Total Nonstop Action

From Academic Kids

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is an American independent professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry Jarrett. The company originally operated out of Nashville, and now operates from Orlando, with an office in Manhattan, New York. Until recently, TNA Wrestling was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance and was also known as NWA: TNA. However, TNA Wrestling has acquired the rights to use the NWA's World Heavyweight Championship and World Tag Team Championship belts until the year 2014, and their champions will still be known as NWA champions.

TNA's signature feature is its hexagonal (six-sided) ring. Most other professional wrestling organizations use a square (four-sided) ring, though some Lucha Libre promotions have been known to use six-sided rings from time to time.

Contents

Background

After the fall of World Championship Wrestling, there was still a demand for southern-style and cruiserweight wrestling that Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment was not fulfilling. TNA attempted to cater to this niche market by offering an alternative to the WWE, and by recruiting many former WCW and Extreme Championship Wrestling performers who had not signed with WWE. On May 10, 2002, J Sports and Entertainment (a limited company with Jerry Jarrett as Chief Executive Officer and Jeff Jarrett as President) announced the formation of Total Nonstop Action.

While several companies such as World Wrestling Allstars had attempted to fill the void that the closure of WCW and ECW left, TNA has been the most successful. Some suspect a partial motive behind the creation of TNA was to provide employment and mainstream exposure for Jeff Jarrett, the son of long-time wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett, who was unemployed after the collapse of WCW, and was unable to find work with the McMahons (ostensibly because he blackmailed Vince McMahon for a large sum of money to perform after his contract expired while he held the Intercontinental Championship in 1999).

From its formation, TNA had been losing a great deal of money. In October 2002, Jerry Jarrett sold his controlling interest in the company to the privately-held company Panda Energy International, whose Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Robert W. Carter, was a wrestling fan (Jarrett remains a minority shareholder). On October 31, 2002, Panda Energy and J Sports and Entertainment created the company TNA Entertainment (J Sports and Entertainment was later dissolved). Jeff Jarrett was appointed Vice-President of TNA Entertainment, while Carter's daughter, Dixie Carter (no relation to the actress of the same name) was appointed President.

Dixie Carter is a big wrestling fan, and has become highly involved with the day-to-day operation of the company. Her ideas are rumoured to include the hiring of the highly-controversial Johnny Fairplay and the much criticised all-cage match Pay Per View, Lockdown. Panda Energy also appointed Chris Sobol, the Panda Manager of Business Development, as TNA Vice President of Operations. TNA has continued to lose money since the takeover by Panda Energy, though Panda Energy has repeatedly reaffirmed their continued support.

Business model

The TNA Wrestling business model is different from that employed by the WWE and the former WCW in several key ways. By not touring like other major federations do, or have done, TNA Wrestling has been able to keep its costs down.

Its original system of programming was comprised of weekly pay-per-view cable television shows. While it's not unusual for a federation to air a monthly pay-per-view (ECW, WWF/E, and WCW used to all follow this practice, and WWE continues to do so today), not having a weekly network, syndicated, or cable show at the beginning was a radical departure from the usual practice of televised wrestling federations. The weekly TNA Wrestling PPVs was priced at $9.95 per week, much less than the monthly PPVs of its rivals. While this made it more difficult for TNA Wrestling to pick up casual fans, it developed a small, hardcore viewership which loyally watched its product. Initial estimates by TNA predicted that about 50,000 PPV "buys" would be needed each week to break even. Actual buys were, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, ranged from anywhere between 5,000-15,000 on a weekly basis. After 111 weeks, TNA Wrestling stopped the weekly PPV on September 8, 2004.

TNA Wrestling began airing started TNA Wrestling iMPACT! in June 2004 on FOX Sports Net. TNA Wrestling iMPACT! was taped on Tuesdays in Soundstage 21 at Universal Studios in Orlando, and then broadcast at 4:00pm on FOX Sports Net in most markets (iMPACT is also syndicated throughout Europe and Asia). TNA Wrestling purchased the one hour time slot from FOX Sports Net, with the monthly PPV earnings being their main source of revenue. There weras also talk of TNA Wrestling iMPACT! appearing on TSN in Canada but those negotiations have since gone down.

TNA is widely believed to be attempting to sell their weekly show and make a profit from that rather than paying for the time slot. TNA began negotiations with WGN, with a proposed Monday evening timeslot running parallel to WWE RAW, but they could not come to an agreement. TNA then began negotiations with SpikeTV for a rumored Saturday night timeslot, a traditional wrestling timeslot dating back to the days of Clash of the Champions and the Saturday Night Main Event.

