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Old 01-03-2014, 09:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Prologue





The scene is Wembley Stadium and the date is July 2014. The world famous stadium is filled with 70,000 fans that have came to see TNA's Slammiversary. The crowd gets their money's worth as see a classic main event as the TNA World Champion, CM Punk, survived the King of the Mountain match defeating Bryan Danielson, Edge, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam.They cheer loudly as their fellow countrymen, Magnus, walks away with the Money in the Bank briefcase that came down to him and fellow Brit Nigel McGuinness battling it out on top if a ladder as Wembley cheered every blow. They were on the edge of their seats as El Generico finally defeated Christopher Daniels for the X-Division title and was visibly upset when Team 3D didn't get their revenge against Beer Money.



After the fans filed out of the stadium, three people sat together in a luxury box drinking the finest Scotch and champagne toasting their success. They weren't the number one company in the world, that title is still with the WWE, but they were a proven commodity and the gap between the two companies is narrowing. TNA owner, Hulk a Hogan, makes a toast to both men because if not for Paul Heyman and Jim Ross none of this would have happened.



You are probably asking you some serious questions like, how could this happen? How could they possibly assemble that roster? How could Hulk Hogan, Jim Ross and Paul Heyman came together or for that point handle working together? This and much more will be answered in this BTB as we will start where any good story starts and that's the very beginning......

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Old 01-03-2014, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You have me intruiged, that's for sure. Looking forward to this BTB.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Chapter One

"The Fishing Trip"





On a typical, lazy summer day in Tennessee three men set off on a simple fishing trip. As the trio sat out on the boat waiting to get a bite they started talking about their lives. The three like thousands of Americans were jobless, victims of an industry in the middle of a major downsizing. Two of the men was employees to one if the largest companies in the world only to be more less laid off overnight while the other has watched his lifetime of work getting eaten up little by little by bigger companies. The men didn't see a future with the leading company on their field as each men have made enemies inside the company. Finally one of them made the crazy notion that they should give it one more try because they didn't really have anything to lose but just maybe they could finally do something special. That day Bob Ryder and the Jarretts came up with the idea that would become TNA.


Ryder came to the assumption that much like Turner soured on WCW and TNN soured on ECW that television as a whole has turned away from professional wrestling. He told the Jarretts that a new company would have to look to the future of selling it's shows online and on pay per view. Jeff Jarrett liked the idea but Jerry was weary. Jerry was an old school promoter and was used to the days of county fairs and high school gyms where word of mouth meant more then anything. Finally Ryder and Jeff convinced Jerry to take the risk because without the veteran promoters contacts they would be dead before they even started. The trio held meetings and hired a staff of former WCW and ECW employes one of which was Jeremy Borash. Soon a pay per view deal was reached as well as Jerry Jarrett being able to get them a venue that they would dub the Asylum. They ended up purchasing some television production equipment from a local television station and some local advertisers ranging from Big Bubba's BBQ to Crazy Carl's Mattress Warehouse. All they needed now was a roster but Jeff knew there was more people like him...unwanted by the WWF and struggling to make a living. He just had to find them.


Jeff's first call was to Curt Hennig. Curt like Jeff was a wrestling veteran from a wrestling family and it was all he knew. The WWE didn't see much future in the man they once called perfect and didn't sign him after taking over WCW. Hennig liked the idea of Jarrett and signed on to take on Jeff in the first show. Jeff and Jerry worked the phones the next few days and soon had a card consisting of The Harris Brothers, Steve Corino, Dusty Rhodes, C.W. Anderson, Erik Watts, Bobby Eaton, Jake Roberts, Dutch Mantell and Bill Dundee. The show was a success in Tennessee as the Asylum sold out and soon the promotion attracted bigger names as Jerry Lawler, Terry Funk and Barry Windham showed up to take on Jarrett. The company was doing well at the live audience but the pay per view wasn't doing anything, they knew they had to attract bigger names to make people pay to watch from home. They decide to risk all the profits they have made in the first few months and hold a heavyweight title tournament.


The company started promoting the 8 man tournament as they was able to secure Curt Hennig, Konnan, Vampiro, Shane Douglas, Bam Bam Bigelow, Randy Savage and the recently released Eddie Guerrero to take part. Everybody expected Randy Savage or Jarrett himself to be crowned champion but at the end of the night it was Eddie Guerrero that prevailed going through Hennig, Jarrett and Savage. The choice of Guerrero as champion was first brought to Jarrett by Konnan, who promised Eddie is what the company needed not someone like Savage as champion. After a heated debate, Eddie Guerrero became the first ever TNA World Champion.






