June 19th, 2002 marked the debut of TNA. We just passed the 11th anniversary for the promotion. So, I decided to sit down for a moment and think of ten memorable moments that TNA has provided during it’s existence. Here are my ten memorable TNA moments.
Raven Debuts In TNA
Ever since leaving ECW in the summer of 1997, Raven hadn’t been used well by WCW or WWE. His second run in ECW left a lot to be desired as well. But, when he made his debut in TNA in January 2003 it was a memorable moment. Raven had been on WWE television very recently and then showed up on TNA programming. From that moment in 2003 to the fall of 2005, Raven would be a huge part of TNA television and provided us with some great matches and excellent promos.
TNA has to get credit for creating one of the most unique and most dangerous matches in wrestling history. The Ultimate X Match. I remember reading about the idea back in August 2003 and seeing a drawing of the idea and just shaking my head at the thought of it. I was fourteen at the time of this match taking place. I eventually watched it and was amazed with what they were able to put on. Michael Shane, Chris Sabin and Frankie Kazarian were the men involved in the match. TNA has had countless other Ultimate X matches and for the most part every match has a memorable moment in it. A great idea by TNA. Yes, I just said that.
Sting Appears In TNA
At the first anniversary show on June 18th 2003, Sting made his in-ring debut for TNA. He would have a few more matches for the company in 2003 before becoming a full-time wrestler for TNA in 2006. The signing of Sting in 2003 was a huge deal for me at the time. It showed me that TNA was capable of getting a big name like Sting to work for them. It took just over two years for Sting to comeback for a full-time gig, but his first appearance for TNA was a memorable moment.
Randy Savage Arrives
In late 2004, Randy Savage made his debut in NWA-TNA by feuding with Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. While his involvement with the company would last from November 2004 to December 2004, it was a huge announcement and shocking moment. I remember watching Victory Road 2004 (the only TNA PPV I ever purchased) and going nuts. So, for me it was a memorable moment seeing Savage back on television even if it was for a month and Savage wasn’t the wrestler he once was.
Turning Point 2004
Not the whole pay per view, but rather the steel cage match between America’s Most Wanted and Triple X. The match happened to be the main event for the December 2004 pay per view and it delivered in a huge way. AMW and Triple X had been feuding for almost two years off and on at this point. The match was simply perfect and the best possible way to end their feud. It also featured the spot where Elix Skipper walked the top of the cage to hit a hurricanrana. Truly one of the best spots you’d ever see in professional wrestling.
Joe vs. Daniels vs. Styles – TNA Unbreakable 2005
Perhaps the greatest match to ever take place, or at least the first match to be given that credit for the company. At the time, all three men were at the peak of their careers and delivering great matches on the independent scene in-front of crowds of no more than 1,000 people any given night. Sure, the Impact Zone only held about 1,200 or so people as well, but the fact that it was on pay per view should count for something. All three men stepped up to the plate and produced a match that showed what the X-Division was all about. If you’ve never watched the match before do yourself a favor and watch it.
TNA Gets Deal On Spike TV
This may be the biggest deal of them all. TNA lost their deal with Fox Sports Net due to the show failing to get much of a following after a year. Their deal ended in May 2005. They went without a TV deal from May 28th to October 1st when they were able to get a deal with Spike TV and began airing TNA Impact. Yes, they had an awful time slot on Saturday’s at 11pm, but over time they were able to get a following and have made it to primetime on Thursday’s. Without Spike TV coming in to give TNA a shot, I doubt the company would have made it past 2005. It’s always good to have an option to WWE and for that Spike TV deserves a thank you.
Captain Charisma Jumps Ship
After several years of being prevented from rising up the ranks in the WWE, Christian Cage decided to take his talents to a place where he would be appreciated and shine. That happened in November 2005 when Christian made his debut at Genesis. Cage would quickly become the top babyface for the company and by February 2006 would win his first TNA World Championship. Since that time, he went back to WWE where he was finally given a main event push and delivered a very good program with Randy Orton. TNA saw something in Christian, beside a top name from WWE, and was able to make him a main event guy. Christian’s run in TNA was a good one, too.
Kurt Angle Makes An Impact
Personally, I never thought Kurt Angle would have gone to TNA. It seemed like it was a place that was beneath him. He is a star and WWE made him that. When he left there I figured he would take a year off and make his comeback stronger and better. Instead, after a few months he was on TNA programming. His arrival in TNA hasn’t made an impact on the ratings which may be the fault of TNA and their inability or desire to promote their programming. Regardless, Angle’s arrival to TNA in late 2006 was huge for the promotion.
Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff Take Over
Never in a million years did I believe that Hulk Hogan or Eric Bischoff would go to Total Non-Stop Action. Bischoff is a guy I thought was out of the wrestling business for good and would focus on his own production company. When this was first announced I had a brief moment to think that Bischoff could possibly work his magic a second time and make something special happen. Hogan being in TNA was shocking just because he is one of the most recognizable names in wrestling and went to a company that doesn’t do good ratings at all for the names they have part of the company. The experiment probably hasn’t worked out the way TNA had hoped, which I doubt Dixie Carter can even acknowledge. Nonetheless, the announcement provided more interest from myself towards TNA. That interest diminished about three weeks later when their programming became worse than it was previous to their arrival.
Those are some memorable moments that came to mind when it comes to TNA. What are some of the more memorable moments for you when it comes to TNA? Feel free to share them below!
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.