In what is likely coincidental timing but will make TNA look like copycats again, soon after the official rebranding of World Wrestling Entertainment into WWE, news broke earlier this week, courtesy of Wade Keller and James Caldwell of the Pro Wrestling Torch, that TNA is also considering plans to rebrand its company. Details from the Torch of the planned changes were vague, but the decision to shake things up with a promotional makeover and possible name change has been prompted by TV ratings not growing like TNA management desired. Despite an influx of star power over the last 18 months (Hogan, Flair, Bischoff, the Hardys, Rob Van Dam, Mr Anderson, etc), Impact's ratings remain stuck in the 1.1-1.2 range outside of small bumps for the occasional heavily hyped TV special. Moreover, they have seen in recent months a disturbing erosion in male 18-34 viewers, Spike TV's key demographic. There was speculation that the rebranding may also lead to changes in the creative team and an overhaul of the roster, but I'm sceptical of those ideas given that Dixie Carter seems spellbound by the Rasputin of the wrestling business, Vince Russo, and the top stars are all likely to have contracts that are difficult, if not nigh impossible, to break.
Dave Meltzer clarified this story in his April 13th subscribers only Wrestling Observer Newsletter. TNA isn't necessarily planning to change the name of their company, but wants to push the name of their television show Impact harder, while giving the look of the show a revamp. While I agree with Meltzer that TNA needs more substantial changes than merely a different name, I disagree that their name isn't a negative to the company. At the very least it's horribly outdated, as the TNA name was inspired by the phrase tits and ass or T&A for short when the Jarretts conceived that their new promotion would be pay per view only and thus that they could get away with a much edgier product than they do now. Moreover, at the time they hoped that some suckers would accidentally buy their weekly PPV shows due to the sleazy name over the mistaken belief that it must be porn. It wasn't even an original idea as two years earlier WWE had named the tag team of Andrew "Test" Martin and Matt "Albert" Bloom T&A for short as a way to push the debuting fitness model Trish Stratus. For a mainstream wrestling company to still be named after such slang is ridiculously silly when they are trying to attract corporate sponsors who are already likely to have a negative stigma of professional wrestling to begin with. So a name change would be a long overdue and welcome change even if nothing else changes at all.