SpikeTV cancels TNA Reaction

Over in the “Yeah, I Totally Saw That Coming” department, SpikeTV has officially canceled TNA’s Reaction.  The show, which aired at the 11pm hour directly following Impact has been routinely mocked by your Masked Marvel for its habit of containing the main event of Impact and absolutely nothing else of consequence.  Dixie Carter has downplayed it by saying it was never picked up by Spike for a full run, and thus it had run its course.  Something tells me that wouldn’t have been the tune had it been picked up through 2011.

Reaction’s ultimate fate was predictable in that it regularly failed to hold onto Impact’s numbers, usually cruising around .5-something ratings.  And even those numbers were inflated since Impact almost always ran 10-15 minutes into the show.

Reaction’s cancellation is an example that the reality TV direction that has been the sign of TNA’s times in the Hogan/Bischoff era simply isn’t working.  Popular reality TV shows are known for their format of something happening, and then an interview clip is shown in which someone talks about what just happened.  Reaction was the means to add that formula into Impact.  But even in the nonsensical TNA, the actions hardly need to be explained.  Why do I need an interview with Samoa Joe telling me why he’s fighting Jeff Jarrett?  I watched it all go down.  I know why he’s fighting Jeff Jarrett.

But beyond the reality TV bit, Reaction was also an effort to play into another aspect of the wrestling world.  Fans are interested in what goes on behind the curtain.  They like seeing the wrestlers talking with one another and seeing who does what in the production area.  It’s why dirt sheet sites do well.  It’s why documentaries like Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows and Beyond the Mat are so intriguing.  So in theory, Reaction tried to play to that crowd.  Unfortunately, by having everyone stay in character and talk about the show that just went down, the fans looking for that kind of reality are turned away.  And really, why would anyone want to relive aspects of an episode of Impact?  Do you really want to hear Kazarian talk more?

Reaction’s final episode airs tonight.  It’ll probably include Impact’s main event.

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