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Old 01-04-2014, 04:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Chapter Two

"The Texas Two Step"





The crowning of Eddie Guerrero as champion soon started to pay dividends as crowds in Nashville paid good money to see him clash with Jeff Jarrett and Randy Savage. Guerrero was cocky, arrogant and more irritating then anything great in the ring. Internet sites starting buzzing about his antics, saying he was most refreshing star since Stone Cold. This seemed to be the character that Guerrero has been destined to portray. Konnan's influence backstage grew with the Jarretts and Ryder after his feelings about Guerrero's potential proved correct when he pitched the idea of a summer tour of Texas with a few shows in Mexico. He thought if fans in Nashville would line up to watch him that people in his home state and especially Latinos will pack the houses. The Jarretts liked the idea and soon was able to book fellow Latino stars Hector Garza and Super Crazy to the tour along with fellow newcomers Jerry Lynn, Chris Candido, Bam Bam Bigelow and former Power Plant student, Bob Sapp. The tour was ready to go.


The first show took place in Amarillo and it was a show that was taped for pay per view. The main event was Eddie defending his title against hometown legend, Terry Funk. The crowd was very pro-Funk as the Amarillo Convention Center echoed with cheers from everyone of Terry's move. The ending of the match saw the tricky Guerrero reversing a pile driver attempt into a small package as he held onto the tights to steal the win. The crowd was rowdy all night and beer line was constantly filled so the ending wasn't well received. One beer bottle started it all as it missed Eddie's head by two inches. Then another one nailed him right in the back. A pissed off Guerrero challenged the crowd and a group of fans stormed the ring. Funk and Guerrero started fighting off the fans as other wrestlers flew out if the back. Soon Amarillo police was on the scene to subdue what has now become a full fledged riot. The TNA roster was arrested along with about eighty fans. The whole incident though was beamed into homes across America as the select fans that ordered loved it thinking it was a well orchestrated story line. Soon though everyone saw it as news starting covering it. CNN, Fox and ESPN all aired footage of the riot. TNA had became known across the country.


From that point the tour sold out everywhere it was booked and pay per views grew by the thousands. The company kept the cards simple as Guerrero faced either Funk, Jarrett or Savage while the undercard saw Konnan vs Vampiro, Bigelow vs Sapp, Douglas vs Hennig, Harris Bros. Vs Garza/Super Crazy, and Chris Candido Vs Steve Corino. The tour was a great success as crowds even reached over ten thousand in a show in Mexico City. Sometimes the shows got crazy but never came close to what happened in Amarillo.


TNA returned back to Nashville in the fall. The company was turning a profit and the talent was happy but Jerry Jarrett knew that more work needed to be done and quickly. He told Jeff that the crowds needed new wrestlers to root for and TNA needed their own homegrown stars. He said Bob Sapp wasn't enough and that sooner or later Vince would come after him anyway. Jarrett told his son and Ryder that wrestling was changing and they needed to be ahead if the curve. He volunteered to go on a scouting trip but a young staff member by the name of Jeremy Borash said he had some videos if guys they might like. He told then about a promotion that had been started by RF Video, Rob Feinstein, called Ring of Honor. He said if that they were looking for the stars of tomorrow they needed to start there. After watching the DVD, Ryder and Jerry Jarrett booked a flight to Philly to see them in person.





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Old 01-04-2014, 10:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Chapter Three

"A Look into the Future"





Jeff Jarrett and Jeremy Borash landed in Philadelphia and was met by former ECW commentator, Don Callis. Callis had been having talks with joining TNA for the past couple of weeks and Jarrett asked him to set up a meeting with Ring of Honor, Rob Feinstein. The three rented a car and drove into New Jersey just outside of Philly to an office in almost deserted strip mall. Jarrett was a little worried about doing business with someone with such a shady looking headquarters but he knew Callis used his influence to arrange this meeting and didn't want to possibly burning the bridge with him so he decided to go in. When they went inside it was worse the Jeff thought as their was only RF Video sign behind a busty blonde who surely didn't get the job for her typing skills. She told the men that Robby had been waiting for them and showed them back to a office. Feinstein welcomed the guys and offered them chairs. The chairs had pieces of leather torn off and Jeff swore he saw a cockroach scatter underneath a bookcase when he moved his. Jeff just wanted to get out if here as fast as he could. Feinstein started asking questions about TNA having a DVD distributor but Jarrett wasn't really paying attention. Borash and Callis spoke for the most of the meeting as Jeff just thought to himself that he was glad his dad didn't go with them. Jerry would have saw this setup and would have chastised Feinstčin like an eight year old that didn't keep his room clean. Finally the meeting was over and the three shook hands and they got into the car. Callis and Borash seemed excited about what just took place but Jeff said he didn't know if he trusted him. Jarrett talked about just going back to Nashville immediately but Borash convinced him to stay and go to the show tonight. Finally Jarrett agreed to go to the show but swore he would never step in that office again.



