Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / Impact Wrestling
aka: TNA

Go To

After the end of the Monday Night Wars in 2001, there were no more companies that could compete with WWE. From the ashes of the promotion's clean sweep of the territories, independent wrestling promotions arose across the United States in order to preserve many core aspects their predecessors once held and a new generation of them was now sprouting.

One of the most notorious of these promotions was NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA-TNA), an affiliate of the National Wrestling Alliance founded by Jeff Jarrett in the aftermath of his fallout with WWE, and his father Jerry in June 2002.

The promotion is (in)famous for a few reasons:

  • Dialing up the mature content in Vince Russo's attempt to attract dedicated Attitude Era fans in contrast to WWE's ever-increasing Lighter and Softer product. This was especially true during the "Asylum Era". The Fox Sports Net deal saw a family-friendly presentation emerge on the television program, with the PPVs being not quite as over the top as before but still more hardcore than WWE's offerings. This would be dropped after leaving Fox Sports Net, but their monthly pay-per-views and weekly television shows never went as far as the Asylum PPVs did.
  • Advertisement:
  • The X Division, their signature crossover between a hardcore division and a cruiserweight division, emphasizing high-flying moves and fast-paced action with no imposed limits.
  • Spotlighting women's wrestling. The Knockouts division is regarded as the best source of actual women's wrestling on North American television; giving the United States mainland something to compete with the rest of the region after a four year dry spell.
  • Having a considerably large number of ex-WCW, ECW and WWE wrestlers on their roster during its heyday, most prominently Kurt Angle and Sting. Other familiar faces included Dusty Rhodes and Eric Bischoff, two men who put a spotlight on their sons (Dustin Rhodes and Garrett Bischoff, respectively).
  • The six-sided ring, which they began using when Impact premiered on Fox Sports Net in June 2004. At the start of the Hulk Hogan era in January 2010, the company reverted back to a traditional four-sided ring, but a (extremely favorable) fan poll brought back the six sides in June 2014. The six-sided ring would again be retired at the January 2018 television tapings.
  • Advertisement:
  • A plethora of gimmicks (including the six-sided ring) and overbooked main events. The fans often blamed Vince Russo, who was one of their writers for a number of years, for the majority of the more ridiculous ideas allowed to air. However, Russo was only head of creative from mid-2009, with Jarrett's departure, to the beginning of 2010, when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff arrived.
  • 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 (in favor of "sports entertainment"), the promotion would immediately change its slogan to "We Are Wrestling", and had their advertising emphasize how they were a wrestling company. Their YouTube channel often likes to troll WWE as well, posting matches from years prior immediately after WWE announces that such a match would be occurring "for the first time ever" in their promotion. WWE, to its credit, does keep tabs on their competition and even had the good grace to inform them when one of Impact's ex-employees attempted corporate espionage.note 
  • Ring Ka King, an Indian wrestling promotion and Spinoff that was run by Jeff Jarrett. It featured a number of TNA-era 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. From its inception up through October 2015, the promotion has spent over 59% of the timenote  under siege by a hostile force. The aborted Global Force Wrestling re-brand in 2017 becomes Hilarious in Hindsight, as it came two years after the GFW invasion angle, and GFW still couldn't seal the deal.

Impact Wrestling currently has four champions that they recognize:

  • Impact World Champion: Tessa Blanchard since January 12, 2020
  • X-Division Championship: Ace Austin since October 20, 2019
  • World Tag Team Champions: The North (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander) since July 5, 2019
  • Knockouts Champion: Taya Valkyrie since January 6, 2019


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 subsequently rebranded as Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling in 2004. TNA would also launch a companion television series, Xplosion!, which was 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!, and switched to monthly pay per view. When this deal expired in May of 2005, Impact! became a Web Original for a few months until Spike TV picked up the series 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 maximized production values at minimum cost, TNA could not make money from entry tickets because it was classified as a theme park attraction.

Decline (2010-2017)

Since 2010, a combination of bad booking and angles, Executive Meddling, and a disastrous attempt to go head-to-head with WWE's Monday Night Raw, soured TNA's reputation among wrestling fans. Hoping to renew interest, TNA changed the name of its weekly flagship from TNA iMPACT! to Impact Wrestling in 2011. In March 2013, TNA attempted to take its show on the road and tour around America, however, 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 led 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 the year. In January 2015, TNA programming moved to Discovery Channel's offspring, Destination America. As Impact was the first notable program to the air on the network, Destination America tried to expand its programming by making a deal with Ring of Honor to air their weekly television program for 26 weeks 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 the year.

