|Written for The Wrestling Game
Hello people of TWG™ and whoever stumbled upon this article! I am Ninoslav Maricic and I will be your host for another episode of "Talking to Myself". In this article, I will be talking about the history of TNA (or Impact Wrestling as some call it today). Originally, I wanted to write about the history of WWE, but I am too lazy to go trough 61 year old history of the number one wrestling promotion today, so number two it is! Some of the info was taken from Wikipedia.
Well, once upon a time there was a wrestling organization called WCW. After WCW was sold to WWF (you can read about that in my previous article called "Rewriting History"), Jeff Jarret and his father Jerry Jarret went fishing with their friend Bob Ryder. While they were fishing (honestly, I think they just went drinking), Jarrets have decided to form a new wrestling organization that would rival WWF which was at the time the only wrestling product on US national TV. Since a lot of TV stations thought that wrestling was "risky business", they eventually decided to run their shows as weekly PPVs.
Since their company started as a member of National Wrestling Alliance, they called it NWA Total Nonstop Action. Their first show aired on June 19th 2002 and after a while they were able to get a TV deal from Fox Sports. Their show was called TNA Impact and it featured their famous six sided ring for the first time. One year later, Fox Sports decided not to renew their TV deal with TNA and TNA had to start making webcasts broadcasting from their website, using BitTorrent (yes kids, you can use BitTorrent for something other the illegal downloading) and RealPlayer.
Later, they were able to close a TV deal with Spike TV and return to weekly TV programing. I the attempt to become more competitive with WWE, they have decided to run Impact on Mondays and they went back to four sided ring. Since that backfired, soon they were back to their Thursday slot (lucky for them Spike TV people were smart enough to keep it open by running reruns of Impact on Thursdays).
Eventually, TNA was sold in full to Panda Energy International, a company that constructs, maintains and operates environmentally friendly power plants. The company is family business owned by Robert W. Carter (father of Dixie Carter). Apparently, she talked her father into buying TNA to save it from bankruptcy when HealthSouth Corporation (largest owner and operator of inpatient rehabilitative hospitals in the United States that was involved in a corporate accounting scandal after being accused of directing company employees to falsely report grossly exaggerated company earnings in order to meet stockholder expectations) decided to withdraw their support. And now you know how Dixie Carter became the president of TNA.
TNA tried various ways to make themselves look different then other wrestling promotions. Aside from a hexagonal ring, they also formed the X Division. They didn't want it to look like a cruiserweight division (even though most of the performers were below 220 lbs), so they advertised it as "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits". Most people loved the hexagonal ring and the X Division and were disappointed with the arrival of Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan who decided to bring back the four sided ring and pretty much turn the X Division into the cruiserweight division.
A few bad decisions later, a lawsuit against WWE that went nowhere and storyline recycling, TNA ended up being a product it is today: A bad copy of WWE trying to get ratings that will endanger WWE's top spot and failing miserably. When WWE officials were contemplating renaming WWE to World Entertainment (since the company has "moved on" from being just a wrestling company in their "humble" opinions) TNA decided to change their brand name to "Impact Wrestling" (because to them "wrestling matters"). That decision was yet another fail to get more ratings because even though "wrestling matters" to TNA, it seems that TNA doesn't matter much to wrestling. Unless you are from the UK. Rumors are that TNA tends to beat WWE rankings there.
Well, this is all I have for you this week. I am Ninoslav Maricic and you were reading "Talking to Myself: Short History of TNA". I will be back next week with another article and until then, I bid you adieu!