Now known as Impact Wrestling and nowhere near their peak popularity, TNA used to be the second biggest wrestling promotion in the United States. It was actually bigger in the UK than WWE was, getting bigger TV ratings and having more fans due to their weekly show (TNA Impact) being broadcast on Freeview at a more watchable time.
They managed to stand out from the WWE in a number of ways. They mixed young, exciting homegrown talent with veterans who had been looked over by the WWE to creative a new and unique product you couldn’t get anywhere else. AJ Styles, Bobby Roode and Christopher Daniels battled with big stars like Sting, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe in huge main events, offering a product Vince McMahon simply could not match.
However, the way they really set themselves apart was in TNA’s Six Sided Ring. They bucked the trend of wrestling in the US by adding two more sides to the squared circle, allowing for more innovative and exciting matches to take place. However, some wrestlers love it and some hated it. The six-sided ring was a divisive thing in TNA and would eventually be nixed by Hulk Hogan in 2010, much to the chagrin of the loyal TNA fans.
The wrestlers all had varying opinions of TNA’s Six Sides Ring, and we’ve collated just a few of them to see what you think down below.
Wrestlers Who Liked TNA’s Six Sided Ring
The following wrestlers are one who loved the six sided ring, thinking it set TNA apart from the WWE and helped them forge their own identity in the pro-wrestling business.
Kurt Angle – “The ring’s smaller. It’s six sides. It’s really harder to adapt to. Especially if you’re wrestling in a four-corner ring. It was difficult. It took me a few months to adapt to it, but eventually, I got it. I actually liked it better. It’s a faster-moving pace, yeah. The matches are a lot faster. You’re flying off the ropes and before you know it the guy’s right there. So, it’s a lot different than a four-sided ring.”
AJ Styles – “I thought it made us so different from anything anybody else was seeing, It was kind of like, you know with cage fighting, it looked like that. It made it more sport-oriented, being so different than the box ring. It looked like MMA. It was different. When I heard we were getting rid of it I got mad. I grew to love it.”
Booker T – “Moving away from the six-sided ring was the bullet in the head that put TNA out of the question as being something different and new. I had left the week before Hogan came in. Honestly, what I thought, when they changed to the four-sided ring and I heard it was being debated, I didn’t agree with it. I believed in the identity that TNA had built that was different, different than any other wrestling company ever produced. Having the six-sided ring was different.”
Jeff Jarrett– Knowing that it set our brand apart, knowing that when you’re changing channels and everybody wanted to hang on that one statement, but when you look at UFC and as hot as they were in that era, they were 2002, and I’ll fast-forward to when we were doing that six-sided ring and that octagon, I know there is two sides different, but just how it made it stand out, the different things that we could do with it, it just made us different.
It was a game changer in licensing. When Walmart’s toy department during that time, and I know there are Toys R Us fans here, I have five kids, so I’m well aware of Toys R Us, but yes, those are the two main toys folks, we flew to Arkansas and had our Walmart meetings, but yes, they said if you have this, that takes up shelf space, that is a big mover and action figures, there’s a WWF action figure, a TNA action figure, they’re all relatively the same, what makes you different.
I knew that the six-sided ring had components for an Ultimate X, Six-Sided Steel and a lot of different components, our ring would set us apart and immediately when you’re walking down the aisle to soccer mom Suzie, who really has no clue about any type of brand, if little Johnny wants the six-sided, it’s a sale, he doesn’t care what brand it is. That happens all the time, not just in wrestling figures, but in all types of toys, you want that shelf space and that changes the game.
Wrestlers Who Hated TNA’s Six Sided Ring
However, the following wrestlers did not like the Six Sides ring at all. The issues usually stemmed from years of wrestling in a four sided ring and the harder bumps that you took on that mat because of the six sided TNA ring.
Eric Bischoff – “It was stupid. Here was the logic that I heard: ‘Ya but when people are flipping through the channels, they’re going to see that six sided ring and stop and go hey, what’s that?’ That was the entire psychology and strategy behind the six sided ring, you’re hoping to build an audience because people are clicking through channels. First of all, people aren’t clicking through channels anymore, even in 2010, it was just an absurd psychology. To come up with a six sided ring for no other reason but to capture the audience that maybe surfing channels or clicking through channels and stop because they were going to see something that was odd to them. Think about that. That was pretty fing stupid.”
Sting – “I hated it. It was just too many years of wrestling in the Squared Circle. It just changed the dynamic of everything. You know I suppose it’s good for some, and not so good for others.”
Hulk Hoga -: “ It just ain’t right, brother.”
Austin Aries – “For those curious, I find #6sides to be far less forgiving on the body and harder to manuver around, especially on the top rope. #4sides”
What do you think about TNA’s Six Sided Ring? Let us know in the comments or click below to read about how Brock Lesnar almost signed for TNA before Dixie Carter rejected him
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.