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TNA Entertainment LLC
Type limited liability company
Founded May 10, 2002
Founder(s) Jeff Jarrett
Jerry Jarrett
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee
Orlando, Florida
Key people Dixie Carter - president
Jeff Jarrett - Vice President
Dean Broadhead - CEO[1]
Andy Barton - senior vice president, Licensing and International television[1]
Terry Taylor - Director of Talent Relations [1]
Industry Professional wrestling
Lucha libre
Hardcore wrestling
Sports entertainment
Parent Panda Energy International
Website TNAwrestling.com

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) is a privately-controlled professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Jarrett in 2002. The company is active in the integrated-media industry, broadcasting its events on television and the Internet. TNA also gains revenue from live events, product licensing, and direct product sales. Dixie Carter is the president of the company and co-founder Jeff Jarrett is the vice president.[2] In 2002, Panda Energy International purchased a controlling share in TNA.[3]

The company has its headquarters in Orlando, Florida; its trading company TNA Entertainment, LLC operates out of Nashville, Tennessee. The company previously bore 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.[4]

TNA became the first American promotion to make exclusive use of a hexagonal wrestling-ring (as opposed to the more conventional four-sided ring). The organization also employed the unconventional rule that a championship can change hands as the result of a disqualification or countout, but has slowly phased out this rule. TNA is currently the second largest professional wrestling promotion United States.

Contents

History

Formation

The concept of TNA originated shortly after the end of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 2001. Bob Ryder, Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Jarrett and Brian J. Schaaf went on a fishing trip and contemplated their futures in the business of wrestling. The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) remained the only wrestling product on U.S. national television — WWF had purchased WCW in March 2001, and Extreme Championship Wrestling had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2001. Ryder felt that this situation led many television stations to regard wrestling as bad for business and suggested a company that does not need television, but rather just goes straight to pay-per-view. Of the three, only Jeff Jarrett took the discussion seriously (the other two thought of it as "just fishing talk").

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 450lb 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.[5]

TNA Xplosion and weekly PPVs

The original TNA business model differed from that employed by WWE in several key ways. By not touring like other major companies had done, TNA could keep costs down. Until the introduction of the syndicated show, TNA Xplosion, in late 2002, 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.[6] These shows started on June 19, 2002 and were held mostly at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville to lower production costs.[7] After 27 months, TNA felt that they had a fanbase that would support three-hour pay-per-views and ceased their weekly shows on September 8, 2004.[8] TNA held its first three-hour monthly pay-per-view, Victory Road, on November 7, 2004.

TNA Impact!

TNA began airing TNA Impact! (officially typeset "TNA iMPACT!") on June 4, 2004 on Fox Sports Net, and it soon replaced the weekly pay-per-views as TNA's primary broadcast, while the monthly events became the main source of revenue.[9] The contract was not renewed one year later with the show getting consistent low ratings. As a result, TNA was left with no television deal other than the monthly pay-per-views, so on July 1, 2005, TNA turned to broadcasting Impact! from their official website, while seeking a new television outlet.[10][11] TNA later secured a deal with Spike TV and aired its first episode on October 1, 2005.[12] Impact! expanded to a two-hour format on October 4, 2007.[13] On February 15, 2010, TNA made a new deal with Spike TV which would move TNA Impact! to Monday nights. The first episode took place March 8, 2010.[14]

Expansion

In October 2006, TNA started holding some of its monthly pay-per-views outside of its central filming location. TNA has also expanded into other areas with the development of a video game with Midway Games, titled TNA Impact!, released in 2008.[15] In April 2006, TNA announced a partnership with YouTube where 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.[16] TNA has also launched the TNA U program to help promote the brand and has started airing podcasts through YouTube which they call TNA U TV.[17]

Apart from their weekly shows, TNA started running house shows on March 17, 2006.[18] 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.[19] In 2008 TNA conducted its first tour of the UK, with most shows selling out. 2009 saw the promotion first touring Germany.

In May 2009, Bravo in the UK started airing a new TNA television series called TNA Epics which showed past matches and events from the "TNA Video Vault". Epics ran for eight episodes in the UK before going off-air, the rest off the episodes are to be shown on a later date, but all 10 created episodes are still available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

TNA footage appears in the wrestling documentary, Bloodstained Memoirs.[20] On June 21, TNA launched an online video vault subscription service, where subscribers could watch past pay-per-views by choosing either one of three payment options.[21]

Celebrity involvement

Since its inception, several celebrities have appeared with TNA in a variety of roles.

