By Ryan Clark
UPDATE x 2: In a recent blog on his JRSBARBQ.com website, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross says TNA is being “irresponsible” by not addressing the Destination America cancelling TNA iMPACT! Wrestling reports. We noted in our exclusive report the other day that TNA staff and talent hadn’t been told anything and they were worried about their futures. Multiple sources have told us that staff members and talent are frustrated as they are once again getting no information from TNA management and Dixie Carter. Jim Ross confirmed that in his most recent blog, stating:
“TNA not addressing the rampant TV rumors of their relationship with Destination America is irresponsible. I’ve talked to many within the company who have no idea what their future holds and that’s not good business. Silence speaks volumes more often than not in the wrestling business when it comes to communicating with talent and of that I speak from extensive experience.”
Another source told us, “the fact that they (the company) aren’t saying anything …. and Destination America isn’t outright denying the reports makes you believe there is some truth to it (the reports)..” Another source (a mid-card talent) directly asked us if we had any further information we would be able to give them as they were completely “in the dark” regarding their future.
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
UPDATE: TNA President Dixie Carter has not addressed the TNA-Destination America issue with the TNA staff in Nashville, TN. She was in Texas over the weekend, but has a meeting scheduled with staff this afternoon. Many within the company are said to be unhappy that nothing has been said beyond the email/statement TNA issued last week.
Multiple sources have confirmed to us that the situation seems very similar to the SpikeTV issues last year where there was very little communication leaving talent and staff members in the dark and wondering about their long-term futures.
ORIGINAL: Here are the latest details on TNA’s situation with Destination America …
* Those within TNA were very upset with the cancellation reports going around last week and have denied that the network has told them anything. To be honest, they are absolutely correct as the network hasn’t told them anything and are denying the reports for obvious reasons (TV contracts, etc.). The same people were upset because Destination America had two representatives in Nashville all last week working on creative plans with Billy Corgan, John Gaburick and the rest of the creative team. These plans reportedly are for the rest of 2015.
* The two “upper management” officials from Destination America made it clear to Dixie Carter and other top TNA officials as well as their creative team that there needed to be some changes and ratings needed to increase by the end of 2015 (around the fall). For those unaware, Destination America has an “out clause” in the fall of 2015 where they can cancel iMPACT! Wrestling if they are not satisfied with the product and/or ratings.
* There was a plan last week to film an interview where Josh Mathews would sit down with Dixie Carter to respond to the reports. They dropped those plans and opted to release the statement that came out late last week. The feeling is that the statement should have come from Destination America, due to fans expecting wrestling promotions to work them or not tell them the truth. As you all know by now, this has happened before with TNA/SpikeTV. Destination America didn’t issue any statement and hasn’t denied the rumors which makes things even more suspicious. They are also refusing to respond to inquiries regarding the cancellation reports. Several Destination America sources have confirmed to us that they didn’t want the story out for obvious reasons once again (contracts, etc.). This was a “secret” internally among Destination America officials and they were shocked when the story surfaced online as only a select few people knew about it.
* There is a report going around (originally from Voices of Wrestling) which says that Dixie Carter accidentally cc’d a top Destination America executive in on an email complaining about the Network. This story has been going around internally and no one in TNA has outright denied this happened. A source in the company did say that relations between the two sides became strained after the email. The network wasn’t happy with the email and Destination America executives aren’t happy with the product and ratings. When initial talks to bring TNA Wrestling to the network began, TNA discussed “big ratings”, “home grown talent”, “big names on their shows”, etc. Obviously, they did everything possible to hype their product in hopes of landing a TV deal. Destination America representatives are not returning requests for comment on the Dixie Carter email.
* It should be noted that Destination America officials did NOT outright tell Dixie Carter or TNA management that they were cancelling TNA iMPACT! Wrestling during the meetings last week. They simply made it clear that they were not satisfied with the current product and ratings but hoped to be able to “turn things around.” As noted, they spoke with TNA’s creative team to see what could be done to improve the well below-expected ratings. The Destination American executives were very receptive in listening to TNA officials to see how they could improve the product/ratings.
* It should also be noted that the same thing happened with SpikeTV last year and TNA officials denied those stories as they simply hadn’t been told yet due to television contracts. SpikeTV kept things very secret until it was time to make an announcement. Many fear the same exact thing is happening here. Multiple Destination America officials have said privately that TNA won’t last on their network and will likely be booted by the end of the year unless things drastically change as far as ratings are concerned.
* The moral of the story is this: Destination America officials aren’t happy with the ratings. TNA isn’t thrilled with the network and what they are doing to promote their product. Also, remember what happened with SpikeTV when the company denied, denied and denied …. until they were finally notified that SpikeTV was cancelling them. Nobody, including some within TNA, believed those reports until an official announcement was made. The same thing seems to be happening here and TNA officials simply haven’t been notified it’s happening as of this writing. We’ll see what happens this fall and whether ratings increase, etc.
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
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