Skip to main content

WON Preview: The day that began TNA's road to financial struggle


The following is an excerpt from this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, available for subscribers. Ordering information is below.

"What has been the long-time inevitable, but several times delayed, financial implosion of TNA can really be traced back to one afternoon.

Largely based on a contract with Spike TV, TNA was taking in more revenue than any pro wrestling company in the world aside from WWE through 2014. If a company like ECW would have gotten that type of a deal, they would probably still be flourishing today. With the exception of WCW at the end, almost no wrestling company in history wouldn’t have been able to be profitable, and most would have been able to put out a killer product with a two-hour prime time slot and that level of television revenue.

Just five years ago, TNA’s total revenue, largely due to Spike, was multiples of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Since then, each company went in opposite directions. One created stars and put on great shows even with a major television handicap of a horrible time slot. The other squandered talent and did angles that nobody bought, thinking it was the only way, and made no stars. New Japan is now multiple times ahead of TNA, even in the United States where New Japan’s audience, when you factor in the homes available, is roughly identical to that of TNA -- even on a far worse television night and airing matches ten months old.

In fact, TNA was even able to be profitable for a time, although it overextended itself in 2010 when trying to directly challenge WWE, signing Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Eric Bischoff, Kevin Nash, Jeff Hardy, and Rob Van Dam, and moving to Monday nights. The second Monday Night War was hardly like the first one. Instead of a legendary conflict, it was pro wrestling’s equivalent to the 1967 Six Day War, a quick and painful one-sided massacre.

A mistake was made right off the bat as instead of starting one hour earlier in a move that would give TNA the edge, Bischoff made the call to go head-to-head. That may have ended up making no difference in the long run as they did switch time slots weeks later, but that didn’t work out either and they were quickly off Mondays.

The other killer financially was a move that seemingly had to be made: moving out of Orlando and touring arenas for television tapings although they couldn’t make it work fiscally,

TNA is still alive today, although it is in intensive care and the pulse is weakening. The health issues may date back to that period mentioned above, but the critical condition dates back to July 15, 2014."


Get the full story on TNA, a look at UFC layoffs, and all the news of the week with a subscription to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter -- available immediately for digital subscribers.

How can I subscribe?

Digital Only subscriptions begin at $10.99/month and include access to back issues of the Observer Newsletter, Figure Four Weekly, and tens of thousands of hours. Subscribe now and get immediate access to everything. Note that digital doesn't include the print subscription.

What about print?

Print subscriptions are available, but do not include the digital versions. Order by emailing your contact information to for a follow-up. You can also pay via PayPal ( Rates vary via country, so please indicate what country you live in.

Subscribe today!