At long last — after debating it for many years — I’m writing my first book! And the scope of this project is so big that my first book is going to be two books. Yes, you read that right: two books! About what? The entirety of the first 20 years of TNA Wrestling, which is now known as IMPACT Wrestling.
Founded in 2002 as NWA-TNA, this wrestling promotion was the first serious competition for WWE after the demise of Ted Turner’s WCW. In the late 2000s, TNA was on Spike TV, attracting 2.5 million fans with its high-flying X Division action. Homegrown stars like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and Christopher Daniels consistently delivered stellar matches with spectacular athleticism, while legends including Kurt Angle, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett captured our attention in and out of the ring.
TNA was founded by Jeff Jarrett, his father Jerry Jarrett, and the late Bob Ryder, a digital pioneer in the professional wrestling industry. Dixie Carter became the President of TNA and, eventually, an on-air personality. Many fans have strong — and oftentimes negative — opinions about Jeff, Dixie, and TNA in general. These two books will set the record straight on TNA and all of those who contributed to its success. These books will not smear or tarnish the reputation of TNA or anyone who worked for this wrestling promotion. Instead, you will gain a deeper understanding of the motivations of those in charge, and myths will be dispelled. By the end, you will have a greater respect for TNA and its contributions to the professional wrestling industry.
I started this project four days after Bob Ryder passed away. But his commentary will be part of these books as I will include quotes from several interviews he conducted over the years. I will also include thoughts from those who worked with him, providing you with a greater understanding of Bob and his innumerable contributions to TNA.
In just over a month, I’ve interviewed more than 20 people for this project. This includes wrestlers like D-Von Dudley, Austin Aries, Matt Morgan, Maria Kanellis, Mike Bennett, Goldy Locks, Trinity, Jimmy Yang, and more. I’ve also interviewed members of TNA’s creative team, those in marketing, individuals who handled live events, and other key players. Do you want to know all about what went into the music of TNA? I’ve got you covered! How about insights from senior executives at Fox Sports Net and Spike TV who negotiated deals with TNA and were on site at live events? I’ve got that too! PPVs, TV shows, video games, trading cards, DVDs — you name it — all of this and more will be covered in great detail in these two books, with commentary from those directly involved. There are many more interviews to come, and I’m not stopping them anytime soon.
I want to provide you with as many perspectives as possible on all the highs and lows of TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. This book isn’t about my opinion on the company or those involved, it’s about providing a voice for those I interview so they can tell their story. My role is to weave a compelling narrative, that moves in chronological order, and include the commentary from these new in-depth interviews in a way that enhances my story and provides you with clarity and insight into particular moments in time in the company’s history.
As I mentioned earlier, these books will cover the first 20 years, meaning the second book can’t be completed and released until after 2022, which is the 20th anniversary of IMPACT Wrestling. However, I plan on publishing the first book, which focuses on the first half of the company, to coincide with the 20th anniversary. Of course, this is a huge undertaking, so that could change.
These two books will be the first and most comprehensive account of one of the most fascinating wrestling promotions ever. I promise to make these books available in physical and digital formats, and that means audiobooks too! I love audiobooks and, unlike most wrestling audiobooks, I’m going to hire a narrator who is a fan of pro wrestling and knows how to pronounce everyone’s last name correctly. There’s nothing worse than an audiobook narrator butchering names the entire time.
There will be many exciting updates in the future, so please make sure you sign up for email alerts from my site by plugging your email address into the “Follow My Blog” field at the top of the right column on my homepage. This will ensure you don’t miss a single update. Thank you for joining me on this ride. It will be a lot of work, but TNA/IMPACT Wrestling is worth it — and so are its fans.