I would like to begin by addressing the current situation of TNA Impact Wrestling. There is a lot of negativity surrounding the recently reported news that TNA will be losing their TV deal with Spike TV.
I am saddened to see (so-called) wrestling fans praising the news, claiming it is "about time", and they will have no chance finding another network so they are as good as dead.
First of all, just because a news website reported a TV deal had not been reached, does not finalize the fact. Dixie Carter and TNA Wrestling still have time to negotiate a contract with Spike TV. In other words, don't believe anything until it is announced by TNA Wrestling, only they know the true situation.
I want to stay optimistic that they will reach a new deal, or find a new network. They have made a lot of changes lately, and I want to see those changes continue. TNA is a company finding its way through a tough time for wrestling. The industry is not as popular as it used to be, and unless you have a ton of money, growth is likely to be slow and steady.
Also I want to say the Vince Russo rumour is something I don't believe. There is not enough evidence to claim that a network would drop their top rated show because of one insignificant man. Not only that, but Vince Russo worked with TNA and Spike TV from 2005-2012 and they never threatened to drop TNA Impact during that time period, so why would they do it now? I feel it is about internet hype, trying to find any reason to escalate the story out of nothing. Then again, Taz posted an interesting tweet lately about unfollowing Russo on Twitter. Still, it is just speculation at this point.
This is where the article really begins. Let's take a look back at the legacy TNA has built so far.
NWA-TNA Era (2002-2004)
- The first show was full of talent. Jeff Jarrett and Scott Hall began a feud immediately, however they were both unsuccessful in the Gauntlet for the Gold match. Ken Shamrock emerged as the first NWA World Heavyweight Champion under the TNA banner. On the 2nd show, Low-Ki, Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles tore the roof down during the NWA X Championship match.
- NWA-TNA continued to air weekly PPV specials online. Wrestling fans slowly began to notice the talent on show and tuned in. TNA aired 111 PPV between June 19th 2002 - September 8th 2004.
- Most successful Tag Teams: Americas Most Wanted, Triple X.
- Most successful X-Division Champions: AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Chris Sabin, Michael Shane, Kazarian.
- Most successful World Champions: Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Ron Killings
- TNA Impact aired for the first time on June 4th 2004. TNA continued to partner with the NWA and used their championships until May 13th 2007. TNA introduced the new World Heavyweight Championship on the same day. They began to use new Tag Team titles on May 17th, and the first women's Championship in company history, the TNA Knockouts title, on October 14th.
- TNA Impact first aired for Spike TV in 2005.
- This era introduced the rise of wrestlers who had already made a name for themselves, including: Sting, Kurt Angle, Raven, Christian Cage, Team 3D and Rhino.
- Most successful Knockouts Champions: Awesome Kong, Taylor Wilde, Gail Kim, ODB.
- Most successful Tag Teams: Beer Money, Americas Most Wanted, The Naturals, LAX, Christian's Coalition, Main Event Mafia, The British Invasion.
- Most successful X-Division Champions: Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Low-Ki, Petey Williams, Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal, Suicide, Amazing Red.
- Most successful World Champions: Jeff Jarrett, Christian Cage, Kurt Angle, Sting, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe.
Impact Wrestling Era (2010-2014)
- This era saw a number of changes to the company, including a change of image. "TNA" was fazed out in place of Impact Wrestling. The six sided ring was changed back to a four sided ring. Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair appeared regularly. Dixie Carter began getting involved with storylines and introduced a new heel persona.
- 2010 is often cited as the worst year for TNA, as Hulk Hogan's faction "Immortal", took over Impact Wrestling. The X-Division and Tag Team divisions took major hits, and although they did tease a true return for the X-Division, it ended up being hype and nothing more.
- 2011 was a better year, as Sting introduced a new belt design for the TNA World Championship. Bobby Roode brought some prestige back to the title by plugging its importance on a regular basis.
- Austin Aries' domination of the X-Division, and his first TNA World Championship win was a definite highlight.of 2012.
- Most successful Knockouts Champions: Gail Kim, Tara, Angelina Love, Mickie James, Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky.
- Most successful Tag Teams: Beer Money, Motor City Machine Guns, Bad Influence, The Bromans.