November 16, 2006
Time for TNA's big nightShift to primetime signals a new wrestling war
By CHRIS SCHRAMM - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight marks in a new era for TNA. Not only does Kurt Angle make his in-ring debut but Impact makes its move to 9 p.m. ET on SpikeTV.
The move from the old time of 11 p.m. ET is a giant step for TNA who hopes this timeslot will bring a large increase in viewers. Thursday has always been a strong night for basic television, but the time difference is what TNA is most excited about.
"It's huge," Steven Godfrey of TNA public relations told SLAM! Wrestling. "At 9 p.m. more people have their televisions on."
TNA is banking on higher ratings to convince SpikeTV to give TNA a second hour of programming during the week.
"We have always wanted two hours," Godfrey said. "It would help everything in the company immensely."
The talent is excited about the move as well.
"This is exciting for the wrestlers," A.J. Styles said. "It's a giant opportunity for us."
Tonight's Impact will be two hours and feature a PPV-like line-up.
Kurt Angle will make his in-ring debut against TNA's monster, Abyss. Angle's debut has been heavily hyped in commercials airing not only on TNA but on other cable stations. TNA even bought airtime during WWE's RAW. (TNA purchased time through local cable companies without WWE's control or knowledge.)
David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals -- and the World Series MVP - will be making a guest experience. Also, the James Gang will cut a promo on Vince McMahon and the WWE.
Chris Schramm has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 1997. He will represent SLAM! Wrestling at Wrestlemania 23 in Detroit. Future articles include a look at TNA's move to 9 p.m., a history of G.L.O.W. (including interviews with some girls), and a Q & A with former SLAM! Wrestling writer John Molinaro as a part of the tenth anniversary celebrations. Email him at email@example.com.