Celebrity Date Event Role Refs
Danny Bonaduce April 2009 Lockdown (2009) Wrestled Eric Young. [22]
Dustin Diamond September 2002 TNA Weekly PPV Competed in a boxing match. [23]
David Eckstein January 2007 TNA Weekly PPV Briefly "feuded" with A.J. Pierzynski. [24][25][26]
F.I.L.T.H.E.E. August 2008 Hard Justice (2008) Started off the Hard Justice pay-per-view rapping about TNA with Grandmaster Caz. [27]
Grandmaster Caz August 2008 Hard Justice (2008) Started off the Hard Justice pay-per-view rapping about TNA with F.I.L.T.H.E.E. [27]
Jeff Hammond July 2004 TNA Impact! Became a color commentator and wrestled two matches before departing in 2005. [28]
Adam "Pacman" Jones July 2007 Victory Road (2007) Signed a contract with the promotion. In response, the Tennessee Titans organization sought a restraining order banning him from working with the company. The Titans and TNA subsequently came to an agreement on Jones participating with TNA, and Jones, with Ron Killings as "Team Pacman", even won the TNA World Tag Team Championship from the team of Kurt Angle and Sting during his brief tenure with the company. [23]
Toby Keith 2002 TNA Weekly PPV Performed "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" to open the show. Keith then entered the Gauntlet for the Gold main event match to determine the NWA World Heavyweight Champion; he proceeded to suplex and eliminate Jeff Jarrett from the match.
Sterling Marlin 2002 TNA Weekly PPV
Juan Pablo Montoya February 2008 TNA Impact! Escorted Homicide of The Latin American Xchange (along with Salinas and Hernandez) in a triple-threat match with Chris Sabin (with Reed Sorenson and Alex Shelley) and Jimmy Rave of The Rock 'n Rave Infection (with Lance Hoyt and Christy Hemme).
Jenna Morasca March 2009 TNA Impact! Debuted for the company, portraying herself as a wrestling-fan. She was briefly affiliated with The Main Event Mafia stable as a financial backer of the group, and even had a singles grudge match with Sharmell. [32]
Tito Ortiz May 2005 Hard Justice (2005) Referee [33]
Tito Ortiz October 2005 Bound for Glory (2005) Referee [34]
A. J. Pierzynski December 2005 Turning Point (2005) Served as a manager and interfered in a match. [24][25][26]
A.J. Pierzynski January 2007 TNA Impact! Briefly "feuded" with David Eckstein. [24][25][26]
Andre Rison February 2007 Promoted Pros vs. Joes in an in-ring interview before Abyss "attacked" (kayfabe) him. [35]
Chris Rock October 2002 TNA Weekly PPV Interviewed while filming a scene for the film Head of State and promo it. [23]
Dennis Rodman July 2004 TNA Impact! Accompanied 3Live Kru to ringside for a match against Team Canada.
Hermie Sadler 2002 TNA Weekly PPV Wrestled in several matches [28]
Steve Schirripa February 2007 TNA Impact! Appeared as a relative (kayfabe) of Team 3D. [35]
Reed Sorenson February 2008 TNA Impact! Escorted Chris Sabin of The Motor City Machineguns (along with Alex Shelley) in a triple-threat match with LAX Homicide (with Salinas, Hernandez and Juan Pablo Montoya) and Jimmy Rave of The Rock 'n Rave Infection (with Lance Hoyt and Christy Hemme).
Jimmy Spencer February 2008 TNA Impact! Joined Don West and Mike Tenay to call a match.
Brian Urlacher January 2004 TNA Weekly PPV Interfered in a match. [36]
Kyle Vanden Bosch June 2007 Slammiversary (2007) Accompanied Frank Wycheck and Jerry Lynn in their tag match against James Storm and Ron Killings. [37]
Frank Wycheck June 2007 Slammiversary (2007) Tagged with Jerry Lynn against James Storm and Ron Killings. [37]
Zakk Wylde October 2009 Bound For Glory (2009) Performed "The Star-Spangled Banner", interfered in the Full Metal Mayhem tag team match. [38]
Ace Young May 2008 Slammiversary (2008) Took part in the storyline wedding of Jay Lethal and SoCal Val.
GRITS May 2009 TNA Impact! Performed A.J. Styles's theme song. [39]
Joey Fatone October 2009 Bound for Glory (2009) Co-hosted the live pre-show alongside Jeremy Borash.

Features

Ring shape and locations

The six sided Impact! Zone ring, used from 2004 to 2010

Distinctively in the United States professional wrestling promotion scene, TNA has used a hexagonal ring as opposed to the traditional square ring which was used during the NWA-TNA era of the company. Steel-cage matches, referred to as Six Sides of Steel matches, also take place in the ring; in addition, the promotion holds a now annual pay-per-view called Lockdown which features every match on the card inside the cage. Also, although TNA runs some house shows and a few PPV events in arenas, TNA holds most of its events at a set location, referred to as the TNA Impact! Zone, in Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida as opposed to an arena, presenting more of a regional promotion atmosphere. At the 2010 edition of Genesis, TNA returned to a four-sided ring. The company, however, still utilizes the six sided ring in live events.[40]

X Division

The high-flying, high-risk style of wrestling had become one of the features of World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling in the late 1990s. 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. There is 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 Sonny Siaki, Samoa Joe, and Kurt Angle, being notable exceptions. To further emphasize this point, the slogan "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits" is used to describe the division. Although it was de-emphasized throughout 2007 and throughout 2009, the X Division is generally regarded as one of the key attractions of TNA and was replicated in several independent promotions.

Personnel

Creative team

Jeff and Jerry Jarrett did the initial booking, followed by Dusty Rhodes; while Vince Russo focused more on writing. At times, the position of booker has been coterminous with the on-screen position of Director of Authority.

