America's second most popularwrestling promotion, even if it's primarily just by default.After the end of the Monday Night Wars in 2001, there were no more companies that could compete with WWE on a national scale and a number of independent promotions (such as Ring of Honor two months earlier) sprang up. One of these was NWA: TNA (Total Nonstop Action), an affiliate of the National Wrestling Alliance founded by Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry in 2002.Their original business model was PPV-only, offering low-priced, weekly Pay Per View events in lieu of a free television program. Unfortunately, they were unable to attract enough regular buyers to turn a profit, and eventually the company was bought out by a power-plant company called Panda Energy. With the considerable financial backing of their new owners, TNA withdrew from the NWA and switched to the WWE model of having a free television series ("TNA Impact!", later "Impact Wrestling") to promote expensive monthly PPVs.After their first television deal (with Fox Sports Net) expired, TNA became a Web Original for a few months until Spike TV picked up Impact! and gave it a weekly timeslot. After years of making a loss, this new deal was lucrative enough for TNA to finally make a profit, mainly from television licensing fees. Unfortunately, in mid-2014 it was reported by several news websites that Spike TV would not renew Impact Wrestling. Both TNA and Spike claim as of early August that they are still in negotiations. Near the end of August it was announced that Spike would continue to air TNA until the end of 2014.For nine years (2004-2013), TNA taped its program at "The Impact Zone", a soundstage at Universal Studios Florida. While the static location maximised production values at minimum cost, TNA could not make money from entry tickets because it was classified as a theme park attraction. In March 2013, TNA attempted to take its show on the road and tour around America: however, this proved to be disastrous as they could not sell enough tickets to cover the costs of touring. The loss forced TNA to move back to the Impact Zone and make drastic cutbacks in almost every area of business.TNA is most well-known for a few reasons:
The X Division, TNA's equivalent of a hardcore division though at times has been treated more like a cruiserweight division. It emphasizes high-flying moves and fast-paced action with no imposed limits, except for an angle in which a weight limit was imposed.
Spotlighting their women's (Knockouts) division, at times regarded as the best source of actual women's wrestling on North American television.
Having a large number of ex-WCW, ex-ECW and ex-WWE wrestlers on their roster, most prominently Hulk Hogan and Sting.
An abundance of Gimmick Matches and overbooked main events. The fans often blamed Vince Russo, who was one of their writers for a number of years note but was only head of creative from mid-2009, with Jarrett's departure, to the beginning of 2010, when Hogan and Bischoff arrived, for the majority of the more ridiculous ideas allowed to air.
Occasionally acting as an Unknown Rival to WWE with cheap shots and insider gags at their expense. For example: after a report circulated online about WWE excising the word "wrestling" from their promotions, TNA immediately changed its slogan to "We Are Wrestling" and their advertising to emphasise how they were a wrestling company. WWE, to its credit, does keep tabs on TNA and even had the good grace to inform them when one of TNA's ex-employees attempted corporate espionage.
Ring Ka King, an Indian wrestling promotion/TV show and Spinoff that was run by Jeff Jarrett. It featured a number of TNA talents (in addition to original Indian talent) and received generally favourable reviews and ratings. Despite its success, however, it was not renewed for a second season. You can watch the entire series on Youtube.
Ancient Conspiracy: Immortal were treated like this. Aside from Abyss's name for them before Bound For Glory "10.10.10", and aside from the glaring fact that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff notoriously gave WCW's life to the New World Order over a decade ago, there's the fact that Sting had been shouting in tongues about the nefarious evils of Hogan/Bischoff since they'd arrived in TNA yet few other characters ever listened. Also, they got away with it.
Artistic License - Law: Abyss kidnaps Dixie Carter, who then demands he be fired immediately. Eric Bischoff then gets the contract for Dixie to sign, stating outloud that they were the forms for the release of Abyss. The next week, it emerges that Bischoff didn't have Dixie sign Abyss's release, he had her sign over the company to him & Hulk Hogan. Dixie's lawyer threatens to take Eric to court over the matter, but Eric says that Dixie signed the contracts in front of the television cameras of an internationally broadcast show, so they wouldn't beat him. Even though that same footage features Eric saying the forms were for the the release of Abyss, and the lawyer would have kept a copy of what he faxed over & could easily prove that it didn't match the signed contract, so any court would immediately rule in her favour. Even dumber is that Hulk Hogan actually looks Dixie in the eye and says outright "I screwed you out of your company", therfore admitting to the fraud in front of more television cameras.
Subverted at least a couple months later when Dixie came back with paperwork of an injunction she got placed on Hogan. At least until a judge (who was "friends" with Dixie) ruled not only was Bischoff completely in the legal right when he used a fake contract to get control of the company, he ALSO ruled that Dixie was still FINANCIALLY responsible for TNA. Try to find that in a Contract Law casebook.
