Tagged with "History"
Wrestling Wednesday - The History of TNA
Category: Wrestling
Tags: TNA Wrestling History of TNA

Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling is a privately held professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett. In 2002, Panda Energy International purchased a controlling share in TNA, with Dixie Carter becoming the President of the company.

TNA headquarters is located in Nashville, Tennessee; its trading company, TNA Entertainment, LLC. Operates out of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, where the company has its weekly wrestling events. It does, on occasion go to other cities throughout the United States and selected overseas countries.

TNA broadcasts its events on television, with its primary television program, Impact Wrestling on Spike TV, and on the internet, fifty-two weeks a year, with approximately 1,100,000 weekly viewers.

TNA gains its revenues from live events, pay-per-views, product licensing, and direct product sales.

Shortly after the end of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), in 2001, Bob Ryder, Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Jarrett went on a fishing trip with the purpose of deciding their futures in the wrestling business. At the time, The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) remained at the time as the only wrestling product on the U.S. national television since the WWF had just purchased WCW in March of 2001, and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2001. Ryder felt that it would be better to have a wrestling company go straight to pay-per-view rather than on television. Jeff Jarrett took this discussion seriously while the other two thought of it as “just fish talk.”

Jeff Jarrett, with the help of his father, Jerry, found the financial help they need with HealthSouth Corporation, and the company put on its first show on June 19, 2002.

The show, under NWA Total Nonstop Action did not go well. In a dark match just before they went on the air, a 450-pound wrestler named Cheex hit the ropes with so much force that one section of the ropes collapsed. The estimated time to repair was 30-60 minutes, which they did not have because they were scheduled to live, on pay-per-view, in a few minutes, whether the ring was ready or not. The producers shuffled the schedule so that some non-wrestling segments went first to give the ring crew some more time, but they didn’t have a lot of crew members. The ring crew fixed the rope with the help of wrestlers Ron and Don Harris, and they went live.

In 2002, the president of Monterey Peninsula Talent contacted Dixie Carter and informed her that NWA Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, required a marketing and publicity outlet. Carter then began working for TNA. Two months later, she was informed by Jeff Jarrett that HealthSouth Corporation was having financial problems and had withdrawn support of TNA, and that the wrestling company was in trouble.

Carter, seeing “the potential in a marketplace that had only one company with a $900 million dollar operation and no competitor”, contacted her parents, who are the owners of Panda Energy International, a Dallas-based energy company. In October 2002, Panda Energy purchased 71% of TNA from HealthSouth Corporation for $250,000. On October 31, 2002, TNA was renamed TNA Entertainment with Dixie Carter as President.

NWA Total Nonstop Wrestling was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). TNA was granted exclusive rights to both the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and the NWA World Tag Team Championship. TNA left the NWA in 2004, but was permitted to continue the use of the championships until the NWA canceled their contract agreement with TBA in May of 2007, after which TNA created its own championship titles.

TNA started showing their show as a weekly pay-per-view. The shows started on June 19, 2002 and were held mostly at the Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee. After 27 months and 111 PPV’s under their belt, TNA felt that they had enough of a fan base to begin holding a weekly television show and monthly three-hour pay-per-views. The last weekly PPV was held on September 8, 2004.

Wrestlers who starred for the company were in its infancy were, A.J Styles, K-Krush (R-Truth), Hermie Sadler (yep the NASCAR driver), Jerry Lynn, Samoa Joe and Sabu,

The first match of TNA history was Jerry Lynn versus AJ Styles.

Initially all of TNA’s shows were syndicated and distributed to various television stations throughout the United States. TNA Xplosion was launched on November 27, 2002 as the companies first regular cable show and featured exclusive matches from the TNA Asylum as well as exclusive interviews with TNA Superstars. On June 4, 2004, TNA began airing TNA Impact! On Fox Sports Net.

With moving over to Fox Sports Net, TNA moved their wrestling operations to Universal Studios, Soundstage 21, in May 2004. Since then most of their wrestling is originated from here. TNA also has approximately 98 shows outside of Orlando, Fl in the United States and Overseas.

