Welcome to Taimapedia - We're experiencing severely heavy load and database problems right now due to a tweet from Lance Storm (hi!). This is a wiki used by members of 420chan's Pro Wrestling board, /wooo/

LOLTNA History

From Taimapedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This article serves as an extensive chronicle of all the bullshit, WTF and LOLTNA moments over the company's history. It should help people write a few books once TNA actually dies.

We've split this column into years to maintain a loose sense of chronological order. This lets us cover every detail in the saga of how one company made us laugh so much, feel so dirty afterward, and fucked up every opportunity to better itself.

Contents

2002

LOLTNA would not be possible without its savior, Vincent J. Russo.
OVER. AS. FUCK.

The Gimmicks

The Johnsons. TNA thought people would consider this funny.
  • Moments before the very first TNA broadcast, the company held a dark match featuring a morbidly obese black wrestler named Cheex and his valet "The Brown Eye Girl". Cheex's immense weight damaged the ring, and the ring crew had to act fast to repair the damages before the PPV went live. (They did, obviously.)
  • The Dupps, a hillbilly tag team originally from ECW, helped TNA break new ground when the company introduced an incest aspect to their gimmick: a valet billed as both their cousin and girlfriend, Fluff Dupp, accompanied the team to the ring.
  • A tag team called The Rainbow Express used a gay gimmick as heels (TNA targeted the South as its primary audience). Color commentator Don West made awkward homophobic remarks about the team while heel commentator Ed Ferrara sounded educated and tolerant in comparison. Oh, and the Rainbow Express debuted after the cousin-fucking Dupps, which the commentators didn't seem to care about all that much.
  • TNA had not one, but two terrible penis-related gimmicks:
    • Richard and Rod, The Johnsons, were literally a pair of wrestling cocks managed by Mortimer Plumtree.
    • The Hot Shots -- future Raven follower Cassidy Riley and future "Natural" Chase Stevens in their first TNA appearances -- wrestled with giant bulges in their pants (i.e. tubesocks jammed into their tights). They cut a promo that consisted of three brief lines ("We're pricks. We are proud. And we are protruding!") and grabbing their 'dicks' afterwards.
  • The first month of weekly PPVs featured a midget match on nearly every show. The short-lived midget division included Puppet, a psychotic dwarf who threatened to kill other midgets and once masturbated in a trash can before asking backstage interviewer Goldylocks if she wanted some of his "porridge"; Meatball, an obese midget; and Teo, an "extreme" midget who once tried to force his way onto one of the cagedancers.

Segments, Mishaps, and Angles

  • 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. In the first few minutes of the debut show, Jeff Jarrett cut a promo about how having a battle royal to crown a NWA champion was a bad idea, Ken Shamrock came out moments later to agree with Jarrett, and Scott Hall showed up through the crowd to...agree with them as well. What a way to build up the main event!
  • The first broadcast also featured a musical performance from country music artist Toby Keith, who was shoved by Jeff Jarrett midway through. The performance (one for which TNA surely paid out the ass) simply stopped after the shoving. Security hauled Toby Keith away despite Jarrett having assaulted Keith, though Keith later returned to screw Jarrett out of winning the NWA title as revenge.
  • The first month of PPVs featured K-Krush (Ron Killings, aka R-Truth) feuding with NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler. This feud culminated in a match at PPV #4, one which Sadler won by reverse decision. Sadler would've driven a car covered in TNA sponsorship logos during NASCAR events as a trade-off for this "push", but he failed to qualify for the rest of the season.
  • TNA plugged a lingerie elimination match on the first show by having Elektra make one of the most egregious accusations in wrestling history: she accused Francine of causing ECW's bankruptcy. The next week, the women involved in the match wore what looked like pajamas from an insane asylum, then left the ring after getting stripped down to their bra and panties (thus getting eliminated). Jeremy Borash fucked up the introductions for the first two girls, then just stopped introducing them altogether. Once Francine was eliminated, Ed Ferrara tried to help her; Francine pretended she would fellate Ed, then punched him in the groin. The Francine/Ferrara exchange took the focus off of the actual match, which caused cameras to miss most of the eliminations. Taylor Vaughn (B.B. in WWE) eventually won the match -- which meant she earned a contract and the "Miss TNA" moniker.
  • Jim Miller (then-President of the National Wrestling Alliance) had so much faith in TNA, he didn't show up to acknowledge the company until its third show (he was in Japan beforehand). When Miller finally showed up, the PPV ended with an image of him tied up with rope and the letters "F U" spray-painted on him.
    • Bill Behrens was shown tied up and stripped to his underwear, too. TNA explained neither of these things. (This will become a pattern. The never explaining things, that is.)
  • Fans brought tons of signs for ring girl Athena to shows. Although fans at The Asylum loved Athena, TNA didn't properly introduce her to the PPV audience for several months, which left the home audience in the dark as to what the signs meant.
  • James Storm and Chris Harris didn't compete in a tournament to crown the first NWA Tag Team Champions under the TNA banner because someone had knocked them out backstage. A few weeks later, TNA revealed the above-mentioned Hot Shots as the culprits -- even though the team hadn't even debuted at that time.
  • Sabu became the #1 Contender to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a Ladder Match despite never making any appearance prior on the show where the match happened. He then challenged then-champion Ken Shamrock to a Ladder Match, and Shamrock challenged Sabu to a Submission Match. The dueling challenges resulted in a Ladder/Submission match that ended with Malice stealing the Heavyweight Title.
  • Brian Lawler turned heel when he turned on Scott Hall. Lawler explained his actions on the next PPV by cutting a promo about how much he hated his father (Jerry "The King" Lawler).
    • Brian Lawler main evented a PPV against Scott Hall. At the beginning of the match, the crowd chanted "Jerry's Kid" as Lawler berated them for a good three minutes. During all of this, the near-seven-foot Scott Hall managed to hide behind Lawler.
  • Puppet came down to the ring after Jeff Jarrett attacked another midget. Puppet pulled a gun on Jarrett -- only to get hit multiple times with a steel chair.
  • Scott Hall ended his second PPV in a row getting carted out of the arena on a stretcher after Ron Killings strangled him with a belt. Earlier in the PPV, Killings did the same spot with Norman Smiley, who Killings strangled for a longer period of time than Hall. Smiley walked away under his own power.
  • Ron Killings cut a shoot promo about how Ricky Steamboat never made it to the top in WWE because of racial discrimination. When Killings claimed TNA had done the same to him, Steamboat agreed with him and gave Killings a shot at the NWA World Title. TNA planned to make this the start of Steamboat's first-ever heel turn, but he never appeared in TNA again. (Smart man.)
  • Don West assumed the role of Amazing Red's number one fan and stood on the announce table to scream, "GO, RED, GO!" in the middle of a match.
  • After a successful run of PPVs, TNA ran a "best of the X-Division" series. More than half the matches involved AJ Styles, as TNA obviously wanted to push him as one of the main faces of the company -- which they tried to do via a heel turn as soon as he became popular with fans. The theme of "a wrestler well-respected by the wrestling industry and fans who would honestly prefer to cheer someone who does high risk moves than boo them" would become a staple of Styles' entire TNA career.
  • The Blue Meanie debuted, gave Francine a DDT, and promptly disappeared back to wherever old ECW stars go after they become irrelevant. (Tommy Dreamer still rents out his basement, doesn't he?)
  • Marcus Bagwell killed off his "Buff" gimmick after losing to The Rainbow Express ("I'm a six time tag champion and I just got beat by two gay guys"). TNA put the angle on hold when it didn't book him for another two months (Jerry Jarrett disliked Bagwell's backstage unprofessionalism). Bagwell quietly returned, lost a tag tournament match with BG James, and disappeared for the rest of the year.
  • Syxx-Pac did a "shoot" on "sports entertainment" and how he had come to TNA for professional wrestling again. He cut this promo just before TNA held an impromptu boxing match between Saved by the Bell star Dustin "Screech" Diamond and obese TNA timekeeper Tiny.
    • Sean Waltman initially refused to join the company unless they booked his then-girlfriend Alicia Webb (who portrayed Ryan Shamrock in WWE). Jarrett expressed concern at this, since Webb was Ken Shamrock's ex-girlfriend, but ultimately booked her. TNA paid her $500 per appearance (after Waltman refused the initial offer of $350 per appearance) to come down to ringside so guys would hand her money. TNA Never Explained This™.
  • Taylor Vaughn didn't appear on TNA programming for a month after she won the "Miss TNA" moniker. When she finally appeared, Bruce interrupted her interview and eventually defeated her in a match where Vaugh's "Miss TNA" crown was on the line. The next week, Bruce put that title on the line against Vaughn in an evening gown match in which he wrestled completely in drag. (Bruce treated the the crowd to a striptease after defeating Vaughn.) Bruce continued to put the "Miss TNA" title on the line in open challenges to women in the crowd a-lá Andy Kaufman -- and he wrestled all of them in drag.
  • James Storm debuted as a comedy cowboy character who shot cap guns off before each match. Chris Harris blamed James Storm's "gimmick" when TNA didn't book America's Most Wanted for a couple of PPVs afterwards.
  • During PPV #9, Don Harris wore a shirt with a Nazi SS symbol on it. The Jarretts apologized for this on the TNA website and put Harris on probation. Upon returning, he never wore the shirt again, though people could still make out his SS tattoos.
  • Jarrett fought a guy billed as "Bullet" Bob Armstrong's masked "The Bullet" character two weeks in a row. The Bullet unmasked after the second match and revealed himself as BG James (WWE's Road Dogg and one of Bullet Bob's sons). James' distinct tattoos weren't on The Bullet during the character's first bout, though.
  • Since Dreamworks Pictures had a movie filming in the area, Chris Rock appeared in the ring for less than two minutes in a segment in which he declared "NWATNA is the best wrestling in the whole world!" We're assuming this happened because Chris was young and needed the money/exposure.
  • After two title matches and numerous other non-title matches end in disqualifications (or simply end with no finish), Bob Armstrong made a change to the NWA rules: if a wrestler decided to get deliberately counted out or disqualified, they would lose their title. Armstrong announced this change on a show where three separate matches involved brawls around the arena. The first title defense after this ruling featured a DQ, but because Ron Killings didn't intentionally get himself disqualified, he kept his belt. Numerous examples of referee Scott Armstrong failing to call for count-outs or DQs plague later PPVs.
    • "Bullet" Bob also announced a tournament for a shot at the NWA World Title and placed Don Harris (TNA's "Head of Security") in the referee role for all of the tournament matches. The first match involved BG James and Ron Harris (Don's brother). Bob came down to the ring and fired Don as referee so BG James could win. TNA never followed up on this. (This, too, will become a pattern.)
  • On PPV #23, James Storm vs. Slash went down in history for the most false finishes in one match. Storm kicked out of a powder shot, got rolled up with a handful of tights, and received a belt shot before he resorted to a double team on Slash to win the match. The referee was distracted about six times during this contest.
  • A triple threat tag team match between The New Church, the Harris twins, and America's Most Wanted saw several referee distractions take place due to typical underhanded manager shenanigans. During one of these distractions, Athena hit a low blow on the Harris Brothers. At the end of the match, the Legion of Doom ran in to beat the fuck out of the New Church and the Harrises (Harrisi?). The referee never called for a disqualification despite everything happening right in front of him. AMW won the match when they pinned Slash after LOD nailed him with the Doomsday Device.

The Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles Saga

  • Lynn and Styles tagged together in the first ever match on TNA, though they lost that match to The Flying Elvises (a trio of multiracial Elvis impersonators). Styles pinned Lynn to become the X-Division Champion one week later, then tagged with Lynn again to win the Tag Team Championships the week after that.
  • One week after the tag title win, Lynn hit a piledriver on AJ and called him a glory hog. Styles demanded an apology the next week -- then kicked Lynn in the head. Lynn later interfered in AJ's X-Division Title defense.
  • TNA remembered these two held the the Tag Team Titles and had them make up on the very next PPV. Then it booked AJ to attack Lynn on the next show, despite the two still holding the Tag Team Titles.
  • Lynn was pinned in a Triple Threat for AJ's X-Division Title. The two then brawled with Jeff Jarrett and Ron Killings for unknown reasons to end the show.
  • Lynn and Styles defended the Tag Titles against Jarrett and Killings, but the match ended with a (typical for TNA) Dusty Finish.
  • TNA finally booked Lynn and Styles into a trio of matches intended to let them settle their differences: a Falls Count Anywhere Match, a No Disqualification Match, and (if necessary) a ten-minute Iron Man Match. The series ended with no clear winner when the Iron Man Match concluded in a 3-3 draw.
  • A few weeks later, Styles and Lynn (still feuding over the X-Division Championship) fought in a Ladder Match where the referee took a bump for no reason, Sonny Siaki interfered (and got beaten up by Lynn for it), and AJ ended up with the belt. This apparently didn't settle well with Bob Armstrong, who immediately booked a rematch for the next week under the same stipulations. This story will continue shortly, but first, a disco interlude!

Disco Inferno's Jive Talkin’

• Putting someone through a table = 2 ½ points (5 points if it's on fire)

• Sticking opponents head in the toilet = 2 ½ points (3 ½ points with shit)

• Goosing a woman = 2 ½ points (3½ if it's a man)

• Hitting Jeremy Borash or Sarah Lee (ticket lady) = 2 ½ points.

• Using a farm animal = 2 ½ points

• Spanking your opponent with the Horsee-poo (stick horse) = 2 ½ points (-2 ½ points if they like it)

• Using Jay (Blowup Doll) = 2 ½ points

• Using a weapon a fan gave you = 1 point.

• Crying like a pussy = -5 points

• Sticking your opponent's head in the cotton candy machine for one full rotation = 10 points (automatic win)

Rules of the Dupp Cupp
  • Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno in WCW) pitched an idea for a talk show during his debut. He hyped it by putting himself over as the guy who pinned Joey Maggs and Barry Horowitz countless times.
  • Week One: Goldylocks made an appearance. Gilbertti called her a stupid bitch, demanded to see her tits, and claimed said tits were all she was good for. After Goldy attacked him for being a misogynist fuckwit (as well she should have), Paulina from Tough Enough debuted as Gilbertti's bodyguard. She disappeared after the second episode of Jive Talkin’ (as well she should have).
  • Week Two: The Dupps made an appearance to introduce the Hard-10 Championship. They brought out their granddaddy's spit bowl (The Dupp Cupp) and said the person with the most points would take it home. Though someone could easily get to ten points by hitting someone with a chair ten times, it could be achieved by "feeling up the ticket lady" or "involving an animal in the match" (amongst other ridiculous things; see Rules of the Dupp Cupp to the side). After the Dupps bored everyone to death with their endless explanation of the Dupp Cupp rules, the first fight for the Cupp took place on Jive Talkin’. Said fight did nothing to pop the crowd, and Ed Ferrara suffered a concussion during the match. Ferrara would later leave the company when management told him TNA couldn't pay him his monthly fee. (In retrospect, this began a bad trend.) The Dupps also departed from the company soon after this appearance, but the Hard-10 "matches" continued well into 2003 anyway.
  • Week Three: Gilbertti interviewed someone pretending to be a Baldwin brother (actually, it was Shark Boy without his mask on). TNA never had another installment of Jive Talkin’ after this and would never mention it again.

Syxx-Pac Wins the X-Division Title

  • During a match with Sonny Siaki, Jerry Lynn (the #1 Contender for the X-Division Championship) suffered an injury and negated the idea of a Lynn vs. Styles Ladder Match rematch.
  • On the same show, TNA put on a fifteen-minute X-Division Iron Man Match for the #1 Contender spot between Tony Mamaluke, Kid Kash, Ace Steel, and Low Ki. With five minutes to go, all four men each had one point. When the timer hit the one-minute warning, Steel and Low Ki were wrestling each other. As Low Ki put Steel in position for the Ki Krusher, Mortimer Plumtree pulled on Low Ki's legs and set him up for a pinfall. The referee counted the pinfall even though the full fifteen-minutes had elapsed.
  • Bill Behrens decided to put Ace Steel in the Ladder Match against Styles. Low Ki disagreed, Ace Steel and Plumtree came out to counter-argue, and Bob Armstrong decided to put Steel and Low Ki in a match to fill the #1 Contender spot. During the Steel/Low Ki match, Plumtree took advantage of a referee distraction and injured Low Ki. Ki lost the match via count-out, but not before Behrens, Armstrong, and everyone in the state of Tennessee (except then-governor Phil Bredesen) intervened to call the DQ. Once the bell rang, Jeremy Borash announced, "The winner via countout, Ace Stee—it's a disqualification, ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the match via disqualification: Low Ki!"
  • Since the X-Division gave him such a headache, Armstrong put every X-Division competitor into the Ladder Match with Styles. Despite not actually being in the ring when the bell rang and having never competed in an X-Division match beforehand, Syxx-Pac came out during the last thirty seconds, climbed the ladder, and won the title.
    • Syxx-Pac eventually put over both Low Ki and Styles before he dropped the belt back to AJ.

Brian Lawler and April

  • Brian Lawler spent a good amount of time threatening to reveal something about Jeff Jarrett. TNA Never Followed Up On This™. Jarrett eventually confronted Lawler: "I did not sleep with April, but you've gotta wonder, Brian -- who is right now?" (April was indie wrestler/fitness model April Hunter.) Syxx-Pac later made out with April on the entrance ramp during one of Lawler's matches. April later lied to Lawler (a heel) by saying Syxx-Pac forced her into the kiss. This made April some sort of super heel for...reasons.
  • During a match between Syxx-Pac and Lawler, April became frantic and begged them to stop fighting before Goldy came out to comfort her. The announcers implied that the two were in a lesbian relationship. TNA Never Followed Up On This™.
  • Waltman left TNA after Vince Russo joined the company. His departure forced TNA to change the identity of April's secret lover from Syxx-Pac to Bruce -- the same Bruce that had debuted as a homosexual character in the Rainbow Express, eventually became Miss TNA, and beat up women on a regular basis.
  • During an interview segment, Lawler heard April moaning and burst into the girls locker room to confront her. April had on a skin-colored bikini to cover her breasts, and was covered in a copious amount of bubbles. Despite trying to maintain an above-chest camera frame, the cameraman continually dipped down to bizarrely show that April either had no nipples, or had them somewhere they shouldn't be. (Since she has implants, that wouldn't be improbable.) Lenny Lane confronted Bruce and called him a phony homosexual before Brian Lawler ran in for a beatdown.
  • TNA stopped booking Lawler for the rest of the year as punishment for lashing out at a fan who sat on his jacket. Bruce later dropped his homosexual gimmick via a worked shoot wherein he rechristened himself as "Angry" Alan Funk. Naturally, he stopped appearing on TNA shows not long afterwards.
"Until they make radical surgical changes in creative, and unless they get some people who comprehend the wrestling business, they are doomed to be the financial drain on Panda [Energy] that they are now and have been since inception. The core of their problems is the creative development of their product. They have to cut the cancer out. [...] I would deserve the label ‘stupid’ if I had made the decision to hire Vince Russo. But I made the horrendous mistake of yielding to [Jeff's] wishes. [Russo] obviously has qualities that I don’t recognize or understand. How can a person who has a 15-year history of failure still keep a job?"
TNA Co-Founder Jerry Jarrett on Vince Russo

C-O-N-SPIRACY or N-A-Ï-V-E?

  • When TNA started up in January 2002, Jeff Jarrett hired Jay Hassman to deal with contracts for the various pay-per-view companies around the country and making sure the company had ads running in various cable TV magazines. Any time Jarrett asked about buyrate estimates, Hassman said they would be in the 60,000 to 70,000 range. He also said the first ever TNA show had done 80,000 buys.
  • In a way, the Internet called bullshit on this claim: various people had complained on forums about how they couldn't watch the PPVs because their cable providers didn't carry them, and the ones who could watch the shows didn't see them mentioned in any cable listings or advertised on TV. Jarrett smelled a rat and called InDemand directly for the PPV numbers; InDemand told him the first show had done just under 20,000 buys. TNA sued Hassman and his company (which also provided PPV support for the WWE), which would mark the start of two specific issues: the birth of a conspiracy theory about WWE sabotaging TNA from the beginning and TNA's constant money problems (Jarrett had budgeted the company at 50,000 buys based on Hassman's estimates).
  • Dixie Carter became involved in the company around this time, too. Jarrett received financial backing from a lot of different companies when TNA began, one of which was HealthSouth. In October 2002, HealthSouth lost tons of revenue due to fraud investigations and pulled out as a backer for TNA. Dixie, already working as a promoter for TNA, persuaded her father to become a financial backer for the company; as a result, Panda Energy purchased the 71% backing position for the company for $250,000. The company renamed itself as TNA Entertainment and Dixie became its President by the start of 2003.

2003

TNA fans show their support to one of Vince Russo's classic shoot segments

The Russo Shoots

  • "OH SHIT, IT'S VINCE RRRUUUUUUUSSSSOOOOOOOOO!" (Quote from Mike Tenay!) Mr. Wrestling III, who previously helped Jeff Jarrett win his first NWA World Title, unmasked to reveal his true identity: Vince Russo. The next show featured the first of many Russo shoots on wrestling in general. Russo started by claiming TNA originally stood for Tits 'n' Ass and the promotion would've been "gritty". Some indications of this original concept remain (e.g. cage dancing girls and midgets masturbating in garbage cans). The latter would be mentioned at least three times.
  • On the following PPV, TNA gave Roddy Piper a live mic to plug his book. Piper took his chance and pulled a shoot promo on Russo. The crowd went nuts until Piper said "Hey Russo, did you book my cousin Owen's death?". Everything went quiet while Piper continued to rant and Russo came out to calm Piper down. Piper refused to give Russo the mic, hit him with the book, and verbally berated him to boot.
  • After a tag match, Russo came out and responded to Piper's comments. He talked about how he gave the fans everything they wanted, then mentioned Athena (the same Athena as mentioned above in 2002). Russo eventually brought her into the ring, attempted to get her to flash the audience, slapped her when she refused, and repeatedly called her an "ugly wench". The Harris twins eventually came out for the save, but swerved the crowd when they hit their finisher on Athena (twice). TNA Security didn't think it necessary to intervene until after Athena was already long laid out. This whole segment lasted a good ten minutes.
  • Tenay brought out former WCW mainstay J.J. Dillon and announced him as Bob Armstrong's replacement for the role of NWA Representative. Russo came out with the Harris brothers and called Dillon a piece of shit, accused him of being a pawn of Vince McMahon during his time with WWF, and claimed Dillon was responsible for getting Russo fired from WCW. The segment ended with Sandman attacking the Harriseses on Dillon's behalf. (Dillon made one more brief appearance in TNA, then disappeared from the promotion. Smart man.)
  • A video package of Mike Tenay interviewing Vince Russo opened a show intended to introduce Russo to new viewers. During the worked shoot, 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 and Madusa, and provided one of his most infamous quotes ever ("IF you want lucha libre, go to Japan!").
  • Tony Schiavone debuted, turned heel, had a job promised to him by Russo, and...never showed up in TNA again. (Smart man.) This entire segment lasted a good ten minutes and achieved absolutely nothing. Fan signs clearly shown throughout this segment included "WHO CARES?" and "The 'Total Non-stop Action' has officially stopped".

Sports Entertainment Xtreme (Get It?)

  • Russo introduced this stable as "Sports Entertainment Extreme, you can work out what the letters stand for." S.E.E.?
  • David Flair made his debut as an ax-wielding psychotic (presumably he meant to use the axe on Jeff Jarrett and Curt Hennig). Tenay and West hyped up Flair (who had been completely destroyed on WWE television by The Undertaker months earlier) as a huge acquisition for S.E.X. Russo also decided to use the axe on the TNA set for shits‘n’giggles during this segment.
    • The debut of both Flair and the axe led to TNA's first iteration of Russo's favorite gimmick match (the "item on a pole" match). In the Axe Handle on a Pole Match, David Flair wrestled Curt Hennig in the latter's last match before his untimely death.
  • TNA hypes former WCW wrestler Mike Sanders as a big acquisition for S.E.X., which he joined almost immediately after his debut. Sanders would then job out to Jim Duggan (twice), Moondog Spot, and Shark Boy.
  • The Rock‘n’Roll Express immediately turned heel after their debut, joined S.E.X., and did practically nothing.
  • Russo left the company as an onscreen character in an angle that paralleled the Ric Flair/David Flair saga in WCW2000. Jarrett taped an interview of Russo's sons basically calling Russo a terrible father. Russo left S.E.X. in the hands of Glenn Gilbertti and Mike Sanders.
  • During their feud with Jose Estrada, S.E.X. introduced a fat Elvis impersonator named Disgraceland to the group. Disgraceland ate during his matches, gave Estrada a swirly in the toilet after his debut, and disappeared after being beaten by Estrada a few weeks later.
  • Triple X (Low Ki, Elix Skipper, and Christopher Daniels) won the Tag Team Titles for the stable, which also included the Harris brothers and The Rock‘n’Roll Express. This effectively reduced competitors for the Tag Team Titles to America's Most Wanted and The New Church.
  • Vince Russo returned to TV, but distanced himself from S.E.X; he claimed ownership of the rights to the stable's name and stripped the group of its gimmick. Despite being a nameless and (at this point) useless faction, the now-former S.E.X. stuck around for awhile and did nothing before quietly breaking up, which would soon become a recurring theme for TNA factions.

The First Ultimate X Match

  • For the first-ever Ultimate X Match, TNA suspended two lengths of rope above the ring to form an X and hung the X-Division Championship belt in the middle. To win the match, a wrestler had to shimmy hand-over-hand across the ropes to the belt and pull it down to win. (TNA made a point of emphasizing how the match would have no ladders in it by using the tagline "No Limits, No Ladders".)
  • The logic department failed on TNA, though: as soon as one wrestler let go of one of the ropes, the ropes sprang back with enough force to cause the title belt to pop off. As a result, TNA officials had to rehang the belt -- twice -- during the match.
  • Don West reacted to this by almost creaming himself and screaming "Yes!" over and over and over. (We're 99% certain Daniel Bryan didn't get his "Yes!" schtick from here.)

One Night in TNA

  • Vader showed up, went over the Harris Brothers, and was never seen again.
  • Paul Bearer randomly debuted at the end of a PPV, did practically nothing, and bladed in another appearance a few weeks later.
  • After Russo unmasked as Mr. Wrestling III, Mr. Wrestling IV showed up and unmasked to reveal himself as Nikita Koloff (who hadn't been seen in a pro wrestling event since 1992). Koloff teased turning against Russo before walking out of the company completely, never to be seen again. (Smart man.)
  • When Bart Gunn made his TNA debut, Mike Tenay hyped him up as a former major superstar from WWE. Gunn joined S.E.X. and lasted about a week.
  • Moondog Spot tagged with Jim Duggan and went over S.E.X. leaders Gilbertti and Sanders in under two minutes. He never showed up again. (Smart man.)
  • Viscera debuted in the role of Ron Killings' bodyguard. He disappeared after two weeks.
  • Mike Awesome hung around with The New Church for a few weeks, then inexplicably disappeared.
  • Lex Luger arrived in TNA while still under indictment for thirteen felony drug charges following the death of Miss Elizabeth in his home; TNA hyped his appearance as his first match since the fiasco. Before the match, Luger cut a shitty promo in which he referred to AJ Styles as "AC". During the match, Luger almost made AJ tap in the Torture Rack, but Sting eventually saved the day. (Way to keep your top face strong, TNA!)

Miscellaneous Shenanigans

  • Goldylocks butchered the National Anthem on live PPV.
  • Lollipop, a cage dancer notable for sucking on lollipops, accepted an open challenge from S.E.X. member Holly Wood. She suffered a nip slip almost instantly, then got her top ripped completely off, clearly exposing herself on camera and in front of the live crowd. Jeremy Borash was waiting with his jacket off (and was shown on camera before the incident) to cover her up.
  • Larry Zbyszko debuted to yell at AJ Styles for being a punk. This led to a match in which Styles had to cheat so he could beat a 52-year-old "living legend".
    • Since AJ didn't beat Zbyszko in under ten minutes, TNA made Zbyszko work as Styles' manager. Russo eventually lost interest in writing the angle, so TNA dropped it.
  • A feud between Brian Lawler, David Flair, Erik Watts, and Dusty Rhodes broke out over the NWA World Title belt; the catch was that none of them were the actual champion. Ric Flair owned a replica of the title belt awarded to him for his services to the wrestling world -- a replica which he gave to David as a present for getting serious about wrestling. When David brought this belt to the tapings, Dusty said David shouldn't have it despite it being David's actual legal possession.
  • AJ Styles busted into the S.E.X. locker room with a chainsaw, threatened to cut Glenn Gilbertti into pieces, and insinuated Gilbertti was part of THE GAY COMMUNITY by calling him a faggot.
  • Raven became the first wrestler to "cross the line" and join TNA immediately after a departure from WWE. He became a major figure in the NWA title scene after his TNA debut and earned a title shot after about four months. During that title match, Jarrett overcame odds that would make even John Cena cringe to defeat Raven and deflate all of Raven's momentum in the process.
  • The New Church (a stable made up of Malice, Slash, Brian Lee, and manager James Mitchell) accidentally turned face when TNA booked a heel vs. heel tag team match. Considering how TNA had built up the tag team as EVIL for weeks, it seemed untimely to debut yet another heel stable.
  • Kid Kash beat Abyss in a First Blood / Chair on a Pole match.
  • In order to promote the X-Division as having "no limits", TNA debuted a muscular wrestler known as The Masked X (former Quebecer Carl Oulette under a mask) as a monster heel. This...actually went pretty well, as he squashed his opponent and the commentators pushed the idea of X's finisher (the Package Piledriver) as a "death-like" move. During his second match, things went slightly wonky when he attempted a swan dive and almost killed himself. He would vanish from TNA before the year was out.
  • TNA added an X-Division Trophy to the X-Division (on top of the X-Division Championship). TNA never explained the trophy's purpose, but at a best guess, the trophy worked as a signifier of who was the #1 Contender. Michael Shane had one and Chris Sabin had the other, so they had a match; at the end of it, Michael Shane won both the belt and the trophy. He then frequently appeared with the trophy and the belt. TNA Never Explained This™.
  • Mike Lockwood (WWE's Crash Holly) debuted in July as Mad Mikey with a gimmick of being mad at things. He wrestled on nine of the weekly PPVs, then left the company a month before his death.

The Hulk Hogan Era 1.0: He Is (Not) Coming to TNA

  • In October, Jeff Jarrett attacked Hulk Hogan at a press conference. The attack was supposed to lead into TNA's first ever $30 supercard PPV with a main event of Jarrett vs. Hogan. When Hogan learned Jarrett would go over, he came down with mysterious "pains" and pulled out of the deal. The whole thing became meaningless when Hogan eventually re-signed with WWE. (He didn't appear in a TNA ring until 2010...but we'll follow up with that later.) The footage of the attack was replayed countless times and even made it onto the 50 Greatest TNA Moments DVD.
  • Part of the issue with Hogan coming in went back to Bash at the Beach 2000, where Jarrett laid down for Hogan in a worked shoot. In a speech after the match, Russo came out and called Hogan "a bald son of a bitch". Hogan, despite being in on everything that night, wasn't happy with being called "bald" and filed an actual defamation lawsuit which prevented the two from working together. Three years later, the lawsuit still existed.
  • Actual tension also existed within the booking and creative team. At the time, TNA Creative consisted of Jarrett, Russo, and Dutch Mantell (better known to current wrestling fans as Zeb Colter). Jarrett and Mantell would come up with a scenario and agree to go with Russo's plans, then wait for Vince to leave so they could change all of his ideas. When a paranoid Russo learned Jarrett had been in discussions with Hogan, Russo saw the move as a betrayal and made the decision to leave TNA. To take himself off television, Russo had Jarrett beat him up; Russo told Jarrett to make it look as real as possible -- and suffered another concussion and severe bruising as a result.

2004

  • TNA's first show of the year had no clean finishes. Three matches had referee distractions, one had the referee blatantly ignoring interference, and the last one was an Ultimate X Match where Mike Posey got bumped so Shane Douglas could bring out a ladder.
  • Jeff Hardy debuted at TNA's anniversary show in June...a debut which he and his then-girlfriend decided to spoil on the internet beforehand. 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 group of fat, hair-dyed groupies who hung out with him after show was over -- to the Impact Zone. They typically hogged up the front row to watch Jeff's matches, left when those matches ended, and ended up hated by everyone else. Universal Studios eventually banned the "leader" of the pack from the park for a year when he shoved people in the crowd to get front row seats, which led to much rejoicing among non-Hardy Party regulars.

The Street Team

  • After TNA launched a messageboard on their website, Dixie Carter introduced the idea of "The Street Team": fans would go out on the street to do TNA's advertising for them. For a fee, TNA would send them a package that included flyers, buttons, stickers and other miscellaneous items to use as a way of spreading the word. This predictably resulted in TNA fans simply hounding WWE fans waiting in line for tickets or heading into a show by shoving TNA flyers in their faces. Those acts typically resulted in a negative reaction (to put it mildly).
  • People who didn't want to pay could join an internet team: they'd join the messageboard, and the board admins would ask members to advertise TNA on other messageboards. Many of the attempts tried to fit in with a specific niche interest based on a current TNA storyline (e.g. TNA targetted a NASCAR forum when Jeff Hammond was scheduled to appear on a PPV). The mass majority of these efforts resulted in people either mocking or ignoring the TNA fans. Other internet assignments included griefing TNA references into Blockland servers. (Seriously.)

Under New Management

  • TNA ended 2003 with CM Punk and Julio Dinero betraying Raven, which cost him a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
  • Jeff Jarrett came up with a novel theory afterwards: if he could get control of the NWA World Title over to his buddy Don Callis and make sure the NWA never crowned a #1 Contender, he'd never have to defend the belt. This plan involved Jeff talking to a lawyer about actual employment law within the US, specifically acts of violence by those in management positions. The plan also involved exposing the entire NWA Board of Directors for petty crimes, having them struck off, and forcing Erik Watts - the Director of Authority - to put his job on the line.
  • TNA Security took sides in the power struggle and split into two feuding factions: Red Shirt Security and Black Shirt Security. WWF jobber Joe E. Legend ("Just Joe") became a major player in this angle as the leader of the Red Shirt faction. He main evented a few PPVs during his run, including a "Guitar and Baseball Bat on a Pole Match" against Jarrett.
  • Jarrett's next plan? Win the Mr. TNA Award, which grants the winner a World Title shot. AJ Styles eventually won it. Oh, and Don Callis beat Erik Watts after Goldilocks betrayed Watts. Jarrett's "new management" lasted a mere fortnight, though -- because Vince Russo eventually came back.

