TNA slashes live PPV output; possible Knockouts themed taped show mooted?
Yesterday, TNA President Dixie Carter made a startling announcement regarding the future of TNA’s PPV business. While it had already been widely reported that the group were cutting down on PPVs in 2013 (with the shows directly before Lockdown and Bound for Glory already announced as being dropped, in order to allow a greater lead-in time to what are traditionally the biggest two shows of the year), it now turns out that TNA is slashing their live PPV output to just four live pay-per-view shows a year, with only Genesis (January), Lockdown (March), Slammiversary (June) and Bound for Glory (October) left standing. In the place of the axed shows, seven taped PPV “specials” will be recorded and begin airing on the first Friday of the remaining months.
Of interest, it seems that the taped PPV specials are likely to feature branded ideas – with the first two being taped this weekend (an all X-Division special which will air in three months, in April, and a “Jokers Wild Tag Tournament” for May.) Of the remaining specials, PWinsider.com is reporting that a Knockouts PPV special is under consideration. Mike Johnson reports the concept as TNA Knockouts Knockdown, describing the plan as a “One night Knockout tournament with the first round being all stipulation matches and the final four in a “test of their stamina” to see who the final victor is.”
It certainly makes sense that TNA would consider a Knockouts PPV special, given how regularly the Knockouts have delivered TV ratings in the past. Two intriguing questions spring to mind, however – Firstly, would TV ratings for Knockouts result in a decent PPV buyrate? And secondly, how would they fill the show? For a company that is clearly cutting costs (this PPV strategy is a clear indication of that as it cuts the expense of live satellite uplinks and live production costs for what were money losing PPVs), it’s likely that they’d have to use some outside talent to fill out any Knockouts-specific PPV, which is interesting given that the company have just quietly released both Sarah (Sarita) Stock & Thea (Rosita) Trinidad this week.
Presumably Stock & Trinidad may well be contacted about coming in on a one-off appearance for any taped PPV, as (likely) are other former Knockouts. Angelina Love, Winter, Traci Brooks and Cheerleader Melissa (presumably as Alissa Flash or Raesha Saeed) all spring to mind as card-fillers – as, of course, are the Blossom Twins. Win, lose or draw, I doubt TNA would invest as heavily as they have been with British Bootcamp not to keep in touch with all three acts, regardless of who the series “winner” turns out to be. And of course, there’s former Gutcheck winner Taeler Hendrix down in OVW.
If the Knockouts Knockdown idea gets off the ground, it will be the first time since New Year’s Eve 2009 that TNA have given over an entire show to the KO division – back then they presented a special taped “New Year’s Knockouts Eve” TV show featuring, coincidentally enough, a one-night Knockouts tournament.
If TNA did call up some ex-Knockouts to come and fill a potential PPV show… who would be top of your list to see back?
– Stew Allen