Total Nonstop Action Wrestling

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"TNA Wrestling" redirects here. For the video game, see TNA Wrestling (video game).
TNA Entertainment, LLC
Private, Limited liability company
Industry Professional wrestling
Founded May 10, 2002 (2002-05-10)[1]
Founder Jeff Jarrett
Jerry Jarrett
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee, United States[1][2]
Area served
Worldwide[3]
Key people
Dixie Carter
(President)
Claire Surratt
(Licensing Manager)
Dean Broadhead
(Chief Financial Officer)
Owner Panda Energy International
(Majority – 71%)
Jeff Jarrett
(Investor & Minority – 29%)
Website Official website

Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling is an American privately held professional wrestling promotion based in Nashville, Tennessee, dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from live events, product licensing, and direct product sales. Founded by its former President, Jeff Jarrett, and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jerry Jarrett, in 2002, it is one of the largest wrestling promotions in the world and the second-largest in the United States after WWE.[4][5]

Panda Energy International (a.k.a. Panda Energy) purchased a controlling interest (71%) in the company in 2002 from Jerry.[6] Jeff, the company's former Vice President, 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.[10][11] Panda Energy founder Robert Carter and Panda Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Janice Carter's daughter, Dixie, is president of TNA.[12] The company's headquarters are located in Nashville, Tennessee.

The company previously wore the name "NWA Total Nonstop Action"—at the time of its formation it belonged to the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). TNA was granted exclusive rights to both the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and the NWA World Tag Team Championship. TNA withdrew from the NWA in 2004, but was permitted to continue to use the championships until the NWA abrogated the agreement in May 2007. TNA became the first American promotion to make exclusive use of a six-sided wrestling-ring as opposed to the more conventional four-sided ring.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Jeff Jarrett, one of the co-founders of TNA, Hall of Famer 2015 and King of the Mountain champion

The concept of TNA originated shortly after World Championship Wrestling (WCW) ended in 2001. Bob Ryder, Jeff Jarrett, and Jerry Jarrett went on a fishing trip and contemplated their futures in the sport of wrestling.[13] Only one wrestling product remained on U.S. national television: the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Ryder felt[13] 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 financial backing they needed, and the company put on its first show on June 19, 2002. That 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]

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 Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed the TNA Asylum. After 27 months and 111 PPVs, TNA began[14] holding a weekly television show and monthly three-hour pay-per-views. The last weekly PPV took place on September 8, 2004. TNA Xplosion 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 Wrestlers. On November 18, 2004, the show became a recap show of the previous week's Impact! in light of alterations in the taping schedule. 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.

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, Universal Studios Florida.[15] The transition included the use of a six-sided wrestling ring,[16][17] the implementation of the "Fox Box" displaying competitors and timekeeping for the match,[18] and a generally more sports-like style than the sports entertainment style exemplified by the WWE.[18]

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 continued until 2013.

The television contract with Fox Sports expired in May 2005 and was not renegotiated, leaving TNA without television exposure.[19] This prompted TNA to air iMPACT! via webcasts – originally made available via BitTorrent and eventually via RealPlayer – and on Urban America Television replacing Xplosion. During this time TNA continued pursuing a profitable television deal for regular broadcasting.[20][21] TNA later secured a deal with Spike TV and aired its first episode on October 1, 2005.[22]

In November 2006, TNA began holding select pay-per-views outside of its central filming location, the TNA Impact! Zone in Orlando, Florida, with Bound for Glory 2006. 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.[23] TNA has also launched "TNA U TV"; podcasts aired through YouTube to help promote the company.[24] Impact! expanded to a two-hour format on October 4, 2007.[25] 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.[26]

On October 23, 2008, TNA made the transition to HD and since then all programming has been broadcast in high-definition.[27] In addition, TNA introduced a new HD set that included new lighting and several large high-resolution screens.[28]

2010–2014[edit]

In 2010, TNA hired professional wrestling legend Hulk Hogan and former WCW booker Eric Bischoff. Both obtained a position behind the screen (Bischoff was part of creative and Hogan, consulter) and made some changes. They also hired many high-profile ex-WWE wrestlers, including Ric Flair, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy, while returning to a four sided ring. On February 15, 2010, TNA made a new deal with Spike TV, which moved Impact! to Monday nights, directly opposite of 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.[29]