On November 18, 2004, TNA Xplosion became a recap show of the previous week’s Impact!. Xplosion resumed airing exclusive matches, billed as “Xplosion Xclusives, starting on October 7, 2005, in addition to recapping Impact! Fox Sports Net did not renew its one-year contract with TNA, and the company was forced to broadcast Impact! From their official website, while seeking a new television deal. Spike TV came to the rescue as they secured a deal with TNA, and aired its first episode on October 1, 2005. At the end of 2006 Xplosion stopped airing shows in the United States, while still producing shows for overseas markets. Impact! Expanded to a two-hour format on October 4, 2007. On October 28, 2008, TNA made the transition to high definition on all its television and pay-per-view shows. On February 15, 2010, TNA reached a new deal with Spike TV which moved Impact! To Monday nights. The first episode took place March 8, 2010, and with the help of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and other former WWE Superstars, achieved its highest viewership ever, with over 2,200,000 viewing the show. Not bad, considering it went up against a live WWE Monday Night Raw. What help TNA was its started Impact! At 8pm where-as Monday Raw started at 9PM. Ratings went down for Impact! After its first Monday showing, so on May 30, 2010, TNA announced that Impact! Will be moved back to Thursday nights and re-branded TNA Thursdays. On May 3, 2011, TNA Impact! Was re-branded Impact Wrestling. TNA is broadcast in more than 120 countries all over the world.

On July 2, 2010, TNA set an attendance record of 5,500 fans at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, minor league team of the New York Mets.

On November 7, 2011, TNA reached a deal with Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) to become TNA’s official training and development territory.

TNA Wrestlers are forbidden by contract from working for WWE, but are free to perform non-televised work for any other independent wrestling promotions, domestic or international. Many TNA wrestlers perform regularly for various independent wrestling circuits in addition to TNA’s weekly show. TNA wrestlers are independent contractors and are not entitled to form workers’ unions or employer health coverage.

 

The following is what originally made TNA unique:

It was the first American wrestling company to make exclusive use of a hexagonal wrestling ring, as opposed to the more conventional square ring. It was different and it made it more interesting because a wrestler can come at you from different, non-traditional, angles.

It’s X Division featured high-flying, high risk style of wrestling. TNA decided to emphasize high risk nature of the moves that wrestlers performed, removing all restraints on its wrestlers, allowing them to perform almost any stunt like wrestling moves. Even though the X Division was generally created for its cruiserweight wrestlers, some heavyweights like Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Abyss wrestled in the X Division occasionally.

The company also employed the unconventional rule that a championship can change hands as the result of a disqualification or count out.

These all changed with the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff to the TNA scene, as they took a more active role in how the organization was to be run. Dixie still ran the company, but Hogan and Bischoff “had her ear.” Wrestling, in TNA, changed to be more in-line with the conventional way the way of wrestling.

Buzz from the Bleachers
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Black History Month Chris Webber NFL free agency Goodell V. Aikman

People can surprise you. I know that I, for one, have been very critical of Chris Webber in the past. As an Ohio State fan who grew up in Michigan, I got awful tired of hearing about the Fab Five. Webber has has his share of grief over comments and odd moments in his basketball career, but I learned a surprising fact about Webber today: he's a history buff. He's also a collector of historical items.

 It seems that Webber has maintained a collection of artifacts from African American heroes like Dr. King and Rosa Parks. While the collection was began as a means of personal inspiration, Webber has recently decided to show his collection to the public. Starting in April Webber will loan his collection to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History here in midtown Detroit. Webber says that he has decided to share is collection with the public to help inspire and educate the public, especially kids. 

While the NFL is in its off season and we wait for the draft, we can take pause to think about the veterans available in free agency. While one can easily guess more than a few guys will stay put, theres some interesting players available. QBs like Drew Brees and Alex smith will probably be re-sign to their old teams. The only question is for how much. Donovon McNabb is out there, but common sense figures he'll retire. The three guys I see as most interesting in the QB class are Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell, and Shaun Hill. 

While Flynn and Hill have spent most of their time as back-ups, they've performed admirably when called upon. Flynn made the Lions defense look very average when they last met, much to my bro's chagrin. He figures to be a huge draw and may even tempt teams who have a high draft pick. 

I hope the Lions will re-sign Hill, but his services would be good for a team looking for a veteran QB to back-up or challenge a younger guy. Campbell's hopes of being re-signed by the Raiders may have tanked when the Raiders paid up for Carson Palmer. Campbell was only able to play in 6 games for a run happy offense in Oakland, but he had a 60.6 % completion rate with 1,170 yards and 6 TDs. He had 5 turn overs, which is a worry, but has shown he has the goods to start.

The offensive side of the ball is very deep in free agency. My favorite running back available is Michael Bush. I don't mean to raid Oakland's cabinet, but I'd love to see the Lions pick this guy up and focus their draft picks on defense. Bush has had a nice run backing up McFadden and shows very good versatility. Bush was very close to reaching 1000 yards rushing last season with 7 TDs and only 1 fumble in 256 carries. 

