Total Nonstop Action

The History of TNA: Year 1

Description: June 19, 2002 - TNA's first ever event, live from The Von Braun Center in Huntsville, AL.

The dvd opens with the final audio check by Mike Tenay with Don West. The screen captions explain that they are about to go on the air with their first ever (PPV) show, the ring has broken only minutes earlier, and everyone is scrambling to make changes as the crew is trying to repair the ring.

Jeremy Borash begins the countdown, and they flash shots of 10 memorable moments from TNA's first year:
Ken Shamrock becoming the NWA World Heavyweight Champion at their first PPV on June 19, 2002

Jeff Jarrett brawling with the Tennessee Titans at ringside on July 10, 2002

Chris Rock making a guest appearance on October 9, 2002, for the filming of his movie Head of State

Ron "The Truth" Killings becoming the NWA World Heavyweight Champion at PPV #8 on August 7, 2002.

The Road Warriors debut in TNA on December 18, 2002

Raven's NWA World Heavyweight Championship match with Jeff Jarrett on April 30. 2003

Toby Keith suplexing Jeff Jarrett on the first ever TNA PPV on June 19, 2002 (the full incident is also included later on)

Special Referee Ricky Steamboat declaring AJ Styles the first ever TNA X Division Champion on June 26, 2002

America's Most Wanted, Chris Harris and James Storm, becoming NWA World Tag Team Champions and winning their first tag team title on September 18, 2002

Raven's TNA debut on January 22, 2003 (Raven was the first major star to jump to TNA.)

This section features numerous clips of great moments from the first year, cut in with revealing interviews from many of the TNA originals, including founders Jeff Jarrett and Bob Ryder, TNA President Dixie Carter, plus Jeremy Borash, AJ Styles, Mike Tenay, James Storm, Chris Harris, Referee Rudy Charles, Don West, BG James, Elix Skipper, Referee Andrew Thomas, Christopher Daniels, and Raven.

They talk about the end of WCW, the decision to start TNA, the daring decision to run a wrestling company without free tv, only a weekly PPV at an affordable price of $9.99 each, and what that first year was like. They also explain that the ring that broke on the first night was an old WCW ring (this was before the debut of their trademark six sided ring), and was repaired through the ingenuity of Ron and Don Harris.

Jeff Jarrett touchingly mentions that his late wife Jill was the only person who had no doubts whether TNA would survive through the first year. Dixie Carter talks about money being so tight that she and her husband helped build and paint sets for the shows because they could not afford to pay to have them built.

Don West recalls that the first ever TNA match was an X Division six man tag match pitting Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles and Low Ki (now Senshi) against the Flying Elvises, Sonny Siaki, Jimmy Yang and Jorge Estrada, and they "tore the house down." AJ Styles describes how honored he felt to be the first ever X Division Champion, and being in main event matches in the X Division.

One thing that comes across in all the interviews is the spirit and camaraderie of everyone involved with TNA in that first year. Everyone talks of the hard work to make the company a success, refusing to quit in spite of all the nay sayers, and being happy any time anyone did well, because it was all good for TNA.

The Matches

Beside the numerous clips from shows throughout the year, there are four full matches included on The History Of TNA: Year 1.

June 26, 2002 - Elimination Match to Name the First Ever X-Division Champion
Jerry Lynn vs. AJ Styles vs. Psicosis vs. Senshi

I urge all wrestling fans to view this phenomenal historic match to crown the first-ever TNA X Division Champion. It came down to AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn in a contest where two of the best wrestlers ever gave it their all. AJ Styles won with a Spiral Tap to become the first ever TNA X DIvision Champion. I very much wish TNA would bring back Jerry Lynn, who is still an excellent wrestler and who helped build TNA and the X Division. Not only should his loyalty and hard work be rewarded, but I'd much rather see him than opportunists like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, who never could wrestle even when they were in good shape, and are now so far past it that it's painfully embarrassing to watch them in the ring.

August 28, 2002 - Triple Ladder Match For The X Division Championship
Jerry Lynn vs. AJ Styles vs. Low Ki (C) (now called Senshi)

This breathtaking battle is a Match of the Decade candidate, and one of the greatest matches in TNA Wrestling history. Jerry Lynn gave Low Ki a cradle piledriver off the top of a ladder and then climbed back up to take down the belt and win the TNA X Division Championship.