"Celebrity" Involvement

Jonny Fairplay would be the first of many failed reality "stars" brought in for publicity at a high price. Nobody cared.
  • TNA hyped its biggest announcement of the year in January: it had booked Jonny Fairplay for a TNA appearance. Jonny, a longtime wrestling fan, had appeared on the reality show Survivor: Pearl Islands. TNA hyped him up as the "most hated man in America" (a moniker he "earned" for lying about his grandmother's death during a challenge on Survivor to gain the sympathy of his fellow competitors). TNA paid Fairplay $350,000 and gave him health insurance for his appearances, which consisted of him getting press slammed out of the ring by NFL star Brian Urlacher.
    • Fairplay randomly returned after being off TV for four months and issued an open challenge for any reality TV star to take him on in the "Reality Challenge". TNA Never Followed Up On This™ and Fairplay disappeared from TV for another six months afterwards.
  • Speaking of Brian Urlacher! He was under contract with the Chicago Bears at the time of his TNA appearances. In a bit of foreshadowing about a later debacle involving another NFL player, TNA decided against asking for permission to use Urlacher in a physical matter on their show. Once the Bears found out, they asked Urlacher to immediately cut all ties with TNA.
  • TNA hyped up Dennis Rodman returning to wrestling through TNA. He came out with 3 Live Kru during a random Impact episode and sat ringside to watch their match with Team Canada. He didn't do anything else for the rest of the episode and never showed up in TNA again. (Smart man...and that's saying something.)
  • The Insane Clown Posse landed in a pretty awkward feud with Glenn Gilbertti, Kid Kash, and David Young after coming to TNA. A highlight of the feud included the first and only "Dark Carnival Match" (a hardcore match with ICP music randomly interrupting the match concurrent with colorful lighting). Mike Tenay said the distractions were "part of the experience". According to Slam! Sports, ICP brought the largest crowds TNA had seen up to that point.

Vince Russo Returns

  • After firing Mike Tenay the week before, Jarrett heard news about TNA hiring a new Director of Authority. Tenay returned at the end of the next show to bring out the new DOA: Vince Russo.
    • Russo had become a born-again Christian during his time off and wanted an opportunity to explain himself on television. In his return promo, Russo claimed he "did a deal with the devil" and "knelt at the altar of television ratings" by emphasizing "nudity, violence and vulgarity" (all three of these words get pops). After Russo announced he'd been "forgiven", the crowd chanted "bullshit". In spite of Russo getting chants of "pass the torch", this turned into another Jarrett/Russo feud when Jarrett slapped Russo (and got zero reaction for it).
  • James Storm, one-half of America's Most Wanted, hurt his shoulder in early 2004. TNA decided to give Chris Harris (the other half of AMW) a singles run and booked him in strong matches. The fans actually got behind Harris, who put on some great performances with some of TNA's top-tier talent. Russo, now playing a face as a "born again" Christian, groomed Harris to win the title by keeping Jarrett on the sidelines to accumulate ring rust. When Harris and Jarrett wrestled at a highly hyped PPV, Jarrett won and Harris shuffled back down to the midcard (which killed all his hype).
  • After Vince Russo's exit, TNA put Dusty Rhodes in place as the new head booker. In his new position, Rhodes fired half the X-Division and put Jeff Jarrett, Diamond Dallas Page, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Randy Savage, Sean Waltman, and Billy Gunn in main event feuds throughout the year. His freshly-released son Dustin was also predictably signed and was teased with an upper-card slot while earning victories over up-and-comer Bobby Roode at PPVs.
“I signed a $150,000 contract with TNA Wrestling for a year. I ended up making 8 appearances for 40 minutes. Then I signed a second contract and they didn’t use me. So, I’d like to thank them for $300,000 for 40 minutes’ worth of work.”
Jonny Fairplay reminisces on his tenure with the company

Early PPV Supercards

Victory Road 2004

  • This event was the conclusion of a story between Russo and Dusty Rhodes where fans voted on which one would become the Director of Authority. During the event, TNA showed the same stats over and over as the "current" results and told Scott Hudson to say they'd had a server breakdown from excess voting in Stamford, Connecticut (the home of WWE's home offices).
  • 3 Live Kru, billed as having a year-long struggle to win the Tag Titles, wrestled in a seven-minute match where most of the heat landed on referee Andrew Thomas (who kept looking to see if the double teaming/illegal tactics/interference had stopped).
  • The previous match was likely cut short to give up some time for the next segment: an episode of Piper's Pit that featured Roddy Piper telling Jimmy Snuka to hit him before Kid Kash interrupted (to which Mike Tenay commented, "Why is this interruption from Kash of all people?"). Kaz and Michael Shane joined Kash so they could all beat up Snuka, but Sonjay Dutt made the save. Sonjay was then hit in the back of the head with a coconut. This nine minute segment ended with Kaz and Shane saying that "wasn't right" and Kash claiming "I didn't bring the coconut".
  • TNA promoted this show -- its first major live "supercard" PPV -- as the show where "the old world falls and the new world emerges". The event ends with Jeff Hardy (27) losing to Jeff Jarrett (37) thanks to interference from Scott Hall (46) and Nash (44). TNA also built the entire PPV around whose side Hall and Nash would be on. Whoops.
    • Randy Savage debuted in the last thirty seconds of the PPV; he magically teleported from a limousine to the inside of the building in about three seconds.
Look at us, WWE! Look! Look! Look at us! We're on your filming set with balloons, LOL! Oh hey, Raymond Stereo! Look, it's us!

Turning Point 2004

  • TNA booked Randy Savage in a trios match; he and partners Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles were scheduled to fight Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall. Savage never appeared on Impact once during the hype for the PPV. During the PPV, Savage was "kidnapped" in the middle of the show and didn't appear until the last minute of the match -- where he simply punched Jarrett in the face and pinned him for the win. Savage never appeared on TNA programming again after this.
    • Although TNA wanted Savage's two PPV appearances to lead into long-term plans, Savage bolted on TNA right after he found out they were in negotiations to bring in Hogan (Savage still had personal issues with Hogan). The brief appearance at Turning Point became Savage's last-ever appearance in a professional wrestling ring.
  • In December 2004, WWE travelled to Orlando to film the "West Side Story" commercial for its 2005 Royal Rumble event. A few TNA stars and a camera crew headed over to the WWE filming set to offer a "welcome wagon", but they were kicked off the set. TNA turned this into a "storyline" where the footage of what went down would be shown at the PPV in an attempt to make WWE look bad. 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 "firing" several TNA employees in the process. When it aired, the footage ended up making TNA look bad: BG James, Shane Douglas, Ron Killings, Konnan, Abyss, and Traci Brooks walked onto the set with balloons and cookies, acted like obnoxious buffoons, continuously asked if they could speak to Vince McMahon, ate food off the buffet table without asking, filmed several WWE wrestlers without permission (including an unmasked Rey Mysterio), and acted offended/surprised when WWE officials told them to leave. After the footage aired, Tenay and West acted completely baffled as to why WWE would do such a thing. Nobody cared.

2005

Against All Odds 2005

  • This PPV opened with Scott Hudson and Shane Douglas conducting promos for the main event outside doors.
  • TNA brought in NASCAR commentator Jeff Hammond to team up with 3 Live Kru for a match. He tagged with BG James, who worked an entire match against Kaz and Michael Shane before picking up the pinfall. Hammond went on to host a weekly segment on Impact.
  • Abyss beat Jeff Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem Match (TNA's version of a TLC Match) to become the #1 Contender for the NWA World Heavyweight Title. The final spot was supposed to have Abyss press slam Hardy through four stacked tables. Abyss actually threw Hardy over the rope and he barely went through one. Pissed off by the blown spot, Hardy no-sold the move and started dropkicking tables while Abyss retrieved the contract. Abyss didn't cash this contract in for a title shot, and he was pinned by Hardy at the very next PPV.
  • Jeff Jarrett faced Kevin Nash in a match where he would lose the title if he used his trademark guitar. During the match, Jarrett pulled out a case containing a cello, the neck of which snapped as he prepared to hit Nash with it. Despite Jarrett using the cello case to crush Nash's knee, the referee wouldn't let Nash hit Jarrett with the body of the cello. Three ref bumps, a run-in by Billy Gunn (see below), a run-in by a returning Syxx-Pac, a run-in by BG James, a belt shot, and a low blow later, Jarrett retained!
    • Billy Gunn debuted in the middle of this match by hitting Nash with a steel chair. Despite helping Jarrett, he got absolutely no reaction from the crowd. TNA debuted Gunn before they had a name prepared for him, forcing him to walk around in a "No introduction needed, you already know my name" T-shirt for awhile. When he used the name "The New Age Outlaw", TNA had to stop him because WWE owned the "New Age Outlaws" trademark. His next choice (just "The Outlaw") didn't last too long, either.

Miscellaneous Shenanigans

  • TNA signed Dave Hebner for a backstage role after WWE released him. Dave made three bizarre onscreen appearances where he was shown doing nothing but taking notes. TNA Never Explained This™, and after his last appearance, nobody ever mentioned him again.
  • Monty Brown got insanely over with his above-average promo skills and entertaining "Alpha Male" persona. After testing him with a main event push that the fans got behind, TNA had Monty feud with Trytan (see below) before turning Brown heel as Jeff Jarrett's goon. He stayed in the midcard for the rest of his TNA run.
    • TNA spent several weeks hyping the debut of Trytan, who was former Red Shirt Security goon/former Jonny Fairplay bodyguard Ryan Wilson. Trytan was basically a cheesy Terminator rip-off with sunglasses, a leather jacket, and a terrible variation of Brock Lesnar's F-5 that he called the "T-3". His only feud was with Monty Brown; the feud itself consisted of Trytan coming out at the end of Brown's matches and pointing at him. They had an awful five-minute match at Destination X, and right before the finish, the lights went out. When the lights came back on, Trytan was nowhere to be seen and a masked Mideon took his place (Monty proceeded to squash and pin him). TNA Never Explained This™ and Trytan left the company soon afterwards.
"I've been reading The Death of WCW, and after reading it I mean... Hulk Hogan, I'm glad he's not with us".
AJ Styles during a 2005 interview with NODQ.com
  • WCW jobber Hector Garza received a massive push that was cut short after he was busted for steroids and deported. Mexican wrestler Shocker looked to take Garza's place as Tenay and West put him over huge (despite zero crowd reaction when he debuted at Destination X). While he never grew on the crowd, Shocker received an X-Division title match anyway -- and disappeared from the company soon after (TNA reportedly fired him for no-showing events).
    • On the bio TNA put up for Shocker on its website, the company said he had starred in a fairly popular fast food commercial playing regularly on TV at the time. The only problem with this? He was masked in that commercial, so nobody knew it was him.
  • Traci, Trinity, and Jonny Fairplay feuded over who would be Dusty Rhodes' personal assistant. After some very unfunny "Survivor Scavenger Hunt" skits at Final Destination 2005, Dusty gave them the task of signing a new tag team to TNA. The teams would have a match at Destination X and the winning team's "manager" would become Dusty's new assistant. Fairplay -- who previously tried to "sign" established TNA stars such as AMW and Dustin Rhodes -- didn't sign a team and had to sit out. Traci and Trinity, however, scored two teams that TNA hyped throughout Impact broadcasts and advertised as a selling point for Destination X: Phi Delta Slam (a couple of obese men in their mid-thirties doing a frat boys gimmick) and the Harriseseses. They had an awful match. Nobody cared.
    • During Destination X, Fairplay signed Buck Quartermain and Lex Lovett, two regular TNA jobbers. He did this after Traci was already named Personal Assistant, so why did Fairplay bother signing them? TNA Never Explained This™. Fairplay never appeared on TNA again, and both Quartermain and Lovett soon disappeared as well.
    • Oh, and Phi Delta Slam? They were Dusty Rhodes' chauffeurs and hunting buddies at the time, which was pretty much the only reason why they were hired.
  • Dusty booked a complex match for the X-Division title at Destination X. It started out as a tag team match featuring AJ Styles and Elix Skipper going up against Christopher Daniels and Ron Killings. After Killings was pinned, the match became a triple threat. Daniels and AJ survived the triple threat and had a singles Ultimate X match. During that match, Daniels and AJ inadvertently knocked out the ref. AJ got up and retrieved the belt, but was attacked by Daniels, who took the belt from him. The ref saw Daniels with the belt and declared him the winner.
  • The Lockdown PPV debuted under Dusty's tenure in April of 2005. The idea originally came as a joke during a booking session in which he sarcastically suggested that every match on the card be contested inside a cage. Dixie, unaware he was joking, jumped at the idea. Lockdown became a staple of the TNA PPV as a result (though the company did the smart thing in 2013 by abandoning the "all matches in a cage" format and limiting the gimmick to specific matches).
    • The very first Lockdown is generally 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. His last actual appearance for TNA saw him celebrating The Naturals's tag title win on the Impact episode after the PPV, which aired after his death due to TNA's taping schedule. TNA used that heartbreaking image for its "in memory of" graphic.
  • After the death of Chris Candido, TNA refused to pay the money it owed Candido to his then-girlfriend/commonlaw wife Tammy Sytch (which was technically legal, since they were not officially married). Terry Taylor eventually sent her a ham dinner as a condolence gift.
  • To further exploit Candido's death for fun and profit (especially the profit), TNA held a tournament for the "Candido Cup". Several tag teams comprised of a veteran teaming with a future star competed for the Candido Cup trophy and a future Tag Team Championship shot. Sean Waltman and Alex Shelley won the tourney, but Waltman no-showed the PPV where he and Shelley were entered into a four-way for the tag titles.
    • And Waltman didn't just no-show -- he disappeared for an entire week, despite having been at a relative's house only about two hours away from where the PPV took place. Candido's brother Johnny was subbed in at the PPV as Shelley's partner midway through the match. (They didn't win.)
  • AJ Styles finally ended Jeff Jarrett's nearly-year-long title reign at Hard Justice 2005. To capitalize on the triumphant victory, AJ dropped the title to Raven in the "King of the Mountain" Reverse Ladder Match just thirty-five days later.
  • Raven held the title throughout the summer, then dropped the title back to Jarrett via an AMW heel turn at a house show for another promotion (Scott D'Amore's Border City Wrestling). TNA hyped the holy hell out of this as the "Controversy in Canada" in the first of several attempts at ripping off the Montreal Screwjob.
  • When TNA landed its Spike TV deal, it decided to ignite a Kevin Nash vs. Jeff Jarrett feud for the title as the main event of its first version of WrestleMania, Bound for Glory. On the day of the event, Nash hurt himself picking up his son's toy chest, so he was out. TNA solved this by holding a battle royal that night to determine a new #1 Contender. Rhino, who had been booked mainly as a midcarder to this point and had already been booked on the card in a hardcore match, won the battle royal. He went on to win his hardcore match and pin Jarrett to win the belt in the main event. Rhino won three matches in the same night and picked up the NWA World Title to boot, so naturally, TNA followed up on this amazing story by...booking Jarrett to win the title back two days later at an Impact taping and shuffling Rhino back down to the midcard.
Hurry! Hurry! We've gotta get a camera out there! And off of us reading the script, preferably.
  • At Bound for Glory 2005, TNA booked an Ultimate X match to crown a #1 Contender for the X-Division title. Since this wasn't a title match, TNA officials hung a wooden X from the center instead of a belt. As Michael Shane and Chris Sabin were both shimmying on the rope, the X suddenly fell down. This caused the match to be stopped for several minutes as officials hung it back up. Soon after the match restarted, the X fell off yet again. Realizing where this match was going, Petey Williams improvised by catching the X, even kneeling underneath and seemingly praying for it to drop (which was a nice touch on his part). This was not the planned finish, but TNA awarded him the win anyway so it could end the pain. A rematch held on the Impact after the PPV ended with Williams winning, which suggested that he was supposed to win the first match anyway.
  • TNA accidentally cut to Mike Tenay and Don West clearly reading from a script during an episode of Impact.
  • The Neilson Corporation offered to buy TNA from Panda Energy in May 2005 for ten million dollars. Morphoplex (a major TNA sponsor) offered Panda Energy twice that amount later that month. Panda Energy passed on both offers.

2006

VKM

  • After Shawn Michaels and Triple H reformed D-Generation X in WWE, the former New Age Outlaws (BG "Road Dogg" James and Kip "The One Mr. Ass" James) rebranded themselves as the Voodoo Kin Mafia, or VKM (Vincent Kennedy McMahon), and participated in numerous unfunny skits mocking both WWE in general and DX in particular. Even though fans panned the angle, during the infamous "Donald vs. Rosie" match on Raw, fans made a point of chanting "VKM" (as well as "TNA").
  • TNA started a feud between VKM (faces at this point) and Christy Hemme, stemming off Kip James playing an asshole chauvinist and talking about how women belong in the kitchen. Christy eventually stood up to Kip, which would be okay if Christy hadn't turned heel by doing so.
    • Hemme followed this up by bringing in several tag teams to face VKM. She first brought in the Heart Throbs, a jobber team freshly released from WWE. (They lasted all of one show.) She then brought in The Bashams (who were originally intended for the role), whom TNA positioned as Christy's permanent team -- until the company fired them for no-showing a live event soon after their debut.
  • VKM issued a million dollar challenge to WWE: send stars from the WWE (specifically, DX) to compete in an open challenge match. Thinking Vince would actually respond to this challenge, Dixie froze the million dollars.
  • Roxxi Laveaux made her debut as VKM's voodoo priestess valet. TNA Never Explained This™, but given how awesome Roxxi was during her initial run in the Knockouts Division, it doesn't matter much.
  • BG and Kip James once cut a promo mocking Team 3D. This involved BG sticking a box up his shirt to look like Brother Ray and Kip blacking up to look like Devon (possibly in reference to the infamous "DX Nation" skit). People did not find this amusing.

Orlando Screwjob

  • Jeff Jarrett became paranoid about losing his job, since he believed people perceived him as a "cancer" behind the scenes. For some reason, Larry Zbyszko thought he would get fired too (in favor of TNA bringing in Jim Cornette) despite having a no-cut contract. The two conspired to get Jarrett the NWA World Heavyweight Championship back to keep their jobs safe. To do so, they rehashed the Montreal Screwjob for the millionth time at Slammiversary.
    • During the King of the Mountain Match at Slammiversary, Earl Hebner pushed over a ladder that Christian Cage and Sting were climbing on, which allowed Jarrett to become champion. (TNA foreshadowed this at Against All Odds: during Earl Hebner's debut, Jeff Jarrett put Christian in a Sharpshooter while Tenay and West pleaded with Hebner not to call for the bell.) Immediately after the match, another referee took the belt away from Jarrett and handed it over to Jim Cornette while Jarrett knelt at the bottom of the ramp and sobbed.
    • Cornette fired Hebner on the next episode of Impact, but handed the title back to Jarrett and made him defend it at the next PPV as punishment (which Jarrett would have had to do anyway). Hebner was later rehired by Cornette after he passed a polygraph test proving he wasn't part of the plan. A few months later, Larry Zbyszko would be fired after losing a match with Eric Young (who also was paranoid about losing his job, which led to the fairly popular "Don't fire Eric!" gimmick) at Bound for Glory.
    • This whole episode was dubbed The Orlando Screwjob and nothing about it made any sense...which is par for the course, when you think about it.

Miscellaneous Shenanigans

  • TNA signed Samoa Joe in 2005 and built him up as a huge force to be reckoned with. Joe went on an eighteen-month undefeated streak, during which he got a clean win over then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett in a non-title match. Kurt Angle debuted in the fall of 2006 after leaving WWE a few weeks prior, a move that shocked the hell out of everyone. Instead of slowly building up to Angle vs. Joe, said match -- both Angle's first TNA match and the end of Joe's undefeated streak -- took place two months after Angle's TNA debut (Genesis in November 2006). Joe's career stagnated after his follow-up matches with Angle; he didn't win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship until 2008 -- from Kurt Angle, ironically enough -- and by that point, nobody cared.
  • ROH regulars Austin Aries and Roderick Strong became big parts of TNA's X-Division. They even teamed up with Alex Shelley in what fans referred to as the second coming of their Ring Of Honor faction, Generation Next. After a massive snowstorm, TNA suggested the pair no-show their scheduled ROH appearance so they could make it to Florida in time for a TNA PPV. Aries and Strong stayed true to their ROH commitments, and while they both made it to Florida on time, both served a long suspension for refusing to screw over ROH. Strong was released shortly after the suspension was up, while Aries was repackaged as Austin Starr.
  • TNA held a Fans' Revenge Match where fans became lumberjacks and surrounded the ring armed with leather belts. Wait, did that say "a" match? Yeah, this actually happened twice -- the first one happened at No Surrender 2006 (Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Jarrett), while the second one happened nearly two years later at Victory Road 2008 (LAX vs. Beer Money). Before the first match, TNA encouraged fans to send in videos to earn the chance to be selected as a lumberjack.
    • Several of the fan submission videos were awful enough to end up on The Smoking Gun's "Worlds Dumbest Fans" special in 2009.
  • Jackie Gayda joined Planet Jarrett after being blackmailed into it. After Gayda claimed to have discovered a huge secret about Jarrett, Alex Shelley brought Jeff Jarrett an allegedly incriminating piece of tape involving Gayda that Jarrett used to blackmail her. TNA Never Followed Up On This™ because Gayda took time off after becoming pregnant. She never returned to TNA. (Smart gal.)
  • Jim Cornette stripped LAX of the Tag Team Championship when TNA deemed the team "unfit" to hold them over an attack on Gail Kim and an attempt to burn the American flag. Cornette later backed down when LAX's lawyer said burning the flag was within their First Amendment rights. In reality, the decision to strip LAX of the titles was unpopular to the point where it almost turned LAX face -- fans even chanted "bullshit" when the announcement was made.
  • Abyss won his first and only NWA World Championship by disqualification when Sting pushed referee Rudy Charles. As mentioned earlier on this page, back in the early days of TNA, Bob Armstrong made a rule that said any champion who intentionally disqualifies himself from a match would lose their title. While TNA deserves credit for remembering this rule (and showing actual continuity in the process), nobody in TNA had mentioned the rule since 2002, and TNA eventually did away with the rule after this match. This ending resulted in most of the live crowd and viewing audience having no idea what the hell was going on.
  • Coming off the breakup of Team Canada, Bobby Roode (now rechristened Robert Roode) was praised as being the future of the industry. Legendary managers such as Bobby Heenan and Sherri Martel actually appeared on Impact to convince Roode to hire them, but Roode hired Traci Brooks as his manager and feuded with Eric Young for over six months because he was jealous of Young's popularity. Both moves killed any momentum Roode may have had coming out of Team Canada and turned him into one of TNA's most boring performers. He wouldn't recover from this period of his career until TNA paired him off with James Storm and the duo became Beer Money.
    • A "highlight" of this terrible and seemingly never-ending feud was Eric Young defeating Traci in a bikini contest in which Young stripped down to Spongebob skivvies.
    • Another "highlight" saw Young and Jeremy Borash, with Alex Shelley filming the whole thing, at a convenience store at 4 in the morning looking to buy condoms. Both were then ridiculed by James Storm and Jacqueline for no good reason.
  • The opening match of Hard Justice 2006 (Johnny Devine vs. Eric Young) was disrupted by a large cloud of smoke, which caused fans to begin chanting "YOU CAN'T SEE US!" (in reference to John Cena's catchphrase) and "THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!" (once the cause of the smoke was revealed). A shot of the smoke showed the Impact Zone's roof on fire (caused by the pyro that kicked off the PPV, which ignited a piece of sacking that had been left in the rafters). Devine and Young worked the remainder of the match to a finish -- something both men should be commended for -- then followed fans, other workers, and TNA staff out of the Impact Zone. As the fire department spent a half-hour extinguishing the fire, Tenay and West ran down the rest of Hard Justice's card and held interviews with various wrestlers (including a possibly-high Monty Brown). A multi-team tag match was booted from the card as a result, and TNA didn't use pyro for the rest of the night (which prompted a "No more pyro!" chant when Abyss came out for the next match).
  • Jackass: Number 2 was heavily promoted for several weeks as many X-Division wrestlers attempted to recreate stunts from the Jackass series (something the opening sequence of the show actually discouraged). Stunts included Senshi (aka Low Ki) popping a blow-up doll by stomping on it, Jay Lethal riding a shopping cart into the ringpost, and Petey Williams being fed laxatives. Displeased fans chanted "No more Jackass" at them. Despite TNA's efforts, Steve-O and Chris Pontius showed up on Raw and had a match with Umaga while nobody from the Jackass crew stopped by the Impact Zone. Soon after Steve-O and Pontius appeared on Raw, all promotion for the Jackass movie died and TNA killed the gimmick along with it.
    • The Petey Williams laxative incident happened at a PPV during a match with Jay Lethal. What could have been a fun X-Division match for the paying customers turned into a terrible "comedy" match where Petey feigned badly needing to take a shit bell-to-bell. Don West shouted "THE SMELL! OH GOD THE SMELL!" the entire match, although nobody in the audience seemed too bothered.
This is what TNA actually believes.
  • WWE resurrected ECW in mid-2006; in an attempt to bring legitimacy to this rebirth, WWE attempted to lure former ECW stars working in TNA into working as part of WWECW. During house shows, ECW alumni who were offered contracts took the time to rip said contracts up in front of a crowd. TNA turned this into a storyline where Rhino bashed both ECW and Vince McMahon; for weeks, Rhino whined about how WWECW was not the original ECW, and the whining culminated in Rhino taking the actual original ECW World Heavyweight Championship belt (which he owned due to his status as the company's last world champ) and tossing it into a burning barrel.
    • Team 3D got involved in this, too; most notably, they stapled an "ECW fears TNA" sign to Abyss' head during a hardcore match.
    • During the belt-burning, the belt was kept in a bag and never actually shown on TV, ostensibly for "legal reasons". A year later, Rhino revealed he didn't really burn the ECW belt -- he had used an old replica NWA belt instead.
  • Shannon Moore came to TNA after a fresh Future Endeavoring from WWE(CW) and began using an exaggerated version of his "Prince of Punk" gimmick. Moore debuted by interrupting what was (at the time) a dream match between AJ Styles and Hiroshi Tanahashi, started a feud with AJ, and even got a clean victory over Styles (back when he was still relatively important to TNA). The week after that win, Shannon left TNA. Since TNA hadn't actually signed Moore to a contract, when WWE came calling again, he headed back north. (Smart man.) He even took a jab at TNA in a WWE.com interview talking about his return.
  • TNA repackaged Kazarian, Matt Bentley, and Johnny Devine as Serotonin, essentially a new version of Raven's Flock (right down to Raven leading the group). Serotonin did nothing but lose every match they were in and let Raven whack them with a kendo stick after every loss. Devine was inexplicably pulled from a fairly successful pairing with Alex Shelley (Paparazzi Productions) for this.
  • Christian Cage and Rhino had a big feud that culminated in an "8 Mile Street Fight" (named after the infamous street in Rhino's birthplace of Detroit) at Bound for Glory. Their match was good, and it should have ended the feud, but the feud restarted weeks later when Christian and Rhino had a "Barbed-Wire Cage Match" on an episode of Impact -- a week after competing in a "Weapons Or Escape Pole" Match (where each pole had either a weapon or a tool for escaping which could be used in the cage match) that ended when all four items were torn down (no pinfalls or submissions took place).
    • TNA held another "8 Mile Street Fight" between Rhino and Tomko as a throwaway match on Impact sometime later.
  • TNA ended 2006 by rehiring Vince Russo as head writer.

2007

The reverse battle royal. How on earth did nobody think this was a good idea before?!
What's Large Jimmy Wiener doing in the iMPACT Zone?!
  • At Genesis 2007, Kaz and Christian Cage competed in a #1 Contendership Ladder Match. During the match, Christian accidentally tore the contract on the clipboard off, leaving Don West and Mike Tenay to cover for it by saying one wrestler must pull down the clipboard to win.
  • TNA held a "Reverse Battle Royal". This genius concept saw half the roster fight outside of the ring 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 sometime later.
  • During Chris Sabin's feud with Jerry Lynn over the X-Division title, Sabin came to the ring wearing a diaper to illustrate how old Lynn was.
  • The USA Network pre-empted Raw for the Westminster Dog Show, so TNA capitalized by having a two-hour Monday night special show -- which they started by showing Eric Young smoking cigars with dogs.
  • TNA brought in Rikishi (under the name Junior Fatu) for no reason. He cut a promo where he forgot both Robert Roode's name and the name of the tournament TNA had booked him to compete in. He left weeks later after he asked for more money and TNA said no. (Smart company...for once.)
  • AJ Styles went from Main Eventer to Christian's goon, along with Tomko.
    • AJ Styles went from Christian's goon to Angle's bitch, also along with Tomko.
      • AJ Styles went from being Angle's bitch to "marrying" Angle's bitch -- er, Karen Angle during a vow renewal ceremony between Kurt and Karen, during which Samoa Joe attacked Kurt. (About a year later, Jeff Jarrett married Karen Angle in real life.)
    • Special mention should be given to Tomko (who had been heavily supported by the crowd prior) turning on Christian and joining Angle for no real reason other than Russo wanting to swerve the fans. This incident caused all of Tomko's crowd support to die and dealt significant damage to his career. He would be booted from the company soon after.
  • TNA signed a severely out-of-shape Dustin Rhodes back to the company. As a play off his Goldust character, he used the new moniker "Black Reign". Dustin wrestled in a black version of his Goldust outfit, and his entrance involved wearing a black wig and carrying a rat around.
    • Dustin's addiction to painkillers severely hampered him during his TNA run; he claimed to have taken at least forty pills a day during his TNA run. While still employed by TNA, Dustin eventually entered rehab on WWE's dime. Much like Jimmy Rave (mentioned below), Dustin was released by TNA for a lack of creative plans. For obvious reasons, Dustin refuses to talk about this period of his career.
  • After the breakup of America's Most Wanted, TNA attempted to rekindle Chris Harris' lost singles push from 2003. He put on a star-making performance against James Storm in a Texas Deathmatch, for which TNA rewarded him with a spot in the King of the Mountain match to crown the first ever TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Harris later had a match with Christian that ended via interference by Dustin Rhodes. After this match, TNA dropped Harris down the card to feud with Black Reign, and because Black Reign feuds always ended up horrible, Harris' momentum hit the skids faster than Nick Hogan on a bender. Harris' next storyline involved him whining about his position in TNA -- and TNA turned this into the storyline reason for legitimately releasing him. As a "thank you" for his five years of service to the company, TNA posted a message on their website that said Harris had quit and called him a gigantic crybaby.
  • After a hot run of great matches with Christian and Kurt Angle, Kazarian ended up feuding with Black Reign. Their feud included a Rat on a Pole Match (a near-exact replica of an infamous WCW match: out of four boxes hanging from poles, three contained mouse traps, and the fourth contained Black Reign's pet rat).
    • In an otherwise-hilarious promo that mocked Black Reign into complete irrelevance, Kazarian renamed the rat "Terri" in a reference to Dustin's ex-wife. Nobody cared.
  • TNA debuts 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 shock. Like the Reverse Battle Royal, this shitty concept match also happened twice.
  • TNA debuted an animal mascot akin to The Gobbledy Gooker, Stomper the Kangaroo, live on PPV at Sacrifice. Nobody cared and he went away soon afterwards.
  • Jay Lethal achieved one of the biggest upsets in TNA history by defeating Kurt Angle for the X-Division Championship. To reward him, TNA had Team 3D squash the entire X-Division -- including Lethal -- for a few months.
    • The Team 3D storyline had an entertaining little angle where they could not weigh in over 275 pounds or they would not be allowed to compete. Jokes were made about them being able to transfer weight between them, since one would always make weight and it wasn't the same one twice. This eventually led to a really entertaining Fish Market Street Fight match between Team 3D and the team of Shark Boy and Curry Man in which fish were thrown and Twinkies were used as bait.
    • About an hour after Lethal beat Angle, he was dispatched to the ring as part of a group of X-Divisioners for Joe to beat up. This rightfully pissed Angle off, as he'd argued for Lethal to go over him clean (even turning down interference) and felt that it de-valued Lethal's win.
DID YOU KNOW THAT RELLIK IS KILLER SPELLED BACKWARDS??!?!?!!
  • TNA signed former WCW wrestler Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli, who debuted as an ally to Black Reign with a Muta-like mask and the name Rellik. (Stamboli wrestled on the independents with this gimmick, which was originally named "Redrum".) TNA made sure everyone knew about their "clever" name by having Don West or Mike Tenay (and eventually Eric Young) say "Rellik -- that's killer spelled backwards!" at some point during every one of Rellik's appearances until the company released him. (They sometimes said it more than once during a single match.)
  • Jim Cornette booked a Tag Team Championship match between Kurt Angle (who had won the Tag Team titles by himself) and the Steiners with an extra stipulation attached: if Angle lost, the Steiners would have five minutes alone in the ring with Karen Angle. This begs a simple question: what did Cornette think the Steiners planned on doing to Karen, other than potentially raping her, if they'd won?
  • Anything involving both Kevin Nash and Samoa Joe always turned out awful. Things never went right between these two, and Joe always looked like a dumbass for trusting Nash despite Nash always turning on him.
  • Joe stole Angle's clothes while he was tanning during an Impact taping. Kurt hunted Joe down for the rest of the show wearing only a pair of tiny red briefs. Jeremy Borash followed Kurt around for the entire show while Kurt asked him several times if he was looking at his package and yelled about freaks wanting to sell his underwear on eBay.
  • Andrew Martin (WWE's Test) randomly debuted, picked up the nickname "The Punisher", went over in the main event of Hard Justice, and promptly disappeared from the company.
    • Martin was likely the only guy in TNA ever fired because he was too muscular. While that would normally sound like one of the dumbest things ever, Congress had put professional wrestling under a microscope regarding steroid abuse in the wake of the Benoit tragedy. Martin was a walking red flag at the time, so TNA told him to come back when he had lost some muscle mass. Martin retired from pro wrestling later in the year and died two years later.
      • According to a report submitted to the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released to the public in 2009, of 60 TNA wrestlers tested in January 2007, 26 tested positive for drugs (with 15 out of the 26 testing positive for steroids).
  • Spike TV filmed a five-minute western-style "action short" featuring Kurt Angle walking into a bar in Connecticut and getting in a bar-room brawl with low-rent actors doing piss-poor imitations of familiar WWE stars.
  • TNA debuted its version of the Money in the Bank Match: "Feast or Fired". Half of TNA's roster fought for possession of four briefcases strapped onto poles situated at four corners of the ring. Some time after the match, the wrestlers who managed to snag a briefcase opened them to find out if they'd won a "feast" (three of the briefcases contained title shots) or ended up "fired" (one briefcase contained a pink slip).
    • This would also kick off the incredibly unfunny running gag of Christopher Daniels somehow getting the "fired" briefcase regardless of what gimmick he was using. Originally, he didn't get a briefcase, but his Triple-X running mate Low Ki did. Ki left the company shortly after the PPV where the match took place, so instead of just having him be the first victim of the "fired" briefcase, Daniels beat him for the briefcase and was fired instead. It made no sense.
  • TNA brought back Tiny the Timekeeper, who hadn't appeared in about four years, to copy the schtick of WWE's Big Dick Johnson. As "Big Fat Oily Guy", Tiny participated in lots of unfunny skits and wrestled in a Tuxedo/Evening Gown match with Christy Hemme at Against All Odds 2007 (at the behest of VKM).
  • Lance Hoyt and Jimmy Rave joined forces to form The Rock‘n’Rave Infection, a heel tag team notable only for their love of Guitar Hero. They were managed by Christy Hemme (who seemed to have trouble finding teams who didn't suck) and came to the ring with Guitar Hero controllers.
  • TNA hired talented joshi performer Ayako Hamada, pushed her as the most talented Knockout in the division for two months, and...promptly forgot about her existence for damn near the rest of her TNA career.
  • Glenn Gilbertti said he wanted one last run during an interview with Mike Tenay. He returned to Impact the next week under his Disco Inferno moniker and got squashed by Abyss. He would never wrestle another match on TNA TV.
  • Sting defeated Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory 2007. Two days later, Sting dropped the belt back to Angle on Impact. Hot potatoes, anyone?
  • The Prince Justice Brotherhood happened.
    • The name itself was an unfunny in-joke that nobody got, as Prince Justice was one of Abyss' pre-TNA gimmicks.
  • Scott Hall no-showed Turning Point 2007. Samoa Joe cut a promo where he branded Scott Hall "the Phantom of the Impact Zone", which legitimately upset Dixie Carter (who sat at ringside during the show). Joe looked at her and shouted, "Are you mad? Go ahead and fire me; I don't care." After the match, Nash and Joe had a fight, as Joe had taken several shots at him as well.
    • Hall's replacement in the match? Eric Young.
    • Joe was only supposed to take a few shots at Hall, then introduce Eric Young as the replacement. Unfortunately for Dixie, Joe realized he'd been handed a live mic on a live PPV broadcast, so he decided to air some grievances. Nobody knows why she didn't just send someone backstage to cut his mic.