The wide receiver position is by far the most exciting group. There is a lot of value for teams who choose not to bank on the draft. I imagine guys like Wes Welker, Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, and Mike Wallace will be re-signed, but that leaves a lot of quality guys out there. Indy has three receivers who are free agents and none of them are restricted or have been given the franchise tag yet. Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Anthony Gonzalez will be on the market and with the Colts still thinking of Manning it will be interesting to see who they will keep. Ideally they'll keep all three, but any of them would make fine additions to any team. Wayne fell short of 1000 yards for the first time, but inconsistent QB play may be more of the answer than aging. I also like Dwayne Bowe, Mario Manningham (though I figure the Giants will try to keep him), and Greg Camarillo. A lot of the other guys seem as if they will come with too large of a price tag and expectations.

Speaking of the NFL, after another season of incredible revenue and record setting TV ratings, Goodell and the gang are clamoring for an 18 game season. Troy Aikman came out against this, but also the NFL moving there games to include Thursday and Saturday. I wasn't sure if I'd ever feel this way, but I agree with Aikman. Aikman tried to remind the owners that the NFL may not be number one forever. Moving games to days other than Sunday or Monday night puts those games in direct competition with NCAAF for viewers and revenue. No to mention that these games are often shown exclusively on NFL Network. The greed of Goodell and the owners threatens to alienate the NCAA (not that they are innocent either) as well as the fans at home. I think Aikman is right. The league needs to reign things in, or at least not try to get any bigger by adding games.

Well, thats it for me this week. I have to agree with a lot of my fellow Gabbers that it's great to know that spring training has started. Reports are that Miguel Cabrerra is in town and looking lighter. He seems ready to attempt playing third. Always a good sign. Thanks for stopping in and reading. Hope you guys have a great week. I leave you with your word of the week.

introdouche, verb

The way in which a douchebag would go about introducing his/herself. Bragging about their meaningless accomplishments in an attempt to impress you.
Chris: Watch this, John's about to introdouche himself to Carol.

John (Speaking to Carol) : "Nice to meet you, John's the name. Nice rack. Think I met you one time at the bowling party. I won three times."

Carol: "Thanks for introdouching yourself."

 

 

I'm Not Sure I Like Tim Thomas Anymore
Category: NHL
Tags: NHL Tim Thomas The Beeze History Founding Fathers President White House Dolts Politics Politicians

The Boston Bruins went to the White House to meet the President, as all Championship teams do...But Tim Thomas decided to decline the invite saying...

“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers [ sic ] vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.”

Umm, maybe Tim Thomas needs to go back to the University of Vermont and take a History class...People love to use The Constitution and The Founding Fathers as their reason for their beliefs...Let's take a look back at those Founding Fathers and their out-dated Constitution...They were all, un-elected, land owning, (raped the Native Americans of their land...Happy Thanksgiving! ) slave owning, white guys, who didn't allow women to vote...Didn't allow Indians to vote...Didn't allow Blacks to vote...Their Constitution considered Blacks to be three-fifths of a man...So right out of the gate Tim Thomas, using the Founding Fathers line makes you look like a dolt!

And the Founding Fathers' original vision, I would venture to say didn't include, roads, bridges, and railroads all over the entire country, going over, around, and through mountains...Crossing major bodies of water, and rivers...Or keeping up with the ever growing population, and their waste...And educating that population as well...

But I shouldn't be surprised...Often when people come into money, they become more anti-government, and anti-taxes...As Thomas has not been making his millions for very long...Hell, I'm broke, and I'm not a fan of the government, or taxes, but I understand they have a role, and that taxes are needed to take care of things...Thomas seems like one of those dopes that said, "Keep your damn hands off my medicare!" Never mind that medicare is funded by our taxes !

How about this then...Take your own trash to the dump...Plow your streets yourself...Repave those roads and fix those bridges yourself...Teach your own kids how to read and write and count...Just start with that, Mr. INDIVIDUAL, and tell me if you don't want government around...

Yes, Tim Thomas has every right not to attend...He said this was not about politics as he made it about politics...But the classy thing would have been showing a bit of respect for the Office of the President...No matter who is in there, that's the classy thing to do...

And in case you missed my point, The Founding Fathers were assholes!

Later, The Beeze. 

So Why Did We Fight For the Colors?
Category: NFL
Tags: Cleveland Browns Brown Orange NFL Jim Brown Josh Cribbs Brian Sipe The Beeze History


 
So I ended My Monday post with this picture, basically asking what is wrong with it...Look close, it's something that has gone on all year long...The Browns were at home, and once again, as they have for every home game this year, the Browns were wearing all white uniforms...

