In 2010, TNA transitioned into becoming IMPACT Wrestling as the company started to attempt a re-do of the Monday Night Wars by going head-to-head with Monday Night RAW. Former WWE and WCW writer Vince Russo told Wrestling Inc. in 2014 that he came up with the “TNA” name (Total Nonstop Action) as the company’s name.
On the latest episode of 83 Weeks, Eric Bischoff gave his opinion on the original TNA name and how he thought it was a bad idea. Bischoff said the name reminded him of an inappropriate saying and thought it was a terrible idea as a start up company.
“The ideation of TNA was juvenile, prepubescent, let’s jerk off to a Sears lingerie catalogue,” Bischoff said. “In my humble opinion, it was stupid to start out with, it was even dumber to hold onto to it when you’re trying to become a national promotion on a high profile cable outlet in prime time when you’re trying to appeal to advertisers. It was as stupid as any idea that I’ve seen perpetuated for an extended period of time. It was time to drop TNA but people in TNA didn’t want to, they felt like oh my gosh, we invested so much in this brand, yes and it was a stupid brand to invest in!
“It was a dumb idea from the get go and you were even dumber to keep throwing tons of money at it because you don’t understand and didn’t understand the nature of the television business! It’s driven by ad sales and nobody, nobody wants to go to their client if you work for an advertising agency and say especially if that client was a female, oh and lets make it worse you’re just a guy and you’re going to pitch this executive on this cool thing called TNA? On the surface, couldn’t somebody have thought about that for 45 seconds and put themselves in somebody else’s shoes and try to imagine how hard it is to pitch that? Especially because at that time for TNA in particular, wrestling was a tough sale, let’s make it tougher.”
Bischoff discussed Spike TV and Viacom, who were the television providers for IMPACT, finally deciding to rebrand as IMPACT. He also said there was a lot of backlash from Dixie Carter’s parents, who were running the business side of TNA, because they thought the name had nostalgia.
“It was time and fortunately the people who were paying for the show, that being Viacom through their cable outlet Spike, said enough, pump the f***ing brakes,” Bischoff said. “We’re paying the freight not only for this show but for a large part of the high profile talent within the show as a separate budget item. Outside of the television licensing agreement, Spike was funding a lot of the big name contracts Dixie brought in from WWE before I got there including Mick Foley and Booker T and Sting and Kevin Nash and Scott Hall and whoever those people came in, not all of them, but a good part of the expensive ones were founded by Spike.
“Finally, Spike pumped the brakes and said sorry, if we’re going to continue with this show and try to sell it, we have to rebrand it. It was a tough battle, there was a lot of push back internally, mostly from the people who didn’t have anything to do with running the business on a day to day basis from Texas, that being Panda Energy. Mommy and Daddy, mostly mommy, didn’t want to spend the money so Spike did! Spike paid for the rebranding, Spike paid for the research, these are things the company should have been doing for themselves but they didn’t and wouldn’t so Spike said alright if you won’t, we will.”