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Latest TNA rumors: No backup TV deal in place, "outright lies" to talent

TNA's future looks very bleak, as there seems to be no interest in their programming within the American TV industry, partially due to losing mainstream stars like Hulk Hogan, and is outright lying to its talent about its prospects of finding another deal.

These are stressful days for Dixie Carter
These are stressful days for Dixie Carter

By now, you should have all heard the widespread reports that Spike TV will be cancelling TNA Impact in the fall. Dixie Carter immediately went into damage limitation mode, publicly denying the story on Twitter, but our sources suggest that the relationship between TNA and Spike TV is almost certainly over and if TNA did re-sign with the network, then it would be for a drastically reduced price.

Dave Meltzer had a lot more on this story in his latest subscriber only Wrestling Observer Newsletter. So here's a round-up of his latest TNA news:

  • There seems to be no bitter feelings on Spike TV's end, as they are trying to be "as amenable as possible" to TNA during this difficult time and don't want to do anything to hurt TNA's negotiating leverage with other channels, which is why their official line is that negotiations are ongoing, despite that not being the case. If TNA does somehow find a new television deal, then Spike are willing to work with the promotion to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
  • There's speculation in the industry that Spike TV telling Dixie Carter that they weren't renewing Impact was a "hardball negotiating ploy" in order to reduce their asking price, or that the cancellation was due to Spike TV wanting to own their own wrestling promotion instead, like they do with Bellator in MMA, but both scenarios are deemed unlikely by Meltzer, but not completely impossible. In particular, there's no evidence whatsoever that Spike is attempting to buy a controlling interest in TNA and that just seems to be wishful thinking by some desperate people inside TNA.
  • Meltzer's sources believe that UTA, the company who are handling TNA's TV negotiations, didn't have a backup deal in place with another network. It will be hard for UTA to find any other potential suitors for Impact, as there's little interest in wrestling programming within the TV industry at the moment due to its terrible advertising rates, which means that cable channels can make more ad money from airing much lower rated shows. Meltzer confirmed that this was the main reason for Spike TV dumping TNA, a theory our very own Sean Reuter espoused on his last videocast.
  • The loss of Hulk Hogan is now seen as a major negative, as he's the one wrestling star that all TV executives know and could be impressed by, which would have at least gotten TNA their foot in the door to make some last minute pitches.
  • Unlike Dave Scherer of, Meltzer is still pushing that the revelation that Vince Russo was being employed by TNA against Spike TV's wishes was a factor in negotiations breaking down between the two sides.
  • As well as denying the story publicly, TNA privately sent an email to all their performers telling them not to believe the rumours and that while no deal was in place (with Spike TV) that they still hoped to announce good news shortly. Those in the know called the email "an outright lie", like the email late last year where Janice Carter denied that they were in talks to sell the company to a mystery buyer, later revealed to be Toby Keith. Amongst the talent themselves, although some bought it, many didn't believe the email due to all the times they've been misled and lied to by the company in the past. It was considered a red flag that the email didn't say that the company would continue regardless of the outcome of their American TV negotiations due to all their international deals.
  • There's also been some interesting gossip going around on Twitter. Here's the highlights:

  • Dylan Hales, who writes amusing reviews of TNA Impact for, argued that Spike TV didn't want to be carrying a wrestling promotion that couldn't keep its top talent: "Spike was not happy about the perception of TNA as a 2nd rate promotion mooching off of the TV teet for survival. [I] was told the inability to keep Sting was a major annoyance to some Spike people who ponied up cash to bring him in." Clearly, TNA losing the majority of their big names over the last few years and the expectation that the rest would leave when their contracts expired surely played a part in Spike TV souring on the brand.
  • Hales also tweeted that "Also TNA office people telling local promoters to wait till Monday to book talent because they might be able to get them cheaper is a disgraceful thing. That happened." Hmm, what were we saying about TNA's treatment of talent four years ago.
  • It's believed that some TNA insiders were burying Court Bauer for making up or inflating the Spike TV cancels Impact story, which led to him tweeting that TNA were "Saving face on a lame duck situation. Now I’m being attacked through back channels. Weird."
  • Finally, David Bixenspan of claimed that Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling was not a real promotion because he "completely no-sold requests for a meeting to arrange a business deal that would potentially be very beneficial for them." Of course, now that the wrestling landscape has changed again, that could also change.
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