Maybe this seems like a trivial thing, but I remember the day the news broke, that the Browns were being moved to Baltimore...The city was in full-blown, panic/anger mode...When the realization set in that there was no getting OUR Browns back, the city and fans jumped into action...

All the sudden the politicians were all in on building a new stadium...Funny how that worked...When Modell asked, they said stick it...When Modell asked for a renovation of the old stadium, they said stick it...He didn't hold them hostage the way the Jacobs did...Yes, the Jacobs made it clear they would move the Indians if they didn't get a new stadium...Suddenly our smokes and beers were getting an extra tax so the Indians could get a new stadium...It didn't matter that they had sucked for my entire life at that point...Yet the Browns, who everyone loved, who always sold out, who were competitive most the time got screwed by the politicians...So Modell said stick it!

Then the fans and city officials fought the NFL and Modell for the rights to the Browns History, Name, and Colors...So why the fuck aren't they wearing the colors...They are the Cleveland Browns, and with the exception of the numbers and a few stripes, we haven't seen and brown.

The Cleveland Browns...Named for Paul Brown...Lead by the beats that was Jim Brown...


Where are the BROWN jerseys!?!

Yes this team has plenty of real problems, but this is a simple one that can be fixed real easy...Strap on the BROWN jerseys at home...Be proud of that history and those colors that people fought for...Hell let's go Brian Sipe style...Brown jersey and orange pants...


Hell yeah...Embrace those awful colors and wear that shit with pride...Brown and Orange!


Later, The Beeze.

Driving A Grudge
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NASCAR Rivalries History Commentary

 

 

Few sports allow the direct contact as does NASCAR. It may seem that certainly football and probably basketball pit one person against another as they both allow bodily contact but they aren't armed with four thousand pounds of metal. Drivers in NASCAR are. And they enjoy throwing their weightiness around. We know this because drivers-and their teams-are among the most sanctioned groups in professional sports. It's a dull day at the track when one driver isn't attacking another driver either with his car or, after everyone is pulled from the wreckage, face to face. Indeed “stock” car racing is one of the few completely American sports. What's close to it? Fox Hunting?

 

In 1947 NASCAR was formed by the France family who still own the whole thing to this day. Different from the NFL which hides behind “non-profit” status, this is very much a for profit business that will go to great lengths to draw a crowd and keep them coming back. And one of the motivators for return business is the not unlikely notion that, to quote Tom Lehr writing about bull fighting, “The moment had come, we swallowed our gum for we knew there'd be blood on the sand pretty soon. I hadn't had so much fun since the day my dog Rover, got run over. (Rover was killed by a Pontiac but it was done with such artistry that the witnesses awarded the driver both ears and the tail.)”. Tom's onto something hear as are those charged with publicizing car races. Few other contests are as hot, sweaty and boring as a car race unless you've some sort of vested interest in the driver, the car or the team. I understand that many are interested in the performance of the cars but, still, this interest cannot be carried out by direct observation as the innards of a car are generally a protected secret allowing only those who are checking to make sure they're legal to run near them.

 

No sport relies as heavily on regional culturism to keep it going. It began in the area of thel country generally defined by the Appalachian Mountains from North Georgia to the Pennsylvania border. In the hills and hollers were stills manufacturing whiskey and that was being sold. Apart from a friendly jug shared amongst friends. And it might have stayed that way had not the United States largest ever experiment in social reform, prohibition, become the law. Now all this corn licker was illegal to sell but much sought after by buyers. It was cheaper than smuggled spirits from Canada, available 24/7 and it didn't take weeks to turn out a new “vintage”. Not that anyone who was buying was particular. Eventually America breathed a sigh of relief, the taverns, clubs and saloons opened again but by now moonshine had a foothold in the libation industry. The only spoiler sport to this was the Federal Government who wasn't too concerned about the making of it but was dead serious that the taxes that entitled them, by government law, be paid on the production. And the race was on. In those days it was the 'Shiners versus the Revenooers and their chases through the countryside to get bottle fun to the thirsty. Equally, it was the charged task of the tax officials to see that either the tax was paid or the still was broken up. Truth was, it was an easy thing to build a still, but it was the principle of the thing, they'd never paid taxes on what they saw as a sort of cottage industry and, by damn, they weren't going to now.

