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Horrible / Impact Wrestling

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"As an omen of things to come, TNA used the first segment on its first ever PPV broadcast to show a group of older wrestlers talking."
Taimapedia, "LOLTNA History"

Impact Wrestling (formerly known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) may be somewhat more hardcore than WWE, but it certainly shares its propensity for idiotic ideas. Of course, having your show staffed top-to-bottom with the WCW alumni who sank that promotion isn't a recipe for success.


Important Note: If something bad was an isolated incident or simply stupid, it does not make the whole thing Horrible. Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there's a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.


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  • The Lockdown 2005 PPV. The idea originally came as a joke during a booking session in which Dusty Rhodes suggested that every match on the card be contested inside a cage. Dixie Carter, unaware he was joking, jumped at the idea. Lockdown became a staple of the TNA PPV as a result. note 
    • The very first Lockdown is remembered for playing host to Chris Candido's last match. In the opening match of the show, Candido landed wrong after taking a dropkick from Sonny Siaki and fractured several bones in his leg. He died days later of a blood clot stemming from surgery on his leg. TNA refused to pay the money it owed Candido to his then-girlfriend/common-law wife Tammy Lynn Sytch (which was technically legal, since they were not officially married), paying his parents instead. Terry Taylor eventually sent her a ham dinner as a condolence gift.
    • To further exploit Candido's death for fun and profit (especially profit), TNA held a tournament for the "Candido Cup". Sean Waltman and Alex Shelley won the tourney, but Waltman no-showed the PPV (and disappeared for an entire week) in which he and Shelley were entered into a four-way for the tag titles. Midway through the match, Candido's brother Johnny was subbed in as Shelley's partner. (They didn't win.)
  • In 2009, TNA brought in Jenna Morasca, a former Reality TV contestant best-known for Survivor... over six years prior. She stuck around the Main Event Mafia and did nothing of note for months, then feuded out of nowhere with Booker T's wife Sharmell. This built up to the main-event match of that year's Victory Road, with Awesome Kong as Jenna's manager. The two non-wrestlers were hopelessly out of their depth, and it showed—Jenna in particular prioritized being Ms. Fanservice well over executing spots. All Kong was allowed to do was lay Sharmell out for the fall, after eight of the absolute worst minutes in wrestling history, male or female. It got a "MINUS! FIVE! STARS!" from WON and an article on WrestleCrap. Botchamania and 420chan's Disasterpiece Theatre also featured this. TNA reportedly paid Morasca half a million dollars per appearance; at the same time, Gail Kim was denied a raise and left for WWE. While many blamed Dixie Carter's unhealthy obsession with reality shows for Morasca's signing, Kurt Angle had also starred with her in the direct-to-DVD flop End Game, itself a WrestleCrap inductee.
  • Sean Waltman no-showed Lockdown 2010. This made PPV #3 that Waltman no-showed. However, management knew weeks in advance that he would not be able to participate: Waltman had tested positive for Hepatitis C, and Missouri wouldn't give him a license to wrestle as a result. Rather than remove Waltman from the card and all advertisements, they waited until the PPV went on the air to announce Waltman's no-show, and Taz was ordered to say that it was "just X-Pac being X-Pac". Waltman later said he had been clean for many years, yet he didn't hold a grudge against Taz because he was aware of the way TNA buries people.
  • Victory Road 2011: For the third year in a row, TNA captured the title of worst PPV of the year. A World Title match lasting only 90 seconds, as one of the contenders was strung out to the point of immobility (see "Jeff Hardy" below). Rob Van Dam faced off with Mr. Anderson for a World Title spot at the next PPV. The match ended in a double count-out and left no clear contender. Half the audience chanted "RESTART THE MATCH" in disgust, while the other half chanted "NO" for fear of having to watch them wrestle again. Also included were: AJ Styles demoted to bumping and selling because an out-of-shape Matt Hardy dictated the pace; an opener between two aging wrestlers (Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray) that, at one point, saw the two attacking each other with blow-up dolls and plush toys; wrestlers obviously blading and covered in dye; multiple screwjob finishes (including the aforementioned double count-out); and a women's tag team match between Rosita and Sarita vs. Angelina Love and Winter that was only about five minutes long and below the standards of the widely-mocked WWE Divas. As the cherry on top, TNA placed Kurt Angle on the PPV poster by himself. Kurt didn't appear at the event.
  • No Surrender 2011 featured five blinding spots in the course of three hours. Three matches ended with a blinding spot, including the main event: James Storm lost to Bully Ray via DQ when he accidentally spat beer in the referee's face, Mickie James lost her match with Winter by getting blood sprayed in her face, and Sting lost his title match after getting blinded by Hulk Hogan.
    • TNA held this PPV on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Rosita appeared on the show as part of the racist anti-American stable Mexican America; later in the show, she gave a sincere and emotional interview where she revealed that her father died during the tragedy and how she used his passing as inspiration. Rosita continued to appear as part of Mexican America after this show.
  • Lockdown 2011 managed to top Victory Road's record for having the shortest championship match by having one (with two in-ring promos that outpaced it) that lasted only 40 seconds. Thankfully it was for the Knockouts title instead of the World Heavyweight title this time, but it gets worse considering the champ lost to Mickie James with a broken arm.

    Gimmick Matches 
TNA is known for its Gimmick Matches, which tend to favor uniqueness over logic.