Ascended Fanboy: When Amazing Red first wrestled for TNA, color commentator Don West was a huge fan & would mark out everytime Red was in a match, at one point even climbing on top of the announce table to lead a "Let's go Red!" chant. When Amazing Red returned to the company after West's heel turn & Taz replacing West on commentary, West was promptly turned face & made Red's manager.
B Show: TNA Xplosion, to the point that it's now only seen in international markets and no longer airs in the United States.
The Bad Guy Wins: Bound For Glory "10.10.10." and Turning Point, the following PPV. Barely subverted at "Genesis" 2K11 (See Near Villain Victory). Between Turning Point 2011 and Against All Odds 2012, all the champions were heels.
Between My Legs: This kind of shot was used for several years for entrances, with SoCal Val's legs doing the framing. Also occasionally done these days using ring announcer Christy Hemme.
Braids, Beads and Buckskins: This is basically the gimmick that Mickie James played up when she first arrived in TNA in 2010, underscoring her Native American heritage with, well, beads and buckskins (no braids, though) and the 1970s hard-rock theme "Hardcore Country" (with its "primitive" guitar sound). She has kept "Hardcore Country" into 2011, but now goes for a more generic, traditionally Southern look (she's from Virginia).
Breaking the Fourth Wall: One of THE most blatant and needless examples of this in the history of scripted television came from Hulk Hogan on ReAction November 18th:
Hogan: "Well, brother, we're lightening the load around here. We're trimming the fat. We're thinning the herd. I mean, you know, it's pathetic. It's pathetic, that Dixie would let this company get in the shape it's in. It's her train of thought! Raven? Who hasn't had a damn shower or bath? Y'know, with RVD, and that whole crew out there? They meant to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan, who sold out Shea Stadium? who put 94,000 people in the Pontiac Silverdome? who slammed a 700-pound giant? They mean to professional wrestling what Hulk Hogan means?
"No wonder this company was in the shape it's in. It's time to get rid o' the trash, the garbage, the worthless piece of crap out here, and we started with Dixie Carter. Yeah, we're gettin' very real around here. We are so, real, it's unbelievable. Because, if you don't get over like I said, you're fired. If you don't draw number, if you don't entertain, if you don't put asses in seats, if you don't put the coinage in the piggy bank, you're fired. No more games. No more, "Kayfabe." "It's a work." "I've won 34 tag team belts." Who gives a damn, how many…fake belts you won!? If you don't draw money, you get fired around here. If you don't put asses in seats, you’re gone."
This can be somewhat justified in both parts. Sting was rehabbing from shoulder surgery and was limited in what he could do in-ring (though he didn't bother to inform anyone beforehand), which was why RVD went over so quickly. And the reason why the beatdown went so long? Hogan missed his cue and was late to the ring. Facepalms all around.
The Brute: Abyss, whenever he's heel at least. Also, AJ Styles has been The Dragon in two stables with someone like this, namely Matt Morgan and Tomko.
Call Back/Continuity Nod: Part of the reasoning behind "Open Fight Night" which gives wrestlers a chance to seek retribution for incidents that had previously been Left Hanging. For example, on the very first OFN, Devon (the Television Champion) called out Bully Ray, who he had hardly interacted with at all since their split a year earlier.
Canon Discontinuity: The most common reaction to people meeting Joseph Park? "I didn't even know Abyss had a brother!" Apparently, Father James Mitchell and Judas Mesias never existed.
Abyss is strikingly similar to Kane, even going so far as to use the Chokeslam as a finishing maneuver. He also bears a resemblance to Mick Foley (especially in his Mankind persona), what with the hardcore wrestling and the outfit he used to wear. This didn't go unnoticed when Foley himself actually came to TNA; he feuded with Abyss for a while, then took him under his wing.
The Cassandra: Sting, who warned everyone about Hogan and Bischoff and was seen as a heel because of it. Hogan himself became this in regards to his initial feelings on Bully Ray at the start of the "Bully and Brooke" storyline.
Celebrity Paradox: Played with whenever TNA airs a skit set in the "real" world. Wrestlers such as Jeff Jarrett or Eric Young interact with ordinary mortals who don't seem to have a clue who they are, even though they're on national TV every week. Given their ratings, though...
Chekhov's Gun: Unintentional, but it still counts. Flair was originally saying "They" were Fortune during the initial conspiracy. Another unintentional example: Tomko's been owed a world heavyweight title shot since he beat Samoa Joe once in 2007 as a favor to then-current champ Christian Cage. About three years later in 2010 he got this world title shot…by pissing off his former Coalition partner and then-current champ AJ Styles when he revealed himself to be AJ's mystery assailant.
Christianity is Catholic: D'Angelo Dinero, a supposed evangelical (Protestant) street preacher, has been nicknamed "The Pope."
BRIANKENDRICK. He eventually dropped the Obi-Wan Kenobi act towards the end of his run, portraying just a generic karate guy in white pantaloons. Or at least it seemed that way when he wasn't cutting as many promos…
This article list several hideous business practices that TNA is accused of - IN REAL LIFE.