On May 3, 2010, TNA announced that Impact! would be moved back to Thursday nights, re-branded as "TNA Thursdays".[30] At the same time the company also announced that Spike had picked up TNA Reaction (stylized as "TNA ReAction" or, alternatively, as "TNA ReACTION"), which became a regular one-hour docu-series on June 24, 2010. "ReAction" focused on the stories and characters of TNA Wrestling and preview the upcoming episode of "TNA iMPACT!"[31][32] 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.[33] On May 3, 2011, TNA Impact! was re-branded Impact Wrestling.[34][35][36]

On November 7, 2011, TNA announced that it had reached a deal with Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) to become TNA's official developmental territory.[37] In December 2011, TNA debuted their new India-based subsidiary promotion Ring Ka King.[38] On May 31, 2012, Impact Wrestling began airing live at a new start time of 8pm EST on Thursday nights.[39] The live schedule would continue throughout 2012.[40] On July 11, DirecTV, the carrier of Spike, blocked all Viacom stations affecting TNA viewership from DirecTV subscribers.[41] On July 20, DirecTV announced that it had reached an agreement with Viacom and had added back all 17 removed channels, which included SpikeTV.[42] 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 Centre in Chicago. TNA officially terminated its lease with Universal Studios in late March 2013.[43] On March 14, 2013, TNA introduced a new universal HD stage which will be used for all weekly programming.[44] On November 2, 2013, TNA ended its relationship with OVW.[45]

TNA formed a relationship with Japanese promotion Wrestle-1 beginning in July 2013 with a meeting between TNA founder Jeff Jarrett and Wrestle-1 head Keiji Mutoh.[46] It was arranged for Jarrett to wrestle for Wrestle-1 in October 2013.[47] In November, A.J. Styles successfully defended his TNA World Heavyweight Championship at a Wrestle-1 show in Japan.[48]

From the period of 2013 to 2014, many well-known names or veterans of the company left TNA. Hulk Hogan's contract with TNA expired in October 2013,[49] and he returned to WWE in early 2014.[50] In December 2013, A.J. Styles left TNA after his contract expired.[51] Styles later said that he could not accept TNA's new contract offer which would see him take a 60% cut in pay.[52] Also in December 2013, TNA founder Jeff Jarrett "resigned" from the company.[53] TNA accepted his resignation but clarified that Jarrett was still an "investor" in TNA.[10] In spite of his investor status, in 2014, Jarrett announced plans to start a new professional wrestling promotion, Global Force Wrestling.[54] The departures did not stop in 2014, with TNA veterans Sting,[55] Chris Sabin,[56] Hernandez,[57] Christopher Daniels and Kazarian all leaving the company in that year,[58] and the contracts of TNA Hall of Famers Bully Ray and Devon reportedly expired in October 2014, with TNA moving them to the alumni section of their roster in January 2015.[59]

In late July, the TMZ website reported that Spike TV was not renewing Impact Wrestling beyond October.[60] In response, TNA refuted the report, stating that negotiations were still ongoing.[61] On August 14, TNA announced that Impact Wrestling was moving from its Thursday timeslot to Wednesday nights.[62] On August 20, TNA announced that it had signed an extension with Spike TV until the end of 2014.[63]

The 2014 Bound for Glory pay-per-view was held in collaboration with Wrestle-1 in Tokyo, Japan on October 12; the TNA World Heavyweight and the TNA World Tag Team titles were not defended at the event, which featured TNA wrestlers James Storm and The Great Sanada against Wrestle-1's The Great Muta and Tajiri in the main event.[64] After Bound for Glory 2014, TNA effectively went into hiatus due to Impact Wrestling ending their contract with Spike TV and its subsequent move to Destination America. The show ceased airing new televised events after the November 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, with the final episodes of 2014 being dedicated to Best of TNA clip shows, before resuming events on January 7, 2015 with a live show from The Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom in New York City.[65][66][67]

2015–present[edit]

On November 19, 2014, TNA announced that it was ending its relationship with Spike, and that it would instead partner with Discovery Communications to distribute its programming beginning in January 2015. In the United States, TNA programs, including Impact Wrestling, will move to Destination America. Discovery will also hold rights in selected international markets.[68] Spike's outreach at the time was estimated to be more than 97 million homes while Destination America was estimated to reach 59 million households.[69] Destination America is, however, one of the fastest growing cable networks[70]

