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SLAM! Speaks: The future of TNA
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff


Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist

While TNA has become well known for its non-stop action over the last three years, there has been another constant with the company, that being the question of will it survive.

Since TNA debuted with weekly pay-per-view events, voices around the company have wondered aloud whether or not the Tennessee-based organization will continue. For a long time, the answer appeared to be "yes", and have even gained strength in the industry by via a television contract and getting deep into souvenir development, including DVDs, apparel and toys.

As TNA heads to Slammiversary this Sunday, however, those doubts are starting to pop up again, largely due to a lack of television programming. Will TNA be around for three more years? That's the question that was asked to the SLAM! Wrestling staff this week.

Greg Oliver
I think the question is actually, 'will TNA be around in three months?' at the moment.

Without a TV outlet for its product in the U.S., their prospects are bleak. With a decent outlet soon -- even back on Fox Sports Net -- then I can see them around in three years. By its very nature, wrestling needs competition. Even in the territorial days, the magazines fostered interest in the territories other than your own, which furthered your appreciation for wrestling abroad. In today's society, it's 'what are the other promotions doing?' -- both on TV/PPVs and at live shows. If TNA disappeared in three months, eventually someone would try to step up and provide a viable second-level promotion to WWE.

Jon Waldman
I would love to say that TNA will be around come June 2008, but unfortunately I cannot see it happening.

When you look at TNA's numbers, they only have a couple revenue streams at the moment. Product sales and PPV buys account for a lot of their income, while they have a ton of expenses; heck, they had to buy their time on Fox Sports Net.

The biggest problem with TNA is this: they are essentially a regional promotion with a national audience; but unlike current and previous groups in that situation (ECW, ROH), they do not charge fans to see their shows, nor do they stage events outside of Orlando. I never quite understood why they have been unable to go beyond the walls of Universal Studios. I don't think it's beyond the realm of realistic thought that they could bring 12-20 wrestlers to a location and draw a gate of a couple thousand wrestling fans.

This is what TNA needs to do to survive; they have to show their product. Say what you want about WWE's house show business, but the bottom line is that live events do bring in money, both from ticket revenue and merchandise sales. If TNA does not take their show on the road quickly, they will be gone soon, TV or no TV.

Do you think TNA will be around for Slammiversary 2008? Send us your thoughts. Reader e-mails will be posted next week.

-- compiled by Jon Waldman


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