Wrestling / TNA

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CROSS THE LINE
"Wrestling Matters Here."

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 the number of independent promotions grew dramatically. 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 added a free television series called TNA Xplosion!, a B Show on the Florida regional Sun Sports channel used to promote the weekly PPVs.

Twenty seven months and 111 pay per views later, TNA got their first television deal beyond Florida (with Fox SportsNet, a collection of regional sports networks owned by, or affiliated with Fox), took on a more WWE model with a new television program to center themselves around (TNA iMPACT, later renamed Impact Wrestling) and switched to monthly pay per view. When this deal expired in May of 2005, TNA became a Web Original for a few months until Spike TV picked up Impact! and gave it a weekly timeslot starting in October. After years of making a loss, this new deal was lucrative enough for TNA to finally make a profit, mainly from television licensing fees.

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, which in turn lead to a number of their biggest and longest serving stars quitting after learning that they would be facing significant pay cuts.

Then, in 2014, it was reported by several news websites that Spike TV would not renew Impact. Ultimately, Spike would continue to air TNA programming until the end of year. In January 2015, TNA's programs moved to Discovery Channel's offspring, Destination America. Unfortunately, the relationship became contentious from the start, as four months after TNA's debut, Destination America would begin airing Ring of Honor's weekly television program as a lead-in.note  Ultimately, Destination America's interest in wrestling as a whole would collapse fast, choosing to drop both Impact and ROH Wrestling by the end of year.

Impact Wrestling moved to Pop (formerly TVGN) in 2016 but, with the loss of yet another television deal, the outlook for TNA's continued existence looks grim at best.

TNA is most well-known for a few reasons:

  • The X Division, TNA's crossover between a hardcore division and 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 (giving the US mainland something to compete with the rest of the region after a four year dry spell).
  • Having a large number of ex-WCW, ex-ECW and ex-WWE wrestlers on their roster, most prominently Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, and Sting. Other familiar faces included first Dusty Rhodes and later Eric Bischoff, two men who put a spotlight on their sons (Dustin Rhodes and Garrett Bischoff, respectively), and in the case of Bischoff, dissolved the X Division and replaced it with old friends from WWE and WCW.
  • Their six-sided ring, which gives their show something of a unique look. However, they used the standard four-sided ring for the Hulk Hogan era, and for a few months after it. Liberal amounts of They Changed It, Now It Sucks were applied by the fans around the change to four sides and the transition back to six sides.
  • Dialing up the vulgarity, in reaction to the WWE's Lighter and Softer approach.
  • 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 , 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 emphasize 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 favorable reviews and ratings. Despite its success, however, it was not renewed for a second season and was effectively replaced by the unaffiliated CWE. You can watch the entire television series on YouTube.
  • Their love of invasion/takeover angles, thanks to the Fleeting Demographic Rule. Since its inception in 2002 up until October 2015, TNA has spent over 59% of the timenote  under siege by a hostile force.

TNA currently have five champions that they recognize:

    List of Champions 
  • TNA World Heavyweight Champion
  • TNA World Tag Team Champions
    • Decay (Crazzy Steve and Abyss) since April 26, 2016 taped 
  • TNA X Division Champion
    • Lashley since July 21, 2016 taped 
  • TNA King of the Mountain Championnote 
  • TNA Women's Knockout Champion
    • Sienna since June 12, 2016


"We know those tropes, Taz! What are they doing in the Impact Zone?"

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Miss Tessmacher being trained to wrestle, since her teacher Lacey Von Erich has left the company, on top of Tessmacher breaking her jaw. Tessmacher got better, and has held the Knockouts title.
    • Who was Samoa Joe abducted by? Where is the Nation of Violence thing? And since Joe was the first to proclaim that "They" had spoken, why wasn't he in Immortal?
    • Remember when D'Angelo Dinero was a contender for the world title instead of a blink-and-you'll-miss-him midcarder?
    • The Network, especially who the representative was after Mick Foley was Put on a Bus.
    • TNA has a strange habit of building people up and booking them in major story arcs in the immediate run-up to their contracts expiring, and then either refusing to give them a new contract that reflects their status, or simply demanding huge pay cuts from their new stars, apparently oblivious to the bargaining power that they themselves put in these people's hands. These wrestlers often quit in disgust, stopping their storylines cold.
  • Accuser of the Brethren: This was Jeff Jarrett's vendetta against Jeff Hardy in late 2011 after Hardy returned as a face to atone for his infamous performance at Victory Road.
  • The Ace: Shall forever be AJ Styles.
  • Action Girl: The TNA Knockouts division, though its reputation sank during the start of Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich's joint run at the top of it, going so far as to be the onscreen reason ODB and Jacqueline returned. It took Gail Kim's return to recover the spirit of the division.
  • Acrofatic: Samoa Joe is the most famous, but Ryota Hama (from TNA's crossover with Wrestle-1) just might be the most impressive example at 5'9 400lbs doing rolling sentons.