 

It was the height of the car chase in all parts of the country. Chicago and New York were famous for their cops and crooks street drags and the boys making 'Shine and those out to tax it were the agrarian version. It's said that as time wore on, both sides came to enjoy the chase save for a few feds who actually took their jobs seriously. World War Two temporarily lowered the heat but not the making of mountain joy juice. (It was found that apart from the “benefits” derived from drinking it, you could use it in cook stoves, in slightly altered engines and was a good retardant for fire ants. ) Still the thrill of the chase was now in its second or third generations-on both sides-and the urge to run was too tempting to pass up.

 

But then the war was over, the France family organized NASCAR and a new and potentially dangerous element was added: Money. Initially, the road races were either speed tests at places such as Daytona Beach or “friendly” competitions on tracks that were often just former Air Force Air Bases made into some sort of oval. There was a modest prize for the top two or three finishers and it was very much a matter of “run what you brung”. Corporate sponsorship was largely confined to local car dealers, oil products, mechanical shops and local businesses. That, however, changed when tobacco companies first and then liquor distillers plunked down ever bigger bucks and the competition to win extended from the track to the financials. And the car manufacturers were the next, and the largest, group to find that cars on the track represented sales in the showroom and, additionally, they also found a ready made testing area for new, improved cars they sold. And, through the fifties and sixties things worked out quite well. But for all that, the drivers and the teams were still the same good 'ol boys or their descendants who had started all this in the early twentieth century.

 

The famous feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys may have been the most public and publicized of the hill country 'shiners but it accurately reflected the prevailing attitudes held by many of those involved in racing. In some cases it was a straight rivalry or hate, in others it was more a matter of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. There was no neutrality, you were on one side or the other whether at home or in the pits at the races. Overt civility was practiced but it wasn't even skin deep. What kept the squirrel rifles packed away was money. One way or another everyone was making it and some were making a lot of it. The popularity was growing wildly and, eventually, there would be over a hundred tracks spread from coast to coast.

 

It was too good too last. First tobacco, then liquor and finally the car manufacturers either dropped their sponsorship or pulled back. Certainly there were others, but the big money was gone and not likely to come back. At some point in this light shift, NASCAR discovered that the fans were a goose that could and did lay golden eggs. Merchandising was the new sport and it proved to be phenomenally successful. NASCAR claimed seventy five million loyal followers who were buying any sort of trinket that was marketed.

 

That sounds good but the figures reveal a somewhat different slant. For all those millions of fans, they only spent about three billion dollars on NASCAR and their products. It's still big money but compared to the NFL, it's modest at best. Each team became obsessed with getting more of the pie and the way to that was to win and win often. Notoriety garnered money particularly when dealing with a population that was perhaps less sophisticated in their tastes. What they were increasingly seeing was a technically advanced car, carefully monitored and structured but in their hearts it was still a matter of “run what you brung”. Those loyalties of generations still saw the participants as “their boys” who represented their honour and way of life.

 

It was inevitable that the drivers eventually gave in and began to return to a more personally motivated competition. At first it was possible to see the accidents on the track as just that, accidents. But as time and seasons went on it got a whole lot more personal. One didn't like another driver and never had. Their families didn't like each other, the people in their small town didn't like the people from the town where the competitor lived. Increasingly there were ugly scenes where fights broke out and then the violence moved to the track. Drivers went at each other with their cars with no thought of winning or losing but of doing damage to the other person. Penalties were handed out as were sanctions but there was a back story that was hard to ignore; NASCAR was running into trouble financially. Stands that had routinely been filled now were not. Blandishments to attract fans weren't the success they once were. But what did draw was the certain knowledge that some sort of fight or violence would occur. To see thousands of pounds of metal roaring into another and then for them both to leap the fence was worth coming out to see. Early in the 1900's a railroad had attracted a crowd of fifty thousand when they crashed two engines into each other. The same motive to attend the races now existed.

 

It cannot be long until someone is killed and it will be an accident only in that it wasn't meant to go that far. Stories of rivalries are now as common as the results of the race. It's not quite the Roman Coliseum but it's getting closer. And the horrible fact is that NASCAR needs this sort of unfortunate publicity to keep going. They're no longer able to portray what they do as helping the automobile industry, just the very specialized market for other racing cars. The races continue but what motivates the drivers now is as much payback for whatever slights they feel they've endured as for the money. It's become a business of personality and the formats have so diluted the initial product that when one person or another is declared a “champion”, it's only in that niche.

 

The rivalries continue and will intensify as the sport seems to decline. The basic costs of running the races and the costs to the teams will only escalate and the sport as a whole lacks a clear view of what the future might hold. But one thing is certain, on the track the man to man violence will continue. Maybe they should go back to “running what they brung.” It was more fun then.  


 

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