TNA Wrestling has lost a step over the last few years with various departures, multiple TV contract failures, and numerous creative issues. This past year, Matt Hardy managed to excite a lot of people with his new gimmick about being over 2,000-years-old and from the future. Obviously, the Hardy character has caught on ironically due to the hilarity of it, but it also made you want to pay attention to TNA.
Matt Hardy thought that TNA could use more fans, and he was right. Casual TNA fans are really nonexistent due to the fact that if someone plans to watch wrestling, they won’t go to Pop TV to do it. Instead, they’ll tune into one of the shows from the WWE. Of course, WWE is the most recognizable name in pro-wrestling, so many times they’ll come to an area and parents will just buy tickets to take their kids to a show without really watching much of the product.
The main thing WWE leans on are those types of fans who will watch because of the stars more than anything, but they have recently begun to realize the hardcore fans cannot be ignored and seem to be giving fans more material that they can enjoy. Meanwhile, TNA is still growing, and Hardy felt he could interest people enough to tune in. If nothing else, he could make them watch a train wreck and the fans might keep coming back anyway.
The idea has worked slightly, but it’s also had some problems. The new Matt Hardy character has not increased ratings for TNA that much, if at all. However, it has brought attention to the product and Hardy in general. WWE does plan to bring Matt Hardy back if he so desires, and they also want to grab his brother Jeff Hardy as well. Jeff has been very vocal about a return to the WWE while Matt has been okay with doing what he is doing now. This could be due to Jeff feeling he may retire in a few years and would like one last big run with the WWE before he does.
The reason Matt may stick around TNA could be due to some interesting news. According to Cageside Seats, TNA might give Matt Hardy more influence in the company next year. This does seem to have to do with creative, as TNA’s really been leaning on the Hardy brothers for months now, and they do not have major creative members returning to the company next year.
This includes Billy Corgan, who oversaw a lot of the TNA programming during the fall. Of course, the major Total Nonstop Deletion show did not spark the kind of ratings TNA hoped it would. Corgan is now gone with a few others, and that means there should be no shock that TNA is leaning on people like Matt Hardy to help them out.
The major issue for TNA is that while Matt Hardy has brought attention to TNA, the ratings have not done well enough. Funny enough, on YouTube, the Deletion videos seem to do very well, and anything Hardy does outside of TNA tends to get a lot of attention. There are millions of online views for Hardy, and that has led many to believe that if TNA went to the internet, it would see a lot more ratings. However, that is unlikely due to TV contracts being so helpful financially.
In not doing this, however, they are stuck putting out random clips hoping to interest you into watching again. However, if the Hardys are the only highlight and TNA uses those videos to promote, why would fans want to see the other stuff? There is a lot to be said about the fact that TNA is willing to give more influence to Matt Hardy.
Some might believe it is simply good for business while others believe it could be a desperate move by the TNA organization to not only help themselves creatively but also a last-ditch effort to keep Matt around when his contract expires in February. Both he and Jeff have contracts coming up, and it is no secret the WWE is willing to pay to get both Jeff and Matt Hardy to return together. TNA could be trying all they can to not lose the last thing fans are truly into with them.
[Featured Image by TNA Wrestling]