TNA changed his name to Impact Wrestling in 2017, after years of mismanagement and bad press tainted the brand.
When you see big stars like AJ Styles, Sting or Samoa Joe, your mind automatically goes back to the days of TNA.
The company known as Total Nonstop Action was the brainchild of Jeff Jarrett, following his firing from the WWE in 2001.
With WCW gone under, he had nowhere left to work in the business, so the former WCW Champion needed somewhere to go.
So, he created one himself. TNA was born and quickly rose to become one of the top promotions in the USA, with stars like Sting, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe the main draws.
However, in 2017 the company officially changed their name to Impact Wrestling, and in this article we’ll explain why they did that.
Why Did TNA Change To Impact Wrestling?
TNA changed their name to Impact Wrestling to make their brand more family-friendly to advertisers, and to distance themselves for their previous controversies.
The promotion was the second-biggest wrestling company in the United States at one point, bringing in 2 million weekly viewers to their TV show.
However, they were also very polarising with some of their booking, and their penchant for messing the fans around with screwy finishes and stupid booking decisions soured them on the product.
They was an air of LOLTNA around every show, where people would tune in to see just how bad it really was.
This was not something they wanted to be associated with the brand, and in 2011 they quickly shifted more towards the Impact Wrestling side of things (which was the name of their weekly show).
They were still called TNA on paper, but the slow transition from TNA to Impact had begun.
It wasn’t until 2017 when the transition was officially complete.
Current-TNA boss Scott D’Amore claimed that the official name change was mainly down to the advertisers.
TNA was named by Vince Russo, a controversial figure in wrestling history. He made the connection between TNA and T&A (which stood for T*** & Ass, a common expression at the time), and named the company as a play-on-words.
D’Amore claimed that advertisers simply did not want their brand associated with a TV show called TNA, so the name change became crucial to the long-term survival of the company.
Eric Bischoff On The Rebrand.
Former TNA Executive Eric Bischoff was around for the 2011 soft-rebrand of the company, and revealed some interesting facts about it.
The company changed their branding from TNA to Impact at this time, owing to the fact that the name TNA was “juvenile and prepubescent”.
Noting that Spike TV were the catalyst for change, Bischoff noted that the TV network paid for the rebranding, with a few parties reluctant to change the TNA name.
Then-owner Dixie Carter did not want to rebrand the company, owing to the amount of time and money they had already invested in the TNA name.
In the end, the TV Network Spike TV put their foot down. They refused to continue without the rebrand, and even paid for the rebranding and research themselves.
Here are the full quotes:
“The ideation of TNA was juvenile, prepubescent. In my humble opinion, it was stupid to start out with, it was even dumber to hold onto to it when you’re trying to become a national promotion on a high profile cable outlet in prime time when you’re trying to appeal to advertisers.
It was as stupid as any idea that I’ve seen perpetuated for an extended period of time. It was time to drop TNA but people in TNA didn’t want to, they felt like oh my gosh, we invested so much in this brand, yes and it was a stupid brand to invest in!
“Finally, Spike pumped the brakes and said sorry, if we’re going to continue with this show and try to sell it, we have to rebrand it. It was a tough battle, there was a lot of push back internally, mostly from the people who didn’t have anything to do with running the business on a day to day basis from Texas, that being Panda Energy.
Mommy and Daddy, mostly mommy, didn’t want to spend the money so Spike did! Spike paid for the rebranding, Spike paid for the research, these are things the company should have been doing for themselves but they didn’t and wouldn’t so Spike said alright if you won’t, we will.”
As of 2023, Impact Wrestling continues to operate under that name, and shows no sign of reverting their former TNA Branding
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.