Powell’s Blog: “F— TNA”

By Jason Powell

TNA Impact Wrestling left a bad taste in the mouths of many pro wrestling fans over the years. It did not take much prompting, if any, to get crowds at rival events to chant “F— TNA” in reaction to the company’s talent or former talent. Broken Matt Hardy changed that. The Broken Universe was popular enough that the anti-TNA chants died down or were even replaced by the “Delete” chant.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment purchased TNA late last year. The television show had its big relaunch on Thursday. They finally ditched the TNA name, though probably didn’t go far enough with it, as they are still known as Impact Wrestling, a name long associated with TNA.

At any rate, we are one show into the era of Impact Wrestling and the company has already made a move that brought back the “F— TNA” chants. Never mind the quality of Thursday’s Impact Wrestling television show, the company laid legal claim to the Broken Universe that Matt Hardy created.

“We thank @matthardybrand for a superb performance in Broken Universe,” Anthem executive Ed Nordholm tweeted on Friday. “May the seven deities guide with their Broken Brilliance left behind.” This was Nordholm’s way of telling the world that the Hardys were leaving Impact Wrestling, yet they were being forced to leave the Broken Universe behind. If that tweet didn’t send the message, the cease and desist orders issued by the company certainly did.

Reby Hardy went nuclear in response on her Twitter page. Matt’s wife pointed out the many sacrifices that Matt and Jeff made both personally and even financially for the company. The Hardy brothers clearly did right by TNA, but now Impact Wrestling and Anthem feel no obligation to return the favor.

It may turn out that Anthem has the law on their side, but they will lose this battle in the court of public opinion. Yes, others in the company may have played a part in the success of the Broken Universe, but everyone knows this is Matt Hardy’s creation. Anthem and Impact Wrestling have yet to tell their side of the story, but they have to realize that they currently look petty and vindictive to the same fans they are trying to win over.

One step forward, two steps back. The company name may have changed, but this entire situation is about as TNA as it gets.

I don’t even understand what Nordholm hopes to gain from all of this. Great, Anthem keeps the rights to the Broken Universe. Are they going to recast the roles of Broken Matt and Brother Nero in Fake Razor Ramon and Fake Diesel style? No, of course not. They are simply trying to maintain the rights to what they feel they can legally lay claim to, thus preventing companies such as Ring of Honor and WWE, and the Hardy family from capitalizing on it.

The big question they need to ask themselves is whether it’s really worth it. Impact Wrestling can’t profit from the Broken Universe in any meaningful way going forward. In fact, one could argue that they would actually stand to make more if they allowed the Hardy family to use the gimmick outside the company, as DVD sales of what the brothers did while working for TNA would surely become more profitable if the act made its way to WWE.

More importantly, Anthem and Impact Wrestling need to look like the good guys. They have a chance to make fans feel like new ownership and management are actually good people. They can send the message that Dutch Mantell’s promo that aired on Thursday’s television show was more than just lip service. In other words, if simply doing the right thing isn’t enough for them, then hopefully they will step back and realize that they have something to gain that they desperately need – goodwill with the fans.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Todd Martin on his background, attending pro wrestling events in Japan, the NJPW G1 Tournament, why lucha libre companies haven't been as successful as NJPW in the United States, AEW optimism, covering pro wrestling and MMA, and more (68:57)...


Readers Comments (28)

  1. The WWE is doing the same thing to Cody Rhodes, so they are no better.

    • I agree. And I made that same point in audio last night, and pointed out the legal letters that ROH is accused of sending WWE regarding tampering issues. As ridiculous as it is that Cody can’t use the Rhodes name, WWE has and will survive the backlash. Impact is trying to send a message of change, yet this comes off as petty and vindictive. Not the right move when you are trying to win back fans.

      • “The Hardy brothers clearly did right by TNA, but now Impact Wrestling and Anthem feel no obligation to return the favor” I agreed with you except that. This current regime may be new to the Hardys but TNA/Impact as a promotion have done right by them numerous through their troubles.