  • Adaptation Distillation: A rare case in pro wrestling in which a promotion can claim House Show Distillation. TNA's house shows are well liked for their matches (often compared to the weekly pay-per-view era) and the meet and greets before and after the show.
  • Affably Evil: It was pretty hard to hate the on-screen leaders of Immortal and the heel version of Fortune (Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair, respectively).
  • The Alcoholic: James Storm. Even Jackie Moore was astounded by his consumption.
  • All American Face: Kurt Angle, when he's a face. To a somewhat lesser extent, "Team TNA" / "Team USA" in any World X Cup Tournament.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: Aces & Eights, which is based on another club.
  • 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.
  • Answers to the Name of God: In his TNA run, Ric Flair literally claimed to be not a wrestling god, but the wrestling equivalent of God.
  • 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. Just when it seemed to be at least subverted a couple months later when Dixie came back with paperwork of an injunction she got placed on Hogan, the 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 every time 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. Even some of the stations that did keep it long term showed "iMPACT" in it's place in between the Fox Sports Net and Spike TV deals.
  • 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, 2010:
    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.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Rob Van Dam, who defeated Sting in about ten seconds during his surprise debut in TNA, only to immediately receive a hellacious minutes-long beatdown from Sting and his trademark black bat. Especially bad when security holds back Hulk Hogan, who is trying to help Rob Van Dam... and they completely ignore Sting as he continues to beat the holy hell out of RVD while security does nothing. 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.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • An unfortunate Real Life case. The Hogan/Bischoff era and Dixie Carter's terrible business practices in general have destroyed the faith and loyalty of several TNA mainstays, but none more so than the heart and soul of TNA, AJ Styles, who left at the start of 2014 after being there since the very beginning.
      AJ: For a guy who'd been a staple of that company for 11 years, who busted his tail, never got in trouble, never did anything to embarrass your company, and what [Carter] offered me was enough for me to go, "I'm not working here." I loved that company. I did. I put everything I had into it.
    • The fans themselves have lost such faith in TNA that even when Hogan and Bischoff left and the product made several marked improvements in 2014-2015 (especially with the permanent departure of Vince Russo), some people just plain refuse to watch the show anymore. To make things even worse, Spike TV ended up losing such faith in TNA that they had to go to the lesser-known, lesser-available Destination America, meaning some fans who still want to catch the show as it airs can't.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Bully Ray.
  • 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: 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. Maybe it was because technically Mesias was his stepbrother?
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • 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.
    • Beer Money. Sound familiar? Oh yeah: the APA! It could also be said that they're a Captain Ersatz of John Bradshaw Layfield himself split in two (James Storm being face Bradshaw and Robert Roode, heel Bradshaw/JBL).
    • Ken Anderson grew up in the podunk town of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, admiring fellow small-town boy "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Now in TNA, as "Mr. Anderson" he has had the opportunity to recreate the enormous success Austin enjoyed in WWE in the late 1990s and early 2000s, paying tribute to his idol with a similar Wild Card moral alignment and a crowd-pleasing anti-establishment attitude.
  • 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: TNA seems to thrive on unintentional examples of this trope.
    • During the initial Immortal conspiracy, Flair was originally saying "They" were Fortune before Abyss outed that as a lie. So naturally the counter-conspiracy a few months later ended up with "Them" being Fortune.
    • Tomko was 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.
    • Bram's initial angle in TNA was confronting Magnus for going soft and becoming a disgrace in a suit during his Team Dixie-backed world title reign, which had concluded not long before. The year after, following Bram's final falling-out with Magnus, Bram ended up being partnered with Dixie's nephew Ethan Carter III in a tag team title tournament—during which Bram made it perfectly clear he neither liked nor trusted EC3.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: D'Angelo Dinero, a supposed evangelical (Protestant) street preacher, has been nicknamed "The Pope."
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • BRIAN KENDRICK. 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...
    • To a lesser extent, Abyss.
    • Daffney.
  • Conspiracy Redemption: Fortune, defecting from Immortal on February 3rd.
  • Counterpart Combat Coordination: This is the draw of The World Cup Of Wrestling(not to be confused with the World X Cup, which is almost the exact opposite). Every team must have one wrestle to represent each of TNA's active title belts and they must face off against the wrestlers from the other teams in the same category. The team with the most wins, wins.
  • 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.
  • Cool Mask: Abyss, Suicide/Manik, and Tigre Uno
  • Corrupt Cop: TNA Security Guards Gunner and Murphy. And this is before they worked for Immortal.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • 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.
    • Daffney did not want to take a certain bumps, but Dixie/TNA convinced Daffney that they would pay the medical bills if something happened. Daffney got hurt. TNA did not pay. Then after she got treated, she was told that it was her own fault for getting hurt, and not the untrained wrestler she was wrestling.note 
  • Crossover
    • Formerly with the other NWA members, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, IWA Puerto Rico 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.
