Total Nonstop Action Wrestling

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"TNA Wrestling" redirects here. For the video game, see TNA Wrestling (video game).
TNA Entertainment, LLC
Type Private, Limited liability company
Industry Professional Sports
Founded May 10, 2002 (2002-05-10)[1]
Founder(s) Jeff Jarrett
Jerry Jarrett
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee, United States[1][2]
Area served Worldwide[3]
Key people Janice Carter
(Majority shareholder - 71%)
Jeff Jarrett
(Investor & Minority shareholder - 29%)[4]
Dixie Carter
(President)
Chris Sobol
(Vice President of Operations)
Mike Weber
(Vice President of Marketing)
Dean Broadhead
(Chief Financial Officer)
Owner(s) Panda Energy International (71%)
Jeff Jarrett (29%)
Website Official website

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (commonly referred to as TNA) is an American privately controlled organization dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from live events, product licensing, and direct product sales.[citation needed] Founded by its former President, Jeff Jarrett, and former CEO, Jerry Jarrett in 2002, it is currently the second largest professional wrestling promotion (after WWE) in the United States, usually garnering 1.1 to 1.5 million television viewers in the United States each week.

Robert W. Carter was the majority owner of the company after having purchased a controlling interest (71%) through his family's company, Panda Energy International (where he was the head executive), in 2002 from Jerry.[5] However, according to recent reports,[6] Janice Carter, Robert's wife & the mother of Dixie Carter, Robert's daughter & TNA's President, has taken over control of Panda Energy, as Robert has moved onto Panda Energy's new parent company, Panda Power Funds, possibly meaning that Janice has replaced Robert as the company's majority owner. Jeff, the company's former Vice President, then former Executive Vice President of Development/Original Programming, remains as minority owner (29%) and investor of the organization[7][8][9] even with his departure from the promotion as Executive Vice President of Development/Original Programming on December 22, 2013.[4][10] Carter's daughter, Dixie, is President of the company.[11] The company's headquarters are located in Nashville, Tennessee.[12]

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Jeff Jarrett, one of the co-founders of TNA

The concept of TNA originated shortly after the end of World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Bob Ryder, Jeff Jarrett, and Jerry Jarrett went on a fishing trip and contemplated their futures in the business of wrestling.[citation needed]

Only one wrestling product remained on U.S. national television: the WWE. Ryder felt[citation needed] that this situation led many television stations to regard wrestling as bad for business; he suggested a company not reliant on television, but rather one going straight to pay-per-view.

The Jarretts found the help they needed, and the company put on its first show on June 19, 2002. This night, however, in a dark match just before they went on the air, a 450 lb wrestler named Cheex hit the ropes with so much force that one of them broke. The estimated repair time was 30–60 minutes, which they did not have because the schedule called for them to go live in a few minutes, whether the ring was ready or not. Backstage, the producers shuffled the schedule so that some non-wrestling segments went first to give the ring crew some more time, but they did not have many of them. The ring crew fixed the rope with the help of Ron and Don Harris, and everyone went live hoping for the best.[13]

Start of Impact, 2004–2010[edit]

In May 2004, TNA Wrestling announced that they would be including a television program on Fox Sports, dubbed TNA iMPACT!, at Soundstage 21 in Universal Studios Florida. The transition included the use of a six-sided wrestling ring, the implementation of the "Fox Box" displaying competitors and timekeeping for the match, and a generally more sports-like style than the sports-entertainment style exemplified by the WWE .

With the switch to cable television, TNA discontinued their weekly pay-per-view shows in favor of a monthly 3-hour pay-per-view format as previously utilized by WCW and ECW and as currently used by WWE. In November 2004, TNA held the first of these pay-per-views, Victory Road, beginning the pattern of pay-per-view shows that continues to this day.

The television contract with Fox Sports expired in May 2005 and was not renegotiated, leaving TNA without television exposure. This prompted TNA to air iMPACT! via webcasts - originally made available via BitTorrent and eventually via RealPlayer. During this time TNA continued pursuing a profitable television deal for regular broadcasting. On October 1, 2005, TNA iMPACT! began airing on Spike TV, returning the company to national cable-exposure.

