The Jarretts pulled a rabbit out of their hat and secured a TV deal for TNA TOTAL IMPACT in the fall with SPIKE TV. It will air Saturday Nights. My sources initially said weeks ago that SPIKE had NO interest in TNA after losing the WWE, and would not make a deal for a Monday Night Show. Well, my sources were part right.
Some of this makes sense... there would be an inevitable and sizeable ratings drop-off for SPIKE from Monday Night Raw to a Monday Night TNA show. Spike avoided problem by putting TNA on a lower-profile Saturday Night Slot.
Spike also probably got the show for a song by saying "no" initially-- where else were the Jarretts going to take TNA? ESPN? F/X?
Regardless of the financial deal-- it's good news for wrestling fans and the added exposure will be good for the Toy Biz line. If they build some good ratings on Saturday Night... Spike can always expand the show and move it to Mondays...
SMACKDOWN is moving to Friday nights, a graveyard traditionally for UPN shows... Just ask "Enterprise"... I think UPN is looking towards life after SMACKDOWN by this move and trying to build a Wednesday night block of their own... I wouldn't be surprised if SMACKDOWN is somewhere else a year from now (my bet is SCI FI Channel)... Then again Vince and Les Moonves could always kiss and make up...
SMACKDOWN is actually a profitable show... One of the contentious points between Les and Vince was the ad time... Earlier, Vince could cut his own deals on a portion of the ad time and since his show delivers males 18-34... He would make a killing selling last minute ad & promo time to studios advertising their male-skewing feature films debuting each Friday.
Les closed that loophole and now UPN controls the ad time almost entirely on SMACKDOWN, and is probably making a killing from Lion's Gate who is heavily pumping THE DEVIL'S REJECTS to-- you guessed it-- males 18-34.
Am I the only one who got kind of sad & emotional to see Animal team up with Heidenreich? When was the last time a squash match carried that much of a punch? I never thought I'd hear "what a rush!" again! I have to go out now and buy the Road Warriors DVD... I LOVED their feud with the Midnight Express... Anyone else remember the "Night of the Skywalkers" match with them?
My sources were right on the Dudleys leaving the WWE... And Bubba Ray is confirming it in recent interviews... Cost cutting + lack of ideas from creative led to them not being renewed. (The Tag Team landscape is so sad and "green" who would provide a good challenger for the Dudleys?) Look for them to come back a year from now or as needed should some injuries arise at a lower price point.