    • TNA personnel were not pleased when they discovered front row tickets to the 2008 Turning Point had been bought by Shaggy 2 Dope, Violent J, 2 Tuff Tony and Corporal Robinson, men who along with TNA alumnus Scott Hall, made up the "Juggalo World Order". They were even less pleased when Sheik Abdull Bashir decided to sell the invasion and slap a heckling Tony.
    • W-1 WRESTLE-1 Kaisen: Outbreak and WRESTLE-1 presents: TNAW Bound for Glory 2014, W-1 Fighting Entertainment WRESTLE-1 ~ Impact ~
    • World Wrestling League vs TNA, Campeón vs Campeón, Glamour Boy Shane vs Bobby Roode! Match ended up not happening though due to a delayed flight. So The Revolution took on La Artilleria Pesada instead.
  • Crying Wolf
    • 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 1, 2013 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  It wasn't until summer of 2014 that the company finally seemed to recover its footing, resuming a limited tour schedule, culminating 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 — in "secret". It was fairly obvious he had something to do with the show (a lot of Impact! in early 2014 had his trademark booking), but it was all technically rumor at the time since the company hadn't announced anything and no one had any proof. Then Vinny Russo outed himself on accident by sending commentary instructions for Taz and Mike Tenay to PWInsider. They tried to make it look like a work, but Russo came clean eventually. And as it turns out, there's a reason why he was rehired in "secret" — not only did Wrestle-1 hate him under the perception that he's racist against Japanese and Mexican wrestlers (not without merit, mind you), but SpikeTV, who was negotiating a new TV deal for Impact! at the time, hated him too. In fact, they specifically instructed Dixie herself not to rehire him. While it may not have been the main reason why they decided to not renew the deal, it was certainly a deciding factor. At this point TNA is dying a slow death, and time will tell if it's getting better anytime soon.
    • 2016 is starting to become this. Despite an improving product and high ratings, TNA itself is effectively broke. They got evicted from the corporate headquarters and had to move into their merchandise warehouse, they're paying the production team late again, they've lost several big stars such as Bobby Roode and Eric Young and they've been hit by a storm of bad PR. The company can only survive with an investor, but takers are few and far in-between because Dixie wants to keep the company under her control and won't sell the majority stake. They don't run house shows anymore because the market for them is effectively dead for TNA, and thus their only sources of revenue are their TV deal and merchandise sales, which aren't enough to offset the costs of production. At this rate it'd be a miracle if the company survived the year.
  • Dead Man's Hand: The biker gang invading TNA in the summer and fall of 2012 used 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.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: When Daniels and Kazarian won the tag titles they started calling themselves "The World Tag Team Champions of the World."
  • Despair Event Horizon: After the rise of Immortal, Sting and Nash decide to leave rather than fight or join them. Sting later had a change of heart....
  • 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.
  • Epic Fail: Claire Lynch, THE Dork Age of AJ Styles' career and of TNA in general. These days, it's considered TNA's counterpart to the WWE's Katie Vick.
  • Evil Power Vacuum:
    • TNA has spent half its existence constantly dealing with some heel, mega-faction, which inevitably falls to in-fighting before the remnants are outright destroyed all together. Then we got at most a year before another one comes along and the whole process repeats itself. To say the fans are sick of it would be a severe understatement.
    • Unlike the WWE (which, in recent years, does not shy away from building up new stars), the TNA main event scene is in constant flux. The issue with TNA is that it relies on stars who made their fame in the WWE to carry the responsibility instead of building up new stars instead. Then when those stars inevitably leave, they search for more ex-WWE stars to fix things up instead of building up the talent they already have. The only consistent main event stars TNA has managed to keep to this day are Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy (both of whom made their fame in the WWE and, for health reasons, the WWE won't take back) — all the others have now left the promotion almost entirely.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • Until Vince Russo left, this happened constantly. Even internally, most wrestlers had trouble cooperating with their own tag teams and stables, with loads of in-fighting and betrayals, so 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 credos is that pure faces and pure heels don't exist in life, and that 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.
  • Expy:
    • 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.
  • Faux Affably Evil: It was pretty hard not to hate Jeff Jarrett and (the former) Karen Angle, since they're super smarmy. This also applies to their brief GFW Invasion run in 2015, essentially being the main reason Dixie Carter didn't get booed for her character's stupidity.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule:
    • Try to 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), 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. 2010, TNA has been on Spike TV for awhile and Savio Vega is working on Xplosion... is Cookie being suspended in a cage during a title match between Jay Lethal and Robbie E? Is she dropping brass knuckles from the cage, just like Vega did? TNA liked this one so much it happened again in 2012 with Madison Rayne being suspended above Mickie James and Gail Kim.