  2. Marcus Wainwright Merriweather March 11, 2017 @ 12:16 pm

    Somebody with some sense needs to immediately tell these guys to reverse course immediately. Not next month. Not next week. Now. Things like this destroy brands that are this close to death already. Reby had all the cards to play and she played them. Matt and Jeff don’t even have to say a word. Do you want ROH crowds all over the country chanting “f**k TNA”?

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Jeff Jarrett thinks that’s positive heat they can use lol.

    • I gave their show on Thursday a chance and wasn’t impressed, but was still interested in seeing what else they had coming up because I liked a lot of the guys there. Now after reading what they’ve done or are trying to do to the Hardy’s, I have no interest in supporting their product. There are tons of other great promotions in the world that are doing fun things that are making wrestling great. At this point, I won’t be sad if the day comes when they’re done for good and I’m sure I’m not alone in that assessment based on the backlash from their moves yesterday. It will be even funnier if the issue with the Hardy’s ends up leading to their “TOTAL DELETION”. So yeah, F___ TNA. And IMPACT. And that stupid owl.

  3. Protecting what they feel is theirs, Vince does it all the time, AAA are doing something even more scummier, and LU don’t like people using their referee.

    • So all these wrongs make a right? Again, horrible way to start the new era. The court of public opinion is not ruling in their favor. They need goodwill, not a large group of fans who view them as the bad guy. That was supposed to end when Dixie was removed from power, but now it’s back in full effect just one show into Anthem’s relaunch. It’s a shame.

      • It’s a shame, but it’s business. The big mistake is TNA continually baiting people with tweets. WWE issues one statement regarding most matters and is done. They’re not speaking from several Twitter pages on different days.

    • I agree with you that AAA/LU are the worst at this especially since they are trying to forcibly keep people like Pentagon or Fenix, who are no longer with their company, from even wrestling at Indie shows because they see the people as Intellectual property. What TNA is doing is closer to this than the Cody situation, especially with the way Reby put that they were going over her father’s character.

      Matt created the Broken character, and that character is his brainchild, not TNAs and what is TNA going to do with the Broken Universe? Turn Laurel Van Ness into Broken Van Ness?

  4. Awesome post. Awesome. I couldn’t agree more.

  5. Hi Jason, I don’t really understand why this is as big of a deal as people make it out to be. The “Broken Universe” was created by Matt with lots of help and backing. Yes, they contributed their own money too. It was sad the way it all ended and I feel for the Hardy’s and all parties really. At the end of the day, though, the Broken Universe it was created for a specific show, a specific company. I don’t feel it is right for Anthem just to say “Oh, so Shrek who was made for Dreamworks can now just appear on Disney because the creator now works for Disney” sorta-speak. I know it’s not the same, but you get the idea. Wrestling fans love the Broken Universe, but we have to remember that it was for a purpose it was for Impact Wrestling. From a viewer standpoint Matt got to do things that others would dream to do on Impact. They mentioned “Meekmahan” so many times it made no sense, they made so many references to Ring of Honor, they made so many references to the ROH tag champions and it leaves Impact Wrestling fans wondering “why are they talking about ROH champions? Is something going to happen on Impact that would include them”? And so on. They got to do so much. Even when Reby said later that Impact Wrestling was the best option, Matt still teased on twitter jumping ship to the WWE. Why would he do this if Impact Wrestling was the best option? A lot of stuff that happened made no sense.

    Anthem is new ownership, yes. That does mean they have to fix what doesn’t work which also means fixing the potential lenient guidelines that came before hand. One example might be why ROH was continuously being mentioned and promoted if nothing was to ever happen to benefit Impact. ROH certainly never mentioned Impact even on their web site, even when Impact mentioned ROH on air for crying out loud!

    I’m from Canada and Anthem airs ROH Wrestling on their Fight Network and it is the only channel where you can watch ROH on a reasonable time on a consistent basis up here. I’m sure Anthem does NOT want ROH to fail or to be anything but great since they are airing and potentially paying ROH for their product. It is important to make clear, however, that Impact does have rights to keep what they believe is theirs and it is important to get that message across that they are not just simple pushovers otherwise you’ll have a ton of talent doing the same thing in the future… and they will!