They arrived at Viking Hall around eight and there was a decent crowd there to watch the show. The three men was ushered backstage by Steve Corino, who recently signed with ROH after his brief run in TNA. Jarrett shared his concerns with Corino about being here but Steve told him to watch the show and pay attention to the stars in the ring and not Feinstein, Jarrett watched the show and quickly understood what they were talking about. The opening match was between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, two guys that Jeff remembered from the dying days of WCW who was more less being used as jobbers. The two worked a great match better then anything you would see on tv and it was the opening match. The rest of the night saw Colt Cabana defeat Chris Hero, CM Punk battle Low Ki, Bryan Danielson take on Xavier, Homicide in a bloodbath with Corino and Samoa Joe battling a 300 pound monster called Justice. Jarrett was impressed by most if the roster and now wished he paid more attention to the earlier meeting. The group chatted up CM Punk, Daniels and Styles to gauge their interest in working in Nashville before Feinstein showed up with his secretary on his arm and ushered them into an office. This time Jeff took control of the meeting, he played off his interest in the talent saying most of the stars wasn't nothing he couldn't find in any promotion across the country although he did see potential in a few of becoming solid additions to a major roster. Feinstein looked a little shocked at Jarrett's assessment of the roster but made his pitch anyway. The pitch was simple for use of his talent and a small fee RF Videos will produce and distribute DVDs for TNA. Jarrett had to control his enthusiasm as the company was looking for a DVD company anyway and RF Videos was on their list with their work with ECW. Jarrett told him that he would have to talk to his partners first. The three men flew back to Nashville and a few days later they were in business with Ring of Honor. Other parts to the deal was added as the stars would be promoted as Ring of Honor talent on the TNA shows, TNA would also send some talent to ROH shows also. The most important thing that was added was a moral clause that was the idea of Jerry's after hearing the conditions of Feinstein's office. That clause would come in handy.



During this time Randy Savage and Curt Hennig left as the roster started getting an ECW feel as Mike Awesome, Raven and Perry Saturn starting working the shows as Raven became the top challenger to Eddie Guerrero's title. Bob Sapp's feud with Bigelow ended as the company started signing names like Big Van Vader, Bryan Clark and Scott Norton to put him over on the pay per views. His biggest win was over Scott Steiner as he wrestled one show before heading to the WWF. The tag team scene got a boost as Jerry starting teaming up two youngsters in James Storm and Chris Harris calling them America's Most Wanted as they quickly got over with the crowd and was challenging the Harris Brothers for the titles. Terry Funk was still battling with Shane Douglas as newcomer BG James debuted a feud with Konnan. Another newcomer, Ron Killings, from the WWF was put into a program with Jarrett.



The talk of the shows at the end of the year though was what Don Callis dubbed "The X Division" as Ring of Honor stars CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles and Low Ki battled the likes of Super Crazy, Jerry Lynn, Elix Skipper and Brian Christopher in action packed matches that usually opened the shows and got the crowd going. It was during one if these matches where a Fox Sports official got the idea if broadcasting the upstart company on the regional network.



TNA jumped at the chance of being televised in anyway as they saw it as the first step of landing a deal on a bigger network. They knew that they needed to upgrade their production equipment and overall look for tv but more importantly they now needed a creative mind who would impress much needed sponsors and tv executives. Jeff Jarrett only knew one guy and despite the objections if his father, Vince Russo was hired as the company went into 2003.





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Old 01-04-2014, 12:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Chapter Four

"One Step Forward, Two Steps Back





The hiring of Vince Russo was loved by Fox Sports but hated by many within in the company and more importantly be many fans. Although he led WWF creative during the Attitude Era he was equally credited to the collapse of WCW. Jeff Jarrett though believed in the man that had showed faith in him in both promotions and was sure he was the person that could lead TNA into the future. Quickly though tensions rose during meetings as it became obvious that Russo couldn't work with the old school types that has made up the TNA front office since it's inception. After Russo's first week on the job Dusty Rhodes resigned as booker and Jerry Jarrett returned home to Memphis and would sometime during the year sell his stake in the company to his son. Russo had quickly established that TNA was pretty much his promotion now.



