Friday, July 3, 2015

The day you put on great title matches and no one shows up

This last week has not been a pretty one for televised wrestling. Raw took a massive drop in ratings to get one of its lowest ranked shows ever. Ring of Honor also took a massive plummet. But even Impact Wrestling fell while still advertising two solid title matches in one night: a thirty man Iron man battle for the vacant tag titles and the long awaited showdown between Ethan Carter III and Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

By all accounts, both matches delivered. The battle between Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, The Wolves, and Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, the Dirty Heels, was a thirty minute modern classic by four stars at the top of their game. With a full thirty minutes to work the crowd and each other, this seemed to be the perfect match to answer all the complaints that Impact Wrestling matches rarely spread out over a maximum of ten minutes. But the four men appear to have made fans flee the program instead of stay with it. This of course brings into question what television wrestling fans are really hoping to get out of Impact every week. Are the fans that want longer matches the true movers of the program? Or is it the more casual fans drawn up in the often overly complicated storylines.

But no match on Impact in recent months had as much build as Ethan Carter III versus Kurt Angle. The build for the two men's title match has been huge. Over the past two years, the former Derrick Bateman proved he was a capable main eventer in TNA. Nowhere could he prove that more aptly than in a main event title match against a multiple Hall of Famer like Kurt Angle.

EC3 would walk away with his first TNA World Heavyweight title, but he would not lead the show to good ratings.

Impact Wrestling is already on fragile ground. I am not a doomsayer for the company, nor am I a person that ever believes everything Dave Meltzer writes about its future. But it is a company in need of viewers and a path. With the current set of spoilers for the next month, it seems to be finally on the path. But it is anyone's guess whether the viewers will ever return.

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