January 8, 2003 - World Tag Team Championship Match America's Most Wanted, Chris Harris and James Storm vs. The Disciples of the New Church, Slash and Brian Lee (C) with James Mitchell and Belladona

This match was highlight of a violent feud that helped to revive interest in Tag Team wrestling throughout the industry, as well as establish the TNA Tag Team Division. After a long, brutal brawl that saw lots of near falls, AMW won the NWA Tag Team Titles with a Death Sentence onto a chair on Slash.

April 30, 2003 - World Heavyweight Championship Match Jeff Jarrett (C) vs. Raven with The Gathering, Alexis Laree (now called Mickie James in WWE) and Julio Dinero

Raven was the first major star to jump to TNA, and this bloody battle was the culmination of what is now a legendary feud. At the time of the match, Jeff Jarrett was a face battling against Vince Russo's heel faction Sports Entertainment Xtreme. Granted there were a ton of run ins in this match, but I think fans will enjoy seeing brief appearances by ECW stars Sabu, Perry Saturn, Sandman and Justin Credible.

The Extras

Year 1 Special Appearances
TNA has a track record of bringing in wrestling legends and other personalities for memorable special appearances. The ones from Year 1 include Chris Rock, Harley Race, Percy Pringle, Nikita Koloff, Dory Funk, Jr., Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Bob Armstrong, Jeff Hammond and Hermie Sadler, Kevin Sullivan, Nelson Knight, CM Punk, "Screech" Dustin Diamond, JJ Dillon, Jackie Fargo, Ricky Steamboat, Tony Schiavone, The Rock n' Roll Express, Vader, and The Road Warriors.

The Original TNA Commercial from Nashville TV in June, 2002

Chris Harris and James Storm's Tryout Match on June 1, 2002 at the Asylum in Nashville, TN

Remembering Curt Hennig
TNA workers who knew Hennig talk about Curt in a very touching tribute to a legend who worked for TNA during their first year. They also show clips from his time in TNA.

As a fan of TNA who has seen every single PPV and tv show they've done, I very much enjoyed this look back at their exciting first year, but this dvd is also an excellent history for recent TNA fans, and a terrific introduction for those who have never seen TNA.

The total running time of The History of TNA: YEAR 1 is 210 minutes. Also being released on Tuesday, November 10 is Meltdown: Music of TNA Wrestling, a cd with the themes of various TNA wrestlers.

Reviewed by Karen Belcher on November 28, 2007.

The following review is courtesy of Alan J. Wojcik from

I have remained quiet about TNA Wrestling since there was an internal decision to not allow my laptop in the Impact Zone. But I am not ashamed to say I covered TNA from the initial PPV in Huntsville, Alabama when Cheex broke the ring nearly destroying the initial PPV until this past summer. Unlike most people covering TNA then and now, I was at every event from June 19th to the September 2002 when they went dark trying to find new financing. I even reviewed Jerry Jarrett's the Story of the Development of NWA- TNA: A New Concept in Pay-Per-View Programming in 2004. So being a "TNA expert" I was excited and intrigued to see what TNA DVD producer Bill Banks would create to remember the days of the Flying Elvises and the Cage Dancers, in the DVD release The History of TNA: Year 1.

Let's talk about the good stuff before I talk about the bad. TNA does their best to keep an accurate timeline from the shutdown of WCW in March, 2001 that left Jeff Jarrett with lots of free time to a boat trip with Bob Ryder and Jerry Jarrett. Along the way Banks lets the talent do the talking including Jarrett, AJ Styles, "Prime Time" Elix Skipper, "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels, BG James, "Wildcat" Chris Harris, "Tennessee Cowboy" James Storm, Raven, referees Andrew Thomas and Rudy Charles, TV announcers Mike Tenay, Don West and Jeremy Borash plus Dixie Carter whose family saved TNA from shutting down in September 2002. The DVD is broken down into named chapters: Summer of No Worries, The Genesis of TNA, June 19, 2002: the 1st Show, Will TNA last, the Carter Family, Rise of the X Division, the Tag Teams, The Asylum, Raven vs. Jarrett and Looking Back at Year One including video flashbacks between chapters. The best part of the special features is a segment on the legendary Curt Hennig who worked for TNA around the time of his passing.

