It was 15 years ago today that Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling (now IMPACT Wrestling) entered the national television market when TNA introduced its flagship show, Impact Wrestling, on Fox Sports. Originally founded two years prior, TNA had worked on a weekly PPV model for its broadcasts.
When TNA launched Impact Wrestling on June 4, 2019, Fox’s implementation of various sports-centric graphics, including timekeeping and fighter stats, was a stark variation from WWE’s more sports-entertainment presentation. It also signaled the end of TNA’s weekly PPV format and the introduction of a more traditional monthly PPV, which started that November with Victory Road. For Impact Wrestling, TNA also moved away from its traditional home of the soon to be leveled Nashville Fairgrounds to Universal Studios, which would become more affectionately known as “The Impact Zone”.
The first episode of Impact Wrestling opened with a 6-man tag match that featured Team International, consisting of Hector Garza, Sonjay Dutt & Amazing Red, against Scott D’Amore‘s Team Canada squad of Bobby Roode, Eric Young & Petey Williams. In its main event, AJ Styles won an X-Division Championship #1 Contenders match against Chris Sabin, Elix Skipper, and Michael Shane(aka indie star Matt Bentley).
The Fox Sports deal lasted only a year before Impact Wrestling would move to SPIKE TV, where it would remain until 2014. Following their departure from SPIKE, they would move to Destination America in 2015. That deal only lasted a year, and in January of 2016, it moved to PopTV, where it remained until late last year before heading to its new home on Pursuit Channel.
In March of 2017, following TNA’s acquisition by Anthem Entertainment, TNA was officially rebranded as IMPACT Wrestling, taking the name of its flagship show (although it briefly became Global Force Wrestling (GFW) from June to September of that year).
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.
You can watch the full first episode of Impact Wrestling below!