Impact Wrestling's première was on Wednesday, January 7 at 9:00 pm[71] TNA announced that Impact Wrestling: Unlocked, a brand new weekly series, hosted by Mike Tenay, would premiere on Saturday, January 17[72] and TNA Wrestling's Greatest Matches, a new series featuring the best matches in the company's history, premiered on Saturday, January 10 on Destination America. The series aired every Saturday at 12 noon immediately following Impact Wrestling: Unlocked.[73] From December 2014 to March 2015, several employees re-signed with TNA, including Kurt Angle,[74] Jeff Hardy, Gail Kim, Mr. Anderson, Abyss and Matt Hardy.[75][75][76] Awesome Kong also re-joined the company following a several year absence.[76] During this period veteran Samoa Joe and commentator Tazz left the company by mutual consent[77][78]

Discovery Communications announced in early April 2015, that Destination America had recorded their best first quarter ever, thanks in part to TNA's Impact Wrestling, with Destination America capturing over 41.94 million unique viewers over the course of the quarter.[70][79] On April 27, 2015, it was announced that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan had joined TNA as senior producer of creative and talent development.[80] In May 2015, Discovery Communications dropped Unlocked and Greatest Matches from their programming on Destination America.[81][82] In June 2015, Discovery Communications announced that Destination America recorded their best May ever in primetime, touting Impact Wrestling as one of the reasons for the increase in viewers.[83] On June 29, 2015, wrestling magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated no longer recognized TNA's World Heavyweight Title as a world title. In June 2015, Gunner, Samuel Shaw, James Storm, Austin Aries, Magnus and Mickie James all left TNA as their contracts expired, while in June TNA brought back Hernandez and in July TNA brought back Bully Ray. In July 2015, Bobby Roode and Eric Young signed with Global Force Wrestling but remain with TNA, meanwhile Magnus and Mickie James also signed with Global Force Wrestling.[84]

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.[85] 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 its French debut and its 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.[86]

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 TNA domestic attendance record at the time and is currently the most attended live TNA house show in the USA, with a capacity crowd of 5,550.[87]

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).[88]

On November 21, 2013 TNA returned to Universal Studios due to rising costs of taping Impact Wrestling from different venues. TNA began holding tapings at Soundstage 19 instead of returning to the original TNA Impact Zone, Soundstage 21, due to it being occupied by another tenant.[89] TNA announced that starting with their March 13, 2014 live broadcast, Impact Wrestling will be filmed from another Universal Studios soundstage, Soundstage 20. Soundstage 19 was only a temporary venue for Impact Wrestling tapings.[90]

From June 19, 2014 to January 29, 2015 TNA taped Impact Wrestling from The Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania[91][92][93] and the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom in New York City.[93][94][95][96] In late January 2015, TNA taped Impact Wrestling at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, The Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and Wembley Arena in London, England as part of their annual Maximum Impact tour, before returning to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. During this time TNA also stepped away from the Impact Zone moniker for the venue.[97]

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 promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), as well as Japanese promotions Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Pro Wrestling Noah and 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).[98][99]

From 2008 to 2011, TNA had a relationship with NJPW. TNA send wrestlers to participate in NJPW's event WrestleKingdom. Also, NJPW send Okada to TNA to train. However, in 2011, NJPW turned down the relationship after Okada was used as Samoa Joe's sidekick.[100]

In May 2015, it was reported that the relationship between TNA and Wrestle-1 had ended.[101] TNA currently has working agreements with Mexican promotion Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA),[102] American independent promotion Evolve,[103] and startup national promotion Global Force Wrestling.

Features[edit]

For most of its history TNA has used 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] To further emphasize this point, the slogan "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits" was used to describe the division.[citation needed] Although it was de-emphasized throughout 2007, the X Division is generally regarded[who?] as one of the key attractions of TNA and was replicated in several other promotions.[citation needed] In August 2011, the division was given a 225 lb (102 kg) weight limit.[104] 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.[105] In August 2013, all X Division matches were reverted to single matches and the weight limit was repealed once more.[citation needed]

Six sided ring[edit]

From 2002 until June 2004, TNA used the four-sided wrestling ring. In 2004, TNA switched to a six-sided ring, like the Mexican promotion AAA.[106] TNA used the six-sided ring until 2010.[107] On June 17, 2014, TNA announced a fan-voted poll to determine what type of ring the company will continue with.[citation needed] The fan-voted poll ended few days later on June 25 and on July 10, Dixie Carter announced the six-sided ring won the fan vote.[108]

