‘Monday Night Wars’ End May 13th, TNA to return to Thursdays


After struggling to find its foot on the ground against WWE Monday Night Raw, Spike TV has announced that TNA Impact! (written as TNA iMPACT!) is to return to Thursday nights from May 13th, effectively ending the 2nd Generation of the Monday Night Wars. The Original War was between WWE RAW (then known as WWF RAW IS WAR) and WCW Monday Nitro (the name is a play of the name ‘Monday Night Raw’)

TNA Impact, which originally aired on Thursdays, moved to Monday Nights in 2010 after an overhaul of TNA , which Included Hulk Hogan signing with the company.  Here is the Breakdown:

OCTOBER 2009: TNA moves to Monday

On October 27, 2009, Hulk Hogan announced that he and Eric Bischoff had signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in a press conference held at Madison Square Garden, the place considered to be the home of WWE. TNA President Dixie Carter stated
“Our goal is to become the world’s biggest professional wrestling company. Hulk defines professional wrestling and we look forward to partnering with him in a variety of ways as we continue to grow TNA globally.”
In signing with TNA, they would be reunited with the controversial former WCW booker Vince Russo who they had vowed to never work with again after butting heads in WCW.
However, they stated that Russo would not be fired, and the three would attempt to work together.
A short time after on December 5, 2009, Hogan made an announcement during The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale that TNA Impact!, which normally airs on Thursdays would go head to head with WWE Raw on Monday January 4 in a three-hour live broadcast.
This would be the first time since March 2001 that two wrestling promotions would go head-to-head in a Monday night ratings competition. It was also confirmed to be the live debut of Hogan. The WWE countered by announcing the return of Bret Hart, who hadn’t appeared in WWE since the Montreal Screwjob in 1997.
Leading up to the show, TNA President Dixie Carter stated that while MTV (which owns Spike) was not expecting Impact! to beat Raw in the ratings, it would be considered a success if they managed to at least maintain their usual Thursday night Impact! rating. Spike president Kevin Kay also announced there were plans to air Impact! on Mondays quarterly through 2010 and added that if the ratings proved successful on January 4, it could be moved to Monday nights permanently.
4 JANUARY 2010 : iMPACT tests the waters on Mondays
The Monday night Impact! featured the debuts and returns of Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, Eric Bischoff, The Nasty Boys, Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Jeff Hardy, Ric Flair, Sean Morley,Orlando JordanShannon Moore and Bubba the Love Sponge (who was recently fired from TNA) in addition to Hogan. WWE Raw featured the return of Bret Hart, who confronted Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels for the first time in twelve years.The ratings showed that, much alike the first Monday Night War, Raw came out on top, averaging 5.6 million viewers while Impact!averaged 2.2 million viewers.
However, despite not beating Raw in the ratings, TNA managed to set a new record for Impact!, beating the previous one of 1.97 million viewers, and thus gaining the confidence of Spike representatives.
8 MARCH 2010: iMPACT moves to Mondays permanently
On March 8, 2010, Impact! moved to Monday nights at 9pm EST to compete head-to-head with Raw.Eric Bischoff will once again be competing on the opposite side of Vince McMahon’s WWE and in an interview with Bubba the Love Sponge, he said that he believed “history is repeating itself”. This has proved to be true since the new war is beginning the same way as the original did; TNA have hired the same ex-WWE talent that WCW did, they have recreated the “outsiders” storyline from when Kevin Nash and Scott Hall joined WCW and most importantly, they are being led by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.

Ironically, Spike had carried Raw from 2000 until 2005, when Raw returned back to USA. WWE spokesman Robert Zimmerman responded to TNA’s move by saying “We’re not too concerned. We’re in good shape.” Bischoff later stated that TNA aren’t focused on beating WWE in the ratings straight away, but rather gaining a significant share of their audience and growing TNA’s own audience.

On the March 8, 2010, Raw beat Impact! with a 3.4 rating which equated to approximately 5.1 million viewers, while Impact! did a 0.98 with 1.4 million viewers. The following week on the March 15 edition, Impact! scored its lowest rating since November 2006 with a .84 rating.No quarter hour segment of Impact! reached past the previous week’s overall rating.

The broadcast lost 15% of the audience it opened with, going from a .87 opening quarter hour to a 0.72 in the AJ Styles versus Jeff Hardy main event. Impact! averaged 1.1 million viewers, an overall decrease of 21.4% in viewership from the previous week. Raw scored a 3.71 rating and averaged 5.60 million viewers, an overall increase of 10% in viewership from the previous week.

Ratings Improve, Yet RAW still Beats TNA

The broadcast’s first hour was the most viewed first hour since August 24, 2009, while the second was the most viewed second hour since the January 4, 2010. On March 22, days before WrestleMania XXVI, Raw scored a 3.2 and Impact scored a 0.86. Raw‘s rating was down more than 1 million viewers equating to about 20%. Impact’s ratings had improved slightly over the last week as they offered a Career vs Career match between Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley.

iMPACT moves to 8pm, an Hour ahead of RAW

On February 15, 2010,  TNA made the announcement that Impact! would move to Monday nights beginning on March 8, 2010. The show will air live on a bi-weekly basis and taped the other week. On the March 8 edition, Impact! debuted their new theme song. Beginning with the April 12, 2010 show, iMPACT! will air at 8:00pm EST on Spike TV. This change was made as a result of the increase in ratings from the March 29, 2010 show (which aired at 9:00pm EST) and the April 5, 2010 show (which aired at 8:00pm EST).

3 MAY 2010: TNA Returns to Thursdays

On Monday, May 3, 2010 TNA Wrestling announced that iMPACT! would be returning to Thursday nights beginning on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 9:00pm EST.

Commenting on the move in an announcement posted on the TNA website, Brian J. Diamond (Spike TV’s Senior Vice President of Sports and Specials) said,

“The fans have spoken and with their input we have determined the best time slot to maximize the TNA audience is on Thursday nights where we are confident it will be among the most-watched shows with young men.”

In the same announcement, TNA president Dixie Carter is quoted as saying,

Our fans made it clear that they preferred the Thursday night time period. By moving to Thursdays, this is a win/win opportunity for both TNA and the fans. We are looking forward to delivering what the fans are asking for!”

On Thursday, June 24, 2010, Spike TV will expand “TNA Thursdays” to three hours with the addition of TNA Reaction (stylized as “TNA ReAction” or, alternatively, as “TNA ReACTION”), which will become a regular one-hour docu-series immediately preceding TNA iMPACT from 8:00-9:00 EST. “ReAction” will focus on the stories and characters of TNA Wrestling and preview the upcoming episode of “TNA iMPACT!”

RATINGS SUMMARY*


  • FSN (Fri. 3pm)


  • 0.2


  • 0.7


  • Spike (Thu. 11pm)


  • 0.9


  • Spike (Thu. 9pm)


  • 1.0


  • Spike (Thu. 9pm; 2hrs)


  • 1.2


  • Spike (Monday 9pm; 2hrs)


  • 0.6


  • Spike (Monday 8pm; 2hrs)


  • 0.9

* Fox Sports Net (aka FSN) originally carried TNA programming from 2004-2005  and later moved to Spike TV.