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Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Formerly called J Sports & Entertainment, LLC (2002)
TNA Entertainment, LLC
(2002–2016)
Industry Professional wrestling, sports entertainment
Founded May 10, 2002
Founder Jeff Jarrett
Jerry Jarrett
Defunct September 29, 2016
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Area served Worldwide
Parent WWE
This article is about the company that ran from 2002 until 2016. For the reformed company see Impact Wrestling.

Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling was an American professional wrestling promotion based in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded by its former President, Jeff Jarrett, and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jerry Jarrett, in 2002 as J Sports & Entertainment, LLC (operated as NWA: Total Nonstop Action, a.k.a. NWA-TNA).

Throughout its 14 year tenure TNA's ownership changed hands several times until 2016 when it ran out of money days before its biggest pay-per-view Bound for Glory. When this happened it was bought out by the WWE and funds were given for the pay-per-view but the company folded afterwards.

History

Formation

The concept of TNA originated shortly after World Championship Wrestling (WCW) ended in 2001. Bob Ryder, Jeff Jarrett, and Jerry Jarrett went on a fishing trip and contemplated their futures in the professional wrestling business. Only one wrestling product remained on United States national television: the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Ryder felt that this situation led many television stations to regard wrestling as bad for business, so he suggested a company not reliant on television, but rather one going straight to pay-per-view.

The Jarretts found the financial backing they needed, and the company put on its first show on June 19, 2002. That night, however, in a dark match just before they went on the air, a 450 lb 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.

Initially, 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. These shows started on June 19, 2002, and took place mostly at the Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed the TNA Asylum. After 27 months and 111 PPVs, TNA began holding a weekly television show and monthly three-hour pay-per-views. The last weekly PPV took place on September 8, 2004. TNA Xplosion launched on November 27, 2002 as TNA's first regular cable show and featured exclusive matches from the TNA Asylum as well as exclusive interviews with TNA Wrestlers. On November 18, 2004, the show became a recap show of the previous week's Impact! in light of alterations in the taping schedule. Xplosion resumed airing exclusive matches (billed as "Xplosion Xclusives") once more on October 7, 2005 in addition to recapping Impact!. The "Xplosion Xclusives" also aired on the now-ceased TNA Global Impact! internet show. Airing of Xplosion in the United States ceased at the end of 2006, although some of the exclusive matches can be seen on TNA Today.

2004–2010

In May 2004, TNA Wrestling introduced a television program, TNA iMPACT!, produced at Soundstage 21 at Universal Studios Florida and broadcast on Fox Sports. The transition included the use of a six-sided wrestling ring, the implementation of the "Fox Box" displaying competitors and timekeeping for the match, and a generally more sports-like style than the sports entertainment style exemplified by the WWE.

With the switch to cable television, TNA discontinued their weekly pay-per-view shows in favor of a monthly 3-hour pay-per-view format as previously utilized by WCW and ECW and as currently used by WWE. In November 2004, TNA held the first of these pay-per-views, Victory Road, beginning the pattern of pay-per-view shows that continued until 2013.

The television contract with Fox Sports expired in May 2005 and was not renegotiated, leaving TNA without television exposure. This prompted TNA to air iMPACT! via webcasts – originally made available via BitTorrent and eventually via RealPlayer – and on Urban America Television replacing Xplosion. During this time TNA continued pursuing a profitable television deal for regular broadcasting. TNA later secured a deal with Spike TV and aired its first episode on October 1, 2005.

In October 2006, TNA began holding select pay-per-views outside of its central filming location, the TNA Impact! Zone in Orlando, Florida, with Bound for Glory 2006. In April 2006, TNA began a partnership with YouTube, under which 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. TNA has also launched "TNA U TV"; podcasts aired through YouTube to help promote the company. Impact! expanded to a two-hour format on October 4, 2007. On June 21, 2009, TNA launched an online video-vault subscription-service where subscribers could watch past pay-per-views by choosing one of three payment options.

On October 23, 2008, TNA made the transition to HD and since then all programming has been broadcast in high-definition. In addition, TNA introduced a new HD set that included new lighting and several large high-resolution screens.

2010–2014

In 2010, TNA hired professional wrestling legend Hulk Hogan and former WCW President Eric Bischoff. Both obtained a position behind the screen (Bischoff was part of creative and Hogan a consultant) and made some changes. They also hired many high-profile ex-WWE wrestlers, including Ric Flair, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy, while returning to a four sided ring. On February 15, 2010, TNA made a new deal with Spike TV, which moved Impact! to Monday nights, directly opposite of Raw (Although the network kept the Thursday night slot open for repeats of the Monday night shows). The first episode took place March 8, 2010.

On May 3, 2010, TNA moved Impact! back to Thursday nights, re-branded as "TNA Thursdays". At the same time Spike also picked up TNA Reaction (stylized as "TNA ReAction" or, alternatively, as "TNA ReACTION"), which became a regular one-hour docu-series on June 24, 2010. "ReAction" focused on the stories and characters of TNA Wrestling and previewed the upcoming episode of "TNA iMPACT!" On February 24, 2011 TNA began holding Impact! tapings at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. On May 3, 2011, TNA Impact! was re-branded Impact Wrestling.