Russo's first order of business was to stop using the Ring of Honor stars. He thought it was idiotic for one company to help other companies stars become bigger. This was a very unpopular decision as their matches in the X Division was often the highlight of the shows to many fans. Russo instead brought in veteran talent such as Kid Kash, Sabu and Sean Waltman as well indy wrestlers Chris Sabin, Matt Bentley and Frankie Kazarian to fill the void. The matches with the group was solid but didn't resonate with the fans as the previous group did. Russo continued to reshape the roster as Terry Funk, Shane Douglas, Super Crazy, Jerry Lynn and the Harris Brothers all left the promotion. Russo filled the void by signing former WCW stars Buff Bagwell and Devon Storm as well as former WWE stars D-Lo Brown and Chris Chavis. Bagwell was quickly put into a feud in his debut with world champion, Eddie Guerrero that revolved around Eddie's wife, Vickie. The feud though suffered as the two didn't mesh well in the ring. That coupled with Russo booking Mike Awesome over Bob Sapp, Raven and Vampiro going over Americas Most Wanted and Waltman winning the X Division belt from AJ Styles made fans feel like they were watching a rehash if WCW. Soon attendance started slipping as well as Fox Sports not being happy with initial ratings of Impact but things would get worse.




In May of 2003, Eddie Guerrero informed TNA that he would be returning to the WWF after his contract ran out. For the first time, TNA needed a new champion. The consensus on the locker room and among employees was that Bob Sapp was going to be that man. Sapp had rarely seen defeat in his eight months in the company and has been fed a steady feast of credible veterans to put him over. Russo though saw only one man as the next champion and that was Jeff Jarrett. Was it an all time example of ass kissing or what he really believed we will never know for sure but Jarrett defeated Eddie with a guitar shot to end his reign. Guerrero left the company the next day and a week later a disgruntled Bob Sapp did too after signing a contract with the MMA organization, Dream. TNA had lost their two biggest stars and was starting to lose money with the new costs of productions and the higher payroll now that they wasn't using other companies people. In five months it seemed that a years worth of hard work was ruined.



The years summer tour though was still a success as the company focused on the Southern states. Jarrett filled his role of champion as good as he could facing Raven, Ron Killings and D-Lo Brown as his top challengers. Ken Shamrock was soon brought in to feud with Jarrett and actually had a two day reign as champion before losing the title back. The big feud though was Sean Waltman, Sabu and another newcomer, Jeff Hardy over the X Division title.



The tour was making money but not enough. Behind the scenes Bob Ryder sold his part of the company to Jeff making him at the time sole owner. Jeff knew that he couldn't afford the company on his own and started to look for investors. Jarrett found one in his good friend, Toby Keith. Keith was a big wrestling fan and had known Jarrett for years and always wondered about becoming a promotion owner. Russo lived the idea and started booking Keith on air and actually put him in a match where he tagged up with Shamrock to face Jarrett and BG James. The episode would become the highest rated show they ever had on Fox Sports. But after the end of the summer, the company was still losing money and Keith told Jarrett there had to be a change. It was either Keith and his pocketbook or Vince Russo. Russo was fired in September after only nine months on the job.



Jarrett knew his company was in trouble but nobody was ready for what he did next.


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Old 01-04-2014, 02:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm in love with this thread! Oh man this is very good so far. Russo's off screen sounds like the exact thing he would do then & now. But wats Jeff goin 2 do now? Uve got me guessing! Good luck & I hope u keep this going!
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Chapter Five

"Curry, Tea and Vegamite"





After the firing of Vince Russo, Jeff Jarrett put wrestling veteran Dutch Mantel in charge of creative and brought back Dusty Rhodes back as booker to try and get the company back to where it was. These hirings though didn't sit well with Fox Sports as they didn't see the potential of the company with these two men in charge. So despite Jarrett's assurances that things was going to get better the network cancelled their television deal effective at the beginning of 2004. Jarrett for the first time was really having doubts that TNA would make it.



