A lot has been said of TNA’s ongoing woes – hell, it’s been the story of their existence. From their very first show in 2002, there’s always been a millstone around the company’s neck: financial issues, controversy about recent hires (or firings), question marks over the company’s televisual future. Last week, news crept out about how TNA were relocating… to a warehouse?!

Let’s start with Twitter, last year. If you were following Finn Balor at the time, you may remember the following Tweet from late 2015, when NXT were touring Nashville:

At the time, Balor was standing outside of TNA’s offices in Nashville. Not quite Titan Towers-esque… however, they’ve since relocated to another building, which – according to Google Street View, at least – makes those old offices look like a luxury penthouse in comparison.

TNA's new office, April 2016

Yep. A warehouse. The world headquarters of (supposedly) America’s number two wrestling promotion is now operating out of the same building that TNA previously ran their online store from. The ignominy of it all is quite befitting, given all of the other cutbacks they’ve been forced to make in the past five years, such as these, comparing 2011 vs. 2016

TV Network: Spike TV vs. POP TV (reach of ~93m vs. ~75m)
TV Ratings: ~1m vs. 0.3m
Total Events: 210 vs. 112
World Champion: Sting vs. Drew Galloway
Tag Team Champions: Beer Money vs. Abyss & Crazzy Steve
X-Division Champion: Kazarian vs. Trevor Lee

With due respect to the performers, just about all of those show a step down for TNA – who at the time of writing, haven’t held a non-televised event since October 3, 2015 in Salem, VA, ending a run of what turned out to be their only five house shows for the entire year. In 2014, TNA ran 43 live/non-televised events, and a relatively fruitful 91 shows back in 2011, when the company was about to fall off the cliff.

“Back in the day” when TNA ran house shows, there were endless reports of how bad a job TNA were doing in advertising. Seemingly reliant on the idiom “if you build it, they will come”, TNA’s house shows often were only advertised online, or with the bare minimum of exposure in local media. As such, the shows attracted the fans who went because they heard a rumour of a wrestling show, or the TNA hardcore crowd that happened to live within driving distance.

Limiting yourself to such a low audience invariably meant that house shows became a money loser – even if you reduced the number of people on the tour, some of the shows were simply not profitable the second they opened the doors. And then there were issues that were sort-of, but not really outside of TNA’s control, such as an incident in July 2013 where licensing issues with Missouri State forced the company to bench six wrestlers – Chris Sabin, Garett Bischoff, Wes Brisco, Jay Bradley, Miss Tessmacher, and Gail Kim. All of whom were on the tour, and resulted in a house show in Cape Girardeau, MO to run less than 90 minutes long, with just eight wrestlers allowed to perform. Whilst this was a one-off, it still added more weight to the increasing-number of naysayers who were convinced that TNA was about to die.

Of course, “TNA’s dying” has been their unofficial slogan, and by hook or by crook, they’ve survived. But can they really call themselves the number two promotion in North America?

Going by TV ratings, you probably can, but the gap between themselves, Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground has never been narrower. If we’re going by touring shows… then absolutely not. In the past 12 months, TNA has performed in: Manchester, Birmingham, London (in the UK), Bethlehem, PA; Nashville, TN; Charlotte, NC; Salem, VA; Beckley, WV; Belle Vernon, PA; Morgantown, WV; York, PA… on, and of course, Orlando. Twelve different towns in twelve months.

Lucha Underground, on the other hand, has only taped in one location due to their MO of being a TV show about wrestling, rather than a wrestling show on TV… whilst ROH, including co-promoted shows with New Japan Pro Wrestling and Preston City Wrestling, have held shows in thirty-two different locations. (if you’re interested: Amarillo, TX; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; California, PA; Chicago Ridge, IL; Chicago, IL; Collinsville, IN; Columbus, OH; Concord, NC; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Dearborn, MI; Duluth, GA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Hopkins, MN; Indianapolis, IN; Kalamazoo, MI; Las Vegas, NV; Milwaukee, WI; Nashville, TN; New York, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Redwood City, CA; San Antonio, TX; Toronto; West Warwick, RI; plus the co-promoted shows in Preston and Tokyo).

Both of those pale in comparison to the 239 towns/cities that WWE has run shows in (both WWE and NXT) in the same period of time, but that’s comparing apples to oranges. And no, I’m not going to list all 239 of those towns!

So, in what universe can TNA even be called a number two promotion? Is having a weekly programme on national television enough? If that’s the case, can you argue that Ring of Honor having somewhat regular traditional pay-per-views in addition to their syndicated TV show (plus its coverage on COMET, for those who get it) is enough to usurp TNA from their slot?

Sadly for all concerned, the gulf between WWE and everyone else is so far that it’ll be a long time – if ever – before we see a true repeat of the war between WWE and WCW that we had twenty years ago. Especially in the era we’re in now where WWE is more willing than ever to work with independent groups, the odds of a company being founded and having the financial strength to sign talent that isn’t already under contract to any other company is pretty low. Add in the ability to get national/international promotion and TV deals – all without being undercut or forced out of the market – well, you’re talking about astronomical, lottery-winning odds.

There’ll always be room for an alternative, and as long as those alternatives live within their means, they’ll be OK. If you overspend for any period of time, well, you might just find that you’re kidding yourselves about being a national brand, before realising that you’re just a TV show based out of a warehouse.