Impact Wrestling moved to Pop TV (formerly TVGN) in 2016. Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins fame would take over the role as president from previous owner Dixie Carter with the intent to rebrand the company entirely. In reality, this turned out to be a move by Carter and co. to give Corgan power on paper without actually giving him power and avoid selling him the company. As a result, Corgan sued his own company, which would turn out to be the first in a long line of Disaster Dominoes for TNA. While Corgan lost the case, Carter sold majority ownership to Anthem Sports and Entertainment, a Canadian media company who owned Impact's native broadcaster Fight Network. They formally announced ownership of the company on January 3, 2017. (Corgan eventually settled with Anthem, and would later purchase the rights to the National Wrestling Alliance in May 2017.)Anthem would go through with the planned rebrand, and thus, Impact Wrestling became the de facto name of the company.

In late June 2017, the company announced its merger with Global Force Wrestling, the company started by Jeff Jarrett after he left TNA, which they had done some crossovers with previously. Originally, the plan was for the combined company to adopt the GFW name for the promotion while keeping the Impact name for the television series (hence the show's own on-air name change to Impact!, presented by GFW). However, following a series of backstage incidents, Jarrett would be placed on a "leave of absence" in September 2017, and the merger, which had never been fully completed at a legal level, was called off in October 2017, leaving the company with little more than some title belts with GFW logos having to be covered up by Impact stickers, and the use of neon green as an accent color.

Recovery (2018-present)

By the beginning of 2018, Anthem would hire Don Callis (formerly known as the Jackal in the WWF and Cyrus the Virus in ECW) and Scott D'Amore, both of whom had worked for the company in the past, as the new co-Executive Vice Presidents in charge of day-to-day operations. The new management launched in earnest with the January 2018 tapings, leading up to the aptly-named PPV, Redemption, in April. The newly-improved product went on to receive rave reviews, especially for their Slammiversary XVI PPV event.

Impact would also announce a deal with Twitch to stream free live events in collaboration with other promotions, including Lucha Underground, of which most of the latter's roster and announcers would migrate to Impact. Impact talent was also involved with the acclaimed independent wrestling show, All In, that Summer.

After their deal with Pop ended in early 2019, Impact's domestic broadcast would move to both the Anthem-owned Pursuit Channel and Twitch. Later that year, Anthem bought a majority share of AXS TV, best known for broadcasting New Japan Pro-Wrestling events and WOW Women of Wrestling. Combined with the resurging product, the AXS TV deal gave Impact a generally higher profile than it had in years.

