Destination America brought its new TNA Wrestling to Winter TV Press Tour 2015 today. TNA started off as a pay-per-view company about a dozen years ago, was on Fox Sports briefly followed by nine years on Spike before migrating to Destination America.
Despite having been a TV presence for so long, TV critics began asking some very basic questions. Like, if there was “any pretense” that wrestling TV shows are presenting actual competition. “We’re sports entertainment,” said one of its actors, Ken Anderson. “The outcomes are predetermined.” He said, “It’s real in the sense that things happen in our personal lives that make for interesting television and that will sometimes be highlighted and showcased.” It’s “not an athletic contest, but it is real, in the sense that I had probably 100 stitches.” He ticked off other injuries. “We have dings and dangs and push through and keep going.”
“The steel chairs are real. The blood is real,” insisted TNA Wrestling president Dixie Carter.
Which naturally led to the question “how much medication is involved?”
Carter, sensing danger, jumped in:
“It’s a new day and, under my watch, their health is the most important thing. This a marathon, not a sprint,” she began, explaining, “That’s our company philosophy. Until he’s medical cleared to go he’s not going to go. We have a pretty strict policy.”
“I don’t take anything stronger than ibruprofen,” Anderson insisted. “Today with our knowledge about science and medicine, through nutrition and exercise you can accomplish a lot. Instead of taking a pill, you go get a massage.”
In November Discovery Communications signed a multi-year deal with Total Nonstop Action Impact Wrestling for its Destination America network, debuting this month. The partnership includes the U.S. premieres of additional TNA Wrestling series and specials and provides Discovery with international broadcasting rights in select regions, to be announced at a later date. TNA is a privately held sports entertainment company based in Nashville.
Destination America, launched from the ashes of Discovery’s Planet Green in 2012, is available in more than 57 million homes, and is touted it as a network “emblazoning television screens with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation.”
Which explains why one TV critic asked this morning if all the good guys in what TNA describes as its “rope opera” are “red, white and blue,” while storyline villains are “Muslim.” Again sensing danger, Carter jumped in:
“I did my research on Destination America,” she said. “Our locker room makes up every ethnicity..male, female, every culture. We have done somesthing I’m really proud of. In the past if you were Indian you mght wear a dot on your head…Our country is a melting pot,” she said, adding that her lineup of actors is too. “We’re not going in a stereotypical way.”