In November 2006, TNA began holding select pay-per-views outside of its central filming location, the TNA Impact! Zone, in Orlando. In April 2006, TNA announced a partnership with YouTube whereby TNA supplied YouTube with exclusive video-content in exchange for hosting, leading to the production of internet shows. In January 2007, TNA's mobile-content deal with New Motion, Inc. led to the introduction of TNA Mobile and mobile fan-voting.[14] TNA has also launched "TNA U TV"; podcasts aired through YouTube to help promote the company.[15] On June 21, 2009, TNA launched an online video-vault subscription-service where subscribers could watch past pay-per-views by choosing one of three payment options.[16]

On October 23, 2008, TNA made the transition to HD and since then all programming has been broadcast in high-definition.[17] In addition, TNA introduced a new HD set that included new lighting and several large high-resolution screens. As of 2013 it uses this set - albeit altered several times - for all Impact! programming and pay-per-views.[18]

2010–present[edit]

On 2010, TNA hired pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan and former WCW booker Eric Bischoff. Both obtained a position behind the screen (Bischoff was Creative and Hogan, consulter) and made some changes. They hired a lot of high profile WWE wrestlers, like Ric Flair, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy and returned to using a four sided ring.

On June 24, 2010, Spike TV expanded “TNA Thursdays” to three hours with the addition of TNA Reaction (stylized as "TNA ReAction" or, alternatively, as "TNA ReACTION"), which became a regular one-hour docu-series immediately preceding TNA iMPACT! from 8:00-9:00 Eastern. “ReAction" focused on the stories and characters of TNA Wrestling and preview the upcoming episode of “TNA iMPACT!”[19][20]

TNA Wrestling president Dixie Carter announced on January 13, 2011 that on February 24, 2011, the promotion would be holding Impact! tapings at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina.[21] In the Summer, TNA Impact changed its name to Impact Wrestling with the motto "Wrestling Matters". On November 7, 2011, TNA announced that it had reached a deal with Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) to become TNA's official developmental territory.[22] In December 2011, TNA debuted their new India-based subsidiary promotion Ring Ka King.[23]

On January 31, 2013, TNA announced that they would begin taping Impact from different venues around the United States starting March 14, 2013, from the Sears Center in Chicago. TNA officially terminated its lease with Universal Studios in late March 2013.[24] On March 14, 2013, TNA introduced a new universal HD stage which will be used for all weekly programming.[25]

On November 2, 2013, TNA ended its relationship with OVW.[26] Since October, several well-known wrestlers left TNA. In October, Hulk Hogan left the company and Eric Bischoff left TNA a few months later.[27] In December 2013, TNA originals A.J. Styles and Jeff Jarrett left the promotion.[28] However, it was later clarified that Jarrett still remains as an "investor" of TNA.[4] Later on, TNA veterans Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin and Kazarian left the company.

On June 17, 2014, TNA announced a fan-voted poll to determine about what type of ring the company will continue with. The fan-voted poll ended few days later on June 25, with the six-sided ring announced as the winning type.[29]

Television[edit]

Current TNA president Dixie Carter.

Former programming[edit]

Initially, TNA's weekly pay-per-view show operated as the company's main source of revenue, in place of monthly pay-per-view events used by other promotions. These shows started on June 19, 2002 and took place mostly at the Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee. After 27 months and 110 PPVs, TNA felt[citation needed] that they had enough of a fanbase to begin holding a weekly television show and monthly three-hour pay-per-views. The last weekly PPV was held on September 8, 2004. TNA Xplosion was launched on November 27, 2002 as TNA's first regular cable show and featured exclusive matches from the TNA Asylum as well as exclusive interviews with TNA Superstars. On November 18, 2004, the show became a recap show of the previous week's Impact! in light of alterations in the taping schedule. However, Xplosion resumed airing exclusive matches (billed as "Xplosion Xclusives") once more on October 7, 2005 in addition to recapping Impact!. The "Xplosion Xclusives" also aired on the now-ceased TNA Global Impact! internet show. Airing of Xplosion in the United States ceased at the end of 2006, although some of the exclusive matches can be seen on TNA Today.

