Eric Bischoff Calls Original TNA Name “Juvenile”

Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff has given his opinion on the TNA re-brand to IMPACT in 2011, believing the original name to be “juvenile and prepubescent.”

On a recent episode of ’83 Weeks’ alongside host Conrad Thompson, Eric Bischoff discussed TNA Sacrifice 2011. During this time period Bischoff acted as both onscreen talent and executive producer for the company. In May of the same year TNA would re-brand to become ‘Impact Wrestling!’.

When discussing the decision to change the companies name, Eric Bischoff believes that this was the right thing to do, as he felt the TNA name carried too much of a negative and immature stigma:

“Yes [it was the right idea to re-brand from TNA to Impact!]. TNA, Tits N Ass wrestling, girls in cages that was the iteration (sic) – that means that’s where the idea started – the iteration of TNA was juvenile, prepubescent, ‘let’s jerk off to a Sears lingerie catalogue’ mentality. In my humble opinion, it was stupid to start out with, it was even dumber to hold on 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 the TNA – but people within TNA didn’t want to, they felt like ‘Oh my God, we’ve invested so much time into 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 tonnes of money at it! Because you don’t understand, didn’t understand the nature of the television business.”

TNA was founded by Jerry and Jeff Jarrett in early 2002. Originally known as ‘NWA:Total Non Stop Action’, the company would eventually be known as simply TNA in 2004. Former WWF and WCW writer Vince Russo is said to have created the name and theme for early shows, which included weekly pay-per-views, women dancing in cages and overall edgier content than other promotions at the time.

Eric would go on to explain that a name that carries such connotations as TNA not only affect fan perception, but also revenues such as advertisement sales and potential new clients:

“It’s driven by ad sales, and nobody, nobody, wants to go to their clients if you work for an advertising agency and say ‘Hey’, especially if that client executive was a female, and let’s make it worse, maybe you’re just a guy, and you’re going to pitch [to] this exec on this really cool thing called ‘TNA’. On the surface couldn’t have somebody just thought about it for 45 seconds, put themselves in somebody else’s shoes and just try to imagine how hard it is to pitch that. Especially because at that time, for TNA in particular, wrestling was a hard sell. ‘Let’s make it tougher’. Oh my God. Yes, it was time.”

No official details have been released surrounding the re-use of the TNA name. However, IMPACT Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore disclosed in a recent interview with the Wrestling Perspective Podcast that the return of the brand is very much a possibility down the line:

“It’s a possibility that the TNA brand could return. One of the things that the pandemic has robbed us of is that opportunity to see a return of TNA. We have so many unbelievable Knockouts. Maybe we’ll give them their own separate platform.”

For now at least, the TNA name remains dormant. However, with fan speculation as well as current Impact Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega currently carrying the original TNA World Heavyweight Championship, perhaps a return to Total Nonstop Action is on the horizon.

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Credit for Interview: 83 Weeks