The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Farewell to the Old TNA
The Kingfish Arnie Katz pauses, before Final Resolution, to reflect on seven years of Total Nonstop Action.
When I sat down to think about my Final Resolution preview and predictions, which I’ll post tomorrow, I realized that this would be the last major event before Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff sweep away the old regime.
Oh, the roster will stay the same, at least at first, but everyone from Dixie Carter on down has told fans to be braced for big changes. We’ve all heard that kind of hype before, but I don’t think TNA is kidding this time. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff haven’t put their reputations on the line just to maintain the status quo at TNA. Hogan has made comments to the effect that he doesn’t care what happens before January 4th, because it’ll all change then, anyway.
And so I began to remember the highs and lows of TNA’s rocky and winding road that has brought them to this point…
One of the most appealing things about the promotion is that we saw it from the very beginning, watched it mutate and evolve into the entity that Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff claim they will use as a springboard to replace WWE as the to pro wrestling organization.
Those Tennessee shows before TNA moved to Orlando, FL. Were ragged affairs. But they had a spark of excitement. The early roster borrowed heavily from NWA Wildside, which gave it some very good people, including The Phenomenal One, AJ Styles.
Styles wasn’t the only big talent who came onto the national stage via TNA. The promotion introduced us to Christopher Daniels, Low-Ki and America’s Most Wanted. We got to watch Robert Roode develop into a first-class performer and Abyss go from monster heel to weirdly compelling hero.
TNA set a standard for women’s wrestling that was far above WWE at the time. Awesome Kong, ODB, the Beautiful People, Taylor Wilde and others came out of the Indies to show the mainstream wrestling audience that women can be hot and still work entertaining matches.
And let’s not forget such more recent Indie imports as Samoa Joe, Kaz, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley and Desmond Wolfe. TNA also brought us some less skilled performers, especially in the beginning, but it’s impossible to deny their long-term successes.
I’ve written about TNA’s failures, but it’s mostly the peaks that stick in my mind.
It’s the end of an era. The next one could be radically different or boringly retro, but one thing’s for sure: it’ll be different.
That’s all for today! I’ll be back tomorrow with my weekly TNA Notebook. I hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.
— Arnie Katz