The year is 1998 at this time in the United States you had the Monday Night War with the WWF and WCW competing for dominance. And, then you had the little engine that could in ECW trying to prove they could compete against those two giants. What many people didn’t know as that another name would usurp ECW and try to put some respect back into Professional Wrestling that’s went to this television model. Jerry Jarrett who owned USWA at this time folded the company unexpectedly around the time his son Jeff was a free agent. They both kept things secret earlier that year but a chance meeting with WWF writer Vince Russo on the Jarrett family yacht changed everything. Russo apparently said the company you guys are starting should have a little more tits and ass bro. The name didn’t stick until Jeff told his father that was it and it had the controversial undertones of the Attitude Era but would feature a more traditional product. After, securing several southern sponsors and backers who may or may not be around in the next four years’ time will tell. They then set out procuring the services of wrestlers and staff who were available and on PPA type deals. Names like Ted Dibiase, Bill Apter, Rob Van Dam, Mike Awesome, The Haas brothers, CIMA and more were brought into the fold for the debut show set for June 5th,1998 as the first of what hopes to be many weekly Pay Per View events. Although, the biggest news is that they were an official member of the National Wrestling Alliance who just ended a brief non-fruitful partnership with the WWF not so long ago. At, a press conference in Nashville, Tennessee we hear from the owner Jerry Jarrett, his son and the current NWA president Howard Brody on the expectations of the first show held in South Carolina from the Carolina Coliseum in three months’ time.
March 4th, 1998: The NWA: TNA Press Conference
The wrestling media as well as various local and national news outlets show out in full as The Grand Lobby of the Hermitage Hotel plays host to this official conference before transitioning to the Grand Ballroom for a commemorative dinner. The president of the NWA himself Howard Brody has the first honors of introducing everyone to this initial ceremony and how special it is to be bringing Professional Wrestling in a major way to the Southern territories.
|| Howard Brody ||
When, Jeff and Jerry came to me after Jeff’s public contract termination with World Championship Wrestling and his closure of United States Wrestling Association at the end of 1997. I wasn’t looking for a partnership, the current landscape of the National Wrestling Alliance before this deal was in shambles and we only had small scattered territories. But now we are ushering in a brand-new chapter in the history of the NWA. As, for talent we are searching across the world for people with star power and some young upstarts. I do think these two will know more about the wrestling side more so than me. So, without further ado I’ll let Jerry Jarrett open the floor with what he had in mind for TNA also known as Total Nonstop Action.
The crowd applauds as Jerry Jarrett gets up from his seat as his son Jeff was patting him on the back. Jerry is getting his second shot at redemption after the USWA failed and instead of a Von Erich being his business partner it was his own flesh and blood. He looks out the intimate crowd of reporters and begins to sell them on his vision.
|| Jerry Jarrett ||
Professional wrestling hasn’t been the same in along time with ECW you have this hardcore edgy model, WCW seems to be family friendly in some ways while WWF has begun to be more an adult based entity. I have no disrespect or ill will towards those companies but here in the NWA: TNA there’s a lot of differences. We are giving you traditional wrestling with the people you love and people you hate. Along with wrestlers you grew up watching or know from the old days we’ve got some nice young guys in the mix. With this partnership we also have access to the NWA world heavyweight championship along with their Tag Team titles. I will let Jeff tell you about the inclusion of our own exclusive championship and premiere division.
Jeff stands up and hugs his father as the crowd looks on recording, taking pictures, and applauding the start of something special. Jeff Jarrett then does a little strut emulating Ric Flair one of his idols growing up before beginning to talk about the X-Division.
|| Jeff Jarrett ||
It’s not about weight limits, it’s about no limits and that my friends define the new staple in Professional Wrestling today known as the X-Division. We will have a mixture of luchadores, Japanese juniors, traditional cruiser-weights and or technical type wrestlers in this new division. It is in our great sport of Professional Wrestling that you must up the ante and do what no one else is doing currently. And, that ladies and gentlemen is the NWA: TNA X-Division I also will promote this match now for the vacant X-Division championship on June 5th live on Pay Per View we will see Teddy Hart take on Japanese junior CIMA. Two young up and comers competing for an exclusive championship is must see folks. Now, that we have those out of the way I’ll like to take questions. Yeah, you right there what’s your question?
The guy who Jeff pointed at looked familiar and it looked like he was someone in disguise to the people in attendance. He stood up looking about 6’2 and has the physique of a Greek god before beginning to ask Jeff Jarrett a question.
|| ??? ||
You, Jerry and Howard all talk about ushering in a new landscape with bringing back the best workers in this business along with some new ones. But you guys have also neglected to mention that you had a bidding war with World Championship Wrestling over Warrior. And, that Warrior a former WWF world heavyweight champion and Intercontinental champion is coming to NWA: TNA. Isn’t that a disservice to the Warriors around the world and a disservice to the power of his legacy? Are you afraid of the Warrior’s power Jeff?
