The Influence of the Indies

Owens 2

AS I SEE IT: The Influence of the Indies
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

The indy news keeps on coming, as Discovery Communication’s Destination America (which has been serving as TNA’s most recent home…a stay reported to be ending this September), announced Wednesday that Ring Of Honor will be airing on their network starting June 3.

ROH will make its debut THIS Wednesday, June 3, at 8:00 pm EDT, as the lead in (at least for the summer) to TNA’s Impact. It has a 26 week agreement with Destination America.

The news was announced on Twitter via Destination America’s account, then by press release from Discovery Communications.

“With the electric and intense matches that RING OF HONOR provides, Destination America is the network for fans to get an entire evening of jaw-dropping entertainment on Wednesday nights,” said Marc Etkind, general manager of Destination America. “RING OF HONOR showcases tenacity, athleticism and passion and it serves as the place where America’s favorite wrestling stars are born.”

The press release states that Destination America will be “the home for wrestling every Wednesday evening” with a three hour block with ROH and TNA.

Last week, Dave Meltzer reported that Destination America is dropping TNA Wrestling from its lineup come September owing to high costs, not supported by ad revenue or ratings. TNA President Dixie Carter denied the story, and claimed she would take legal action against those who “keep fabricating lies about them and their broadcast partner”; a threat that has been ignored by wrestling media.

Meltzer instead responded to the threats Wednesday by posting a memo from Destination America, proving his report to be accurate:

“Destination America is not renewing TNA Wrestling next year. While the ratings were strong, the audience was not large enough to justify the program investment. We plan to honor the current contract and continue to air original episodes of TNA Wrestling on Friday nights through the end of the third quarter 2015…

…When the up-front rate card is released, the Friday night anthology title will now be called ‘American Tales,’ which will be a combination of Paranormal and Americana programming. I hope this is good news given all of the advertisers that included TNA on their DNA list.”

One of the major factors in the cancellation was the lack of advertisers during the show. A “DNA list” is a “do not advertise” list. Later in the day, after the Ring of Honor news was announced, Carter held a conference call with her employees and talent Wednesday, but refused to address Destination America (leaving anyone to wonder WHY she did the call in the first place).
Meanwhile for those of you who plan on watching Ring of Honor, a couple notes. This is the same show that airs in Sinclair syndicated stations through the United States (as well as others the show Sinclair distributes it to), typically on the preceding Saturday. Destination America can be found on Dish Network on Channel 194, on DirecTV Channel 286, on Verizon FiOS: 668(HD)/168(SD); AT&T U-verse 1465 (HD)/ 465 (SD) , on Cox Communications 103 (SD)/1103 (HD), Comcast/Xfinity (varies), Charter Communications (99), Time Warner Cable (135) and WOW cable companies (varies).

If not listed, find where/if your carrier airs Destination America, by going to their website’s channel finder.

Then, last night…if there was any doubt about the influence indies were having on the NXT brand and WWE…in what even local Montreal newspapers described as the biggest match of his life…Kevin (Steen) Owens went over John Cena clean in what many viewed as the real main event of last night’s Elimination Chamber WWE Network-only event. In an excellent hard-hitting back and forth match, Owens pinned Cena after a pop-up powerbomb.

Until next time…

Bob Magee