Current programming[edit]

TNA began airing TNA Impact! (officially typeset "TNA iMPACT!") on June 4, 2004 on Fox Sports Net. After TNA's contract with Fox Sports Net was not renewed the following year, TNA was forced to broadcast Impact! from their official website, while seeking a new television outlet.[citation needed] TNA later secured a deal with Spike TV and aired its first episode on October 1, 2005.[30] Impact! expanded to a two-hour format on October 4, 2007.[31] On February 15, 2010, TNA made a new deal with Spike TV, which moved Impact! to Monday nights—directly opposite the Raw (Although the network kept the Thursday-night slot open for repeats of the Monday-night shows). The first episode took place March 8, 2010.[32]

In December 2009, Dixie Carter announced in an interview that TNA Epics, which had recently aired its first season exclusively in the United Kingdom, would be debuting in the United States in January 2010. The second season began on January 14, 2010. TNA Epics showcased matches and events from the history of TNA Wrestling. The show was hosted by Mick Foley, and aired on one Thursday each month on Spike, until April 2010. On April 12, 2010, TNA wrestling aired a pilot episode of their new show TNA Reaction, which is a documentary-style show that presents an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the stars of TNA speaking about taking on their rivals.

Spike TV's decision to keep Thursday nights open for repeats of Impact! proved to be a smart move, for the show floundered in the Monday-night ratings opposite Raw. On May 3, 2010, TNA announced that Impact! would be moved back to Thursday nights, re-branded as "TNA Thursdays".[33] At the same time the company also announced that Spike had picked up Reaction, which would start airing weekly prior to each episode of Impact!, starting June 24.[19] The premiere date for Reaction was later changed to July 15, when it would start airing after Impact! instead of before it.[34] However, in late June Reaction was pulled from Spike's schedule.[35] On August 3, 2010, TNA announced that Reaction would premiere on August 12 and air every Thursday following Impact!.[36] Also in June, TNA revamped Xplosion, still airing on international markets, making it more of an original program instead of a highlight show.[37][38] On December 27, 2010, Reaction was officially canceled by Spike, with its final episode airing three days later.[39][40] In the UK, Impact! was broadcast on Bravo which ceased by British Sky Broadcasting on January 1, 2011. A new deal was struck on January 25, 2011 with Sky to start broadcasting Impact! on Challenge.[41]

On May 3, 2011, TNA Impact! was re-branded Impact Wrestling.[42][43][44] On May 31, 2012, Impact Wrestling began airing live at a new start time of 8pm EST on Thursday nights.[45] The live schedule would continue throughout 2012.[46] From July 12 onwards, TNA was set to have a three hour block every Thursday, with a new one hour program named Rewind airing before Impact Wrestling at 7pm EST.[47] However, the program was canceled after only one episode, which garnered a 0.2 rating.[48] On July 11, DirecTV, the carrier of Spike, blocked all Viacom stations affecting TNA viewership from DirecTV subscribers.[49] On July 20, DirecTV announced that it had reached an agreement with Viacom and had added back all 17 removed channels, which included SpikeTV.[50]

In July of 2014, Spike TV announced that it is to drop TNA in October after the deal expires.[51]

Impact Zone, house shows and touring[edit]

Main article: Impact Zone

In May 2004, TNA announced that they would be airing their new show TNA iMPACT! from Universal Studios as part of an agreement reached with the theme park. Accordingly, TNA leased Soundstage 21 for the purposes of putting on wrestling events for an indefinite[citation needed] period of time. From June 2004 to March 2013, TNA taped its flagship show, Impact Wrestling as well as its secondary show Xplosion from the Impact Zone. They also aired every monthly pay-per-view in company history from that location until October 2006 when Bound for Glory was broadcast from the Compuware Arena in Detroit.

TNA started running house shows on March 17, 2006.[52] In 2007, TNA Wrestling first toured Europe, hosting two shows at Oporto and Lisbon in Portugal. In 2008, TNA wrestlers featured at Wrestle Kingdom II in Japan. Later on in 2008, TNA conducted its first tour of the UK, with most shows selling out. 2009 saw the promotion tour Germany for the first time. 2010 saw the promotion make it's French debut and it's United Arab Emirates debut. In 2012 the company made their debut in Belgium.

