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TNA IMPACT FLASHBACK: How does TNA want to differentiate itself from WWE?, very first Impact captures goal

Mar 7, 2013 - 9:38:02 AM
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Whether in 2004 or in 2013, TNA's number one goal to try to differentiate its product from WWE's product has been spotlighting the wrestling stars on its roster. During Wednesday's PWTorch Livecast episode, TNA president Dixie Carter talked extensively about that goal in an interview with PWTorch editor Wade Keller.

With that in mind, TNA will end its eight-plus-year run taping Impact TV at Universal Studios in Orlando on Thursday night. Flashing back to the very first episode of Impact in June 2004, TNA established the goal by spotlighting long-time roster member A.J. Styles in the main event of the first show. At the time, Keller described the main event as "a good, nonstop spotfest that again was perfect for the premier episode to introduce the biggest asset TNA has over WWE." ...

TNA Impact Flashback
June 4, 2004
Aired on Fox Sports Net
Taped 6/3 in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Report by Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


After a highspot-filled opening montage, Mike Tenay introduced the show verbally as the camera panned the Universal Studios arena, which looked great on camera...

(1) Sonjay Dutt & Amazing Red & Hector Garza beat Team Canada's Bobby Roode & "Showtime" Eric Young & Petey Williams when Garza pinned Roode with a hurricane moonsault at 6:19. Just a spotfest, but a good one for six minutes and exactly the right way to start off the show, stressing athleticism over name stars, because they can compete with WWE with the former but not the latter.

A highlight vignette aired of the King of the Mountain match from Wednesday's PPV, then a plug for next Wednesday's PPV... Tenay and Don West were shown on camera talking about the two year history of TNA. They said each week they'd show a clip from the past two years, beginning with Jeff Jarrett interrupting a Toby Keith concert at TNA's debut event and Keith responding by suplexing Jarrett during a tag match (that included footage of Scott Hall). They showed a few seconds of next week's flashback, featuring Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher lifting Survivor's top heel Jonny Fairplay for a press slam. Tenay then declared, "It's Total Nonstop Action, it's Wrestling Reinvented!"... A plug aired for next Wednesday's PPV line-up...

(2) Abyss pinned Shark Boy at 1:19. Quick squash with a quick glimpse of Goldy Locks watching a monitor backstage. Tenay said she is the only one who can seemingly control Abyss (1/4*).

(3) America's Most Wanted beat Kid Kash & Dallas to capture the NWA World Tag Team Titles. Kash was excellent as usual. Solid tag. (**)

A highlight video aired of the World X Cup from May 26 and a plug for a six-man on next Wednesday's PPV... Tenay interviewed Dusty Rhodes mid-ring who talked about the heritage of the NWA World Hvt. Title including "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, Harley Race, and Lou Thesz, but no mention of current WWE wrestler Ric Flair. Jeff Jarrett interrupted and mocked Dusty for still being around. Dusty slapped him with a cowboy hat, so Jarrett attacked him. Ron Killings made the save, but Jarrett KO'd him with a guitar. B.G. James and Konnan ran out to the aid of Killings. James cut a brief promo from the ring as Jarrett retreated...

A video package aired on the X Division with Jerry Lynn saying the X Division is what sets TNA apart from everyone else... Shane Douglas interviewed Vince Russo, who said four wrestlers came to him and wanted a chance to earn the no. 1 contender slot, so he booked the match. Douglas said he was excited to hear who the fourth entrant was...

(4) A.J. Styles beat Chris Sabin and Elix Skipper and Michael Shane in an X Division No. 1 contender's match when Styles pinned Shane with the Styles Clash at 6:19. Although the match was short, Styles had a chance to shine as much as anyone on the show. The crowd treated Styles like a superstar. A good nonstop spotfest that again was perfect for the premier episode to introduce the biggest asset TNA has over WWE.

After the match, Frankie Kazarian stepped out with the X Title and yapped at Styles about their title match on the next Wednesday PPV. Tenay signed off with a plug for the PPV next week.

[Torch art credit Cory Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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