Lockdown 2007: TNA Does Something Shocking

*BZZZZT* "....BOOOOOOOOOOOO! FIRE RUSSO! FIRE RUSSO!" - Fans react to the infamous electrified steel cage match
  • The promotional poster for this show featured the tagline "Live From St. Louis"; TNA actually held the show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri.
  • Chris Sabin won an Xscape Match where the rules said the winner must leave St. Louis. TNA never actually showed Sabin leaving either St. Louis or St. Charles.
  • Former tag partners Chris Harris and James Storm faced off in a blindfold cage match. 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.
    • A month later, both men made up for this shitfest with the aforementioned Texas Deathmatch, which many of those aforementioned critics called one of TNA's best matches of the year.
  • 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 squirmed around as if 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.
    • While the crowd fairly screamed "Fire Russo" during this, Dixie later blamed Dutch Mantell for it. Dutch thoroughly denied being involved in this one as well.
"Pretty much every time the crowd chants 'Fire Russo', I can tell you, it wasn't him who wrote that segment."
Dixie Carter, during her YouShoot

Abyss, Sting, and Judas Mesias

  • Abyss lost the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a Three-Way Elimination Match after Sting eliminated Abyss first, so Abyss repaid Sting by costing him the match. For this reason alone, Sting looked up Abyss' public records and found out Abyss had served time for shooting his father in the back. After both a "Prison Yard Match" and the Last Rites Match (see below), Abyss' longtime manager/controller/possible live-in lover James Mitchell appeared on Impact with Abyss' mother. As it turns out, MommAbyss shot Abyss' father, and her son took the blame for her. Mitchell could control Abyss because he knew the truth about the shooting (presumably because he later revealed his identity as Abyss' real father) and threatened to call the police.
    • For some reason, Tomko was involved. TNA Never Explained This™.
    • At one point, Sting practically said he wanted Abyss to die; this led to the first -- and if there's a God, only -- Last Rites Match at Destination X. The two fought in TNA's version of a casket match, which involved obnoxious and unnecessary theatrics such as candelabras placed on every ringpost, headstones placed around the ring for use as weapons, and a casket (referred to as a "deathbed") lowered from the ceiling before it was raised back up after the conclusion of the match. Sting won, by the way, and Abyss' "death" lasted eleven days.
      • This match was especially noteworthy for the first use of the "Fire Russo" chant. Dixie responded to this by threatening to fire someone other than Russo every time it was chanted. Fans kept the chant going. Dixie never followed through on her threat.
    • Abyss' feud with Sting ended up humanizing "The Monster", which killed any remaining mystique to his character -- especially when he started talking.
  • TNA practically ripped off the entirety of The Undertaker/Kane/Paul Bearer storyline with a storyline centered around Abyss, Judas Mesias, and James Mitchell. Judas Mesias sucked more balls than Pat Patterson and was far too short to be any real threat to Abyss. The feud itself also featured a number of terrible gimmick matches. While Dutch Mantell received the blame for this crapfest, Dutch said Russo deserves it.
    • Mesias was injured in a gimmick match in Mexico during this feud, so TNA threw Black Reign and Rellik (which was still "killer" spelled backwards) into the feud for no reason to stall for time until Mesias could return. Mesias didn't last long with the company after returning, however, as TNA wasn't willing to pay him what he was making in Mexico.
    • For the record: according to the kayfabe of this storyline, James Mitchell became a father at the age of nine. Even the awfulness of Claire Lynch can't top that insane bullshit.
"You don't hear anyone fucking chanting 'Fire Dutch', now, do you?"
Dutch Mantell, during his YouShoot

Pacman Jones comes to TNA

Pacman Jones won the TNA Tag Team Titles despite doing little more than standing on the apron for his "matches".
  • Disgraced NFL player Adam "Pacman" Jones signed a deal with TNA. Despite sundry off-field shenanigans, Jones managed to stay under contract with the Tennessee Titans, who scored a court order forbidding Jones to become physically involved in any wrestling match in any way whatsoever. (Leapfrogging someone a couple times and throwing a football at someone's junk must not count as "being physically involved".) TNA paired Jones off with Ron Killings, and the pair defeated Sting and Kurt Angle for the TNA Tag Team Championships without Jones doing any wrestling at all. Yes, you read that right: a man not allowed to wrestle in any way won a wrestling championship. Thankfully, TNA picked an upstanding celebrity for this role instead of hiring a man who'd been arrested five times, investigated eleven times by the police, and involved in a shooting incident that left a man paralyzed...oh. Jones' pre-debut vignettes even said he was coming into TNA to prove he was the best team player there.
    • Jones and Killings continued to successfully defend the Tag Team Championship with Killings handling all of the wrestling. In typical TNA fashion, the company waited until Jones' final night as a tag champion to do what they should have done in the first place: they added another member to "Team Pacman" (the debuting Consequences Creed), who became Truth's partner and made Jones simply a manager. Creed and Killings lost the tag titles on the same night Creed debuted.
    • Killings disappeared from TV after Jones left TNA; when he started appearing again months later, he only showed up in fake movie trailers during episodes of Impact. What was the purpose of these trailers? TNA Never Explained This™, because Killings left TNA shortly after the last trailer aired. (Smart man.) Consequences Creed disappeared for a long while, then came back to team with Jay Lethal for a brief time and wrestle in the X-Division. He later left TNA and signed a developmental deal with WWE, where he eventually became Xavier Woods.
    • As a prelude to bringing in Pacman, NFL star Frank Wycheck made a handful of appearances with the promotion a mere month before the company signed Jones. Killings somehow ended up in this feud as well, as Wycheck tagged with Jerry Lynn to take on Killings and James Storm at Slammiversary. Wycheck -- in his first wrestling match -- hit Storm with a cradle piledriver and nearly killed him.
    • But the biggest bummer about all of this? TNA never once referred to the Creed and Killings team as "Truth and Consequences".
At least we got this GIF out of the ordeal.

The Holiday Specials

Impact 11/22 - Even Native Americans Didn't Suffer This Much at the First Thanksgiving

  • The Angles, dressed up as pilgrims, welcomed everyone to their home for Thanksgiving.
  • Throughout the night, numerous TNA wrestlers made appearances at the Angle house in comedy vignettes. Such gems included Robert Roode making Ms. Brooks sit at the kid's table, Black Machismo confusing Awesome Kong for Kamala, and the inevitable food fight (which included a bit where Awesome Kong caught a turkey leg tossed her way).
  • The Outsiders showed up late to Angle's party. Nobody was really that upset, but everybody was surprised Hall decided to show up.
  • TNA debuted the Turkey Bowl. Throughout the night, three triple-threat matches were held involving one X-Division wrestler, one tag team wrestler, and one heavyweight wrestler. The winner of the triple-threat involving the winners of the qualifier matches received a $25,000 reward, while the loser of the match (the person pinned or submitted) had to wear a turkey suit. The night closed with Samoa Joe pinning AJ Styles and Styles dressed up in a turkey suit trying to imitate Bobby Heenan in the weasel suit.

Impact 12/20 - TNA's Christmas Story (from Hell)

  • Unlike the Thanksgiving Party, the Christmas party took place at Eric Young's house.
  • Jim Cornette had the week off, so bodyguard Matt Morgan booked the show, and "The Blueprint" had a thing for gimmick matches:
    • Beer Money and The Rock‘n’Rave Infection faced LAX and Scott Steiner/Booker T in a Christmas Cage Match (a steel cage match with the cage draped in Christmas lights).
    • The Motor City Machine Guns and Jay Lethal fought Team 3D and Johnny Devine in a Double North Pole Match, a "stipulation on a pole" match with two poles (each pole was decked out in Christmas lights) where the winner got to pick their stipulation for their match at the PPV.
    • Abyss, Black Reign, Rellik, and (for some reason) Shark Boy competed 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 gleefully despite having an entire tree made of fucking barbed wire right next to him. Because the tree was hanging from the ceiling and had nothing anchoring it down, the tree swung all over the ring. Shark Boy was struck by the tree as soon as it came into play...and the tree casually bounced off of him (which shredded any chance of it being taken seriously). 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 in an attempt to execute the spot correctly.
    • The Knockouts competed in a Santa's Workshop Knockout Street Fight. Except for Awesome Kong and Gail Kim, who left the match right at the beginning to brawl backstage. The rest of the match consisted of slow brawls between the various Knockouts with a big obnoxious box in the ring while the ladies waited for Kong to come back and win the match.
    • AJ Styles vs. 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. (Maybe he's a fan of THE FURRY COMMUNITY.)
  • The show closed with Tenay saying "something like this can only happen in TNA" as if that's a good thing.

2008

Oh shit, Mike, look! It's... that guy! Let's put him on camera!
YOU SELFISH PRICK!
  • 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 lawsuit with WWE), 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, thus completing Robbie's public humiliation, before 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 lost their WrestleMania bonus as punishment. WWE kept The Highlanders off TV for months, and the team was eventually released later in the year -- but not before they jobbed out to Cryme Tyme. Way to be dicks, TNA.
    • TNA also gloated about this on their website until a good portion of the TNA roster got pissed enough about the dick move to force the company into taking said gloating down.
  • Christian went through a glass table during a match. In a great piece of theater, TNA prepped a towel with fake blood to make Christian's injuries look worse (despite showing the "blood" already on the towel). Christian stayed out of action for three weeks as a result of his "injuries". Homicide went through a glass table the week afterwards, then showed up at TNA's next PPV with a band-aid over his eye.
  • Bill and Doug (Youtube channel "rvdtito4life"), two of the most (in)famous "Youtube Shooters", gave incessant praise to TNA and nonstop criticism to WWE for weeks. Viewers of the duo's YouTube show began to believe they were on TNA's payroll -- especially after TNA's official Youtube page subscribed to their channel. Bill and Doug would eventually be hired by TNA to host the short-lived online radio show TNA Addicts. The duo later left the company after losing faith in its product (citing major problems in the creative process), and the videos made after their leaving TNA became progressively more anti-TNA to the point where the duo told their audience not to watch Impact.
    • After the duo was hired by TNA, their YouTube channel was hacked. The culprit? Self-proclaimed "YouTube Shooter" and noted small-name/big-ego Kent Jones. The reason? Jealousy over TNA hiring Bill and Doug instead of him.
  • To hype TNA's first video game, the company debuted Suicide, a character based on the fictional charater of the same name from the game's single-player story mode, six months after the game's release. Before his debut, split-second footage featuring a link to a nonsensical in-character blog was spliced into TNA shows (and even a PPV). This blog was never even mentioned post-debut, making it completely pointless. By the time TNA retired the character for two years in 2011, at least three different people had played the role (including Christopher "I deserve so much better than this" Daniels).
  • TNA signed Bobby Lashley and hyped him with videos discussing his crossover into MMA. Instead of putting over TNA, Lashley did nothing but talk about how much he wanted to fight Brock Lesnar in UFC. Lashley's MMA career turned out to be a bigger joke than this.
    • Lashley brought his then-girlfriend Kristal (who TNA billed as his wife) with him. He promptly entered into an awful feud with Scott Steiner over her.
  • Daffney's Sarah Palin ripoff gimmick, "The Governor", debuted after the 2008 American presidential election and lasted for nearly four months before TNA figured out Daffney didn't need it.
    • At one point, TNA actually invited Sarah Palin to one of their PPVs, offering to donate to a charity if she showed up. She didn't. (Smart...ish gal.)
  • In an actual meeting discussing production values and cutting costs, Mike Tenay failed to defend broadcast colleague (and friend) Don West when the idea of running the show with one commentator came up. In true Russo fashion, TNA decided to turn West heel by having him bring up the actual meeting and call Tenay "a selfish prick" on-air before storming off. TNA later replaced West with Taz at the commentary table, while West returned to shilling merchandise (better known as "a job promotion").
    • Ironically enough, turning West heel actually made him a better commentator, to the point where people were annoyed when Taz replaced him a month ahead of schedule.
  • TNA paired Petey Williams up with Scott Steiner with Petey serving as Steiner's protégé; this resulted in Petey riding with Steiner between house shows. On one of these journeys, Steiner drove the wrong way into a drive-thru order at the pay window, and then ate his food in the park-and-wait bay.
    • Williams also became "Maple Leaf Muscle" during his run with Steiner, and the gimmick started getting him over with fans again. TNA promptly fired him for daring to get over with the help of a veteran instead of, you know, putting the veteran over.
  • After leaving WWE, Mick Foley -- one of the nicest, most liked, and most respected personalities in the industry -- went to TNA. After TNA gave him a World Championship reign for no legitimate reason, TNA proceeded to piss Foley off to the point where he openly bashed the company on his Twitter while still under TNA contract.
  • At Destination X 2008, Eric Young debuted his superhero alter-ego, Super Eric. At Lockdown, Young and Kaz won a "Cuffed in a Cage" match to earn a future Tag Team Championship match. On the April 17th episode of Impact, Young -- who left the match and returned as Super Eric -- and Kaz won the World Tag Team Championship. TNA stripped the duo of the titles after Young refused to admit Super Eric's true identity (Eric Young, which anyone with half a brain already knew). Super Eric disappeared for good when Young started appearing in segments where he tried to find Elvis. Why? TNA Never Explained This™.
  • A match between Daffney and Taylor Wilde ended up getting the highest ratings of any segment of the episode of Impact it aired on. TNA followed up this success by rarely putting either Knockout on TV again.
  • Speaking of Taylor Wilde, she inadvertently became the focus of one of TNA's first major pay scandals. Despite her status as both a performer on a primetime cable network television program and the then-reigning Knockouts Champion, Wilde had to work a second job at a local Sunglasses Hut to cover her living expenses because TNA paid her far less than she needed. When a fan recognized her at the second job, she quit out of embarrassment. She also left TNA later in the year, presumably also out of embarassment. The Taylor Wilde fiasco allowed critics to turn the disparity in pay between male and female performers (as well as the generally low pay of TNA in and of itself) into a legitimate criticism of the company.
    • ODB also revealed that she had to work a second job as a bartender.
    • The low pay extended to the male side of the roster, as well. Several midcarders have admitted to having second jobs while TNA continued paying big bucks for ex-WWE "big names". The company eventually shelled out $4 million for the contracts of half a dozen people, none of whom were midcarders or Knockouts.
  • After Jay Lethal's "Black Machismo" gimmick got over, TNA decided to make SoCal Val his valet and onscreen love interest in an attempt to mirror the Miss Elizabeth/Randy Savage romance. The two had a mock wedding at Slammiversary akin to the Savage and Elizabeth wedding at Summerslam 1991. Sonjay Dutt, Lethal's best friend and occasional tag team partner, became jealous of their relationship and the two feuded for several months. SoCal Val eventually betrayed Lethal at No Surrender and claimed to be with Dutt for the money, as his father was one the richest men in India.
    • A highlight of this feud included the "Black Tie Brawl & Chain Match" at Hard Justice 2008. The match was a Tuxedo Match where the two guys were chained together for some reason. We'd go into further detail here, but we think the name alone speaks for itself.
    • After that crapfest, the feud was rescued by a "Ladder of Love" Ladder Match at No Surrender the following month, which actually turned out to be pretty good.
    • A further additional, hindsight-driven feud highlight included the build for Lethal's wedding to SoCal Val. During the feud and wedding, Lethal's family was shown in the crowd in support of Lethal for some matches during the feud with Dutt -- including Lethal's then real-life girlfriend, future WWE Diva AJ Lee, posing as his sister. She was, shall we say, visibly not related to "Black Machismo's" family.
    • The Sonjay/Val relationship was dropped about two weeks after Val's betrayal. Sonjay wasn't with the company for very long after that.
  • TNA brought in Frank Trigg, a moderately famous MMA fighter, to hang around Kurt Angle due to their resemblance. Trigg faced AJ Styles at No Surrender in a "MMA fight" that ended in a DQ. The match was shit on by the live audience in the Impact Zone with chants like "This is bullshit", "We want wrestling", and the infamous "FIRE RUSSO!"
    • On several cable providers, the feed cut to softcore pornography during this match. No one took responsibility. TNA Never Followed Up On This™.
    • After the match, AJ went over to the announce table, expressed his own displeasure, and said "I'm a wrestler!". Despite this stinker of a match, Trigg remained employed for a while longer because he was friends with Angle.
  • The Turkey Bowl returned; this time around, Alex Shelley was forced to don the turkey suit.
  • Shane Sewell debuted as a referee who attacked people that refused to respect his authority, especially Sheik Abdul Bashir (formerly Daivari in WWE). TNA eventually dropped this after Sewell had a couple of matches, and the company later released Sewell.
  • Don West briefly referred to Gail Kim's finishing manuever as the "Happy Ending" (a phrase that refers to an often-illegal service offered in certain seedy Asian massage parlors where a male customer is masturbated to orgasm after a massage).
    • As if that wasn't bad enough, Christy Hemme's legdrop finisher was referred to as the Flying Firecrotch Guillotine.
  • TNA signed Cheerleader Melissa, considered one of the best female wrestlers in North America, and placed her into the role of Awesome Kong's mouthpiece -- a hijab-wearing foreigner named Raisha Saeed. Melissa made the best of a bad situation and actually managed to get the borderline-racist heel character over. TNA eventually re-debuted her as Alissa Flash; after spending time hyping her as one of the best women wrestlers on the roster -- she also referred to herself as a "Future Legend" -- TNA proceeded to do absolutely nothing with her. Melissa eventually left the company and returned to the indies under her Cheerleader Melissa schtick, though she also portrayed Raisha Saeed in several indy matches (alongside Awesome Kong) and portrayed both Saeed and Flash in Ring Ka King.

2009

The Main Event Mafia

  • TNA rehashed the Millionaire's Club idea from WCW with the Main Event Mafia (MEM). This went about as well as one might think a year-long storyline involving a supergroup of Booker T, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, and Sting trying to teach the TNA Originals about respecting veterans would go.
  • The group of TNA Originals (plus Team 3D and Rhino) who banded together against the MEM -- the "TNA Frontline" -- stayed together as a cohesive unit for all of three weeks before everyone went off to do something else. TNA eventually resorted to having the MEM feud with itself to salvage something out of the broken storyline.
  • Eric Young formed the World Elite stable partway through the storyline. This group of random wrestlers from non-US countries later joined forces with the MEM near the tail end of the storyline. They turned on the MEM and then -- similar to Frontline -- broke apart unceremoniously to be in separate angles, though this only happened after Hogan and friends arrived (meaning that World Elite actually outlived the MEM).
  • Joe returned to TNA following three months of recovery after being beaten down by the MEM. Video packages hyped his return with a new look and threats of introducing the MEM to the "Nation of Violence". He feuded with the MEM for about six months after this, only to turn heel by betraying AJ Styles and handing Kurt Angle the TNA Championship at Slammiversary. This was especially stupid because Joe was the MEM's first target back in 2008. MEM explained that they couldn't beat him, so they just paid him off. Joe went from having main event matches to wrestling in the X-Division again during this run.
  • Rather than attempting to use the MEM angle to put younger stars over, the stable eventually imploded and feuded with each other, which eventually led to the MEM feuding with itself over control of TNA (as everything in TNA so often does).
  • The angle ended the night after Bound For Glory 2009 with Kurt Angle saying the group had accomplished its goal. In reality, Booker T had left the company and Sting had taken his annual time off.
    • Booker's last appearance was supposed to have him lose to Matt Morgan. Upon hearing this, he reportedly threw a gigantic hissy fit. He ended up doing a stretcher job. No surprise that it was soon revealed that Booker had been called the most selfish man in the company during his run.
  • Despite the angle being over, Steiner continued to wear MEM shirts and complained about young talent having no respect. TNA Never Followed Up On This™ because Steiner left soon after the angle's end.

Destination X 2009: Going Nowhere Fast

  • A preface: notable wrestling journalist Bryan Alvarez tried to get a refund for ordering this PPV.
  • During an interview segment with Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley, the sound continually dropped and rose before the words "BRUTUS MAGNUS" flashed on the screen.
  • Cody Deaner defeated Shark Boy and some guy from New Mexico in a "Win a Date with ODB" dating show segment. There was no reason for this to be on PPV. The only reason this segment even existed was so Russo would have an excuse to write some dick jokes.
  • Samoa Joe faced Scott Steiner in a match that went to a no-contest when Joe dragged Steiner out of the building. Minutes later, Joe reappeared in the parking lot with a bloody machete, and Steiner was nowhere to be seen. When questioned, Joe said "this is the start of his Nation of Violence" and threatened to kill the rest of the MEM. Fans almost immediately updated Steiner's Wikipedia page to say Steiner he had been killed by Samoa Joe. Heel commentator Don West said Joe had gone too far while Tenay justified Joe's attack by saying it was Steiner's fault.
    • On the episode of Impact after this PPV, Steiner appeared wearing a hoodie with a full-face covering. The week after that, he appeared in his normal attire with no visible marks or scars on his body from Joe's attack.
  • AJ Styles defeated Booker T for the TNA Legends Championship, a fake title Booker introduced as part of his run in the Main Event Mafia. Tenay attempted to push this as a major win for a former World, Tag Team, and X-Division Champion.
    • Rumors suggest Booker was allowed to introduce the Legends Championship as a way of shutting up his complaints about not having a title. The person who supposedly let him do it? Why, Vince Russo, of course!
  • Team 3D put their careers on the line to face Beer Money in a match for the Tag Team Championship. The match ended in a disqualification, so Jim Cornette restarted the match with a No Disqualification stipulation attached. Less than ten seconds later, Roode and Storm ran to the back, causing a No Disqualification Match to end in a count-out. Don West called this "disappointing".
  • Christopher Daniels portrayed Suicide (due to Kazarian suffering an injury) and won an Ultimate X match in exactly the same way he won one as himself a couple of years prior. Fans chanted "Fallen Angel" during the entire match.
  • The show's main event, Kurt Angle vs. Sting, featured Jeff Jarrett serving as a Special Guest Referee and Mick Foley acting as a Special Guest Enforcer. Foley, Jarrett, and Sting were all faces, which forced the crowd to boo Angle as a heel (despite Angle getting screwed over by three other people). Highlights of this match included Jeff Jarrett -- a trained wrestler -- taking a ref bump from Angle (and staying down for ten minutes) as well as Foley failing to call Angle submitting but counting a pinfall against Sting.

Victory Road 2009: MINUS! FIVE! STARS!

MINUS! FIVE! STARS!
  • Tara (formerly Victoria in WWE) vs. Angelina Love (formerly a non-plastic human being) opened the show. Angelina won despite Tara sliding her foot under the rope (which should have negated the pinfall attempt). The loss ended Tara's first reign as Knockouts Champion, which she'd started less than a month earlier by beating Angelina on Impact.
    • TNA showed a segment later in the show featuring referee Slick Johnson emerging from the showers with Angelina's Beautiful People comrade Madison Rayne -- and despite being live on PPV in front of a working camera, Madison told backstage reporter Lauren to not tell anyone about this rendezvous with Slick. Despite Slick's questionable actions, he refereed two other matches on this show and was never punished.
  • At the last minute, Dr. Stevie (Stevie Richards as Abyss' psychiatrist/therapist) turned his match with Abyss into a No Disqualification Match. Jim Cornette never announced the change and Stevie didn't have the authority to make the change, but everyone went along with it anyway. TNA only changed the match so Abyss could use a tazer on Stevie to knock him out and win the match -- even though Abyss had already hit him with a Black Hole Slam. The tazer spot itself looked like something out of the Electrified Steel Cage Match mentioned earlier: a loud, phony "BZZZZZZT" sound played while a ton of smoke shot out from the tazer and Stevie sold the spot like death.
  • Kevin Nash announced a "Big Sexy Tour Valet Search" earlier in the year and scheduled it to start a few months after Victory Road -- which spoiled the stipulation of a match against AJ Styles (if AJ wins, Nash retires). Nash easily defeated Styles with a chokeslam, won the Legends Championship, and went on to do his valet tour, which led to TNA bringing in Jenna Morasca, a reality show contestant who'd won Survivor six years prior, for a couple of months. Hardly anyone, fans and employees alike, could figure out why TNA hired her in the first place; she stuck around the Main Event Mafia and did absolutely nothing, then antagonized the hell out of Sharmell and ended up booked in a match against her on this pay-per-view. After eight agonizing minutes of two non-wrestlers delivering one of the worst in-ring performances in women's wrestling history, fans knew it deserved the label of "worst match of the year". Some fans still think of this match as the worst worked match in the history of pro wrestling. The Wrestling Observer gives the match a "MINUS! FIVE! STARS!" rating, and the match soon found its way into both Botchamania (which later included a clip of the match in its intro) and our own Disasterpiece Theatre (as that collection's third entry and the second entry from TNA).
    • TNA reportedly paid Morasca half a million dollars for her TNA appearances -- reportedly soon after TNA rejected a small pay raise for Gail Kim (a move which caused her to leave TNA for WWE). While some people claim Dixie Carter's obsession with reality show stars led to Morasca's signing, Kurt Angle had also starred with her in the horrible direct-to-video movie End Game. (Angle starred in a handful of low-budget movies around this time, thinking they would lead to bigger acting roles. Hollywood Never Followed Up On This™.)
  • The rest of the show was so underwhelming that numerous wrestling critics referred to the whole show as the worst TNA pay-per-view of all time. Many of those same critics also called this PPV one of the worst shows in industry history.

Miscellaneous Shenanigans

  • Mick Foley had a match with a Rocky Balboa cutout. That isn't a joke.
  • Remember the Dupps, mentioned up near the top of this page? One of them, Stan Dupp, managed to shed the gimmick and have a fairly successful run in WWE under the name Trevor Murdoch. He returned in April 2009 as Jethro Holliday, teamed with Eric Young for a while, turned heel, jobbed to all and sundry, and was out the door in November.
  • At Lockdown 2009, these things happened: Bobby Lashley showed up at the end of the PPV, Mick Foley won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and the Main Event Mafia suffered a major defeat. TNAWrestling.com ran the following stories as its top stories of the week: promotion for Sacrifice (the next PPV), a story on AJ Styles vs. Kevin Nash on Impact, an ad for Team 3D's new shirt, and an ad for Jeff Jarrett's new DVD.
  • Kurt Angle stole the keys to Mick Foley's office and Foley fought to get them back in a Keys on a Pole match on Impact.
  • Jimmy Rave claimed he was a complete drug addict during his 2007-2009 run in TNA. Despite knowing of Rave's painkiller addiction and how it affected his in-ring performance, TNA did absolutely nothing about it. The company eventually released Rave in 2009...because Creative had nothing for him to do.
    • Rave eventually returned to ROH, but after a few months, that company released him...because of his painkiller addiction. Rave went to rehab after that.
  • Traci Brooks returned after a long absence to face off with Alissa Flash. Flash worked Traci's arm the entire match, and at one point, Mike Tenay said Traci had a birth defect in the same arm Flash worked over -- then said Traci specifically told him not to mention it on-air. While fans were left wondering why Tenay would reveal something he was asked not to, Traci lost via submission. She proceeded to beat Alissa down after the match while screaming about her arm. Nobody in the live audience had any idea what Traci's beatdown and yelling meant. Traci wrestled another match with ODB, where the exact same thing happened. After the second match, Traci disappeared from TV. TNA Never Explained This™.
  • Terry Taylor asked Daffney to let Abyss chokeslam her off the ring apron and onto a barbed-wire board. Daffney reluctantly agreed to perform the stunt, and for her trouble, she suffered a concussion. Since Spike TV refused to let TNA show any form of man-on-woman violence, TNA cut the stunt from broadcast. To complete Daffney's humiliation, TNA refused to pay for her medical costs -- and the company sent Terry Taylor to deliver the news.
  • TNA called AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe for the X-Division Championship at Unbreakable in 2005 "the greatest match in TNA history", so it repeated the match at the end of 2009, this time with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Fans called the Turning Point 2009 match TNA's best match of the year. Within the next year, all three men would flounder in virtual obscurity (even by TNA standards).
    • Fans chanted "Screw Hulk Hogan" during the match. TNA brought him in anyway.
  • Between his TNA debut and the end of 2009, Earl Hebner was involved in three separate screwjob angles -- and nobody cared about any of them.
  • Traci Brooks posed for Playboy's October edition, but when the magazine hired new editors, said editors nixed the pictorial from the magazine in an attempt to completely distance Playboy from wrestling. Playboy published Traci's pictorial on its website and replaced her magazine appearance with a "pictorial" of cartoon character Marge Simpson. None of this mattered anyway because TNA didn't promote Traci's pictorial in any way.
    • TNA did rip off WWE's "Playboy Push" for her, though. TNA didn't explain why she was suddenly so heavily featured, and when the pictorial was kicked to Playboy's website, her push died and she was again removed from TV.
  • Taz joined TNA in 2009; months later, he replaced Don West as color commentator. Instead of improving the announce team, Taz made Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler seem like a godsend in comparison.
  • Police arrested Kurt Angle for stalking TNA performer Rhaka Khan, driving with a suspended license, and possession of HGH the day before Hard Justice 2009. At Hard Justice 2009, Angle retained the TNA World Heavyweight Championship by winning a Triple Threat against Sting and Matt Morgan. Fans chanted "You got arrested!" at Angle throughout the match.
  • Cody Deaner, ODB's male manager, pinned Knockout Champion Velvet Sky, which made ODB the champion. ODB was later stripped of the belt as Deaner claimed himself to be the actual champion. At No Surrender, ODB would defeat Deaner and become the undisputed Knockout's Champion.
YOU STILL GOT IT! *clap clap clapclapclap* YOU STILL GOT IT!
  • Jay Lethal began challenging "legends" to matches. In his first match, he faced off with Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. As the fans chanted "You still got it!" to Neidhart -- who had a beer gut big enough to make him look pregnant -- Lethal lost the match clean. Lethal disappeared from TV for a month, then repeated the schtick with Tatanka (who also beat Lethal clean). TNA never brought Neidhart and Tatanka back again. TNA Never Followed Up On This™.
  • TNA held a one-night tournament (the "Championship Series") over an entire episode of Impact. Eight wrestlers from different "divisions" fought in a single-elimination tournament, and the person who won the tournament would earn a title shot within their respective division. The idea made little sense from the get-go, as it meant Robert Roode would earn a Tag Team Championship shot instead of a World Heavyweight Championship shot for winning the tournament (despite having beaten the likes of Kurt Angle and Bobby Lashley in one night). In the end, Lashley won the tournament, but after this victory, TNA never mentioned the tournament again and Lashley never received his title shot.
  • Hernandez won a Feast or Fired world title shot in December of 2008. He tried to cash in the month afterward, but it didn't work, so he was able to hold onto his shot. He was injured for some time afterward, so he didn't get to cash his shot in until No Surrender in September 2009 -- and instead of waiting until after what was supposed to be a Fatal Four-Way to cash in, he cashed in before the match and made it a Five-Way. Rumors say TNA completely forgot he still had the briefcase and had him drop it in the stupidest way possible so he wouldn't look like a threat.
  • After the public announcement of TNA signing of Hulk Hogan in October, the TNA locker room remained split over the decision. Dixie Carter decided to address the roster like a mother scolding her children: she delivered a speech about the state of the company while the entire TNA roster sat in bleachers and watched (while also appearing to be bored out of their fucking minds). The overall tone of the speech was essentially "it's my way or the highway". Despite this being a legitimate message to TNA's employees and not an actual part of any ongoing storyline, a video of the speech actually opened an episode of Impact. It was widely mocked and criticized by everyone who watched it.
    • Hulk Hogan's signing was announced in October. The fact that he was coming to TNA was mentioned every five minutes on every Impact from the date of his signing until his debut in January 2010, with commentary on already taped shows re-dubbed to mention it. Even Rellik didn't get that much airtime (and Rellik is still "killer" spelled backwards, by the way).

