Total Nonstop Action Makes Its Debut

by Mark Long

Ken Shamrock - historyofwrestling.comTotal Nonstop Action makes its debut, emanating live from the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The two-hour event was hosted by former WCW play-by-play announcer Mike Tenay and his two color commentators, Don West and Ed Ferrara. The main event of the evening, a Royal Rumble-style match to crown a new NWA World Heavyweight champion was dubbed “The Gauntlet for the Gold” and featured twenty wrestlers. When eighteen of the competitors were eliminated, the two remaining wrestlers, Ken Shamrock and Malice, then engaged in a traditional championship match, with Shamrock emerging as the new NWA World champion. Originally, the concept for TNA was to run weekly pay-per-views, however, that business model was eventually abandoned in favor of the more traditional weekly television program and a monthly PPV offering.