    • AJ Styles's "Leaving with the Title" storyline with Dixie Carter at the end of 2013 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 was gone longer. It didn't catch on, mainly because Dixie Carter makes a poor replacement for Vince McMahon and because everybody was sure that AJ, a well-known company man, was still with the company, whereas with Punk everything was kind of up in the air due to Punk's well-known real life animosity towards WWE management. It was then subverted by the facts that AJ and TNA's actual contract negotiations fell through without a deal in place and he didn't 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.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel:
    • 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.
    • Avoided with Sarita and her prima Rosita. They are Mexican, and have been known to lapse into Gratuitous Spanish on occasion, but otherwise they don't really come off as foreign. Same with Hernandez, who dresses like a Chicano homeboy but was serving as muscle for the primary Anglo-American faction Immortal...until March/April 2011. The above three, plus a new wrestler named "Anarquia" joined forces as "Mexican America," a faction of gringo-hating Chicano extremists plotting a Nazi-style takeover of the United States.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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.
    • They tried to invoke this at one point with the breakup of Christian's Coalition, but it didn't come across well at all. Tomko was leaving to fly to Japan for a defense of his IWGP World Tag Team Championship, with AJ Styles wanting to come along until Christian Cage came and pulled AJ back to stay with him. Mike Tenay tried to sell this as "friction" within the Coalition, but the segment itself didn't hint at any conflict between the three, and considering Styles and Cage were both in an eight-man tag team match later that night, it wasn't exactly unjustified.
  • 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.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Sports Entertainment Xtreme, Voodoo Kin Mafia. The TNA name also qualifies.note 
  • 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • 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-filled Manswers doesn't typically get away with this from Spike TV. Dixie would later thank Spike for allowing her that swear.
    • Since mid-2012, Smug Snake Christopher Daniels has adopted the tendency to tape his fingers in black and showing the hand off to the crowd, but not his thumb and middle fingers.
  • Gimmick Matches:
    • TNA has invented more than a few; they were apparently so obsessed with all types of these that Kurt Angle himself once said TNA puts on "too many gimmick matches" in an ESPN interview.
    • The six-sided ring itself could have been its own gimmick match but TNA has yet to seriously use the styles of wrestling it was built for.
    • Might have established a new low with the infamous Reverse Battle Royal.
    • Nearly surpassed it with the ungainly red (bird)cage as the opening match under the Hogan regime. Poor Homicide trying to climb out of it to no avail (think Pvt. Pyle on the obstacle course).
  • Girl Posse: The Beautiful People.
  • Glass Jaw Referee: Averted by Shane Sewell, whose Puerto Rican wrestling background was acknowledged.
  • Gold Digger: Karen Angle - er, Jarrett - seems to have become this.
  • Greater Scope Paragon:
  • 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 been able to withstand ridiculous amounts of punishment, shown no trace of fear toward any of his opponents, acts very Ax-Crazy, and put Rob Van Dam on the shelf (kayfabe) in 2010.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: As per Russo booking. One of TNA's biggest issues is that wrestlers switch alignment so often that the fans have no idea who is what, and therefore who to cheer. Nominally, in the WWE you only turn if your gimmick is getting stale — you only turn as quick as TNA wrestler does if your previous turn is ill-conceived or ill-received, and once you complete the turn you stay with that alignment for a good while. In TNA, you flip-flop like every six or so months, which is nowhere near enough time for a wrestler to get over completely with their new act. Other times the turns make no sense or shouldn't happen at all from a business standpoint (see: Jeff Hardy). This issue only started to correct itself when Russo left the company in 2012, and more or less stopped when he was gone for good in 2014.
  • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • 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 Championship, 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.
  • Hope Spot: For the promotion itself, regarding its 2013-15 dire period; at the beginning of 2015, they signed a new TV deal with Destination America... which is a step down as it doesn't put them in as nearly as many households as they use too. Not only that, they failed to re-sign Samoa Joe. Then Destination America signed with ROH as well, and their contract with TNA has an out clause for September — which they are more-or-less confirmed to be exercising very soon. Not only that, but several major stars of the promotion (notably Austin Aries and James Storm) are leaving in droves during the summer. They are also embroiled in legal controversy involving Hernandez and Lucha Underground — the former thought he was free to sign with TNA and appeared at tapings as part of the BDC, only for the latter to inform him that was not the case, and demanded he be edited out of the footage. With Hernandez gone, the BDC was effectively depleted and MVP (who had only just signed the year before), no doubt frustrated as well, left TNA — only for it to turn out that he had been fired for suggesting they rehire Hernandez, even though it isn't his job to make sure that contracts are free of all that legal nonsense and that performers are unattached, putting the company in an even worse light. TNA then did a run of TV tapings that are supposed to take them through the end of September, when Destination America finally pulls the plug while they go around shopping for a new network again. Considering they've been cancelled twice in a span of less than a year, things are dimmer than ever.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: While not as mighty as say, WCW, TNA was indisputably the #2 wrestling promotion in the United States — it'd made sense to go there if you couldn't make it in the WWE. But after Hogan and Bischoff came and went, the company is in such a sorry state that many wrestlers avoid it entirely, while many of the TNA Originals, who have been with the company since its inception, quit (most notably AJ Styles). ROH, once a distant third, is now close to eclipsing TNA entirely, especially when many fans learned that some of the most popular stars in the WWE today originated from there. What was once lauded as a rising promotion that, with the right care, could have competed with the WWE, is now barely hanging to a thread, with many fans now wishing for it to be put out of its misery. It's reached a point where PWI no longer recognizes its Heavyweight Title as a World Title, more or less declaring that TNA, in their eyes, has dropped to indy status.
