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Arron "Manchester" DEE

Educating the noobs (TNA vs ECW myth)

Rating: 3 votes, 3.67 average.
I saw a recent comment on the news section where someone stated (in a negative and smarky way) that TNA is smaller than even ECW was under Paul Heyman.

I never do these blogs but felt compelled to do a quick one and list some comparisons to try and educate some of the newer Wrestling fans who (by the fault of WWE's monopoly and twisting of history) don't know any better.

ECW did business during the last "boom decade."

It is important to consider this when making comparisons. This was a time with more wrestling fans in general and less negative influence on shows by so called IWC "experts" and "reporters." A time where it was easier to shock an audience and do a fresh idea / angle which hadn't been done before. A time with less competition from other shows. A time where fans could only watch the show on the TV, not on internet platforms, giving the company the maximum chance of gaining higher TV ratings. The company were also assisted by WWF and dabbled with WCW for a period of time. This was arguably an easier time to succeed in the Wrestling business and grow a new company.

TNA are doing business during the current "dip decade."

It is important to consider this when making comparisons for the many reasons. At this moment in time, the majority of casual viewers are no longer interested in wrestling (of any kind). During this time, the IWC seems to be particularly harsh and negative towards most things. TNA are now up against competition from 100's of stations and millions of hours of alternative TV options. ALL Wrestling shows in general are trying to gain a share of a market where the majority of new fans (16 years and under) are unaware of the history of the business and only know of WWE. ALL wrestling shows in general are trying to draw TV ratings while fans can also watch the same show within an hour of broadcast on many internet platforms, therefore taking potential viewership figures away from the show. This is arguably the hardest time in the entire history of wrestling to do business as a new Wrestling company and grow as a company.

Time in business (ECW) - 12 years
Time in business (TNA) - 12 years and counting

ECW record attendance - 6,000+ (PPV event)
TNA record attendance - 10,000+ (PPV event)
TNA record house show - 9,000 +

Average ECW tv rating - 0.9
Average TNA tv rating - 0.9

ECW drew an average 21% of RAWs viewer numbers
TNA draws an average 32% of RAW's viewer numbers
As you can see, there is such a double standard amongst the IWC. The same people who are quick to proclaim how great ECW was and how successful they were, are the same people who bash TNA saying it should be doing better, it's "struggling" it is a failure etc etc despite TNA actually out performing ECW.

I am in no way trying to say TNA is perfect or TNA is a better show than the original ECW. I'm simply pointing out that a lot of criticism the TNA brand receives is not only unnecessary but incorrect.

I DID want to post a tonne of links where I gathered this information to share with you... but the internet Nazi's don't allow you to paste links to other wrestling sites!


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Updated 09-16-2013 at 08:49 AM by Arron "Manchester" DEE

Tags: ecw, iwc, tna, wcw, wwe
Thoughts and Opinions , User News


  1. Brock Lewis's Avatar
    You're absolutely right. Besides ECW didn't have main event guys like TNA has. People like Justin Credible, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Mickey Wripwreck, and Steve Corino were champions. TNA had a few questionable champions in the beginning but the quality has improved greatly. ECW was giving people like these world title's in its closing hour.
  2. Kajmere's Avatar
    I think the biggest difference is that ecw didn't really have much pressure to perform while TNA has the weight of the world on its shoulders.
  3. JohnnyV123's Avatar
    It's interesting you bring all this up.

    There's also two things off the top of my head about TV programming in general.

    1. Less people are watching.

    It's why you are unlikely to see WWE ever get back to 5 and 6 million viewers. Even with a growing population, people just don't watch TV in the numbers like they used to compared to the 1990's.

    2. Even MORE options of shows to watch today.

    Cable TV offered a lot of channels back in the day but now its common to see a program package offering hundreds of channels or video on demand services. Then there is the Internet sucking away viewers along with Netflix or Hulu.

    Combine those things with the "seen it all before" mentality many wrestling fans have and its actually sort of impressive that wrestling has continued to survive and thrive.

    TNA haters are going to hate on anything they can think of to criticize. I don't know why but it's the critical nature sites like this take that makes EVERYTHING get nitpicked to death.
  4. MrCthulhu's Avatar
    Of course TNA is "out performing" what ECW did. They had many advantages over ECW.

    -ECW started as a regional promotion called Tri-State Wrestling Alliance. It took 5 years and two name changes before it became Extreme Championship Wrestling. It was only available on local sports networks in the early AM hours. TNA began as a weekly PPV promotion called NWA: Total Nonstop Action.

    -ECW only had the money they made from their shows and merchandise. TNA started with financial backing from a major corporation(HealthSouth Corporation) who pulled funding after a year nearly folding the company. It took another major corporation(Panda Energy Intl.) to bail them out.

    -ECW didn't get it's first PPV until it's 8th year of existence and a national TV deal until it's 10th. TNA as already mentioned started on PPV, and moved to the more common monthly PPV and weekly TV show after only 3 years.

    Just from those advantages, TNA was given a much larger chance for success. They could book larger venues(hence the disparity in attendance records) and they could keep their wrestlers instead of seeing them leave for other promotions.

    The TV ratings are also interesting. They have the same weekly avg but TNA has the advantage of more promotion, a statistically better show day, and an established network for their target demographic. ECW received almost zero promotion, was on Friday nights(where most networks place poor performing shows), and were on TNN(the precursor to SPIKE) and was at the time the highest rated show on the network.
  5. billythekid's Avatar
    TNA is only still in business cause of panda energy and their millions, dixie just rings daddy when they really need money, Heyman didnt have any sort of backers like that and tna only got Spike tv cause of bischoff's connection there
    and also like the 2 posters above state aswell

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