In what has been called Monday Night War II, Spike TV’s pro-wrestling program, TNA Impact, saw its highest ratings ever this past Monday. During its special live three-hour episode, Impact held 2.2 million viewers, becoming the most-watched edition in series history. The draw? Wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan.
Impact easily beat the former high mark of 1.9 million viewers the series set in April 2008, according to Spike TV officials. The first hour of the special averaged 2.5 million viewers, according to Spike. However, Impact was no match for USA Network’s popular WWE Monday Night Raw series. Raw drew an average of 5.5 million viewers from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., well above the 2 million viewers the Impact special averaged during the same time period on Spike, according to Nielsen data.
In what was described as a “very chaotic” situation, The Hulkster was reportedly pretty stressed out backstage at Impact as the fledgling organization was still taping pre-record content for the live show. It was certainly not the pre-show mood he was used to during his days at WWF/WWE/WCW. Before the kickoff to the special, Hogan gathered all the wrestlers and gave them a brief pep talk.
Not only did the viewers tune into TNA’s show, wrestling critics also chimed in with positive reviews.
“Not only was their show more entertaining but the wrestling blew the WWE’s right out of the water.”
“I really think this will get the company some new viewers and might show [The WWE] that wrestling geared towards adults actually works.”
“WWE is always very careful to explain what’s going on — and that’s a good thing. You get video packages explaining the angles and they try to tie everything together. Impact, by contrast, was full of inside references and rapid-fire references to all sorts of things happening all at the same time”
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