In August 2007, live-events coordinator Craig Jenkins stated that TNA intended to stage eight pay-per-views and 96 house shows outside Orlando, Florida in 2008.[53]

In 2009, on TNA's UK tour, a house show at Wembley Arena in London broke TNA attendance records. On July 2, 2010, MCU Park hosted a live TNA house show, which also broke the current TNA attendance record and is currently the most attended live TNA house show in the USA, with a capacity crowd of 5,550.[54]

On January 31, 2013, TNA Wrestling announced that they would tape their weekly show Impact Wrestling in different venues around the United States, with the first live show being held on March 14, 2013 in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois (a Chicago suburb).[55]

On November 21, 2013 TNA returned to Universal Studios as a home base due to rising costs of taping Impact Wrestling from different venues. However TNA began holding tapings out of Soundstage 19 instead of returning to the original TNA Impact Zone, Soundstage 21, this due to it being occupied by another tenant. There will still be “select” tapings on the road from time to time.[56] TNA announced that starting with their March 13, 2014 live broadcast, Impact Wrestling will being filming from another Universal Studios sound stage, Soundstage 20, directly behind Soundstage 21, the original TNA Impact Zone. Soundstage 19 was only a temporary venue for Impact Wrestling tapings.[12][57]

International partnerships[edit]

TNA has throughout its history worked with internationally based wrestling promotions, including having championships from those promotions defended on TNA TV and PPV. TNA has in the past worked with Mexican promotions Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA) and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), as well as Japanese promotions Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Pro Wrestling Noah. TNA currently has a talent exchange partnership with Japanese promotion Wrestle-1, and on March 2, 2014 collaborated with Wrestle-1 in producing the Kaisen: Outbreak supershow in Tokyo, Japan (where three TNA championships were defended).[58][59]

Features[edit]

From 2004–2010, and 2014 - present TNA uses a hexagonal ring

X Division[edit]

Main article: X Division
High-flying, high risk moves are a centerpiece of the X Division

Since its origin, TNA has featured a high-flying, high risk style of wrestling known as its X Division. Rather than emphasizing the fact that most wrestlers who perform this style are under 220 lb (100 kg) by calling it a cruiserweight division, TNA decided to emphasize the high risk nature of the moves that these wrestlers perform, removing all restraints on its wrestlers, allowing them to perform almost stunt like wrestling moves. Originally, there was no upper weight limit on the X Division or its title, though in practice, most of the wrestlers in this division have been cruiserweights, with Samoa Joe, billed at 280 lb (130 kg), Kurt Angle, billed at 230 lb (100 kg), and Abyss, billed at 350 lb (160 kg), being notable exceptions. To further emphasize this point, the slogan "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits" was used to describe the division. Although it was de-emphasized throughout 2007, the X Division is generally regarded as one of the key attractions of TNA and was replicated in several other promotions. In August 2011, the division was given a 225 lb (102 kg) weight limit.[60] This was quietly repealed in March 2012. In March 2013, Dixie Carter announced new rule changes to the X Division with a new weight limit of 230 lbs. and all X Division matches being triple threat matches. However, in August 2013, all X Division matches were reverted to single matches and the weight limit was repealed once more.

Six sided ring[edit]

On June 17, 2014, TNA announced a fan-voted poll to determine about what type of ring the company will continue with. The fan-voted poll ended few days later on June 25, with the six-sided ring announced as the winning type. However, several wrestlers criticized the six-sided ring, like Lance Storm or TNA Wrestler Austin Aries.

TNA contracts[edit]

TNA wrestlers are forbidden by contract from working for other companies with televised wrestling shows, but are free to perform non-televised work for any other independent wrestling promotions, domestic or international, as well as televised events held by foreign promotions that TNA is linked to or has a working relationship with such as Ring Ka King, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Noah, and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración.[61] Many TNA wrestlers perform regularly for various promotions on the independent circuit in addition to TNA's weekly shows. However, in 2012, TNA changed policy, preventing its talent from appearing at any independent events that are later released on DVD.[62] The top TNA stars have guaranteed contracts but the majority of TNA wrestlers are paid on a per appearance basis.[61] TNA wrestlers are classified as independent contractors and are not entitled to form workers' unions or employer health coverage.[61]

TNA Hall of Fame[edit]