2010

I can't see shit.

The 4th of January 2010 -- The Hulk Hogan Era 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance

  • At the very beginning of this special edition of Impact (which started a multi-week run of the show airing on Mondays against Raw), footage was aired of fans bashing WWE and talking up TNA.
  • 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 anything going on in the ring, and even if anyone could see anything, the incompetent cameramen missed every single 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. TNA did this as its first salvo in a new "Monday Night War".
    • Jeff Hardy returned to TNA by randomly hitting Homicide with a chair following the Asylum match. TNA Never Explained This™ (and neither did Hardy).
    • The second time Homicide attempted to climb the cage, he got stuck.
    • After the first round of "This is bullshit", the chanting was very noticeably censored. Instead of turning the audience mic down or just censoring the chant itself, production decided to blank the sound entirely upon every reiteration of the chant, making them look stupid in the process.
    • Vince Russo later defended this match by rhetorically asking why a cage match can't end in a No Contest.
  • TNA showed Hogan's arrival via limousine on its way to the Impact Zone. The footage clearly showed the limo driving around Universal Resort. Hogan arrived and said "I've been in the back all day". That line was edited out of the repeat showing.
  • During Eric Bischoff's first promo with the company, he asked SoCal Val to bring him the script for the night. He 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 acted like a face) following a heartfelt speech.
    • During the segment, Hogan accused Jarrett of being a famewhore who held young talent down for his own gain. This would have been an accurate and legitimate criticism of Jarrett's career...if it hadn't been delivered from the biggest famewhore in professional wrestling.
  • Bobby Lashley came out, randomly turned heel for no reason, and left the company a few weeks later.
    • 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 crosspromoted 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.
    • After firing Lashley, Hogan and Bischoff proceeded to tell Ric Flair (who had also arrived during the January 4th Impact) that they couldn't fire him because he'd signed his contract before they'd arrived -- which made absolutely no sense.
  • The Nasty Boys showed up and shredded their last tiny sliver of relevance to the wrestling industry. Despite general fan apathy, they stuck around and engaged in an awful feud with Team 3D, which showed that Brian Knobbs couldn't even cut a promo without getting winded.
  • Prior to the show, TNA advertised a match between Samoa Joe and Abyss. Once the show started, Rhino replaced Joe, and the match turned into a Barbed Wire Match. During the show, a backstage attack forced Rhino out of action, and TNA replaced him with Samoa Joe. Joe and Abyss then proceeded to have a regular singles match.
    • TNA also advertised a tag team between The British Invasion and Beer Money, but this match never took place due to Beer Money also being attacked backstage.
  • Bubba the Love Sponge, an obese radio host and (now former) longtime friend of Hulk Hogan, served as the show's interviewer. He tried to use the whole show to get himself over (as opposed to the people he was supposed to be interviewing).
  • Mick Foley spent the whole show attempting to get into the Impact Zone despite security doing its best to keep him out -- all while numerous 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 to get the Nastys in.
  • OBD and Tara wrestled a godawful (and ridiculously short) match due to ODB busting one of her breast implants. TNA decided to show this match without any opposition from WWE to potential new fans -- and put on an awesome tag team match (Awesome Kong & Hamada vs. Sarita & Taylor Wilde) on the second half of the show (when Raw was on). None of the four women in the tag team match showed up regularly on TV again after this show, and Sarita only started showing up again thanks to Rosita and the Mexican America stable.
  • Throughout the night, TNA showed The Beautiful People playing strip poker with Sean Morley (formerly Val Venis) in an attempt to keep people from switching to Raw. Nobody cared.
  • Orlando Jordan made his debut by interrupting a backstage interview with D'Angelo Dinero, and despite Tenay and Taz hyping him up as a big star, nobody cared. Jordan went on a winning streak for a while, then underwent an infamous gimmick change (which we'll get to shortly).
  • Numerous commercial breaks plagued the show's main event. At one point, Tenay said TNA would stick with the main event to the finish with absolutely no commercial breaks -- then followed up by transitioning into the next commercial break.
  • Rather than ending the night with the fantastic main event match between Kurt Angle and AJ Styles, TNA ended the show with a segment featuring Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and Mick Foley talking.
  • To top it all off, this show took place on the 11th anniversary of one of WCW's most infamous moments, the Fingerpoke of Doom. Talk about a bad omen for what was soon to come.

Genesis 2010

Christopher Daniels went from having MOTY main event matches to feuding with Sean Morley. And losing. Clean.
  • Hogan and Bischoff opened the show by introducing the traditional four-sided ring. The crowd shit all over the entire segment, loudly chanting "We want six sides". Hogan responded by burying TNA's history (much like he did on January 4th with Jarrett), which resulted in more boos. Hogan and Bischoff resorted to insulting Vince McMahon so the fans would cheer again.
    • No one 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 accomodate the new ring and injuries could've resulted from the roster not being prepared for the switch.
  • To reward Christopher Daniels for his series of great main event matches leading to the turn of 2010, Hulk Hogan brought in Sean Morley to feud with "The Fallen Angel". The former WWF enhancement talent, now severely out of shape, beat Christopher Daniels clean at Genesis. Even though Morley was playing the face and Daniels the heel, the fans absolutely refused to get behind him. Several fans even 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.
Fan reaction to Venis' win over Daniels
  • Despite being fired by the WWE nearly a year before, Mr. Kennedy (now billed as Mr. Anderson) debuted as a "major acquisition". The fans proceeded to loudly chant "overrated" during his match with Abyss.
    • Scott Hall had no-showed two TNA PPVs in the past at this point. But this was of no concern to TNA, as they simply brought him back for a third time and had him compete in another PPV match at Genesis. Hall tried on his wrestling trunks, realized how fat he was, and pulled out of yet another match just hours before showtime.
    • TNA was so butthurt over the reaction they got during 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, not by chanting offensive words. He also branded the crowd as "cast members". This enraged a lot of the Impact Zone regulars and caused many people who had showed up at the Impact Zone for years to never go back. TNA later stacked the thinning crowd with obvious plants (most noticeably, several hot girls in the front row who only cheered when the camera was directly on them). The formerly-rowdy Impact Zone crowd soon became dead enough that TNA would pump in unbearably loud canned crowd noise during taped shows (despite the cameras clearly showing the crowd not making any noise). The 2013 move to finally leave the Impact Zone and go on the road was greeted with wide approval.
    • The match between Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles 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. Nobody cared.

Miscellaneous Shenanigans

  • From the 3rd of March 2010 to the 17th of June 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 26 episode of Raw). TNA moved back to Thursdays soon after Raw kicked its ass to the point of pure embarassment.
  • Ric Flair began to manage AJ Styles after the former's TNA debut. AJ was soon billed as "The New Nature Boy" and wore flamboyant robes to the ring. The Nature Boy gimmick didn't end up sticking since it didn't fit with Styles (and there was little chemistry between him and Flair).
  • ODB and Tara had two consecutive one-week reigns as Knockouts Champion as they bounced the title between each other four times.
  • Roxxi Laveaux became a consistent force in the Knockout's Division. During the New Year's Knockout Tournament, Roxxi snapped her ankle in a match, but worked through the injury until the finish. Dixie Carter praised Roxxi on Twitter for being a trooper; TNA rewarded Roxxi by releasing her before she recovered.
    • Roxxi returned to TNA on the 20th of May 2010. After gaining momentum and pinning then-Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne, she received a shot at the Knockouts Championship at the following PPV. Unbeknownst to her, the PPV would be her last night with the company: upon arriving to the arena, TNA told her she would be dismissed from the company after her match with Rayne. This run with the company lasted less than a month.
Hah, that'll put a lot of butts in the seats.
  • Orlando Jordan started using an extremely over-the-top bisexual gimmick -- a version of which he'd been pitching to WWE before it let him go. This gimmick included such segments as him pouring semen-like liquid on himself, descending from the top of the arena wrapped chiefly 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, it had the opposite effect: much like the Rainbow Express in early TNA, Jordan was portrayed as a freak while Tenay and Taz both acted completely disgusted with everything he did. After the gimmick was poorly received, he was taken off television before having a short lived comedy tag team with Eric Young...in which he did the usual "gay guy" comedy schtick wrestling fans have come to loathe.
  • Homicide delivered a brutal unprotected chairshot to the head of Rob Terry (which also busted Terry open without him having to blade) 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 -- a suicide 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". 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 it as an awful potshot at a directive meant to ensure the health of WWE performers.
  • A fat ninja constantly interfered in matches to attack AJ Styles. This went on for several months before the ninja was revealed to be Tomko, who claimed he taught AJ everything he needed to know before becoming champion (despite AJ being a 3-time TNA Champion prior to Tomko even coming to TNA). AJ and Tomko had one match before Tomko was returned to jobberhood and eventually ended up booted from the company again.
  • 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. With Abyss holding the ring, he was suddenly more powerful and had the ability to slam people through wrestling rings. But if that wasn't bad enough, Ric Flair got into this feud, 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 main 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 straight back into 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 actually used as an onscreen reason for Fortune turning on Immortal.
  • Joe was kidnapped by ninjas and was off TV for over a month. Even after returning, TNA Never Explained This™.
    • Between Joe's kidnapping and his return, a single pretape was broadcast, with him declaring that "They have spoken". TNA Never Explained This™, and Abyss soon started saying those exact same words.
      • The kidnapping was supposedly cover for Joe being suspended over complaining about a match he'd been part of. Rumors say he was originally going to be put in Immortal (a claim supported by the aforementioned pretape), but the plan was nixed because he was still getting cheered for beating people up.
  • TNA built up "Pope" D'Angelo Dinero as the next big face of TNA. His Black Pope gimmick got over big with the fans, and he had a reputation of putting on great matches. After giving him a huge upset victory over AJ Styles, TNA made him #1 Contender for Lockdown. This was followed up by Pope losing cleanly to Orlando Jordan and taking a backseat role on the show so Team Hogan vs. Team Flair could be hyped up for Lockdown. Pope lost at the PPV and was shuffled back down to the midcard before having a terrible heel run that completely drained all his momentum.
  • Lockdown also saw Kazarian win the X-Division Championship (which had been vacated at the last second because Doug Williams was stuck in the UK following the eruption of an Icelandic volcano). Kazarian held the belt for almost a whole month, but no photographic evidence of this reign exists because the belt was still in Williams' possession. Once a rematch was put together at Sacrifice, Kazarian lost the title right back to Williams.
  • At one point during his feud with Jeff Jarrett, Eric Bischoff opened a live Impact by treating the audience to a guitar solo, only to be predictably hit in the head with the guitar by Jarrett at the end of the segment.
  • Sean Waltman no-showed Lockdown. This made TNA PPV #3 that Waltman had 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 Waltman a license to wrestle as a result. Rather than remove Waltman from the card and pull him from all advertisements, they waited until the PPV went on the air to announce Waltman's no-show, and Taz was told to say (against his will) that it was "just X-Pac being X-Pac". Waltman later said he hadn't been a fuck-up for many years, yet he didn't hold the remark against Taz because he was aware of the way TNA buries people.
  • After weeks of suffering abuse at the hands of the Outsiders the nWo The Band, Eric Young joined them. Why did he join? TNA Never Explained This™. Young went on to hold the TNA Tag Team Championship with The Outsiders under the Freebird Rule after Nash cashed in his Money in the Bank Feast or Fired contract. That's right, Hall and Nash were tag team champions in an actual wrestling promotion in the year 2010.
    • The Band weren't the champs very long, however, as Hall was arrested ten days after they won for disorderly conduct (i.e. being drunk in public). When asked where Hall worked, he replied that he was unemployed -- despite being a reigning champion in TNA. TNA released Hall and stripped Nash and Young of the titles, even though Nash and Young handled nearly all of the action and Hall contributed little to their matches.
  • TNA signed Rosie Lottalove, an obese Knockout fresh out of Team 3D's wrestling school, and gave her a tryout match with Daffney at the insistance of Brother Ray, who allegedly claimed that Rosie was the best student in the school. 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), and Ray proceeded to scream at Daffney backstage, blaming her for Rosie being fired. TNA refused to pay for Daffney's medical bills related to this accident as well as the aforementioned barbwire board accident she had suffered a few months earlier (because TNA 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).
    • Although the Daffney incidents were huge black eyes for the reputation of Dixie Carter and all of TNA management, the company 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, a former WWE Producer and performer (he portrayed Brother Love), who had bashed TNA in an interview before he joined the company and reportedly wasn't well-received in the back. Terry Taylor returned to the WWE in a backstage role around the time Prichard entered TNA.
  • Matt Morgan went off the deep end after he put Hernandez on the shelf: he declared himself the sole Tag Team Champion and referred to himself in the Royal We, leading to jokes that he'd somehow become the comic book villain Venom. Despite TNA actually recognizing him as the sole Tag Team Champion, for some reason, he still had to enlist partners so he could defend the titles. TNA Never Followed Up On This™, as it quietly dropped the angle after Morgan lost the tag titles.
The longest reigning champion in TNA, AJ Styles, dropped the title to a newly debuted RVD. RVD vs. Styles -- considered a "dream" match for years with many fantasy bookers, was thrown together with no hype on free television.
  • Dixie Carter went back on her promise to never become an onscreen character and...became an onscreen character. She delivered performances wooden enough to make Linda McMahon seem like Meryl Streep in comparison.
  • Destination X 2010 ended with Ric Flair, AJ Styles, and Desmond Wolfe (aka Nigel McGuinness) literally falling into a hole in the ring.
  • 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, having to wear a t-shirt in every match. All of his actions were supposed to warn us about the formation of the Immortal faction (see below), but TNA dragged it out for over half a year. By the time everything came to fruition, nobody cared.
  • Rob Van Dam debuted in ridiculous fashion: after being revealed as a mystery opponent for Sting, he pinned Sting in less than a minute after hitting a crossbody and the Rolling Thunder senton. The fans went wild for RVD, but all of this excitement was killed stone dead when Sting grabbed his baseball bat and delivered a beatdown that lasted nearly ten minutes. Security inexplicably prevented Hogan from getting involved, choosing to let Sting beat RVD down as much as he wanted. Sting then hit Hogan with the bat to end the segment, leaving the focus squarely on Sting and Hogan. What a 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.
  • 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. When the number of appearances RVD had made caught up with them, they wrote him off TV by having Abyss attack him with the wooden-board-with-nails he called Janice. The result was...well, as Joey Styles best put it, "I’ve seen wood chipper victims who were less of a mess than RVD. Who books that crap?" TNA said RVD had suffered head and spinal trauma, needed 115 stitches, and could have possibly had punctured organs. As a result of the attack, TNA vacated the World Title. RVD miraculously recovered from these life-threatening injuries in a few months and later defeated Abyss without much difficulty. He spent the next several months bitching about how he never lost the belt and demanding a title shot.
    • In an interview that took place during his reign as champ, RVD said he would not lose the title to anyone who didn't work during the Attitude Era, then compared himself and Jeff Hardy to rock stars (and buried the rest of the TNA roster in the process). Nice choice of champ there, TNA.
"The Icon Sting wearing a Sting mask?" - Mike Tenay
  • RVD is hit with a chair by a man in the first row wearing a Sting mask. The man took off his mask, revealing himself to be... Sting.
Angelina Love won the Knockout's Title right from a box. Yes, this actually happened.
  • TNA subjected the Knockouts to the Lock Box Challenge on an episode of Impact. 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 forced striptease in the ring (or be fired), or the Knockouts Champinship. Angelina Love unlocked the box with the title and became champion as a result. Tara unlocked the box with her tarantula; she was forced to treat it like it was more important than the title. (Apparently Russo and his cohorts didn't learn from the infamous '49ers Match from WCW2000 in which Booker T won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship out of a box.) Daffney unlocked the striptease, which meant she had to either strip or get pink-slipped. Although the striptease never happened (she was attacked by Lacey Von Erich midway through, who obliviously started stripping as a brawl erupted around her), she wasn't fired. Oh, and the whole "unlocking" segment closed the show.
    • Velvet Sky used the open contract she won to challenge Angelina Love to a "Leather & Lace Match" for the next Impact. The next week, that match was changed to an "I Quit Match", and the match itself ended in a No Contest. ODB's infamous "What is happening to our division?!" tweet was sent during this match.
      • The contract allowed the holder to book any match of their choosing. For some reason, Velvet booked herself into a non-title match with the reigning Knockouts Champion.
  • Eric Bischoff debuted a ranking system that would be voted on by TNA fans; the person who ended up at #1 would earn a title shot. Fans were quick to give Desmond Wolfe a landslide victory, mainly because the system TNA was using allowed multiple votes. Bischoff's response to this? 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 then took every opportunity to bash wrestling fans in any 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. Even Rob Terry had more votes than Abyss.
  • After becoming Fourtune's manager, Flair began getting "iced" during interviews and after matches. TNA thought this would make him connect better with the younger TNA crowd. Nobody from that age group cared.
    • 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...everyone, really.
  • AJ Styles went from Main Eventer to midcard goon as both the TV Champion and part of Fourtune. (Still better than being Angle's bitch, though.)
  • TNA greenlit a segment in which James Storm spit a fireball at Jeff Hardy. Storm's fireball actually engulfed Hardy's face and left him with second degree burns. The scene was so gruesome that Spike TV cut it out of the broadcast.

Abyss, Desmond Wolfe, and Chelsea

  • Abyss was shown laid out in the parking lot during an episode of Impact. Later in the night, footage from the security cam shows that he was hit by a barely moving car. Abyss is then shown leaving the Impact Zone in an ambulance. He returned on the next Impact and acted like nothing ever happened -- until about a month later, when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting Desmond Wolfe's valet, Chelsea. The whole thing ended up being a setup by Wolfe to screw Abyss over. If this sounds eerily familiar, it should: the angle bore a resemblance to the Goldberg/Elizabeth angle from WCW that set up the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom.
  • After Desmond Wolfe lost Chelsea's services to Abyss for a month, a hysterical Chelsea was forcefully carried away from Wolfe by Abyss. Abyss was the "hero" in this equation.
    • In typical Beauty and the Beast fashion, Abyss eventually won Chelsea over just as her month with him was done. She was then forced to once again manage someone she wanted nothing to do with (in this case, Desmond Wolfe).
  • Abyss kidnapped two of TNA's backstage personnel, then branded them with his personal branding iron, "Bob". He also introduced a 2x4 covered in nails that he named "Janice". For those uninitiated, Bob and Janice Carter are Dixie Carter's parents.

The Kong and Bubba Blunder

BtLS seen here after receiving a stiff punch from Mick Foley.
  • TNA hired obnoxious radio host/Howard Stern wannabe/(now-former) Hogan buttbuddy Bubba the Love Sponge after Hulk Hogan's TNA debut; a couple of months later, Bubba said "Fuck Haiti" on Twitter (in regards to the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti). Awesome Kong, who had been a driving force in raising funds for Haiti within the pro wrestling world, got into an altercation with Bubba. Several wrestlers who witnessed this altercation confirmed that Kong beat the living dogshit out of Bubba; these wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, unanimously described the beating as one of the most brutal and one-sided locker room shoot fights they had seen in the past thirty years. For her actions, Kong was given a lifetime pass to Universal Studios and the unofficial title of President of All Badasses. ...just kidding! TNA actually suspended her, and when the company refused to release her upon request, she declined to participate in the company's United Kingdom tour. After a threatening phone call from Bubba and a refusal from TNA to increase pay within the Knockouts Division, TNA finally released Kong -- then stripped Kong and her partner Hamada of the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Title (the company said on-screen that they hadn't defended the titles within the past thirty days, even though they had actually defended them three weeks prior). Hamada all but disappeared from TNA television after this, and she was later released to go be awesome in a company that would fucking appreciate her.
    • The fat fuck that got Kong fired was released in April, not long after Kong's release. What did Bubba do to deserve getting shitcanned by TNA when "Fuck Haiti" wasn't enough? He ambushed Kong during an interview on another radio show and spouted racist/sexist slurs at her. (The host of the radio show was one of Bubba's friends and had planned the ambush with him.) Once the interview hit the Internet, his release was immediately announced, and it was thus celebrated by the great majority of the Internet. On the plus side, Bubba's last on-screen appearance in TNA saw him getting punched in the face by Mick Foley.

TNA ReACTION (or, "How I Learned to Gain a Third Hour and Alienate Fans")

  • On April 12th, TNA ReACTION began as an hour-long program following Impact. The show did two pilots and Spike showed interest in airing the show weekly. The show was initially an "after the storm" show with improvised dialogue from the wrestlers, who were filmed in a cinema-verite style (read: shaky camera hidden from view angle), as well as traditional promo-style interviews. This was a complete change from most of modern wrestling, where promos had deliberate segments and were filmed with clear shots.
    • ReACTION was pushed back from May to June, and then pushed back again to July, before eventually debuting in August.
  • Instead of the original follow-up format, Impact began to use the show as a third hour. As a result, most main events on Impact started five minutes before the end of the show, so commentary would tell viewers to stay tuned for ReACTION...even though ReACTION only aired in the USA and Canada, which meant the rest of the world didn't get any main events. Also problematic? Anyone with DVRs who forgot to record ReACTION also missed out on the main events.
    • After twenty episodes, Spike dropped the show in December. Rumors say Spike was upset that ReACTION was killing the ratings boost Impact gave whatever show would normally air after Impact. (Spike didn't have good programming in the first place, but of course, Spike Never Explained This™.)
      • Another nail in the ReACTION coffin: the cinema-verite style of promos it used was soon integrated into Impact, which resulted in most of the stuff that would've been on ReACTION airing on the main show anyway.

Hardcore Justice and EV2.0

  • Paul Heyman was in talks with TNA to join the company -- but he reportedly wanted both full control of several parts of the company (including Creative) and the immediate firing of all but one of the veterans ("If you're over 40, I'll rip your fucking head off") so he could build a younger roster to carry the company forward. Both Spike TV and TNA management reportedly had no issues with the deal, but Dixie Carter refused out of loyalty to these veterans as well as other people Heyman would likely fire (e.g. Vince Russo). The deal eventually fell apart.
    • Heyman later let it slip that he would've tried to steal Daniel Bryan away from WWE right after "Tiegate" happened and build him up as an unstoppable submission machine for an eventual match with Kurt Angle.
      • Sidebar to this: back when Angle first signed with TNA, PWG came within days of putting on Bryan Danielson vs. Kurt Angle. The match got canned when TNA pulled Angle from the booking. TNA Never Explained This™ (the dickheads).
  • The failed Heyman deal may have helped Dixie come up with an incredibly unique idea, though. TNA held a focus group to ask a handpicked group of fans what they wanted to see in wrestling. When most of them said they missed the days of ECW -- and keep in mind, this focus group was held in Philadelphia -- Dixie decided to put together an ECW "reunion" of her own.
  • Tommy Dreamer was shown in the crowd for a few weeks. At first, he appeared alone, but he was joined by more ECW alumni each week. Eventually the group of ECW originals jumped the guardrail and attacked members of the TNA roster. The week after this, Dixie Carter threw her support behind the ECW originals by saying she had invited them and agreed to give them their own PPV. Dreamer announced that the stable of ECW originals would be called EV2.0 but never bothered to explain what that stood for. (TNA actually did explain this one later on: it was supposed to stand for "Extreme Violence 2.0". Because the word "dub" is slang for two, people were supposed to chant "E-V-Dub!" so it sounded like fans were chanting "E-C-W" or "E-C-dub" without getting TNA into trademark troubles. Very few of the fans caught on to the joke.)

Hardcore Justice

  • For some reason, TNA filtered the Impact Zone with weird blue lighting. It was supposed to make the show seem ECW-esque. It didn't.
  • Taz opened the show to get the crowd fired up. He later admitted in an interview that he wants people to move on from ECW and he wasn't in favor of yet another ECW reunion.
  • Due to WWE owning most of the ECW trademarks, TNA had to rename performers who couldn't use their old names. TNA also couldn't use the actual letters "ECW" on the show. Mike Tenay opened the PPV by saying, "Some of you might remember a certain promotion associated with the letters ECW. Well, we aren't allowed to mention it, but you'll get a fresh reminder tonight." Tenay proceeded to mention ECW several times anyway.
  • A bald Sabu, a thin(ner) Balls Mahoney (or Kahoneys, as he was billed), and an aging bleached-blonde Raven were among the wrestlers who competed.
    • Kahoneys and Brother Ray had a lightsaber duel in the middle of their match. It was simultaneously the most entertaining and most embarassing spot of the match.
  • Many of the ECW originals paid tribute to Joey Styles. Styles responded by ripping into TNA at every possible chance. (He still does, too.)
  • Tommy Dreamer and Raven's match caused controversy when Dreamer bled profusely in full view of his two young daughters.
  • RVD was set to face Jerry Lynn in a rematch from his most fabled rivalry. Lynn injured himself while training for the show and was replaced by Sabu. (On the bright side, RVD/Sabu ended up being better than expected.)
  • Brother Ray asked the fans to thank Dixie Carter for allowing this night to be possible. "Thank you Dixie" and "Fuck you Vince" chants filled the Impact Zone moments before the show went off the air.
  • Despite the Hardcore Justice tagline of "The Last Stand", EV2.0 remained with the company for the rest of the year and even picked up a victory over Fourtune at Bound for Glory. Fourtune remained all-powerful in the weeks following that loss, whereas EV2.0 quietly disappeared throughout the course of the year.
  • The original non-ECW-flavored PPV card was moved to the Impact after the PPV, which TNA billed as "The Whole F'n Show". This show was applauded by fans more than the PPV that had replaced it, especially in regards to the last match in the Best-Of-Five series between Beer Money and the Motor City Machineguns.
  • Some of the ECW Originals who returned for the PPV were reportedly paid around $250 for their appearance. Many in the industry were critical of Dixie Carter because this PPV was estimated to have sold at least three to four times better than the average TNA PPV. She had the ECW Originals to thank for that, and she rewarded them with a light paycheck.

Bound For Glory: The Prelude, The "Glory", and The Aftermath

  • At No Surrender, Kurt Angle wrestled Jeff Hardy in the semi-finals of a TNA World Championship Tournament, with the stipulation that if Angle lost, he would have to retire. The match, which featured Kurt Angle kicking out of Jeff Hardy's Swanton Bomb three times to little crowd reaction, ended in a time limit draw, only for Eric Bischoff to react to the crowd and order the match to go for five more minutes. After that five minutes, there was still no winner, so Bischoff demanded another five minutes. After all this, there was still no winner, so the match was announced as a draw after all. The two wrestled in a rematch on Impact on the 16th of September, which also resulted in a draw, prompting the announcement that both Hardy and Angle would wrestle for the title at Bound For Glory in a Triple Threat Match with Mr. Anderson.

Before The Glory

  • The episode Impact before Bound for Glory started with Abyss taking Dixie hostage. A camera crew followed closely behind the two of them as they headed to the ring. Although they passed several people on their way to the ring, nobody (including the camera crew) seemed too eager to help free their boss from Abyss until Eric Bischoff saved the day.
    • Bischoff and Hogan tricked Dixie (kayfabe) into signing a contract that, as revealed a week later, gave them full power over TNA. She thought she was signing papers to get Abyss fired. What happened to Dixie, the smart and powerful businesswoman who would, you know, check the fine print of shit like that?
  • 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.
  • Robbie E and Cookie made their long awaited debut! Nobody cared. To make matters worse, the Robbie E character was created to grab the interest of fans of MTV reality show Jersey Shore. Robbie E debuted on TNA on Spike TV while Jersey Shore was airing on MTV, making that impossible (see below for more).
    • Prior to their debut, they reportedly competed in a dark match against Shannon Moore and Christina Von Eerie that was called the Worst Dark Match Ever by those who saw it. During the match, Moore reportedly laughed his head off at Cookie.
  • The main event of this Impact was a $100,000 Gauntlet Battle Royal. The match was pretty much the Royal Rumble Lite featuring various Bound For Glory participants. Kevin Nash was visibly uninterested and showed up in street clothes.

Bound for Glory

  • The Bound for Glory PPV poster was released several months before the event. It featured Kurt Angle, Mr. Anderson, and Jeff Hardy next to each other. This spoiled the main event months before it was officially announced. The other wrestlers on the poster were Jeff Jarrett, Sting, and Hulk Hogan. The poster featured no TNA Originals, and the average age of everyone featured on the poster was 43 years old.
They're*
  • TNA held its 2010 Bound for Glory PPV at the Ocean Center in Daytona, Florida -- the same arena in which Hulk Hogan turned heel during the 1996 WCW Bash at the Beach event (which led to the formation of the nWo). The company ended up getting 3,500 in attendance (the majority of whom were papered in with free tickets), and the PPV ended with Hogan (who was apparently not in the arena due to recovering from back surgery) struggling to get into the ring to argue with Eric Bischoff, who had brought a chair with him after everyone was knocked out and a ref bump happened. Instead, Jeff Hardy stepped up, took Hogan's crutches, and...smashed them over Angle and Anderson so he could pick up the win. Jeff turned heel, and "they" was revealed to be Hardy, Hogan, Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett, and Abyss. So basically, they redid the Bash at the Beach turn...complete with fans throwing trash into the ring.
The people who actually bought tickets to the PPV

After the Glory

  • A nearly 45-minute promo opened the Impact after Bound for Glory; it actually spanned two commercial breaks. Hogan and Bischoff formally announced the creation of the Immortal faction and Jeff Hardy consolidated his heel turn. Kevin Nash left the company and Sting decided to disappear again. Fourtune, which had been feuding with Hogan for quite some time, also joined Immortal for...some reason.
  • When they finally got around to the first match of the night, Tara voluntarily laid down to be pinned by Madison Rayne to win the Knockouts Title in Tara's first title defense.
  • Dixie Carter managed to sneak into Bischoff and Hogan's office and call Bischoff a "smug shit". She later thanked Spike TV in a tweet for letting her swear on television. This promo closed with Dixie's husband Serg getting punched in the face by Gunner and Murphy while she screamed his name at the top of her lungs.
  • Abyss and Joe wrestled a two-minute match before Abyss got himself DQ'd by using the timekeeper's bell as a weapon.
  • Kurt went back on his promise to retire if he lost a match due to the ending to his match at Bound For Glory. Jeff Jarrett came out to shoot on his relationship with Karen, thus beginning a feud which would last for nearly nine months. (Florida apparently has laws against early abortions.)
  • J-Woww of Jersey Shore fame was paid $15,000 to make a single appearance on Impact -- this episode, in fact. Many in the TNA locker room were angered by the news, especially as the Knockouts were known to be underpaid and often had to take second jobs to make ends meet. TNA got some free publicity, however, as J-Woww and other Jersey Shore cast members hyped up the appearance and told their fans to check out the first hour of Impact (but to turn the channel at 9:00 for the season premiere of Jersey Shore). TNA decided to do the neverending Hogan/Bischoff segment to start this episode and started the J-Woww segment at 9:00, which directly competed with the Jersey Shore episode. Predictably, TNA lost.
    • A few months later, TNA pulled this same shit with Angelina (another Shore castmember) with a similar $15,000 payout attached.
  • Because Nash and Sting had walked out of the company, D'Angelo Dinero was punished by Immortal for being their partner at Bound for Glory and was booked in a 5-on-1 handicap match with Fourtune in which Fourtune cheated to win. Dinero was pulled off TV completely shortly after this.
  • Ken Anderson and RVD had a match to decide who the #1 Contender to the world title would be. Bischoff came down and took the referee to the back with him. Hardy then came down with a chair and attacked both of them with it to close the show, making the match end in a no contest.
  • The entire show featured only six minutes of wrestling in a two hour span (counting commercials). If you count the main event going long into ReACTION, that brings the total up to sixteen minutes for three hours of programming.

More Miscellaneous Shenanigans

  • Matt Morgan vs Hernandez: Round I. It didn't work.
    • MATT MORGAN VS HERNANDEZ: ROUND II: NO CHEMISTRY BOOGALOO. It didn't work again.
      • MATT MORGAN VS HERNANDEZ: ROUND III THIRD TIME'S A CHARM (that's not a guarantee) WHEN YOU'RE IN A CAGE (also, their face/heel alignment was switched). It still didn't work.
  • Eric Bischoff forgot the name of the Ultimate X match and booked Mr. Anderson in an "X-Division" match with Kazarian. Everyone involved apparently forgot the rules to Ultimate X, as Anderson almost won by using a ladder (a match originally billed as No Limits, No Ladders).
  • TNA did a round of drug tests in early autumn of 2010. Several wrestlers knew they were going to fail before the tests came back and were scared of getting reprimanded. Wrestlers with failed drug tests were informed that their test came back positive for illegal substances, but TNA took no disciplinary action and had no other tests done.
  • WWE banned chairshots to the head and issued fines to wrestlers who did it from then on. TNA responded by having a chairshot to the head happen every two or three matches. Turns out WWE banned them because of the potential health hazards with repetitive concussions (see: Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Chris Kanyon, any long-term TNA fan). TNA's repeated chairshots resulted in Mr. Anderson getting an actual concussion from Jeff Hardy braining him with a chair. To their credit, TNA banned all chairshots to the head after the Anderson incident. Matt Morgan then began a kayfabe crusade for concussion awareness stemming from the fiasco, even though he had been kicking people's heads into the ringpost (and bragging about it) weeks earlier.
    • Around this time, Eric Young had a gimmick where he'd gone insane (again) after being knocked from the top turnbuckle by Suicide and hitting his head. TNA treated Young's brain injury as comedic, which completely contrasted with the serious take on head injuries caused by Anderson's actual concussion.
  • When Bischoff turned heel, he turned on his sex-retary Miss Tessmacher and told her she would have to fight as a Knockout to stay employed. Tessmacher sought the help of wrestling novice Lacey Von Erich to learn how to wrestle. The angle was quickly scrapped when Lacey was released from the company and Tessmacher broke her jaw; it was rendered completely pointless after Tessmacher's return, in which she showed she was much better in the ring than Lacey ever was (or ever would be).
  • Ric Flair admitted to having sex with a horse during a promo on the November 18th episode of Impact. TNA Never Followed Up On This™.
    • On that same episode, Hogan cut a long, uncomfortable promo in which he destroyed the fourth wall. He said they were throwing kayfabe out the window, said "34 fake titles" mean nothing, and buried Team 3D (the winners of every major Tag Team Championship in American pro wrestling and then some). In a fit of borderline hilarity, once Victory Road 2011 came along and Jeff Hardy got himself in trouble by showing up for the main event with visions of fried eggs dancing in his head (see below), Hogan chose Bully Ray of Team 3D to push as the next big thing. Hogan's crapping all over Bully and his partner in this promo was (of course) never mentioned.
  • As a prelude to Victory Road 2011 (again: see below), TNA officials almost pulled Jeff Hardy from the main event of Turning Point after suspecting him of being unfit to perform. Hardy told officials he was exhausted from being on the road and ultimately got to perform. Matt Morgan was able to carry Hardy to a watchable match, though Hardy spent a sizable portion of the match laying on his back.

