At the time of this writing, TNA Wrestling has taped their last of the “One Night Only” series of standalone PPV events. After these events are completed, it is the end of The Impact Zone. TNA will pack their stuff, move out, and leave Stage 22 to be leased for other events. This of course marks the end of an era. The event that has hosted the majority of TNA events since 2004 will be gone permanently.
This also marks the end of the use of a traditional means of presenting pro wrestling, the Studio Production. Longtime fans remember the Territory Days. Jerry Jarret in Memphis, Eddie Graham in Florida, Fritz Von Erich in Texas, even The Crockett family in Georgia running the company that would eventually become WCW ran weekend events in TV Studios.
It just goes to show how much the landscape has changed. The Big Arena Feel is the norm, As evidenced during the time TNA ran opposite WWE in the short lived Monday Night War II. Or more appropriately, the Monday Night Lopsided Skirmish.
Those local studio events in front of a few hundred fans may look paltry compared to the 15,000 seat arenas WWE might run, but it was a different time. Those shows effectively served as commercials for the major events that ran every week or two at the major arena. Jerry Lawler and Randy Savage packed thousands into the Mid-South Colosseum. The Von Erichs vs. The Freebirds sold out The Sportatorium. Jim Crockett Promotions ran events at the 20,000 seat Greensboro Colosseum. All of these territories packed these arenas using programming run out of a local TV studio.
Before Wrestlemania… Before a Monday Night War… Before Monthly Pay Per Views… The art of studio wrestling was the norm. For the last eight years it was the main use for TNA, and now even that company has laid it to rest. This is not meant to express anger, sadness, or any negative emotion at all. The immediate future of TNA looks bright. But this blogger couldn’t help but notice the historical significance that the end of The Impact Zone Era brings.