  • TNA held a "Reverse Battle Royal" in which half the roster fought outside of the ring in order to get into the ring. Once the set number of people had entered, they competed in an actual battle royal until two people remained (at which point the battle royal turned into a one-on-one match). Despite being widely lauded as one of the worst matches of that (or any) year, TNA held another one some time later.
  • That same year, TNA debuted the Elevation-X Match, essentially a scaffold match with two scaffolds forming an "X". The match featured very little action and plenty of reaction shots of people in the Impact Zone covering their mouths in horror. Like the Reverse Battle Royal, this stupid concept match happened twice.
  • The King of the Mountain match which, as WrestleCrap explains, went like this:
    "The match begins with five men, all of whom are 'ineligible.' For what, we will explain later. Anyway, to earn eligibility, a competitor must score a pinfall or submission. Now, if you get pinned or submit, you must go into a 'penalty box,' like in hockey. You will stay in there for two minutes, at which point you can come back out and attempt to become eligible. Oh yeah, eligibility...we should probably talk about that. See, you become eligible to take a title belt, which you must retrieve from a TNA official. Whoever is eligible can take the belt. Oh yeah, and find a ladder. And then climb the ladder and hang it above the ring. Oh, and if the belt is dropped, then the official gets it back."
  • Former tag team partners Chris Harris and James Storm of America's Most Wanted faced off against each other in a blindfold cage match. Blindfold matches are pretty much doomed by default, but the 2007 Six Sides of Steel blindfold match at TNA Lockdown was in a league of failure of its own. Instead of actual blindfolds, they wrestled with cloth sacks on their heads, and the referee spent most of the match trying to put the bags back on. Critics called this the worst match in TNA (and wrestling overall) in 2007 and it gained itself its own induction into WrestleCrap; Dixie Carter had the balls to call them idiots for their disapproval.
  • Team 3D fought LAX in an Electrified Six Sides of Steel Match. Because the cage wasn't actually electrified, TNA simply turned off the house lights and lit the ring with a light bluish glow. Whenever someone touched the cage, the light flickered and the wrestlers seized up as though they'd been tazed. None of this stopped TNA from showing close-ups of the wrestlers touching the cage outside of these "shock spots", or Hernandez wearing gloves in order to climb the cage. Though the crowd chanted "FIRE RUSSO" during it, Dixie blamed Russo's fellow booker Dutch Mantell. Dutch vehemently denied being involved with this one.
  • The 2007 Christmas episode had Abyss, Black Reign, Rellik, and (for some reason) Shark Boy competing in a "Silent Night, Bloody Night" Match. This hardcore match featured a barbed-wire Christmas Tree with presents underneath that contained weapons. The Christmas Tree was suspended from the ceiling like a pendulum and was hyped as the most effective weapon. All four competitors initially ignored the tree and ran right for the gifts. At one point, Abyss unwrapped a barbed-wire baseball bat and responded with glee despite having an entire fucking tree made of barbed wire right next to him. Because the tree was hanging from the ceiling and had nothing anchoring it down, it swung all over the place. Shark Boy was struck by the tree as soon as it came into play...and the tree casually bounced off of him. Regardless, a highlight of the match was when the tree was swung into the corner and Black Reign had to hug the tree to keep it from bouncing off of him, as well. The match was duly inducted into the annals of WrestleCrap.
    • The Knockouts competed in a Santa's Workshop Knockout Street Fight. The match consisted of slow brawls between the various Knockouts with a big obnoxious box in the ring. AJ Styles and Kaz competed in a Ladder Match with a reindeer suit hanging above the ring. Styles lost and closed his second 2007 holiday special in an animal costume. The show closed with Mike Tenay saying, "Something like this can only happen in TNA." And that's a good thing.
  • On the January 4, 2010 edition of Impact (which started a multi-week run of the show airing on Mondays against Raw), an X-Division Asylum match opened the show. To win the match, one of the participants had to climb up the domed cage structure and through the hole on the top. The cage's blinding red color made it nearly impossible to see what was going on in the ring, and the incompetent cameramen missed every spot. Homicide attempted to climb out of the cage, but when he failed he dropped down to the ring and hit everyone with a baton, causing a cage match to end in a No Contest. This resulted in very loud "THIS IS BULLSHIT" chants from the audience. Once Homicide was eventually able to climb out (after getting stuck midway through the second try), he was attacked by Jeff Hardy. As Hardy didn't appear on TNA TV again until March, this was never explained. TNA did this as its first salvo in a "New Monday Night War".
  • In 2012, TNA decided to hold a program called "Gut Check" where an aspiring rookie/newcomer would receive a tryout match with the possibility to be signed to TNA. Good in theory, but in practice...
    1. The first edition of Gut Check featured Alex Silva. After jobbing to Robbie E, his performance was graded by Bruce Prichard, Al Snow, and Ric Flair in a segment which could best be described as American Idol meets Tough Enough. The plan for this segment was to have Flair and Prichard give Silva the thumbs down but, for reasons known to only him, Flair deviated halfway through. Nonetheless, Silva remained in Ohio Valley Wrestling after his signing, made a few other appearances, and was fired just before several other Gut Check contestants. Flair's antics caused TNA to pull him off the Gut Check judging, and Flair ended up leaving the promotion soon after. He was replaced by Taz, which only furthered the similarities to Tough Enough.
    2. The next Gut Check featured Joey Ryan facing off against Austin Aries. The booking made sense because both made their name on the indie scene and had wrestled each other before. Internet voting was 87% for Ryan getting a contract. Prichard and Taz voted no. He would eventually win a contract in a match vs. Al Snow, then be put in a directionless tag team with the directionless Matt Morgan before being released.
    3. Taeler Hendrix: made three appearances, released. Actually promoted a month before her release with an inspirational video package regarding her beating cancer.
    4. Sam Shaw: made two appearances, fall guy for Jay Bradley, repackaged. Feuded with Ken Anderson over Christy Hemme, then teamed/feuded with Gunner, and released once the latter ended. Brought back again almost two years later, only to be booted again. Wound up in WWE NXT as Dexter Lumis after a spell with Billy Corgan's NWA.
    5. You — yes, you! — could sign up for a Gut Check tryout! All you had to do was send TNA a $250 processing fee for them to delete your application, since it's the only way to disguise the fact that the contestants were all from OVW and Team 3D. TNA did try to make Gut Check seem legit by bringing in contestants who weren't from either of those schools, something which didn't last long.
    6. Evan Markopolous' selling point was "He's only 18 years old!" He wasn't very good and was turned down, though TNA would fund OVW training for him and he'd turn up again later on as part of the poll mentioned below.
    7. Kris Lewie (the absolute worst of the lot) put on what could easily have been called one of the worst matches in TNA history against Gunner. He was turned down and has since disappeared from wrestling entirely.
    8. Jay Bradley: pushed for a few minutes, went to Japan, released, eventually brought back and repackaged as Aiden O'Shea, then quietly left with Billy Corgan.
    9. Brian Cage: turned down, was eventually hired several years later with absolutely no mention of this.
    10. Ivelisse Vélez: turned down, which made several heads bang against the wall, and made one appearance as a temporary Aces & Eights member.
    11. Lei'D Tapa: appeared on Impact as bodyguard to Gail Kim, turned on her, lost their one match, released.
    12. Adam Pearce: turned down, eventually hired by WWE as a producer.
    13. Magno: turned down after botching some of his moves during his match against Adam Pearce.
    14. The Big O: turned down despite placing in the Top Six when TNA held a vote for who fans wanted to see come in. Likely only given the nod due to his appearances on Z! True Long Island Story.
    15. Ryan Howe (competitor on the 2011 season of WWE Tough Enough, infamously nicknamed "Skidmarks"): turned down. And then it was never brought up again.
    16. John "Bad Bones" Klinger: The actual winner of the vote mentioned above, promised a Gut Check match for winning. Did not receive said match, and only appeared on Impact to receive a random beatdown. Wasn't mentioned again after that.
    17. Eventually, a Gut Check contestant did win their match. Unfortunately, it was Wes Brisco, with his opponent being Garett Bischoff. The match opened an Impact episode and was treated pretty much as an afterthought, since it was really bad. Additionally, it was only used to further the Aces & Eights story, as both Brisco and Bischoff were bit players in that, plus when it came time to vote Al Snow was "mysteriously" absent and was replaced by D'Lo Brown. That was the moment that everyone pegged D'Lo as being involved with the aforementioned faction, something that took TNA almost four more months (the aforementioned Gut Check match having taken place on November 29th, 2012, and D'Lo's reveal being on March 7th, 2013) to actually reveal.
    • That's 6/14, or less than 50%. And only two enjoyed lasting employment for any span of time, so less than 10%. Go look on the Gut Check website at the sheer amount of talent that had tried out yet got turned down. For those who follow indie wrestling and recognize just some of the names, this is teeth-grindingly horrible.
  • On the April 26, 2012 edition of Impact, TNA held its first "Open Fight Night". Under the rules laid out by Hogan a week prior, anyone would be allowed to challenge any other wrestler on the roster, including any given champion. While setting this up, Hogan demanded that a title shot must be included. Hogan, in his infinite wisdom, paired off Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy and gave them a TNA Tag Team Championship shot...instead of The Motor City Machine Guns, Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian, or Eric Young & ODB. The May 24 edition of Open Fight Night also saw Hogan throw out a #1 Fatal Four-Way which had been booked from four matches the week prior...just so he could pick the #1 Contender.
    • Hogan would also mandate weekly TV title defenses around that same time, which TNA forgot about after just two weeks. Then-champ Devon ended up in a dark match on the third week instead of defending the title.

  • The Shane Twins were NWA World Tag Team Champions in Peru when the NWA Board of Directors gave TNA control of the titles. They decided to have the twins vacate the belts and then job as "The Johnsons"...a pair of wrestling penises. Although their manager Mortimer Plumtree attempted to give a backstory as to why this was (they had bullied him previously, but were now his personal servants who were forced to dress like that), it was completely ignored in favor of Ed Ferrara spouting dick jokes on commentary. This lasted only the first two PPVs, after which they were shown the door completely. Plumtree would eventually resurface with no further mention of this.
  • Most of the midgets in early 2002. Puppet "the Psycho Dwarf" at least had his moments, with... uh... masturbating in a trash can and pulling a gun on Jeff Jarrett, but the others were just unforgivable. Teo was the "world's smallest extreme athlete" who was no more extreme than the rest, and was apparently a face despite sexually assaulting one of the cage dancers. Meanwhile, Meatball's gimmick was just "Bastion Booger, but four foot tall", and it's as unappealing as it sounds.
  • In 2011, Kazuchika Okada appeared on TNA programming as part of an excursion. Did we get a glimpse of the talent one of the best wrestlers of 2010's would show in the future? Of course not! Instead, the future IWGP Heavyweight Champion was dressing up as Samoa Joe's masked cameraman, assistant, and racist stereotype Okato (a blatant rip-off of Kato from The Green Hornet). This was the final nail in the already nail-covered coffin of TNA's relationship with NJPW; even post-rebranding and with a complete turnover of management on both sides, the two companies weren't even communicating for nine whole years. When Impact attempted to mend fences, one of the first things they did was personally apologize to Okada.note 
  • Mexican America was a rehash of LAX right down to the theme song. Unlike LAX, though, it featured Mexican gimmicks exclusively, the majority of which were given to wrestlers who weren't Latino, let alone Mexican. Only one member, Sarita, was any good, and she got the least time out of any of them. The others were fatally reckless (Hernandez), inexperienced (Rosita), or remarkable only in their annoyance factor (Anarquia, the Poor Man's Substitute for Hernandez's LAX partner Homicide). Oh, and their lazy entry gimmick (involving a giant Mexican flag) blocked a good quarter of the Impact Zone.

  • Jeff Jarrett won his first NWA World Title with the help of a masked wrestler named Mr. Wrestling III. Said person unmasked to reveal his true identity: Vince Russo. On the following PPV, TNA gave Roddy Piper a live mic to plug his book. Piper broke character and turned on Russo: "Hey Russo, did you [book] my cousin Owen's death?" Everyone went real quiet while Piper continued to rant, until Russo came out to calm Piper down. Piper refused to give Russo the mic, hit him with the book, and verbally berated him. Needless to say, the whole thing came off as the second coming of the Bash at the Beach 2000 incident Russo had with Hulk Hogan (see Horrible.WCW) for all the wrong reasons, and this time without any of the arguable upsides that incident had, like Russo's promo on Hogan or an Ensemble Dark Horse (Booker T) winning the world title.
    • A video package of Mike Tenay interviewing Vince Russo opened a show intended to introduce Russo to new viewers. During the interview, Russo defended putting the WCW Championship (which he referred to as a "prop") on David Arquette, defended ruining the cruiserweight division with the likes of Ed Ferrera vs. Madusa, and provided one of his most infamous quotes ever ("If you want lucha libres [sic], GO TO JAPAN!").
  • For several weeks in December 2004, fans were subjected to "Cookiegate": WWE traveled to Orlando to film a commercial for their 2005 Royal Rumble event. A few TNA stars and a camera crew headed over to the WWE filming set to offer a "welcome wagon" which consisted of some cheap balloons and cookies, but they were escorted out. TNA turned this into a storyline where the footage of what supposedly went down would be shown at the PPV. To hype up how scandalous this footage was supposed to be, a fake Vince McMahon and Triple H began roaming the Impact Zone to find and destroy the footage while "FIIIIIIIIIIIRING" numerous TNA employees. When it aired, the footage ended up making TNA look like fools: BG James, Shane Douglas, Ron Killings, Konnan, Abyss, and Traci Brooks repeatedly asked to speak to Vince McMahon, ate food off the craft services table without asking, filmed several WWE wrestlers without permission (including an unmasked Rey Mysterio Jr.), and acted offended when WWE officials told them to leave.
  • Samoa Joe's heel turn. This one is gold. It started in '09 with him turning into a textbook Wild Samoan with a phallic tattoo on his forehead. At the start of 2010, Samoa Joe was suspended for reasons unknown. (It was rumored that he bad mouthed Eric Bischoff backstage.) To take him off TV, they got 7 ninja-like men dressed in all-black to jump him, stuff him in a van, and drive away. This amounted to nothing, the announcers barely discussed it. Two months later, he’s welcomed back onto television by none other than Bischoff himself, and no explanation is given at all. According to Joe's article on Wikipedia, the original plan was to introduce a "psycho" gimmick, although it didn't clarify if that meant having Joe turned psycho or said psycho being the person behind his kidnapping. However, the show had a small pool of main event faces due to Joe's absence, so Russo cancelled it and brought him back without any fanfare.
    • Just over a month after the kidnapping, a pretaped vignette aired featuring an obviously-distressed Joe screaming that "THEY HAVE SPOKEN." After Joe was brought back in April, this was never mentioned again. Several months later, Abyss would start saying those words. Rumor had it that Joe was indeed meant to herald the formation of Immortal, but his involvement was dropped due to, of all things, him still getting cheered for beating people up.
    • On the first Impact of 2011, Samoa Joe confronted a paranoid Pope backstage and accused him of spending his charity money on strip clubs and pitbulls, then claimed that the Pope was receiving noise complaints at his mansion. (This was a reference to the then-current Michael Vick controversy.) This was mercifully dropped without much further mention, but the resulting feud was not. Lowlights included Pope making fun of Joe's "family" by showing pictures of pigs on the video screen (including of pigs mating) and Joe hiring Kazuchika Okada (repackaged as a Kato ripoff named Okato) to follow Pope around with a camera filming his every move.
  • Orlando Jordan started using an extremely over-the-top bisexual gimmick, a version of which he'd been pitching to WWE before they let him go. His antics included spraying lotion all over himself, wearing a diaper on New Year's Day, rubbing himself with a Samoa Joe action figure, descending from the roof while wrapped in caution tape, and talking dirty to a cardboard cutout of Rob Terry. Jordan (who is actually bisexual) defended the gimmick by saying he hoped it would "help troubled teens." Of course, Jordan was portrayed as a freak while Tenay and Taz both acted completely disgusted by everything he did.
  • In early 2010, WWE banned chairshots to the head and started fining wrestlers who did it from then on, to reduce risks of concussion in wrestlers. TNA pettily responded to this by having a chairshot to the head happen every two or three matches, until Mr. Anderson got a legit concussion from a chairshot by Jeff Hardy in the October 21 Impact. To TNA's credit, they finally got the memo and banned chairshots to the head after this incident. Matt Morgan then began a kayfabe crusade for concussion awareness stemming from the fiasco despite regularly kicking people's heads into the ringpost (and bragging about it) weeks earlier. Also around this time, Eric Young had a gimmick where he'd gone crazy (again) after being knocked from the top turnbuckle by Suicide and hitting his head. TNA treated Young's brain injury as comedic.
    • Homicide delivered a brutal unprotected chairshot to Rob Terry's head (which also busted Terry open without blading) as a means of putting Terry over as a monster. The segment caused controversy since it aired two days after the suicide of Chris Kanyon, which many speculated was linked to concussions suffered throughout his career. Lance Storm quit watching TNA after the incident and wrote a blog about it entitled "TNA: I'm Done".note  Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez called for whoever wrote the segment to be fired during their podcast. TNA also did this segment not long after WWE had banned chairshots to the head over concussion fears, so some fans saw this as a potshot at WWE for being concerned for the well-being of their wrestlers.
  • The acquisition of Adam "Pacman" Jones, a pro-football player who got suspended from the NFL after he paralyzed a man in a strip club shooting. He was only signed because Jarrett was a huge fan of his team. True, Dennis Rodman debuted in WCW the same year as the NBA finals and got his fifth ring, but times had changed in the intervening years. There's typically "no wrestling" clauses built into sports contracts now. That was the major impediment to Pacman's run with TNA: Contractual obligations related to the above suspension meant he was allowed to compete in tag matches, but not get in the ring and wrestle. All he did was toss a football and do a leapfrog before tagging in his partner, Ron "The Truth" Killings. Despite all this, he was still paid through the nose and won the Tag Team Championship belt.
  • Throughout 2007 and 2008, Christian's Coalition dissolved in the worst way imaginable. First AJ Styles and Tomko cost Christian a world championship opportunity and then helped Kurt Angle win the title in the same night, with it being heavily implied that Kurt's wife seduced and conned AJ into it as a way to start the new "Angle Alliance". AJ is later humiliated by losing matches at the cost of having to wear reindeer and turkey suits, with Kurt yelling at him the whole time. Karen seduces him yet again, this time in a bathroom stall, to get him to screw Christian over in a match against Kurt. After this, Tomko starts teasing a Heel–Face Turn in which he would come at odds with Angle, make peace with Christian and AJ, and go off on his own, only for Tomko to also betray Christian in another title match and align himself with Angle. At this point Tomko's character fell down the crapper, lost all sense of virtue or momentum, and became nothing more than a cheap bully and jobber before being released. Note that prior to this, Tomko was the darling of the audience, which included active duty service members. This was so horrible that it was most likely the last straw that caused Christian to decide he wasn't staying in TNA past his contract end date in 2008.
  • Derek Graham-Couch (aka Robbie, one-half of WWE tag team The Highlanders) attended a live Impact in March 2008. He had been backstage visiting some friends and stuck around to watch them perform. TNA deliberately decided to show Robbie onscreen (they used his real name to avoid a trademark suit, but misspelled it), and when he noticed he tried to hide himself to no avail. Tenay and West proceeded to brag about a WWE jobber being in the crowd, until a WWE official called Robbie and told him to leave the arena. This happened right before WrestleMania (which was that weekend in Orlando), so both Robbie and his tag team partner Rory lost their WrestleMania bonus as punishment. WWE kept The Highlanders off TV for months, and the team was eventually released later in the year. TNA also gloated about this on their website until a good amount of the TNA roster demanded that it be taken down. Graham-Couch would later comment in an interview that "I was very unhappy in WWE, and in retrospect I think it was kind of my way to get fired."
  • TNA approached Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to make a guest-appearance, but she declined, so someone hired Daffney as a Palin lookalike. After the election, she was shunted off to the Knockouts division as a comedy jobber. TNA then signed Rosie Lottalove (Betsy Ruth), an obese Knockout fresh out of Team 3D's wrestling school whom Bully Ray had sold to them as his best student, and gave her a tryout match with Daffney. Rosie seriously injured Daffney in the match by sitting on her face, but TNA hired Rosie anyway. She wrestled a few more matches for the company before they released her (because she was terrible), something which Bully Ray allegedly blamed Daffney for, to the point of screaming at her backstage over it. TNA also refused to pay for Daffney's medical bills for a barbwire board shot she had suffered a few months earlier (because Dixie Carter is terrible). Daffney filed a lawsuit as a result, which was eventually settled out of court a day before the case was supposed to start (because the American legal system is terrible). The Daffney incident was a huge black eye for Carter and all of TNA management: they put the blame on Terry Taylor, Head of Talent Relations and one of Dixie's known stooges. TNA released Taylor and replaced him with Bruce Prichard.
  • Once TNA started treating the Knockouts Division seriously, they still had Tara lose her belt in a random draw lockbox. Impact subjected the Knockouts to the "Lock Box Challenge" early in the night: the Knockouts fought for keys that would open boxes in which a Knockout could win one of four "prizes": an open contract for a match of their choosing, Tara's pet tarantula, the "right" to perform a striptease in the ring (or be fired), or the Knockouts Championship. Angelina Love unlocked the box with the title and became champion as a result.note  Meaning that not only could the champion lose the title without being pinned, but she could also lose it despite winning the match. Tara unlocked the box with her tarantula; she was forced to treat it like it was more important than the title. (Just one of the dangers of letting an unchecked Vince Russo onto your property. You get women losing titles in matches they won.) Daffney unlocked the striptease, was very clearly displeased by it, and as she went about to very reluctantly do it, was attacked by Lacey Von Erich midway through. Lacey, who had indicated earlier in the show that she wanted to do the striptease despite not being in the match, obliviously started stripping as a brawl erupted around her. Despite it being mentioned above that failing to do the striptease would result in being fired, Daffney was not fired. Oh, and the whole "unlocking" segment closed the show.
    • The contract allowed the holder to book any match of their choosing. For some reason, Velvet Sky booked herself into a non-title match with the reigning Knockouts Champion, in what was originally supposed to be something called a "Leather and Lace" match. It was soon turned into a standard I Quit match, which somehow ended in a No Contest. ODB's infamous "What is happening to our division?!" tweet was sent during this match.
  • Kurt Angle went back on his promise to retire if he lost a match due to the ending of Bound for Glory. Jeff Jarrett came out to shoot on his affair with Angle's wife, Karen, thus beginning a feud which would last for nearly nine months. They were exploiting a custody battle in-progress, with Karen mentioning how much happier the kids were in Jarrett's care, followed by them entering his house and filming their (real life!) children. Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett was a huge grudge match where Angle could regain custody of his children if he won, and ended with Jarrett pinning Angle—clean. At the end of the match, Angle took off his boots and left them in the ring as a sign that he had retired, four months after Angle said he'd retire if he lost at Bound for Glory. Angle was then forced to give Karen away at her and Jarrett's wedding. Is it better or worse that the fallout is completely ignored afterward (with the trio forming a faction without any ill will between them)?
  • Eric Young is as loyal as a guy can be and has done and put himself in silly angles and gimmicks for years in TNA. In 2009, TNA decided to let him have a shot and he turned himself around, dropping the goofy character he had been and became a hated heel as the leader of World Elite. But what happens in 2010 when Hogan comes around? Eric is dropped on his head and becomes a dumbass again, gets put in a team with Orlando Jordan, and somehow gains strength when he pulls down his pants. Needless to say, fans crapped on it and it was a Gooker contender.
    • Eric seemed to have finally been rewarded for his efforts by winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Of course, this might be because he's one of the only TNA originals left as several other of the company's most recognizable names, most notably Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian, and AJ Styles.
    • Eric becoming World Champion. First of all, he was still doing the stale "comedy" character, which makes it the equivalent of WWE having Santino Marella win their world title i.e. the one guy who shouldn't be the face of the company. Secondly, there was no build to the title match, since it all happened on one show. It was just rehashing Daniel Bryan's title win from WrestleMania XXX a few weeks earlier, and everyone promptly called TNA on this. note 
  • In July 2012, a mysterious masked gang showed up in TNA attacking wrestlers during or before matches. Their symbol was the Dead Man's Hand and they called themselves the Aces & Eights. At Bound For Glory 2012, two members faced off against Sting and Bully Ray. A third, masked member of the gang interfered during the match, allowing the A&E to win. Afterwards, his mask gets pulled off and is revealed to be...Devon. You could literally hear the air being sucked out of the arena (and the angle) afterwards. The whole gang was exposed as a joke once the viewers saw who their members were. You had Devon, D'Lo Brown (who was well past his physical and athletic prime), Garrett Bischoff, and Wes Brisco (only employed because of their dads). Garrett and Wes would end up getting wins over Kurt Angle in singles competition.
    • Anyone remember Summer 2013, when the Main Event Mafia feuded with the Aces and Eights? Remember when TNA added Rampage Jackson into MEM, and that video teasing August 1st, which was the debut of someone new in TNA to threaten Aces and Eights? Do you then remember that person being Tito Ortiz? Yup, Tito joining TNA to threaten Aces and Eights, which was just a stunt for his and Rampage Jackson's upcoming fight in Bellator. Then Tito joins Aces and Eights, and then both he and Jackson got pulled from TNA to avoid injury. The kicker? Tito got injured anyway, making everything involving them pointless.
  • This wasn't TNA's first attempt at having the Main Event Mafia "regrouping", just the first that wasn't simultaneously much-hyped and mishandled. Back in 2011, TNA were advertising the MEM's return and had Scott Steiner make his triumphant return to TNA the week before the reveal. In the meantime, however, TNA had not secured the contract of Booker T, kept fumbling with Sting's (see below), and granted Kevin Nash his release for whatever reason, allowing Booker and Nash to make their even more-triumphant returns to WWE at the Royal Rumble three days after the Steiner return aired. This of course, left TNA scrambling for alternates at the eleventh hour, and they instead pulled a face turn with Fortune (which was a better move for the company anyway, as it put four TNA originals in the spotlight for a change, which is what fans had wanted all along). Of course, this would have made more sense if TNA had not ran a segment where Crimson choked out AJ in the back, as well as another backstage segment in which Kurt Angle completely waffled Styles with a baseball bat.
    • The last-minute switch from the MEM to Fortune had the unfortunate side-effect of castrating the Immortal super-stable. By removing Styles, Kazarian, and Beer Money, the only active wrestlers left in Immortal were Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, Rob Terry, and Gunner and Murphy. In addition to losing the talent of the team, Kaz and Beer Money were the X-Division and Tag Team champions respectively, which means that there was no payoff to Immortal losing those belts, and the ramifications of Immortal losing the belts was hardly brought up, if at all. On a side note, Kazarian won the belt from Jay Lethal after disrespecting Jay's entire family, and not a month later became a card-carrying babyface, citing Jay's release as a reason for the turn. It also forced Ric Flair to speed through an angle which would have made more sense running over several weeks: stabbing all the members of Fortune in the back, then costing AJ Styles a match in the very next segment of the show. You'd think Flair would have a harder time betraying the stable he created in the image of The Four Horsemen!
  • At the beginning of 2015, yet another stable looking to take over TNA was formed: the Beat Down Clan, with MVP, Kenny King, Low Ki, Samoa Joe, and Eric Young, the last of whom appeared in every segment the others were in despite having been claimed to not actually be a member. This stable is most notable in how it ended, as Hernandez was brought onboard midway through the year. While he had told TNA that he was free and clear to return, Lucha Underground would quickly send TNA a cease and desist, as he was still contractually obligated to them until their first season finale had aired. All the footage they had filmed involving him could no longer be shown, the Beat Down Clan (which he had become heavily involved with) was killed off, and MVP was later fired for recommending they re-hire Hernandez, all because nobody in the TNA front office bothered to check if he really was able to be signed without problems.
    • What's worse is, the BDC already had not one, but two big men they could've used to where they would not need Hernandez. The group's official named debut with Joe and Ki as members came off the back of helping Lashley, who had just been in a trio with MVP and King throughout the previous year, regain the world title from Bobby Roode, as well as retconned the entire run of the "MLK Alliance" trio with MVP, Lashley, and Kenny King as having been the start of the BDC. Unfortunately, immediately upon doing this they had Lashley complete a Heel–Face Turn due to issues with MVP and end up feuding with the stable... only to lose the championship two months later to Kurt Angle, one of the BDC's enemies. Even the MLK trio themselves admitted on MVP's podcast that they didn't understand the face turn being done so fast after the BDC got its name, feeling they could've gotten more traction out of Lashley as a heel. Furthermore, while MVP immediately targeted the world title, and first Low Ki and then Kenny King became X Division Champions, it seemed there were no substantive plans in place for Samoa Joe besides being part of the group. Between that and money, once WWE came knocking with interest he was out the door in mid-February. Had they managed to keep Lashley and Joe in the group, TNA likely wouldn't have been knocking at Hernandez' door to shore up the BDC's numbers.note 

    Hulk Hogan Comes to TNA 
Hogan and Bischoff are those kids in your class who thought they were hot stuff because they were older than everyone else. Yeah, they're older and tougher than everybody else, but in the end, you can't help but pity them because they've been held back so many times.
  • TNA showed Hulk Hogan's arrival via limousine on its way to the Impact Zone. The footage clearly showed the limo driving around Universal Orlando Resort. Hogan arrived and said "I've been in the back all day". (That line was edited out of the repeat showing.) During Bischoff's first promo with the company, he asked SoCal Val to bring him the script for the night, ripped the script up and threw it into the crowd, then gave Val his version. Security went into the crowd during commercial and asked the fans to hand the ripped pages back (since Bischoff had ripped up a real script). Fans booed Hogan, who was still supposed to be a face, after he verbally attacked Jeff Jarrett (who was supposed to be the heel but behaved like a face) following a heartfelt speech. More irony ensued as Hogan accused Jarrett of being a famewhore who held young talent down for his own gain.
    • Bobby Lashley came out, turned heel for no reason, and left the company. After firing Lashley, Hogan and Bischoff proceeded to tell Ric Flair (who had also arrived during the January 4 Impact) that they couldn't fire him because he'd signed his contract before they'd arrived, which made absolutely no sense. Side note: When Lashley first joined TNA, an agreement between Strikeforce (the MMA promotion Lashley worked for) and TNA said Lashley could appear on either company's programming so long as he cross-promoted both companies. When rumors about Hogan and TNA began, Hulk appeared at a UFC event and put over the company. UFC planned on moving to Spike, and Strikeforce considered Hogan's appearance a breach of its verbal agreement with TNA. Strikeforce disallowed Lashley from promoting TNA, then later pulled him from the show altogether. Lashley left TNA a few weeks later.
    • TNA hired radio host/Howard Stern wannabe/(now-former) friend of Hogan "Bubba the Love Sponge" as the show's interviewer. He used the whole show to get himself over, as opposed to the people he was supposed to be interviewing.
    • Mick Foley spent the whole show trying to get into the Impact Zone despite security doing its best to keep him out—all while other uninvited guests (including Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and The Nasty Boys) managed to get in with little problem. Hall and Waltman actually attacked security (and were not punished for doing so), while Bubba the Love Sponge ran interference for (get this) the Nasty Boys.
    • The Nasty Boys themselves would return in no condition to bump, let alone wrestle. They engaged in an awful feud with Team 3D, with one particular low point being Brian Knobbs getting winded just delivering a promo. Taz, who's supposed to be putting them over, spoke for all of us when he said:
      [Knobbs and Jerry Saggs flee the ring] "I like their strategy here."
      "I wonder how many times Knobbs has applied an abdominal stretch in his career. Well done."
      "Like lifting a small foreign car."
  • Hogan and Bischoff opened Genesis 2010 by introducing the traditional four-sided ring. The crowd shit all over the entire segment, loudly chanting "WE WANT SIX SIDES", as it furthered TNA's degeneration into a WWE knockoff. Hogan responded by burying TNA's history (much like he did on January 4 with Jarrett), which resulted in more boos. Hogan and Bischoff resorted to insulting Vince McMahon so the fans would cheer again. Nobody on the roster was informed of the ring change prior to their arrival at the arena. This was gross negligence on TNA's part, as matches had to be changed to accommodate the new ring and injuries may have resulted from the roster not being prepared for the switch. The change was made to appeal to the new talent Dixie hired (Hogan and his buddies).
    • To reward Christopher Daniels for "Match of the Year" main events at the turn of 2010, Hulk Hogan brought in Sean Morley (WWE's Val Venis) to feud with him. The former WWF enhancement talent, now severely out of shape, beat Christopher Daniels clean at Genesis. Although Morley was playing the face and Daniels the heel, several fans turned their backs on the ring, as if they were turning their backs on TNA. (Morley had two more matches after this before leaving, while Daniels was reduced to obscurity before getting released.) TNA was so butthurt over the reaction they got at Genesis that Senior Director of Production Steve Small went out to address the crowd. Small explained to the live audience that they must tell a story to the (home viewing) audience by reacting to the show properly. He also addressed the crowd as "cast members". This drove away half of the Impact Zone regulars, many of whom had attended it for years. TNA later stacked the thinning crowd with obvious plants (most noticeably, several hot girls in the front row who would only cheer when the camera was directly on them, which resulted in this at one point). The formerly-rowdy Impact Zone crowd soon became dead enough that TNA would pump in hair dryer noise during taped shows. The 2013 move to finally leave the Impact Zone and go on the road was greeted with wide approval.
    • The match between Angle and Styles at Genesis 2010 had a stipulation attached: if Angle lost, he would never get a TNA title shot again as long as Styles was champion. Angle lost. The next night, Hogan changed his mind on the stipulation and booked Angle vs. Styles for the third consecutive time. This one ended in Montreal Screwjob Rehash #139 with, of course, Earl Hebner as referee.
  • TNA tried to reenact the Monday Night Wars in the first half of 2010. The angles that ran at the time (and earned TNA their first of several Gooker Awards) were easily the worst in years: Abyss magically imbued with the personality of Hulk Hogan, Winter's ghost appearing in Angelina's mirror à la Warrior vs. Hogan, Orlando Jordan's perversions, Bubba the Love Sponge being there at all, etc. From the March 3 to June 17, 2010, Impact failed to get a 1.0 in the ratings. Three shows managed a 0.99, and the lowest of these numbers was a 0.62 (the episode that went up against the post-WrestleMania XXVI episode of Raw). Within six months, TNA had to switch back to Thursday nights, and actually lost viewers due to this decision.
  • It was also around this time that Ric Flair returned to wrestling, despite the profound, beautiful, heart-wrenching farewell he gave and received less than two years prior. To elaborate on why this was such a failure: the general idea of Flair's return and his role in TNA was to have him "mentor" AJ Styles and help AJ grow beyond "I am TNA" and become a household name...except Flair and Hogan used Styles and Abyss as proxies of themselves:
    1. AJ was billed as "The New Nature Boy" and wore flamboyant robes to the ring. The gimmick didn't stick since it didn't suit Styles and there was little chemistry between him and Flair. AJ Styles went from "household name" to midcard goon as both the TV champion and a member of Fortune. (Still better than being Angle's bitch, though.) Three months after the angle began, Hogan and Flair leapt back into the ring to resume their feud. At one point, TNA management actually had to tell Flair to keep his clothes on while on TV, as they'd been getting complaints from...well, everyone, really. His last hurrah with Sting was inducted into WrestleCrap. Blessedly, it wasn't Flair's "last" match; Flair's last match at the moment was a tag match in All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2013.
    2. During a radio interview, Hulk Hogan claimed with a straight face that Abyss was the next John Cena. (In this same interview, Bischoff decided to bash Chris Jericho and say that he never drew a dime.) Abyss became Hulk Hogan's buddy on TV following that interview, and Hogan rewarded Abyss with his WWE Hall of Fame ring. When Abyss donned the ring, he transformed into a clone of Hogan: cupping his ear, walking out to "American Made", and so forth. But if that wasn't cringeworthy enough, Ric Flair got into the act, too—which led to a match where he challenged Hogan and Abyss to put Hogan's Hall of Fame ring against Flair's. That's right: TNA hyped up a main event match where the prize was possession of two WWE Hall of Fame rings. After Hogan and Abyss earned Flair's ring, they gave it to Jay Lethal. Jay Lethal was promptly given a push against Flair and got quite over...only for Creative to run out of ideas and send him packing back to the X-Division (and jobbing to Robbie E). He was eventually released a few months later, which pissed off much of the roster and was later used as a reason for the aforementioned Fortune face turn.
    • In the Impact before Bound for Glory, Ric Flair and Mick Foley had a pretty gruesome Last Man Standing Match. These two veterans were given more time than any other singles match on the card.
    • Ric Flair admitted to having sex with a horse during a promo on the November 18 episode of Impact. On that same episode, Hogan cut a promo dripping with hypocrisy. ("If you don't draw money, you get fired around here.") He destroyed the fourth wall, said they were throwing kayfabe out the window, said "34 fake titles" meant nothing, and buried Team 3D (the winners of every major Tag Team Championship in American pro wrestling and then some). Once Victory Road '11 came along and Jeff Hardy made an ass of himself (see below), Hogan chose Bully Ray of Team 3D to push as the next big thing, with his prior burying of him and Devon going completely unmentioned.
    • The October 14, 2010 episode of Impact is a dumpster fire of its own. The show opens with Hogan talking...and talking....and it would be almost an hour of promos and non-wrestling segments before the first match. In total, TNA had about 16 minutes of wrestling on a two-hour show; and since the main event bled into the aftershow, ReAction, that's an additional 16 minutes of wrestling in a three-hour show. Flair comes out to interrupt Hogan's promo, getting a huge pop, then he throws it all away by aligning his group Fortune with Immortal. Not only did this invalidate much of the angle, it ignored Flair and Hogan's decades-long feud. It also yielded a group consisting of what was then around 2/3 of their whole roster, all of whom were heels. Tellingly, Russo thought this was a terrible idea (it was more Hulk and Bischoff's idea than his), and Fortune later ended up betraying Immortal, anyway. (There's also RVD and EV2.0. So now you've got three different stables being the focus of every show.) The postshow, ReAction, was dedicated to showing how Immortal was formed. When you need an hour just to explain an angle, on top of a two-hour show filled with nothing but promos...
    • TNA was banking on them to draw more eyes to Impact—which failed, thanks to both Hogan's and Spike's utter lack of interest in promoting the company. Not one iota of the ratings spike would last for long: The decision to keep Ric heel after Fortune had turned face left him with no foundation for over a year. Their enemies included Dixie Carter and the creaky EV 2.0 faction, which worked harder against them. Flair returned — no, fled — back to WWE having accomplished absolutely nothing in TNA save for a few memorably-insane promos.
  • The nWo reformed yet again under the name The Band and won the Tag Team Championship belt... now that key nWo members were washed-up following years of drug abuse. After weeks of suffering abuse at the hands of The Band, Eric Young joined them. Why did he join? Who knows. Young went on to hold the TNA Tag Team Championship with The Band. That's right, Hall and Nash were tag team champions in a pro wrestling promotion in the year 2010.
    • The Band weren't champs for very long, though, as Hall was arrested ten days after they won for disorderly conduct. When asked where Hall worked, he replied that he was unemployed, despite being a reigning champion in TNA. TNA released him and stripped Nash and Young of the titles, despite Nash and Young handling nearly all of the action and Hall contributing little due to his immobility.
