If you're a regular reader of my columns, you know that I've consistently said that the behind the scenes matters don't concern me simply because they don't ultimately affect the television product. A few weeks ago, however, I began to have my doubts and shared with you my thoughts about that in one of my Randomania pieces and in particular TNA's inability to get away from the Impact Zone and other issues starting to affect Impact. Unfortunately, this week's show was a complete mess and I think it's time to recognize that there's something rotten in the state of TNA.
The behind the scenes matters have begun to affect the way much of the staff does their job and more importantly it's affected those on the creative and production team as well as the wrestlers. I've spoken openly about the disaster that was last month's tapings schedule that essentially rendered this year's Slammiversary PPV a lame duck as well as other decisions such as taping so many shows in one set or tapings in the Impact Zone. As bad as all that is, however, the fiasco that is the Hernandez contract mess is simply inexcusable. It's incompetence at its worst.
For those who aren't familiar with this situation, TNA recently brought Hernandez back while he was still under contract with Lucha Underground (or AAA). They reportedly asked him if his contract with LU allows him to appear on Impact and he confirmed that it does. TNA then proceeded to tape six weeks worth of Impact episodes and Hernandez, from what I understand, was featured heavily, including matches related to a possible world title match against Ethan Carter III. This is in addition to all of his segments and matches with the Beat Down Clan. Well, as it turns out, LU contacted TNA to inform them that Hernandez' contract with LU does not allow him to appear on TV, and even though TNA offered to pay LU a fee for allowing them to air their taped footage of Hernandez, LU declined. This left TNA with only one option: scrap everything they've taped that involves Hernandez for at least the next four episodes.
I hope people realize how significant this is. This is a situation that could have been prevented if TNA simply did their due diligence, and in this case, that would've been to contact Lucha Underground to inquire about the clauses in Hernandez' contract. They didn't do that. Instead, they took Hernandez' word and relied on his own knowledge of his contract with LU. Folks, that's incompetence. And it has bit them right in the ass. As a result, wrestlers who worked so hard on the recent tapings like MVP and Kenny King will have nothing to show for it. Not a single second of their footage with Hernandez will be shown on Impact. That also includes the wrestlers who reportedly taped matches against Hernandez or the BDC, such as the Wolves and Bobby Lashley. Less television time for them as well. It's unacceptable.
This is something that truly needs to be emphasized because when you start to screw with the wrestlers' ability to do their job, you start to lose their confidence in you and sadly, you start to lose their loyalty. And the wrestlers start to rethink their options. And they even start to contemplate asking for their release. I think you know where I'm going with this. I'm as big and loyal a TNA fan as you'll find. But like the wrestlers themselves, there's a tipping point for the core diehard fans as well. And I'm afraid that many have reached theirs...and regrettably, I'm reaching mine.