According to a July 28 report from Cageside Seats, TNA wasn't able to come to terms on a new deal with Spike TV, so their Impact Wrestling show has been canceled. At one time, TNA Impact was a legitimate threat to the WWE, as it aired every Thursday night at 9 p.m. With recognizable names, including Kurt Angle, Sting and Jeff Hardy, TNA was a must-watch show between 2007 and 2011.
Unfortunately, budget cuts took a major toll on the TNA brand. Over the past two years, most of the company's top superstars left for greener pastures. The final nail in the coffin seemed to be Sting leaving last year, to sign on with the WWE. Sting, the most popular pro wrestler to have never competed under the WWE banner, was a huge draw for TNA. Once he left, it was all downhill from there.
TNA President Dixie Carter confirmed that news of the cancellation is true, but she says this doesn't necessarily mean the end of the line for the company. TNA has a couple months to shop around for a new television deal. Time will tell how the situation plays out, but it seems the WWE will likely benefit the most from Spike's cancellation. TNA Impact was the only other legitimate threat to the WWE's worldwide dominance of the pro wrestling market.
Without TNA Impact, the WWE will undoubtedly gain viewers and perhaps even sign more of the promotion's top athletes. Current TNA Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley has signed on to compete at Bellator 123, in an MMA bout. As for the rest of the roster, it looks like they'll either be heading to the independent wrestling circuit or try to strike up a deal with the WWE.
Spike TV's deal with TNA runs through this October, but it hasn't yet been announced when the channel will air TNA Impact's final episode. Apparently, Spike TV officials get along with TNA higher-ups, and the relationship never got ugly. It was simply a business decision that had to do with ratings, which obviously weren't great considering the cancellation.
TNA debuted on Spike TV in 2005, and it quickly gained popularity due to the big names it had under contract. On average, over a million viewers tuned in each week for TNA Impact. Ric Flair, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson, Hulk Hogan, Sting and Jeff Hardy made appearances for TNA in the promotion's heyday, but budget cuts resulted in most of the company's top names either leaving or getting released.