Even though the tv situation wasn't working out great the Asylum was still selling out every weekend but most people woukd credited that to Toby Keith and other country music stars performing after the wrestling shows were finished. The roster itself stayed about the same with Jeff Jarrett still feuding with Shamrock headlining the cards. Jeff Hardy was becoming the hottest star in the company as his matches with Sabu was the most talked about and anticipated. At the last show before Christmas which was also the last tv taping for Fox Sports, Jeff Jarrett was visited by none other then Jimmy Hart.



Jimmy Hart had the same idea of the Jarretts and Ryder after WCW's closing and had started his own promotion called XWF. During 2002, XWF and TNA shared a lot of the same veteran talent but XWF had to close it doors because it never got the drawing power that TNA got with Eddie Guerrero. Since that time Hart had stayed busy promoting tours that showcased mostly wrestling legends like Greg Valentine, Roddy Piper and The Nasty Boys. During one of these shows in Memphis, Jimmy invited Jerry Jarrett and the two started talking. Since the two went back roughly thirty years, Jerry confided in Hart and told him about Russo hiring disaster and the tv contract expiring. Hart then confided in Jarrett that he too was in a bind as he had booked an international tour with an Austrailian concert promoter, Andrew McManus that was supposed to be headlined by Hulk Hogan and Sting but at the last moment Hogan had backed out. The two old friends drinked into the night but Hart knew he would be driving to Nashville in the morning. Jimmy told Jeff about the tour and told him it could be salvaged if TNA would appear. He explained that McManus would be happy with Jarrett and Shamrock appearing in place of Hulk. Hart said they needed about 20 wrestlers for the tour that would last 3 months in two week intervals with a week off between that will take through Austrailia, Asia and Europe. Jarrett told him he would have a decision in the next few days. After talking with some stars and owner, Toby Keith, they agreed to send wrestlers on the tour while still doing some shows in Nashville.



On the tour, Jimmy Hart provided wrestlers Sting, The Nasty Boys, Emory Hail, Nathan Jones and Teddy Hart while TNA brought Jarrett, Shamrock, America's Most Wanted, Jeff Hardy, Sabu, Buff Bagwell, BG James, Ron Killings, Konnan, Raven, Vampiro, Perry Saturn, Jerry Lynn, Chris Candido and Mike Awesome. The tour was a great success, the group performed in front of the biggest crowds the company ever saw. Nearly 40 thousand fans in Bombay watched the tour while almost 50 thousand watched in Seoul. All parties involved in the tour was pleased with the outcome and TNA had made almost more money then they did in all of 2013 while also gaining a fan base throughout the world. Three months later the tour was over and the company returned to Nashville with more money and a new star as Sting agreed to join the promotion.



After being back for a few weeks, TNA's phone started ringing with offers to broadcast their promotion in the UK and India after their shows did so well during the tour. The company still having the production equipment agreed to the contracts and decided to go back to the old pay per view system they had in it's first year. The shows quickly became a top program in India as Sting, Hardy, Shamrock and Sabu became household names. Jarrett dropped the world title to Sting in June as Sabu and AMW held the other titles. Finally due to the success in India, Toby Keith got a phone call from production company, Endemol, that was double of what he bought it for. After meeting with Jarrett, Keith sold the company to Endemol.





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Old 01-04-2014, 11:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Chapter Six

"Investing in the Future"





Endemol purchase of TNA excited fans across the world. The backing of a billion dollar company made it seem that the WWE had real competition. Endemol's investment came with strings though as Andrew McManus was put in charge as TNA President while Jeff Jarrett was put in charge of Talent Relations and Creative with Jimmy Hart, Dutch Mantel, Dusty Rhodes and Jimmy Hart working under him. Endemol bought the promotion because of the tour and wanted to make sure the people responsible for it was going to be in the company.



Endemol was able to package TNA in a tv deal with Viacom with renewals of it's Big Brother on CBS and it's Celebreality shows on VH1 along with future shows for MTV, Nickelodeon and SpikeTV, which would be the home of TNA. Endemol remodeled the Asylum in Nashville to set it up for a national television audience equipping it with HD tron screens for entrances, pyrotechnics, state of the art audio system as well as new seating that would make a thousand person audience look much bigger on screen. Impact was given a debut date of August.



The company though still had four months till then and with the Asylum ongoing renovations they were ready to tour the US again as behind the scenes whispers were starting about who would make the final roster for the new shows. Everybody knew that the WWF had gone through a roster shake ups as now big stars like Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Goldberg was available and Endemol was interested in each one. They instructed McManus to go after them but Jarrett disagreed. Jarrett told McManus the horror stories of the final days if WCW and warned that each of those hirings would want creative control of themselves and would most likely cause more problems then they would solve. He told McManus that those names were the past and they should be looking to the future. He reminded the group about the talent they once shared with Ring of Honor and pitched that for the price of those three they could probably easily buy the whole Ring of Honor promotion. Nobody foreseen that assumption will be put to the test soon.



