Beer Money making their entrance at Bound For Glory 2008 in Chicago. This year they are set to headline that pay-per-view in TNA's regular haunt of the Impact Zone in Orlando. Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
Everyone within TNA management realises that they need to get their TV tapings and pay-per-views out of the Impact Zone, a small 1,400 seat arena based in Universal Studios Florida with an audience that blows hot and cold, which makes them look rinky dink in comparison to their competitor WWE. But unfortunately with Spike TV unwilling to cover the extra costs after their experimental tapings on the road last year had no effect on Impact's ratings it is cost prohibitive. Taping Impact live too would be even better, but that would be a sure fire way to rack up even more red ink for the cash strapped company, something Dixie Carter is well aware of:
I would love to be live, I really would! Some people don't think that would be the difference, some people think being out on the road more. I think if we knew what the answer was, we could move there a lot more quickly. It's definitely cost. We sell a couple of shows back-to-back. Part of it is a cost-issue, and the other part is do you stay in the Impact Zone and go live? I think you're gonna see a lot of changes in the company to the end of this year and hopefully beyond. We're looking at a lot of different ways to do business and shake some stuff up. I'm excited about the things we're talking about.
Clearly whatever shake ups she has planned don't involve leaving the safety and security of their Orlando home, because as things currently stand, according to Dave Meltzer in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, all their remaining televised shows this year apart from Slammiversary will be taped in the Impact Zone, including their biggest annual PPV Bound For Glory:
After 5/13, the Slammiversary show will be in Arlington, TX, on 6/10, which is considered a major show and as things stand will be the last PPV or television show not done in Orlando until at least 2013. In a surprise, as things stand right now, every television taping the rest of the year is set for the Impact Zone, so nothing is planned at arenas due to cost issues. In addition, because they can't make money on a live gate, even Bound for Glory this year will be at the Impact Zone as things stand. They've got the Impact Zone booked for PPV dates on 7/8, 8/12, 9/9, 10/14 (Bound for Glory), 11/11 and 12/9.
It's really a sad state of affairs when TNA's version of WrestleMania for the first time since its inception in 2005 has to be moved back to the freeloaders in Orlando because the company has no confidence in drawing much more than a couple thousand paying fans in a major arena elsewhere in the country. That's with a roster still over bloated with mainstream stars from the past including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle. Personally I'd take the financial hit of running Bound For Glory anywhere but the Impact Zone, just because it's such a credibility hit for the number two promotion in the United States to run such an important event at their regular locale. This is taking penny pinching to the extreme.