Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Anniversary TNA Wrestling

As many diehard TNA fans will recognize, today is the 13-year anniversary of TNA Wrestling, which began on June 19, 2002. While the official celebration will be on June 28th at Slammiversary, it is important for me to reflect on TNA's growth and evolution throughout the years.

Anniversaries are truly important as symbols for endurance and longevity. With the stuff with Spike TV last year and many fans fearing for the future of the company, its events like this that make fans proud of the company continuing to be resilient. TNA has definitely had its share of struggles but also its share of achievements that shouldn't be overlooked.

For those who know me, I became a TNA fan in October 2005 when they signed with Spike TV. I had tested out the company while they were on FSN but didn't enjoy the heavy sports focus that the product had. It was in October that TNA reached the national stage and became the alternative to WWE. Really, there weren't a lot of alternatives to the WWE for many years. While there are so many other options today, it wasn't like that back in 2005.

The company evolved since that point. They went from a 1-hour show on Saturday Night to a 2-hour primetime show every Thursday. For many years, they were the highest viewed show on Spike TV, a network that previously aired WWE. A lot of different names passed through TNA over the next few years including Hulk Hogan, Sting, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Booker T, Scott Steiner and many more. TNA was also a platform for other stars like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Abyss etc.

The product changed a lot between 2005 and its current version in 2015. It was a revolving door of wrestlers, staffers and booking philosophies. While these changes held TNA back, fans also got to witness some great matches, wrestlers and moments they didn't get anywhere else.

For its time on Spike, TNA underwent a massive shift behind the scenes when Jeff Jarrett was removed from power and Dixie Carter took more of a hands-on approach to the company. It was truly a tale of two TNA's. While Jeff's product was much more consistent and led to consistent growth, Dixie's had a lot more risk involved but shouldn't be discounted.

This past year was difficult for many TNA fans as we had to recognize that our beloved company had to take a step back to move forward as the company cut their budget and moved to a smaller network. What we have witnessed since has been a strong but not mind-blowing product that fans can get behind but won't set the wrestling world on fire.

Thirteen years is a long time, especially for professional wrestling. No matter how you feel about this company, it deserves credit for lasting this long and doing what they have. Thank you TNA for all of the memories and thank you for giving this fan many years of great wrestling entertainment.

Sound off below with your favorite TNA moments!