Now for the bad and there is lots of bad. TNA co-founder Jerry Jarrett is virtually absent with only two or three mentionings in the initial chapters by Jeff and Ryder and that is a shame because anyone who read Jerry's book knows he is eloquent. Jerry's book goes where this DVD does not such as having to abandon the taping of two PPV's in one night and taking the PPV's on the road plus how the weekly concept was born. I remember going to the initial events in at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium (home of Slammiversary 2007) and it was weird to go from the 8,000 seat Auditorium to the 800 seat Tennessee State Fairgrounds but the people talking on the DVD make it like that was a positive. Ron Killings winning the NWA World championship is covered but Killings must not have been under contract to do interviews. The Jay Haussmann-PPV lawsuit is mentioned but not spoken about fully and probably for legal reasons (Haussmann was feeding the Jarrett's false PPV numbers while he was a 3rd party contracted WWE employee) as is the bankruptcy and federal lawsuit against initial financial backers Health South. There is no mention of how the NWA came into the fold or where the TNA name came from and that would have been interesting to know. Everyone talks about the great job Ron and Don Harris did rebuilding the ring after Cheex destroyed it but why can't we hear from them for two minutes? The tag team segment of the DVD ignores the Hot Shots (Chase Stevens & Cassidy Reilly) or Rick Vaughn/Rick Santel (Black Shirt Security) and the others who help make AMW into the number one team in the promotion. Finally there is no talk about or with Vince Russo being the creator of the Sports Entertainment Xtreme clique or dressing the then NWA World Tag Team champions; Mike & Todd Shane as walking penises called the Johnson's or the Rainbow Express or the Dupps and the much hated Dupp Cup. Jerry Jarrett covers that in his book including his sometimes outright hatred of Russo and his ideas.

The four matches on this DVD are all good but if you own the Best of AJ Styles, Best of America's Most Wanted, Best of Raven and Best of the TNA Title matches you aren't seeing anything new. Same goes for the June, 2002 tryout match between Storm and Harris which is edited down for this DVD. Also in the extras are visitors to the Asylum and the original TV spot that aired in Nashville for the July 3rd show (anyone remember Puppet and Teo the midget wrestlers.)

You can log onto to purchase the DVD or visit your local retailers.

Reviewed by Alan Wojcik on November 28, 2007.

Aaron Hurt's Review

TNA: Year One
TNA Home Video
November 2007
1hr 46m

Despite the criticism TNA suffers these days, anyone familiar with the company's infancy can tell you how far things have come in the past five years. However, like most things TNA, this look back at the company's early tribulations known as Year One is a mix of both good and bad. The feature sports a bevy of candid, lengthy interviews with the usual suspects -- Jeff Jarrett, Dixie Carter, Mike Tenay, Don West, J.B., etc. - as well as several performers relevant to that era (still employed by the company, that is). Wisely, instead of dwelling on missteps or poor decisions, the producers chose to emphasize those performers who most exemplified the promotion's nascent potential. Particularly lauded are X-Division originals like Low-Ki and AJ Styles, and the then up-and-coming Harris and Storm as AMW. Of the many compelling anecdotes, one of the most mesmerizing is the account of how a potential catastrophe was narrowly avoided just minutes before the inaugural show was set to go live. Even more bizarre is Dixie Carter's recollection of crossing paths with Jeff Jarrett many years before becoming involved with TNA.

In general, most observations appear more objective than what is typical of WWE documentaries, but the program isn't entirely devoid of conscious omissions and spin. Cases in point are the vague, sideways references to the nearly disastrous issue of being deliberately fed misinformation by its accountants and PPV representatives. Granted, the less said on this subject the less TNA can be sued for, but a little background information might be helpful to those unaware of these events. Equally questionable is the fact that some wrestlers appear in character in whole or in part. Christopher Daniels has his eye makeup, James Storm goes casual in his customary cowboy hat and shades and worst of all is Raven decked out in full ring regalia (not to mention drenched with perspiration). Not only is this distracting, it makes these men look foolish in addition to detracting from any credibility they may have. On the plus side, Dixie Carter is much easier on the eyes than either Linda or Stephanie McMahon. In contrast, Bob Ryder has the most bulbous, gerbil-like cranium you'll ever have the misfortune to behold.

A beauty contest it isn't, but fortunately the producers did include in full a number of matches frequently touted in the documentary, such as the first X-Div. title match and what was for many TNA's finest hour to that date; Raven vs. Jarrett for the NWA gold. TNA: Year One is worth at least a rental and should satisfy casual and devoted fans alike. While not flawless, it's a nostalgic and wide-ranging synopsis of the struggle to launch and sustain a viable, unique wrestling organization. If there is a lesson to be learned it's that no matter how flawed the product may seem at any given time, don't take TNA for granted. It almost crashed and burned once and there's no telling where the wrestling business might be today if it had.

Reviewed by Aaron Hurt on December 10, 2007.

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