On Saturday, October 21st, Impact Wrestling held their cornerstone event of the year, Bound for Glory, in Chicago to much fanfare! A show built around a massive main event between Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley delivered once again, as Impact has continued to do for some time now. From the likes of Matt Cardona’s surprise appearance in the Call Your Shot Gauntlet Battle Royal to the incredible Monster’s Ball Match and the generational clash of Trinity and Mickie James, the show had no shortage of fun and surprises. Then, just when all seemed over and done with, Scott D’Amore delivered the news that was music to people’s ears…the return of the TNA name!
After years of an identity crisis and several name changes for the company, it seemed like the name Impact Wrestling would stick. During those years, the reputation of the product dragged through the mud for a good while until D’Amore started righting the ship a few years ago. The company started drawing a buzz and landed some big free agent signings in 2020 after WWE’s swarm of releases was the start of the resurgence. The likes of Deonna Purrazzo, who became one of their biggest Knockout’s superstars ever, along with the Good Brothers and Eric Young all headed over to Impact to begin making a new name for themselves, all while improving the quality of the product during the early days of the pandemic. In 2021, the talent exchange they entered into with AEW only further enhanced their standing, drawing Kenny Omega to a couple of Impact shows (with him even becoming their world champion), as well as Christian Cage winning their title while in his main event feud with Omega, and subsequently, Cage returned for a brief run on Impact TV. Mickie James was able to carry the Knockout’s Title into WWE’s Royal Rumble as well, which only further added to the bump in Impact’s notoriety. The last few years have been a true return to prominence for a company that was seemingly months away from closing its doors just a few short years ago. Now, they have embarked on a quest to once again restore their place among the top wrestling promotions in the world while returning to the name that made them famous.
TNA stands for Total Nonstop Action, a moniker that the company lived by so closely in its early days. There was a time when that fell off, and whether GFW or Impact Wrestling was the company’s name in that tough stretch of time, nobody forgot how incredible the product was under the TNA banner. From 2002-2011 specifically, TNA ran the wrestling world as the number one alternative to WWE. People turned to it to see a style of wrestling that was sorely needed in the world, and TNA provided it. With the X-Division, a greater emphasis on the Knockouts and tag team wrestling, as well as an eclectic mix of veteran and young talent, TNA was the proving ground for so many. Christian Cage left WWE and proved that he was a main event guy during his 2+ year run with TNA and returned to WWE with a more prominent spot because of that. Team 3-D (AKA the Dudley Boyz) made TNA their new stomping grounds and became the most decorated tag team in the history of the business, taking it over just like they had ECW and WWE. In addition to them, Kurt Angle, Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, Booker T and more made TNA their new home to raving success. Guys like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, and so many more became household names because of what TNA provided them. Even further, the moments that get replayed most in the company’s history often stem from the TNA days. Kurt Angle’s insane TNA debut, as well as so many of the moves, matches, and highlights from his matches, are replayed to this very day. The same can be said for Elix Skipper’s insane cage walk hurricanrana, or Jeff Hardy’s massive Swanton Bomb off the stage, or Abyss plummeting through a flaming table. The TNA name conjures good vibes, so the return to the name sparks joy for many.
I think the most exciting part in all of this is how the present-day Impact roster figures to take the TNA name and make it even better than ever. As I have said multiple times both in this article and in previous ones, the current Impact roster has so much talent from top to bottom. There are some guys and girls who date back to the TNA days who carry with them so much of that lineage from the bygone times. Those stars, like Impact World Champion Alex Shelley, his tag team partner, the current X-Division Champion, Chris Sabin, along with the likes of Mickie James, Eric Young, Bully Ray, Frankie Kazarian, and more carrying the flag from the TNA days will be a great thing for the current roster to build on. Combine those talents with the likes of Josh Alexander, Steve Maclin, ABC, Mike Bailey, and Jordynne Grace, and the new and improved TNA Wrestling is going to be a force to be reckoned with in 2024 and beyond.
I for one cannot wait until January when Hard to Kill rolls around and we get to see the return of the TNA Wrestling name to the professional wrestling industry. An industry spearheaded by the two-headed battling monster of WWE and AEW, with NJPW, always keeping themselves relevant, very well could implode from within if TNA does what it has been lining up to do for a good while now: deliver on a whole new level. 4 major wrestling promotions airing TV every day of the week with superstars who knock it out of the park every single time? 2024 is going to be a year to remember in the professional wrestling industry ladies and gentlemen, that’s for sure. It won’t just be WWE and AEW leading the charge, it won’t just be NJPW keeping pace from across the world, but TNA Wrestling is back, and the whole business just got put on notice!