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

    open/close all folders 

  • 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. The X Division is largely what put TNA on the map and AJ was its first champion.
  • 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", 400 lbs 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.
  • Animal Motifs: Owls, appropriately dubbed the LOWLTNA, since the company's makeover by Anthem. This was their first logo.
  • 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.
  • Artifact Title: The "Knockouts" division, originally named in response to WWE's "Divas" division. Now that WWE has dropped the Divas branding, the "Knockouts" name has become this.
  • 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 on Twitch. Even some of the stations that did keep it long term showed "iMPACT" in its 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 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.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Brother Ray's (aka Bubba Ray Dudley's) repackaging into Bully Ray centered on two things: Putting on a lot more aggresion, and putting a lot of emphasis on him being from New York.
  • The Brute:
    • Abyss is arguably the biggest powerhouse the promotion has ever had, being huge and being very good at brawling, whenever he's heel at least.
    • Tomko was clearly the most physically imposing member of Christian's Coalition/The Angle Alliance.
    • Likewise, Matt Morgan was the most physically imposing member of Fortune.
  • 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.
  • 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's gimmick at one point seemed to be that he believed himself to be a Jedi master, complete with Obi-Wan Kenobi robe. He later stopped cutting as many promos towards the end of his run, making him seem more as just a generic karate guy in white pantaloons to those who hadn't seen his feud with Fortune.
    • To a lesser extent, Abyss. For starters, there's the storyline in which Hulk Hogan's WWE Hall of Fame ring acted as a Magic Feather for Abyss, as he believed that it gave him power, a la a Green Lantern ring.
    • Daffney, much like her time in WCW, though in her TNA run it really says something that her most "normal" period in the company was when she was impersonating Sarah Palin, before going on to join Dr. Stevie Richards' psychiatrist gimmick.
  • Conspiracy Redemption: The Immortal angle, which revolved around Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff's secret plan to take over pro wrestling, starting with TNA, involved absorbing Ric Flair's Four Horsemen Spiritual Successor group, Fortune, but while Flair was away, Fortune rebelled due to Bischoff mistreating them (especially AJ Styles) and Fortune had basically been babyfaces the entire time anyway.
  • 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 wrestler 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.
  • 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 Abdul 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.
    • IW vs LU, can't imagine what that was about.
  • 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...
  • 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 make a Heel–Face Turn on him, AJ taking Fortune with him and forming the first real threat to Immortal. A lesser example happened later when Bischoff 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 Bischoff 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 both in their Immortal run in 2011 and their brief GFW Invasion run in 2015. They were essentially 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), Dixieland (2013-2014) the Beat Down Clan (2014-2015), the Kingdom of Miracles (2016-2017, though their attempted takeover was far more subtle due to being a mostly female stable). To put this in perspective, since its inception in 2002, to Aces & Eights in 2013, TNA has been under siege just over 55% of the time, and as you can see, no, Aces and Eights would not be the last group to do this. Also note that three of those seven 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:
    • 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).
    • On the other hand, there is the Ultimate X match, in which a pair of cables crossing above the ring in a big X hold a prize at the center that must be retrieved to win the match, such as the X Division title belt, but only the truss towers at the corners that the cables are connected to may be climbed, no ladders allowed. Considered the signature of the X Division, it has usually been well recieved as a concept, as it has a distinct but straightforward gimmick and showcases the division's distinct style well.
  • Girl Posse: The Beautiful People. Dollhouse to a lesser extent, qualifying mostly due to Taryn Terrell's It's All About Me attitude being strong enough to make her an Alpha Bitch, as they were more motivated by her bitterness than the vanity, sadism or comradeship of the former.
  • Glass Jaw Referee: Averted by Shane Sewell, whose Puerto Rican wrestling background was acknowledged.
  • Gold Digger: Karen Angle (later Jarrett) gimmick seemed to be riding on the coattails of Kurt Angle and, early on, Jeff Jarrett. With Jarrett they eventually became genuine, though sickening, sweethearts.
  • 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, laid 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Irony: By 2016, fans had turned on TNA, declaring Ring of Honor to be the new No.2 U.S promotion and predicting that TNA would be out of business by the end of the year. Fast-forward to 2019: Impact has slowly begun to make a resurgence, while ROH lost their top talent to AEW, held events that received mixed-to-negative reviews and earned low buyrates, and was embroiled in a handful of controversies.note 
  • 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 his last years in the company, Christopher Daniels had taken up the role of hammiest guy in the company, with his tag partner Kazarian not far behind.
  • Laxative Prank: Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin once slipped laxatives into Petey Williams' water bottle.
  • Lighter and Softer: TNA of all companies decided to go "family friendly" when it showed up on Fox Sports Net. Well, their pay per views were not but the television program had much less blood, profanity, T&A and the like, proudly boasting all they needed was "Six Appeal". This was almost immediately reverted when they moved to Spike TV and showed Jacqueline moderating a drinking contest.
  • The Man Behind the Man: "The Network," whoever they are. (They're actually a nonvillainous example, constantly checkmating all of Immortal's moves, albeit only in the interest of TV ratings.) The executive behind the Network's activity turned out to be Mick Foley. Until he got fired. Now it's pretty much unknown, because the Network storyline was dropped shortly after Foley's departure.
  • Matryoshka Object: Sports Entertainment Xtreme was a Power Stable so large it had its own power stables inside of it.
