Impact Wrestling
NWA: Total Nonstop Action (2002–2004)
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2017)
Impact Wrestling (March 2017–June 2017, September 2017–present)
Global Force Wrestling (June 2017–September 2017)[1]
Formerly
J Sports & Entertainment, LLC (2002)[2]
TNA Entertainment LLC (2002–2016)[3]
Impact Ventures LLC (2015–2016)[4]
Subsidiary
IndustryProfessional wrestling
FoundedJune 19, 2002; 16 years ago (2002-06-19) in Nashville, Tennessee, United States
FoundersJeff Jarrett
Jerry Jarrett
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario, Canada
Area served
Worldwide[5]
Key people
OwnersAnthem Sports & Entertainment[8]
(majority owner - 95%)
Dixie Carter[8]
(minority owner - 5%)
ParentAnthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC
(2017–present)
DivisionsGlobal Wrestling Network
Impact Home Video
Impact Wrestling Music
Websiteimpactwrestling.com/ Edit this on Wikidata

Impact Wrestling is an American professional wrestling promotion currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[9][10] The promotion operates as a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment via its parent company,[11] Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC.[12][13]

Founded by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett in 2002,[14] in Nashville, Tennessee, the promotion was initially known as NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA-TNA) and was associated with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). It withdrew from the NWA in 2004 and became known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), but it continued to use the NWA World Heavyweight and the NWA World Tag Team championships as part of an agreement. After the agreement ended in 2007, the company created its own TNA World Heavyweight and TNA World Tag Team championships. The promotion was purchased by Anthem at the beginning of 2017, and it was renamed Impact Wrestling after its main television series.

Impact Wrestling (under its former name, TNA) had been considered the second largest professional wrestling promotion in the United States behind WWE up to at least 2015.[15][16] However, from mid-2017, Impact has become increasingly viewed to have fallen behind longtime rival Ring of Honor.[17][18][19] The loss of their former television contract and personnel issues have been noted as contributing factors to their decline.[20]

History

Formation

Jeff Jarrett, one of the founders of Impact Wrestling (then TNA), Hall of Famer and six-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion

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.[21] Only one wrestling product remained on United States national television: the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE). Ryder felt that this situation led many television stations to regard professional wrestling as bad for business, so he suggested a company not reliant on television, but rather one going straight to pay-per-view.[21] In July 2002, Vince Russo joined Jeff and Jerry Jarrett's NWA-TNA promotion as a creative writer and would assist in the writing and production of the shows. Russo states that he coined the name "Total Nonstop Action", the initials of the company "TNA" being a play on "T&A", short for "Tits and Ass". The original intention, as they were exclusive to pay-per-view, was to be viewed as an edgier product than WWE.[22]

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.[21]

In October 2002, Panda Energy purchased a controlling interest (72%) of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

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 took place mostly at the Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed the "TNA Asylum". After 27 months and 111 pay-per-view events, TNA began holding a weekly television show and monthly three-hour pay-per-views.[23] The last weekly pay-per-view took place on September 8, 2004. 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 introduced a television program, Impact! (stylized as iMPACT!), produced at Soundstage 21 at Universal Studios Florida and broadcast on Fox Sports.[24] The transition included the use of a six-sided wrestling ring,[25][26] the implementation of the "Fox Box" displaying competitors and timekeeping for the match[27][unreliable source?] and a generally more sports-like style than the sports entertainment style exemplified by WWE.[27]

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 used by WCW and Extreme Championship Wrestling (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.

Dixie Carter was President of TNA from 2002–2017

The television contract with Fox Sports expired in May 2005 and was not renegotiated, leaving TNA without television exposure.[28] 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.[29][30] TNA would later secure a deal with Spike TV and aired its first episode on October 1, 2005.[31]

In October 2006, TNA began holding select pay-per-views outside of its central filming location, the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida, with Bound for Glory. 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.[32] TNA has also launched "TNA U TV"; podcasts aired through YouTube to help promote the company.[33] Impact! expanded to a two-hour format on October 4, 2007.[34] 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.[35]

On October 23, 2008, TNA made the transition to HD and since then, all programming has been broadcast in high-definition.[36] In addition, TNA introduced a new HD set that included new lighting and several large high-resolution screens.[37]

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 former WWE wrestlers, including Ric Flair, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy, while returning to a four sided ring. On February 15, 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 on March 8.[38]

Signed in 2009, Hulk Hogan served as a consultant until 2013.

