On Wednesday, Destination America dropped the bombshell announcement that Ring of Honor will be premiering on the network next week as the lead-in to Impact Wrestling. The news solidified ROH as the #2 national promotion and sent TNA another curveball that can be seen as “not bad news” from the most optimistic viewpoint.
TNA’s rocky relationship with Destination America and the uncertainty of Impact’s future past September was already a developing story with a lot of moving parts. With ROH now in the mix, let’s take a look at what this means for both companies moving forward.
– This is a big win for ROH. They’ve been negotiating with Destination America prior to the decision to drop Impact at the end of the third quarter. TNA moving to Destination America was seen as a step down for the struggling promotion, losing nearly half their TV exposure and working with a partner that soured on the relationship almost immediately. ROH is now available in several new top markets (including New York City and Los Angeles), is a far less expensive show to air than TNA and by all accounts, the people running ROH are far less erratic than Dixie Carter. That said, this is only a test run for ROH and the show is only scheduled to air on Destination America through the end of the year. They don’t have to equal TNA’s viewership to be a worthy replacement.
– The Ring of Honor lead-in could help or hurt TNA. The first impression is that Destination America is already bringing in TNA’s replacement and will use TNA to solidify ROH’s presence on the network. Destination America signed with ROH under the assumption that Impact is getting phased out this year and it’s hard to get around that fact. Alternatively, ROH could also help strengthen TNA’s viewership and establish an appealing block of wrestling action for fans of both companies.
– Ring of Honor’s relationship with WWE could be affected. ROH & WWE are on good terms, with ROH serving as a feeder system for WWE/NXT and WWE understanding the importance of talent development that takes place outside of their corporate umbrella. With ROH now on national TV, WWE could pull back on their willingness to let guys like Samoa Joe work for ROH and could get more aggressive poaching ROH talent to beef up NXT, which will be expanding their touring schedule in 2016.
ROH joining Destination America is not the nail in the coffin for TNA, but TNA’s survival is as uncertain as ever. Their successor just showed up to the party and we are now going to see what happens when their backs are truly against the wall. Facing cancelation for the second time in two years, TNA’s fate might already be sealed – or we could be on the cusp of an exciting new chapter in wrestling history.
Share your feedback below and tell us what show(s) will be airing on Destination America come 2016.