2011

Miscellaneous Shenanigans, Part 1

  • On January 4th, TNA sent Beer Money, Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy to New Japan Pro Wrestling's Tokyo Dome show. While the Beer Money and Rob Van Dam matches were at least passable, Jeff Hardy's TNA World Title defense against No Limit member Naito was horrible. NJPW cut all of its ties with TNA as a result. (Smart company.)
  • Mr. Anderson took several digs at TNA during his first promo as TNA World Champion, including the reveal about how WWE banned him from chewing gum. TNA had to shoot the promo twice, since the company thought he didn't take enough potshots at WWE the first time.
  • Matt Hardy debuted at Genesis with a hairdo similar to that of then-WWE performer Tyler Reks. During the match, Tenay pointed out Hardy's position as a trending topic on Twitter -- and failed to mention Tyler Reks trending right below Hardy.
  • TNA made obvious plans to have the Main Event Mafia reunite to face down Immortal. After Booker T and Kevin Nash were contacted to make an appearance, both showed up at WWE's Royal Rumble event days before the planned MEM reunion, forcing TNA to drastically alter its plans.
    • Booker had problems with TNA after he joined the company; he also didn't approve of TNA's decision to partner up with Team 3D's school as a training facility instead of his own. He was eventually branded "the most selfish man in the company". Nash, on the other hand, walked into Dixie's office the Friday before the Royal Rumble to hand in his notice. Dixie granted his release despite knowing he planned to sign with WWE. Nash had issues with his pay (of course), but he also had issues with the storyline. Creative contacted Nash and Steiner to say they planned to reunite the MEM; Nash agreed to return so long as TNA made Immortal look like a legitimately dominating force (so the MEM would be on near-equal ground and the feud would mean something). The week before Nash left the company, TNA filmed an angle where Crimson planted Janice (Abyss's nail-enhanced 2×4) into the back of Abyss (then serving as Immortal's muscle). Nash saw no point in returning when Immortal looked weaker and weaker with each passing week.
    • TNA's backup plan -- having Fortune break away from Immortal -- was, ironically enough, what the fans had wanted all along. It was very strongly received, especially the accompanying promos from AJ and Roode. (The latter's promo was seen as the beginning of his run towards a main event spot.)
TNA airs a highly original video promo hyping the return of Sting. This aired just two weeks after Undertaker's 2.21.11 WWE return.
  • Following the 2/21/11 vignettes hinting at the return of The Undertaker, numerous reports said Sting had signed with WWE, which fueled rampant speculation about Sting's fate and who would actually come out on 2/21/11. (The Undertaker and Triple H ended up returning on the fated date to hype their eventual WrestleMania 27 match.) Sting re-signed with TNA soon after the first vignette aired, but before he returned into an on-screen role, TNA aired videos identical to the 2/21/11 vignettes to hype Sting's return. The videos were widely panned and mocked as ripoffs. The 52-year-old Sting won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on his first night back.
    • Sting later said in interviews that he'd been negotiating with WWE at the start of the year and (at the time) came as close as he'd ever gotten to signing with WWE. To its credit, WWE reportedly filmed the vignettes with Sting in mind, but changed them over to Undertaker once Sting re-signed with TNA.

Against All Odds (Bad Booking, Snowstorms, and Falling Off Ladders) 2011

  • Robbie E won a #1 Contendership Triple Threat against Generation Me (aka the Young Bucks) via countout, mainly because flights to Orlando were grounded due to a snowstorm.
    • TNA made up for this by sending X-Division Championship Kazarian out for a match with the new #1 Contender.
    • The Bucks got in trouble with TNA for having the decency to let their fans know they wouldn't be at the show via Twitter. Supposedly, TNA wasn't happy with them because it forced them to have to "come up with something on the fly". Nevermind that, because the company booked both Bucks in the same triple threat, it had no choice but to declare Robbie E the winner or anything like that.
  • Mickie James and Madison Rayne had a Last Woman Standing match where, for no reason, the two women spent a minute under the ring before reappearing.
    • The finish involved Tara distracting Mickie so Madison could use brass knux on her. Madison also attempted a pin before the ref counted Mickie out.
  • Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett, a huge grudge match with almost two years of storyline where Kurt could regain custody of his children if he wins, opened with a lockup, continued as a standard wrestling match and ended with Jarrett pinning Kurt -- 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 Kurt said he'd retire if he lost the World Heavyweight Title Match at Bound for Glory.
  • Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson wrestled each other in a Ladder Match. These guys nearly killed each other to the point where the finish almost legitimately killed them. The plan was for Anderson to go for his finisher (the Mic Check) from the top of two ladders on Jeff. Jeff would hold onto the ladder, let Anderson fall off to the mat, and grab the belt afterwards. Anderson instead fell off the ladder, Jeff reached out and fell off the ladder, and the two men clattered to the floor between the ladders. Jeff then just got up and pulled down the belt. Keep in mind, this was after Jeff had lost the belt a mere thirty days before (and while Jeff still had his drug charges hanging over his head).
The Impact Zone began chanting "bullshit" after the finish. Sting responded by turning around and agreeing with them.

Victory Road 2011: TNA Fans Had to Suffer Because He Got High

  • TNA placed Kurt Angle on the PPV poster by himself. Kurt didn't even appear at the event.
  • The heated, personal feud between former ECW alumni Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer culminated in a hardcore match where Dreamer hit Ray with a water bottle and a big yellow plush toy. The highlight of the match: Tommy used a blow-up doll as a weapon. Ray sold the attack and ended up in the 69 position with said doll.
  • The finish to Rosita and Sarita vs. Angelina Love and Winter involved a distracted ref (Earl Hebner, no less!), the belts being used as weapons, and a run-in -- all at once.
  • Hernandez defeated Matt Morgan in a First Blood Match by spraying fake blood all over Morgan.
  • TNA played footage of the Jarretts throughout the night in order to hype Jeff and Karen Jarrett's feud with Kurt Angle. In the footage, Jarrett -- the heel in this feud -- took Angle's kids around Universal Resort and helped them have a good time.
  • GenMe had a mini-feud where Max treated Jeremy like a bitch on his birthday. This culminated in an Ultimate X Match where Max treated Jeremy as a slave, Robbie E brought a ladder into the match, and Kazarian won the match by climbing the ladder to retrieve the X-Division Championship.
  • RVD faced off with Mr. Anderson for the #1 Contender spot to the TNA World Title at the next PPV. Due to their contrasting styles, they had a piss poor match; fans might have called it the worst match of the year if this show's main event hadn't happened. The match ended in a double countout and left no clear contender for the following month. Half the audience chanted "Restart the match" in disgust, while the other half chanted "NO" in fear of having to watch these two wrestle again. Taz encouraged fans to tune into Impact to watch an expected rematch.

The Main Event Was A Fucking Trainwreck Because He Got High

  • In the show's now-infamous main event, Sting defeated Jeff Hardy to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in less than ninety seconds. Jeff came out to the ring looking completely exhausted stoned out of his goddamned motherfucking mind and stumbled around the ring before climbing into it. The referee noticed Hardy flailing about and raised the "X" arm signal to the back. Eric Bischoff came out to make a last-minute audible (ostensibly telling Sting to end the match as quickly as possible), clearly upset with Jeff's condition. Sting then forced Hardy into the Scorpion Death Drop, dropped him, and pulled him into a pin (which Hardy actually struggled to get out of, as evidenced by scratch marks on Sting's neck). When fans started chanting "bullshit" post-match, Sting turned to the crowd and yelled "I agree!" on camera. It was loud enough for even the home audience to hear.
    • Because the PPV ended far earlier than expected, TNA played a recap of the PPV after the main event finished. That recap lasted longer than the actual main event. TNA also gave people who paid for the PPV a "refund" in the form of six months of free access to its On-Demand service. The idiot who made the call to send Hardy out for the match apparently kept their job.
    • This match would eventually become the inaugural match in /wooo/'s Disasterpiece Theatre collection, and I know why. (Why, man?) Because Jeff got high, because Jeff got high, because Jeff got hiiiiiiiiiigh...

Miscellaneous Shenanigans, Part 2

One of these men is a professional wrestler. The other is a WWE Hall of Famer.
  • Brian Kendrick proved how little control TNA exerted over its talent when he made an impromptu appearance on daytime game show The Price is Right. Kendrick won a popcorn machine and ended up on the main stage, but he never once mentioned his profession or who he worked for. TNA never hyped Kendrick's appearance, and TNA Never Followed Up On This™ since it would show how little they knew about what their own talent did.
    • One rumor says the popcorn machine Kendrick won accounted for 65% of TNA's income for the rest of 2011.
  • TNA billed Madison Rayne as "The Queen Bee of the Knockouts" and gave her the then-longest individual reign as Knockouts Champion. At Lockdown 2011, an injured Mickie James squashed Rayne in less than a minute; Madison's momentum died almost immediately, and she arguably never completely recovered from the humiliating loss.
  • Jay Lethal won the X-Division Championship for the fourth time...on a random episode of Impact with no buildup and a confetti-laden celebration. Lethal lost the title at a non-televised house show a few weeks later.
  • TNA booked AJ Styles vs. Douglas Williams for the TNA Television Title for Genesis, but when AJ suffered a knee injury, TNA put Abyss in his place. Abyss won the title at the PPV, but two weeks later, Crimson nailed Abyss with Janice (no pun intended), and Abyss disappeared from television. Five months later, TNA officially stripped Abyss of the TV Title -- one week before he returned to television.
  • Gunner debuted as one of Immortal's two security guards and randomly won the vacant TV Title on an episode of Impact -- even though nobody could tell the difference between Gunner and his equally bland partner, Murphy, despite the fact that Murphy was the taller of the two. They eventually started wearing their names on their ring gear.
  • TNA plugged Dixie Carter's Twitter on TV for several months -- but their advertising hit a snag when Twitter suspended her account for imitating a "verified account" (she had the "Verified" icon on her Twitter background image). Twitter later un-suspended the account and verified it.
  • TNA signed former WWE performer and certified human trainwreck Chyna to work with Kurt Angle in his feud with Jeff and Karen Jarrett, giving continuity to the Chyna/Jeff Jarrett feud from WWE that nobody cared about in 1999. Chyna made two appearances -- one on Impact and one on Sacrifice -- before TNA forced her to choose between working for TNA and doing porn. She chose doing porn. (The jury's still out on whether this makes her a smart gal.)
    • In her big return match, Chyna nailed Karen Jarrett. ...with a Pedigree, you sick fucks. Mike Tenay, in a brilliant piece of commentary, called it as a "DDT-style move" at Sacrifice.
    • It was rumored that TNA's original choice for the role was Isis the Amazon, who'd managed a certain amount of infamy as Aloisia, the NXT competitor that WWE had released for failing to disclose some racy pre-WWE photo shoots. That deal fell through, though.
  • "Wildcat" Chris Harris returned to TNA to team up with Matt Hardy at Sacrifice as challengers to Beer Money. Harris hadn't worked for a major promotion since his month-long run in WWECW as Braden Walker -- and he hadn't appeared to have lost his "Walker weight" in the interim. Before the match started, the crowd chanted "Knock Knock! Who's there? Bra-den Wal-ker!" to mock Harris' WWE tenure. Harris and Hardy lost their match, and Harris (along with his expanding waistline) disappeared.
ROB DAM VAN! THE WHOLE SHOW FUCKIN'!
  • Misspelled merchandise images -- including "Eric Bishcoff" greeting cards and "RDV" T-shirts -- showed up on TNAShop.com and TNA's Facebook account.
  • Angelina Love started seeing Katie Lea (aka Katie Lea Burchill in WWE) in segments resembling the 1998 WCW vignette where Warrior appeared in a mirror to Hogan. TNA eventually revealed Katie Lea's new identity -- Winter -- and turned her into a psychotic possibly-lesbian pseudo-vampire who drugged Angelina, turned her against Velvet Sky, and broke up The Beautiful People.
  • Immortal turned into an empty stable after Fourtune left the group, TNA suspended Jeff Hardy, and Jeff Jarrett continued to feud with Kurt Angle on his own. At Lockdown 2011, what was left of Immortal faced off against Fourtune in a Lethal Lockdown Match. TNA billed the match as a winner-take-all situation where the winner would gain power in TNA. Fortune won and turned Immortal into a bloody mess in the process -- but on the very next Impact, Immortal remained in control of TNA.
  • TNA put together another "foreign heel" group in Mexican America. Unlike other such groups (including Team Canada and spiritual predecessor LAX), none of Mexican America's members could cut a promo or (in the case of Hernandez and Anarquia) wrestle a quality match. TNA spared half of the audience from at least watching Mexican America's in-ring segments by dropping a giant Mexican flag from the rafters, which obscured the audience's view. As an extra bit of irony, none of Mexican America's members were from Mexico -- hell, Sarita even hailed from Canada.
    • After what seemed like forever, Mexican America quietly broke up. Anarquia was first kicked to OVW, then was later fired after causing a horrendous botch that injured Chris Sabin. The other three members were completely pulled off TV (and in Sarita and Rosita's cases, never came back), but not before Doug Williams nearly died of a broken neck in the ring because Hernandez botched the Border Toss. In his first appearance after the group's dissolution, Christy Hemme announced Hernandez as being "one-half of Mexican America".
  • After a number of referees left the company, Eric Bischoff gave a job to his son Garett, who worked under the name Jackson James. When company officials tried to deny Garett's real identity -- and the internet called the company on its nepotistic bullshit by revealing the truth -- Garett received a ton of heat from the talent. TNA attempted to turn Garett into a crooked ref who made rookie mistakes, but it soon dropped this idea and turned the actual reveal of Garett's real identity into a plot point at Bound for Glory 2011.
  • In mid-2011, Jesse Neal tweeted about getting approved for food stamps. When a number of his followers accused him of making fun of people who rely on food stamps to feed themselves, Neal claimed he wasn't joking and he needed food stamps to help feed his family. His tweets became yet another indictment of TNA's reportedly low salaries.
    • He later retracted the tweets, even though tons of fans had already seen them. Neal left the company some time later, presumably after TNA wanted him to move to Kentucky to work in OVW but refused to compensate him for the move.
A typical TNA House Show.

Wrestling Still Matters, Right? ...Right?

  • As a response to WWE backing away from the word "wrestling", TNA rebranded itself with the tagline "Wrestling Matters Here". In vignettes playing up the new tagline, the TNA roster took shots at "sports entertainers" and hyped up TNA's focus on wrestling -- and in another example of TNA failing to live up to the hype, the first episode of Impact following the debut of the new tagline featured less wrestling than the average episode of Raw. The show closed with a segment featuring Sting attacked by Mr. Anderson (who dressed up as '80s Sting) and featured segments such as Eric Young walking in on Gunner taking a shit, Eric Bischoff cleanly pinning one half of GenMe, and Abyss winning the X-Division Championship.
  • TNA put up "Wrestling Matters" billboards in Stamford, Connecticut -- the home of WWE's headquarters and a city TNA had never run a show in before or since -- to take a jab at its competition.
  • The "name change" of TNA's chief program to Impact Wrestling confused fans and TNA employees alike, since nobody knew for sure if the company planned on changing its name to Impact Wrestling as well. At Slammiversary 2011, the ring still featured the Impact Wrestling graphics (despite not being advertised under the Impact Wrestling banner). At Hardcore Justice, the company finally bothered to change the ring back to TNA's traditional red colors. Eventually (a long time after the actual change), Dixie Carter finally clarified that it was just the show.
  • The Impact Zone crowd (better known as Impact Zoners) eventually gave up on the product and stopped reacting to anything. To deal with this problem, TNA placed a group of plants in the front row during every taping and began dubbing in loud canned crowd noise throughout the show without stopping. (TNA basically turned the SmackDown Hair Dryer up to "high" and left it on all night.) They also began to show camera shots of the "cast members", even though most of them did nothing.

Miscellaneous Shenanigans, Part 3

  • TNA replaced Jeremy Borash with Christy Hemme as its main ring announcer (Borash stayed around to announce main events). Hemme received a spotlight and screen time to announce the entrances -- and proved horrible at her new job. She often said lines before entrances happened, and at Destination X, she botched Austin Aries' introduction by saying, "ALL THE WAY FROM....................IT'S AUSTIN ARIES!"
  • Gunner won the TNA Television Title, then didn't defend it for two months. He ended up losing it to Eric Young on the same episode of Impact where Beer Money found a stand-in for an injured Robert Roode (so James Storm and his new partner could defend the TNA Tag Team Championship).
  • In response to WWE signing Mistico and debuting him as Sin Cara, TNA slapped Amazing Red into a bad luchador outfit to create the character Sangriento. The company made things worse when it called Sangriento a "Mexican sensation" prior to his TNA debut. The Sangriento gimmick didn't last long, and Red eventually left TNA once again.
  • Abyss became the X-Division Champion. He began to call the championship "the Xtreme Title" and quoted Sun-Tzu's The Art of War before and after matches. Eric Bischoff dubbed Abyss the "X-Division Killer". After losing the title, TNA Never Followed Up On This™.
"Hulk has a completely different aspect of the business, Eric has a different aspect of the business, Vince has a different aspect, Dixie has a different aspect ... There's this pot that's on the fucking kettle and me and Sean (Waltman) say 'hey man you know what would be good right now, some fucking venison chili' so we put some venison in and we put some chili beans in and we put some other shit in and we walk away. And then they grab it and say 'what is this a piss test?' and the two guys piss in it. Then Dixie says 'what is this a stool sample?' and she shits in it. Then fucking Russo goes 'what is this matzo ball soup?' he throws matzo balls in it ... There's just way too many fucking chips."
Kevin Nash explaining the problem with having too many cooks in the kitchen during a shoot.
  • On some idle Wednesday afternoon, Eric Bischoff got on his Twitter and said people should stop criticizing him and Hulk Hogan. He said the changes they made to TNA never truly affect the on-screen product, and TNA's Internet critics make up only 10% of its total audience. Bischoff also said the ratings showed the true story ("The numbers don't lie"); to prove his point, that Thursday's edition of Impact Wrestling did a 1.01, the lowest rating of the year (to date).
  • Bully Ray vs. AJ Styles had a Last Man Standing match at Slammiversary. At the climax, AJ gave a bloodied Bully Ray an awesome diving elbow drop off a stage truss through a table. The crowd went nuts; even the commentators went nuts. Then Ray pushed AJ with his foot and sent AJ stumbling into TNA's cheap set. Bully Ray won the match and the crowd's enthusiasm died.
  • Mr. Anderson won and lost the World Title twice during this calendar year. He had also turned heel and face so many times by the end of the year no one knew what he was or how to use him. (He's like Bret Hart in WCW, only without Bret's in-ring talent.)
  • ODB and Jackie Moore randomly re-debuted by attacking Velvet Sky and blaming her for the declining quality of the Knockouts division. (The obvious logic fail of them not going after TNA management instead? TNA Never Explained This™.) Despite "not being under contract", security did little to stop the duo from interfering in Velvet's matches. It got to the point where, despite "not being under contract", they received more TV time than the other Knockouts. The angle ended with the two teaming up with Velvet to fight Madison Rayne, Angelina Love, and Winter for no reason. Jackie left TNA shortly after never to be seen again, while ODB reappeared later in the year as a face.
Sting transforms into The Joker.
  • Sting became The Joker. Seriously. After his gimmick change gathered slight interest from fans, TNA booked Sting to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Mr. Anderson less than a month after he initially lost it.
    • On the Impact after Destination X, Sting appeared in the ring with three "clowns", who he referred to as his backup. Throughout the night, the "clowns" attacked members of Immortal. Gunner eventually was cornered by four "clowns", who unmasked and revealed themselves to be AJ Styles, James Storm, Kazarian, and Chris Daniels. During the main event, Bully Ray ended up getting attacked by a fifth "clown"; after Sting won the world title, he found out who wore the final "clown" mask: Kurt Angle.
  • When CM Punk became the hottest thing in the mainstream wrestling industry after his worked shoot prior to WWE's Money in the Bank event, TNA made all five of Punk's TNA matches (from 2003) available on their On-Demand service -- even though Punk did nothing in TNA, TNA kicked him out shortly after he got in a fistfight with Teddy Hart (though Punk denies this was the cause of them booting him, instead saying that it was the usual "creative had nothing for him"), and Punk has made a point of openly hating the company.
  • Kurt Angle and Sting feuded over the TNA World Heavyweight Championship under the idea of Angle never managing to beat Sting in a match before. Critics soon pointed out a glaring flaw with this feud: Angle beat Sting in a world title match on a 2007 episode of Impact.
  • TNA claimed Kurt Angle had won fourteen world championships. At the time of these claims, Angle had only won twelve world titles (five in TNA, six in WWE, and one in New Japan). TNA treated his Olympic gold medal and a heavyweight championship from WWE's Memphis developmental promotion as his other two world championships.
  • Bischoff, convinced X-Division matches placed style (high spots) over substance (story), booked a Triple Threat X-Division match for Hardcore Justice. During the match, Austin Aries essentially ducked out of the ring and looked to steal a pin, which involved Alex Shelley looking over his shoulder and Brian Kendrick not caring about Aries at all. The crowd refused to care, and to top it off, Kendrick won.
  • Kurt Angle had feuded with Jeff Jarrett over his ex-wife Karen marrying Jarrett and taking Kurt's kids away from him. When Angle turned heel and joined Immortal, he said he joined because Dixie kept Jeff and Karen's relationship secret from him -- and he said this while joining the same stable as Jeff and Karen.
    • This must've been an on-screen secret, as some time beforehand the relationship was made public off-screen. For some reason, Dixie got involved and suspended Jarrett once she heard about it (citing possible problems), even though Angle had already known and was said to have been cool with it.
  • Almost two months after Jimmy Yang made an appearance on TNA, he took to Twitter and said TNA had not paid him for the appearance -- and the check it had issued him for the appearance had bounced. A TNA official called him after the tweet went out and called his behavior "unprofessional". Yang replied to the accusation on Twitter: "Somebody called and said I was being unprofessional. Not paying somebody for a job is unprofessional." (TNA eventually paid Yang for his appearance after that tweet.)
  • TNA failed to learn from the mistakes it made when it signed Jonny Fairplay, Jenna Morasca, or the Jersey Shore supporting cast: it signed another reality "star" -- former Big Brother contestant Jessie Godderz -- to a contract. After letting him appear on-air a couple of times, TNA sent him to Team 3D's Academy, then booted him straight to OVW.
  • TNA succeeded in putting together a sponsorship deal with Direct Auto Insurance -- then fired the employee that worked out the deal in the first place.
  • TNA and Spike TV agreed to hold three Impact tapings outside of Orlando. Instead of going to places where the company actually drew crowds (such as New York), TNA decided to hold the tapings in Huntsville, Alabama; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Macon, Georgia (where TNA drew about 400 fans at a 2010 house show). 3,300 people reportedly attended the Huntsville tapings -- and only 400 of those people actually paid for their tickets.
    • On the September 1st episode of Impact (one of the episodes taped in Huntsville), TNA used the 2010 Impact theme song in segments instead of the current intro.
  • Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson had a Lumberjack Cage Match. Yeah, we can't figure that one out, either. Also, this Lumberjack Cage Match ended with outside interference from Bully Ray.
TNA World Champion Kurt Angle poses for his fourth mugshot since joining TNA. Still employed. (And still World Champion!)
  • TNA suspended Jeff Hardy following the Victory Road 2011 debacle. Even after Jeff refused to go to rehab -- and despite his having a long-running legal case involving drug possession hanging over his head -- TNA kept him under contract. Hardy returned at the Huntsville Impact tapings and asked for a second chance; the crowd chanted "one more chance", seemingly forgetting about TNA allowing Jeff Hardy to work a match while exhausted higher than Snoop Dogg in Colorado.
    • In the meantime, Jeff's brother Matt floundered around doing nothing after joining Immortal. TNA later suspended Matt for showing up to a house show late and not attending pretapings. Soon after his suspension, Matt found himself arrested for DUI following a car accident (which prompted TNA to release him). After making a YouTube video where he vaguely threatened suicide, Matt made another video where he apologized for the previous video and announced his retirement from wrestling. (Which didn't last long.)
      • Less than a week after Matt's DUI, Kurt Angle -- the then-reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion -- was arrested for a DUI (his third such arrest and fourth arrest overall as a member of the TNA roster). TNA punished him by booking him to successfully defend the title at a PPV.
  • TNA booked Jersey Shore's Ronnie Ortiz-Magro to make multiple appearances on Impact, even though every appearance of every reality show "star" on TNA programming did nothing to affect the ratings, and the company had both fired Cookie and kept Robbie E off of TV for months. TNA fans on Facebook noted the past failures of reality show "stars" in regards to helping the company.
  • Less than a year after being released, Traci Brooks made one-off appearances in TNA to support her husband, Kazarian. A few months later, TNA brought Traci back full time to participate in a storyline where she slept with Eric Bischoff in order to get re-hired as the head of the Knockouts Division (something Kazarian apparently had no problem with at all). Bischoff eventually put Karen Jarrett in charge of the Knockouts, but TNA kept Traci around so it could book her as a sympathetic figure.
  • 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, turning it into the equivalent of the WCW's "You're too small to ever be a star" Cruiserweight 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.
  • Madison Rayne forced Brooke Tessmacher to face her tag team partner, Tara. Madison forced the two faces to fight each other, and she placed a condition on their match: if they didn't fight, they would be fired. Brooke and Tara proceed to pretend to fight each other -- which consisted of rolling around the floor and corpsing (Mike Tenay: "What are we watching here?") -- but instead of firing them, Madison simply forced them to actually fight. She tried to make the faces fight each other by slapping Brooke in the back of her head to make her think Tara took a cheap shot; even though Brooke had Tara in her line of sight, she believed Madison and began to fight Tara. The match ended when Madison broke the women up, shouted "HIT SOMEONE!", and ended up getting hit by the babyfaces. This took ten minutes from start to finish, and neither woman was fired. In the match's only true highlight, the crowd started a "USA!" chant for no real reason (TNA Never Followed Up On This™).
  • Jeff Hardy and Sting teamed up on an episode of Impact; in a pre-match interview, they both referred to themselves as "marks" for the other person.
  • Kurt Angle attacked James Storm backstage; as a result, Storm took time off for a concussion. During a video link interview between Tenay and Storm, Angle came out, grabbed the headset from Tenay, and verbally taunted Storm. Storm responded by cutting Angle down and saying he would eventually put Angle out for twice as long. Angle told him he didn't have to wait as he'd come to Tennessee and find him the next week. This segment was highly praised by several critics for its simple storyline progression as well as the pure aggression and feeling in the promos from both men. TNA capitalized on this great segment by...filming Kurt Angle dressed up as a cowboy and superkicking people in a bar.

The Bound For Glory Series

  • TNA created the Bound For Glory Series as a "tournament" consisting of twelve guys who would receive points for matches based on whether they win or lose (and how they do so). At the end of the Series, the top four men in the rankings would face each other in a match at Victory Road, and the winner of said match would earn the right to face the TNA World Heavyweight Champion at (obviously) Bound For Glory.
  • In addition to matches aired on TV and PPV, TNA counted house shows matches towards the Series standings. TNA's usual disorganization came into play here, as wrestlers didn't get an even amount of matches throughout the "tournament". Gunner finished the Series with a 6-13 record, but because he wrestled in nineteen Series matches, he ended up as one of the top four wrestlers in terms of points. James Storm also ended up in the top four despite wrestling in just twelve Series matches.
  • Determined to further destroy the career of Samoa Joe, TNA booked him as a loser throughout the entire "tournament": he lost every single match he competed in -- including a submission loss to Brother Devon (aka D-Von Dudley) -- and when he finally won a match via submission, he refused to break the hold, which resulted in a disqualification loss. This loss pushed Joe into negative points, and he remained at the bottom of the points rankings for the rest of the Series.
  • Four wrestlers involved with the "tournament" received injuries during matches, which forced them to sit out for the remainder of the Series; only one of the four (Matt Morgan) suffered a legitimate injury (a pectoral tear), and was kept on the show as a Series analyst doing commentary during matches. TNA wrote Crimson, pushed as an undefeated monster at the time, off TV for a short while following his "injury". Brother Devon and D'Angelo Dinero didn't sell their "injuries", though; they even competed at No Surrender with no problem.

No Surrender 2011: We Love America

  • This PPV featured five blinding spots over the full three hours. Three matches finished with a blinding spot (including the main event): James Storm lost to Bully Ray via disqualification 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 Hogan.
  • TNA held this PPV on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The show opened with a touching 9/11 tribute. Rosita appeared on the show as part of the racist anti-American stable Mexican America; later in the show, she gave a very sincere and emotional interview where she talked about her late father passing away during the tragedy and how she used his passing as inspiration to improve as a professional wrestler. Rosita continued to appear as part of Mexican America after this show.

Sting vs. Hogan

  • Sting spent an entire year trying to get control of TNA away from Hogan and back into the hands of Dixie Carter (who Hogan had conned into signing over control of TNA in the first place). Sting challenged Hogan to a match at Bound For Glory, but Ric Flair came out and said Sting would have to go through him before getting to Hogan.
  • Before locking up in the main event of an episode of Impact, Sting and Flair cut a promo where they discussed their previous matches. Sting questioned Flair's credibility as a wrestler, and Flair questioned Sting's motivations. The serious promo made both men appear to respect each other; by all accounts, it would have sold the match beautifully. TNA decided to retape the promo to be more over-the-top crazy.
    • In their match, Sting (53) and Flair (62) did a superplex spot. Flair suffered a torn tricep and stayed on the shelf for six months. Sting won the match by kicking out of a brass knuckles shot and making Flair submit.
  • On the next episode of Impact, Hogan announced his retirement from wrestling in order to avoid the match with Sting. This show did a 1.01, the lowest of the year to date. One week later, Sting tricked Hogan into signing the match for Bound for Glory.
  • Hulk Hogan earned two million dollars per year on his 2010 contract, which made him one of the highest-paid performers in the business. Hogan's "retirement" angle, which TNA highly hyped up, ended up getting the lowest ratings of the year. Hogan's presence barely improved TV ratings (and sometimes even hurt them), and PPVs scheduled to feature the Hulkster did no better than those without Hogan (every TNA PPV in 2011 managed to receive around six to nine thousand buys). Hogan made sure to rarely mention TNA in outside interviews; he also hosted another wrestling show (for midgets) and appeared in a wrestling game that licensed his likeness (and failed to mention TNA in any way). How did TNA punish Hogan for failing to draw in fans and improve the company's situation? It re-signed Hogan to a two-year contract as soon as his old one expired.
At TNA's biggest show of the year, only 2,500 people paid to get in.

Bound for Glory 2011: No Push for You, Come Back One Year

  • As mentioned above, Eric Bischoff's son Garett debuted as a referee one year prior under the name Jackson James. As a referee, he made a number of mistakes, but no one ever once thought to put over the idea of Garett working as a "heel" referee (even though everyone knew the truth about Garett by this show). At the PPV, Bischoff and James discussed how to screw over Hogan, to which James says "I understand, Dad." The now-heel "son of Bischoff" refereed the Sting/Hogan match, which Sting won by making Hogan tap out; after the match, Garett turned face by grabbing a chair from his father, who waited until after the match to exploit Immortal's numbers in an assault on Sting (and Hogan). After this show, Garett transitioned into a role as a wrestler, where he received TV time and as big a push as TNA would give a green rookie with no real wrestling experience, during which he was shilled by much of the face half of the roster. He was booed like crazy the entire time, to the point where Kid Kash (attempting to drum up the cheapest of heats at a house show in Canada by insulting the memory of Owen Hart and saying he wanted to injure other members of the Hart family) couldn't even get the fans there to cheer for Garett. (For more on Garett's push, see "Nepotism Matters Here" below.)
  • In a pull-apart brawl between Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy, the fans cheered more for road agents D'Lo Brown and Al Snow when they hit the ring (fans also cheered for fellow agent Simon Diamond and the famous Atlas Security team). While Jarrett was being dragged backstage, the Philly crowd chanted for D'Lo and Head (Al Snow's mannequin head/"partner").
  • TNA booked a Fatal Four-Way for the Knockouts at this show; it became a faces vs. heels tag match with fellow heel Karen Jarrett serving as the guest referee. Karen ended up blinded thanks to Winter, so Traci Brooks counted the pinfall (and received zero repercussions for doing so).
  • Hulk Hogan turned face after losing to Sting in what one could charitably call a "brawl", then turned on Immortal and helped Sting fend them off. Why does this matter? Well...