On 3 May, TNA moved Impact! back to Thursday nights, re-branded as "TNA Thursdays".[39] 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. ReAction focused on the stories and characters of TNA and previewed the upcoming episode of Impact!.[40][41] On February 24, 2011, TNA began holding Impact! tapings at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina.[42] On 3 May, Impact! was re-branded Impact Wrestling.[43][44][45]

On November 7, TNA revealed that Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) would become TNA's official developmental territory.[46] In December 2011, TNA debuted their new India-based subsidiary promotion Ring Ka King.[47] On May 31, 2012, Impact Wrestling began airing live at a new start time of 8 p.m. EST on Thursday nights.[48] The live schedule would continue throughout 2012.[49] On July 11, DirecTV, the carrier of Spike, blocked all Viacom stations affecting TNA viewership from DirecTV subscribers.[50] After DirectTV and Viacom reached agreement, the removed channels were added back on July 20.[51] In March 2013, TNA began taping Impact from different venues around the United States and terminated its lease with Universal Studios.[52] On March 14, TNA introduced a new universal HD stage which would be used for all weekly programming.[53] On November 2, TNA ended its relationship with OVW.[54]

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.[55] It was arranged for Jarrett to wrestle for W-1 in October 2013.[56] In November, A.J. Styles successfully defended the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at a Wrestle-1 show in Japan.[57]

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[58] and he returned to WWE in early 2014.[59] In December 2013, A.J. Styles left TNA after his contract expired.[60] Styles later said that he could not accept TNA's new contract offer which would see him take a 60% cut in pay.[61] Also in December 2013, TNA founder Jeff Jarrett "resigned" from the company.[62] TNA accepted his resignation but clarified that Jarrett was still an "investor" in TNA. In spite of his investor status, the following year Jarrett revealed plans to start a new professional wrestling promotion, Global Force Wrestling.[63] The departures did not stop in 2014, with TNA veterans Sting,[64] Chris Sabin,[65] Hernandez,[66] Christopher Daniels and Kazarian all leaving the company in that year,[67] 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.[68]

In late July, the TMZ website reported that Spike TV was not renewing Impact Wrestling beyond October.[69] In response, TNA refuted the report, stating that negotiations were still ongoing.[70] On August 14, TNA moved Impact Wrestling from its Thursday timeslot to Wednesday nights.[71] On August 20, TNA signed an extension with Spike TV until the end of 2014.[72]

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.[73] After Bound for Glory, 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 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.[74][75][76]

2015–2017

As revealed in November 2014, TNA ended its relationship with Spike and instead partnered with Discovery Communications to distribute its programming beginning in January 2015. In the United States, TNA programs, including Impact Wrestling, moved to Destination America. Discovery also held rights in selected international markets.[77] Spike's outreach at the time was estimated to be more than 97 million homes while Destination America was estimated to reach 59 million households.[78]

Billy Corgan served as a president until late 2016.

Impact Wrestling premiered on Destination America on Wednesday, January 7 at 9:00 p.m.[79] TNA also started two new shows: Impact Wrestling: Unlocked, hosted by Mike Tenay,[80] and TNA Wrestling's Greatest Matches, a series presenting the best matches in the company's history.[81] From December 2014 to March 2015, several employees re-signed with TNA, including Kurt Angle,[82] Jeff Hardy, Gail Kim, Mr. Anderson, Abyss and Matt Hardy.[83][83][84] Awesome Kong also re-joined the company following several years of absence.[84] During this period, veteran Samoa Joe and commentator Tazz left the company by mutual consent.[85][86]

On April 27, 2015, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan joined TNA as senior producer of creative and talent development.[87]

