Kurt Angle has given his thoughts on how TNA Wrestling got it wrong when they tried to compete with WWE on Monday Nights.
The television show WWE Monday Night Raw has been a fixture on Mondays since January 1993. While WWE had a legendary rivalry with WCW Nitro when they put that show on Mondays in September 1995, it ended up being a big win for WWE six years later when they bought WCW.
In 2010, TNA Wrestling decided to put their Impact show against Raw. There was a test episode on January 4, 2010 when Raw got a 3.6 rating (5.6 million viewers) while Impact got a 1.5 rating (2.2 million viewers). From March 8th to May 3rd, Impact aired on Mondays against Raw. The ratings battle was a domintion for Raw with about three times the audience of Impact, so by May 2010, Spike TV moved Impact back to Thursdays.
Kurt Angle is a WWE & TNA Hall of Famer who started working for TNA in the summer of 2006 after leaving WWE. Angle was a big part of TNA In 2010 while the company also brought in big names like WWE Hall of Famers Eric Bischoff & Hulk Hogan to help guide/lead the company.
While speaking on his Kurt Angle Show podcast, the Olympic Hero admits he was excited about Impact on Mondays, but there were a lot of issues too.
“I was excited about it, to be honest with you. I was really excited because I wanted to compete with WWE, but we learned very quickly that you cannot compete with WWE if you don’t have the money available.”
“TNA had money, but they didn’t have the money that WWE had so it was really hard to compete against WWE. And I’ll give you an example: Hogan and Bischoff wanted us to rent bigger venues, so we had to pay for those up front. And those bigger venues, they were for house shows, not even TV.”
“Some of them were TV, and some of them were house shows. But they wanted to rent these out, and it’s a lot more expensive. So now we’re booking all these shows all over the country, and we have to put up the deposit. It’s a good bit of money.”
Kurt Angle Believes TNA Did Everything Too Quickly
When discussing what went wrong with the Monday move for TNA, Angle thinks that the company made a bunch of moves too quickly and he also revealed what he told former TNA President Dixie Carter.
“I just think that we did everything really too quickly. I think maybe we should start with Monday night with your TVs [in] bigger arenas. But we did it all really quickly, and it was just too much.”
“That first Monday, I mean, it was our best rating ever. We were consistently doing about 2 million a week at that particular time. So I’d say that was the highest peak in our company’s history. I think that we had the highest ratings at that particular time. And I think that’s the only time that we could probably take a chance and try to go up against WWE. But it didn’t didn’t work out.”
“And I told Dixie, ‘Listen, back off, back away. That’s it. You don’t have to be number one. It’s okay to be number two, especially where we were in this.’”
Angle would also go on to praise the TNA roster at the time.
“You know, we had Hulk Hogan, we had Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Ric Flair, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Ken Anderson. The roster was loaded. So, there was no reason we couldn’t continue to work and try to build the company.”