  • I Call It "Vera": Abyss' nail covered 2x4, "Janice," and his "10.10.10" branding iron "Bob." Though it was never stated, these weapons were named after Dixie Carter's parents, Foreshadowing her forceful exit from the company.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: AJ Styles. Christopher Daniels. Samoa Joe. These are the three participants of what is still considered to be the greatest match in the history of TNA, a match that got five stars from Dave Meltzer. And they all got the shaft for Ring Oldies from WWE, WCW and ECW. AJ Styles, the ultimate company man, found himself stuck in the mid card and/or under the heel of others despite being The Ace of the company. Samoa Joe was stuck in mid card hell for the final years of his TNA run despite being one of its top draws. Worst of all is Christopher Daniels, who found himself going through several gimmicks thanks to the very unfunny Running Gag of him or one of his personas being fired via the Feast or Fired case, and was constantly denied a run as world champion, despite having long since proven himself worthy of one for years. Unsurprisingly, when TNA's financial troubles caught up to the talent, all three had no issues leaving when their contracts were finally up, after the company rewarded their loyalty with little to nothing.
  • The Illuminati:
    • Immortal. It's bad enough the whole formation of this stable involved an ever-expanding secret group working the scene for longer than the entire duration of most wrestling plots to take full control of TNA from Dixie Carter and 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.
      • In fact, there was less time on said Impact dedicated to wrestling than there was dedicated to Jersey Shore's "JWoww" befriending the Girl Posse, encountering the Odd Couple, and embarrassing the one-month-old Lowest Common Denominator parody of her own show - all allegedly to the tune of $15,000.
      • 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!
    • And then there's the court case. Dixie Carter goes to court to contend that Hogan and Bischoff's acquisition of the company is illegal, which, since everybody saw that it was under false pretenses, should've gotten the whole contract annulled within days. Considering the judge was apparently a friend of Dixie's, maybe not even that long. Instead, weeks was how long it took merely to get the injunction slapped on Hogan. Not even Bischoff. Just Hogan. The whole case itself took months. And it was ruled that the contract was 100% legal, Hulk and Eric have total control of TNA, and Dixie is still responsible for supplying the company money. Oh, these two are The Illuminati indeed.
    • 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.
    • So basically, this trope both began and ended with a Hulk Hogan turn at BFG and a 30-40-minute segment on the following Impact...
  • Incompetence, Inc.: TNA's management is more liable to kill TNA than the competition ever has and ever will. There's a reason why people are literally waiting for the company to die at this point.
    • Dixie Carter runs a wrestling promotion the same way Paul Heyman writes checks. Actually, that may be a disservice to Paul E. — ECW lost $7 million before filing for bankruptcy in '01. TNA loses that amount in a month.
    Wrestle! Wrestle!: Actually, the only thing that might save my sanity is if this were some elaborate, postmodern, Colbertesque parody; some kind of satire of mid-fall WCW. If they were making a show like that, this might make sense. And honestly, if I lose any more of my marbles, I might start latching onto this. You'll know that day has finally come when just I sit down and be like, "I GET IT!"
    • You don't have to look very far to see examples of this for Dixie either in storyline or in real life. In reality, her parents own Panda Energy and basically foot the bill for all other ventures just to keep her far away from it. She used to run a PR firm but then got bored of it. Jeff Jarrett then approached her about investing in TNA, so she got on the horn and asked Bob & Janice to buy it for her. And yes, recently she's been redirecting the production crew to work on footage for a reality TV pilot about her life. People that have worked for TNA often call her a money mark, and when your family is richer than God you can afford to be.
    • Dixie's opinion is that, since wrestling is "television", nothing has to make sense. Apparently she has conflated "television" with Twin Peaks. This explains the rampant Ratings Stunts and general atmosphere of sleaze, as well.
    • One memorable instance had her soliciting questions on Twitter mere days after firing several people. That ended well.
    • 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. TNA denies that Russo's continued employment had anything to do with Spike deciding to cancel the show, but considering that decision came just weeks after Russo accidentally outed himself, many people believe otherwise.
      WrestleCrap: Seems like I’ve been down this road before. As we teased in that book, a Death of TNA book is really a no brainer. Not in the that it makes perfect sense for Bryan and I to write it, but rather that throughout its existence, the folks who have run this company seemingly never had any synapses firing. With WCW, at least you had a peak.
