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INSIDE THE ROPES    
Total Nonstop Answers: A Moron's
Beginner's Guide to NWA-TNA 

October 6, 2005

by the Canadian Bulldog and Matt Hocking
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

This past week, wrestling history was made when NWA-TNA's "iMPACT" program debuted on Spike TV, marking the first time World Wrestling Entertainment has had any threat of national competition since WCW folded in 2001. The move has led many to think that we are on the verge of another chapter in "The Monday Night Wars" era.
 
 
Not us.

But in order to satisfy TNA's most voracious supporters -- Jeremy Boreash, Brad "Angstboy" Smoley and, uh, Jeff Jarrett's Brother -- bestselling author Canadian Bulldog and third-generation Samoan superstar Matt Hocking have decided to put their blood feud aside for the moment and give you, Joe and Jane

Jane Wrestling Fan, a detailed look at wrestling's perennial number two promotion.
 

Part I: The Rise and Fall of NWA-TNA

NWA-TNA was forged from the fires of love and bound by the fetters of passion. After successfully destroying WCW in 2001, Jeff Jarrett entered his home state of Tennessee with a vision and a dream. That vision was to create a viable competitor to Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment, and that dream was about accidentally arriving late to a big chemistry test naked. 

On May 10th, 2004, Jeff Jarrett accomplished one of his goals, when he took part in the University of Tennessee’s 14th Annual Streak-O-Mania. Later that day, he also founded his own wrestling promotion. Called NWA-Total Non-Stop Action (because NWA-Wildside and NWA-Total Non-Stop Fudge, had already been trademarked), Jarrett’s promotion set out to do what every promotion had done in the past -- hemorrhage massive amounts of money for long periods of time.

The End for TNA?

In that regard, Jarrett was an immediate success, with the help of his father, the legendary promoter Jerry “The King” Jarrett, Jeff eschewed the common belief that a wrestling company should attempt to build a fan base, and instead asked fans to pay $10 every week to watch all their favorite recently-fired WWE stars perform against Indy Guys Too Crappy To Make It In Japan. 

Despite seeming like a hit concept, Jarrett’s gamble didn’t pay off. Even though they managed to draw dozens and dozens of fans to watch the wacky hijinx of top TNA superstars like Scott Hall, if he bothered to show up, and Ron “K-Kwik” Killings, TNA couldn’t stop themselves from losing money. It got so bad that within six months, their original sponsor St. Mary’s Home for the Elderly and Infirm had pulled their support.  Was this the end for the TNA we’d all known and loved?

The End for TNA?

In October of 2002, a new sponsor emerged for TNA.  A mystical race of Pandas from the future, who believed that the success of TNA was vital to the successful procreation of their species, traveled back in time, won the New Jersey State Lottery, and with the proceeds, purchased the TNA brand from Jarrett. In exchange for retaining his position at the tope of the company, Jarrett agreed to marry and mate with one of the Panda princesses. TNA’s financial future secured for at least another couple months, Jarrett set about doing what he did best, revolutionizing the world of professional wrestling.

The End for TNA?

With money granted him by his Panda overlords, Jarrett went on a spending spree, signing every guy under six feet tall and 200 pounds he could find. What resulted was the creation of the “X-Division” (motto:  “It’s not about weight limits, it’s about how many backflips you can do!”).  From this division came TNA’s biggest star to date, the acrobatic Poet Laureate AJ Styles, and their best match, the “Ultimate X” match, in which up to 24 contestants hang helplessly from a wire while another man does backflips in the corner. 

Sadly, however, even with the invention of a new star and a match with the word “Ultimate” in the title, fans weren’t showing up like TNA hoped they would. So they did what any self respecting wrestling promotion would do.

The End of TNA?

On June 4th, 2004, TNA brokered a deal to buy television time on fourth rate cable sports channel Fox Sports Net, between re-runs of Best Damn Sports Show Period and other reruns of Best Damn Sports Show Period. Despite airing at 3 p.m., when children are just switching on reruns of Laguna Beach and adults are observing High Tea, and constantly being pre-empted by World’s Strongest Mustache competition, TNA failed to draw the viewers it hoped to for iMPACT (the “i” is for “Shit, I left the Caps Lock on!”).

Not even new stars like Monty Brown, a former New England Patriots Linebacker who reminded many of a young Scott Norton, or Disney Sponsored Wrestler Shark Boy, could draw in fans. On a positive note, TNA’s live attendance was booming, drawing over a hundred consecutive $0 gates from hapless parents and tourists who thought they were in the line for “Back to the Future: The Ride” at TNA’s Universal Studios arena.

TNA then proceeded to try to make peace with their WWE brethren, sending former WWE wrestlers Road Dogg, The Red Rooster and young Mankind hopeful, Abyss to a WWE taping with gifts of gold, Frankenberry and mirth. Unfortunately, Triple H hit them all with a sledgehammer, ending the promising career of D-Ray 2000.  Weakened, TNA survived an invasion from Scott D’Amore’s Fabulous Flipping Canadians, but things looked bleak for the company’s future.

