I've been hearing some people spreading some HUGE rumors. Concerning what? The most recent string of TNA roster members being either let go OR having their contracts allowed to expire without renewing. They've been saying that TNA is experiencing financial problems and that the company is dying. The rumors couldn't be less true. While there HAS been some scaling back of more expensive contracts, there is a more rational reason for the restructuring. Since the beginning, TNA has been receiving outside funding from Panda Energy, the company from which the Carter Family derived their fortune. Now that TNA is finally gaining some traction and getting more aid from sponsorship elsewhere, TNA is starting to remove the financial training wheels.
This is a pivotal time for TNA and requires some tweaking in terms of how contracts are being structured. That being said, you can bet that the General Manager, himself, and the Executive Producer will be asked to settle for less money in order to make the changes stick. Why? Because in order for Hogan and Bischoff to be compensated for the high price they asked, they made sure to sign their contracts through Panda Energy INSTEAD of TNA, who couldn't have paid the price on their own for both men. A side note; Ric Flair ALSO signed with Panda, stacking the bill OVER 1.5 million between the three men per year. Sting, on the other hand, was paid through TNA as the sole legend with high honors. The rest of the roster, without exception, can now be afforded their contracts as is through TNA. Under the new restructure, everyone wins eventually, but it all depends upon fan support and outside sponsorship and partnerships done in a smart and financially responsible way. In past years, Dixie Carter, Jeff Jarrett, and others in top positions have compared themselves to WCW and, more accurately an early incarnation of the franchise, in that they didn't want to grow too quickly and run themselves aground. SO, they've scaled down their vision a bit, trimmed their roster back, and made changes to be able to afford the contracts they've offered their talents. TNA is doing the right thing here, folks, and though I hate to see people lose jobs, the product is still doing well. How?
1. Attendance is up. This is good for one major reason: revenue from ticket AND merchandise sales. When people come to shows and support the brand, the company grows. When the company grows, good things come down the pike, namely that the wrestlers get paid better.
2. Storylines are good. Now that there is FINALLY a kind of cohesiveness and battle lines being drawn in regards to the Aces and Eights and the MEM, things are moving forward. In fact, there are still plans in the works to bring back a name most recently released to make a face turn and leave the Aces and Eights stable, leading to the ramp down of the group eventually.
3. Match quality has been graded up. With Taryn Tarrell and Gail Kim helping to set the bar for future Knockouts matches high, it can be readily assumed that most, if not all matches will follow suit. In like fashion, with Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and the rest of the roster is telling their stories VERY well in their matches, making the product shine as a result and lending credence to the Bound for Glory Series as well as the rest of the creative direction as a whole.