TNA President Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan officially confirmed during a press conference held earlier this afternoon that Impact will be moving to Monday night’s starting on March 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET (8:00 p.m. CT). The show will air live every other week.
Here are some highlights from the press conference after the official announcement when members of the media asked questions.
– When asked how long this Monday night timeslot will last for Impact, Dixie Carter said they see this happening forever. Carter added, “We have no plans to do anything else. We want to make this as big as it possibly can be.It’s a move we are committed to making.”
– On the decision to have the show run from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET instead of 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, Carter said TNA’s fanbase has followed them wherever they have gone. She said it doesn’t mean they won’t ever tweak that start time in the future, but felt it was the best way to get things started. Hulk Hogan added, “From a wrestlers point of view, if you want to prove you are the best and you want to get in the fight, you have to let the fans make the choice and put out the best product you possibly can. I want to go head-to-head with the competition. There might be reasons to change the timeslot, but the wrestlers like a fight.”
– When asked if this planned to be the start of a new “Monday Night Wars” between WWE and TNA, Hulk Hogan added, “I guess you could call it that. It took us six months to build that up in WCW with Nitro and then we became dominant. The war will be won and TNA will prove it is the greatest product. We will not repeat history, we will make history.” Carter also added, “Our goals have not changed from the very beginning. We have wanted to grow this company slow and steady. Our sights were set on our competitors third-rated show. Now that we have surpassed that, we are focused on their #2 show and so forth.”
– There were no talks of making Impact a three hour show with this move. The only other talks with Spike TV involved some additional programming, but no three hours shows like they held on January 4.
– When asked if they expect a response from WWE about this move, Hogan added, “I expect no reaction. They don’t acknowledge anyone else in the wrestling business and exist in their own little world. However, the talent (in WWE) are definitely cheering us on in because it gives them an option. Wrestling right now is like a monopoly so making this move opens up lots of doors.” He added that he was “in the know” and that while the wrestlers were cheering them on, the suits in WWE corporate were in panic mode.
– In regards to expectations from Spike TV on this new timeslot change for Impact, Dixie Carter added, “I think it will grow over time. If we can hold numbers like we have had success on big Thursday nights and even grow from our success on January 4, it will be a good place to start. The real winner is the wrestling fans. We want to give fans a product they are proud of and not embarassed of.”