    • If Anthem was bothered by references to other companies, then why were there so many references other companies on Thursday’s show? I don’t think that has anything to do with it. They can take this to court. Maybe they win. The point remains is that the majority of fans appear to view them as the bad guys in this situation, so I don’t think it’s worth the fight. You don’t have to understand or even agree with those fans, but the reality is that Impact is viewed as the bad guy by the masses. Perhaps it would be better if it didn’t feel like Anthem’s reaction was born out of pettiness, but it is what it is. Hopefully new talents won’t have to wait on paychecks, fund their own production, etc. Something tells me the employees at Disney didn’t have to put up with that either. The Hardys bent over backwards for this company. They wanted to stay. They were given contract offers that they claim differed from the terms they had negotiated, and they received the contracts at the last minute. As for the teases, the Hardys wanted to keep everyone guessing. They clearly wanted to stay or Reby would not have been as upset as she was when they received the contracts. IF they were WWE bound, they probably would have laughed at the contracts and moved on.

      • They are totally viewed as the bad guys, Jason. No doubt. However, when you buy into a business and that business has so many problems it needs to be fixed from the ground up you can’t right away say “oh, I think we’ll wait a year into buying this company and get some fans back before we put our foot down”. They need to start right away and it will upset wrestlers, it will upset wrestling web sites and fans when they’re favourites are running into a negative situation. Heck, I’m terribly sad the Hardy’s are not with Impact anymore. With new ownership some fans will leave, some will stay and some new ones will be introduced over time. Also with new ownership, contacts have to be re-done and while I don’t think the Hardy’s should of had a delay as long as they did I kind of expected it to take a bit to work out. Remember, for years people were criticizing Dixie for doing everything wrong so Anthem has to start from scratch in terms of reworking contracts, TV deals, everything. All takes time and not everyone will be on board and they will lose people before they gain people.

        Reby mentioned that wrestlers won’t get paid on time under Anthem, whether that was a joke or not I couldn’t tell, but most people outside of Canada are unaware of the leadership behind Anthem. Leonard Asper was the CEO of Canwest up until the financial crisis – he was the CEO of the largest media company in Canada. Think CNN, NBC or whatever your largest is in the USA. It was a freakin’ EMPIRE up here. So while everyone may not agree with their decisions, when it comes to business they have strong people behind it so if there are delayed cheques that would be awkward. I’m not implying Anthem is perfect at all, and they will make mistakes and will continue to make mistakes much like WWE, ROH or any other company, but what I’m saying is that they have very well-known people at the top. I trust them to eventually, over time, get to a stage where things are fixed and things make sense to us fans. During the tear down and re-construction period, it may not all make sense to us or the wrestlers.

        • I did my research. I also know his late father built the empire, the sons lost it after he died. I also know there were layoffs with the Fight Network that they own this week. Things happen in business, but I’m not ready to endorse them nearly as much as you are. I’m optimistic and hope for the best.

          • It could be Impact Wrestling, regarding the layoffs but again, up here there are tens of thousands of people cutting their cables every quarter. Higher rate than most countries I’d presume. No one wants to pay for cable anymore. Nevermind the fact that FightNet is $4/mon EXTRA. They need to push their streaming content so it’s not just on AppleTV but on iPad and phones too and more people will subscribe.

            All networks are suffering up here. That’s nothing new at all. But like you said it could be Impact, it could be just the fact that no one up here wants cable anymore. Who knows? 🙂

  6. I’ve been saying F___ TNA forever. They crave to an alternative to WWE but put up a watered down product. …and misuse any good talent they have.

    I’m excited to see The Hardy’s go back “home” where money isn’t an issue, ever. I hope they debut with their Broken gimmick and the TNA tag belts to sink the Titanic known as Impact.