Main article: TNA Hall of Fame

The TNA Hall of Fame was announced on May 31, 2012. As part of the yearly process, selected inductees will be chosen based on their overall contributions to TNA's history.[63][64] On June 10 at Slammiversary, Sting was revealed as the first inductee into the Hall of Fame. His formal induction took place at Bound for Glory in October 2012.[65] On June 2, 2013 TNA president Dixie Carter revealed that the newest member of the TNA Hall of Fame was Kurt Angle. Angle was officially inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame on February 1, 2014 at Wembley Arena in London. At Slammiversary 2014, Angle announced that Team 3D were the next inductees to the TNA Hall of Fame.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Current champions[edit]

Championship Current champion(s) Date won Event Previous champion(s)
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Lashley June 19, 2014
Impact Wrestling Eric Young
TNA X Division Championship Vacated July 24, 2014 Impact Wrestling Austin Aries
TNA World Tag Team Championship The Wolves
(Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards)
April 27, 2014 Sacrifice (2014) The BroMans
(Jessie Godderz and Robbie E)
TNA Knockouts Championship Gail Kim June 20, 2014
Impact Wrestling Angelina Love

Other accomplishments[edit]

Accomplishment Current Winner(s) Date won Event Previous Winner(s)
Bound For Glory Series A.J. Styles September 12, 2013 Impact Wrestling: No Surrender Jeff Hardy
Joker's Wild Ethan Carter III February 2, 2014 Joker's Wild II James Storm
Queen of the Knockouts Madison Rayne May 10, 2014 TNA:ONO- Knockdown2 Gail Kim
Tournament of Champions Bobby Roode March 19, 2013 Tournament of Champions First
Tag Team Tournament Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon) March 18, 2013 TNA Tag Team Tournament First
TNA World Cup of Wrestling Eric Young, Bully Ray, Gunner, Eddie Edwards and ODB April 11, 2014 TNA World Cup of Wrestling Team USA (James Storm (captain), Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian), Kenny King, and Mickie James)
Turkey Bowl The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and Robbie E) November 28, 2013 TNA Impact: Thanksgiving Special Eric Young
Feast or Fired Gunner (World Heavyweight)
Zema Ion (X Division)
Ethan Carter III (World Tag Team)
Chavo Guerrero (Pink Slip)
Dec 12, 2013 TNA Impact Samoa Joe (World Heavyweight)
Rob Terry (X Division)
Kevin Nash (World Tag Team)
Shiek Abdul Bashir (Pink Slip)

Other Championships used by TNA[edit]

Former title Last in TNA Reign Event Previous champion(s)
NWA World Heavyweight Championship*[66] Christian Cage January 14-

May 13, 2007

Final Resolution Abyss
NWA World Tag Team Championship*[67] Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) April 15-

May 13, 2007

Lockdown The Latin American Xchange (Hernandez and Homicide)
IWGP Heavyweight Championship**[68] Kurt Angle June 29, 2007

- Feb 17, 2008

Fighting Now Bom-Ba-Ye Brock Lesnar
IWGP Tag Team Championship**[69] Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) October 18, 09-

Jan 4, 2010

Bound for Glory The British Invasion (Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams)
IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship**[69] The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) January 4,

-July 5, 2009

Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome No Limit (Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro)
AAA World Heavyweight Championship** Jeff Jarrett June 18, 2011

-March 18, 2012

AAA Triplemanía XIX El Zorro

(*) - Indicates title previously defended in TNA due to membership in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)

(**) - Indicates title defended in TNA due to working agreements with internationally based wrestling promotions

Retired TNA Championships[edit]

Championship Last TNA holder Date created Date retired Event Previous champion(s)
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Eric Young and ODB September 20, 2009 June 27, 2013 Impact Wrestling Gail Kim and Madison Rayne
TNA Television Championship Abyss October 23, 2008 July 3, 2014 Impact Wrestling Devon

Unsanctioned[edit]

Championship Last TNA holder Date won Date aired Event Previous champion(s)
TNA World Beer Drinking Championship James Storm February 25, 2008 February 28, 2008 TNA Impact! Eric Young

Former accomplishments[edit]

Accomplishments Latest winner Date won Event Previous champion(s)
Queen of the Cage ODB April 19, 2009 Lockdown (2009) Roxxi Laveaux (Lockdown (2008))
King of the Mountain Kurt Angle June 21, 2009 Slammiversary (2009) Samoa Joe (Slammiversary (2008))
X Division King of the Mountain Suicide June 21, 2009 Slammiversary (2009) Kaz (June 5, 2008 edition of Impact!)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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