Authority figures

When TNA first launched, it billed the on-air authority figure as a representative appointed by the National Wrestling Alliance. It did this for storyline purposes only, however, and the actual "representatives" already worked in some capacity for TNA. From February 19, 2003, TNA had no active authority figure until July 23, 2003 when Erik Watts made his return to TNA as the Director of Authority.[41] Watts started feuding with Don Callis (TNA Management Consultant), ending with Watts forced to quit. On February 18, 2004, TNA named Vince Russo the new Director of Authority, a position he held until November 7, 2004 when Dusty Rhodes defeated and replaced him.

The NWA Championship Committee, established in 2004, comprised a group of wrestling veterans who acted as arbitrators, determining a winner in the event of a time-limit draw. The committee consisted of Harley Race, Larry Zbyszko and Terry Funk, with Funk later replaced by Roddy Piper without ever having appeared on TNA television. After Race and Piper left TNA, the Committee essentially ceased to exist as a physical on-screen body, although Zbyszko continued to be referred to as a member of the committee while simultaneously acting as on-screen authority figure, booking matches and giving title shots.

In October 2005, Larry Zbyszko began to repeatedly reference an ambiguous authority within TNA known only as "TNA Management". "TNA Management" has, in the past, appeared in the form of "special referee" Earl Hebner, "consultant" Dave Hebner and "messenger" Christy Hemme. The current face of "TNA Management" emerged at Slammiversary 2006 in the form of Jim Cornette, who has been called the "Management Director" in press releases following that pay-per-view. On October 23, 2008, on the first high-definition episode of Impact!, TNA announced that Mick Foley had become TNA's Executive Shareholder. In September 2009, Cornette was released from his TNA contract.[42] In January 2010, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff enunciated their on-air co-partnership in running TNA.

Championships

TNA originally recognized the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championships, in addition to the X Division Championship, the only championship controlled and owned exclusively by TNA. Traditionally, NWA World Champions regularly defended their titles against local contenders in the various NWA territories. This did not often happen when TNA used the titles, with TNA leasing the titles from the NWA in order to free the champion from these obligations. Wrestlers who win all three titles have won the TNA Triple Crown.

On May 13, 2007, the NWA withdrew recognition of TNA's champions, leaving the two NWA titles vacant.[4] TNA invented new titles, the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and the TNA World Tag Team Championship, and unveiled them later in that week. TNA credits wrestlers who held the NWA World Heavyweight and World Tag Team championships as former TNA champions; for example, it bills Ron Killings as a two-time TNA World Champion, yet his two reigns involved the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Along with this, TNA redesigned the X Division title belt.

The TNA Women's World Championship commenced on October 14, 2007 at Bound for Glory. Gail Kim won a 10-woman gauntlet match to become the first Women's Champion in TNA. She is also the first to hold both the TNA Women's World Championship and the WWE Women's Championship. On October 23, 2008 on a live edition of Impact! from Las Vegas, Booker T opened a briefcase and revealed the TNA Legends Championship and declared himself the first champion. Following the victory of this title by A.J. Styles on March 15, 2009, it established him as the first TNA Grand Slam winner, as he already achieved the Triple Crown. TNA also recognizes when their wrestlers hold a Championship sanctioned by New Japan Pro Wrestling. On the August 20 episode of Impact!, TNA announced plans to create a Knockouts' Tag Team Championship, which were later won by the team of Taylor Wilde and Sarita.

Current champions

Championship Champion Date won Date aired Event Previous Champion
TNA World Heavyweight Championship A.J. Styles September 20, 2009 September 20, 2009 No Surrender (2009) Kurt Angle
TNA Global Championship Rob Terry January 27, 2010 N/A Live event Eric Young
TNA World Tag Team Championship Matt Morgan and Hernandez January 17, 2010 January 17, 2010 Genesis (2010) The British Invasion
(Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams)
TNA X Division Championship Doug Williams January 19, 2010 January 28, 2010 Impact! Amazing Red
TNA Women's Knockout Championship Tara January 17, 2010 January 17, 2010 Genesis (2010) ODB
TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship The Beautiful People
(Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne, and Lacey Von Erich)
March 8, 2010 March 8, 2010 Impact! Vacant

Sky and Rayne won the title, but all three members of The Beautiful People are recognized as the Knockout Tag Team Champions, and any two members can defend the title. This type of title defense is known as the Freebird Rule.

Former championships

Sanctioned

Former Title Last TNA holder Date won Date aired Event Previous champion
NWA World Heavyweight Championship[43] Christian Cage January 14, 2007 January 14, 2007 Final Resolution Abyss
NWA World Tag Team Championship[44] Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) April 15, 2007 April 15, 2007 Lockdown The Latin American Xchange (Homicide and Hernandez)

Unsanctioned

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

Other accomplishments

Accomplishments Latest Winner Date won Event
Queen of the Cage ODB April 19, 2009 Lockdown (2009)
King of the Mountain Kurt Angle June 21, 2009 Slammiversary (2009)

See also

References

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