs. Sting vs. Cage)
22,000 for Slammiversary (King of the Mountain)
15,000 for Victory Road (Joe and Angle vs. Team 3D)
26,000 for Hard Justice (Joe vs. Angle)
17,000 for No Surrender (Angle vs. Abyss)
36,000 for Bound For Glory (Sting vs. Angle)
27,000 for Genesis (Sting and Booker T vs. Angle and Nash)

Here are estimated buy figures for TNA pay-per-views in 2008:

20,000 for Final Resolution (Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage I)
30,000 for Against All Odds (Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage II)
20,000 for Destination X (Samoa Joe, Kevin Nash and Christian Cage vs. Angle Alliance)
55,000 for Lockdown (Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle)
25,000 for Sacrifice (Samoa Joe vs. Scott Steiner vs. Kaz)
20,000 for Slammiversary (King Of The Mountain Match)
25,000 for Victory Road (Samoa Joe vs. Booker T
35,000 for Hard Justice (Samoa Joe vs. Booker T II)
20,000 for No Surrender (Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle vs. Christian Cage)
35,000 for Bound For Glory (Sting vs. Samoa Joe)
30,000 for Turning Point (Sting vs. AJ Styles)

As you see, Joe was their top draw followed by Kurt Angle, Christian Cage (not in the company anymore), Sting and possibly AJ Styles. Right now, Kurt Angle and Sting are still used as top draws, but AJ Styles and Joe are now borderline jobbers.

But still, it gave hope that maybe they would focus more on it. I mean look at the product now: they're signing x-division wrestlers left and right over a mediocre buyrate. Say if this PPV beat their usual shows.... they might have had to focus nearly the entire show around the division, like the did in 2005.

All the speculations and what ifs are completely irrelevant now, though, because the PPV did mediocre at best buyrate, which proves Eric Bischoff ( at least in his own mind) that he was right about internet wrestling fans being tiny demographic who don’t know anything about running a wrestling business and catering to their interests wouldn’t keep the blood flowing and the heart pumping in TNA.

Ultimately, TNA fans and haters screwed up big time. They could have sent a message to TNA and showed a company that's so obsessed over numbers what they wanted. Instead, only 8,2500 out of 1 million people who watch Impact ordered the show, which is pathetic.

On the bright side, a company that I have so much hatred over for being so inept and clueless is one step closer to their demise.

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  1. KingOrton's Avatar
    sad but true.
  2. nrb6304's Avatar
    I said it before TNA DX that if people wanted to send TNA Wrestling a message that they needed to order this PPV and show everybody what they wanted. Unfortunately only a small amount of people did and now the people that are unhappy will STAY unhappy because they didn't do what they could.
  3. knox's Avatar
    What a well-written blog. I had alot of fun reading this bro. I definitely must agree 100% and you as well as @nrb6304 hit the nail on the head.

    TNA fans had a chance to prove that we want the X-Division. The fans dropped the ball but now this will go straight to Biscoff's head. He will now continue to book Sting as his top draw which is a complete crime to the fans. I loved Sting in the 90s but unfortunately its 2011.

    Thanks for the blog bro
  4. Kyle Fitta's Avatar
    As much as I liked Sting as crow, he lost a few steps in the ring compared to what he was in the 80s to mid 90s Sting. Needless to say, one could make the argument that facing Ric Flair, Vader, Steamboat, and the other great wrestlers he faced in his prime elevated his matches compared to WCW's horrible in-ring maineventers in the Bischoff era of WCW. Still, the point is Sting has been out of his prime for a while now and seeing him as an active wrestler is blushing out his flaws to the audience.

    I don't watch Impact, but what I've seen of Joker Sting has been quite frankly laughable. Maybe if someone else did the gimmick, it would work, but Sting just isn't that guy. Back to the point - I don't mind legends in wrestling companies. In fact, a lot of times I dig it. It's fun seeing the guys you grew up watching on TV and they're still a household name, thus people might tune in to see them. However, you have to utlize them properly. Making legends managers, announcers, general managers, or have them wrestle once in a blue moon are the best way to use them. Properly booked, matches like Sting vs AJ Styles, Joe, or Angle could mean something if you did it once in a blue moon. TNA uses Sting as a regular wrestler, which makes him feel like just another wrestler on the roster and one that is completly out of his prime. Instead of saying oh boy, Sting is going to wrestle. People are now saying oh brother, Sting is wrestling again.

    For instance, when Sting was about to sign with the WWE and face Undertaker at Wrestlemania, people were not saying how terrible the match is going to be because Sting is old and Undertaker can only put on great matches with people who are great. They were saying they wanted to see the match because it was a dream match that hadn't happened ever (bar from when they weren't stars). Epicness and drama - aka entertainment - can overcome bad wrestling. Hence the Rock vs. Hogan. They wrestled an average match at best, but due to the epicness of the match, it was very good match.

    TNA doesn't know how to create those epic moments because they cannot book.
    Updated 07-31-2011 at 11:52 PM by Kyle Fitta
  5. Marx's Avatar
    @ Kyle Fitta

    Don't smear a legend if you don't watch the show. I don't like the joker gimmick because in my opinion Sting (and many others on the TNA-roster) has done too much face/heel turns in the recent year, and because it essentially is a copy of the crow gimmick.

    But actingwise he still pulls it off, and none on the TNA-roster could have done better. Though you can see he's an old dude - and before his most recent hiatus he was definiteley tired and missing steps - he's been decent in the ring since his return. I think Angle vs Sting could be a big surprise, in the sense that it could be a (last) great match for the Icon.

    The sad part of it all is that whilst I'm defending Sting, I don't like the (whole) TNA-product, and do agree with your post. It's like WCW all over again: the same old guys screwing around without actually wrestling, whilst thinking they are the product and reason people tune in, whilst the main attraction has ten minutes at the start of the show and 1 ppv per year (which was handily the best of the year, and true competition for WWE, older male demographic)..
  6. shanethewolf's Avatar
    It is sad, BUT you can't expect all the old fans to suddenly start tuning in overnight after years of soap opera rubbish, silly gimmicks, old men and novelty acts. A lot of fans gave up on TNA back when the Nasty Boys reappeared and the Xdivision was buried. Most of them probably had no idea that TNA was doing an Xdivision PPV and many of those that did know have probably grown to sceptical to spend any money on a TNA product.

    Speaking personally, I watched the PPV via a stream because I didn't believe TNA could put ona good show any more. I was wrong and the PPV was amazing. If they keep this quality up, I might start buying them again and start tuning into Impact every week, just like I did before Hogan and Bischoff arrived.

    You can't change things overnight. Unfortunately TNA and WWE managment have no patience and no faith in long term programming. They'd rather just chase every little spike in ratings.

    That said, TNA are clearly going to save money with this direction because stars such as Austin Aries are not going to be paid the same wage as Flair, Foley, Nash and other egomaniacs they've signed.
    Updated 08-01-2011 at 03:32 PM by shanethewolf
  7. Allison's Avatar
    Sting sucks. He sucked in the 80s, he sucked in the 90s.... and he still sucks. Period!

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