On Sunday November 7, 2004 TNA Wrestling held their first Sunday three hour PPV event, TNA Wrestling Victory Road from Universal Studios in Orlando. Featuring Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy in the main event with appearances from Scott Hall, Roddy Piper and the debuts of Kevin Nash and Randy Savage, this was the first PPV since TNA Wrestling changed their business model mid 2004. Initial "buys" for the PPV were estimated to be in the low 10,000s while incorrect reports surfaced that most of the live crowd that attended the event were allowed in for free due to low ticket sales. Even now this is a common misconception but the truth is that as long as they are taping on Universal's property they are not allowed to charge admission fees for their shows. Furthermore, Randy Savage abruptly quit the company less than a day after making his PPV debut due to alleged disputes with TNA management.

During the week after TNA Wrestling iMPACT!, TNA Wrestling partnered with Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show Period to create The Best Damn Wrestling Event Period. The specials, filmed at Universal Studios, featured wrestling matches and promoted TNA Wrestling's next PPV, TNA Wrestling Turning Point. The specials were widely criticized by wrestling insiders and fans for treating pro wrestling as a joke and making a mockery of several TNA workers.

On Sunday December 5, 2004 TNA Wrestling Turning Point broadcast featuring footage filmed at Universal Studios Orlando between a few TNA Wrestling wrestlers invading a commercial shoot for WWE's upcoming Royal Rumble PPV. The event also featured a spoof of Vince McMahon and Triple H invading the PPV and demanding that the footage be handed over to them (WWE has demanded the footage be handed over to them rather than aired, or legal action will be taken.) TNA had hoped to provoke some sort of response from their larger rival with this skit, but the more mainstream WWE completely ignored the event in the end. The event also featured an intense match between tag teams XXX and America's Most Wanted in a Six Sides of Steel Match.

Since December 2004, reports have surfaced that several workers have been shorted in pay, with Sean Waltman in particular claiming that he had not been adequately paid. However, TNA is known to have a policy of paying wrestlers for scheduled dates regardless of whether they actually wrestled or not. Two instances of this would be when the taping schedule for iMPACT changed and after TNA's TV deal with FSN lapsed.

On May 27, 2005 TNA aired its final episode of iMPACT! on Fox Sports Net. iMPACT! averaged a 0.2 household rating over the course of its existence. As previously mentioned, TNA is currently in talks with SpikeTV in hope of securing a new television slot.

Pay-Per Views (2005)

X Division

The high-flying, high risk style of wrestling (derided by some as being 'spot-fests') had been one of the key reasons viewers turned in to WCW and ECW. Rather than emphasizing the fact that most wrestlers who perform this style are under 250 lb (115 kg) by calling it a "Cruiserweight division", TNA Wrestling decided to emphasize the high risk nature of the moves these wrestlers perform (there is no upper weight limit on the X Division title, though in practice most of the champions have been Cruiserweights). Thus a key attraction of TNA Wrestling is the "X Division".

Current championships

The TNA World and Tag Team Championships are national titles owned by the National Wrestling Alliance. Traditionally, national champions regularly defend their titles against local contendors in the various NWA territories. This has rarely been the case since TNA began using the titles in 2002, but TNA has leased the titles from the NWA, removing these obligations from the champion. The X Division Championship is a regional championship, created and owned exclusively by TNA.

Title Notes: Current Champion(s)
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Raven (Scott Levy)
NWA World Tag Team Championship The Naturals (Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens)
TNA X Division Championship Christopher Daniels (Daniel Covell)


The NWA World Women's Championship has also been contested on TNA programming, though it is not controlled by TNA.

Roster

Active wrestlers

TNA Girls

Injured

Enhancement Talent

Factions/Tag Teams

  • 3 Live Kru (B.G. James/Konnan/Ron Killings)
  • America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris/James Storm)
  • Phi-Delta Slam (Big Tilly/Bruno Sassi)
  • Planet Jarrett ("Alpha Male" Monty Brown/Jeff Jarrett/The Outlaw)
  • Team Canada (A1/Bobby Roode/Eric Young/Johnny Devine/Petey Williams/Scott D'Amore)
  • The Naturals (Andy Douglas/Chase Stevens)
  • Buck Quartermain/Lex Lovett
  • Jerrelle Clark/Mikey Batts

Past and present DoAs

The TNA Director of Authority is the head official (figurehead) of TNA Wrestling. More or less a Commissioner for the company, the DoA makes the matches for TNA's PPVs and Impact TV shows.

While Erik Watts had no real creative power, Vince Russo and Dusty Rhodes were, in addition to their onscreen roles, the company bookers. The show is currently being booked by a team led by Scott D'Amore, Jeremy Borash, and Bill Banks.

Other On-air Talent

External links:

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