The last time WWE faced competition of any kind, their format looked very similar to its current state and they were trounced mercilessly for nearly a year and a half in television ratings. TNA isn't WCW, but some of the same pieces are in place. In fact, more pieces are in place now than ever before. In an unfortunate twist of events, TNA is not able to enjoy the kind of success WCW had as of yet. The reasons are few, but strong.
TNA doesn't have the luxury of a Ted Turner to rely on or TNT as their network of choice, not that network is of utmost importance, but ready availability to said network is. With DirecTV's differences with Viacom, TNA's ascent to the top has become somewhat more complicated. Fans COULD switch their providers, and with MTV, Comedy Central, and other high profile channels being withheld from view by the dispute, some might do just that, but I'd bet the negotiations between both parties will clear up the viewing habits of the masses sooner than later. Nevertheless, this is a very large bump on the road to success.
Angelina Love, Shannon Moore, Traci Brooks, Ric Flair, and Alex Shelley have jumped ship for other promotions and opportunities elsewhere. Their loss makes a dent in the roster and even though those who would look to keep the roster full are able to feel the loss of their presence. What TNA does NOT need right now is more holes in their divisions.
The Impact Zone
This is a Catch 22 in the most literal sense of the words. TNA needs money to travel out of the Impact Zone, but in order to make money, they need to travel. See the dilemma? The very instrument of TNA's survival also constrains their growth. The influx of money from what travel they DO do helps, but not enough to sustain them for the long haul. TNA is an entity that needs to grow out of their confines and their network woes only add to the complications they have in front of them.
TNA is facing a critical moment right now. They need to do one of two things.
1. Have their Viacom/DirecTV situation solved
2. Move to a new network more accessible by the masses
Spike TV has been faithful to TNA over the years and many thanks go out to their executives who have given them the ball to run with, but this dispute needs to be resolved once and for all. USA hasn't experienced the same disputes as they relate to WWE's fans. If that WERE the case, TNA would be in the driver's seat and NOT in second place for long. TNT would be a good choice, as would any number of channels that have an action packed fan base. The point is, by putting themselves in a position where their network home won't be in jeopardy, TNA can flourish....but until that time.....