The End of TNA?

Finally, rallying to the call of their rabid, toothless fan base, TNA entered into a partnership with NASCAR adding analyst Jeff Hammond to the regular TNA crew of Skeletor and Mark Madden Jr. While this filled the “wrestling as an analogy for car racing” quota, TNA fans wanted more! So, they got exactly what they wanted, as TNA branched out adding amazing laser effects to every entrance, and changing from a boring old four sided ring to an amazing six-sided ring, which fans were quick to point out, features fully two more sides of action than WWE offered.

The mantle of power for TNA passed from Wrestling Genius and Man of God Vince Russo to the legendary Dusty Rhodes, who promised to “afalaba an’ wreeeeeklah doobydoo, if you wheeeeel!“  With that, TNA went on a tear, coming out with their first major PPV event, the aptly titled, Victory Road, and signing Peroxywhygen artist Jeff Hardy to not show up to events. They also continued to push hot young talents like, America‘s Most Wanted and X-Pac. Momentum firmly established on its side, TNA promptly canceled its television show.

The End of TNA?

Having left FSN after a dispute involving Tom Arnold’s performance rider, TNA failed to reach a deal with WGN, who had offered to pre-empt TNA only during basketball and baseball seasons. So, in their infinite wisdom, the Pandas hatched a scheme to make iMPACT available for download off the internet.  Many analysts agreed that this was crazy talk, mostly because TNA, which was already making somewhere between $0 and -$342,954 every week, wouldn’t even have a TV show to support their flagging promotion. 

However, the analysts were quickly silenced by MENSA member and NWA Champion Raven Simone, who teamed with the RIAA to sue the shit out of those damn kids who were stealing copyrighted material off the internet. This is widely regarded as TNA’s best business move ever. Dusty Rhodes quit, but he was quietly replaced by Larry Zybysko who twirled his hands in the shape of an “L” and threatened Scott Hall, who hadn’t been with the company in 3 years.  At their next PPV, TNA announced they’d made a deal to return to cable television. To celebrate, Jeff Jarrett booked himself to go over Raven at an autograph signing at a Wal-Mart in Wichatosa Falls, BC, Canada.

The End of TNA?

Now, TNA has struck a deal with Spike TV, who just ended a five year partnership with WWE. Will TNA live up to its high Velocitiesque expectations or is TNA just Spike’s “rebound” girl until it can cozy up to reruns of CSI:  Miami. I don’t know the answer to that question, and chances are, I never will. One thing’s for sure, it certainly is a good time to be a Kevin Nash fan!
 

Part II: The ABC's of TNA

A is for Abyss, who thinks he's Mankind.

B is for Buyrate, which they can't seem to find.

C is for Candido, who died on their dime.

D is for Don West, the equivalent of slime.

E is for Elix, who once played a Canuck.

F is for Finances, as in, TNA's fucked.

G is for Goldylocks, whom Callis once bought.

H is for Hulk Hogan -- oops, wait, no it's not.

I is for Indy Talent that TNA likes to buy.

J is for Jarrett, who then makes them die.

K is for Killings, no longer "Gettin' Rowdy"

L is for Lollipop, a stripper -- boy howdy!

M is for Monty Brown, the one guy with a catchphrase.

N is for Nash, here's a tip: act your age.

O is for Orlando, where they tape every show.

P is for Piper, who came in just for the dough.

Q is for Quartermain, their most famous jabroni.

R is for Russo, their most famous big phony.

S is for Styles -- I'm betting he's broke.

T is for "Team 3-D" -- ha, what a joke!

U is for Ultimate X, their only decent creation.

V is for Vinnie Mac, glad he's not in their situation.

W is for Workrate, not the WWE's brand of atrocity!!!

X is for X Division, which used to be known as "Velocity"

Y is for Young New Stars, like DDP, Dusty, and Lynn

Z is for Zybysko, who, as commissioner, fits right in.
 
 

Part III: EXCLUSIVE TNA Trading Cards/Mini-Bios

Name: Jeff Jarrett
Hometown: Nashville Orlando
Gimmick: Triple H
Championships/Accolades: 314-time NWA World Champion (tying Lawler's reign as head of a backwoods Southern promotion); 2004 Man of the Year, Power Trip Magazine; cover of Countrybeat Magazine; Daytime Grammy Award, 1994, "With My Baby Tonight".

 

 

Name: Raven
Hometown
: Nashville Orlando
Gimmick
: An innovative, hardcore legend-in-the-making (10 years ago)
Championships/Accolades
: NWA World Champion once (and you marks are lucky we let him have THAT); 16-time Hardcore Champion (defeating, in no particular order, Crash Holly, Crash Holly, Crash Holly, Crash Holly, Crash Holly, Crash Holly, Kane, Crash Holly, Crash Holly, Crash Holly and Crash Holly); PWI "Most Improved" Award, 1984.