    • Because Controversy Creates Coinage, and Eric Bischoff was the kayfabe "owner" of the company at the time, he had license to be an adolescent guffawing dickhead 24/7. His response to criticism is to make fat jokes at the expense of/generally sniping at fans who simply do not like TNA. His Twitter feed was so terrible, it turned Scott Steiner's into a font of coherence and wisdom.
    • Aside from Bischoff above, Matt Hardy will complain about all the negativity radiating from 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).
    • Contract management has been a consistent problem. Rob Van Dam has twice had his TNA contract expire while he held a singles championship . 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.
    • The AJ Styles debacle. TNA posted a statement on their website regarding AJ's contract negotiations with them and his decision to decline their offer and go to WWE. This on its own wouldn't be so incompetent — if TNA hadn't deliberately tried to slander him and insinuate that there would be legal ramifications. Seeing this was two days before AJ's rumored debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble, everyone knew exactly what they were trying to do. The threats of legal ramifications had no basis, as the most AJ could have signed was a non-legally binding letter of intent, and reports outright stated TNA was still in the middle of drawing up a final contract. Not only that, but TNA also tried to throw Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson under the bus in the process — while Gallows was in the same boat as AJ (and would not debut until after WrestleMania), Anderson was still under contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling until February of that year, meaning TNA had outright admitted to contract tampering. The only reason they didn't have a lawsuit on their hands is because NJPW is situated in a different country. The resulting fallout had what seemed to be the entire IWC, including some TNA's usually ardent defenders, outright bashing the company for being so incompetent/petty.
  • 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."
  • Irony: TNA's constant attempts to rip off on the WWE and breathe new life in the promotion often has the opposite effect — look no further than their attempt to rehash the "Summer of Punk II" with AJ Styles as Punk and Dixie Carter as Vince. A poor rehash at that, one of the main reasons the fans didn't buy the storyline was because AJ was a well-known company man, while Punk had a well-known off-screen story of animosity with WWE management. However, the reason it worked the first time around is because Punk, issues with management and all, did end up re-signing. AJ, who was a well-known company man (keyword here being "was") actually didn't re-sign. This led to one of the most over-booked matches in the history of TNA (which is really saying something), in order to take the title off him while still trying to keep him strong, ending the storyline in a screeching halt. His departure caused the gradual hemorrhage of talent (detailed in Out of Focus below) to go full blast as the company failed to re-sign much of its signature, non-WWE talent such as Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and, in 2015, Samoa Joe, which reached its pinnacle in the summer of 2015 as several wrestlers such as James Storm and Austin Aries requested their release from the company. Meanwhile, Punk's storyline allowed him and Daniel Bryan to kick down several doors in the WWE, leading to a gradual income of young, prominent talent from the indies being signed (also including Samoa Joe). However, the greatest irony is that the culmination of these events led to AJ signing with WWE, causing the Internet to go nuts.
  • It Will Never Catch On
    • The original weekly pay per view model of TNA won the vote when the company was still a conceptual ideal because TNA's founders were convinced no television network would ever want another pro wrestling show after WCW's collapse. Needless to say, TNA ended up getting a television deal.
    • 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 — a couple of months after the red hot storyline that catapulted him into the stratosphere and made him John Cena's equal, they put all the matches he did for them on their video demand service. The move made no sense since Punk wrestled all of five matches for them, and has been quite vocal of his hatred of the company — when he abruptly quit the WWE in 2014, he didn't even entertain the idea of signing with TNA, and retired from professional wrestling entirely and went to UFC.
    • Kazuchika Okada may be an even worse case than Punk. Okada was sent to TNA by NJPW for seasoning, where he barely did anything besides being a jobber, Samoa Joe's sidekick, and getting his last name tweaked to "Okato" so that he could have a Green Hornet gimmick. Within a year of leaving of TNA, Okada became the youngest winner of the G1 Climax and IWGP Heavyweight Champion. These days, he's considered the successor to Hiroshi Tanahashi as the ace of New Japan, and has an incredibly low opinion of TNA. In fact, TNA's handling of Okada was reportedly one of the reasons NJPW ceased the relationship between the two promotions shortly afterwards.
  • Large Ham
    • 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.
  • Last of His Kind: During the brief departure of James Storm in 2015, Abyss was the last wrestler in the company to have continuously worked for the promotion since its very first weekly PPV in 2002. As for the TNA Originals themselves, all that is truly left is Eric Young and Bobby Roode.
  • 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 got fired. Now it's pretty much unknown, because the Network storyline was dropped shortly after Foley's departure.
  • Matryoshka Object: Sports Entertainment Xtreme, a Power Stable so large it had its own power stables inside of it.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: Immortal on Dixie Carter. Enough said.
  • Meet the New Boss: MVP, Director of Wrestling Operations. Same as Dixie Carter except he can also wrestle (at least when his knee's not blown out).
  • Mighty Whitey: Jeff Jarrett's "King of Mexico" gimmick (after winning the AAA Mega Championship and bringing it to the United States).