Bobby Roode Gets Pushed (Off a Cliff)

Bischoff & Hogan show their appreciation to longtime fans of TNA.
  • Hulk Hogan went on a media run on the weekend before Bound for Glory to hype the PPV, which featured Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode in the main event match (for the World Heavyweight Championship). On The Howard Stern Show, Hogan hyped his match with Sting while saying Angle would face "some other guy" (Roode). On another radio interview two days before the show, 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 did both interviews completely out-of-character.
    • Hogan then went on Twitter and referred to fans angry with what he'd said as "marks", then claimed to be working them all. He also proceeded to re-tweet every possible positive reaction to his comments for a few hours. Hogan also took a potshot at AJ Styles during his tirade by blasting AJ for not attending a fan interaction event on the weekend of Bound for Glory. (AJ had told TNA he wouldn't attend these events due to his father passing away.)
“We literally had a change in 2011 at Bound For Glory right before the match in the main event. In other words, somebody was supposed to win, and it got turned to me winning that night. It worked out for the better; I’m not going to lie to you. So the change was good, but literally, we didn’t hear about it until that night, and me and Bobby Roode was like 'What?! I’m winning?! I have a torn hamstring and I can’'t even wrestle.'”
Kurt Angle on Busted Open, explaining the ending to Bound for Glory
  • Kurt Angle ended up defeating Bobby Roode at Bound for Glory despite the massive amount of hype TNA put into Roode's push towards the PPV (which included Roode defeating all of his Fourtune teammates on the month of Impact episodes leading up to the PPV). Making matters worse: the injured Angle could barely wrestle a full match, which cut the main event of TNA's alleged "WrestleMania equivalent" down to less than ten minutes. TNA's long-term plans had Roode winning the title at the PPV -- apparently, TNA had this plan in place since the summer -- but these plans mysteriously changed the night before the event (after Hogan's "Roode isn't ready, brother" media run). Numerous dirtsheets (and, later on, TNA performers) credited Hogan as the major campaigner in getting the finish changed at the last minute.
    • After the main event, fans angered with Roode's loss once again took to Twitter to express their anger. Hogan spent most of the night re-tweeting positive comments (again) and calling anyone who said something negative a "mark" (again). Eric Bischoff chimed in the following morning with this gem: "Having a blast watching Internet marks react. Candy from a baby!"
    • Several Australian radio stations assumed Bobby 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. The appearances were later rescheduled for times after Roode actually won the title.
    • Some pundits believe Hogan gave Roode the shaft at the PPV so Hogan's big face turn wouldn't be overshadowed by the most-awaited world title change in TNA history. 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 aired a vignette of Roode's friends and family talking about how he became a different person after winning the world title -- and how he should do the right thing and offer Storm a title shot. When TNA aired this for the first time, fans loved it -- so TNA continually aired it over the next few weeks. One of Roode's friends eventually came out during an episode of Impact to talk to Roode; during this segment, TNA established Roode as a neglectful father and husband, as he had apparently not been home to see his kids, wife, or family since winning the world title. Roode pushed his friend down and beat him up before Jeff Hardy made the save.

After the "Glory" 2011: ...The Fuck Do We Need Wrestling For?

  • This episode of Impact featured less than seven total minutes of actual in-ring wrestling. A similar situation occurred on the Impact following Bound for Glory 2010.
  • The opening video package of this show focused specifically on Hogan vs. Sting, and nobody made any mention of anything else that happened at Bound for Glory. TNA also aired two video packages dedicated to Hogan vs. Sting after commercial breaks. The show opened with an in-ring promo featuring Sting, Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, and James Storm; it lasted just under forty minutes and included three commercial breaks. The jist of the promo? Dixie had regained control of TNA, Angle had screwed Roode by rigging the Bound for Glory contract so Roode would never get another shot, and Sting -- now the authority figure of TNA, thanks to Ditsy...er, Dixie -- had booked Storm vs. Angle for the TNA World Championship as the main event of the evening.
  • After a brief Knockouts match -- a segment which earned the highest rating of the show -- Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy did a repeat of their PPV brawl, with one notable difference: in the middle of this brawl, D'Lo and Al Snow started fighting, presumably because the crowd cheered for them at the PPV.
  • In the only decent segment of the show, Abyss defeated Gunner by countout when Gunner ran away from Abyss (since Abyss only gets over with crowds when he works as a monster).
  • Also: despite having aired promos over the last month saying Roode had waited thirteen years to get a shot at the TNA World Championship and reach the pinnacle of his profession (in TNA), TNA put over Velvet Sky's four year struggle to become Knockouts Champion. Karen Jarrett and Traci Brooks also came out to cut another promo to set up Gail Kim's return.
  • After Bischoff called out Hogan, Immortal came down to the ring to beat him up, but Sting came down to the ring to help Hogan. Garett Bischoff appeared at the top of the ramp for the sole purpose of finishing off the bizarre and out-of-place segment: Eric knocked his own son down, then showed the world Garett's chest tattoo ("Bischoff").
  • In the show's main event, James Storm defeated Kurt Angle in just over a minute to become the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. TNA put on this match and booked this title change with zero build and zero hype.
  • The episode's overall rating was a 1.35. While TNA did earn its highest TV rating of the year with this show -- a show which legitimately attracted a record number of viewers for TNA -- this rating only tied Impact's overall highest all-time rating. On Twitter, Bischoff said the following about the rating: "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 gains it received with the post-Bound for Glory buzz because of this episode.
  • After James Storm won the TNA World Championship, Bobby Roode became the #1 Contender for the title. Samoa Joe -- the same guy who scored -10 in the Bound For Glory Series, lost nearly every match he was in during 2011, and had no relevance to the TNA product -- challenged Roode for the title shot. Roode pointed out these issues and buried Joe on camera; Sting still went ahead and booked the match. Roode won, of course. Two weeks after James Storm's TNA World Heavyweight Championship victory, Bobby Roode turned heel, defeated Storm, and won the title on Impact.
inb4 Algerian America debuts.
  • A quick post-script to all this: on the 7th of November, TNA's website was hacked by a group of script kiddies hailing from Algeria. Since TNA outsources all of its web development, they had to try and regain control of the site twice, and until they got control back for good, they redirected visitors to the TNA online shop. Presumably, neither Hogan nor Roode had anything to do with this.

Turning Point 2011 and Beyond

  • Robbie E. defeated Eric Young for the TNA Television Title, further proving how little TNA cared about the title.
  • Gail Kim won the Knockouts Championship at this show. In the month between her return to TNA and this show, Gail also won the Knockouts Tag Team Championship. Gail said she wanted to work hard to earn titles in the past.
  • AJ Styles faced Bobby Roode in the show's main event. AJ worked the match injured, making him the third injured person to work with Bobby Roode in a world title match.
    • TNA booked this match in the last thirty seconds of the episode of Impact before the PPV: AJ came out and shouted at Roode, Sting asked AJ if he wanted to face Roode, AJ nodded, and Sting replied with "You got him!"
  • On the Impact episode after Turning Point, James Storm -- who TNA pulled out of Turning Point's main event due to a concussion -- took a couple of head bumps in a fight with Kurt Angle at the end of the show, despite saying he would need six to eight weeks to recover earlier in the show.
  • Karen Angle, who still ran the Knockouts Division, said she'd been trying to get the Knockouts to show less skin on camera -- but the fans wanted to see more. To that end, she made the Knockouts wrestle in their lingerie on Impact's Thanksgiving episode in a match billed as "Thanksgiving Thong Thunder". All of the faces complained about this, despite fans apparently asking for it; notable protesters included Velvet Sky (who grinds on the middle rope and directs the camera to her ass during her entrance) and Brooke Tessmacher (who not only posed nude before coming to TNA, but also stripped out of a secretary's outfit during her old entrance). When this match finally happened, the lingerie covered more skin than the Knockouts usually show, the match ran longer than any other match on the show, and everything sucked more than the Bellas in Johnny Ace's office during contract negotiations.

Final Resolution 2011 and Beyond

  • Prior to the Knockouts Match, TNA's production crew queued up the Tale of the Tape instead of the planned intro package. The feed went black before going to the intro package; after it aired, TNA went back to a shot of the Impact Zone -- then production fucked up again by playing the video package instead of the Tale of the Tape.
  • The crowd reacted to almost nothing on the show (including hot tags, heel tactics, and momentum shifts within matches). The only notable crowd member spent the beginning of the Robbie E vs. Eric Young match chanting "WE WANT RYDER!"
  • TNA booked Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett in a Steel Cage Match for this show. Either man could win by pinfall, submission, or cage escape. TNA added other stipulations as well:
    • Sting, serving as a ringside enforcer, would keep Karen Jarrett handcuffed to him in an attempt to prevent her from interfering.
    • Hardy would get fired from TNA if he lost, but he would receive a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Genesis if he won.
    • TNA later added another stipulation via Twitter: if Hardy won, Sting would fire either Jeff or Karen.
    • TNA's plan: while Hardy crawled trough an open cage door, Jarrett would hit him from behind, which would cause Hardy to push the door against a nearby Sting. TNA's reality: the referee stubbornly tried to close the door while Hardy crawled out.
    • Hardy asked for a short match at Turning Point due to back problems. Hardy performed a Senton off the top of the cage at this show.
  • TNA proved how much it loves to use PPVs as a vehicle for the television product with its booking for the 30-Minute Iron Man Match between AJ Styles and Bobby Roode for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. When the match ended in a tie, the crowd chanted "five more minutes" as Roode walked out, AJ screamed for Sting to come out, and the PPV went off the air. On the episode of Impact after this show, Sting gave AJ those five more minutes; Roode eventually won -- clean, no less -- after Sting restarted the match again once those "five more minutes" were up.
    • Remember the firing stipulation mentioned above? After both Jarretts spent most of the post-Final Resolution episode of Impact sucking up to Sting and throwing each other under the bus, he decided to fire them both. This anticlimactic end to the Jarretts was used to legitimately write Karen off the program.
    • TNA averages around one million viewers on each episode of Impact. Final Resolution 2011 reportedly received 8,000 buys. WWE's December to Dismember 2006, which did the lowest buyrate in WWE history, received 96,000 buys.
Pictured here: an example of TNA's quality PPV posters.

2012

End of an Error

  • Relevant to the entries from this year: Vince Russo left TNA in February 2012 after six years of solidifying his reputation as one of the worst wrestling bookers in recorded history. TNA called the split "amicable and professional". Russo released a statement of his own, in which he commented that "It simply makes good business sense that where someone of my talent and ability was not going to be used to their capability or capacity, that a parting of the ways was inevitable." Shine on you crazy diamond, Vinnie Ru.

Miscellaneous Shenanigans, Part 1

  • Gunner began using Mike Awesome's early 2000 gimmick; while Awesome randomly attacked people and sent them to the hospital, Gunner randomly attacked people and sent them to OVW. After a few weeks, this was quietly dropped. TNA Never Followed Up On This™.
  • Sting decided to hold a tournament for a Tag Team Championship shot -- and each team consisted of partners who didn't get along. In almost every match in the tournament, none of the teams worked as a team, which resulted in one team almost always picking up a victory due to the other team not working as a team. Scott Steiner and Abyss worked as a team for one week, but a week later, Abyss screwed Steiner and cost them the match. AJ and Kazarian also worked together -- until Kazarian turned on AJ in the middle of a match. One team, Magnus and Joe, actually stayed together after the tournament finished.
  • Kazuchika Okada became the IWGP World Champion in early 2012. The previous year, New Japan had sent Okada to TNA on a learning excursion. Okada proceeded to do random jobs for a while in TNA, then became a Kato knock-off for a few weeks while Samoa Joe feuded with D'Angelo Dinero. After doing absolutely nothing in TNA beyond that, Okada returned to NJPW, where he became one of the promotion's top stars within a month. Rumors say NJPW knew TNA would book him this way and let it happen to give Okada a healthy dose of humility and perspective before receiving his eventual main event push.
  • After months and months of building to a heel turn by Devon's sons during first a feud between Devon and D'Angelo Dinero then them teaming, the two attacked their dad on TV and joined up with Dinero -- but three weeks later, Devon's sons refused to beat up their father after the match (at Dinero's insistence), then turned on Dinero before celebrating with Devon at Genesis and finally disappearing not long afterward.
  • After a #1 Contender's match between Jeff Hardy and James Storm broke down into a brawl following countless run-ins, Bobby Roode declared the match as a No Contest -- without explaining what gave him the authority to say it was a No Contest.
An entire company, summed up in one GIF.
  • In another attempt to have ESPN notice the company, TNA signed NFL player Brandon Jacobs to make a special guest appearance on Impact. In his appearance, Jacobs argued with Bully Ray and cut an atrocious promo with James Storm. Jacobs' appearance during the main event closed the show -- while a TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Bobby Roode and Jeff Hardy opened the show.
  • TNA started an angle where Abyss' parents (you know, Abyss' mom, who shot Abyss' dad, who was actually James Mitchell) sent TNA a letter about their concern for their son's whereabouts. They claimed nobody had seen Abyss for the past few months -- even though Abyss used Twitter extensively throughout his absence. Apparently this was supposed to be some kind of storyline explanation for his absence while he was in India working for TNA's offshoot promotion, Ring Ka King, which many proceeded to point out.
    • This angle also ran side by side with other Twitter-based "worked shoot" angles TNA tried to run with Austin Aries and Sting.
  • Crimson had a 470-day winning streak. Ever since he debuted, TNA did everything in their power to protect this streak and hype it up, despite a majority of the fans not giving two shits about Crimson or his streak. So how did TNA pay off a joke that lasted nearly 2 years? James Storm returned, kicked Crimson in the face, and pinned him in two minutes. Crimson was promptly shipped off to OVW.
  • At Victory Road, Bobby Roode pinned Sting after Sting knocked himself out -- by smacking the back of his head against a steel chair during a Scorpion Death Drop.
    • Also at Victory Road: one segment had Jeremy Borash boast about how "Victory Road" was the #1 trending Twitter topic in the United Kingdom. As pointed out on Botchamania after the event, there's no way to legally watch TNA PPVs live in the UK, so Borash in effect boasted about the PPV being illegally streamed by an entire country.
  • After his loss to Roode, Sting began campaigning for Hulk Hogan to run TNA again, so Sting could step down from the position and wrestle again. Yes, after nearly a full year of Sting and Dixie Carter challenging Hulk and eventually taking the reigns of power away from him, they gave it right back to him a few months later. To make matters worse, Lockdown's hype revolved around this storyline instead of the long awaited TNA World Heavyweight Championship feud between James Storm and Bobby Roode.

Nepotism Matters Here

Brooke's debut episode actually drew the lowest rating for a non-holiday Thursday Impact in years. This probably had more to do with the time change, but these plant signs are still ridiculous.
  • Vince Russo's son received a job in TNA's production department; however, he left the company with his father. This being the shortest entry of this section should tell you something.

Garett Bischoff

  • After Bound for Glory 2011 Garett Bischoff received a major push. First, he defeated former TV Champion Gunner twice, and after the second win, Gunner "injured" Bischoff by piledriving him onto concrete. A very big deal was made about Garett's return from the "injury", including vignettes showing him training, teasing who he'd gotten as a trainer, and Gunner beating up random bystanders. This led to a PPV match where Garett's trainer -- revealed to be Hulk Hogan (see below) -- was in his corner and Gunner had Eric Bischoff in his corner. Garett lost that match, though it was not the end to that feud, as it would continue on 'til Lethal Lockdown in some fashion. He also survived two Beat the Clock matches against Kurt Angle (one a time limit draw, the other thrown out after Gunner rushed the ring) and main evented an Impact episode by teaming with Jeff Hardy against Gunner and Angle.
    • For a while, Hogan was Garett's mentor (the reveal of which was one of TNA's usual "OMG MYSTERY GUY!" reveals, complete with the very overused bit where someone catches a glimpse of who it is, freaks out, and proceeds not to tell anyone until the actual reveal), and he tried to put Garett over as the future of wrestling. All of this took place during a heavily-featured feud against Eric Bischoff which saw Eric eventually leave his on-screen role.
    • TNA held a UK tour around this time which managed to draw large numbers and actually sell out an entire arena. What did TNA do to repay its loyal UK fanbase? It gave them excessive promos, lackluster matches, and a vast focus on the return of Hulk Hogan (revealed to be the trainer of Garett Bischoff). The UK fans, knowing how stupid it was that Garett even had a job, booed the young Bischoff out the arena in every one of his appearances. (TNA edited said boos for cheers.)
    • Fortunately, TNA realized how green Garett was and didn't put him in a singles match against his father at Lockdown. Instead, he was surrounded by a number of competent workers in the tag team Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown. Garett ended up winning the Lethal Lockdown match for his team nevertheless, which sent Eric packing from his on-screen role in TNA. The stipulation for that match also said Eric Bischoff would no longer have a legal right to his last name and could not be referred to as Bischoff anymore. TNA remembered this on the Impact after Lockdown by censoring Ric Flair when he came out to talk about Eric B[bleep].
  • TNA ended the first Open Fight Night (see below) Impact with the "celebration" of Eric Bischoff's career before he left TNA (as an on-screen character) following his Lethal Lockdown team's loss at Lockdown. Ric Flair came out with Bully Ray, Gunner, Kazarian, and Daniels in tow, then gave a speech on the awesomeness of Eric Bischoff while Bully Ray tried to start pro-Bischoff chants. Bischoff came out and sat on a goddamned throne while the crowd mercilessly booed him and gave him the "Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye" treatment. To add insult to injury, Garett Bischoff came out with the Motor City Machine Guns, Rob Van Dam, and Austin Aries -- and the crowd showed its support for Garett by chanting for his backup while he talked. The entire segment ended with Eric Bischoff getting shoved into a portable toilet, which was then tipped over to covering Eric in shit. (TNA also voided its own continuity with this segment: the previous week, TNA censored Bischoff's last name when anyone referred to him by his full name, but on this show, TNA didn't censor any audible mention of his last name. Great job, production staff.)
  • Much like the great superstables of TNA's past (e.g. S.E.X., the MEM, the TNA Frontline, World Elite, EV2.0), the Eric Bischoff sendoff marked the unceremonious end to the Immortal faction, as everyone involved with Immortal broke out to be in separate storylines after this.

Brooke Hogan

  • Dixie Carter announced via Twitter that Brooke Hogan would join the TNA roster as the Executive in Charge of the Knockouts Division in May. We'd make a joke here, but that's enough of one as it is.
    • Instead of promoting anything else that was on the show that week, all the promotion for Brooke's debut episode focused on her. The graphics they used to promote her debut during the episode looked almost nothing like her. Brooke Hogan's introduction to Impact Wrestling by Dixie Carter resulted in a mix of cheers, boos and the crowd not really giving a shit, definitely not accepting Dixie Carter's claims of how Brooke would help the company and how knowledgeable she was.
    • After debuting, Brooke Tessmacher was forced to drop "Brooke" from her ring name because TNA is only big enough for one Brooke apparently, despite Brooke Hogan referring to Tessmacher several times as "Brooke" and despite her still being referred to on the TNA site's roster page as such.
    • Many of Brooke's segments were taped separately from the rest of the show (or at least looked that way), likely as a result of her relaxed schedule. As a result, she rarely appeared in the same shot with the Knockouts, as her shots were edited into promos later on.
    • Brooke left TNA in August of 2013, which was celebrated by the majority of the Internet -- but not before she played a role in a major TNA storyline...

Scott Steiner vs. TNA

Have Steiner's words ever been more coherent?
  • After declining to sign a new contract with TNA, Scott Steiner proceeded to trash TNA via Twitter. In the weeks after his release, Steiner blasted Bruce Prichard (TNA's new head writer post-Russo), accused Hogan and Bischoff of doing the "same bullshit they did to destroy WCW", confirmed Hogan as the force behind the last-minute changed outcome of Roode vs. Angle at Bound for Glory2011, ripped into Hogan for verbally attacking other wrestlers on both personal and professional levels, and (because it was part of a larger number given to Bischoff's docket when he testified in the Gold Club court case) encouraged fans to chant "609" whenever either Bischoff (Eric or Garett) showed up on-screen. Steiner's anti-TNA tirade started on the 2nd of April and went on a brief hiatus in early May (when both Bischoff and Hogan threatened to sue Steiner for the tweets). On the 7th of June (the night Brooke Hogan debuted), Steiner's anti-TNA tweets resumed. The angry and often-incomprehensible Steiner came across as humble, reasonable, and intelligent when compared to Hogan and Bischoff -- and Hogan, who met previous negative Twitter exchanges involving Warrior and other "haters" with contention, had only replied to Steiner's tweets with attempts at reconciliation until the announcement of potential litigation.
    • Steiner remained on TNA's payroll, however, thanks to his work with Ring Ka King.

Lockdown 2012: Sorry About Your Damn Luck

  • ODB and Eric Young became the Knockout Tag Team Champions, which made the titles TNA's second biggest joke (right behind Garett Bischoff). During their title reign, they married each other in a steel cage on the Impact before Lockdown. Sarita and Rosita made an appearance before the wedding to try to tempt Young away, then showed up during the ceremony in lingerie, prompting first ODB and then Young to also strip down to their underthings.
    • Young almost promptly vanished from TV after this because he was busy filming for his Animal Planet show, Off The Hook: Extreme Catches. For some reason, ODB calling him and demanding he return with fried chicken became a weekly thing for a while.
  • For once, TNA did the right thing and put Garett Bischoff where he belonged: in the curtain-jerker match.
  • TNA's road agents still hadn't clued into how War Games works by this event. They gave the heels the advantage this time around, but each time a new heel prepared to enter the match, the heels in the ring had already gained the upper hand. When the next face prepared to come out and get some pops, the faces in the ring immediately started their comeback.
  • Hogan and Flair came out for a nonsensical rambling promo that had no relevance to anything else on the show and ended with Hulkster using the old thumb-on-nose, wiggle-of-the-fingers, neener-neener-neener taunt. Although the dirtsheets initially reported that this would lead to a Hogan/Flair feud, TNA Never Followed Up on This™.
  • The Motor City Machineguns returned after an nearly year-long run of on/off absences (as Shelley and Sabin suffered back-and-forth injuries which kept the duo from teaming for a long time). To welcome the fan-favorite team back, TNA fucked up their entrance and the duo came out to near-silence.
  • "The Undefeated" Crimson beat Matt Morgan, and nobody gave a shit. Hell, for the majority of the night, the audience gave no fucks about the show, even though TNA held it in their old stomping ground of Nashville.
  • Despite Russo's departure from TNA, he continued to inspire the company: the match where Russo defeated Booker T to become the WCW World Heavyweight Champion featured the exact same finish as the Storm vs Roode main event match on this show. How did Storm lose? He hit a superkick on Roode which sent him out of the steel cage door for the win. (Unlike Russo, Roode was already the TNA world champ.)

The Gut Check Challenge and Open Fight Night

  • On the April 26th edition of Impact, TNA held its first "Open Fight Night". Under the rules laid out by Hogan a week prior, on an Open Fight Night, anyone would be allowed to challenge any other wrestler on the roster -- including any given champion -- and the company would also hold a "Gut Check Challenge" where an aspiring rookie/newcomer would receive a tryout match with the possibility to be signed to a TNA contract. Glorious indie motherfucker (and OVW regular) Alex Silva jobbed to Robbie E for the first Gut Check Challenge. Great booking.
    • When setting this idea up, Hogan demanded at least one title match on any given "Open Fight Night". He also ordered a mandatory weekly defense of the TV Title the week prior, making it exempt from this demand. Hogan, in his infinite "wisdom", paired off Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy and gave them a TNA Tag Team Championship shot -- instead of giving a shot to The Motor City Machineguns, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian, or even Eric Young & ODB. Then-champions Magnus and Samoa Joe retained the titles after a great match; after the match, Kazarian and Daniels attacked the champs because they didn't get the title shot.
      • The May 24th edition of Open Fight Night saw Hogan throw out a #1 Contendership Fatal Four-Way that had been booked from four qualifier matches the week before...just so he could pick the #1 Contender.
      • By the way, wanna know how long would that mandatory weekly TV title defense thing lasted before TNA forgot about it? Approximately three weeks -- and then-champ Devon worked a dark match on the third week instead of defending the title.
    • Instead of ending the April 26th episode show on the great tag team match, TNA ended this episode with the aforementioned "celebration" of Eric Bischoff before he left TNA (as an on-screen character) following his team's loss at Lockdown.

The Gut Check Challenge

  • The first edition of Gut Check featured the aforementioned Alex Silva. After jobbing to Robbie E, his performance was graded by Bruce Prichard, Al Snow, and Ric Flair in a segment that could best be described as American Idol meets Tough Enough. The original plan for this segment was to have Flair and Prichard give Silva the thumbs down so Silva wouldn't be signed (a competitor needed two out of three judges to approve). Flair initially went along with the script, but deviated halfway through for reasons known only to Flair -- and Prichard went along with it. Silva was kept in OVW 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 (presumably to get more booze money from TNA for less work). He was replaced by former Tough Enough judge Taz. Taz and Al Snow were both former Tough Enough judges, which only added to the similarities between Tough Enough and the Gut Check.
  • The next Gut Check featured Joey Ryan facing off against Austin Aries. The booking made sense because both made their name on the independent scene and had wrestled each other before. Internet voting was 87% for Ryan getting a contract. Ryan was declined a contract when judges Bruce Prichard and an irate Taz voted no. Ryan began to use the 87% vote in a (kayfabe) campaign to get into the company, and eventually won a contract in a match against Al Snow.
    • TNA decided to change its business model and "pull back the curtain" on the industry after the first Gut Check Challenge to coincide with Impact going live at 8pm. The Gut Check suffered the worst of this as Taz, Prichard, and Snow were shown watching clips of Ryan's match while they criticized him for his "gimmick" and being "in character" (which completely ruined any possible suspension of disbelief). Dixie thought doing this would bring in fans of reality television who wouldn't normally care about a wrestling program. It didn't work.
  • 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, as this was just a way to justify OVW talent and Team 3D trainees being on the air! (Sadly, we don't know if the applications ended up bringing in more revenue than Kendrick's popcorn machine.)
    • TNA did try to make Gut Check seem legit by bringing in several contestants who weren't from OVW or Team 3D's school. One's selling point was "He's only 18 years old!", and another (Kris Lewie, the absolute worst of the lot) put on what could easily have been called one of the worst matches in TNA history. Both were quickly sent packing.
  • Eventually, a Gut Check contestant won their match. Unfortunately, it was Wes Brisco, with his opponent being Garett Bischoff. The match opened an Impact episode, was treated pretty much as an afterthought, and was really bad. It was only after this suckfest (and skipping a month due to holiday tapings) that TNA got the point about Gut Check and started using it to find quality talent they could use immediately (though that mentality also didn't last long).
    • When it came time to judge Brisco, Al Snow "mysteriously" disappeared, and was replaced by D'Lo Brown. This was the moment where everyone immediately pegged D'Lo as being in league with the Aces and Eights (see below). This was on November 29th; it took almost four more months for TNA to anticlimactically confirm what everyone knew all along.
  • The insanity didn't end there, though. TNA later organized a fan-vote poll with a huge list of people who had passed their initial Gut Check tryout. This ranged from complete unknowns to several well-known indie workers. This would've been all well and good, except TNA had decided to use everyone's real names, so it took some investigating to figure out who everyone was. This led to the discovery that they'd included three WWE signees (including Corey Graves, who had been on NXT for several months) in the polls. When TNA finally caught on that people had figured this out, they removed their bios, but strangely did not remove them from the polls. Others included one who had already been on TV for a Gut Check (Evan Markopoulos, the infamous "He's only 18 years old!" guy, who TNA later funded OVW training for), several who had already been on TNA TV in some way (including Chase Stevens, who'd been a tag champion twice with the company), and one who was convicted for sexual assault of a minor. The company's persistent use of real names would also alienate several contenders, chief among them Courtney Rush (who requested that she be removed).
    • Not long after the polls started, more insanity occured with the polling: it somehow went from one vote per IP to unlimited voting. This was blamed on a "glitch". Guess TNA didn't learn their lesson from when they did that with the Top Ten rankings poll. Unsurprisingly, that led to a massive amount of people voting over and over for the same people. When informed via email that the "glitch" wouldn't be fixed and the poll would not be redone, several well-known contenders (including Athena [a different Athena], LuFisto, and Greg Iron) dropped out, citing that it had become a popularity contest. Others pleaded with their fans not to cheat. Once word got out and the backlash started, the plug was pulled entirely. It's pretty safe to say TNA shouldn't be trusted with any kind of fan polling.

Slammiversary 2012: Celebrating Ten Years of What the Fuck

  • The main event of Slammiversary was Sting vs Bobby Roode. Hogan called Sting the top man in TNA and said he should get the shot after a lumberjack match in which Sting won. Nice way to build up Roode there, Hogan.
    • Hogan also casually tossed Mr. Anderson under the bus as he originally had the title shot against Roode at Slammiversary. TNA Never Explained This™, and Anderson was put in a three-way with RVD and Jeff Hardy to determine who would face the World Heavyweight Champion on the Impact after Slammiversary. Yes, they were still pushing the same old contenders from 2010 because Hogan said "they're ready, brother".
  • TNA thought it was a good idea to do fan voting for a contender to face Devon for the TV Title. We all know about what happened the last time TNA left this decision to fan voting (people wanted Desmond Wolfe over Jeff Hardy), so this time TNA picked four possible contenders every day from Monday and let the fan voting commence that Thursday afternoon. The first week it happened, Jeff Hardy was given a shot and the match was thrown out due to Robbie E/Robbie T interference. The next week, there was no fan voting (way to promote weekly voting) and Robbie E was given a shot, with Garett Bischoff in Devon's corner. Devon/Robbie E became a regular feud, and all their matches stunk.
    • A tag team match was made involving Robbie E and Robbie T vs Devon and Garett Bischoff at Slammiversary. Yes, this happened. Like most matches on the card, it had barely been promoted and was whipped up in the week before the PPV that was supposed to celebrate TNA's tenth anniversary.
      • On a meta level, however, this was the ideal way to celebrate 10 years of TNA: booking PPVs right before the PPV, booking family members of executives no matter how little people want to see them, and recycling matches already done on free TV hundreds of times.
An example of TNA merchandise after the departure of Don West is seen here.

Claire Lynch

  • Following his match at Destination X the previous year, Christopher Daniels spent the rest of the year turning heel by openly resenting both Bobby Roode (for winning the Bound For Glory Series) and AJ Styles (for getting far more high-profile opportunities in the company). Daniels finally turned heel at the end of the year and developed a gimmick of trying to stab random wrestlers with a screwdriver. He also had a series of matches with AJ Styles as the next part of their long-running rivalry...and resulted one of the worst storylines in modern wrestling history. (But it does have a silver lining, so stick with us here.)
    • At the beginning of the year, Daniels said AJ Styles had a darker side. TNA actually did follow up on this, but not until after AJ finished his feud with Bobby Roode: during the above-mentioned Wild Card Tag Tournament, Daniels approached Kaz with information on AJ. During a tag match where he teamed with Styles, Kaz walked out and AJ lost the match. Kaz appeared reluctant to follow Daniels on the following episodes of Impact, but finally turned on AJ during their match at Against All Odds and became a full-fledged heel.
    • Daniels and Kaz interrupted AJ's matches over the next few weeks by flashing random documents and threatening to expose Styles' secrets. Daniels eventually revealed photos and video of AJ with Dixie Carter as they entered a motel room together, as well as a phone call between the two about a secret meeting they didn't want Dixie's husband Serg to hear about. On the last reveal, Serg (a non-wrestler) laid out Styles with one punch. (TNA Never Followed Up On This™.) Dixie didn't acknowledge this angle despite her constant presence on Impact to promote Slammiversary until the recorded phone call was played. When that happened, she stormed out on the stage and screamed for production to stop playing it.
    • Daniels and Kaz won the TNA Tag Team Championship at Sacrifice, then dropped the belts to AJ and Kurt Angle one month later at Slammiversary to up the stakes in this feud. Despite being champs together, Kurt had virtually no involvement in the feud, and AJ hardly ever wore his title belt. Angle and Styles dropped the titles back to Kaz and Daniels two weeks later.
    • AJ and Dixie eventually decided to go public with their big secret. As AJ tried to convince Dixie not to reveal it (despite initially wanting to go public with it in the first place), a random woman entered the ring. She identified herself as a pregnant drug addict trying to get clean with the help of AJ and Dixie without anyone finding out. An enraged Daniels and Kaz rushed to the ring and got laid out by AJ as Impact went off the air. Fans responded with obvious confusion as to who the pregnant junkie is and why they should care about her. (Oh, and as for that mysterious telephone call that Daniels recorded? He had edited a telephone call between AJ and Dixie talking about planning Serg's surprise birthday party. TNA did a whole article dedicated to it on their website. As mentioned, TNA Never Followed Up On This™.)
    • At the end of the next episode Impact, 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...despite largely negative fan reactions on Twitter and some of TNA's lowest ratings for the big reveal segment. In later weeks, the pregnant junkie -- Claire Lynch -- turned heel when she joined with Daniels and also accused AJ of fathering her child. AJ claimed he didn't know if he had even fucked her (and called her a foot), but Claire provided evidence for her claim: pictures of her on top of a passed-out AJ that suggested she had date-raped Styles following a wild night of partying. 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. Yes, we know: that sounds stupid no matter how you read it. He won the match and took the paternity test.
    • One week, Claire cut a promo after arriving at the Impact Zone, during which she was smoking. Yes, she was supposed to be pregnant and she was smoking. On camera. During a nationally televised show. Suspension of disbelief, what's that?
    • TNA abruptly ended the storyline when Julia Reilly -- the actress who played Claire Lynch -- left the company after fans found some of her other acting jobs on YouTube and left harsh comments on her work. (Photos eventually surfaced of Ms. Reilly at her day job: playing Olive Oyl at the Popeye ride in Universal Studios. TNA never even left their own backyard to look for someone to play Claire.) On the episode of Impact where Daniels and Kaz would have revealed the paternity test results, Claire's attorney (played by Janice Carter, Dixie's mother) came out and read a statement that said Claire admitted to conspiring with Daniels and Kaz to blackmail AJ over a pregnancy she never had in the first place.
    • This storyline was so bad that, despite giving us Daniels and Kazarian as the tag team Bad Influence (and making them the only entertaining part of this debacle), it still won WrestleCrap's 2012 Gooker Award by a wide margin.