    • After returning in March, Sting turned heel and began spouting off cryptic nonsense every week. He donned the red Wolfpac facepaint, to boot. Sting was also in the worst shape of his entire career, forcing him to wear a t-shirt in every match. He was supposed to warn us about the formation of the Immortal faction, but TNA dragged it out for over six months. By the time everything came to fruition, nobody cared. Sting then spent an entire year trying to wrest control of TNA away from Hogan and back into the hands of Dixie. In 2012, Sting began campaigning for Hulk Hogan to run TNA again so that Sting could step down from the position and go back to wrestling. Yes, after nearly a full year of Sting and Dixie challenging Hulk and finally taking the reins of power from him, they gave it right back to him a few months later. To make matters worse, Lockdown 2012's hype revolved around this storyline instead of the long-awaited Storm vs. Roode.
  • RVD debuted in ridiculous fashion: after being revealed as a mystery opponent for Sting, the excitement was killed stone dead when Sting grabbed a baseball bat and delivered a beatdown lasting nearly ten minutes. Sting then hit Hogan with the bat to end the segment, leaving the focus squarely on Sting and Hogan. Way to debut a big name acquisition. (Post-show dirtsheets revealed Sting was rehabbing from shoulder surgery and Hogan was late to the ring, so facepalms all around.)
    • It was later revealed that RVD was signed to a contract where he was only contractually obligated to make a certain number of appearances. That didn't stop TNA from making AJ Styles (the longest-reigning TNA Champ in history at that point) drop the belt to Van Dam on a random Impact with zero hype. As a result of RVD getting "injured" by Abyss, TNA vacated the World Title, but RVD miraculously recovered and beat Abyss without much difficulty. He spent the next several months whining about how he never lost the belt and demanding a title shot. In an interview which took place during his reign as champ, RVD said he would not lose to anyone who didn't work during the Attitude Era, then compared himself and Jeff Hardy to rockstars (and buried the rest of the TNA roster in the process). Nice choice in choosing RVD as your world champ there, TNA. TNA nearly used up all the guaranteed appearances for RVD in his contract, so they booked him into an injury angle which let him vacate the title without having to lose a match to anyone. (Made worse when he showed up a month later, completely peachy, on the same night they crowned a new champ!)
    • Eric Bischoff debuted a ranking system to be voted on by TNA fans: the person who was ranked #1 would earn a title shot. Fans were quick to give Desmond Wolfe a landslide victory, mainly because the system allowed for infinite votes and fans were dedicating hours to stacking the deck in Wolfe's favor. Bischoff's response to that? He had Wolfe get squashed by RVD in mere minutes. The fans tried again the following week and Wolfe won again, only to get squashed again. The ranking system was then discontinued and Bischoff took every opportunity to trash wrestling fans in every interview he did. Wolfe was rarely ever seen around the main event after this. (Where did Abyss, the guy Hogan said would be the next John Cena, rank in the fan poll? Dead last. Rob Terry, who was fairly new at the time and rather disliked among the fanbase, had more votes than Abyss.)
  • A single episode featured 3 shameless burials of guys who could have been top stars for TNA; it was the last Monday Night Impact, on May 3rd.
    • First, Jay Lethal revealed he'd gotten Ric Flair's Hall of Fame ring and debuted his excellent Flair impersonation; when Flair tried to confront him, he meekly returned the ring, acted happy to be here, and got beaten on anyway, making him look like a loser. Cut to Hogan and Bischoff in their limo, hearing about Lethal and calling him an idiot for going out with the ring in the first place!
    • "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero was being set up for a feud with Mr. Anderson, but he was attacked backstage by Anderson (who was dressed like an altar boy), had his trademark sunglasses stolen, and was subject to a mocking promo by Anderson immediately after, during which Jeff Hardy took his place in the Anderson feud. Pope never got to even think about wrestling a main eventer again after that.
    • Finally, the aforementioned squash of Desmond Wolfe. Especially depressing as he could be released on June of the following year before his legit hepatitis B diagnosis forced him to retire later in December.
  • After nine years of promoting the X-Division with the tagline "It's not about weight limits; it's about no limits", TNA imposed a weight limit on the division. (THOSE CRUISERWEIGHTS CAN CRUISER-WAIT, BROTHER.) Almost immediately the weight limit was ignored, as Doug Williams (who was just over the limit) continued to compete in X-Division matches. It was finally abolished when RVD won the X-Division title. Zema Ion, who RVD had won it from, took to Twitter to complain about RVD being over the weight limit. Nobody cared.
  • Hogan went on a media run the weekend before Bound for Glory 2011, which featured Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode in the main event for the World Heavyweight title. On The Howard Stern Show, Hogan hyped his match with Sting while saying Angle would face "some other guy" (Roode). In another radio interview, someone asked Hogan about Bobby Roode. Hogan said Roode's "not ready", then said he would have preferred to see James Storm in Roode's position. Hogan then went on Twitter and referred to fans angry with what he'd said as "marks" and claimed to be working them all. He also proceeded to re-tweet every positive reaction to his comments for a few hours. Angle ended up defeating Bobby Roode at Bound for Glory, despite the massive amount of hype TNA put into Roode's push.
    • Making matters worse: the injured Angle could barely wrestle a full match, which cut the main event of TNA's WrestleMania equivalent down to less than 10 minutes. TNA's long-term plans had Roode winning the title at the PPV (TNA apparently had this plan in place since the Summer), but these plans mysteriously changed after Hogan's media run. Several Australian radio stations assumed Roode would appear on several of their shows as part of a promotional tour for a future TNA house show run. These stations confirmed Roode's appearances had been canceled on Monday (the day after Bound for Glory) and TNA hadn't booked anyone to fill the gap, furthering the theory of Roode's push getting pulled days before the biggest moment of his career. Numerous dirtsheets (and, later on, TNA performers) credited Hogan as the major campaigner in getting the finish changed at the last minute. After the show, fans once again took to Twitter to express their anger. Hogan spent most of the night re-tweeting celebratory comments (again) and calling anyone who criticized him a "mark" (again). Bischoff chimed in the following morning with this gem: "Having a blast watching Internet marks react. Candy from a baby!"
    • Hogan also took a potshot at AJ Styles during his tirade by blasting AJ for not attending a meet-and-greet on the weekend of Bound for Glory. (AJ had told TNA he wouldn't attend these events due to his father passing away.)
    • Some believe Hogan gave Roode the shaft so Hogan's big face turn wouldn't be overshadowed by the most-anticipated title change in TNA's history. The following episode of Impact featured less than 7 minutes of actual wrestling. (A similar thing happened with the Impact following Bound for Glory 2010.) The opening video package focused specifically on Hogan vs. Sting, and nobody made any mention of anything else that happened at BFG. TNA also aired two video packages dedicated to Hogan vs. Sting after commercial breaks. The episode's overall rating was a 1.35. While TNA did earn its highest TV rating of the year with this show, the rating only tied Impact's overall highest all-time rating. Back on Twitter, Bischoff crowed, "Ever notice how the shows that the dirt sites put over get the lowest ratings and the ones they bury get the highest? hmmmm." The next episode of Impact dropped back down to normal ratings levels, meaning TNA lost whatever buzz it had post-Bound for Glory because of this episode.
    • Hogan defended the booking by claiming that Roode would be better off as a heel. To play up Bobby Roode's heel turn after he (eventually) won the title, TNA established Roode as a neglectful father and husband. The main event of Slammiversary was Sting vs. Roode. Hogan called Sting the top man in TNA. Nice way to build up Roode, Hogan. He also casually tossed Mr. Anderson under the bus, since the latter was originally going to have a title shot against Roode. Instead, Anderson was put in a three-way with RVD and Jeff Hardy to determine who would face the TNA Champion on... the episode after Slammiversary. Yes, they were still pushing the same old contenders from 2010 because "NOT READY, BROTHER."
  • In May, Dixie announced via Twitter that Brooke Hogan would join the TNA roster as the Executive in Charge of the Knockouts Division. We'd make a joke here, but that's enough of one as it is. On June 7 (the night Brooke debuted), Scott Steiner proceeded to trash TNA via Twitter: He accused Hogan and Bischoff of doing the "same bullshit they did to destroy WCW", confirming Hogan as the one behind the last-minute change at BFG.
    • The February 28, 2013 edition of the Gut Check saw the judges decide between Ivelisse Vélez and Lei'D Tapa. Despite having the majority of the offense during their match, big pops from the fans, and name recognition from her run on Tough Enough, the judges picked Tapa over Velez. This was met with boos from the fans in attendance, who probably would've booed harder if they'd known that Tapa was the niece of one of Hogan's good friends (The Barbarian).
  • August 29, 2013 saw Hogan attempting to book a match between Bully Ray and Sting for the title, despite a stipulation made earlier in the year that Sting could no longer challenge for the title. It was later revealed that the match was non-title and that Hogan had made a mistake, but it couldn't be edited or reshot before broadcast.
  • Result: His presence barely improved TV ratings (and sometimes hurt them), and PPVs scheduled to feature the Hulkster did no better than those without him. Hogan's "retirement" angle (he announced his retirement from wrestling in order to avoid a match with Sting), which TNA greatly hyped up, ended up getting the lowest ratings of 2011. Hogan made sure to rarely mention TNA in outside interviews; he also hosted another wrestling show (for midgets) and appeared in a wrestling game which licensed his likeness (and failed to mention TNA in any way). How did TNA penalize Hogan for failing to improve its situation? It re-signed Hogan to a two-year contract as soon as his old one expired. Hogan earned $2 million per year, making him one of the highest-paid performers in the industry. From mid-2012 on, Impact generated the lowest overall viewership in years. Hogan took to Twitter, praising everyone in TNA for staying positive, with the ratings being a reflection of their hard work. Shortly after the tweet, the rating for that week's Impact was posted (0.97) and other data showed TNA had received the lowest viewership number since switching to live broadcasts. Oops. Hogan's contract expired on October 1, 2013; despite financial woes and constant roster cuts, TNA was still interested in renewing his $35,000-per-appearance contract. They lost more money under the Hogan-Bischoff regime in two years than almost all of the years preceding it combined.
    • Hogan's final appearance on TNA saw the Hulkster quit the company, and when he tried to leave a crying Dixie clutched at his leg and begged him to stay. Rumors have it that Hogan invoked a creative control clause so that he wouldn't have to put TNA over on his way out. Bischoff himself was removed from the creative process soon after Hogan's departure, and his contract was allowed to expire. He would later sue TNA in conjunction with his business partner Jason Hervey, alleging that TNA had not paid them what they were owed for their production work.