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Miss TNA title was a subversion, at least in theory, as it was awarded in a battle royal to the last participant to avoid being stripped of her clothing. Really subverted in that the second Miss TNA was Bruce, though he later gave the title to a woman, who then vacated it.
  • 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 2011, 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.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: Immortal, thanks to Abyss referencing it as "They/Them" during the lead-up to The Reveal at Bound for Glory "10.10.10."
  • Necessarily Evil: Sting's 2010 Face–Heel Turn was this, at least that's what he claimed. Sting was right.
  • Nepotism:
    • The company was started by Jeff Jarrett and his father. To be fair to the Jarretts, as bad as they could be, they were nothing compared to Dixie.
    • 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 WWE. In fact he seems to be a parody mixture of both this and the overpaid prima donna athlete. Ironically, despite the deep hatred the TNA fanbase has for TNA's blatant nepotism, EC3 is very popular with them, most likely because he is a parody of everything that's wrong with that kind of treatment.
    • This was more-or-less the reason why Vince Russo still had a job here despite the fact that he was one of the people who helped run WCW down into the ground.
  • 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.
  • Non-Indicative Name: 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.
  • Odd Couple: Orlando Jordan and Eric Young. Also, Eric Young and ODB.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • 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).
  • Only in It for the Money: This was basically Kevin Nash's character during his 2006-2010 run.
  • Open Secret: Vince Russo's "secret" rehiring in 2014. It was fairly obvious that he had something to do with the show as a lot of his tells were there, but there was no official announcement nor concrete proof, so it all it could be called at the time was a rumor at best. Then Vinny accidentally outed himself to PWInsider by emailing them commentary instructions, and it caused a whole floodgate of problems, especially when it was revealed that his re-involvement with the show dated as far back as October 2013.
  • Out of Focus: TNA has been bleeding stars since AJ Styles' high profile and vocal departure from the company, after over a decade of loyalty from the very beginning, mostly from AJ's fellow "TNA Originals", leading to the loss of some of the company's most loyal and popular wrestlers.
  • Parts Unknown:
    • Abyss is billed from there.
    • Judas Mesias, from "The Depths of Hell."
    • Shark Boy, from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," later changed to "The Deep Blue Sea."
  • Perky Goth: Jeff Hardy, Daffney.
  • Power Stable: These frequently dominated much of the roster. Sports Entertainment Xtreme, Planet Jarrett, The Angle Alliance, World Elite, The Main Event Mafia, Christian's Coalition, The Beautiful People, Fourtune, Immortal, Aces & Eights, 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.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Fourtune, for the first four months of Immortal.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: The purpose of Bitch Slap (Nurse Veronica, Traci Brooks, Cheerleader Valentina and Trinity), who aimed to get rid of TNA's cage dancers, April Pennington and Lollipop specifically. The Bitch Slap Stable and the Dancers themselves just disappeared without real resolution. Also, Jacqueline and ODB had this attitude toward the knockout division when they returned from their hiatus, "Knockout division" being shorthand for Velvet Sky.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Jim Cornette was one, to an extent. Eric Bischoff's tried to be one, after a Heel–Face Turn. Hulk Hogan was a better example. At least before The Reveal.
  • The Reveal:
    • Most notably, Immortal.
    • Each time an Aces and Eights member is unmasked.
  • Ring Oldies: Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Sting, Scott Steiner, and Kevin Nash, among others. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were added to the mix in 2010, Hogan with (apparently) the same amount of creative control he had during his time in WCW.
  • 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.
  • Screwed by the Network: In-universe as part of the plot. For a while, the Network had an executive helping Sting to screw Immortal by keeping them under control, sending Bischoff and Hogan into a mild Villainous Breakdown. This person turned out to be Mick Foley, only for him to get fired (he actually requested a release) weeks later.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Hoping to capitalize on Orlando Jordan's Real Life bisexuality (in the stupidest way possible), they had Jordan make his re-debut dressed as Lady Gaga from the video for "Telephone".
    • The lady first introduced as Eric Bischoff's on-screen assistant, former WWE diva Brooke Adams, is named "Miss Tessmacher".
    • Abyss' Weapons of Choice, Bob and Janice, are the names of Dixie Carter's parents.
  • Something Person: TNA has employed "Shark Boy" (previously best known for a WCW appearance) and revived the mythical "Japanese" character "Curry Man."
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: How James Storm and Bobby Roode interacted when they first were paired up. Over time, they meshed very well and Beer Money was formed.
