TNA Wrestling attempted to go to war with WWE on Monday Nights by running TNA Impact! against WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night RAW, during the same time slot of 9 pm. TNA also decided to remove the Monday Night replay from Thursday nights sending a message that fans could only watch TNA on Mondays, versus watching WWE on Mondays and then catching the replay on Thursdays.
Yet, in an age much different from the original Monday Night Wars, viewers now have the option to TiVo or DVR both programs at the same time. So the war between the two companies comes down to: Quality, and Exposure.
When TNA attempted its first live 3-hour venture on January 4th, it was a debacle in essence of quality, but it had decent exposure. The weeks leading up to January 4th, TNA Wrestling ran commercials during RAW, ECW, and SmackDown promoting TNA’s live show. TNA promised to finally bring out Hulk Hogan, who signed with the company back in October, on to the Impact! Zone. However, with the promise of the 3-hour live block sent chimes of the days of WCW, and wouldn’t you know it that on January 4th, the fans witnessed the return of Eric Bischoff. And if that wasn’t enough to get the juices flowing, than certainly the entrances of “The Outsiders” Scott Hall and Sean Waltman, later accompanied by Kevin Nash, is a dead giveaway that TNA was destined to fail like WCW did.
WCW was a great concept during the height of the Monday Night Wars, beating WWE for several weeks in the ratings. The problem now is that most of the talent that made WCW so great are too old to make much of a difference almost a decade later. As for the “Outsiders,” Scott Hall was noticeably intoxicated on the first night on the job; while Sean Waltman too damaged by drug abuse to even speak or even perform. So right off the bat, TNA presented itself with the destructive forces that caused WCW to cast down its younger talent.
Yet, The Hulkster promised that TNA would be different by aiming at building up the younger guys on the roster, but if you wanted to keep your spot you would have to work hard. Seemed like a great wrestling philosophy at the time, especially when “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero became the #1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Title, things were looking up, brother. Then… things went out of hand when they had Pope lose the match at Lockdown, and the following night had Rob Van Dam win the strap.
The Hogan-Bischoff regime took a prominent wrestling promotion such as TNA and completely tore it down within four months. First off, TNA should have never moved to Monday Nights because it is no where near as organized as the WWE. Second, H-B turned A.J. Styles the most gifted pure “original” athlete in all of TNA and turned him into a cheap protegé of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Third, should never have hired problematic veterans: Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and The Nasty Boys. Fourth, should not have allowed the TNA Knockout division to diminish in credibility the way it did. And finally, actually kept to the promise of building and creating new stars.
TNA were determined to go head to head with WWE on the 9-11 slot, but it later turned into the 8-10 – allowing fans a head start in watching TNA. But with the ratings plummeting, SpikeTV had no choice but to cart TNA back to Thursday Nights. Hogan and Bischoff lost sight of their original goal, and hopefully this will bring about a better TNA. The TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Rob Van Dam had this to say about TNA moving back to Thursdays, “I think instead of dividing the fans, Thursdays offer more accessibility and should allow for us to grow,” said in his blog on RobVanDam.com.