Following Jesse Sorensen's release, he leveled several more accusations at them, such as them not helping to pay his hospital bills (driving his mother into bankruptcy) and Dixie Carter violating a promise she'd made to both him and his mother that he'd have a job for life.
Crossover: Formerly with The NWA, Ring Of Honor and CMLL. Occasionally with WWC and NJPW. Periodically with AAA until Jarrett left (he plans to ally them with GFW). Teased with House Of Hardcore.
Frequently done with teases of surprises that end up often either not happening or turning out to be very underwhelming, such as the "Who rung the bell?" controversy in March 2011 when Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson competed for the number-one contendership to Sting's title. Not only did that turn out to be a total red herring, but TNA handwaved it so dismissively that it was almost insulting. (For the record, it was referee Earl Hebner, and Rob Van Dam didn't even accept that victory.)
The August 1st surprise, Tito Ortiz. When he was revealed, the crowd was completely silent and Twitter immediately lit up with negative responses. The fact that he and Rampage Jackson were only around to promote an MMA fight for another company that wasn't even happening for several months didn't help matters any.
Darker and Edgier: You don't have to watch this program too long to figure out that TNA is noticeably less gimmicky and comedy-oriented than WWE. This is exactly what they set out to be in hopes to draw a more mature audience than their older counterpart. That said, there are exceptions. The Magic Feather Hall of Fame rings and Jeff Jarrett doing every menial job in existence at the behest of cartoonishly evil Eric Bischoff, Eric Young's antics...
Darkest Hour: For the promotion itself, late 2013 was certainly the most dire period in its history. Despite some critical success with the Aces & Eights angle and other promising creative stories, TNA was hemorrhaging money because of its underperforming and costly tour schedule and expensive legends contracts for Hulk Hogan and others. Hogan left in October of that year, but by then TNA had had to cut performers left and right. Jeff Jarrett, the company founder, left in December, as did 11-year TNA veteran AJ Styles after a broken contract renegotiation. TNA fled back to the Impact Zone for future TV tapings and rumors ran rampant that the Carter family was putting the promotion up for sale to the highest bidder.note These rumors seem to be confirmed, as articles have come out claiming that Jarrett, prior to departure, had attempted to buy TNA back along wtih Toby Keith, but Bob Carter refused to sell it to them because they wouldn't give Dixie the same job security. It wasn't until summer of 2014 that the company finally seemed to recover its footing, resuming a limited tour schedule, contracting with acclaimed crossover events with The Great Muta's Japanese promotion Wrestle-1 and Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore, and bringing back the six-sided ring. Then they hired Russo again... fortunately, Russo is out. Time will tell if TNA will get off of this trope.
Dead Man's Hand: The biker gang recently invading TNA as of summer and fall 2012 use the aces and eights as their name and calling card.
Deal with the Devil: Joining Immortal was largely treated as this, which was only fitting considering the nature of that outfit.
The Dog Bites Back: Treating AJ Styles and Matt Morgan like crap came back to haunt Eric Bischoff, as it made both Heel-Face Turn on him, AJ taking Fortune with him and forming the first real threat to Immortal. A lesser example happened later when Eric insulted most of the X Division. Later that night, he and Hogan find "You're next" written on the side of their car, leaving them even more paranoid than they already were. Cut to the same wrestlers Eric was insulting earlier laughing and high fiving each other.
Dumb Is Good: Dixie Carter in her (on-screen) role as TNA President. Well-meaning and filled with Incorruptible Pure Pureness, but always gets outwitted by the evil Heels that try to take over or manipulate her company. It sends a bit of a mixed message when the roster are also making comments about what an intelligent and inspirational leader she is. With her Face-Heel Turn at the end of 2013 she's become a lot more cunning.
Upon the revealing of the new Impact Wrestling set, fans were already comparing it to the set of WCW Thunder.
The Aces and Eights are pretty obviously a wrestling version of SAMCRO from Sons of Anarchy. Various tweets from TNA wrestlers that imply nearly the entire roster are big fans of the series make this pretty obvious.
Until Vince Russo left, this happened constantly. And most of that time the average fan likely couldn't tell who's a face and who's a heel, despite the fact that for a couple of years, they had separate entrances for faces and heels. One of Vince Russo's booking trademarks is that he doesn't believe in pure faces and pure heels, and feels all characters should be "shades of gray". This is why it was so hard to tell the heels from the faces and why the booking could be so inconsistent.
It would be one thing if Russo's idea of Gray and Grey Morality was to have the faces exhibit some heelish traits occasionally, a la "Stone Cold" Steve Austin or The Undertaker, or if he had faces sometimes act selfish the way CM Punk did when he cashed in his MITB contract on a beaten and exhausted Jeff Hardy while still a face. The problem is that Russo's idea of Gray and Grey Morality involves wrestlers acting like they're 100% face one week, and then going to 100% heel the next. Beer Money did a Face-Heel Turn for no real reason, while Eric Bischoff and Mr. Anderson have done Heel Face Turns for no reason that was adequately explained. It's like the old character has been abducted and replaced with their evil (or good) twin.