  • Spanner in the Works: Jeff Jarrett, while initially putting the spotlight on himself, eventually got it out of his system and had an idea of where he wanted the company to go. But it was all screwed over in the most unbelievable way possible. If you really think about it, a lot of TNA's Real Life problems can stem back to the signing of Kurt Angle. That was actually a good thing (well, at least up until TNA became Total Nonstop Angle), but Kurt brought in his then-wife Karen for storyline purposes. Karen filed for divorce in late 2008. Then, in July 2009, it was learned that Karen was romantically linked to the recently widowed Jeff Jarrett (whose wife, Jill, died in 2007), a relationship that was said to have started during Kurt and Karen's separation. Dixie freaked, sent Jeff home for the rest of the year and stripped him of all booking power, leaving her (and Vince Russo) as the most powerful backstage figures. Dixie comes to like that power, and gets more involved with the company (she was really only supposed to write the checks), and around late-2009 signs Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, who more or less take over the place entirely. Jarrett would return in 2010, but the damage had been done and he was unable to do anything to check Hogan and Bischoff, which would then rush in the Dork Age of TNA that put it into to the financial disaster of 2014-2015. Jeff, realizing his vision for the company had been utterly destroyed and unable to buy it back, left at the start of 2014. It's amazing how something as simple as an extramarital affair could cause a company to fall apart in such a spectacular fashion.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Ric Flair's group. Was it "Fortune" or "Fourtune?" Fans and reporters alternated 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."
  • Spiritual Successor: Has become one to WCW over the past few years.
  • 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.
  • Take That:
    • 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.)
    • There's a reason why in many Knockout matches, if they perform succesfully, the fans chant "Better than the Divas".
    • 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 investor MVP'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.
    • Drew Galloway's digs at the WWE on the March 7, 2015 episode centred around the Insistent Terminology they use. Mainly, 'superstars' instead of 'professional wrestlers', and 'sports entertainment' instead of 'professional wrestling'.
    • Ethan Carter III himself practically reeks of this, particularly as a Take That Me, what with him being a parody of Dixie's own ridiculous penchant for nepotism.
  • Take That, Audience!
    • 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.
    • When introducing the new four-sided ring to replace TNA's unique six-sided ring, the crowd booed and started to chant "WE WANT SIX SIDES!" Hogan's response to the crowd?
      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.
  • The Theme Park Version: Literally, as they broadcast their TV shows and In-Name-Only PPVs from the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: "Open Fight Night" is basically built around this, anyone can call out anyone and the challenged must fight.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Where to begin? Maybe with Eric Young, after hitting his head following the demise of World Elite?
  • Ultimate Job Security: The only possible reason why Kurt Angle could possibly still be employed. During his TNA tenure, Kurt has been arrested no less than five times, four of which were for a DUI. But since Angle is one of their best performers (in fact, with the departure of AJ Styles, he's arguably THE best), and their biggest star, TNA refused to discipline him. To the point where when he was arrested while still TNA World Heavyweight Champion, he was still booked to retain the title. Kurt himself finally accepted that he had a problem after his last arrest and checked himself into rehab on his own.
  • 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.
    • Chris Jericho pointed out that TNA's TV ratings have consistently hovered around the 1.0 mark, which is admittedly poor compared to the WWE's dominance, but it also means that, throughout almost TNA's entire life, they have had a core audience of around one million people, who have stuck by them through every single dumb, ill-advised and just plain offensive thing they've done. People crave an alternative brand. WWE has completely swamped the professional wrestling business, to the point where small promotions like TNA are barely a blip on their radar. It's not hard to spin TNA's flagging fortunes into an indictment of WWE.
  • Unknown Rival: To WWE. TNA's relationship with WWE is fascinating to behold, swinging between snarky antagonism and utter reverence. These days, Vince gives Dixie about as much attention as a fly.
  • 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.)
  • Vagueness Is Coming: The ominous warnings about "They" by Abyss in the early autumn of 2010. Subverted in early 2011, by Crimson. In his case, "They" were the accomplices turned good guys.
  • Wham Episode: A non-kayfabe example in the departure of AJ Styles. His leaving was when the fan base realized how deep in shit the company was — Jeff Jarrett's departure happening not long afterwards was the final nail coffin, and after that is when everyone started counting the days.
  • Why Won't You Die?: What almost the entire IWC has been asking TNA for years now. There is a reason why people call TNA the "cockroach" of Professional Wrestling — this company should have died years ago. They've practically been on life support since they were cancelled from Spike, bleeding out stars like no tomorrow and their house show market effectively dead, with several bone-headed business and PR decisions to add on to the damage, and yet out of either pure tenacity or dumb luck (or, more likely, a combination of the two), they've managed to survive.
  • 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.
  • With Us or Against Us
    • 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. This did not go over well with anyone. 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 and 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.
  • Writing Around Trademarks
    • 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 "EV 2.0"
    • "MIIIIISSTERRRRR..... KEN-NE— AND-ER-SON"... "AND-ER-SON."
    • What exactly does the name "MVP" stand for in TNA?
  • You Are Not Ready: What Paul Heyman said when invited to join TNA. The sad part was that he was right, and the even sadder part is that, by the look of things, TNA will never be ready.
  • You Bastard:
    • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Total Nonstop Action, TNA Impact, Impact Wrestling

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Wrestling/TNA