Whether fans want to believe it or not, the decision to rebrand TNA's weekly television show as Impact Wrestling was not a decision made by the promotion itself.
Speaking on the latest episode of his 83 Weeks podcast (via AdFreeShows), Eric Bischoff reviewed TNA Lockdown 2011 and all the news surrounding the event. One of the stories making headlines was the company potentially changing the name of their weekly TNA Impact! show to Impact Wrestling. The change did take effect at the start of May that year, but according to Bischoff, it was primarily the network's idea. He commented on the matter and who fought against it by saying the following:
"Deep down inside I suspect that it wasn't Dixie that was resistant because of all the money that had been spent marketing TNA, I suspect it was mommy and daddy. Because Dixie is smart and as a woman, pretty sure she was a little embarrassed. Dixie had, and still has, a fairly high profile in the Nashville area in the social echelons of the important people in Nashville. She's well known. She's a sweet person and a nice person and very active in the community and yet she's the female owner of TNA. Kind of weird, I think, and I think it was kind of weird for Dixie. So I think Dixie was parroting the feelings of those funding partners who were making decisions solely based on dollars and cents without thinking through things.
Now, the name change didn't come from within, or this effort, this campaign to rebrand TNA. This did not start internally. People may think it did or want to believe it did, this started with Spike TV, which is now Paramount. It was their marketing, it was their research, it was their challenge with advertisers. Again, I always go back to this, it's the business of the wrestling business, folks. You don't have to be all that smart to -- this came from Viacom because Viacom had to go out and represent on their show, and primetime by the way, which is expensive freaking real estate. This shit wasn't on a two o'clock in the morning right before Thigh Master infomercials. This stuff was on in primetime on a weeknight. Valuable, valuable advertising real estate. This is where networks make or break their budgets, folks. Those poor people in advertising had to go out and try to sell an advertiser something called TNA. I don't know, seems like it would be a hurdle, doesn't it?
So it was Viacom that really -- and by the way, it was Viacom that spent in excess of a million dollars rebranding a product and a company that they had no equity in. Think about that. That's kind of a big deal. That's a big move for a network to do, but Spike TV, in particular Kevin Kay, specifically, thought, 'If we're going to do this, let's do it,' and had to kind of -- and I was very helpful internally because I had a decent relationship with Viacom."
The WWE Hall of Famer is quick to share his dislike of the TNA name, believing it to be juvenile. He prays that the rumors of a reported TNA reunion show or rebirth are not true.
IMPACT Rebellion is set to take place on Sunday, April 25. Fightful will have live coverage of the event beginning at 5 p.m. PST.
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