A month later Ring of Honor owner, Rob Feinstein, was caught in a child sex sting by Dateline NBC. Feinstein claimed his innocence but Ring of Honor suffered being associated with him. Finally Feinstein put the company up for sale and McManus pounced. TNA purchased Ring of Honor and decided to keep it in business and bring it to Memphis. The promotion will now serve as a developmental program while a group of wrestlers was brought up immediately to TNA. CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Low Ki, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Abyss, Homicide and AJ Styles were seen as additions that will change the whole outlook of the roster. Jeff Jarrett felt that his creation was ready to take the next step.



Impact debuted on Spike to great fanfare and the debut episode saw Jeff Hardy win the world title for the first time defeating Sting and Jeff Jarrett. The shows continued to impress as Jeff Hardy and the former Ring of Honor stars routinely put on great matches weekly. The weekly ratings stayed solidly in the 2.0-2.5 range as Endemol and McManus seemed happy with the cost efficient moves that Jarrett thought of but soon they wondered how much more money could be saved with more roster moves. They figured any veteran was expendable even Jarrett himself.




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Old 01-05-2014, 01:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Total Nonstop Action: An Alternate Universe

TNA: An Alternate Universe

By Denny Crane


Chapter Seven

"Well Played Mate"





Jeff Jarrett smelled something fishy going on. Even though his big idea of the purchase of Ring of Honor was paying big dividends as Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and CM Punk was constantly getting the biggest pops of the night, he was being kept out of the loop on decisions as Mike Tenay was replaced by Joey Styles on commentary and Don Callis was taken off the creative team. Ratings was steady in October and there were serious talks of doing three hour pay per views starting in 2005 but despite this progress Jeremy Borash was reassigned to an on-air role and The creative team of Dutch Mantell, Dusty Rhodes and Jimmy Hart was replaced by unknowns Gabe Sabolsky, Scott D'Amore and veteran Dave Finlay. Jeff was perplexed about the changes and demanded a meeting with McManus, who had been running the promotion from his native, Austrailia but got ignored. After the release of BG James, Konnan, Sabu and Ken Shamrock, Jarrett understood that the company was going with a serious, cheaper youth movement. Soon Sting and Jarrett was the only veterans on the roster as a new class of stars came up from Ring if Honor in Nigel McGuiness, Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Petey Williams and Jay Lethal to go along with the signings of Sean O'Haire, Eddie Fatu and Andrew Martin. Jeff wasn't happy with the changes but with the ratings still doing good and sponsors rolling in he really didn't have a case to present to Endemol.



The changes started to make an effect as the casual fans that tuned in started turning off the show. Even though the younger stars were entertaining to watch they didn't have characters yet like Shamrock, Raven and Sabu did. The ratings dropped under two for the first time and Endemol started to worry as the first pay per view was only two months away. It was now time for Jarrett to ignore McManus as Jarrett and Sting took their time off promised in their contracts. McManus was on his own as he had creative push O'Haire into the main event against Hardy for the inaugural pay per view. Genesis bombed with that main event and Endemol wanted answers. They wanted to know what had happened in the last two months to the company. This was the opportunity Jarrett was waiting for as he explained that even though it looked good on the bottom line that a promotion needed some established stars. He then went on the full attack saying he felt now the company would have a hard time attracting stars with McManus in charge. McManus claimed he was sabotaged by Jarrett and Sting but Endemol heard enough and fired McManus and named Jarrett interim president. They told Jeff that he had the resources to turn it around and if he didn't it could be him getting fired next.



Jarrett didn't waste much time with Endemol's checkbook and signed tag team greats, The Dudley Boys, former world champion Rhino and brought Raven back as a group that invaded Impact. The ratings climbed back up as the group was joined by CM Punk and Abyss as they terrorized the company. A match was set for Lockdown between the six and Jarrett, Sting, Hardy, AMW and a mystery partner. The partner was revealed a week before Lockdown as none other then Hulk Hogan.



The Lockdown show was a great success as Hogan proved he was still a big draw. Endemol was more then happy with the numbers and made Jeff Jarrett president once again. Jarrett knew though he might have made a deal with the devil because it was only a matter of time before Hogan's ego would need to be fed.

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