Next Thursday's Impact, taped on Tuesday night, is set to be one of the most newsworthy shows in TNA's history. For several weeks there had been rumours that TNA was planning a campaign to rebrand their company, with the possibility of even renaming their promotion. Well, on the taped May 12th episode of Impact, they pulled the trigger on this promotional name change and rebranding campaign as the payoff to the convoluted onscreen storyline where Hulk Hogan stole TNA from Dixie Carter. At the tapings, Vince McMahon's BFFL Mick Foley was revealed as the mystery Network consultant who had been messing with Immortal in recent weeks. He announced that the Network was dropping TNA (I'm not sure it's wise to tempt fate) and bringing in a new wrestling promotion called Impact Wrestling.
The name change from TNA to Impact Wrestling seems to be legitimate, not just a short term angle for TV. As this week's Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter reported, the company has purchased the ImpactWrestling.com website address and registered the name Impact Wrestling on March 4th. I will say this, changing the name of their company to proudly feature the word wrestling is a shrewd move to differentiate themselves from WWE, who are trying to purge that word from their very lexicon. However, it will all be for naught if this isn't accompanied by a fresh booking philosophy where they push some new stars for once, and well there are definitely no changes on that horizon.
The company's management mentality is still stuck in the past. Instead of using Lindsay Hayward, aka Isis The Amazon and Aloisia, the giant young lady who was pulled from NXT and later fired for failing to disclose her past fetish photos, as originally planned, the company brought back Joanie "Chyna" Laurer for the role of Kurt Angle's mystery mistress (clearly one major mystery angle isn't enough for an episode of Impact). If nothing else, as a short term freak show attraction Hayward would have been a hell of a lot cheaper and been something fresher than a tired act who was past her sell by date a decade ago. Laurer, also brings with her a lot of baggage, as she's had a long line of troubled behaviour, most recently being accused of viciously beating a female friend. Given that there are no indications that she's cleaned her act up since her last brush with the law, why risk using her? As she's working on a handshake agreement without a contract TNA obviously think there's a smaller chance of her jumping ship to WWE than her being reliable. I guess Jeff Jarrett must need his job back then.