How TNA Wrestling left their Impact on Wrestling!
Yes, Pun intended…
For the longest time, fans everywhere loved to give TNA Wrestling hate.
You could find jokes in any wrestling forum or wrestling news site comment section — crapping on the product and their short comings.
It wasn’t that hard to do either; TNA gave fans the fuel to add to the fire.
We had crazy storylines that instantly made fans face palm – e.g. – Claire Lynch, Joker Sting, They’re Here (10/10/10) and others. If you haven’t witnessed any of those, look them up, at your own risk.
Most of the issues came from management of the company.
Dixie Carter was inexperienced and lacked the needed knowledge to run a wrestling company.
This would lead to Dixie bringing in Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and his production team — Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment which is now defunct.
Hogan and Bischoff would try and recreate the magic they made in WCW and start the Monday Night Wars all over again but….
we all know how that ended!
—Some Bright Spots—
Not all of their ideas were bad, you could add the Aces & 8’s to the list of terrible storylines but it started off strong and kept fans intrigued.
Also, it gave us a heel (Bubba) Bully Ray Dudley who delivered some of the best promos at that time, in any company.
Another idea that was brought to TNA at this time was — Gut Check.
This segment had was a way to introduce new talent with a tryout match live on Impact with 3 judges deciding if they’ll be signed or not.
Those were two good aspects during the Hogan-Bischoff era but let’s turn back to the ugly.
Victory Road 2011 has to be TNA’s worse moment of all time.
The incident heard around the world in the wrestling industry — Jeff Hardy was said to be intoxicated or under the influence of an substance(s).
Sting had to secure a ‘shoot’ pin to retain the title.
But….no! They survived and kept trucking along to the surprise by many!
But TNA were hurting bad financially, which led to their back bone being removed.
Guys like AJ Styles, Robert Roode, Eric Young,
James Storm, Samoa Joe and others were offered lower contracts due to the financial struggles.
TNA was basically telling these guys to leave, as they planned to start from scratch and attempt to rebuild.
Now that seemed to be the final nail in the coffin but no, wrong again.
TNA would continue on and would actually create some of the most interesting wrestling at the time.
EC3 was grew and became a star under TNA lights and of course you can’t forget about the Broken Universe created by Matt Hardy.
These bright spots did not take away from the ugliness TNA had created over the years.
Anthem would not allow this thing to die, they fought, regrouped and went a different direction.
Now that Don Callis & Scott D’ Amore are involved the skies are the limit.
This iteration feels different; Impact is now gritty and pulls no punches.
We’ve talked about the bad & the ugly but let’s talk about the IMPACT, that will be left by this company!
Leaving an Impact
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, but Impact (yes, i’m just going to call it Impact for the rest of the article) had talent. The proof is in the pudding.
All their core guys, the back bone that helped bring in fans seeking and lurking for a true alternative to WWE, especially during a time when WWE was simply not good.
AJ Styles was TNA Wrestling. The same as Sting was for WCW. A loyalist and a star that wanted to carry Impact on his back to success.
We had Beer Money, James Storm & Robert Roode two guys who went on to be World Champions in the company and who could clearly hold there own. Once the two got together though, it was instant chemistry and pure magic.
Samoa Joe, who is still going strong and who could win a WWE Championship very soon!
Can’t forget about the female talent.
Before the “Women’s Revolution” in WWE, Impact were breaking barriers and respecting women’s wrestling long before it was a thought in WWE.
Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, ODB, The Beautiful People and more, all helped create a great Women’s division and put on some classic matches and moments.
Now let’s talk about the X Division.
The things the young talent(s) were pulling off captivated all of us fans.
The X Division was fresh and new.
It pulled off the same effect the Cruiserweight Division did when introduced on WCW Nitro.
You could even argue that at time the X Division belt was more meaningful than the World title. Especially when it came to the matches.
The feud and encounters between Joe, Styles and Daniels were top notch and were hard to top at that time.
Quite frankly, the X Division built Impact wrestling.
Let’s get to the most important fact.
Last but not least — The Matches!
Why do we all love this thing called wrestling? Yes, the gimmicks, storylines and outlandish moments are cool and all but…
Wrestling is why we love wrestling. Great matches that have us on the edge of our seats .
For a period of time, any match Kurt Angel had in Impact was magical. Especially with Samoa Joe.
AJ Styles vs Chris Sabin vs Petey Williams.
Motor City Machine Guns vs Beer Money.
America’s Most Wanted vs Triple X.
People seem to forget all of this and remember the bad.
It does not hurt to have alternative or more than one company thriving.
Impact’s time at being the number two wrestling company in the world has past but they have left their stamp on the wrestling world…no matter what the future holds for the company.
What are your thoughts on the history of TNA Wrestling/Impact? Have they left their mark in wrestling to you? Or do the bad moments outweigh the good? Leave your comment below.
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