 

 

Name: Billy "Rockabilly Bad Ass Kip James Mr. Ass The One Gay Billy" Gunn But Don't Call Me That
Hometown
: Nashville Orlando
Gimmick
: For lord knows what reason, trying to befriend Road "Dark Secret Jesse James Lee Roadie The Roadie B.G. James" Dogg But Don't Call Me That Or I'll Be Sued
Championships/Accolades:
Cory Harris Wrestler of the Month, June 1997 - Present.

 

 

Name: Christopher "Mr. Boring Indy Shlub" Daniels
Hometown
: Nashville Orlando
Gimmick
: The best wrestler you've never heard of.
Championships/Accolades:
How the fuck should we know? Never heard of him, REMEMBER???

 

 

Name: Monty "Don't Call Me Murphy" Brown
Hometown:
Anywhere He Darn Well Pleases
Gimmick:
An African-American version of Bobby Lashley
Championships/Accolades:
Hahahahahahahaha -- oh, wait; you're serious?
 

Part IV: Upcoming TNA PPV Schedule

October -- TNA Crucifixion
Scheduled main event: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash (special referee Raven)

November -- TNA Retribution
Scheduled main event: Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven vs. Kevin Nash

December -- TNA Immaculate Conception
Scheduled main event: Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven (special referee Kevin Nash)

January -- TNA Holy Communion
Scheduled main event: Raven vs. Kevin Nash (special referee Jeff Jarrett)

February -- TNA Eternal Damnation
Scheduled main event: Jeff Jarrett and Raven vs. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall

March -- TNA Miracle Revelation
Scheduled main event: AJ Styles vs. Hahahahahaha -- oh wait; you're serious? No, it's really Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Hall

April -- TNA Character Litigation
Scheduled main event: The Former Dudley Boyz (Team 3-D) vs. The Former Undertaker (Dead Soul) and The Former Chris Jericho (Charles Jeri-King)

May -- TNA Segregation
Scheduled main event: Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash (with D-Lo Brown in a cage for some reason)

June -- TNA Reverse Discrimination
Scheduled main event: Ron "The Truth" Killings vs. "Alpha Male" Monty Brown

July -- TNA Vacation
The Jarretts are away in Maui
.

August -- TNA Ultimate Creation
Scheduled main event: Jeff Jarrett vs. Robot Jeff Jarrett

September -- TNA Cancellation
Scheduled main event: TBA.
 

Part V: TNA New Viewer Preparedness Quiz

So, you think you’re ready to watch iMPACT on SpikeTV?  NOT SO FAST ROOKIE!  In order to properly watch TNA, you must first prove you have a respect and understanding for the long and storied history of TNA, and have an appropriate level of knowledge that will allow you to pass for a true TNA mark at all those iMPACT parties that are sure to be popping up all over the country.  Try this quiz and see how close you are to “TNA Ready”!

1.   If, in WWE, Randy Orton was a marblemouthed, young champion who won the world title much too soon. In TNA, AJ Styles is:

A)  A talented Phenom
B)  The leader of TNA’s “homegrown” X-Division
C)  The guy who used to tag with Air Paris on WCW Thunder
D)  A marblemouthed, young champion who won the world title much too soon.

2.   Jeff Hardy is: 

A)  A Charismatic Enigma
B)  Matt Hardy’s Brother
C)  A talented wrestler who has a difficult time controlling his emotional and physical conditions.
D)  Probably not going to show up for the PPV.

3.   Having Ring of Honor workers wrestling on their shows is great for TNA because:

A)  They’re typically talented workers who can have great matches with TNA’s roster
B)  Samoa Joe is a legitimate superstar in the making
C)  It gives the roster some fresh new faces
D)  Ring of Honor is more well-known than TNA

4.   Monty Brown is popular because:

A)  He has an unmistakable charisma over his ring and mic work
B)  People recognize him as a former NFL player for the popular Patriots
C)  The POUNCE
D)  People think he is the bastard child of Billy Gunn and D’Lo Brown

5.   Panda Energy is willing to put up with TNA’s money losses because:

A)  It looks good on their taxes
B)  They’re big fans of professional wrestling
C)  They expect an eventual return on their investments
D)  They are secretly run by Ted Turner

6.   TNA is bringing in lady wrestlers in order to: 

A)  Succeed in an area where WWE failed
B)  Provide an interesting wrestling alternative
C)  Give these incredible workers a stage to showcase their talents.
D)  People love titties

7.   Why is Kevin Nash’s return good news for TNA fans?

A)  Nash is highly entertaining when he is motivated
B)  Nash is still a name that can cause some buzz
C)  Nash is a ring veteran who can give a rub to some younger guys
D)  Nash will probably injure himself soon.