  • What the hell happened to the X-Division? Once regarded as the gold standard in wrestling (similar to where NXT was in 2010), it's been going downhill since 2007. X-Division matches are rarely seen on TNA anymore, and the champion (whoever they are) isn't in the top contenders for the World Title. Let's not forget, it once went to Abyss, who lost it in a fluke. It was only then that the Network established a weight limit (which was periodically ignored), ensuring only cruiserweights (who never get booked for main events, thanks to Bischoff) could contend for it. Then they ruled that the title must be fought exclusively in triple-threat matches, a rule which was soon discarded, as well as instituting a referee headcam which made everything look sickly yellow, which was kiboshed two weeks later.
  • The TNA Legends Championship, which later became the Global Championship, then the Television Championship. Confused yet? This title, pretty much willed into existence by Booker T, is easily the most pointless, extraneous, and convoluted yet. It was loaded with bullshit rules that, among other things, prevented huge chunks of the roster from competing, much less getting the belt. Many of these rules were utterly arbitrary or based on things that could not be quantified, making the belt inherently pointless: for example, Eric Young, then a nigh-unknown, won it during the Legends era, when only "legends" could compete. Then Young, after renaming it as the Global Championship, imposed the rule that he was not going to defend it against any American wrestlers nor on American soil. However, Young's first defense, against Japanese female wrestler Hamada, was in Orlando, Florida (at least Young's reign ended when Rob Terry, a Welshman, won it in Wales, after which the rule was abolished). Then, after being renamed as the Television Championship, it would have to be defended each week in Impact, though that detail was also quickly forgotten about after two weeks.
    • Things with the title got even more convoluted in 2012. The title was vacated on September when champion Devon's contract expired, which would be understandable if not for the fact that Devon would show up again in October, only a little over two weeks later, as a member of the Aces & Eights stable. In the meantime, Samoa Joe had won the title, from who Devon quickly regained the title later, rendering Joe's title reign pointless. Then, after Abyss won it from Devon at Slammiversary XI in June 2013, it wasn't referenced until Kurt Angle declared the title inactive on an episode of Impact the following year, despite it still being listed with the rest of the active titles on the website.
    • In July 2015 it resurfaced in the hands of Jeff Jarrett as the "King of the Mountain" title and would have one more run in Global Force Wrestling during a talent exchange partnership, before being retired yet again and replaced with the Impact Grand Championship in 2016, thus ends the Television Championship's confusing, contrived, and nonsensical 8-year-long odyssey. But you never know, it is TNA after all.
  • The TNA Knockouts Championship deserves its own page given the amount of times the creative team have played hot potato with it. The infamous Lockbox fiasco was bad enough, but what's worse is that they counted both title reigns instead of just admitting their mistake. In 2012, when Madison Rayne beat Miss Tessmacher for the belt at Hardcore Justice, she immediately dropped it back to Rayne on the following Impact, seemingly for no reason but to put over Brooke Hogan and ex-WWE jobber Tiffany.
  • The establishment of the Knockouts Tag Team Championship was a good idea, executed far too late. There are only nine people left in the division, and yet they still managed to get three people to hold the belt at the same time. TNA has lost six of their best Knockouts. The major storylines have only been driving the wedge further, with the whole Knockout division showing no real concept of priorities and a bounty on all the titles except the tag team one. Oh, and by the way, Eric Young is one of the final Knockouts Tag Team Champions, and he and ODB are the longest-reigning champs in the belt's history (mostly because they never got screen time). It was eventually brought back for a second run in 2021.

