Get used to the name Global Force Wrestling because GFW is here to stay. It was announced on Friday that Impact Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action will be no more because the company that started 15 years ago will officially re-brand as GFW as soon as this Sunday during their Slammiversary pay-per-view event.
The official announcement was made via The Tennessean (and USA Today) with the following statement:
In a move designed to distance itself from the financial struggles and legal drama that hung over its brand, Anthem Sports announced last week it has purchased Nashville-based Global Force Wrestling.
The move signals the end of TNA, the professional wrestling league that once served as home to legends Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair and as a launching pad for future stars A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe.
Anthem Sports, the Canadian company that also owns the Fight Network, will rebrand its wrestling league as GFW and Nashville native Jeff Jarrett will helm the creative aspects of the promotion. Its staple weekly program on Pop TV will continue to be called “Impact.”
Jeff Jarrett, who was the original founder of TNA Wrestling and is running the creative for the new GFW, explained their decision this way:
“We’re a global brand. We have partnerships in Mexico, Japan, other places. Collectively coming together, we’ve combined forces and basically the rebrand final touches happen (on Sunday) at ‘Slammiversary.'”
The company is now owned by Anthem Entertainment, which owns the Fight Network. Anthem started off as a lender to TNA/Impact and then they bought the company from Dixie Carter and her family last year.
Ed Nordholm, Anthem Executive Vice President, talked about their international strategy to help GFW’s growth:
“One part of our international strategy is not just to take WWE-style ‘Impact’ and export it to other countries, but as well to more deeply penetrate those international markets in association with (wrestling) promotions that are centric to those markets. The (international promotions) want to tap into our expertise to boost those shows, but also to in turn boost the GFW content.”
Nordholm also spoke about how rebranding was important because of how TNA’s name was tainted:
“When Anthem got involved we saw a rare opportunity to get involved with an asset that already had global distribution. It’s a 3,500-hour library, broadcast in 120 countries, existing distribution contracts in India, Africa and now the United Kingdom. The timeline to take a ground zero promotion to that kind of penetration was 15 years. The work now is to fix some things.”
For more info on the name change as well as quotes from Jarrett and Nordholm, check out The Tennessean now.
TJR Thoughts: I think it’s a smart move for them to use the GFW name/ Why not? It’s got “Wrestling” in the name and I always thought TNA was stupid as a name. I know that they originally came up with TNA as a wink and a nod to the the “other” T&A out there, but I thought they should have changed it many years ago. GFW is the name that Jarrett used for his promotion that never really got off the ground in the last few years. It will take some getting used to. Long term, though, this feels like the best move.
Good luck to GFW (Impact) with Slammiversary this Sunday night and congrats for 15 years.