Fail O'Suckyname: Considering how vulnerable Immortal seemed to be to various curveballs hurled at it by "The Network," it would be this and a literal case of Not Quite Forever.
Count the number of times that a Heel super-faction (not at all resembling WCW's New World Order) have attempted to control the company through force: Sports Entertainment Xtreme (2002-2003), Planet Jarrett (2005-2006), the Main Event Mafia (2008-2010), Immortal (2010-2012) and now Aces & Eights (2012-2013). To put this in perspective, since its inception in 2002, to Aces&Eights, TNA has been under siege just over 55% of the time and no, Aces and Eights would not be the last group to do this.
Also note that three of those five factions (Sports Entertainment Xtreme, Main Event Mafia and Immortal) were essentially the same "Old Guard vs New Guard" storyline in different wrapping paper.
2003: Fox Sports Net has two Wrestling Programs with an "Impact Zone"(Zona Impactante), TNA and IWA. IWA runs an angle where Savio Vega must be suspended in a cage if Super Phoenix is to get a title shot at Ray González. 2012, TNA has been on Spike TV for awhile and has made Savio Vega the head of its knockouts division...is Madison Rayne being suspended in a cage during a title match? Is she dropping brass knuckles from the cage, just like Vega did?
AJ Styles's recent "Leaving with the Title" storyline with Dixie Carter has been noted as highly similar to CM Punk's famous storyline (which he did twice, once in two different companies) that would launch him into superstardom, with the only difference being that AJ has been gone longer. It isn't catching on, mainly because Dixie Carter makes a poor replacement for Vince McMahon and because everybody knows that AJ is still with the company, whereas with Punk everything was kind of up in the air. Subverted by the facts that AJ and TNA's actual contract negotiations fell through without a deal in place and nobody knows whether he'll ever return, and he was sent off in one of the most blatantly overbooked screwjob matches ever in an attempt to keep him looking strong on the way out.
Raisha Saeed and Control Terrorism Unit (C.T.U.) when they were in the World X Cup 2006. In fairness, C.T.U. was (supposed to be) a heel unit in its home promotion too.
Several World X Cup teams are treated as heels, but this is partially because they actually act like heels instead of just being foreign.
Team Canada was this until the breakup. Then former Team Canada member Eric Young joined up with the British Invasion, Sheik Abdul Bashir, Kiyoshi, No Limit, and Homicide to create the World Elite, which was basically this until they disappeared following the arrival of Hulk Hogan (and the departure of Bashir).
Somewhat averted by Desmond Wolfe: he wasn't a British jerk, but rather, he was a jerk that just happens to be British. Being British didn't really come up in his character except in his accent. He used a few American colloquialisms, which sounded a little off with his thick British accent. When he used the term Ghetto Booty, some realized they were going for Foreign Wrestling Heel, just surprisingly subtly.
Much like the Chekhov's Gun above, unintentional but it still counts. During their time with Immortal, Fortune were giving constant hints in backstage segments toward how they could only trust "the core four" (each other/themselves), and Robert Roode even once said in an interview that he envisioned them holding all the gold, even going so far as to say he saw AJ regaining the World Heavyweight Championship. This was while Jeff Hardy was World Heavyweight Champion.
When Bully Ray told Hulk Hogan during what appeared to be a Heel-Face Turn he wasn't a 'good guy' ... he meant it. In fact there were a number of things Bully said which may as well have been hanging lampshades on his true intentions: telling the camera interviewer on Re-Action that he'd do anything to become world heavyweight champion, promising Hulk the night of his title match that he'd do something memorable, and even saying prior to the storyline starting that he wanted to become champion to piss off the wrestling world.
Four Is Death: Fortune, despite usually having more than four members. Ric Flair intended for them to be another chapter in the legacy of his old group the Four Horsemen, the "Fortune 4" was the name of both their theme and their symbol, the group's name used to be spelled "Fourtune" early, the first four wrestlers Flair brought in to complete the group had an established "core" bond between them, and there were even a total of eight members (two times four) in the group's history.
Four-Temperament Ensemble: The core four members of Fortune. Sanguine James Storm, Choleric AJ Styles, Melancholic/Leukine Bobby Roode, Phlegmatic Kazarian.
Game Show Appearance: The team of Mick Foley, Matt Morgan, Rob Van Dam, Jay Lethal and Mr. Anderson squashed the team of Tara, Lacey Von Erich, Christy Hemme, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky on the "TNA Wrestling Special" week on Family Feud, November 1-5, 2010.
Not exactly since they're not trying to sneak a curse word by, but it's surprising that they can say "asshole" on cable so often and keep a TV-14 rating.
Somehow Dixie Carter got away with calling Eric Bischoff a "little smug shit" on this TV-14 television show. Even TV-MA Fanservice-filledManswers doesn't typically get away with this from Spike TV. Dixie would later thank Spike for allowing her that swear.