Miscellaneous Shenanigans, Part 2

  • From May 31st on, Impact started an hour earlier at the 8pm EST time slot. And for 12 weeks, Impact went live from Orlando. The first week generated a 0.89 rating and a viewership of 1,296,000 -- the lowest viewership of the year at that point and the lowest overall viewership in years.
  • Hulk Hogan posted on Twitter praising everyone in TNA for working together and staying positive with the ratings being a mirror reflection of their hard work. Shortly after the tweet went up, the rating for that week's Impact was posted (a 0.97) and other data showed TNA had received the lowest viewership number since moving to live at 8pm. Oops.
  • Viacom, Spike TV's parent corporation, played hardball with DirecTV and struck out; DirecTV dropped all of Viacom's networks following failed negotiations over pay rates for the networks. After putting on one of the best PPVs in its history and drumming up tons of positive buzz, TNA's ratings suffered thanks to something far out of its control. The Viacom/DirecTV dispute lasted two weeks, and Viacom, being amazingly petty, pulled all their shows from the Internet, forcing fans to find alternate means to watch Impact.
  • Spike TV decided to give TNA an extra hour to play with. (Again.) TNA showed no interest in making Impact a three hour show, and as a result, Spike TV aired Impact Rewind -- an hour-long recap of the previous week's episode of Impact. The show's only episode flopped hard with a 0.2 rating; Spike canceled the show, and TNA eventually moved it online before incorporating weekly recaps into the beginning of Impact itself.
  • Most likely due to the 2012 schedule changes and the DirecTV fiasco, Impact drew its lowest yearly average ratings in six years.
  • Mr. Anderson needed a submission in his last match in the 2012 Bound For Glory Series to tie with AJ Styles for 4th place and stay in the Series -- but during the whole match, Anderson only went for pinfalls and made no submission efforts. He won by pinfall and effectively eliminated himself from the series.
  • Devon's contract expired and TNA didn't renew it -- despite Devon holding the TNA Television Championship at the time of his departure.
    • This was not the first time this had happened. The Knockouts tag titles were vacated at least once for the exact same reason prior.
    • TNA attempted to rectify the situation by holding a TV title tournament (won by Joe), only to promptly rehire Devon as part of the Aces and Eights and have him win back the title he never actually lost in an overbooked screwjob, then almost never defend it. What happened to that 30 day thing, huh?
"I have had some amazing matches with the late, great Eddie Guerrero. I have also wrestled Chavo Guerrero."
Kurt Angle on the legend of Chavo Guerrero
  • Hulk Hogan had a meeting with three TNA tag teams who've never received a tag team title shot: Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez, Kid Kash & Gunner, and the Robbies. AJ Styles crashed the meeting and wanted to face the champs, but Hogan refused to let him wrestle them alone. Kash and Gunner were eliminated, which left the month-old team of Chavo & Hernandez and the year-old team of Robbie E and Robbie T (Rob Terry). Robbie E made a great case for his team by mentioning his team's longevity to Hogan. Hulk picked Chavo & Hernandez, who promptly lost to champs Christopher Daniels and Kazarian later in the evening. Hulk then booked Bad Influence to face AJ Styles and Kurt Angle at No Surrender -- despite Angle having no involvement with the AJ/Daniels/Kaz angle at any time and working with a torn hamstring.
    • During Chavo and Hernandez's feud with Kazarian and Daniels, Bad Influence made snide remarks about how Chavo only gets over because he constantly references his uncle Eddie. It would have been good heel heat...if it wasn't true. We dare you to go watch any Chavo promo from TNA and count how many times Eddie Guerrero is mentioned. Hell, "second rate Eddie clone" eventually became Chavo's entire TNA gimmick.
TNA has become well known for their creative art department.
  • Joseph Park was kidnapped by the Aces and Eights and tortured for about a month. These segments were filled with over-the-top violence; at one point, the Aces and Eights hit Park in the head with a hammer, nearly killing him. Despite the possible murder of an innocent attorney, the show continued without a hitch and the incident was undersold by the announcers.
  • Tara defeated Miss "don't call her Brooke" Tessmacher to win the TNA Knockouts Title at Bound For Glory. A few weeks before the match, Tara turned heel by attacking Tessmacher on the advice of her "Hollywood boyfriend". Tara revealed her boyfriend after her title win: Jessie Godderz from Big Brother, who nobody cared about despite Taz's attempts to put Godderz over (even though Taz only said "It's that guy!"). The crowd even chanted "who are you" during his reveal.
  • The stipulation for the Aces and Eights vs Sting and Bully Ray match said Aces and Eights would have full access to TNA and the Impact Zone if they won and go away if they lost. TNA spoiled this with a poster for their upcoming Turning Point PPV when it used Aces and Eights imagery all over the poster. Of course the bikers won the match.
  • The Knockout Tag Titles were mentioned a few weeks before Bound For Glory and how they needed to be defended by the decree of Hulk Hogan. The Knockout Tag Titles disappeared off the face of the earth shortly after these mentions.
  • After Matt Morgan left the company, TNA still incessantly played his Direct Auto commercial damn near every commercial break. Morgan made subtle hints over Twitter that he planned to join WWE, but this was made impossible due to legal restrictions involving a recent lawsuit TNA had filed against WWE. He returned to TNA by jumping the guardrail at house shows until he re-debuted publicly at Bound For Glory to aid Joey Ryan.
  • TNA hired Howard Stern Show regular Eric the Midget to make appearances on the online show TNA Today in the hopes of getting some free publicity from Stern. Howard refused to play clips from the show for weeks, claiming the show was terrible. After Eric threatened to withdraw donations he made to Stern's favorite animal charity with his TNA paycheck, Howard played a clip where Bobby Roode threatened to kick Eric out of his wheelchair -- and he and his crew ridiculed the exchange. This debacle caused Eric to resign from TNA.
  • Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez: PART 4: AN OLD HOPE. This time, Chavo and Joey Ryan were dragged into it. At that point, it was worse than the never-ending AJ/Daniels feud. Morgan and Hernandez could only dream as being as entertaining (or as safe) as them.
  • Christopher Daniels' feud with AJ Styles STILL kept going, slowly building up more heat. Daniels often insulted Styles and bragged about making his 2012 horrible. Both wrestlers even took shots at TNA management by openly mocking the "One Last Time" gimmick, with Daniels going so far as to say "One last time, until the next time".
  • Former WWECW jobber Mike Knox was unmasked as a member of the Aces and Eights. After several seconds of astonished gasps from from the announcers, Tenay says "That's a familiar face" to Taz, then explains to the audience that Knox used to be employed by WWE. They did the exact same thing when Luke Gallows was revealed.
    • Knox wasn't given a name for weeks, so the commentary had to skirt around calling him a name until TNA came up with "Knux".
  • The turkey suit returned! This time, Jessie Godderz ended up wearing it. At least he deserved it, though.
  • From May 10th onward, Madison Rayne teased having a crush on someone, to the point of even asking people what he was like. After taking forever with this, she came out on the July 5th episode of Impact -- during Devon's mandatory weekly title defense -- and revealed her crush by tackling and kissing him senseless. Her crush? Earl Hebner. This eventually led to Hebner tweeting about receiving blowjobs (that actually happened; he eventually deleted it) and being sacked as a ref for Knockouts matches.
    • Once Hebner was sacked, Brooke Hogan introduced Taryn Terrell as a Knockouts ref. Her debut received no response, which upset people backstage. Apparently those people conveniently forgot that she never used her real name on TV outside of the WWE Diva Search. According to rumor, much of the TNA roster didn't know who she was, only remembering her as "the crazy one" who got herself fired from WWE (for beating up then-boyfriend Drew McIntyre). After several months of Taryn's horrid refereeing, Gail Kim managed to get her fired from that gig, but Brooke Hogan promptly rehired her as a wrestler.
      • After Taryn was fired, Brooke Hogan decided to stuntcast refs again. First, it was Joey Ryan (who proceeded to ogle, grope, and pretty much harass the girls mid-match). Not learning from that, Brooke appointed ODB as Knockouts ref.
      • Taryn soon received a nickname. That nickname? "Hot Mess". Either someone was really stupid or thought they were being clever.
      • After participating in two well-received hardcore matches with Gail Kim and being positioned to challenge for the Knockouts title, Taryn suddenly vanished from Impact. After several weeks, the reason she had disappeared was found out: she'd become pregnant.

PLEASE DON'T GO, YOU MONEY-MAKING FUCK-UP

  • With his contract expiring by the end of 2012, TNA did its best to make Jeff Hardy comfortable so that he would re-sign with them. This all took place while a restraining order was in place keeping WWE from signing TNA talent, as we previously saw with Matt Morgan.
  • Remember the Bound For Glory Series? TNA did it this year to see who took on Austin Aries at Bound For Glory. Are you thinking Bully Ray won? Samoa Joe? James Storm? Nope: Jeff Hardy won and became the #1 Contender. At the Impact before Bound For Glory, Aries turned heel at the end of the show by taking a script out of his trunks, going against it, and shooting on Jeff. Ultimately, Jeff won the belt in a match where more than half of the audience was against him, partly due to TNA jumping the gun on Aries' heel turn.
  • On the October 25th episode of Impact, Hulk Hogan told Jeff he would pick one of the following opponents for a title shot: Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, James Storm or Mr. Anderson. After leaving Hogan's office, the home audience actually heard Jeff's inner monologue on the possible opponents. Suspension of disbelief, what is that? (On that same episode, Mr. Anderson was challenged by Austin Aries and attacked Aries shortly thereafter. Before the segment ended, a production team member could clearly be heard saying "Cut! Ok!" before moving on to the next segment. It would've been bad enough if this had been on a live Impact, but this aired on a taped episode.)
    • Hardy's inner monologues, always delivered in that bored-sounding monotone, would soon become a weekly thing for a while, prompting many a telepathy joke at Hardy and TNA's expense.
  • After winning the world title, TNA allowed Hardy to carry a custom belt around similar to the one he used in 2010 as well as holding the real world title belt. TNA Never Explained This™ (and neither did Jeff Hardy), though the reasoning was clear: make Jeff Hardy happy at all costs.
  • Kicking off the first Impact of 2013 was the 2012 Impact Wrestler of the Year Award, with fans "voting" for the winner. The options were Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, James Storm, and (duh) Jeff Hardy. Despite not doing much until being pushed to the moon so he would renew his contract, Jeff Hardy won it. Austin Aries protested against the decision, saying it was rigged. (At least TNA admitted it...in a way.)

2013

General Fuck-Uppery

TNA WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
  • Despite heavily promoting how their shows were completely live, TNA eventually return to their previous taping model (taping shows an hour or two before the actual live broadcast). TNA's social media continued to plug it as being a live show with the hashtag #ImpactLive; this was mocked by several people with the hashtag #ImpactTaped. This pretence continued until 2014, when #ImpactLive was dropped in favor of #ImpactOnSpike.
  • TNA also took the opportunity to change its PPV model by bringing the number down from twelve annual PPV events to four: Genesis, Lockdown, Slammiversary, and Bound For Glory. The remaining months were filled with pre-taped "One Night Only" specials to fulfill PPV contracts. This ostensibly gave TNA more time to create bigger buildup for their remaining PPVs (but also helped disguise how badly their PPVs sell).
    • One of the first "One Night Only" specials was a Knockouts-only special. Due to the company's past mistreatment of its female performers, requests to participate were declined from TNA alumni Traci Brooks, Angelina Love, Roxxi, Awesome Kong, Winter, Peyton Banks, Sarita, and Rosita. Alissa Flash (who had originally declined) was the only alumnus who accepted an offer, while Madison Rayne (who was still with the company at the time of filming, though not when it was aired) made a non-wrestling appearance because of her pregnancy.
    • All but the first two specials were taped over three days in March. They wouldn't air for months afterward, leading to wrestlers (such as Madison Rayne) making appearances on "One Night Only" specials after they were no longer employed with TNA.
    • The 10 Reunion special was dropped by DirecTV in favor of softcore pornography. This happened with another "One Night Only" special the following year. (Smart satellite provider.)
  • TNA booked the Alamodome in Texas for Lockdown, which was re-scheduled for March instead of April. The arena seats over sixty thousand people, but even if TNA had managed to reach full attendance via a combination of ticket sales and papering fans in (it didn't), the stadium would have had far more empty seats than filled ones that night, thanks to TNA running Lockdown in a smaller part of the full stadium.
  • "The Road to Lockdown" United Kingdom tour was heavily advertised for January 2014. This included two TV tapings in Manchester and London. Due to his felony drug conviction, then-TNA world champ Jeff Hardy would not be permitted into the country. Instead of taking the opportunity to put the championship on another wrestler (e.g. Christopher Daniels, who Hardy wrestled right before the tour), TNA explained Hardy's absence from the tour and a month's worth of television with an "injury" caused by an attack from the Aces & Eights after the match with Daniels. TNA eventually revealed that Hardy wasn't actually injured and would be back after TNA returned to the US.
  • Spike and TNA's relationship took an interesting turn as TNA began heavy cross-promotion with MMA company Bellator (which had replaced UFC programming on Spike TV when Fox signed a deal with UFC). This included Dixie announcing Jeff Hardy's re-signing to TNA for another two years on Bellator; in return TNA plugged a bunch of Bellator stuff. Unfortunately for TNA, Bellator soon stopped promoting TNA, even though Bellator was still heavily promoted on Impact. Eventually, Spike TV saw Impact as a viable platform to promote their other full-contact sport endeavors as well, which angered what few long-time TNA fans were still watching the show.
  • The February 28th edition of the Gut Check saw the judges decide between Ivelisse Velez and Lei'd Tapa. Despite having the majority of the offence during their match, huge interest from the fans, and recognition from her run on the last season of Tough Enough, the judges chose 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).
  • March 7th saw D'Lo Brown unmasked as the VP of Aces & Eights. He had been unmasked by Kurt Angle the week before, though the unmasking itself took place out of camera shot. Rather than relay the information to anyone after unmasking D'Lo, he kept it to himself for the whole week, then delayed it further the next week when he decided to brawl with Wes Brisco. Kurt eventually identified D'Lo by pointing at him and was promptly kicked in the balls.
    • Dixie Carter then waited until March 16th to announce that she'd "fired" D'Lo from his TNA management position on Twitter.
    • Two months later, D'Lo lost an I Quit Match (his first televised match in four years) to Kurt Angle and was demoted from VP to "prospect" the next week. This would last for two more months before his firing as part of budget cuts in July (not long after he had agreed to take a pay cut).
    • Speaking of Wes Brisco, he and Garett Bischoff were revealed to be Aces & Eights members in January after also turning on Angle, who had been mentoring them both and was a driving force behind getting Brisco a Gut Check match the previous year. Brisco stayed with the group until September 26th, when he was kicked out after losing a match and was completely removed from TV. He remained employed with TNA until January of 2014.
  • March 8th was the one-year anniversary of Eric Young and ODB's Knockouts Tag Team Title win. This was not acknowledged at all by TNA.
    • Brooke Hogan would eventually strip and retire the Knockouts Tag Titles due to Eric Young being a man, though not due to them not having defended the titles in more than 30 days, which had been a reason for at least one other vacancy of the titles. This was 478 days into the reign. Even with them being officially removed from television, they were not removed from the TNA roster page until July.
      • At the same time, the Television Title was also discontinued, though it would remain on the TNA roster page until well into 2014.
  • TNA tried (again) to place limits on the "no limits" X-Division by turning all title matches into Triple Threat Matches. They also overcomplicated the contendership for the title: if a contender lost a title match, they would have to re-earn a shot by winning a three-way contendership match. This drew concern from fans, as the contendership rule was not very well explained and the X-Division was not very large at the time. It took six months for these confusing restrictions to be dropped, and TNA claimed fan demand was behind it.
    • At almost the same time as these rules were introduced, a new X-Cam (a camera attached to the referee's head) was introduced; as this was not well-received by fans due to the low quality of the footage filmed (as this camera gave everything it filmed a strange yellow hue), it was discontinued after two weeks.
  • Dixie Carter got her very own action figure. TNA promoted the release on Twitter with a contest to take pictures featuring the figure; responses included the figure at the inaugural NXT PPV and being stood on by a Vince McMahon figure.
  • On May 9th, Christy Hemme accidentally introduced Austin Aries and Bobby Roode incorrectly as Bad Influence, thinking that Daniels and Kazarian would come out first. Aries, being legitimately annoyed, cornered Hemme near the turnbuckle, climbed up the second turnbuckle, and proceeded to shove his junk into Hemme's face. Hemme later went on Twitter saying that Aries was out of line with his outburst, to which Aries countered back by saying that Hemme couldn't take a joke.
    • Aries was later "severely" fined at the insistence of Spike TV. A few days afterward on Impact, many shots were taken at TNA and Spike for their hypocrisy in still including its usual pervy camerawork for its female personalities, such as the slow pan up Hemme's body that highlights the skimpy outfits she wears.
  • Zema Ion was hospitalized with appendicitis. In addition to removing the appendix, doctors also found a tumour in his bladder which had to be removed. Zema couldn't afford to pay for it -- and TNA decided not to pay for it, either. A fundraiser started by Zema's girlfriend for the $30,000 treatment only reached $6,648, while Zema received heat from officials backstage for making the company look bad.
  • In a severe lack of foresight, TNA moved back to a 9pm timeslot on May 30th -- right in the middle of the NBA Playoffs. The return show did a 0.83 rating with a 26% drop in viewers from the previous week (the lowest ratings since the Monday Night Massacres of 2010).
  • The last month of Velvet Sky's Knockouts title reign featured a knee injury which Velvet would often forget about while running around the ring before remembering the injury and selling it by collapsing like a puppet having its strings cut. This injury, and her quasi-selling, continued even after she was medically cleared for a rematch after losing the title to a newly-heel Mickie James.
  • During Slammiversary, Dixie Carter announced the second member of the TNA Hall of Fame: Kurt Angle. TNA's Hall of Fame consisted of two people who were most famous for their performances in companies outside of TNA (Sting in WCW, Angle in WWE) and neglected those who had been with the company since day one (James Storm, AJ Styles, and company founder Jeff Jarrett).
  • Slammiversary also saw the announcement of a new "Major Free Agent"; despite rumours of wrestlers such as John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, Prince Devitt and even Rob Van Dam, the announcement turned out to be Quinton "Rampage" Jackson -- who would also be fighting for Bellator.
    • TNA teased an Angle/Jackson feud for all of a week before having the two make up. Jackson also announced he had no plans to wrestle until he had finished with his MMA career, making him another non-wrestler hired to not wrestle. (This didn't stop TNA from putting him in their Main Event Mafia reboot.) By September, Jackson was pulled completely from all TNA programming by Bellator to keep him from being injured before a then-scheduled fight between him and Tito Ortiz. Despite announcing that he had no plans to return to TNA after he saw "the way they ran things", TNA still has a profile page for him on their website (though he is now listed as part of the TNA Alumni).
  • June 27 saw a "fake" Suicide win the X-Division Title and eventually unmask as Austin Aries; this shocking announcement was already shown on YouTube two days prior to broadcast, spoiling everything but Aries' reveal in the process. During the segment in which Aries was revealed, Hogan claimed that TJ Perkins (who had previously made stops in TNA as Puma) had played the character since its debut, which was pretty much impossible since at least three other people (Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Kiyoshi) had played Suicide through the character's run.
    • In order to revamp the character, Suicide was renamed Manik and given new music, but used the same (barely altered) costume until late 2014. (After all, you can't very well put "Suicide" on an action figure and expect it to sell, can you?)
  • July 17th saw the toll of taking Impact on the road as TNA went on a cost cutting spree (despite being late on paying talent): Madison Rayne, Taeler Hendrix, Joey Ryan, Christian York, Crimson, D.O.C. (then embroiled in a storyline between himself and Mr. Anderson over the position of Aces & Eights VP), Todd Keneley, Jesse Sorensen, Mickie James, Tara, Matt Morgan (for the second time!), and Bruce Prichard were either intentionally cut, allowed to leave, or had their contracts expire without renewal. In an unintentional foreshadowing to the cuts, Bobby Roode's contract was quietly allowed to expire in March of 2013 while he was one-half of the reigning Tag Team Champions. Roode reportedly had to bring this to the attention of TNA, but was fortunately able to negotiate a new contract.
    • Todd Keneley (a recent addition to the commentary table who had been received favorably by fans) was dropped in favour of Taz (who had deliberately let his contract expire to try and get interest from WWE, which didn't work).
    • Crimson's release was only days before his appearance on the pretaped Hardcore Justice "One Night Only" PPV. Quips about him returning and chants of "Welcome Back" weren't edited for broadcast.
    • Mickie James turned down a $60,000 per year offer -- a tidy sum, but dwarfed by the salary of non-wrestling announcer Christy Hemme (who reportedly earns $100,000 per year).
    • Madison Rayne was pregnant at the time of her release, earning the company a lot of unnecessary heat. She eventually returned in December.
    • Hendrix, Ryan, and York had been hired through Gut Check, with Ryan and York being two of the few Gut Check contestants not immediately dropped in OVW upon being hired. In Hendrix's case, TNA had even aired a buildup video featuring her story a month before releasing her.
    • Arguably worst of all was Jesse Sorensen's release. In 2012, Jesse suffered a serious neck injury during a match with Zema Ion that would keep him out action for at least another year. Dixie assured fans that she would never fire an injured wrestler. Sorensen said in later interviews that Dixie considered herself a member of his family and would do everything possible to make sure he would always have a spot in TNA. Sorensen was given a job on the production side of the business to help out during broadcasts...which allowed TNA to break their promise, as he technically wasn't employed as a wrestler any more. Sorensen would later reveal that TNA didn't pay for any his medical bills -- or at least, they didn't pay for enough of them to prevent his mother from going into bankruptcy so she could help pay those bills.
  • After the Summer Bloodletting, Dixie had the bright idea of addressing fan concerns on Twitter. On July 25th, she solicited questions marked with the hashtag [#AskDixie] on Twitter. To say this backfired would be a massive understatement: after being bombarded with snarky comments and questions for over a day (with the hashtag legitimately trending worldwide at one point), Dixie's account went quiet and she eventually resurfaced a month later to address questions that weren't "outrageous" or "hurtful". She answered such questions for a few weeks, then stopped.
  • A house show in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on July 20th saw all 300 attendees refunded as several wrestlers scheduled to appear on the show had no wrestling license in the state. These included Garett Bischoff, Jay Bradley, Miss Tessmacher, Gail Kim, Wes Brisco, and then-reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion Chris Sabin. Bruce Prichard was later blamed for this mistake.
    • Around this same time, two more house shows (Eugene, Oregon and Yakima, Washington) were cancelled, and TNA's On-Demand service was discontinued.
  • Kurt Angle was pulled over for a DUI on August 1st, his fifth such arrest while under the employ of TNA. As a result of the arrest, Kurt finally checked himself into rehab on a substance abuse program. This happened while TNA was promoting a five-on-five Aces and Eight vs. Main Event Mafia match for a special episode of Impact. The match was postponed for a week, then happened on August 22nd -- with AJ Styles replacing Angle.
    • The stipulation for that match, by the way, said whoever was pinned would be fired. Devon was pinned. He returned almost a year later for induction into the TNA Hall of Fame alongside Bully Ray.
  • August 15th featured Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin in a cage match where Bully would never get another title shot if he lost. Bully won the match via interference after a ref bump, which included Tito Ortiz turning on the Main Event Mafia (see "#August1Warning" below). Sabin was branded a transitional champion as he immediately slid back into the X-Division and later turned heel before leaving the company.
  • On July 11th, as part of that year's Bound For Glory Series, TNA booked a Joker's Wild random tag tournament where winning teams were entered into a gauntlet match. Main Event Mafia member Magnus drew Aces & Eights member Mr. Anderson as a partner, and Anderson spent the entire match being a horrible tag partner to Magnus as a result. Their opponents, Jay Bradley and Hernandez, also had problems with each other -- which allowed Magnus, who had done the great majority of the work for his team, to win the match. He subsequently won the gauntlet match as well.
  • August 29th saw Hogan attempt 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...that couldn't be edited or re-taped before broadcast.
  • Following cues from Mr. Anderson the previous year, AJ Styles eliminated himself from the competition by deciding to win a Series match via pinfall when he needed to win via submission, which commentary pointed out during the match. Luckily for Styles, Hogan decided to prolong the tournament for another week (despite the previous week being promoted as "Winner Take All") and booked a Battle Royale featuring every competitor in the tournament. The only person who could really move anywhere close to the top of the rankings was AJ, who won the match, catapulted from fifth to first place, and knocked Jeff Hardy out of the top four in the process.
  • Hogan's contract expired on October 1st; despite financial woes and constant roster cuts, TNA was still interested in renewing his $35,000-per-appearance contract. 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. After he refused to come back, she spitefully fired him. (Rumors say Hogan had invoked a creative control clause to make the segment turn out this way so he wouldn't have to put TNA over on his way out.) The next week, in treatment similar to what Eric Bischoff had received, Hogan's name wasn't even mentioned. Bischoff himself was soon removed from the creative process after Hogan's departure, and his contract was allowed to expire.
  • A graphic advertising a contract signing between himself and Bully Ray taking place on the October 17th Impact featured a massive production mistake, which displayed AJ's Twitter address as that of Mickie James, who had departed the company beforehand. Despite this being a pretaped show, the mistake was not caught before airing, and the graphic aired at least three times during the show.
  • On November 2nd, TNA severed its ties with Ohio Valley Wrestling as a developmental territory in order to cut further costs. That being said, TNA never really used OVW as a developmental promotion; it merely used it as a place to dump wrestlers it didn't want or couldn't put on television (which included a good portion of the Gut Check contestants that they had hired).
    • Around the same time, TNA returned to Universal Studios to tape some episodes of Impact to cut costs, though at a different soundstage than the original Impact Zone (which was occupied at the time).
  • A mere five days after cutting those costs, Adam "Pacman" Jones returned to TNA for a one-time appearance where he and DeQuin Evans (another football player) bodyslammed Bad Influence. Neither would appear again, despite Dixie hyping Pacman as a former champion who'd re-signed with the company days prior to his appearance. Also in spite of those cost cutting measures, TNA paid bodybuilder Phil Heath to accompany the Bro-Mans at Bound For Glory (which backfired when nobody recognized him).
  • One of TNA's longest running gags -- Christopher Daniels or one of his alter egos being fired as a result of the Feast or Fired Match -- came to an end on December 12th. Curry Man, who had been scheduled to compete in the match, decided to voluntarily remove himself from the match rather than risk receiving the briefcase with the pink slip once again.
  • On December 17th, AJ Styles' twelve-year tenure with the company came to an end when he decided to leave a company he helped build rather than take a cut in pay. Four days later, TNA co-founder Jeff Jarrett left the company after he (along with Toby Keith) failed to negotiate a buyout of TNA with the Carters. (The deal breaker? Bob Carter reportedly insisted they keep Dixie in the company in some fashion).

Specific Extended Mishaps

Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan (or, "Working a Shoot into a Worked Shoot-Work, Brother")

  • On December 20th 2012, Hogan caught Brooke and Bully Ray making out in the parking garage as the last segment on Impact. Two weeks later, Bully alerted Brooke to his suspicions that Hogan might know about them. In response, Brooke outwardly expressed confusion as to how her father could know. Despite pleas from both parties, Hulk Hogan suspended both Brooke and Bully, though Bully would remain on promotional material for the upcoming Genesis PPV.
    • A week later, moments after being saved from an attack from Aces & Eights, Bully proposed to Brooke -- and she accepted. The wedding took place on the January 17th episode of Impact; during the wedding, Taz unmasked as a member of Aces & Eights, who promptly destroyed the wedding and all its attendees. (A few days after uploading this segment to their Youtube channel, TNA took it down and replaced it with an edited version. In the unedited version, Brooke had a wardrobe malfunction and had revealed it to her father just loud enough for the camera to pick it up. By the time TNA replaced the video with the edited version, however, someone had already uploaded the full unedited version.) After this reveal, Taz's commentary suffered as he began to shoehorn in references to being aligned with the group.
    • For some reason, Brooke did out-of-character interviews where she told everyone the angle was real. Famed gossip/famewhore Perez Hilton went to the internet to lampoon Bully for posting pictures of himself with a topless dancer, but Perez later "researched" the topic and proclaimed Brooke might not have gotten married and wrestling may be "fake". Brooke's actual engagement to a football player, which directly contradicted events on Impact, was actually brought up on Impact.
    • After the wedding, Hogan's opinion of Bully completely changed. He immediately made Bully the #1 contender to the World Title, completely ignoring the four matches he'd made to decide who that would be beforehand. At Lockdown on March 10th, Bully Ray faced off against Jeff Hardy -- and when Aces & Eights attacked the match, Bully turned heel, won the match, and officially revealed himself as the President of the Aces & Eights, revealing he'd been using everyone (including Brooke Hogan) to get the belt.
    • (Quick aside: despite the scattershot booking of Aces & Eights after its debut, TNA pulled off a genuinely great moment on the post-Lockdown episode of Impact when it aired several videos throughout the evening of Bully Ray explaining his entire plan. It did the best job possible of making sense out of most of the awful booking surrounding the group while helping Ray come off as a villainous mastermind.)
    • The following episode of Impact saw the Aces & Eights interfering and beating up various people while practically begging Hulk Hogan to fire them. Hogan didn't and instead decided to unfairly shift the blame to Sting. Despite dominating almost half the locker room in a brawl the week before, the entire Aces & Eights fled from the ring when Sting came down to save Hogan (who had gone out to face the Aces & Eights alone). In order to try and win the championship off Bully Ray, Sting won a match against Matt Morgan to become #1 Contender. (This was after Morgan had offered to take out the Aces & Eights in exchange for a title shot, which had been declined by Hogan, who cited that Morgan was doing it "for all the wrong reasons". Morgan wouldn't recover from this loss and left the company as part of the Summer Bloodletting.) Despite Hogan's best efforts to talk him out of it, Sting agreed to a stipulation for the match: if he lost, he could never challenge for the World Title again. Sting lost.
    • During all this chaos, Bully started trying to see Brooke again. There was a belief that this would eventually lead to Brooke turning on her father, but she left the company in August 2013. (In kayfabe, her departure was explained by Bully Ray saying he'd finally granted her the divorce she'd wanted for so long.) Luckily, Bully was able to satisfy his need for a "Brooke" in his life by reintroducing Miss Tessmacher as Brooke one week after Brooke Hogan left the company.

#August1Warning

  • Following the Summer Bloodletting, TNA uploaded a cryptic video of a shadowy figure announcing that a non-TNA/non-Spike employee would show up on the August 1st episode of Impact. In a failed attempt to create more buzz, TNA claimed they would release a clue as to the person's identity if the original video received 250K views (a claim that was met with confusion and derision). Following speculation on who it might be, TNA released further videos denying claims that it was either Batista or Chris Jericho.
    • The man behind the videos was revealed on August 1st as MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, who was last relevant in TNA ten years ago. Tito's debut consisted of standing on the ramp with his arms folded whilst the rest of Aces & Eights tried to act concerned. The live crowd greeted it with silence, the home audience greeted it with derision, and Mr. Anderson greeted it with confusion (and a series of mocking videos later on, which are about the only truly good thing he's ever done with his TNA career). Due to Angle's rehab depature on August 15th, Ortiz was offered the empty spot on the Main Event Mafia team by Sting and "Rampage" Jackson. Ortiz accepted, then turned on the Mafia that same night.
    • The entire deal was done to cross-promote the Ortiz/Rampage fight for Bellator in November. Despite this cross-promotion, neither man actually took part in any wrestling, and both Ortiz and Jackson were pulled from TNA television after a couple of weeks. (Ortiz suffered a neck injury during training, which nixed the Bellator match and made the entire Spike-mandated storyline a loss on all fronts.)

2014

From Bad to Worse (Up to Lockdown 2014)

  • Despite heavily announcing its return to Universal Studios following the failures of its road tapings, TNA couldn't secure any more dates for Soundstage 19...or any other soundstage, since they had all been booked for the year. To recap: at the start of 2014, TNA didn't have AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, or a place where they could tape shows without worrying about the costs of a lack of attendance. TNA taped two episodes of Impact at Huntsville, Alabama and six episodes during a UK tour before finding out they had secured more dates at Universal Studios by means of holding tapings on weekends (where they would be holding house shows in empty arenas instead) and only taking the soundstage over on a part-time basis.
  • TNA eventually announced they had signed a deal to show all TNA programming on the Challenge network in the United Kingdom and Ireland...around the same time rumors began to spread about Spike (the American TV home for TNA) cancelling Impact. WWE was re-negotiating their broadcast contract with NBC Universal, and Spike's name was brought up as a potential home if the NBC Universal deal had fallen though.
The 2014 version of a TNA House Show. As you can see, it's not exactly different than before.
  • AJ Styles returned to TNA just so he could say Magnus was a farce as the TNA World Champion and challenge him to a match to determine the undisputed TNA World Champion on the January 9th episode of Impact. During the entire show, all of the faces (except for Sting) were taken out in the backstage area to whittle down any hope AJ had of having help for the match, which ended up becoming a No Disqualification match. The "match" (and we use the term loosely here) was an overbooked mess where all the heels attacked AJ and Sting was the only face left to help AJ. (Kurt Angle, who wasn't attacked, was told that a family emergency happened and left the arena before the match started.) The clusterfuck also featured not one, not two, but three different referees coming out to referee the match (one of which, Earl Hebner, walked out of the match after seeing how outnumbered AJ was compared to Magnus). In the end, Magnus walked out as the undisputed TNA World Champion in what basically amounted to a "fuck you" towards AJ Styles and all he ever accomplished in TNA.
  • The Budget Cutter struck again soon after this: Jay Bradley and Wes Brisco, who was inexplicably still employed after the end of Aces & Eights, were both fired.
  • In a huge free agency pick-up, TNA succeeded in signing The American Wolves (Eddie "Eddie Edwards" Edwards and Davey "The Other One" Richards) mere days after WWE refused to sign the team to a developmental contract. While TNA has a history of signing WWE castoffs, rejects, and has-beens, the immediacy of this signing was remarkable (partly because Richards had wanted to go to TNA in the first place). Edwards and Richards introduced themselves in a backstage segment on the live Genesis edition of Impact...were promptly not booked to wrestle in either their debut appearance or at the following Impact tapings.
  • Around this time in 2014, rumors surfaced about Vince Russo working in some form for the company (again). More on those later.
  • In an obvious play on the buyout rumors from 2013, TNA created a storyline where a mysterious investor was going to buy TNA. At the end of the TNA taping from Glasgow, Scotland, the "investor" was revealed to be former WWE performer Montel Vontavius Porter (MVP). Dixie apparently had no idea who was investing in her company...or that they had apparently been doing so for months.
  • DirecTV dropped TNA's "One Night Only" PPV in February and replaced it with softcore porn. Again. (Smart satellite provider.)
  • Before Jeff Jarrett left TNA, he worked out a deal between TNA and The Great Muta's new promotion, Wrestle-1. When rumors surfaced that Vince Russo was working behind the scenes at TNA again (this time in a consulting role via outside correspondence), it allegedly put a strain on the relationship, due to several people at Wrestle-1 thinking Vince Russo is racist against Japanese talent. (With Russo's "Lucha Libre" comment years earlier and his burying Jushin Liger with a tequila bottle shot in WCW, is it any wonder why?)
  • Jeff Hardy revived his old Willow the Wisp gimmick from his OMEGA days, resulting in the man who is probably the most recognizable person in TNA being masked and working with a gimmick people would make fun of rather than recognize.
  • With two weeks of taped Impacts to go and a PPV coming up, someone thought it would be a good idea to have the Wolves win the Tag Titles at a house show. The rushed and last-minute nature of the victory for the Wolves was done because of an upcoming Wrestle-1 tour: Wrestle-1 wanted the Wolves to work the tour as the champions instead of the Bro-Mans. How do you know your booking sucks? When the company you have a working agreement with demands (and gets!) a title change because they have no confidence in the current champions.
    • Once the Japan tour was underway, the Bro-Mans won the titles back (which made the initial switch make even less sense), and to make matters even more ridiculous, the show they won them back at was a taping for a "One Night Only" PPV. This became the first "One Night Only" special to affect TNA's on-screen canon, and the actual title change (plus a second title change, this time the X-Division title) wasn't aired in the United States until July.