    I would love to see Anthem try to take WWE and Jerry McDevitt to court. It would be interesting because you can’t IP someone’s personality. Broken is too common of a word to trademark or the WWE could just trademark it in another form. You can’t stop Matt Hardy from using his legal name. Jeff’s middle name is legally Nero so he is Matt’s “brother Nero”. Would just be fun to see who has deeper pockets.

    Really wish WWE had bought them last year, shut them down, sent some good talent through NXT and unemployed all of the rejects they previously unemployed. I know competition and places are good for the industry but TNA is neither competition or a “place”. Also, they would have had tons of tape for the AJ Styles and Samoa Joe DVD’s.

  7. So your saying wwe was vindictive and petty when they sued wcw because scott hall was still using his razor ramon mannerisms? Mannerisms he created for a character wwe couldn’t possibly make any more money on with a fake razor? I wonder how much money wwe made from forcing wcw to keep jim neidhart british bulldog and bret apart during their wcw run because it would infringe on the hart foundation copyright? Billy gun was forced to become kip james. Mr kennedy became mr anderson. Yokozuna couldnt use his name outside the company. So its ok for wwe to declare intellectual property right on gimmicks but not impact? Oh ok.

    • Did those talents create the characters they played? Matt Hardy created his character. Some folks in here want to make this WWE vs. TNA, but wrestling isn’t a team sport for me.

      • And TNA gave him the platform and creative freedom to air that character that most people crapped all over to begin with. And how about big money matt he created that character too, do you want to see that character continue? It would be interesting to see if we would have the same uproar for that character in this situation?

  8. You say the Hardy’s bent over backwards for that company. But that same company stuck with the Hardy’s when nobody else would touch them. And that company was laughed at and criticised for doing so. Did you forget Victory Road 2011? Didn’t Dixie stick with Jeff despite these same fans and probably you as well clamoring for him to fired?

    .

  9. Where’s the FU Lucha Underground blog for doing the same thing you hypocrite?

  10. Also how quickly you forget Jeff Hardy no showing events in the early years and drugged up in his match against Sting and in NJPW. Matt Hardy also being on drugs in his first run with TNA. If anybody bent over it was TNA. We get it you hate TNA. Where was your outrage when LU did the same thing to TNA not once but twice. You are a hypocrite

    • Rah-rah TNA. Today I’m accused of hating TNA, Monday someone will tell me I hate WWE if I dislike something about their show. I call them as I see them. I don’t spend a lot of time covering LU. However, I did mention WWE was douchey for not letting Cody Rhodes use his last name, and ROH was douchey if the accusations about them sending tampering letters to WWE are accurate. Try again.

      • “Also how quickly you forget Jeff Hardy no showing events in the early years and drugged up in his match against Sting and in NJPW. Matt Hardy also being on drugs in his first run with TNA” He does have a valid point which you didn’t address. The Hardys have struggled with sobriety to the company’s detriment and you haven’t addressed that.

        • What’s to address? TNA re-signed both men despite their past issues. I was critical of both Hardys during these times. The company chose to bring them back. If the idea is that the Hardys owe them something, let’s keep in mind that this is new management and the Hardys actually wanted to stay.

  11. After Matt had a breakdown on the internet and Jeff showed for a match high as a kite TNA was the only show on national TV that would use these guys so how can anyone say TNA didn’t do right by these guys. They wanted it all while taking on non of the risk. You either work for yourself or you work for someone else. They tried to hold the company hostage thinking they wouldn’t stand their ground it backfired and they walked…The end.

  12. Yeah lets do something for all the fans of rival companies who chant F-TNA? That makes a lot of sense to me?

    • This isn’t a team sport. The fans of other promotions you mention are just pro wrestling fans. Are there some fans who act like one company is the home team for some reason? Yes, and I’ve never understood it since the territory days ended, but they are small in numbers. The majority of fans who sample multiple products want to be entertained. They don’t have loyalty to one particular, they just want to enjoy good wrestling. So when you say they are fans of rival companies, the truth in most cases is that they are just wrestling fans, and Impact Wrestling should view them as potential fans of their product.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.