In a move that most people probably saw coming, TNA Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, and Global Force Wrestling are no longer independent wrestling promotions. Instead, Anthem Sports — the Canadian company behind Impact Wrestling and TNA — announced last week it has purchased Nashville-based Global Force Wrestling and will merge all promotions into one entity known as GFW.
The move signals the end of TNA, a professional wrestling league that was run by Dixie Carter but taken over by Anthem Sports in January of 2017. Promoter Jeff Jarrett will take over the creative aspects of the company.
Known as a promotion that once offered wrestling entertainment from legends Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Jeff and Matt Hardy, Kurt Angle and future WWE Superstars A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe, under Carter's leadership, TNA struggled for years financially. In an effort to distance itself from the negative press, but still take advantage of a rich TNA history, GFW will be removing itself from the brand and name TNA. Only the name 'Impact' will be kept for television programming purposes.
New Chief Creative Officer (CCO), Jeff Jarrett was the original founder of TNA Wrestling. It was taken over by an inexperienced Dixie Carter and her tenure as the boss was clouded with a reputation of bad relationships, struggling to make ends meet, unpaid talent, failed financial responsibilities and an inability to keep partnerships with cable companies that would air TNA programming. Most recently, Carter was sued by a former partner Billy Corgan (lead singer for The Smashing Pumpkins) who wanted to help TNA but the two parties' relationship ended in a sour note.
Jarrett and Anthem Executive Vice President Ed Nordholm will take over and are banking on not competing with juggernaut WWE, but will be offering their brand of wrestling as an alternative. Through international partnerships, strong digital content on social media and a revamped roster full of very deserving wrestling talent, GFW hopes to gain a foothold as a viable option for cable networks.
The partnership seems to be working. Social media and video views are up. There is an entirely new and updated pool of wrestling talent and the company recently toured India, gaining a ton of traction internationally and the company just completed their yearly show "Slammiversary".
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Removal of the name TNA will help eliminate the association to the double-meaning of the acronym "TNA" and help separate the company from negative media that had surrounded it the last few years. Among new initiatives, the latest development is the design and potential launch of a streaming service with extensive video library content. It will be similar to the WWE Network in that GFW plans to earn revenue from past stars and old content that exists over its 15 years in business.