March to June: Lockdown and More

And it wasn't even an empty arena match.
  • The rumors of a failed Jeff Jarrett/Toby Keith takeover of TNA gained extra credibility when Jarrett announced a new promotion (Global Force Wrestling) in April 2014.
  • Attendance for Lockdown was a far cry from the packed houses on the UK tour; the crowd wasn't large enough to fill the ringside area and camera angles almost constantly showed the massive amount of empty seats.
  • Dixie banned Jeff Hardy from the arena in a rant after the opening match of Lockdown, guaranteeing that he'd show up later on in his Willow guise. When he did, he entered Lethal Lockdown by diving from the top of the cage (not actually hitting anyone in the process) and selling offense by screaming. Meanwhile, commentary immediately outed that it was Hardy, making all the buildup beforehand a complete waste of time.
    • The TNA Twitter account sent out a tweet which said security was "at high alert" for Hardy. Laughter ensued.
  • Samuel Shaw threatened to commit suicide by jumping from the top of the cage. Fans chanted for him to jump.
  • Abyss inexplicably turned heel to aid Magnus in retaining his world title...by pulling Joe through the ring before attacking him. The few fans in attendance chanted "bullshit" and the Internet chorused "WTF was that?!" in unison.
  • Dixie's hired "insurance policy", Bully Ray, turned face to help cost her her job. Dixie apparently forgot that this man was trying to take over/destroy the company for much of the previous year.
    • Despite being given a hilarious sendoff by Rockstar Spud and EC3 on the Impact after Lockdown, she returned to TV after a month and made the entire thing completely pointless.
  • After several months of build towards a match with Gail Kim, Lei'd Tapa's run with TNA ended two weeks after Lockdown (and a week after she turned on Gail Kim) when she lost an unpromoted match to Gail. Outside of a quick mention in Gail's promo and a throwaway line from Taz afterward, hardly any of the viewers had any idea she was legitimately leaving until she tweeted about it after the show.
  • In April, PWInsider confirmed what everyone had feared: Vince Russo was working for TNA again, this time as an outside consultant. The signs were all there before this report: odd title changes, an obsession with the Beautiful People (which included a promo where the girls seriously said "SWERVE!" in reference to a heel turn), battle royals with singles matches tacked on at the end mislabeled as gauntlet matches, and so on. A while before this, dirtsheets also revealed that Christy Hemme had become part of TNA's creative team. With Russo coming into the equation, it truly went from bad to worse, as he supposedly edited the scripts from the creative team and passed them back to John Gaburick (the head of TNA creative).
  • On the April 10th edition of Impact, Eric Young faced off with Magnus for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a match with very little build going into it. Young defeated Magnus to win the title...after also winning a battle royal earlier in the night to earn the title shot. The timing of this couldn't have been much worse, as Daniel Bryan's WWE World Heavyweight Championship win at WrestleMania 30 happened just four days prior. Similarities to Bryan all fell into place:
    • Apart from having a bushy beard like Bryan, MVP complemented Eric Young's "fighting spirit" -- a spirit which Triple H said Daniel Bryan had.
    • Eric's first major feud after winning the title was against his former tag team partner, Abyss, who is a masked monster -- just like Daniel Bryan feuded with Kane after winning the WWE WHC.
    • Eric Young received "You deserve it!" chants on a later episode -- just like Daniel Bryan did on the Raw after WrestleMania 30.
    • Bully Ray copied Daniel Bryan's line about how "the fans made this company", only with Dixie Carter playing the role of Stephanie McMahon (and doing a piss-poor job of it).
    • TNA even brought attention to these similarities via Dixie Carter: she claimed to have invented beards and said she would sue anyone "stealing" her intellectual property, implying in the process that WWE had stolen the storyline from TNA.
    • As for former champion Magnus, he fell out of the title picture completely after losing to Young...to the point of being stuck in a tag team with newcomer Bram (Kenneth Cameron, formerly of WWE's Ascension, who was bounced out of that company for assaulting a police officer) and becoming one of several guys to engage in a pointless, go-nowhere feud with Jeff Hardy/Willow before being kicked into the tag division.
  • In early May, a carnival-themed stable called The Menagerie made their debut in TNA. This stable featured former Aces & Eights member Knux, a woman named Rebel, a clown named Crazzy Steve, and Rob Terry under a mask (and now going by the name "The Freak"). Oh, and two people on stilts, who eventually disappeared after one tripped on the set. The first week featured Knux returning to the ring to defeat Kazarian. The second week featured Crazzy Steve's in-ring debut, and the "match" consisted of Kazarian kicking Steve, tripping over Steve on the outside, falling over the top rope, Steve hitting a splash on balloons, and Steve pantsing the referee while The Freak distracted him and Rebel did stuff on ropes...all while The Menagerie's theme played the entire time à la New Jack. (Kazarian won that "match" by disqualification.) To put the cherry on top of that shit sundae, this was Kazarian's last match on the TNA roster (he left the company a week prior to the match airing, following the example of Daniels, who left TNA the month before).
    • And as if Bad Influence departing wasn't bad enough, Chris Sabin also left at the same time. Hernandez departed not long after, too, but no one gave a shit.
    • After Kazarian departed, the Menagerie began to feud with the Bro-Mans, and Robbie E revealed that he was afraid of clowns. It was as stupid as it sounds. Eventually, the Menagerie disappeared entirely, with Terry outright becoming a victim of the Budget Cutter.
  • Because TNA can't go a few months without a heel authority figure, MVP turned heel in mid-May and proceeded to form a faction with Kenny King (who he'd been feuding with immediately beforehand) and Bobby Lashley to beat down Eric Young. At the same time, Dixie's group with EC3 and Rockstar Spud was still around, which gave TNA two heel factions trying to control the company at the same time.
    • The assaults on EY threw even more fuel on the "similar to Daniel Bryan's storyline" fire as MVP injured Young's arm, then put himself in a match for the world title the same night before joining forces with two other superstars to beat down EY (three things that Triple H, WWE's heel authority figure, had done to Daniel Bryan).
  • TNA spoofed the Solange Knowles/Jay-Z elevator incident by having Dixie attack Rockstar Spud in an elevator. The video was quickly and soundly mocked.
  • Money issues got so bad in TNA that the production crew reportedly threatened a complete walkout over pay coming in late (or not at all) after tapings. The walkout never happened as TNA promised to make up the lost pay, though a longtime member of the production staff did quit over the issue.
  • Gunner somehow became qualified to deal with Samuel Shaw's psychopathy because he spent a lot of time with a friend who had PTSD. We don't know which one is more tasteless: TNA involving PTSD in a storyline or Gunner believing all mental issues are the same.
  • Right off the back of their $40 Willow umbrellas, ShopTNA continued to put out fantastic, quality products such as two masks (one of Willow and one of Manik, who hadn't been on TV since October 2013) and an Eric Young "beard". Not only can you add "selling a fake beard" to the list of things TNA did to capitalize on Daniel Bryan's push, the beard and both masks were both made of plastic and completely horrid-looking (especially the Manik mask).
  • On May 29th, relative newcomer Brittany cut a whiny promo on Madison Rayne, during which Brittany strongly implied that she was a lesbian and had feelings for Madison. Absolutely zero build toward this was given.
  • Austin Aries faced off with Samoa Joe in a Loser Leaves TNA match on the June 5th episode of Impact. The match was preceded by eight non-wrestling segments in a row, including an in-ring segment between The Bro-Mans and The Menagerie. The match (which was decent enough before the ending) ended with Eric Young and Bully Ray interfering by taking out the ref, meaning the hour of hype for this match resulted in a non-finish.
    • How did MVP punish the four faces for this? He let Kenny King accept an four-on-four tag team First Blood Match. The faces won by making EC3 bleed. This was followed by a backstage segment where Dixie Carter declared war on MVP and his group. Nobody gave a single shit, except for Dixie herself.
      • Speaking of MVP not enforcing any kind of punishment! At the start of that Impact, MVP booked The Wolves (then the Tag Team Champions) in a singles match against each other where they could either wrestle each other or be stripped of their titles. Richards and Edwards proceeded to have a slow-moving mirror match, which Davey won with a roll-up, while Kenny King watching at ringside. After the match, The Wolves beat up King after he demanded them to actually fight -- yep, TNA did a retread of the same angle done by Madison Rayne, Brooke Tessmacher, and Tara in 2011. The Wolves were not punished in any way for beating up King.

June to July: Slammiversary and More

  • Before Slammiversary, TNA's official Twitter sent out a tweet which said the company would announce the opening match if said tweet was re-tweeted 500 times. The tweet ended up with half that number by the time TNA deleted it and announced the opening match anyways.
  • In one of the worst cases of TV tapings biting TNA on the ass, MVP (who was scheduled to face off against Eric Young for the TNA World Title at Slammiversary), was sidelined with a knee injury during a house show in England on May 30th (which took place not too long after the last series of TV tapings). TNA announced that MVP was out a day after the last episode of Impact before Slammiversary, then booked a Triple-Threat Cage Match where Eric Young would defend against the winners of Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe and Austin Aries vs. Kenny King. It doesn't matter who won those two matches, though -- Eric "I'm not Daniel Bryan" Young retained the title anyway.
    • In the end, the "Daniel Bryan clone" experiment ended as abruptly as Daniel Bryan's own push when Bobby Lashley won his first TNA World Title...in the main event of the Impact after Slammiversary, which likely pissed off anyone who actually ordered the PPV.
  • TNA asked for fans to vote whether to keep the four-sided ring or return to the six-sided ring when the company went to New York for another set of TV tapings. Six Sides won in a landslide, but not everyone was happy: both Austin Aries and EC3 were supporters of keeping the four-sided ring, as they claimed the six sided ring was much less forgiving when taking bumps and the ropes are often far tighter. TNA could have easily sorted this out by purchasing a larger ring, but it ended up buying the same sized ring they've already used (they supposedly converted all their previous rings to four sides). And why was TNA so adamant on changing the ring at this point, and not earlier on in the year (or even after Hogan left last year)? Jeff Jarrett had thought about using it for Global Force Wrestling.
  • Kurt Angle revealed the third announced members of the TNA Hall of Fame: Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon), in yet another case of TNA shafting its "homegrown" talent for guys who made names for themselves outside of TNA.
  • During one of Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore independent wrestling events, Dreamer accused Dixie Carter of pulling Bully Ray from the show due to her own personal agenda and did a worked shoot where he said Dixie didn't care about fans and Bully would make things up to the fans at the next Impact taping. What was so important to Dixie that she had to pull Bully Ray out of an independent wrestling show? Bully was a guest for the Spike TV Awards along with Dixie and Gail Kim (done to help with the negotiations for a new Spike TV deal). Although TNA tried to pull this off as a shoot, people figured this was a angle when Abyss wasn't pulled out of the show and proceeded to chokeslam Dreamer during the promo. This led to yet another of TNA's pointless re-hires (Rhino, who returned to be Dixie's hired gun).
  • To boost ticket sales for their New York City tapings, TNA revealed that Jeff Hardy (finally shedding his ridiculous Willow guise) had won a #1 Contendership Battle Royal on an episode of Impact that had yet to air.
  • During the main event of the July 24th edition of Impact, former WWECW veterans Gene Snitsky and Ezekiel Jackson attacked Tommy Dreamer and Team 3D before aligning themselves with Dixie Carter and her Team Dixie faction. Although this gave us the bizarre concept of the last original ECW Champion (Rhino) teaming with the last WWECW Champion (Ezekiel Jackson), the WWECW veterans were "fired" the next week (TNA had only paid them for that one appearance).
  • For some time, people browsing ShopTNA who attempted to leave the page were stopped by a popup of Willow offering a 5% discount on anything in an attempt to get people to buy something.
  • After over a year of not appearing on television, TNA's website finally declared the Television Title as "inactive".
  • TNA announced a conference in London where it promised to make a special announcement. This conference was hyped up for consecutive weeks...only for TNA to make the announcement on social media a couple of days prior to the conference. The announcement? TNA was filming a sequel to the successful British Boot Camp series.
  • After months of rumors and denials, Vince Russo was once and for all confirmed to be working for TNA as a consultant when he accidentally cc'd an email to Mike Johnson of PWInsider containing voiceover instructions for Taz and Tenay. After trying to spin it as a swerve on his Twitter, Russo finally came clean on his website and admitted TNA had him under a confidentiality agreement; he removed that admission, but not before it was screengrabbed. Noted wrestling journalist/Misawa fanboy/snowflake lover Dave Meltzer reported the reason for Russo's re-involvement with TNA being kept a secret: it wasn't just Wrestle-1 that hated the guy -- Spike TV also hated him. In trying to keep Russo's job a secret, TNA also had to lie to the roster and its business partners about his involvement.

July to November: Spike Cancels Impact

Wrestle-1 had to acknowledge a taped X-Division title change because TNA took the title off Sanada at a taping without telling them.
  • Not long after the Russo admission came to light, news came out that Spike had finally decided to pull the plug on the network's association with TNA once their current contract expired. Meltzer later mentioned that the situation with Russo had a lot to do with the decision, and other sources say Spike TV had told Dixie herself not to re-hire Russo under any circumstances (but she did it anyway and lied about it).
    • A few days later, Russo said he had left the company, then said he had decided to quit. In actual fact, he was fired by John Gaburick, who jokingly suggested that TNA and Russo no longer work together, but then got serious and actually got rid of him (likely in a vain attempt to save the Spike deal from falling through). Russo later revealed that this recent involvement with TNA stretched back to October 2013, and he also claimed to have sat in on creative meetings and critiqued episodes of Impact.
    • Not only did Dixie lie to damn near everyone about bringing Russo back, she was determined to lie about being cancelled, as she reportedly told everyone that TNA was voluntarily leaving Spike TV due to lack of promotion.
    • In a true scumbag move worthy of being bolded and italicized, people in the TNA front office reportedly told indie promoters to wait until the Monday after the news broke to book TNA talent, as "they'd likely be cheaper" then.
    • After everything had settled and proving that she had not learned a damn thing from being kicked off Spike, Dixie later went on record as saying she'd hire Russo again if she got the chance!
  • In an attempt to save face, Dixie Carter sent out a tweet saying negotiations with Spike TV were still ongoing. TNA employees were supposedly sent emails that denied the rumours. It's unlikely they would believe it, given those rumors about the Jarrett/Keith buyout.
  • So! What does TNA do instead of focusing on keeping their sole television show on the air? You guessed it -- they signed a new wrestler! On July 30th, TNA announced the signing of newcomer (and Team 3D trainee) Chris Melendez to a "multi-year" contract, all the while shilling that he had served in the Army and lost a leg in Afghanistan.
  • And once again, they spoiled their own show.
  • Not only did they spoil their own show, they made a day of it. They even used Dixie's Twitter account to advertise this.
  • To support the episode where Dixie goes through a table, TNA branded the episode on social media with #ITHAPPENS - which backfired when users on Facebook and Twitter used the hashtag in reference to TNA's recent Spike TV issues.
  • As if everything piling up on TNA all at once wasn't bad enough, Davey Richards (one half of the then-reigning tag champs) broke his leg at a house show on August 15th. Thankfully for TNA, it wasn't a serious break, and he was healed in enough time to work another set of TV tapings.
  • After Alberto Del Rio was released from WWE and given a no-compete clause for 3 months, TNA soon expressed interest in not only hiring Del Rio (now Alberto El Patrón), but making him the TNA World Heavyweight Champion - proving that TNA hadn't learned from their previous mistakes of giving former WWE wrestlers a push upon immediately joining the company at the expense of the TNA originals.
  • At a live event on August 17th, Bully Ray held a talent meeting...so he could tell them goodbye, as he was leaving the company -- right in the middle of a heavily-promoted tag team series between Team 3D, the Hardys, and the Wolves (and before induction into the TNA Hall of Fame). But Bully wasn't a complete dick: he signed a temporary contract extension so that he could finish up the storyline and be inducted into the HOF before leaving TNA for good.
  • Spike TV moved Impact to Wednesdays after word got out about WWE moving SmackDown back to Thursdays. The SmackDown move wasn't scheduled to happen for months, however, and TNA kept advertising a Thursday timeslot up through August.
    • The first episode of Impact on Wednesdays received a stinging 0.65 rating, meaning almost a third of the regular TNA audience didn't make the jump with the company. And why would they? Despite being an absolutely massive (and obviously rushed) shift, it was barely mentioned or advertised in any way by TNA or Spike TV.
  • Spike eventually gave TNA a new contract -- a temporary one that would let the company air Impact on Spike through the remainder of the year while the company searched for a new network.
  • Of course, it would help if TNA even knew what year it was.
    • That video was played on the September 24th episode of Impact. They had already revealed that Team 3D would be going into the TNA Hall of Fame just a month before, so there was no reason to remind everyone.
  • On that same episode, TNA advertised its main event as a New York City Gold Rush, a five-man match in which the winner of the event would get to challenge for any belt of their choosing. The only thing TNA had announced were that five men were competing that night and the winners of those five matches would participate in the main event. They showed a graphic of MVP, Magnus, Robbie E, Austin Aries, and Abyss as advertised as having matches.
    • Robbie E had a match against ECW veteran Yoshihiro Tajiri. During the match, piped-in chants of Robbie E could be heard, even when the camera pointed to the crowd not doing anything. This also made no sense, since Robbie E was the heel in this match and had previously insulted the New York crowd.
    • The main event, which was advertised as a five-way match, ended up being a nonsensical tag match where nobody could tell which "team" whatever wrestler was on. They were either teaming up when they wanted to, or fighting against everyone when they wanted to. In the end, Austin Aries ended up winning; as for which belt he would be challenging for, the commentators said, "Find out next week on Impact!"
  • During that same September 24th episode, TNA showed a graphic of the dates and locations where they would be having shows for the rest of the year. The graphics showed a bleak sight: after the Bound For Glory show on October 12th, they had no other dates scheduled for the rest of 2014. They skipped straight to the 29th of January 2015 (the beginning of TNA's next scheduled UK tour).
  • TNA announced a three-way match between Samoa Joe, Low Ki, and Kaz Hayashi for the X-Division Title on Twitter. Of all the comments on that tweet, Hayashi would accidentally RT one conspicuous comment: "can't wait until you guys get taken off the spike and tv for good."
  • Brooke Tessmacher and her (then-)actual boyfriend Robbie E were contestants on the 25th season of long-running reality TV show The Amazing Race. Despite Brooke and Robbie E making an impressive run on the show by reaching the quarter-finals, TNA never promoted their appearances on the show at all.

November to December: TNA's Next (Final?) Destination

  • Just when people thought TNA would finally die after the final Impacts for Spike TV were filmed, the cockroach of professional wrestling found a new home to infest: Destination America, a sub-network of the Discovery Channel. At the time of TNA's contract signing with DA, the network was carried in about 52% of American households, meaning TNA would have fewer viewers than they ever had during the majority of its horrible ratings slump in 2014.
    • Other networks had actually bid on getting TNA. One of these was WGN America, which (as of late 2014) was carried in more households than Destination America. Reports said WGN America would have asked TNA to return sometime in the middle of 2015, TNA wouldn't have had the resources to survive at that point, so the deal fell through.
  • On November 25th, TNA uploaded a video to YouTube that showed highlights of the infamous Turkey Bowl series. As was typical with TNA, something went horribly wrong: from 1:30 all the way up to 7:15, the video glitched and repeated a turkey having a seizure in-front of the Motor City Machineguns logo, and it was only fixed when the match supposed to be shown in the video went to a break (said break being an ad for TNA's move to Destination America). The next morning, someone apparently noticed the Internet laughing at TNA for this epic fail, as the video was soon pulled -- but not before someone made a gif of the glitch! Imagine this going for 5 minutes and 45 seconds!
  • TNA commemorated their very last first-run original episode of Impact on Spike TV with one of their classic production fails: the X-Division match to crown a new champion received the hashtag #XChampCrownded.
  • In December, TNA shook up its commentary team: Mike Tenay stepped down from announcing duties (but remained with the company in a smaller role), and replacing him would be former WWE backstage interviewer/third-rate SmackDown announcer/certified faggot Josh Matthews. Apparently, somebody in TNA missed the...chemistry between Matthews and Tazz when they did commentary for WWE Velocity.
  • On TNA's final best-of broadcast on Spike TV (the last bit of TNA programming to ever air on Spike TV and the end of TNA's nearly decade-long run on the network), the company chose Bully Ray putting Dixie Carter through a table as its best moment ever. #ItHappens and the formation of Immortal were placed above the Unbreakable Triple Threat Match between AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe (which is still widely regarded as the best match in TNA history by critics and fans alike). Other moments that made the top ten were the Brooke Hogan/Bully Ray wedding and the massive screwjob that was AJ's last match in TNA. See you in 2015, bitches!

2015

January: TNA 3.0 - You Can (and Will) Repeat the Same Mistakes

  • TNA's debut Impact episode on Destination America was nearly a non-starter. Because the company was using somewhat different (and less) production equipment on loan from the venue, there were various technical glitches that happened during the taping. Had TNA not made the decision to run the show on a tape delay, the big debut would've likely seen a ton of stalling between matches. It really didn't matter in the long run, though: TNA made many of the same mistakes on DA that it did on Spike. Of the five matches on the show (four of which were title matches), only the main event went longer than eight minutes, and three of the five matches didn't run any longer than six minutes. The cameras missed several big moments because of incompetent production. Oh, and the main event saw Low Ki, Samoa Joe, and last year's attempt to rip off Daniel Bryan's megapush Eric Young turn heel in a massive schmozz finish to the highly-anticipated Roode vs. Lashley Bobby vs. Bobby world title match. (Lashley would regain the world title as a result of Ki, Joe, and Young joining MVP and Kenny King to form The Four Horsemen the nWo The Millionaire's Club Immortal Fourtune the Main Event Mafia Aces & Eights The Corporation The Authority The Shield "The Beat Down Club", henceforth BDC).
    • Later, it was claimed that Young was not a member of the BDC, despite appearing with them in pretty much every segment they're in.
    • So how did TNA do with this big debut? The debut Impact on Destination America managed to snag 263,000 viewers. 
By contrast, the last first-run Impact episode on Spike got 980,000 viewers. TNA expected a drop, but I doubt management expected a dropoff of over half the audience. (Just for the record, TNA's highest viewership number between the 26th of July 2012 and the DA debut was for the Impact episode from the 23rd of August 2012, which managed to pull in 1,717,000 viewers.)
      • A number of Twitter users also noted how empty the arena where TNA taped that evening was; some estimates put the attendance at around 200 to 300 people, while the highest estimates put the number at around 700 people.
    • On the bright side, TNA managed to shock everyone with the return of Awesome Kong and the setup for Kong vs. (Jessicka) Havok, which they blew off in record time so they could rush Kong into feuding with Taryn Terrell.
      • This feud was barely even off the ground when Taryn suddenly turned heel and aligned with newcomers Marti Belle and Mia Yim to form the Dollhouse, also known as TNA's latest attempt to recreate the Beautiful People. This had the added side effect of turning Kong face, and it all made no sense.
        • Kong was soon shunted off to the side as Taryn began feuding with Gail Kim over Gail's husband Robert Irvine.
        • For her role as Jade in the Dollhouse, Mia Yim was repackaged as what could best be described as a cross between an anime schoolgirl and the two Asian twins in one of the Austin Powers movies. Very bad.
  • On the very next episode of Impact (taped right after the above debacle), Low Ki won back the X-Division title he lost to Austin Aries on the DA debut. How much did TNA have to pay so it could keep the oven warm for those hotshot title reigns?
  • On the February 6th edition of Impact (now the Lockdown special), Brooke Tessmacher...well, for once, we're gonna let a live report from VISIT WRESTLING INC. tell the story: “Robbie E calls Brooke Tessmacher to the ring and blames her for losing The Amazing Race. He challenges her to a race and he accepts. The race involves them spinning around with a baseball bat, running to the cage, climbing into it, back over it and back up the ramp. The judges are Jessie Godderz and DJ Zema Ion, who get involved and try to stop Brooke from leaving the cage. Robbie ends up pushing Brooke off the ramp. He poses before crossing the finish line. Brooke comes back and hits him with a low blow. She then crotches him with the bat. Brooke crosses over the line and wins. She goes back and takes a selfie with Robbie. This was described as pure stupidity.”
  • Jeff Hardy once again doing something stupid. TNA used this as their excuse to write him off the UK tour, even advertising the bump itself! Guess they haven't quite realized that everyone already knows by now just why he can't go on the UK tour.
  • Once again, Feast or Fired rolled around, and despite not being in the match in the first place and actually getting the briefcase for Robbie E., Velvet Sky received the pink slip.
  • In another huge blow to the TNA roster, in February talks to give Samoa Joe a new contract with TNA fell through and Samoa Joe's contract expired shortly after the tapings from Dublin, Ireland. Joe would tweet on Twitter shortly afterward that he had left TNA. This hurt TNA since Joe had just turned heel and joined the new BDC (Beat Down Clan) stable.
  • In mid-February the UK tour tapings aired on TV, their biggest crowds of the year. Though sadly TNA dimmed the venue lights right down so the huge crowds could not been seen on TV, making their massive arena taping look more like a Universal Studios taping.
    • An intentional "creative decision" intending to "evolve" the product with "lighting treatments", Dixie claimed in an interview a few days after the Destination America premiere when the whole mess with dimming the lights started. She also claimed it was Jon Gaburick's idea. Naturally, fans made fun of and called bullshit on this and the rest of the interview.
    • After the UK tour tapings started to air, word got out that Destination America wanted TNA to stop taping in the UK because they only wanted episodes that were taped in America. Nevermind that the UK tour is generally when TNA draws their biggest crowds and does their most business or anything like that.
  • During the March 6th Impact, TNA aired an ad for the Impact taking place two weeks later only 30 minutes into the episode, spoiling the result of the main event #1 contender's match in the process.
    • Kurt Angle won the #1 contender's match and the TNA title two weeks later, despite being held together by duct tape and prayer at this point. This title change was demanded by Destination America, apparently because they thought it'd be cool to have a former Olympian as champ on their network.
  • TNA announced a Best of Sting DVD set during Wrestlemania weekend in an attempt to cash in off of a previous star instead of investing their money towards their current wrestlers.
  • Even with the new network, money issues continue to plague TNA, with both talent and production staff being paid late, the latter in particular even being shorted more than $1000 each on average. The pay issues even reportedly played a part in ridding TNA of Taz's horrible color commentary, as he quit the promotion on April 15th. He would also no-show his last day of commentary dubbing, leaving Josh Mathews to announce the taped shows by himself.
    • The Budget Cutter would strike both before and afterward, as Garett Bischoff (inexplicably still employed since the Aces & Eights died, despite his father leaving) was let go on April 1st, and Seiya Sanada departed on April 16th.
      • With Sanada went TNA's partnership with Wrestle-1, as the promotion has also fallen on hard times, plus TNA turning Sanada heel and giving him a Muta ripoff gimmick caused Muta to pass him by as the company's ace, leading him to quit the promotion at the same time as he left TNA.
  • In a strange twist of fate, despite being one of the rumored names that was to buy the company, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins was announced on Twitter to have joined the TNA creative team in late April.
  • Drew Galloway debuted during the UK tapings in almost the exact same way MVP debuted, later forming The Rising with newcomers Shaun Ricker and Tevita "Camacho" Fifita to combat the BDC. Why? Because TNA just can't go a few months without a main event faction war.
  • Eddie Edwards suffered a broken heel at a One Night Only taping in February, so the Wolves had to vacate their tag titles a month later when new tapings rolled around. TNA put together a mini-tournament to crown new tag champs, in which teams competed to be entered into an Ultimate X match. The Hardys won the resulting Ultimate X match on the Impact aired April 17th, only for Jeff to break his leg in a dirt bike accident eleven days later. Coincidentally, Edwards had been cleared to compete again a few days prior, meaning that TNA could've just waited his injury out and avoided the whole mess.
    • How did the Hardys win the Ultimate X for the vacant tag titles? Despite being the only face team in the match, they pulled the biggest heel move in Ultimate X: they used a ladder. Nothing was said about it, as apparently TNA had forgotten their own continuity once again.
  • TNA advertised a "Live Impact" for the May 8th edition. As usual they went with a tape delay and just called it live... except for The Fight Network, TNA's Canadian home, who started Impact by going live during the ending of that show's main event of Kurt Angle vs Eric Young, cutting off before the match actually ended. Canadian fans ended up missing the reveal of Bully Ray as the main event's guest referee (though they found out in a much funnier way).
    • Allegedly Billy Corgan's first contribution to the program, during a cringe-worthy promo MVP was bleeped for using the N-word. Magnus was also bleeped later for cursing out James Storm. Nice hire there, TNA.
  • Not even half a year into the relationship between TNA and Destination America, things are already turning sour. Both Greatest Matches and Unlocked ended up being canceled after having their timeslots jerked around, and it was announced on May 16th that Impact would be moving to Wednesdays starting June 2nd. Yes, again. Furthermore, it was mentioned by Dave Meltzer that Destination America has an out clause for September, and further rumored that they may have already decided to exercise it!
    • Furthermore, Destination America decided that the episode of Impact taped for May 22nd would not be airing on their network, allegedly because it was the start of Memorial Day weekend and people wouldn't be watching TV. Slammiversary 2014 would be airing in its place.
    • To pile more woes on TNA, a scheduled tour of China was canceled, allegedly because of the company they were counting on to promote it failed to do so.
  • Steve Small, TNA's Senior Director of Production and the guy mentioned above as having called fans "cast members", will be leaving TNA at the end of May to pursue teaching. Who was hired to take over his position? The Harris brothers. Yep, the same ones mentioned countless times above. No, no one has any idea what they know about TV production either.
  • Continuing her delusional ways, Dixie held a talent meeting at tapings in May, instructing the talent not to believe what anyone says regarding failing ratings and falling viewership, and that ratings were actually better because websites allegedly didn't publish the ratings with the West Coast numbers and didn't count people watching on their DVRs throughout the week.
  • Whilst it's not their most problematic issue, wrestlingauctions.com - TNA's eBay store, has "WWE" listed in some of the items headers in an attempt to get more people to buy stuff. It should be noted that they're also taking out-dated merchandise from ShopTNA, getting it signed, and re-listing it all as "collectibles".

May and beyond: TNA Gets Cancelled 2: Electric Boogaloo

  • On May 20th, it was confirmed by Dave Meltzer that Destination America would indeed be exercising their out clause for September, numbering TNA's days once again.
    • The next day, TNA sent out a press release claiming that Meltzer's confirmation allegedly constituted defamation and "if necessary", they would "seek all legal remedies available to us". Yes, they're planning to sue the internet for defamation. No idea how that's gonna work.
    • Recent koolaid drinker Billy Corgan tweeted that Meltzer had been "worked by a sloppy angle". Meltzer would later note that this sounded very similar to what Vince Russo said when Mike Johnson confirmed that he'd been working for TNA.
  • It would soon come out that Bischoff Hervey Entertainment and Garett Bischoff had filed a lawsuit against TNA on May 15th because (surprise surprise) they hadn't been paid either!
  • With TNA moving to Wednesdays, it caused their taping schedule to be out of whack. Or rather, TNA wants to be out of Universal Studios after Slammiversary is over so they're going to tape a whole load of episodes prior to the PPV which means that you guessed it, they're going to make their PPV look worthless and have the results already out before the event is even aired.
  • In news that would surprise nobody given TNA's previous email mishaps (cough cough Russo)...Dixie Carter ended up insulting Destination America. A wrestler contacted the Voices of Wrestling podcast and sent over a screenshot from last week which featured TNA President Dixie Carter referring to the suits at Destination America as "dummies." The screenshot also revealed that Carter had accidentally cc'd the e-mail to the current President of Destination America. And people wonder why they are getting cancelled.
    • MLW Radio later provided more details: the email had been a rant about how Destination America wasn't touting the DVR numbers that she'd previously complained about the dirt sheets not mentioning, she directly called the head of the Discovery Networks a dummy, and she no-showed a quarterly meeting with Destination America the week afterward. Basically, she brought all this upon herself.
  • TNA issued a public statement about the recent online articles regarding Destination America's cancellation of Impact Wrestling. Regardless of the actual story, isn't it notable a few small net dirtsheets have managed to take a vast amount of control over the company?
  • Shortly after TNA's publicized tantrum, noted asshat Josh Mathews chose to take a shot at WWE, claiming that they wouldn't have known who Samoa Joe was if it wasn't for TNA and calling them "hypocrites" for "ignoring" TNA. When he was rightfully corrected by fans as to how they would've known of Joe without TNA, he proceeded to have a complete and total meltdown involving arguing with fans and tweeting that he gets paid "bags of money" by TNA, which was left up for at least a day before someone presumably told him to knock it off and delete the tweets.
  • On May 27th, TNA and the wrestling world as a whole were completely blindsided by the announcement that Destination America had picked up Ring of Honor's weekly program to air on Wednesdays, an hour before Impact. MVP later directly confirmed on Twitter that nobody in TNA knew a thing about this prior to the announcement.
    • A conference call was held later that day, with no details given about the TNA/Destination America deal and the call descending into squabbling chaos when the floor was opened to the talent.

See also

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox