The internet has done its best to figure out what TNA's television plans are over the next few months. As they haven't done a television taping since the Summer, their Bound for Glory pay-per-view (PPV) looked like the end of ongoing storylines.
But they weaved a ton of extra footage shot in July into their current World Title Series storyline, and have focused their public relations spin on their upcoming tour of India.
This morning, via a press event with Indian sports network Sony Six and subsequent press releases, we know a little bit more about what they'll be doing in the second most populous nation in the world.
And, get your "Shut Up and Take My Money" memes ready, it involves former WWE champ The Great Khali.
It does not look like The Punjabi Playboy, real name Dalip Singh, will be wrestling. Instead, he'll be promoting the three shows TNA will put on there - one of which will air live on Sony Six on December 4. He'll also work with Talent Head John Gaburick to identify & sign the company's next Indian star.
The press release makes it sound as if Singh will be involved in a 'reality' competition show, but details about that - as well as when and how the events filmed in India will make it to U.S. screens (the naming of the final night's show as One Night Only: Mumbai may be an indication that it will be a PPV) - are scarce, but today's statement promises broadcast details "in the coming weeks".
Here's the full announcement:
October 19, 2015SONY SIX AND TNA WRESTLING TEAM UP FOR INDIA'S FIRST EVER LIVE INTERNATIONAL TELEVISED WRESTLING EVENT
Three historic TNA Wrestling events to take place from India December 2-4
TNA One Night Only: Mumbai will air LIVE in India and broadcast around the world on December 4
TNA partners with Dalip Singh for a talent search to find an Indian wrestling star to join Mahabali Shera
Sony SIX (a part of Multi Screen Media Network), India's premiere sports entertainment channel, and TNA Wrestling, the international professional wrestling entertainment organization, have teamed up for India's first ever LIVE televised wrestling event.
Mr. Prasana Krishnan, Business Head, Sony SIX & Sony KIX, and John Gaburick, Executive Vice President of Television and Talent Relations for TNA, today announced three historic LIVE TNA Wrestling events scheduled to take place in Mumbai December 2-4, a pioneering move that brings an internationally broadcast sporting event to India featuring the Stars and Knockouts of IMPACT WRESTLING, TNA's flagship.
The final show, TNA One Night Only: Mumbai, on Friday Dec. 4, will air LIVE in India and broadcast in the United States and all around the world. Full information, including broadcast details, will be released in the coming weeks.
Also present at the launch were three of TNA's most recognisable names. India's own Mahabali Shera, former TNA World Champion Ethan Carter III and Knockout Rebel, who are currently undertaking a seven-day international media tour of four of India's major cities to promote the upcoming LIVE events.
In addition to this, Sony SIX and TNA announced the launch of their second search for India's next big wrestling star - to join Mahabali Shera on the TNA roster.
The project will give aspiring wrestlers from India an opportunity to showcase their talents on a global platform. The announcement follows 2014's grand unveiling of TNA's first ever Indian wrestler, Mahabali Shera - after a year-long talent search led by TNA Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold Medallist Kurt Angle.
World-renowned wrestling star and Indian hero Dalip Singh will lead the talent search alongside Gaburick. Singh will be a part of the selection process and help mentor the contenders. He has also given his endorsement to December's LIVE TNA events.
Building on the success of TNA Wrestling on Sony SIX in India, today's announcement highlights the pair's partnership to promote professional wrestling in the region. It is a testament to TNA's growth and the on-going commitment of Sony SIX to cultivate the sport's viewership in mass markets.
Mahabali Shera, Ethan Carter III and Rebel are currently on an expansive promotional tour, engaging fans through a series of activities. The expansive media and fan engagement tour kicked off in Mumbai today and will head to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bangalore. TNA fans in India can look forward to meeting and interacting with their heroes in each city.
Prasana Krishnan, Business Head, Sony SIX:
"India is a great country that has an extensive history of wrestling and talent in abundance. Given the national interest for the sporting event, we want to showcase consistent content along with high quality and local programming to connect with our viewers.
"For the first time in India, fans will be able to experience a live event which is something that they have only seen on our channel. Through our annual efforts in showcasing international wrestling talents in India, we aim to reach out to more than millions of viewers, reaching out to a broader fan base in the country.
"The talent search will further give Indian wrestlers an opportunity to be a part of the incredible international TNA Roster."
Dixie Carter, President of TNA Wrestling:
"Our phenomenal partners at Sony SIX have been tremendous in recognizing the powerful reach of professional wrestling and we are thrilled TNA programming has contributed to the network's ranking as the most watched sports channel in all of India. We are also proud of the relationships we are forming with our fans across India and we are honoured to travel our incredible roster to India for three historic global live events emanating from Mahabali Shera's home."
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