Below is a history of how Total Nonstop Action (TNA) began. Portions of this history are taken from About.com and Wikipedia.com and modified in certain areas by the owner of TNAStars.com.
The concept of TNA Wrestling originated shortly after the end of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 2001. Jeff Jarrett and his father, Jerry, went on a fishing trip and contemplated their futures in professional wrestling. The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) remained the only wrestling product on U.S. national television – the WWF had purchased WCW in March 2001, and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy that same year. During the fishing trip, it was suggested that perhaps a wrestling organization should bypass the entire weekly television show and, instead, promote a weekly, affordable pay per view event instead. Jeff Jarrett thought that this was a great idea…
The Jarretts found some financial assistance and formed a new copany, which put on its first show on June 19, 2002. This night, however, in a dark match just before they went on the air, a 450lb wrestler named Cheex hit the ropes with so much force that one of them broke. The estimated repair time was 30 – 60 minutes, which they did not have because the schedule called for them to go live in a few minutes whether the ring was ready or not. Backstage, the producers shuffled the schedule so that some non-wrestling segments went first to give the ring crew some additional time to fix the broken ring, but they did not have many of these segments. Ron and Don Harris helped to repair the ring and the show moved on.
After the collapse of WCW and ECW, the WWE had a monopoly on wrestling in the U.S. In May 2002, Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry Jarrett (the former Memphis territory promoter that was responsible for the Andy Kaufman vs. Jerry Lawler feud) set out to change that. With the financial backing of HealthSouth Corporation, NWA:TNA was formed. The company ran into financial difficulty quickly due to the accounting scandals at HealthSouth. In October, Panda Energy bought a controlling interest in the company from Jerry Jarrett. As of 2009, Panda Energy holds a 71% stake in the company and Dixie Carter (no relation to the actress) is in charge of the company.
The business model of TNA was very different than any other wrestling company since they didn’t go on tour. When the company started in 2002, they ran weekly pay-per-view events from Tennessee. When Panda took over, the PPV events were moved to a sound stage at Universal Studios in Florida. They stopped the weekly PPV concept in September 2004 and have had monthly pay-per-views since. From June 2004 until May 2005, they had a show on Fox Sports Network called TNA:iMPACT! that cost them $30,000 a week for the airtime. From May until September 2005 the show was broadcast over the Internet. In October 2005, their programming became available on Spike TV. Unlike the Fox Sports deal, they do not have to pay for airtime. Starting in 2006, the company started to have house shows.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) is an American professional wrestling promotion, founded by Jeff Jarrett and his father Jerry Jarrett in May 2002 and now owned by Panda Energy International. The company, which trades as TNA Entertainment, LLC, operates out of Nashville, Tennessee, with an office in Orlando, Florida.
TNA was originally a member of the National Wrestling Alliance, with the company known as NWA-TNA, but withdrew from the NWA in 2004, in the process acquiring the rights to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Tag Team Championship until the year 2014.
TNA is the first American promotion to exclusively use a hexagonal ring as opposed to the more conventional four-sided ring (the Mexican Asistencia Asesoría y Administración promotion also frequently utilizes a six-sided ring). TNA is also unorthodox in that championships can change hands as a result of a disqualification or count out, thereby nullifying the “champion’s advantage,” and heels and faces approach the ring via separate entrance ramps.
After the closure of World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling in March and April 2001 respectively, there was still a demand for Southern-style and cruiserweight wrestling that Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) was not fulfilling. TNA attempted to cater to this niche market by offering an alternative to the (then) WWF and by recruiting many former WCW and ECW performers who had not signed with WWE. On May 10, 2002, J Sports and Entertainment (a limited company with Jerry Jarrett as chief executive officer and Jeff Jarrett as president) announced the formation of Total Nonstop Action. Total Nonstop Action held its first weekly pay-per-view in Huntsville, Alabama on June 19, 2002.
While several companies, such as World Wrestling All-Stars, had attempted to fill the void that the closure of WCW and ECW left, TNA has experienced the greatest longevity. Some suspect that a partial motive behind the creation of TNA was to provide employment and mainstream exposure for Jeff Jarrett, the son of long-time wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett, who was unemployed after the collapse of WCW and was unable to find work with the McMahons (allegedly because he blackmailed Vince McMahon for a large sum of money to wrestle a single match after his contract expired while he held the WWF Intercontinental Championship in 1999).
From its formation, TNA lost large sums of money, leading to the initial investor, the HealthSouth Corporation, withdrawing financial support (HealthSouth was having its own problems, being investigated for accounting irregularities.). In October 2002, Jerry Jarrett sold his controlling interest in the company to the privately-held company Panda Energy International. On October 31, 2002, Panda Energy and J Sports and Entertainment created the privately held limited liability company TNA Entertainment (J Sports and Entertainment was later dissolved). Jeff Jarrett was appointed Vice-President of TNA Entertainment, while Dixie Carter, the daughter of Panda Energy chairman and chief executive officer Robert W. Carter and a former TNA publicist, was appointed President. Panda Energy owns seventy-one percent of TNA Entertainment, LLC.
