TNA Wrestling Beat: ‘Impact’ viewers up again, Bully Ray, Del Rio updates, Lashley to drop title?
The show drew 1.085 million viewers on SpikeTV this week, up 18 percent over last week and up more than 23 percent from the cratered 852,000 viewers for the Wednesday-night debut two weeks ago.
Three weeks ago, in its last Thursday broadcast, “Impact” drew 1.126 million viewers, so TNA is back to within 3 percent of where it was before the sudden forced move.
TNA World Champ Bobby Lashley to drop title next week? Bobby Lashley may be dropping his TNA World Title at next week’s TV tapings, according to one report, citing the company’s concern over his moonlighting gig on Friday night on a Bellator MMA card.
A Lashley loss on the MMA show could force TNA’s hand with Lashley, though one would also have to expect that a win by the champ on a legitimate fight card could force TNA’s hand in the other direction. It would be hard to imagine the company taking the strap off a fighter who proved his mettle in an MMA ring.
The talk coming out of the backstage, then, doesn’t show a lot of confidence from TNA higher-ups on Lashley’s readiness for the Bellator fight.
Quick hits: Most backstage don’t expect Bully Ray, whose TNA contract expired last month, to return, but there is some speculation that he will be back and at the TV tapings in Bethlehem, Pa., next week. TNA execs are also said to be making efforts to contact recently released former WWE champ Alberto Del Rio.
– Column by Chris Graham