8.   The Artists formerly known as the Dudley Boyz are a great addition to the TNA roster because:

A)  They add some spark to the Tag Division
B)  They are excellent personas no matter what their name
C)  It sticks it to WWE
D)  They’re the only ones people recognize

9.   People love Mike Tenay for:

A)  His deep knowledge of wrestlers and moves
B)  His ability to call matches with both reserve and emotion
C)  His ability to keep Don West under control
D)  His resemblance to the lovable Crypt Keeper

10.  You can tell that TNA listens to its fan base by:

A)  Their increased focus on wrestling
B)  The heavy time given to fan favorites AJ Styles, Monty Brown and even Lance Hoyt
C)  Their Champion Jeff Jarrett
D)  The availability of former Wonder Years star Danica McKellar for answering your math questions

11.  Why is the Six Sided Ring is better than the four?:

A)  It provides more “points of iMPACT”
B)  Two extra places for the cruiserweights to jump from!
C)  Shorter, tighter ropes mean better spring
D)  6 > 4

12.  Despite cutting their official affiliation with the organization, TNA keeps the NWA name because:

A)  The NWA name is chock full of history and significance
B)  Their title is still the official NWA World Title
C)  Fans have become used to the NWA name as part of their brand.
D)  They can’t think of a better name

13.  Larry Zybysko is the NWA “Director of Authority." This means he:

A)  Has the onscreen power to make matches
B)  Gets a neato desk
C)  Is a key part to TNA’s television and PPV stories
D)  Still hasn’t done anything interesting since 1984.

14.  Secretly, everybody admits that the most ridiculous looking move in TNA is:

A)  The Canadian Destroyer
B)  The Styles Clash
C)  The Pounce
D)  Pretty much everything Jeff Hardy does

15.  TNA's inability to work out a deal with WGN was:

A) Good for the company, as Spike TV is available in more markets and less likely to preempt TNA programming than WGN.
B) Good for the company, as WGN is seen as more localized and has lower production values than SpikeTV.
C) Bad for the company, as WGN's expectations for initial ratings return would have been lower than Spike's.
D) Bad for the company, because Cubs fans are used to disappointment.

(answers below)

How’d you Score?

15 Correct:  Your name is Brad “Angstboy” Smoley.  Congratulations.

13-14 Correct: You’re a TNAniac!  You don’t need our help!  Get yourself to the message boards to bitch about the WWE and talk about how awesome the X-Division is!  AJ Styles is depending on you!

10-12 Correct:  Close enough, welcome to the team.  That flippy shit is the best isn’t it?  Man, just forget about Jarrett and Nash and Monty Brown.  Them guys are flipping around the ring!  YEAH!

7-9 Correct:  Eh, come on in.  We need you anyway.  Whatever you got wrong?  Just fake it.  Hell, half of us can’t stand this stuff anyway.  But it’s not WWE, and that’s what’s important!

2-6 Correct:  Go back to school you mark!  You’re pathetic!  What?  I said you’re pathetic!  What?  Below average!  What?  You didn’t do well!  What?  You sucked!  Wha…I mean…Professor Mike Tenay will have to school you in the ways of TNA!  Yeah.  That’s what I meant.

1 Correct:  Let me guess…you got the one about the titties right.  Eh, watch the show anyway.  Just… be quiet about it.  Thanks for your support!

0 Correct:  Good work.  There is no truer TNA fan than you.  Thank God you didn’t answer these questions like those know nothing marks up there, huh?  Yeah.  We’re awesome.  Do you want to come over to my mom’s house and watch some ROH?  I’ve got the Joe v. Loki comp tape.  Yeah.  Mom’s making some lemonade too.  It’s gonna be awesome.

Answers:

1)   C
2)   D
3)   F
4)   X = 12(2y)
5)   Billy Gunn
6)   Titties
7)   Train B left Boston at 3:35 p.m. traveling at 120 mph.
8)   Q
9)   Morgan Webb
10)  This is a trick question because the AWA had folded by the time Triple H joined WCW.
11)  Who is William Shatner?
12)  I don’t know, who do I look like, the motherfucking quiz faerie?
13)  Lou Thesz
14)  Tyson Tomko’s Big Boot
15)  “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion, Music from and Inspired by Titanic
16)  Three Easy Payments of $19.95
17)  Canadian Bulldog’s Book
18)  The War of 1812
19)  Monty Brown d. AJ Styles for the NWA World Title
20)  2014

E-MAIL THE BULLDOG   
E-MAIL MATT 
BROWSE THE ITR ARCHIVES

Canadian Bulldog and Matt Hocking are longtime NWA-TNA fans who Hahahahahahahahaha -- oh, wait; you're serious?


  
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