Destination America gained over 41.94 million viewers over the course of 2015's first quarter, making this the channel's best first quarter ever,[88] followed by their best May ever in prime time. In both cases, Discovery Communications touted Impact Wrestling as one of the reasons for the increase in viewers.[89] Despite this success, Discovery Communications dropped Unlocked and Greatest Matches from their programming in May 2015.[90][91]

On November 19, TNA signed a deal with Pop to air Impact Wrestling,[92] 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 TNA 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 returned to taping Impact Wrestling at the Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, beginning with a live Impact Wrestling on March 15. On March 19, longtime TNA wrestlers Eric Young and Bobby Roode left the promotion after 12 years.[93] On April 22, Velvet Sky, another longtime TNA wrestler, left the company.[94]

On August 12, Billy Corgan became the promotion's new President, while Dixie Carter became Chairwoman and Chief Strategy Officer.[95] On October 13, Corgan sued TNA due to an unpaid debt which Corgan claimed TNA has defaulted on. The state of Tennessee has also put a lien on TNA for unpaid taxes.[96] Anthem Sports & Entertainment, parent company of Impact Wrestling Canadian broadcaster Fight Network, offered to help TNA and repay Corgan for the loans, while also offering additional financial assistance to TNA to help keep them from filing for bankruptcy.[97] On October 31, Corgan lost his injunction that kept TNA from selling the company, but TNA was required to pay Corgan back by November 1. It was possible that one of the other minority owners could pay Corgan, effectively making them the majority owner of TNA.[98][unreliable source] On November 3, the company revealed that Anthem Sports & Entertainment provided a credit facility to fund operations for TNA and that Corgan was no longer with the company as President.[99] However, Corgan himself stated that neither TNA nor Anthem Sports & Entertainment had yet repaid the $2.7 million debt that was owed to him by TNA[100] and, as such, he was considering suing, as well as converting the debt into a 36% stake.[101] As the result of a settlement between Corgan and TNA, Anthem Sports & Entertainment had acquired the loans Corgan made to Dixie.[102]

In January 2017, CBS Corporation, which owns the Pop cable channel, joined Hulu's new live stream service to broadcast TNA. Anthem Sports & Entertainment purchased a majority stake of TNA, re-organizing TNA's parent company. Dixie Carter retained a 5% minority stake in the company, but resigned as Chairwoman after fourteen years with the company and joined Fight Media Group's advisory board. The promotion's parent company, TNA Entertainment, was changed firstly to Impact Ventures and then to Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC., with Anthem's Executive Vice President Ed Nordholm becoming President of the new parent company.[6] On January 5, Jeff Jarrett was brought back by Anthem to serve as a consultant.[103] On March 2, all appearances of the name TNA were dropped at the TV tapings. At the same tapings, Bruce Prichard stated that the name was "dead", with Anthem re-branding the promotion as Impact Wrestling, the name of its primary television platform.[104] Wrestlers Drew Galloway, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Jade, Crazzy Steve, Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis left the company during this period. On April 20, Impact announced a merger with the original Global Force Wrestling.[105] The company then announced they were rebranding again, taking the GFW name.[1] The following September, Anthem's press releases once again started referring to the company as Impact Wrestling.[106] On October 10, Anthem released the Global Wrestling Network as an alternative to the WWE Network. The Global Wrestling Network primarily features Impact/GFW's tape library but also includes content from other sources.[107] On October 23, Impact Wrestling announced the termination of its relationship with Jeff Jarrett and his company Global Force Entertainment Inc., officially ending the attempted rebranding into GFW.[108]

2018–present

In December 2017 Scott D'Amore, became Executive Vice President of Impact Wrestling alongside Don Callis.

Impact announced their first live pay-per-view of the year will be Redemption, on April 22. In December 2017, Anthem announced the hiring of Don Callis and Scott D'Amore as Executive Vice Presidents to take charge of Impact Wrestling’s day-to-day operations starting with the January 10 tapings. At the tapings, the company reverted to a traditional four-sided ring and also saw the return of former World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries, as well the debuts of new wrestlers such as Kiera Hogan, Su Yung, Pentagón Jr, Fénix and Brian Cage. Impact also announced a partnership with live streaming service Twitch.tv to produce content for their platform, starting with Brace for Impact, which was co-promoted with New Jersey-based promotion WrestlePro. Their first live show was Impact vs. Lucha Underground, a co-promoted show with Lucha Underground.

On August 14, 2018, Jeff Jarrett and his company Global Force Entertainment announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Impact Wrestling's parent company Anthem Sports & Entertainment in the District Court of Tennessee for copyright infringement over the GFW rights, as Jarrett owned all Global Force Wrestling properties since its creation in 2014.[109][110]

Ownership

The promotion was originally formed by the Jarretts under a parent company known as J Sports & Entertainment, LLC.[2]

Panda Energy International purchased a controlling interest (71%) in the company in 2002 from Jerry Jarrett,[111] re-incorporating it as TNA Entertainment, LLC, in the process. In 2012, Panda Energy divested itself of its stake in TNA. Dixie Carter, the daughter of Panda Energy founder Robert Carter, who had been serving as TNA's president, acquired that stake, making her TNA's majority shareholder. Jeff Jarrett departed the company on December 22, 2013, but remained as minority shareholder until his temporary return on June 24, 2015, with the deal for his return including the transfer of his minority stake to Dixie Carter, making her sole shareholder.[112][113][114][115]

According to a report on August 7, 2015, TNA filed a new business name of Impact Ventures, LLC.[3] It was reported near the beginning of 2016 that Aroluxe Marketing, a Brentwood, Tennessee-based marketing agency, had taken a stake in TNA at the start of 2016 in return for providing partial funding, as well as taking over TNA's production operations.[116] It was reported in June 2016 that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan acquired a minority stake in TNA from Dixie Carter, but he had instead provided a loan to Carter.[117][118] Then on August 12, TNA appointed Corgan as the company's new President and the transition of Carter from President to the company's new Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer.[4] It was reported on September 16 by the New York Post that Canada's Fight Network, through its parent company, Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corporation, had taken a stake in TNA.[116] On November 4, Corgan was removed as President,[119] then on November 30 it also reported that Corgan had settled his lawsuit against TNA, with Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp acquiring the loans Corgan made to Dixie in the process.[102]

In early 2017, TNA would go through a restructuring period that would see an ownership change, with Anthem taking 85%, Aroluxe 10% and Dixie Carter 5%.[8][8][120] On January 4, 2017, Anthem Sports & Entertainment purchased an 85% majority stake of the company, re-organizing TNA's parent company to Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC, and Carter resigned as Chairwoman after 14 years in charge, while joining the advisory board of Fight Media Group. Ed Nordholm, Anthem's Executive Vice President, then took over Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions as President.[6]

Shortly after Anthem's acquisition of TNA, it was re-branded to Impact Wrestling. On January 5, Jeff Jarrett was brought back to the company by Anthem as an executive consultant, and later promoted to executive producer and chief creative officer. In April 2017, it was announced on Impact! that the promotion would "merge" with Jarrett's newer Global Force Wrestling promotion. In the lead-up to the Slammiversary XV PPV, Anthem officially announced its intent to acquire GFW to formalize the merger.[103][121] However, after he took an indefinite leave of absence, the promotion later cut ties with Jarrett and had reverted to the Impact Wrestling brand on October 23. The deal for Anthem to acquire GFW was never completed.[122]

Television and touring schedule

Weekly pay-per-views (2002–2004)

From 2002–2004, the promotion's original weekly pay-per-view shows took place mostly at the Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed the "TNA Asylum".

Impact! and Xplosion (2004–2013)

From June 2004 to March 2013, TNA taped its flagship show, Impact! as well as its secondary show Xplosion at Universal Studios Orlando's Soundstage 21, which the company dubbed the "Impact Zone". They also aired their monthly pay-per-views from that location until October 2006 when Bound for Glory was broadcast from the Compuware Arena in Detroit.

Initially, TNA worked with Hermie Sadler's United Wrestling Federation in 2005 to create house shows. TNA permitted the usage of the ring and for championships to be defended at these events. TNA started running independent house shows on March 17, 2006.[123] They would continue to work with United Wrestling Federation and promote independent shows at the same time, until 2007. In 2007, TNA first toured Europe, hosting two shows at Porto and Lisbon in Portugal with APW Wrestling. In 2008, TNA wrestlers appeared at Wrestle Kingdom II in Japan. Later on in 2008, TNA conducted its first tour of England, with most shows selling out. The promotion first toured Germany, Scotland and Ireland in 2009, France, Wales and the United Arab Emirates in 2010 and Belgium in 2012.