Glass Jaw Referee: Averted by Shane Sewell, whose Puerto Rican wrestling background was acknowledged.
GodAm I: Ric Flair literally claims to be God. Not a god. God.
Gold Digger: Karen Angle - er, Jarrett - seems to have become this.
He's Back: After all of the Badass Decay that came with being a Hulk Hogan fanboy, Abyss finally turned on Hogan and made it clear he was no longer a monster in name only. He was now a real monster who choked out Hulk Hogan, layed out Rob Van Dam when he ran out to help, and shrugged off multiple chair shots from Mr. Anderson when he ran out to help. He has since been able to withstand ridiculous amounts of punishment, shown no trace of fear toward any of his opponents, is acting very Ax-Crazy, and most recently put Rob Van Dam on the shelf (kayfabe).
Hidden Agenda Villain: Aces & Eights. It took over eight months after their debut to provide an agenda to their actions. It seemed to be a Cult of vengeful wrestlers who felt "wronged" by TNA in some way: at least one member has alluded to a "Higher power"(Contrast this with WCW's New World Order angle, in which Scott Hall stated exactly what the group's goal was in his first appearance.) Their agenda was eventually revealed to be Bully Ray gaining the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Had Bully Ray won the Bound for Glory series the first time around, he would have gladly revealed their goal.
Before Fortune's defection, this was literally the only reason Jeff Jarrett stopped beating up plant fans in his Double-J-Double-MA challenge, Jeff Hardy ever lost the World Heavyweight title, and Immortal's iron fist hadn't completely choked TNA.
There's a bit of a pattern in TNA where guys who've had a history of turning their backs on partners and friends end up finally taking a taste of their own medicine. See Christian, James Storm, and Matt Morgan.
I Call It Vera: Abyss' nail covered 2x4, "Janice," and his "10.10.10" branding iron "Bob."
Meaningful Name: Though it was never stated, these weapons were named after Dixie Carter's parents, Foreshadowing her forceful exit from the company.
The Illuminati: Immortal. It's bad enough the whole formation of this stable involved an ever-expanding secret groupworking the scene for longer than the entire duration of most wrestling plotsto take full control of TNA fromDixie Carterand rule it with an iron fist. Or that The Reveal which completed this group's takeover was at Bound For Glory, on the ominous date of "10.10.10". Or that they shared many quick parallels to Hogan and Bischoff's NWO. But in the very first episode of Impact since said reveal, we had the members talking about how they'll live forever through Hogan (hence the Immortal name), Ric Flair and Fortune bowing down and professing undying love to Hogan (these two have been featured as enemies for the past 25 years), and World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy looking and playing the part of the Dark Messiah, all within the same celebration promo which lasted across two segments and saw Immortal and Fortune stand in the ring for close to 40 minutes. Later we had Jeff Jarrett claiming he sold his soul to the devil (joining Immortal is referred to as this several times in the future) to get back at Kurt Angle for stealing his influence in the company and then some, and Dark Messiah Hardy even referred to himself as The Antichrist of professional wrestling with one eye shadowed in a backstage vignette. Last but not least, enter Hardy's closing words on TNA's third-hour show ReAction that night: "We will continue to rise, until the end of the world." Knowledge of actual Illuminati theories, even without having a fixed opinion about them, can make this all very cringe-worthy.
To make matters worse, that same first Impact after "10.10.10", which as a result of said event was the most viewed episode ever, was near-universally found abysmal in every way except for showcasing the power and control of Immortal. The fact Hogan and Bischoff actually have creative power in TNA could not be made more obvious than that night. This is important because in one key device to the theories, the Illuminati is said to control the media. Examples are as follows:
On what is supposed to be a wrestling show, it took 75 MINUTES for the ring announcer to first be able to say the words "The following contest is scheduled for one fall." The ensuing entrances, match, and disqualification ending occurred within three and a half minutes.
The one impromptu match which happened in those prior 75 minutes time was a Finger Poke of Doom sans pretenses or finger poke, and was quickly followed up by former WWE mainstay Mickie James owning the duo involved. This demonstrated just how far the Knockout division and Championship's collective prestige had fallen.
By contrast, WWE SmackDown! which aired the following night finished four full matches in its first 75 minutes, two of them longer than the total amount of time Impact put into wrestling.
Most of the main event was actually wrestled on ReAction, and even that match had a non-finish which only served to showcase the power and control of Immortal.
Combine Impact and ReAction, we had less than 20 minutes of wrestling in a three-hour block of programming. If we're to go into Orwellian territory with TNA, the whole show was an insulting level of prolefeed.
However, they managed to make up for it by having Fortune turn on Immortal and proceed to call Immortal out on everything mentioned above!
Although, after Jeff Hardy's Epic Fail at Victory Road, Immortal wasn't so much the Illuminati altogether anymore as a street gang with support from the 2/3-man Illuminati of Bischoff and Hogan, and maybe Flair.