Jeff Jarrett looks blankly at this individual for a moment trying to understand the question and how did he know that information. The Warrior signing wasn’t made public because it was thought he didn’t want to join and chose WCW instead. So, only way this person would know anything is if he was involved with the Warrior.
|| Jeff Jarrett ||
Look, buddy I don’t know who put you up to this and if this is some sick gag from Candid Camera but tell Suzanne Sommers this is a grown folk’s occasion. I want to say this now to everyone that Warrior was going to be one of our top stars in the NWA: TNA but he didn’t return our calls and last message we got was in January. So, this is nothing more than a hoax and with good reason cause if Warrior was in NWA: TNA I’d make him my bitch. I may not want to be NWA World Heavyweight champion right now but whoever ends up with it is just keeping it warm and cozy. And, when you guys tune in June 5th, I’ll humbly open the show but don’t forget that despite my association and status I am a Legend in the making. Some might even think of me as the chosen one…
The guy who asked the question let’s out a primal grunt interrupting the rant by Jeff Jarrett and proceeds to take off the hat, glasses and wig he was wearing to reveal a paint less Warrior. Jerry Jarrett and Howard Brody are in shock as well as smiling as this means they have gotten their man. Jeff doesn’t seem happy though as Warrior calls him out.
|| Warrior ||
Bitch?! You see through the far reaches of god green’s earth I’ve roamed looking for another place to call my home. And, the dark cloud is hanging over my home so with the power of the warriors I’ll remove it once and for all. I don’t walk alone, and my power is unmatched as I’ve been destined to vanquish you Jeff Jarrett. Nrgh…this is my challenge to you and on all that is sacred you must agree. On June 12th live from the Williams Arena in North Carolina on the second show in NWA: TNA. As, the Gods have blessed me with the power of the Warrior because you can’t deny, outrun and deny the true force of a Warrior. The Warriors have spoken and you JEFF JARRETT will feel the POWER!! ARGH…ARGH!!
Warrior stares intensely at Jeff Jarrett the physique showing through his dress attire as Jeff looks taken aback. Not, a look of nervousness or like he’s scared of Warrior it is more of a look of wonder. Jeff, then gives his answer to that big challenge laid down by a star of Warrior’s caliber.
|| Jeff Jarrett||
Who do you think you are slapnuts?! You don’t have any right to come into my company and challenge me but if you’re looking for a fight. I suggest you just come up here or I can come to you because I don’t want to wait till June 12th to kick your crazy Neanderthal ass. I’m a little busy being Executive Vice President and putting on five-star matches. I don’t think you can put on five star matches in your dreams Jim. See, that’s who I’m looking at Jim Hellwig because as far as I’m concerned, the Warrior died when he left that train wreck in Stamford.
Jeff Jarrett tries to say more but he gets hit by the Warrior who apparently isn’t having any more of the back and forth as the reporters cheer him on. Jerry Jarrett and Howard Brody back up as they brawl back and forth before Jeff kicks him in the crotch. He, then looks on the ground where guitar is conveniently sitting and brings it across Warrior’s thick skull. Warrior is stirring but that’s when the arriving cops handcuff him before the brawl can continue. Jeff then smiles as Warrior is in the process of being removed by the cops.
|| Warrior ||
This isn’t over JEFF JARRETT. You will be seeing the force of the Warrior’s POWER!!! ARGH…
Warrior tries to resist as he is being taken outside to the streets where he will be put in a police car and likely be spending the night in a county jail. Jeff looks around at the reporters before saying one last retort that the Warrior can’t really hear.
|| Jeff Jarrett ||
See you in ninety days that’s if they let you out for assaulting the chosen one slapnuts. I apologize for our rude newest addition to the NWA: TNA family. We will now be moving onto the Grand Ballroom where we will have a nice uninterrupted dinner that’s my word to all of you, my father especially and Mr. Brody. Who’s hungry?
Jeff Jarrett grins before fixing his suit while everyone begins to proceed to the Grand Ballroom this apparently is being broadcast on the NWA: TNA website. And, the reporters in attendance with pictures and notes will begin to hype what appears to be a very traditional wrestling product based in storytelling. The first two events in NWA: TNA history sure are shaping up to be must see Pay Per View events with the tagline “Familiar Faces. Nonstop Adrenaline.” you never know who will show up weekly.
June 5th, 1998 NWA: TNA presents the Inauguration broadcast featuring…
Jeff Jarrett & Roadkill versus Ace Steel & Crazy Boy
TNA X-Division Championship:
Teddy Hart versus CIMA
Rob Van Dam versus Danny Doring
NWA World Heavyweight Championship:
Charlie Haas versus Mike Awesome