Monday, May 01, 2006

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling - TNA

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) is an American professional wrestling promotion, founded by Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry Jarrett in May 2002 and now owned by Panda Energy International. The company operates out of Nashville, Tennessee, with an office in Orlando, Florida. TNA was originally a member of the National Wrestling Alliance and was also known as NWA-TNA but withdrew from the NWA in 2004, in the process acquiring the rights to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Tag Team Championships until the year 2014.

TNA is the first American promotion to exclusively use a hexagonal ring as opposed to the more conventional four-sided ring (the Mexican Asistencia Asesoría y Administración promotion also frequently utilizes a six-sided ring.). TNA is also unorthodox in that championships can change hands as a result of a disqualification or count out, thereby nullifying the "champion's advantage," and heels and faces approach the ring via separate entrance ramps.

TNA History

After the closure of World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling in March and April 2001 respectively, there was still a demand for Southern-style and cruiserweight wrestling that Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) was not fulfilling. TNA attempted to cater to this niche market by offering an alternative to the (then) WWF and by recruiting many former WCW and ECW 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 All-Stars, had attempted to fill the void that the closure of WCW and ECW left, TNA has experienced the greatest longevity. Some suspect that 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 (allegedly because he blackmailed Vince McMahon for a large sum of money to wrestle a single match after his contract expired while he held the Intercontinental Championship in 1999).

TNA Business model

The original TNA business model was different from that employed by WWE in several key ways. By not touring like other major federations have done, TNA was able to keep costs down. TNA's original system of programming comprised of weekly cable pay-per-views.

While most major promotions had aired monthly PPVs, not having a weekly network, syndicated, or cable show from the outset was a radical departure from the norm. The weekly TNA PPVs were priced at $9.95 USD per week, much less than the monthly WWE PPVs. The weekly events were also transmitted free - albeit with a six-month delay - on The Wrestling Channel starting March 2004, this being the company's first foray into the international market.

In April 2005, TNA announced a partnership with YouTube that would see TNA supply YouTube with exclusive video content in exchange for hosting. In the same month, TNA also announced the debut of Global Impact, a weekly thirty-minute online video show to be hosted by Jeremy Borash. The first episode of Global Impact is scheduled to air on May 3, 2006.

TNA announced that they had secured a deal with Spike TV to air iMPACT! as part of Spike TV's "Slammin' Saturday Night" block, beginning in the autumn of 2005.

On November 7, 2005, it was confirmed that TNA has a video game deal with Midway Games. In the past, video games have been a major source of revenue for other wrestling promotions. The game, tenatively titled TNA iMPACT!, is currently scheduled to be released in 2007 for the PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Wii. [6]

Early in may 2006 rumors surfaced with a strong backing of many pro-wrestling news sites stating that TNA will be getting a second hour of programing in Late august early september 2006. this has also alluded to a better timeslot on thursday nights getting a major lead in from CSI:NY And or UFC programing, the rumored timeslot places TNA IMPACT Firlmly at 9:00 pm with CSI at 7:00 pm and UFC at 8:00 pm. If this were to happen this would give TNA more time to imbelish their storylines and to have a possible womens division.

TNA Current champions

TNA recognizes the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championship as their top titles. Traditionally, NWA world champions regularly defended their titles against local contenders 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 until 2014, removing these obligations from the champion. The X Division Championship is the only championship created and owned exclusively by TNA. Wrestlers who win all three titles are said to have won the TNA Triple Crown.

TNA X Division
The X Division is a high-flying, high risk style of wrestling (derided by some as being spotfests) seen in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, it had been one of the key reasons viewers turned into the former WCW and ECW promotions. 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 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). Recently, the emphasis of "it's not about weight limits" was brought to light when Samoa Joe, weighing around 290 pounds, won the X-Division title. To further emphasize this point, the slogan "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits" was created by TNA and is used to describe the division. Although it was de-emphasized throughout 2004, the X Division is generally regarded as one of the key attractions of TNA, and was replicated in several independent promotions.


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