As of BFG 2011, with Sting managing to both beat Hogan for the power and get him to go face… yeah, this trope is done.
Confirmed done the Impact after the PPV, via a 39 minute segment in which Sting, Hogan, and Dixie celebrated, among other things.
Any company that willfully employed Vince Russo for as long as TNA did is asking for this title but the entire power structure in TNA seems to be composed of petulant, spoiled brats. In 2014, they rehired him back in secret despite even Spike TV's executives hating his guts. Since Russo accidentally outed himself, TNA's relationship with Spike has been in jeopardy.
Manchild/Artist Disillusionment: Eric Bischoff loves acting like a six year old, making fat jokes at the expense of and generally sniping at fans who simply do not like TNA.
The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Aside from Bischoff above, Matt Hardy will complain about all the negativity going around on the dirtsheets, despite being the direct cause of it (see Edge/Lita 2005, his Twitter account, his and Jeff's "shoots" against CM Punk, his pathetic re-enactment of his breakup with Lita).
Pointy-Haired Boss: You don't have to look very far to see examples of this for Dixie either in storyline or in real life. Vince Russo also qualifies in heaps.
Dixie seems to be this in real life, as well. One memorable instance had her soliciting questions on Twitter mere days after firing several people. It didn't end well for her.
Contract management has been a consistent problem. Rob Van Dam has twice had his TNA contract expire while he held a singles championship *
He had the TNA World championship, which was vacated before he was eventually re-signed. He also held the Television title which he (reluctantly) agreed to hastily drop before jumping back to WWE.
. More recently, AJ Styles held the world title as his contract expired after TNA assumed re-signing him was a formality; instead, they couldn't come to terms and he left, forcing the company to vacate the title for real as opposed to as part of a storyline as originally planned. Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, and several other wrestlers have all had contracts expire square in the middle of big angles, or could not be signed or extended after extensive buildup, leading to conspicuous cases of aborted storylines.
Hulk Hogan's contract was a financial albatross. Despite being a huge draw and lending some much-needed credibility to the TNA product, his contract alone constituted a very large percentage of TNA's overall expenses, leading them to cut a large number of mid-carders from the roster, including long-time TNA mainstays like Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan. And after the bloodletting was through, Hogan's own contract expired and he chose not to extend his deal.
Insistent Terminology: TNA refers to gimmick matches they create as "concept matches". There's that one video in which TNA Director of Production Steve Small refers to the audience as "cast members". Probably so they can be "fired."
It Will Never Catch On: CM Punk has wrestled for TNA, but never did anything of note. They clearly didn't think much of him when he quit in order to stay with ROH (whom TNA had barred its wrestlers from working for against their contracts). As of 2011, they are probably starting to regret it.
TNA Superstars do tend to be more reserved than WWE Superstars, but Father James Mitchell was pretty hammy, but what else would you expect from a guy whose previous character the Sinister Minister was supposed to be Satan?
Not to mention Ric Flair and Mr. Anderson.
Jay Lethal was hammy enough for most of the roster.
In recent years, Christopher Daniels had taken up the role of hammiest guy in the company, with his tag partner Kazarian not far behind.
Laxative Prank: Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin once slipped laxatives into Petey Williams' water bottle.
Lighter and Softer: TNA of all companies decided to go "family friendly" when it showed up on Fox Sports Net. Well, their pay per views were not but the television program had much less blood, profanity, T&A and the like, proudly boasting all they needed was "Six Appeal". This was almost immediately reverted when they moved to Spike TV and showed Jacqueline moderating a drinking contest.
The Man Behind the Man: "The Network," whoever they are. (They're actually a nonvillainous example, constantly checkmating all of Immortal's moves, albeit only in the interest of TV ratings.) The executive behind the Network's activity turned out to be Mick Foley. Until he gotfired. Now it's pretty much unknown, because the Network storyline was dropped shortly after Foley's departure.
Mood Whiplash: During the 2011 No Surrender pay-per-view (held on Sept. 11), Rosita was booed by fans as a heel running interference as part of Mexican America during the tag team title match. Later in the pay-per-view, Rosita brings up in an interview that her father died on 9/11, and inspired her to go into wrestling. The crowd acknowledged her breaking character with applause.
Mook Horror Show: On the July 14, 2011, edition, Sting (who's been "coincidentally" mimicking Heath Ledger's"Joker" with his new makeup design) set loose a small group of clown-masked minions on Immortal. What follows pretty much played out like a slasher flick, with the clowns picking off Immortal one by one. Gunner even attempts to invoke Final Boy on them, which fails. Turns out the clowns were actually Fortune helping Sting out.
My Friends... and Zoidberg: At Turning Point 2011, Bully Ray and Scott Steiner were booked in a tag match. They cut a promo, with Bully Ray saying "You're in the ring with one half of the greatest tag team of all time, and Scott Steiner too!" Steiner didn't take kindly to this, causing him to shoot back "I'm the greatest tag team of all time!"