    Jeff Hardy, TNA Champion 
A reign so inept, it deserves its own section.

  • Jeff Hardy debuted at TNA's anniversary show in 2004, which he and his then-girlfriend chose to spoil on the internet. In his first run in the company, Hardy no-showed two PPV events and had a habit of sleeping in during Impact tapings. Jeff also brought the "Hardy Party"—a bunch of overweight, hair-dyed groupies who hung out with him after the show was over—to the Impact Zone. They typically hogged up the front row to watch Jeff's matches, and left when those matches ended. Universal Studios eventually banned the leader of the pack for a year after he shoved other attendees to get front row seats, which led to much rejoicing among non-Hardy Party members. Hardy spent the rest of his first TNA run no-showing major events until he got fired midway through 2006.
  • Fast forward to 2009, when immediately after leaving WWE, Hardy was caught with so many drugs in his house that he was arrested on charges of drug trafficking.note  Apparently TNA didn't see a problem with rehiring a man with such accusations and an upcoming court appearance hanging over his head, as Jeff returned in the January 4, 2010 Impact! special, running into the already-bad Steel Asylum match (see "Gimmick Matches" above).
  • Jeff spent the first half of 2010 mingling in the midcard until he was slotted into a tournament for the TNA World Championship, which was vacated after champion Rob Van Dam was injured by Abyss.note  Jeff's semifinal match against Kurt Angle at No Surrender ended in a time-limit draw after two extra five-minute periods, which led to the two being slotted into a three-way match with the other semifinal's winner, Mr. Anderson, at Bound for Glory.
    • In the meantime, Abyss spent the lead-up hyping up the arrival of "Them". "They" turned out to be a group called Immortal, another rehash of the New World Order, this time featuring Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Abyss, Jeff Jarrett, Ric Flair's Fortune and Jeff Hardy himself, who turned heel during the finish to the three-way.
      • During the tournament, Angle said he would retire if he lost a match before winning the TNA World Title. Although Anderson was the one pinned and not Angle, it still counted as a loss and Angle spent a month and a half away from TV.
  • Hardy's first move as champion was to debut a vaguely-Aztec new design for the championship, with a garish purple strap and custom silver face and side plates. (And how fitting that TNA's World Title should be relegated to secondary silver.) He then spent the rest of the year feuding with Matt Morgan: Their Turning Point match was not good, and Mr. Anderson's role as special referee for the Final Resolution match did little, if any, to improve it.
  • In an omen of things to come, Hardy started out 2011 by working New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Tokyo Dome show, defending his title against Tetsuya Naito while intoxicated. The match was so terrible by NJPW standards, Naito's NJPW push was derailed for a while.
  • By that point, Hardy's issues were well-known internally within TNA, to the point the buildup to Genesis billed the main event as Anderson vs. Matt Morgan for a future title shot, and not a title match with Jeff. In fact, there were talks backstage of stripping Jeff of the title during the show and putting it up for grabs in the aforementioned match, but this didn't happen and the show went on as scheduled.
    • However, Bischoff announced after the match that Anderson would get his shot immediately. Surprisingly for this company, Anderson won the match and the title despite run-ins from Immortal and Jeff's brother Matt, who'd debuted that same night.
  • With Anderson as champion, you would expect TNA to actually keep Jeff away from events, let him focus on his court case, and have the former feud with Immortal. Unfortunately, Anderson continued to carry Hardy's custom belt during his reign, which ended the following month in a ladder match at Against All Odds, where Jeff botched the finish.
  • After WWE aired a series of vignettes hyping up the date 2-21-11,note  TNA aired a very creative, very original vignette hyping up the date 3-3-11. Guess who came back? None other than Sting, who proceeded to beat Hardy and win the title off of him. The following week, with three days' advance for Victory Road, a rematch was booked between the two...
  • The nadir of Jeff Hardy's TNA run (actually, his entire career) came at Victory Road 2011. Before the show, a road agent was to meet Sting and Jeff to plan out their match. Sting was game, and while Jeff was present in the Impact Zone, he nonetheless didn't (and wouldn't) turn up until shortly before the match. Then-producer Bruce Prichard claimed he saw two people literally carrying Jeff around, "Weekend at Bernie's"-style. The match itself was a comedy of errors: Jeff missed his cue and took forty seconds to come out, and when he did, he was clearly intoxicated, which was made all the more obvious during the ring introductions (given his strange mugs to the camera). It was so bad, Eric Bischoff had to come out to cut a promo and kill time, during which he could be seen talking to both Hardy and Sting; while what he said was inaudible, it could be assumed he was telling Sting to wrap up the match as soon as possible, and Hardy to take the first pin. The match itself lasted a minute and a half, the first minute of which was Hardy teasing throwing his shirt at the crowd before dropping it on the ringside mat. Sting responded by angrily dragging Hardy by the hair into the Scorpion Death Drop and forcibly holding him down for the pin—which Hardy actually struggled to kick out of, as evidenced by the scratch marks on Sting's neck. Jeff looked disoriented as the match ended, and TNA aired a recap of the night to fill time. The recap ended up being legitimately longer than the main event. This was the last straw for TNA, who suspended him indefinitely and buried him on-air. He was not fired, though, as he was one of their top merch sellers. The fallout of Sting vs. Hardy was heard far and wide: Botchamania shone a big spotlight on it, adding a clip of the leering Jeff in their intro. This was later followed by a WrestleCrap induction, and Sting's response to the crowd's chants of "THIS IS BULLSHIT" (looking around and saying "I agree" loud enough for the viewing audience to hear) quickly achieved meme status. Impact was always a little wacky (Jarrett's reign of terror, trying and failing to scam his viewers with gold investments, that time TNA tried to sell shards of the table Dixie Carter went through for $199 apiece), but this was the night when everyone realized they were a bunch of carnies.
    • Bischoff was later outed as the one who made the call to send Hardy out there in that state, allegedly because he "couldn't think of anything else". As a #1 contendership match between Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson had ended in a double countout immediately beforehand, it would not have been hard to kick Hardy out of the ring and add both RVD and Anderson as an impromptu triple threat.
  • Months later, Jeff, whose court case still hadn't wrapped up, returned to Impact! as a face, acknowledging that he hit rock bottom at Victory Road, asking for "one more shot" and starting a feud with his former stable Immortal and Jeff Jarrett. Hardy would go on to beat Jarrett literally three times in less than ten minutes at Turning Point before the latter and his wife Karen were fired from TNA by Sting.
    • On the flipside, Hardy's court case finally wrapped up in September, nearly two years to the day of his arrest. He didn't serve his sentence until the following month.
  • Hardy spent the better part of a year trying and failing to win the TNA World Title, until the company realized his contract would run out at the end of 2012. In order to make him happy enough to re-sign, TNA strapped a rocket to his back and had him win the Bound for Glory Series. At Bound for Glory itself, then-champion Austin Aries turned heel in the most ham-fisted fashion: He pulled a script out of his trunks, shredded it and cut a shoot promo on Hardy before dropping the title to him. (At least he didn't lie down, WCW-style.) It was by all means a success, as Hardy renewed his contract with TNA.
  • Hardy re-introduced the custom belt design he used throughout his first reign, although slightly modified. This reign wasn't as bad or eventful as his first— although, during said reign, TNA stopped by the United Kingdom to tape a few Impact episodes there. As Hardy was unable to leave the United States due to his drug bust, TNA put him in a title match against Christopher Daniels, who despite his advanced age was easily one of TNA's most entertaining acts at the time. You would expect them to put the title on Daniels so they could at least have a champion during their UK tour, but nope; Hardy retained the title and was written off the UK tapings with a Nancy Kerrigan-esque hammer shot, which was undersold like crazy. TNA would go on to tape their UK shows without their world champion.

