Should TNA go back to monthly pay-per-views? No way

tnatna famously cut back on its pay-per-view schedule a year ago, going from a monthly pay-per-view to four pay TV shows per year. So now we’re 12 months and counting into the new schedule. And the early returns?

Well, tna is still in trouble financially, so from the cost-cutting perspective, the move hasn’t helped, or at least hasn’t helped enough.

And some would argue that the reduction in number of big shows has hurt the product more than any cost savings from cutting back would justify. A monthly pay-per-view enforces storyline discipline not only from show to show but also over the long term. Having a big show to work toward every month, thus, keeps everything rolling along in some coherent direction, whereas having just one money TV show every three months allows for some drifting between shows.

I’d argue in favor of the move by suggesting that the constant drumbeat that monthly pay-per-views enforces on the creative team and the talent on the roster can get to be too much.

That can be the case even for us fans. We can barely celebrate the pay-per-view that we just plunked down our money for without having to wonder how what happened on the pay show will play out on the next Raw, Smackdown or Impact.

I’d also suggest that WWE could benefit from adopting a less-is-more strategy, though I understand the fiscal realities faced by WWE, which is so big that it needs money coming in constantly just to keep the machine and all its constituent parts moving.

And the money keeps coming in, at least for WWE. Wrestling isn’t anywhere near where it was back in the late ‘90s at the height of the Monday Night Wars, but it’s still very profitable for the folks up in Connecticut.

The people down in Tennessee are still struggling to find the right formula. Hemorrhaging money to put on pay-per-views just because that’s what you’re supposed to do is not part of the right formula.

Good move, TNA.

Column by Chris Graham



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