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.[109] Many TNA wrestlers perform regularly for various promotions on the independent circuit in addition to TNA's weekly shows. In 2012, TNA changed policy, preventing its talent from appearing at any independent events that are later released on DVD.[110] This, however, was later altered due to the lack of TNA shows in late 2014, and many TNA stars appeared at indy events, but were not allowed to appear on any TV or pay-per-view tapings.[citation needed] The top TNA stars have guaranteed contracts but the majority of TNA wrestlers are paid on a per appearance basis.[109] TNA wrestlers are classified as independent contractors and are not entitled to form workers' unions or employer health coverage.[109]

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.[111][112] On June 10 at Slammiversary 10, Sting was revealed as the first inductee into the Hall of Fame. His formal induction took place at Bound for Glory in October 2012.[113] 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 October 19, 2013.[114] At Slammiversary XII, Angle announced that Team 3D were the next inductees to the TNA Hall of Fame.[115]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Current championships[edit]

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Location Notes
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Ethan Carter III 1 June 25, 2015
(aired July 1, 2015)
33 Orlando, Florida Defeated Kurt Angle
TNA X Division Championship Tigre Uno 1 June 24, 2015 34 Orlando, Florida Defeated Low Ki and Grado in a three-way match to win the vacant title.
TNA King of the Mountain Championship PJ Black 1 July 27, 2015 1 Orlando, Florida Defeated Bobby Lashley, Chris Masters, Eric Young and Robbie E in a King of the Mountain match to win the vacant title.
TNA World Tag Team Championship The Wolves
(Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards)
4 June 25, 2015
(aired July 1, 2015)
33 Orlando, Florida Defeated Dirty Heels (Austin Aries & Bobby Roode) in a 30-minute ironman match to win the vacant title.
TNA Knockouts Championship Brooke 3 June 25, 2015
(aired July 15, 2015)
33 Orlando, Florida Defeated Taryn Terrell

Past championships used by TNA[edit]

Former title Last in TNA Reign Event
NWA World Heavyweight Championship*[116] Christian Cage January 14-

May 13, 2007

Final Resolution
NWA World Tag Team Championship*[117] Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) April 15-

May 13, 2007

Lockdown
IWGP Heavyweight Championship**[118] Kurt Angle June 29, 2007

– Feb 17, 2008

Fighting Now Bom-Ba-Ye
IWGP Tag Team Championship**[119] Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) October 18, 09-

Jan 4, 2010

Bound for Glory
IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship**[119] The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) January 4,

-July 5, 2009

Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome
Mexican Heavyweight Championship** Jeff Jarrett June 18, 2011

-March 18, 2012

AAA Triplemanía XIX

(*) – 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

Defunct championships[edit]

Championship Last TNA holder Date created Date retired Event First champion(s)
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Eric Young and ODB September 20, 2009 June 27, 2013 Impact Wrestling Sarita and Taylor Wilde

Other accomplishments[edit]

Accomplishment Current winner(s) Date won Event
Joker's Wild Lashley February 14, 2015 Joker's Wild III
King of the Mountain Jeff Jarrett June 28, 2015 Slammiversary XIII
Queen of the Knockouts Awesome Kong February 14, 2015 Knockouts Knockdown 3
TNA World Cup of Wrestling Team Hardy (Jeff Hardy, Gunner, Davey Richards, Crazzy Steve, Rockstar Spud and Gail Kim) February 15, 2015 TNA World Cup of Wrestling 3
Turkey Bowl The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and Robbie E) November 28, 2013 Impact Wrestling: Thanksgiving Special
Feast or Fired Austin Aries (World Heavyweight)
Rockstar Spud (X Division)
Magnus (World Tag Team)
Velvet Sky (Pink Slip)
January 8, 2015 Impact Wrestling

Former accomplishments[edit]

Accomplishments Latest winner Date won Event Previous winner(s)
Bound For Glory Series A.J. Styles September 12, 2013 Impact Wrestling: No Surrender Jeff Hardy
Queen of the Cage ODB April 19, 2009 Lockdown (2009) Roxxi Laveaux
X Division King of the Mountain Suicide June 21, 2009 Slammiversary (2009) Kaz

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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