In a land where ratings aren't the best way of determining how good a product is, they are ONE way of seeing how a cross section of the American population views it. That said, TNA deserves some credit for their work giving the greenest talents on their roster a chance to shine. However, the viewing American public was far less kind. TNA experienced a HUGE drop. In fact, a 0.77 rating. That, for those who are curious, is the lowest rating in 6 years. I don't think it's a reflection of business as usual, though. Some would shrug me off as making excuses because I love the product. If you read my column a few back, you know that's not true. My list of grievances may not be long, but they ARE rather large problems.
In any case, my explanation....I think I already covered that. That's right. I believe the lack of viewership comes from a lack of experience on the part of the Gut Check winners, with a great deal of the blame going to someone I've already gut checked, Garett Bischoff. The rating does show that his being revealed as the current member, ready to give a lesson to the young upstart was a HUGE disappointment. If I were a casual viewer, I wouldn't sit still and watch a bunch of know nothings try and keep up with those who only know marginally more. It'd be like watching the blind lead the blind.
The worst part of it, though, is that the Christian York match wasn't bad. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. The two men have quite a long history, as I've said before. I doubt very much that this week will be a repeat performance, but TNA HAS to step up their game and do something productive with this Bully Ray and Brooke situation before they run in to much larger problems. Compoundly, they also need to keep moving forward with the Aces and Eights OR with the Joseph Park character story. I've been saying for a while now that his character needs to begin making a transformation or undergo some kind of forward change to bring about an interesting return of Abyss.
I doubt there was ever a more dramatic misuse of the Abyss character than in the "power of the ring" story near the beginning of the Immortal timeline. I'm guessing that creative knows how members of their viewing public feel on that front. How could they not? But back to the issue at hand, Abyss is a character that is sorely needed to provide some link to times that feel they've moved past. If they can provide a good, solid story that brings back that character, people will get behind it....mark my words.
TNA deserves a lot of credit for trying things and being innovative in their approach, but in the land of trial and error, those who are critical of the brand to begin with aren't a very forgiving bunch and they see a shift from one thing to another and view it as desperation, even when it's not. WWE should hope to be so bold. I'm optimistic that TNA will pull through, as they always have so far.....now it's just a matter of how they move from here.