Near Villain Victory: Genesis 2K11, in which aside from Morgan/Anderson, not a single face won a match with Immortal managing to capture the rest of the titles. Then Bischoff got overconfident and booked the World Title match immediately after Anderson won the match, which lead to Jeff Hardy losing the championship.
Kurt Angle bringing in his now ex-wife Karen, who married Jeff Jarrett in Real Life.
Kayfabe with James Mitchell claiming to be Abyss's "father."
Garrett Bischoff. It started well enough (he made his debut as a nameless referee) but after he got introduced as "Garrett Bischoff" he was pushed to the moon. It's not that Garrett was a bad wrestler: he was as good as you would expect a wrestler of his limited experience to be. But he leapfrogged to the main event and was pretty much endorsed by every single top-card wrestler in an effort to get him over as The Next Big Thing. Fans saw through the nepotism and no amount of endorsements or scrappy underdog bouts could save him.
Brooke Hogan, who was handed the role of "Vice-President of the Knockouts Division", a title that required little actual work (she occasionally gathers the female roster in her office and arbitrarily decides who should get a title shot) but a disproportionate amount of screen time. She got even more screen time when she became involved in a romantic storyline with Bully Ray, which became the main plotline of TNA.
More kayfabe with Ethan Carter III, spoiled nephew of Dixie herself, portrayed by the man formerly known as Derrick Bateman. In fact he seems to be a parody mixture of both this and the overpaid prima donna athlete.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Joseph Park asks Eric Young to help him find his brother Abyss. Young is the only guy on the roster who's wacky enough to not only deduce that Joseph Park is Abyss, but to seek to trigger the realization in the two alter egos. This results in Abyss turning on Young during a tag team title shot, beating Young in a Monster's Ball, and reacting to Young's unmasking him in said Monster's Ball by walking away to find someone who can "understand him" and help him "fix this". This then crosses into For Want of a Nail when Abyss finds that someone in World Heavyweight Champion Magnus, who he proceeds to help screw Samoa Joe out of the world title at Lockdown.
The Nicknamers: Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, the (former) World Tag Team Champions of the World (or #WTTCOTW). Especially towards Hulk Hogan.
Averted with Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy, who feuded in late 2011.
Subverted when Brooke Tessmacher had to return to her old name of "Miss Tessmacher" following the controversial hiring of Brooke Hogan, while still occasionally being called Brooke by other wrestlers and even Hogan herself.
The roster in 2012 included four wrestlers whose first names are variants of "Robert" - Robert (or Bobby) Roode, Rob Van Dam, Rob Terry and Robbie E. There's also Doug Williams and Petey Williams (no relation).
Power Stable: These frequently dominated much of the roster. Sports Entertainment Xtreme, Bitch Slap, Planet Jarrett, The Angle Alliance, World Elite, The Main Event Mafia, Christian's Coalition, The Beautiful People, Fourtune, Immortal, these are but a few examples.
Previously On: TNA, since 2012, have had one of these at the start of their episodes. And it always ends in "Impact Wrestling starts right now!"
Put on a Bus: Samoa Joe. Although it wasn't a bus, it was a van. And he wasn't "put" on it so much as he was "thrown into it by ninjas". And he came back, with no explanation, some time afterward.
Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Sting, Scott Steiner, and Kevin Nash, among others. Hulk Hogan was added to the mix in 2010, with (apparently) the same amount of creative control he had during his time in WCW.
Ric Flair. TNA seems to get all of WWE's washouts.
Royal "We": During the time period in which he singlehandedly held both tag team championship belts, Matt Morgan would refer to himself as "we" and "us". Christy Hemme simply stood there and looked confused all the while.
Spell My Name with an S: Ric Flair's group. Is it "Fortune" or "Fourtune?" Fans and reporters alternate between the two. For the stable's first few months, it was "Fourtune" in honor of the Four Horsemen. However, since more and more people pointed out that the stable has six people in it (seven if including Flair) after including Morgan and Williams, it was switched to "Fortune."
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Jeff Jarrett from 2002-2006; Kurt Angle from 2006-2009; Hulk Hogan from 2010-2013; Dixie Carter starting from late 2013.
Stealth Pun: In the acronym of the promotion, though it wasn't much of a Stealth Pun in the early days of the promotion; the name was intended to make the company stand out as a more adult alternative to WWE, since TNA started out on pay-per-view with weekly shows. Even though only WWE Smackdown and Velocity were PG at that point, Smackdown had not yet been screwed by the network and consistently got higher ratings than TV-14 Raw.
Take Over the World: Well, the TNA world, anyway. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff came in, influenced people, brought in some friends, worked Dixie Carter, and obtained control of the company. Some fans feel like this is more than just the on-air storyline.
TNA loves doing these against WWE. Constantly. In fact, if you're a former WWE wrestler coming in to TNA, you're practically required via contract to take a potshot at WWE within your first month. (And Hulk Hogan seems to do one every chance he gets.)
