TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY… MAY 8th: The Birth of Total Non-Stop Action

DATELINE: MAY 8, 2002 – NEW YORK, NY


inDemand and J Sports & Entertainment announce a joint venture designed to fill the void left by WWE’s purchase of WCW a year earlier. 

The new promotion, Total Non-Stop Action, would be based in Nashville, Tennessee, and would be under the National Wrestling Alliance banner. The first episode of its weekly PPV format featured a Gauntlet for the Gold match, where Ken Shamrock kicked off the TNA era as the new NWA World Champion.

The following day’s press release:

NWA: TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION TO KICK OFF JUNE 19, 2002

New York, NY (May 9, 2002)…iN DEMAND LLC and J Sports & Entertainment, Inc (JSE), today announced a new weekly series of PPV wrestling entertainment events premiering on June 19, 2002, and continuing every Wednesday night. The series will represent the first weekly original programming available exclusively on PPV.

The new series will be called “NWA – Total Nonstop Action” and will feature nationally and world-renowned superstars from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the oldest professional wrestling sanctioning body in the world. The NWA’s heritage is the foundation for professional wrestling today, and this new venture repositions the NWA brand for the 21st century.

Appearing on initial programs will be top names such as, former World Champion Jeff Jarrett, former UFC Champion Ken Shamrock, NWA legends Dory Funk Jr. and Harley Race, hardcore midget Puppet, Puerto Rican sensation Apolo, and young high-flyer A.J. Styles. These top athletes, representing a diverse array of wrestling styles, will be joined by the luscious “TNA Girls” as well as other top free agent wrestlers from around the world who will be announced in the weeks to come. The live events will be held at various arenas and coliseums throughout the country.

In addition, superstars from both the entertainment and sporting worlds, as well as “infamous” celebrities, will make guest appearances on a regular basis to create this new, multi-faceted approach to wrestling entertainment. The first broadcast will feature country music superstar and CMA & ACM Male Vocalist of the Year, Toby Keith, and current NASCAR Winston Cup point leader, Sterling Marlin.

“Our show fills a void currently in the marketplace,” said Jeff Jarrett, President of JSE. “With its fast paced storylines and Total Nonstop Action, we will give fans, as well as those who might have stopped watching wrestling in the past year, a new entertainment experience.”

“Each show will be a spectacular, in line with the quality of programming expected from a PPV broadcast,” said Jerry Jarrett, Chairman of JSE and a well known wrestling promoter and industry leader for over 35 years. “Because the storyline continues on a weekly basis, fans will want to tune in each week. It was important for us to offer this entertainment at an affordable price level. Viewers can obtain 8 hours of this original, high-quality entertainment on a monthly basis.”

“This is a great opportunity for iN DEMAND, our MSOs and affiliates,” said Daniel York, SVP Programming and Development, iN DEMAND. “With weekly consistency and an affordable price point, we expect the new series to appeal to wrestling fans, and are confident it will attract new fans to the category.”

“NWA: Total Nonstop Action” will premiere every Wednesday at 8pm ET with an encore presentation scheduled for the following Sunday at Noon ET (time approximate). The Sunday broadcast will often serve as “lead-in” programming for iNDemand’s recently announced NASCAR iN CAR ON iN DEMAND series.




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