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Could TNA’s World Title Series Be The Last Act Of A Dying Company…Or A New Beginning?



Last Wednesday night, TNA announced a World Title Series tournament to crown a new undisputed TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Matt Hardy won the title over a week ago at Bound for Glory in a Triple Threat match against Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway. The aftermath was EC3, the former champion, filing an “injunction” to get the belt off of Hardy and Hardy actually relinquishing the title in order to get the injunction off the company.

In reality, the TNA World Title Series was a way for the company to make a bad situation as good as possible. A few months ago it was announced that Destination America was going to opt out of their deal with TNA and cancel Impact Wrestling. With that announcement, TNA did not schedule any TV tapings after their Bound for Glory pay-per-view. It would have been “Best Of” shows and honestly they had a lot of material as TNA might have had some of their best shows within the last year. But something happened that put everything into a tailspin.

Destination America backed off their decision to cancel Impact Wrestling and threw TNA a lifeline until the end of the year. The problem…TNA had no tapings scheduled and no way to set one up last minute. While the company has cut tons of costs over the last year, they are still not financially stable enough to just put on a TV taping on short notice. So the alternative was to set up this round robin tournament to crown a new champion over the next few weeks with matches that were already taped for their One Night Only PPV shows months ago. So seeing Austin Aries, Kenny King and the recent NXT arrival James Storm in the tournament were… a bit odd but it was all they could do for the situation they were in.

The tournament has 32 competitors in eight divisions. Each division has four wrestlers who face each other in round…I will stop there. Tournament formats like this makes my eyes cross so I will not explain it. We all know that Aries, Storm and King will not be in the finals so that’s three out. For some odd reason, TNA included four Knockouts in the tournament which, no offense to the awesome Knockouts in TNA, they have no business in this tournament so that’s four more out. Add in other guys who have no chance of winning like Rockstar Spud or Crazzy Steve and others and really it’s like a 12 man tournament.

Many have stated that this is a desperate move for TNA and have compared it to the AWA’s ill-fated Team Challenge Series. In October 1989, AWA started this convoluted team based tournament where teams competed for “one million dollars” and on the surface it seemed like a concept that could work as it went on for almost a year. However just because it lasted for what seemed like forever, doesn’t mean it was good or even successful. At that time of the AWA, the promotion was not drawing fans (some of the matches of the TCS were done in empty arenas) and wrestlers who were in the tournament were leaving the company (Sgt. Slaughter among others).

Sounds familiar huh?

I feel like I write about TNA quite often and most of the time its all negative. I will give them credit; they are very good at making the best out of bad situations. Now while this was a self-inflicted wound as you should have shows planned no matter whether you are on television or not, they are taking chicken you know what and making chicken salad. Unfortunately as of this writing, there are no TV tapings planned until January 2016 when they make their annual pilgrimage to England although I feel TNA will have tapings in the coming weeks because frankly, it needs to happen. You need new TV and not canned matches until January at the earliest, especially if you are shopping for a new TV network to call home.

With Ring of Honor not where many think they should be (blame Sinclair Broadcasting for that) and Lucha Underground only on limited outlets, TNA is still the number two promotion in North America but only by default. Just because they are number two it doesn’t mean that they are in a good spot. After watching this promotion since its genesis, this may be the worst time for the company in its history. I said this before and I ill say it again, it will get worse before it gets better. They are trying to weather the storm and the next 3-6 months will determine whether the company will continue on or go the way of WCW, ECW and other promotions who receive “The Rise and Fall” treatment from the WWE.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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