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.[124]

In 2009 on TNA United Kingdom tour, a house show at Wembley Arena in London broke TNA's attendance records. On July 2, 2010, MCU Park hosted a live TNA house show, which also broke the TNA domestic attendance record at the time and is currently the most attended live TNA house show in the United States, with a capacity crowd of 5,550.[125]

Leaving and returning to the Impact Zone (2013–present)

On January 31, 2013, TNA announced that they would tape their weekly show Impact Wrestling in different venues around the United States, with the first live show being held on March 14, in the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois (a Chicago suburb).[126]

On November 21, 2013, TNA returned to Universal Studios due to rising costs of taping Impact Wrestling from different venues.[127] Since the return to Universal Orlando, most episodes have been taped there, although some episodes have been taped from The Sands Casino Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,[128] the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom in New York City,[129][130] at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, The Manchester Arena in Manchester, and Wembley Arena in London as part of a January 2015 tour, and, in June 2017, in India, becoming the first major promotion to tape in that country. After Bound for Glory 2017, Impact did a set of tapings in Ottawa.

In 2018, Impact's taping locations included Windsor, Ontario,[131] Toronto,[132] Mexico City,[133] and New York City.[134] In addition, Impact has announced tapings in Las Vegas.[135]

Partnerships

International

Throughout its history, Impact has worked with several international wrestling promotions, with championships from those promotions sometimes having been defended at Impact Wrestling events. Among the organizations Impact has worked with are Mexico's Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) and The Crash, Japan's Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Wrestle-1 (W-1) and Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah). The then-TNA's relationship with NJPW lasted from 2008 to 2011, and included TNA sending wrestlers to participate in NJPW's annual Wrestle Kingdom events, as well as NJPW sending future IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada on a training excursion to TNA; however, the relationship ended in 2011, when IWGP Tag Team Champions Team 3D were held off of a New Japan tour in favor of appearing on Impact Wrestling and Okada was given a Green Hornet-inspired gimmick,[136] a decision Impact Executive Vice President Scott D'Amore has since apologized for on behalf of the previous regime.[137] On March 2, 2014, TNA collaborated with Wrestle-1 in producing the Kaisen: Outbreak supershow in Tokyo, Japan where three TNA championships were defended.[138][139] In May 2015, it was reported that the relationship between TNA and Wrestle-1 had ended.[140]

Impact has a working agreement with Mexico's Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA)[141] and in 2018, announced a partnership with Lucha Underground, allowing their wrestlers to appear for Impact on a regular basis. In April 2018, Impact and Lucha Underground co-promoted Impact vs Lucha Underground from New Orleans to a sell out crowd.[142]

National

Impact Wrestling has also worked with North American independent promotions in various collaborative efforts, such as the original Global Force Wrestling (also founded by Jeff Jarrett), OMEGA Championship Wrestling (owned by Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Gregory Helms) and Evolve Wrestling.[143] More recently Impact has established working relationships with a number of North American independent promotions, both to add content to Impact's Global Wrestling Network (GWN) and to co-promote house shows, Twitch specials and GWN One Night Only exclusives. These promotions include, Future Stars of Wrestling, Smash Wrestling, AML Wrestling, Superkick'd, Border City Wrestling, WrestleCade, Rocky Mountain Pro, Rockstar Pro Wrestling, Wrestlepro, Wrestling Revolver, RISE, Destiny Wrestling, Big Time Wrestling (California), DEFY Wrestling and House of Hardcore.[144][145]

Features

X Division

High-flying, high risk moves are a centerpiece of the X Division.