Dixie Carter is an avid wrestling fan and has become highly involved with the day-to-day operation of the company. Panda Energy also appointed Chris Sobol, the Panda Manager of Business Development, as TNA Vice President of Operations and former Panda Energy executive Frank Dickerson as chief executive officer (Dickerson later left the company in November 2005, and was replaced by Kevin Day, who himself left the company in May 2006). TNA has continued to lose money since the takeover by Panda Energy, with costs of approximately $1,000,000 per month not offset by revenue, but Panda Energy has repeatedly reaffirmed their commitment to TNA. In September 2005, Robert Carter estimated that TNA would become profitable by 2006.
In May 2005, the Nelson Corporation tendered a $10,000,000 USD offer to buy TNA from Panda Energy. The offer was withdrawn on May 31, 2005 after Panda Energy failed to express any interest. A $20,000,000 USD bid by Morphoplex, then a major TNA sponsor, in late 2005 was similarly rejected.
The original TNA business model was different from that employed by WWE in several key ways. By not touring like other major federations have done, TNA was able to keep costs down. TNA’s original system of programming comprised of weekly cable pay-per-views.
While most major promotions had aired monthly PPVs, not having a weekly network, syndicated, or cable show from the outset was a radical departure from the norm. The weekly TNA PPVs were priced at $9.95 USD per week, much less than the monthly WWE PPVs. The weekly events were also transmitted free – albeit with a six-month delay – on The Wrestling Channel starting March 2004, this being the company’s first foray into the international market.
Initial estimates by TNA showed that about 50,000 PPV buys would be needed each week for TNA to break even. Actual buys, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, ranged from anywhere between 5,000-15,000 on a weekly basis. After 111 weeks, TNA ceased their weekly PPVs on September 8, 2004. On Sunday, November 7, 2004, TNA Wrestling held its first three hour PPV TNA Victory Road 2004, with buys for the PPV estimated to be in the low 10,000s.
TNA began airing TNA iMPACT! on June 4, 2004 on FOX Sports Net. iMPACT! was taped on Tuesdays in Soundstage 21 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and then broadcast between 4:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. on Fridays on FSN in most markets (iMPACT! was also syndicated throughout Europe and Asia.). TNA purchased the one hour time slot from FSN at the cost of $30,000 a week, with the weekly PPV earnings being their main source of revenue.
On May 27, 2005, TNA aired its final episode of iMPACT! on Fox Sports Net. iMPACT! averaged a 0.2 household rating over the course of its existence. This left TNA with no television deal other than the monthly PPVs, so on July 1 TNA teamed up with RealNetworks to stream iMPACT! from their official website via RealPlayer. They also enabled people to download iMPACT! through BitTorrent. At the same time, TNA began seeking a more profitable television outlet. TNA first began negotiations with WGN, with a proposed Monday evening time slot running parallel to WWE RAW, but they could not come to an agreement. TNA then began negotiations with Spike TV for a rumored Saturday night time slot, a traditional wrestling time slot dating back to the days of WCW’s WCW Saturday Night and the WWF’s Saturday Night’s Main Event. On July 21, TNA announced that they had secured a deal with Spike TV to air iMPACT! as part of Spike TV’s “Slammin’ Saturday Night” block, beginning in the autumn of 2005.
From September 27, 2005 until March 28, 2006, TNA taped two episodes of iMPACT! every second Tuesday, with the first episode airing on October 1, 2005. Unlike the Fox Sports deal, TNA is not paying for the time slot; instead, Spike TV controls advertising revenue. Until March 2006, the primary sponsor of TNA was the health drink manufacturer Morphoplex, which paid TNA $200,000 USD per month.
On November 7, 2005, it was confirmed that TNA has a video game deal with Midway Games. In the past, video games have been a major source of revenue for other wrestling promotions. The game, tentatively titled TNA iMPACT!, is currently scheduled to be released in 2007 for the PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Wii. 
TNA held their first house show in the Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth, Michigan on March 17, 2006. They have come to an agreement with the United Wrestling Federation to promote a series of TNA-branded house shows throughout the Mid-Atlantic States and southeastern United States, the majority of which will be based in Virginia.
On February 6, 2006, Spike TV announced that iMPACT! would be upgraded to a weeknight primetime slot Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET, starting on April 13, 2006. However, TNA wrestlers were notified on March 14 that iMPACT! will instead be moved to 11 P.M. ET Thursdays, after UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter. Encore broadcasts will be moved to Saturdays at 11 P.M. ET. As a result, episodes were taped every second Monday starting on April 10, 2006. The penultimate Saturday episode of iMPACT! on April 1, 2006 was televised opposite the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on the USA Network, marking the first time that TNA and WWE programs aired head to head. The April 1 episode of iMPACT! scored the lowest rating since November 2005.
In April 2006, TNA announced a partnership with YouTube that would see TNA supply YouTube with exclusive video content in exchange for hosting. In the same month, TNA also announced the debut of TNA Global iMPACT!, a weekly thirty-minute online video show to be hosted by Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme. The first episode of Global iMPACT! aired on May 3, 2006.
Episodes of iMPACT! and pay-per-views are booked by a committee headed by Scott D’Amore and containing Jeremy Borash, Mike Tenay, Dutch Mantell, and Bill Banks. As President and Vice President of TNA Entertainment respectively, Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett hold veto power over any decision. Prior to the creation of the committee, booking power was typically vested in the hands of a small number of people. Jeff and Jerry Jarrett were initially responsible for booking, followed by Vince Russo, and then by Dusty Rhodes. At times, the position of booker has been coterminous with the on-screen position of Director of Authority.