When World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was bought out by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 2001, it left all the talent left on the roster at the whim of Vince McMahon, which was quite the problem for a great deal of the roster. Many of the folks working for WCW at that point were only doing so because they weren't on good enough terms with McMahon to go to the WWF.
And that included Jeff Jarrett.
"Double J" had parted ways with the WWF on less than amicable terms in 1999 before becoming a leading man in WCW. He couldn't draw flies to shit, though, assisted in the company's ultimate demise. With no major stateside promotion to turn to, Jarrett and his father simply decided to create one of their own.
As the story goes, the two were out fishing and cooked up a business plan that included teaming up with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and running weekly pay-per-view (PPV) shows in lieu of a television deal, a model the company would use until it struck its first TV contract in 2004.
And so it was on this date in history (June 19, 2002) that Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling was born, running its first PPV event from the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The main event for the show was a 20-man over the top rope battle royal entitled "Gauntlet for the Gold" that had special rules. It was set up exactly like a Royal Rumble but with 10 less men and once they were down to two, a referee would come out and a singles match would begin with the NWA heavyweight championship on the line.
As it turned out, the two men remaining were Ken Shamrock and Malice. After just over six minutes, Shamrock hit a belly-to-belly suplex and got the pin.
After the jump, get complete results from TNA's first show ever and watch video of the entire "Gauntlet for the Gold" match, which featured a cameo from country music star Toby Keith, who hit a straight suplex on Jarrett that actually looked awesome and got a big pop from the crowd.
Jimmy Yang & Jorge Estrada & Sonny Siaki def. AJ Styles & Jerry Lynn & Low Ki
Teo def. Hollywood
Richard Johnson & Rod Johnson def. James Storm & Psicosis
Bo Dupp & Stan Dupp def. Christian York & Joey Matthews
Ken Shamrock & Malice def. Apolo, Brian Christopher, Bruce, Buff Bagwell, Chris Harris, Del Rios, Devon Storm, Jeff Jarrett, K-Krush, Konnan, Lash LeRoux, Norman Smiley, Prince Justice, Rick Steiner, Scott Hall, Slash, Steve Corino, Vampire Warrior
Ken Shamrock def. Malice
Results via profightdb.com.