Since its origin, Impact Wrestling has featured a high-flying, high risk style of wrestling known as its X Division. Rather than emphasizing the fact that most wrestlers who perform this style are under 220 lb (100 kg) by calling it a cruiserweight division, Impact Wrestling (then TNA) decided to emphasize the high risk nature of the moves that these wrestlers perform, removing all restraints on its wrestlers, allowing them to perform almost stunt like wrestling moves.[citation needed]

Originally, there was no weight limit on the X Division or its title, though in practice, most of the wrestlers in this division have been cruiserweights, with Samoa Joe, billed at 280 lb (130 kg), Kurt Angle, billed at 230 lb (100 kg), and Abyss, billed at 350 lb (160 kg), being notable exceptions.[citation needed] To further emphasize this point, the slogan "It's not about weight limits, it's about no limits" was used to describe the division.[146] In August 2011, a 225 lb (102 kg) weight limit was introduced.[147] This was quietly repealed in March 2012. Changes introduced in March 2013, including a weight limit of 230 lbs. and making all matches triple threat matches,[148] were repealed in August.[149][150]

Six-sided ring

For much of its history, Impact Wrestling used a hexagonal ring.

From the promotion's first show in June 2002, TNA used a standard four-sided wrestling ring. In June 2004, with the premier of Impact!, TNA switched to a six-sided ring, as occasionally used in the Mexican promotion AAA.[151] TNA used the six-sided ring until January 2010.[152] A fan-voted poll to determine what type of ring the company would use was held in June 2014,[153] and the six-sided ring won.[154] In January 2018, Impact announced that they are returning to a four-sided wrestling ring.[155]

Impact Wrestling contracts

Impact wrestlers are forbidden by contract from working for other companies with televised wrestling shows, but are free to perform non-televised work for any other independent wrestling promotions, domestic or international, as well as televised events held by foreign promotions that Impact Wrestling is linked to or has a working relationship with promotions such as AAA, NJPW and Ring Ka King.[156] Many Impact wrestlers perform regularly for various promotions on the independent circuit in addition to Impact Wrestling weekly shows. In 2012, Impact Wrestling (then TNA) changed policy, preventing its talent from appearing at any independent events that are later released on DVD.[157] However, this was later altered due to the lack of TNA shows in late 2014 and many TNA wrestlers appeared at independent events, but were not allowed to appear on any TV or pay-per-view tapings.[citation needed] The top Impact wrestlers have guaranteed contracts, but the majority of Impact wrestlers are paid on a per appearance basis.[156] Impact wrestlers are classified as independent contractors and are not offered health coverage through the promotion.[156] As of November 2017, Impact Wrestling contracts give the performers complete ownership over all intellectual property associated with their characters.[158]

Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame

The Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame was introduced on May 31, 2012, as the TNA Hall of Fame. As part of the yearly process, selected inductees will be chosen based on their overall contributions to Impact Wrestling' history.[159][160] On June 10 at Slammiversary 10, Sting was revealed as the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame and his formal induction took place at Bound for Glory in October 2012.[161] On June 2, 2013, former TNA President Dixie Carter revealed that the newest member of the TNA Hall of Fame was Kurt Angle, who was officially inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame on October 19, 2013.[162] At Slammiversary XII on June 15, 2014, Angle revealed Team 3D as the next inductees to the TNA Hall of Fame.[163] In 2015, Jeff Jarrett returned to TNA and was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. Impact referee Earl Hebner was also inducted. At Bound for Glory on October 2, 2016, Gail Kim was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. At Bound for Glory 2018 on October 14, 2018, Abyss was inducted into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame.[164]

Championships and accomplishments

Current championships

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Location Notes
Impact World Championship Johnny Impact 1 October 14, 2018 34 Queens, New York Defeated Austin Aries at Bound for Glory
Impact World Tag Team Championship The Latin American Xchange
(Ortiz and Santana)
3 April 26, 2018 205 Orlando, Florida Defeated Z & E (DJZ and Andrew Everett) on Impact!
Aired on June 21, 2018
Impact X Division Championship Brian Cage 1 July 22, 2018 118 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Defeated Matt Sydal at Slammiversary XVI
Impact Knockouts Championship Tessa Blanchard 1 August 12, 2018 97 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Defeated previous champion Su Yung and Allie in a triple threat match on Impact[165]
Aired on August 30, 2018

Defunct championships

See also