    Dixie Carter 
Dixie Carter's mismanagement of TNA became so infamous that a joke was made about how she shouldn't be allowed near anything bigger than a lemonade stand, and then it's be possible that within a few weeks, it'd be several million dollars in debt and the subject of many legal battles.

  • After the public announcement of TNA signing Hulk Hogan in October 2009, the TNA locker room remained split over the decision. Dixie decided to address the roster like a mother scolding her children while they sat in bleachers and watched (while also appearing to be bored out of their minds). The overall tone of the speech was My way or the highway. Despite this being a briefing to TNA's employees and not a wrestling promo, a video of the speech actually opened an episode of Impact. It was widely mocked and criticized by everyone who watched it.
  • In 2012, TNA "pulled back the curtain" on the industry to coincide with Impact going live. The Gut Check suffered the worst of this as Taz, Bruce Prichard, and Al Snow were shown watching clips of Joey Ryan as they criticized him for his "gimmick" and being "in-character". (Dixie thought this would bring in fans of reality television.)
  • Dixie went back on her promise to never become an onscreen character. Her performances made Linda McMahon look like Meryl Streep in comparison. Aside from the Immortal thing which has already been covered, there was the Bad Influence storyline with AJ Styles in 2012 as well as her Dixieland heel turn in 2013.
    • First for 2012. The angle began where Kazarian and Daniels tried to prove AJ was having an affair with Dixie, including a segment where AJ, professional athlete and all, was knocked out by Dixie's non-wrestler husband Serg. Faced with these accusations, AJ and Dixie decided to go public with the "actual" big secret a few months later. When AJ tried to convince Dixie not to reveal it (despite initially wanting to come clean in the first place?), a hysterical woman entered the ring. She identified herself as a pregnant drug addict named Claire Lynch who was trying to get clean with the help of AJ and Dixie. Fans reacted with predictable bewilderment as to who the pregnant junkie is and why they should care about her. At the end of the next episode, Daniels told Dixie that AJ had fathered the junkie's baby. TNA felt proud enough of this angle to praise Eric Bischoff for coming up with such a compelling twist and rewarded him with a raise. It's important to note that Russo had no hand in this storyline since he'd left the company by then.
    • In later weeks, AJ challenged Daniels to a match in which AJ would own up to fathering Claire's baby if he lost, but take a paternity test if he won, à la Maury Povich. In the weeks to follow, Claire cut a heel promo in which she was supposed to be smoking a cigarette while pregnant. TNA abruptly ended the storyline when Julia Reilly (the actress who played Claire Lynch) left the company after fans found clips of some of her other acting jobs on YouTube and left harsh criticism of her work. The whole thing turned out to be a wash as a result, as Claire's attorney (played by Janice Carter, Dixie's mother) informed everyone that Daniels paid Claire to make the whole story up, so it was never mentioned again. The angle ran away with WrestleCrap's Gooker award for the year. Photos also eventually surfaced of Reilly at her day job; playing Olive Oyl in the Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges ride at Islands of Adventure.
    • According to Bruce Prichard, the original plan for this was to reveal that AJ and Dixie were indeed having an affair, but it was nixed after Dixie's parents kept getting asked by friends at their country club if they had hooked up for real. Before Claire's involvement, the plan seemed to have been a surprise party for Serg (something supported by a doctored phone conversation which was later revealed in full on TNA's website), but that was never mentioned again, nor did Serg apologize for knocking AJ out.
    • Cut to late 2013, during AJ Styles' contract negotiations. Dixie responded to a blistering worked shoot promo by AJ calling her out on her shambles of a long-term business philosophy (chasing away most of the home-grown talent by putting too much focus on outside saviors who would never stick around) with a heel turn so bad that it won the 2013 Gooker by a landslide. Dixie's lame attempts to be a Mr. McMahon-like authority figure did nothing other than contribute to the Motive Decay of the Aces & Eights, as well as completely derail the main-event surge of her "Dixieland" stable's centerpiece, Nick "Magnus" Aldis; his undisputed championship match with the outgoing AJ Styles saw Magnus require a nine-member gang to beat up AJ and hold Sting down. Magnus didn't hit a single offensive move in the entire match.
  • Dixie's reign of terror finally came to an end in 2014. After a feud with Bully Ray, Bully did what he did best and put her through a table after her escape was cut off by the entire locker room. Dixie would never be seen in wrestling again afterwards... although even by doing that, TNA couldn't help but run into a wallbanger themselves, as it was reported that they did this despite knowing fully well that their TV network, Spike, vetoed man-on-woman violence on Impact!,note  which became a factor on the network not renewing Impact!'s television rights at the end of that year (besides TNA being revealed as having secretly rehired Vince Russo).

Alternative Title(s): TNA


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