  • Massive Multiplayer Scam: So Abyss kidnaps Dixie Carter, who then demands he be fired immediately. Eric Bischoff then gets a 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 and Hulk Hogan.
  • 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 led 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: After doing a Face–Heel Turn in 2010, Sting claimed that it was this, as it was the only way he found to hinder Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan's actions (who had just came to TNA as "consultants"), who he immensely distrusted due to their mismanagement of WCW. Sting was right.
  • Nepotism:
    • Kayfabe with James Mitchell claiming to be Abyss's "father."
    • 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.
  • 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. Despite Jordan displaying every Depraved Bisexual stereotype and Young being a Manchild who didn't realize that Jordan was coming onto him, they worked as a pretty good tag team. Also, Young later had this and ODB; Young still the manchild while ODB was the most axiomatic redneck pro wrestler of at least that decade. They nonetheless fell for each other.
  • 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: Basically Kevin Nash's character during his 2006-2010 run was that he was in the company for the paycheck (and for fun).
  • 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."
    • Rosemary is from "the Valley of Shadows."
  • Perky Goth: Jeff Hardy and Daffney both wears corpse paint (and Jeff's fans are known as "Creatures of the Night"), but they're otherwise fun-loving and full of spirit, with Daffney deliriously screaming and laughing during her own matches and those of her friends. Rosemary has become this during her face run, especially when she's with Allie.
  • 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 basically served as the Elite Mooks of Immortal for the latter's first four months, after having previously being a very popular stable on their own and having their own overarching theme, while also an individual quirky personality, which was familiar (namely, that they were a homage to The Four Horsemen).
  • 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:
    • The setup for Immortal. Abyss claimed that he was controlled by some entity – to which he referred to as "they" – and that they were coming to TNA. Abyss began prophesizing the arrival of "they" at Bound for Glory on October 10, 2010. The main event of Bound for Glory was a three–way match between Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson and Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Near the end of the match, Eric Bischoff came to the ring with a chair and attempted to interfere with the match, but was stopped by Hulk Hogan. Hogan and Bischoff appeared to have a disagreement, but this was a ruse as they helped Hardy win the match, with all of them becoming heels. After the match, it was revealed that Abyss, Hardy, Bischoff, and Hogan, along with Jeff Jarrett were "they".
    • Each time an Aces and Eights member, who initially were masked, was unmasked. The group started to kick into high gear when its first member to be unmasked turned out to be Devon, former member of The Dudley Boys, then two other members were revealed to be WWE alumni Luke Gallows (who went as D.O.C.) and Mike Knox (who went as Knux), before its Vice President was revealed to be D'Lo Brown, a TNA official, and its President Bully Ray, the man supposedly leading the charge against them.
  • 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, 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 vs. 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.
  • 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: TNA was conceived largely to fill the void of WCW, the difference being there was no initial effort to get television on the assumption no network would want another pro wrestling show after WCW failed. As it grew though, TNA became more and more like WCW, not just because of the large number of wrestlers who worked in WCW prior, not just because it got television, not just because the arena setups resembled Nitro and Thunder increasingly more as time went past and not just because of the many giant power stables trying a hostile takeover of the show that were a calling card of WCW. TNA also fostered relations with WCW's former partners New Japan and Triple A, and even started as an NWA member like WCW before breaking away, like WCW.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Jeff Jarrett from 2002-2006 (particularly his multiple runs as NWA World Heavyweight Champion); Kurt Angle from 2006-2009 (First winning all of TNA's male belts,note  then hijacking two different stables from Christian and Sting); Hulk Hogan from 2010-2013 (a non wrestler who gets to beat up the ones still capable of having matches while being in an authority figure role and central to a steady procession of angles).
  • Stealth Pun: In the initialism 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 there was even a time it consistently got higher ratings than TV-14 Raw.
  • Super Team: The Prince Justice Brotherhood, three judges who mediate disputes to keep order in the Impact Zone, are a parody of superheroes.note 
  • 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.
  • 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 Self-Deprecation 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 Self-Deprecation, 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.
    • 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 for a while, as they used to 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: Eric Young rather infamously went from spy movie supervillain-like leader of the World Elite Power Stable to comic relief with a gimmick of a mentally challenged person after taking a bump on his head in the finish of a match.
  • Unknown Rival: To WWE. TNA's relationship with WWE is fascinating to behold, swinging between snarky antagonism and utter reverence. TNA had its own in Pro Wrestling Syndicate, although it did eventually acknowledge the existence of PWS, perhaps because PWS was always somewhat playful about it.
  • 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.
  • 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
    • 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. And this was shown on air so all the fans could see it.
    • The audience has been told 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 (and if they wanted to be more family-friendly there were some chants most people wouldn't want their children hearing). It worked: TNA soon had to start hiring plants and piping in overloud crowd noise to the Impact Zone.
  • 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 "EV2.0"
    • What exactly does the name "MVP" stand for in TNA?
  • 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): TNA


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: