Impact's rating for this past Monday night will be telling. No, I am not expecting Impact to approach Raw's rating, however, I do expect to see something more substantial than a 0.6 or 0.8. That's because much like the proverbial "deck" was stacked in WWE's favor on Monday, March 27 with Raw riding the return of "Stone-Cold" Steve Austin as well as WrestleMania 26 fallout, circumstances on April 19 were favorable to TNA Impact.
With no PPV momentum, several roster members stranded in Europe due to valcano-related travel restrictions, and a weak guest host, Impact received a very rare opportunity to grab some viewers on Monday night.
So, did TNA hit a home run? Not quite, but it may have squeezed out a double, which would be miles better than the strike-outs it's been committing on most Monday nights.
I think Impact took full advantage of its unopposed 8:00 pm hour with a hot opening segment, during which Hogan announced a can't-miss double main event: Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam in a number-one contenders match and the winner vs. AJ Styles for the TNA World title.
Airing the RVD-Hardy bout a few moments before the 9:00pm start of Raw was smart, as was beginning the title bout just before Raw's unopposed 10:00 hour. For what it's worth, I stuck around for Impact's slight overrun, and I was glad I did.
Most importantly, TNA followed through with a clean title change. Yes, taking the belt off AJ and putting it on RVD may be a bit short-sighted, but unlike WWE, TNA gave its fans what they wanted. Besides, right now, TNA must do something each week to stop the bleeding.
I'll be curious to see whether or not TNA's hot-shotting pays off in the ratings. How about you?