In professional wrestling, the TNA Gut Check is a contest staged by the American professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) as a means of recruiting new talent. Since April 2012, the TNA Gut Check has been featured in regular segments on Impact Wrestling, the flagship television program of TNA.
TNA staged its first "Gut Check" on October 16, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event saw entrants rated on the basis of their performance in five categories: "back bump", "mat techniques", "ring interviews", "running the ropes" and "squat challenge". The female and male events were won by Jaime Dauncey and Jon Bolen respectively, with Dauncey and Bolen rewarded with a US$4,000 cash prize and a subsequent appearance on TNA programming. In 2005, Dauncey was signed to a developmental deal by TNA.
TNA holds seminars at venues around the United States and Canada, hosted by TNA backstage employees such as D'Lo Brown, Pat Kenney, Brian Hebner and Jeremy Borash. The seminars, which last two hours, cover "promos, drills, simulated matches and in-ring work". The seminars are aimed at "prospective professional wrestlers, announcers, managers, valets and referees".
A number of wrestlers have been awarded contracts with TNA after participating in Gut Check Seminars, including Crimson and Jesse Sorensen. From April 2012 onwards, TNA began inviting a small number of participants in the seminars to wrestle a tryout match on Impact Wrestling.
In April 2012, the TNA Gut Check began featuring as a regular segment on Impact Wrestling. Contestants wrestle a match against a TNA wrestler, after which their performance is evaluated by three judges. Contestants who receive a "yes" from at least two of the judges are awarded a contract with TNA and sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, TNA's developmental territory, for further training.
The original judges for the TNA Gut Check were the semi-retired wrestler Ric Flair, the road agent Al Snow and TNA's Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations, Bruce Prichard. On May 31, 2012, Flair was replaced by the color commentator and retired wrestler Taz.
TNA Gut Check contestants have featured in a number of angles:
- After Joey Ryan was refused a contract on the May 31, 2012 episode of Impact Wrestling, he began a campaign against the decision on Twitter and YouTube that was spearheaded by the results of an online poll showing that 87% of respondents felt that he should have been awarded a contract. Beginning on the June 28 episode of Impact Wrestling, Ryan began appearing in the audience of the Impact Wrestling Zone during Gut Check segments, heckling the judges. On July 21, 2012 at the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show "Threemendous III", Ryan used the Tazmission - the signature submission hold of Taz - to defeat his opponent, Famous B. At Bound for Glory 2012 on October 14, 2012, Ryan defeated Snow to receive a contract with TNA. *On the July 19, 2012 episode of Impact Wrestling, Sam Shaw was attacked by the Aces & 8s stable while being interviewed by Jeremy Borash. Shaw went on to wrestle Doug Williams in a tryout match one week later.
|Contestant||Tryout date||Opponent||Decision date||Bruce Prichard||Al Snow||Taz / Ric Flair||Decision||References|
|Alex Silva||April 26, 2012||Robbie E||May 3, 2012||Yes||Yes||Yes||Successful|
|Joey Ryan||May 24, 2012||Austin Aries||May 31, 2012||No||Yes||No||Unsuccessful|
|Taeler Hendrix||June 21, 2012||Tara||June 28, 2012||Yes||No||Yes||Successful|
|Sam Shaw||July 26, 2012||Douglas Williams||July 26, 2012||Yes||No||Yes||Successful|
|Kris Lewie||August 23, 2012||Gunner||August 30, 2012||No||No vote cast||No||Unsuccessful|
|Evan Markopoulos||September 20, 2012||Douglas Williams||September 27, 2012||No||No||Yes||Unsuccessful|
|Christian York||November 1, 2012||Zema Ion||November 8, 2012||Yes||Yes||Yes||Successful|
|Wes Brisco||November 22, 2012||Garett Bischoff||November 29, 2012||Yes||(D'Lo Brown), Yes||No||Successful|
|Contestant #1||Contestant #2||Tryout date||Decision date||Judge's pick||Bruce Prichard||Al Snow||Danny Davis||Decision||References|
|Jay Bradley||Brian Cage||January 10, 2013||January 17, 2013||Jay Bradley||Yes||Yes||(Taz), No||Successful|
|Ivelisse Vélez||Lei'D Tapa||February 28, 2013||March 7, 2013||Lei'D Tapa||No||Yes||Yes||Successful|
|Adam Pearce||Magno|| March 28, 2013|
(airing April 4, 2013)
|April 11, 2013||Magno||No||N/A||No||Unsuccessful|
|Adam O'Reilly||Brian Howe||June 20, 2013||July 4, 2013|
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