Eric Bischoff had started doing these on a weekly basis since his arrival; it's actually pretty sad.
In May 2011, TNA began the process of rebranding itself as Impact Wrestling as a rather pointed Take That to WWE, which had just dropped all references to the word "wrestling" both on its TV shows and in its legal name.
Included in the various commercials about the rebranding, are a few with Hulk Hogan talking about how this is real wrestling, with real stories and no scripts. Ending with "We're here to wrestle, not entertain." Looking at some of the TV ratings, PPV buy-rates and IWC responses, he may in fact be right on that last aspect; it's just not entertaining any more.
Newly-debuted investorMVP's promo on the February 6, 2014 edition of Impact Wrestling, talking about how pro wrestling as a whole is being ruined by too many owners running around thinking they can abuse talent and disrespect fans however they please, has all but cemented this status for the Heel!Dixie storyline, both as a Take That towards Vince McMahon and a Take That Me directed at Dixie herself.
Eric Bischoff introduced a new ranking system where the fans would have a major say in it, voting for who would be the top ten contenders for the TNA World Title. Despite the fact that AJ Styles, Abyss, The Pope, Sting, and Jeff Hardy were all being pushed hard, the fans voted for Desmond Wolfe to be #1 contender. The very next week, he lost in five minutes to Rob Van Dam in a non-title match. Wolfe never sniffed world title contention after that and the rankings disappeared after a mere two weeks.
More insulting was that Dixie's comments on Twitter gave the impression that she thought this was what the fans had wanted.
Hogan: "I got one thing to say about six sides: you had it, and it only got you so far. Now we're takin' ya all the way, Jack! No more eight sides, no more six sides, no more stinkin' playpen rings!"
There was Dixie Carter's quote about how TNA tries to appeal to the kind of fans like "that guy who collects the toys in the 40 Year Old Virgin." Of course, the "guy who collects the toys" is the titular character of the movie.
Undying Loyalty: AJ Styles, a constant in the troubled company and thought-to-be lifer for TNA. His leaving was genuinely shocking, and caused many fans to declare that TNA's days are numbered.
Unknown Rival: To WWE. TNA's relationship with WWE is fascinating to behold, swinging between snarky antagonism and utter reverence.
The Un Reveal: Velvet Sky removes the helmet of the mysterious biker chick who's been allied with Madison Rayne, only to find a mask underneath. (It has since been revealed that this woman is Tara. You know, the "spider-lady.")
Wild Samoan: Averted by Samoa Joe. At least until he brought out a machete, wore some crazy pants, painted a tribal marking on his face that looked like a penis and started biting people. Thankfully, he's gotten far away from that, but it did a lot towards killing his push.
An unfortunate example happened not long after Hulk Hogan signed with TNA. TNA Wrestling president Dixie Carter, gave a big speech to the wrestlers before an episode of iMPACT! in which she basically acknowledged the incredibly shitty decisions being made by the company, and rather than do anything about it, told the wrestlers to shut up or leave. Either they were behind her, or they could leave the company. Thisdidnotgooverwellwithanyone. At all.
Since Hogan arrived, Christopher Daniels and Awesome Kong, among others, have left/been released from TNA (with Daniels infamously showing up at a Ring Of Honor event just days after his release from TNA, shocking everyone with his appearance). Tara (aka WWE's Victoria) also left. Daniels and Tara have returned since (though Tara was released again in 2013), but Kong became Kharma in WWE.
Arguably the absolute worst the TNA creative have done lately is tell the audience that they are "cast members" as a means to try and control the very chants that the crowd makes, allegedly due to wanting the show to be more fan-friendly and to help "tell a story" to the TV audience. While there are several chants that shouldn't be heard by children, this rings more than a little hypocritical considering the current violent & sexualised content being pushed on the show. Ostensibly this is an attempt by TNA to regulate the chants from the crowd to try and quell any anti-Hogan regime reactions. Or, find an excuse to "fire" the audience. And It worked. The Impact Zone soon became a dead zone, to the point where TNA started hiring plants and piping in overloud crowd noise.
Several wrestlers have had to use ring names that were close to their more famous ones in order to avoid WWE's lawyers from sending TNA into legal Hell (the most notable being Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley, who became Brother Ray and Brother Devon because of WWE owning several ECW trademarks); notable aversions include Christian Cage (he trademarked the name, so WWE couldn't stop him from using it) and Taz. Taz's case was due to the performer's WWE name being "Tazz", which they could trademark.
Also, Rhino. In WWE, he changed his name to Rhyno.
The ECW faction was been dubbed "EV2.0"
What exactly does the name "MVP" stand for in TNA?
One Night With ODB. They took videos from various fans and actually aired them on National TV. What came out of it? We had the last appearance of Shark Boy until 2013, and the debut of Cody Deaner. TNA made sure to make its fans look like complete idiots in order to shoot an angle that went nowhere.
They did the same thing for the Fans' Revenge matches, to the point where some of the videos were aired on an episode of World's Dumbest Fans.