Ratings drop for Impact: a lesson that TNA will never learn

After posting the highest Thursday rating of the year (1.4) for the Impact after Bound for Glory, TNA’s follow-up episode last week posted a 1.16 rating.  That’s nearly a 20% drop in just a week.  Of course, this wasn’t a complete shock for those who watched the Impact after Bound for Glory, filled with talking, talking, talking, and less than 15 minutes of actual wrestling (not counting that which spilled over to Reaction).  The ratings for that episode steadily declined as the show went on, with the lowest numbers (1.23) coming with the J-Woww/Shore confrontation, which coincidentally was the most promoted segment on the show.

PW Torch has a very interesting analysis piece on the numbers.

After watching the follow-up show, it seems that despite its months of build and the fan interest it sparked, TNA has once again wasted its opportunity by falling into its usual sea of ineptitude.  Alright, that might not be a fair assumption, since it has only been two weeks since Bound for Glory, but history does not show a favorable future for this current run.

TNA runs from one “gotcha” moment to the next, priding itself on its ability to fool the fans.  Unfortunately, they don’t consider whether these moments make sense with what came before it, nor do they bother to think about what to do afterwords.  The former point lessens the impact of the moment in fans’ eyes, as they don’t think the new idea will last, since the last string of “gotcha” moments didn’t.  The latter causes what was evidenced with the steady ratings decline over the past two shows.  Fans were interested by the revelation of Bound for Glory and the turning of Jeff Hardy.  Fans tuned in to see what would happen.  Instead of pulling out the stops to give fans something to come back to, TNA instead gave a show made up nearly entirely of talking.  This is what TNA was telling fans their show would be about, and it came as no surprise that fans turned away from their product.  What was the main feature of Impact?  A one-and-done guest spot by a cast member of Jersey Shore…and not even one of the popular ones.

By this point, it can safely be assumed that TNA doesn’t understand how to put together a cohesive storyline.  Despite their telling on Reaction of just how Immortal came together, the past ten months of TNA have been a nearly incoherent gluing together of moments.  So many things have been announced as a “huge deal” – Flair vs. Hogan, the feud over the Hall of Fame ring, the Ranking System, EV2, Fortune – but none of them have lasted.  Flair vs. Hogan fizzled out, the Hall of Fame ring was thrown away in two shows, the Ranking System was abandoned when the title was thrown out, EV2 can’t really do much, and Fortune does nothing but lose.  And none of it matters anymore, because someone in TNA found something else that screams “gotcha”.

And fans aren’t going to follow TNA with any kind of consistency.  Sure, the “gotcha” might spark brief ratings, but without any kind of consistency or follow-through, TNA’s ratings will settle back down into their baseline 1.0 level and the company will never grow.  And they seem to either be unable to grasp that or they are simply not concerned about it.

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