On November 7, 2011, TNA revealed that Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) would become TNA's official developmental territory. In December 2011, TNA debuted their new India-based subsidiary promotion Ring Ka King. On May 31, 2012, Impact Wrestling began airing live at a new start time of 8pm EST on Thursday nights. The live schedule would continue throughout 2012. On July 11, DirecTV, the carrier of Spike, blocked all Viacom stations affecting TNA viewership from DirecTV subscribers. After DirectTV and Viacom reached agreement, the removed channels were added back on July 20. In March 2013, TNA began taping Impact from different venues around the United States and terminated its lease with Universal Studios. On March 14, 2013, TNA introduced a new universal HD stage which would be used for all weekly programming. On November 2, 2013, TNA ended its relationship with OVW.

TNA formed a relationship with Japanese promotion Wrestle-1 beginning in July 2013 with a meeting between TNA founder Jeff Jarrett and Wrestle-1 head Keiji Mutoh. It was arranged for Jarrett to wrestle for Wrestle-1 in October 2013. In November, A.J. Styles successfully defended his TNA World Heavyweight Championship at a Wrestle-1 show in Japan.

From the period of 2013 to 2014, many well-known names or veterans of the company left TNA. Hulk Hogan's contract with TNA expired in October 2013, and he returned to WWE in early 2014. In December 2013, A.J. Styles left TNA after his contract expired. Styles later said that he could not accept TNA's new contract offer which would see him take a 60% cut in pay. Also in December 2013, TNA founder Jeff Jarrett "resigned" from the company. TNA accepted his resignation but clarified that Jarrett was still an "investor" in TNA. In spite of his investor status, in 2014, Jarrett revealed plans to start a new professional wrestling promotion, Global Force Wrestling. The departures did not stop in 2014, with TNA veterans Sting, Chris Sabin, Hernandez, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian all leaving the company in that year, and the contracts of TNA Hall of Famers Bully Ray and Devon reportedly expired in October 2014, with TNA moving them to the alumni section of their roster in January 2015.

In late July, the TMZ website reported that Spike TV was not renewing Impact Wrestling beyond October. In response, TNA refuted the report, stating that negotiations were still ongoing. On August 14, TNA moved Impact Wrestling from its Thursday timeslot to Wednesday nights. On August 20, TNA signed an extension with Spike TV until the end of 2014.

The 2014 Bound for Glory pay-per-view was held in collaboration with Wrestle-1 in Tokyo, Japan on October 12; the TNA World Heavyweight and the TNA World Tag Team titles were not defended at the event, which featured TNA wrestlers James Storm and The Great Sanada against Wrestle-1's The Great Muta and Tajiri in the main event. After Bound for Glory 2014, TNA effectively went into hiatus due to Impact Wrestling ending their contract with Spike TV and its subsequent move to Destination America. The show ceased airing new televised events after the November 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, with the final episodes of 2014 being dedicated to Best of TNA clip shows, before resuming events on January 7, 2015 with a live show from The Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom in New York City.

2015–2016

On November 19, 2015, TNA signed a deal with Pop to air Impact Wrestling, where it premiered on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 in a live special held at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. With this move to Pop, Impact Wrestling introduced a new HD set, graphics and theme music. This show saw the semi-finals and finals of the World Title Series, which was won by Ethan Carter III. Husband and wife team Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis would debut soon after. Subsequent shows would include episodes taped during a tour of England, which would be the last TNA appearances for Kurt Angle. TNA began taping Impact Wrestling from the "Impact Zone" at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida beginning with a live Impact Wrestling on March 15, 2016. On March 19, longtime TNA wrestlers Eric Young and Bobby Roode left the promotion after 12 years. On April 22, 2016, Velvet Sky, another longtime TNA wrestler, left the company.

On August 12, 2016, Billy Corgan became the promotion's new President, while Dixie Carter became Chairwoman and Chief Strategy Officer. In September it was reported that TNA was struggling for money and that the WWE was interesting in purchasing the company. But just days before Bound for Glory TNA ran out of money and the company was purchased by the WWE. TNA was given money to fund Bound for Glory before closing its doors following the event. WWE had the rights to buy out all contracts but ended up just purchasing the contracts of The Broken HardysDecay and Grado.

Championships

Final Champions

Championship Final champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Retired
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Lashley 3 June 12, 2016 112 October 2, 2016
Impact Grand Championship Aron Rex 1 October 2, 2016 <1 October 2, 2016
TNA X Division Championship DJ Z 2 August 13, 2016 50 October 2, 2016
TNA World Tag Team Championship The Hardys
("Broken" Matt Hardy and Brother Nero)
2 October 2, 2016 <1 October 2, 2016
TNA Knockouts Championship Gail Kim 6 October 2, 2016 <1 October 2, 2016
TNA World Beer Drinking Championship James Storm 2 February 25, 2008 1 February 26, 2008
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Eric Young and ODB 1 February 28, 2012 478 June 27, 2013
TNA King of the Mountain Championship Lashley 1 August 11, 2016 1 August 12, 2016

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