As 2011 comes to close soon, it’s time for everyone in sports and entertainment to look back at the year and who made this year memorable. Pro Wrestling is no different, and this year was notable for several big returns, fantastic matches, and it features the regular highs ‘n lows of the weekly ring operas that are televised wrestling shows. In this series of articles over the next two weeks, we’ll look back at the biggest moments, matches, wrestlers and more from the Year in Pro Wrestling that was 2011.
TNA Wrestling continued to struggle as the number 2 Pro Wrestling company in the world. The executive branch of Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and TNA president Dixie Carter continued to muddle the mediocre. Ratings for IMPACT on Spike TV held fairly steady, but it’s been rumored that Pay Per View buyrates are very low.
Yet the year was also stained for TNA in controversy with the most talked-about moment for the company in 2011 came in March at Victory Road. In a match with the legendary STING, TNA World Champion Jeff Hardy stumbled into the ring, apparently inebriated and unable to deliver a main event match on Pay Per View. The match ended in less than 2 minutes with Sting winning the title, and the company unable to give their die-hard fans the match they paid for. Here is how TNA responded to angry fans who ordered the PPV and felt cheated.
In an even more controversial scene, TNA brought Jeff Hardy back after the entire disaster of Victory Road. Hardy who was convicted on 2009 drug charges, came back to TNA in 2009 with an already checkered past of substance abuse in WWE. TNA inability to manage Hardy and the situation was one of the company’s most notable failures.
Where there was darkness for TNA, there was some light. The creative direction did peak at in the fall when fan-favorites like James Storm and Bobby Roode winning the TNA World Championship. Going into their biggest PPV event of the year Bound for Glory, fans were clamoring for the work horse Bobby Roode to defeat Kurt Angle for the World title. Unfortunately where TNA had one step forward, they took two steps back when they opted to have Angle to cheat his way out of Philladelphia with the title that was meant for Roode.
Read about how the TNA locker room was upset with Bound For Glory
Bound for Glory also featured lackluster and rare in-ring performances by the immortal Hulk Hogan who had a Street Fight with Sting. The match saw Hogan who could not physically take a bump, brawl through the match with his former WCW foe and swerve of character into a hero once again. It did not make tidal waves for the Hulkster or TNA. Here is review of TNA Bound for Glory
The biggest upset of the year came shortly after Bound For Glory, when Cowboy James Storm shocked Angle and won the TNA World Championship on IMPACT. It showed TNA’s odd strategy of putting bigger matches and moments on their weekly TV show and not the monthly Pay Per View events. No matter what the match and the title change was pulled off marvelously. WATCH: James Storm wins the TNA World Championship
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