TNA’s New Programming

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
TNA’s New Programming
The Kingfish Arnie Katz the coming expansion of TNA’s television programming.

The pro wrestling world is holding its collective breath, waiting to see what the Hogan-led TNA has in store for fans and its powerful rivals in Stanford, CT. Rumors of additional TNA shows have circulated for at east six months, but Hulk Hogan’s arrival after January 1 looks like the trigger for actually doing something.

TNA Epics is set to debut in January. It isn’t yet known if this is going to be an archive show like the program of that name now running in the UK or if they are just repurposing the name. In any case, there is already talk about another show – and that one is certain to be new content.

This seems the right time to speculate about what kind of video feast TNA expects to serve up in 2010.

The first question is the day and time for a new show that would be to iMPACT what Smackdownis toRAW. Hogan and Bischoff’s monumental egos are surely prompting them to push for a head-to-head confrontation against RAW. It’s the quickest way to change the balance of power and, after all, it worked for Bischoff and Hogan when they were both with WCW for a two-year wild ride.

A direct challenge may be a good strategy at some point, but it is premature at the present time. TNA doesn’t have the depth of roster or the marquee names that RAW can funnel into the show if and when war breaks out between WWE’s flagship and a competing TNA program.

If TNA is determined to go right at RAW, the best tactic might be to move iMPACT to Monday and start a new show on Thursday in the old iMPACT timeslot.

In the past, TNA has apparently leaned toward making the second show either all female or all X Division. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff certainly know that this would be a prescription for low ratings and quick failure. They are much more likely to favor a “mixed menu” like both iMPACT and RAW

How will TNA book Hogan and the new show? Word has already leaked that the main plot will be a faction war between teams led by Hulk Hogan and Mick Foley.

It looks like, for a change, it won’t be the Old Vets versus the Rising Stars. It can’t be as long as there are vets on each side. Right now, it looks like Foley’s faction will have Jeff Jarrett and maybe Team 3D and Rhino. Hogan is likely to have Ric Flair, Kevin Nash and perhaps Kurt Angle.

If it’s not an age conflict, then it’ll probably be a struggle for control of TNA and the right to set the promotion’s future direction, including the choice of whom to push. Frankly, the hardest thing to sell in the faction war will be to explain why it is taking place in a way that makes sense to the fans. TNA may settle for it being a clash of style and personalities.

It isn’t clear yet what size the factions will be. It could be four-to-five man groups, or the sides might involve most of the current roster. If TNA wants to launch a new show, the faction war should consume the promotion.

If I were booking this, I’d have Hulk Hogan and his cronies burst into iMPACT and full battle with Foley’s followers. They would beat Foley’s gang so bad that the Hogan faction would take the iMPACT/I> name and move to Monday. The Foley faction would then start a new show on Thursday. The two rosters would battle each other with frequent crossovers.

Whatever actually happens, the one guarantee is that it will be interesting. We can only hope that it will also be entertaining to watch.

That’s all for today! I’ll be back tomorrow with a fresh installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(12/11/09)