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The Impact Zone, also known as the Impact Wrestling Zone is the professional wrestling nickname for a sound stage in Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, Florida. Its nickname was derived from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's (TNA) Impact Wrestling weekly television series, which broadcast live from this venue. Between 2004 and March 2013, TNA taped their broadcasts from Soundstage 21 before terminating their lease and began to tour nationally. TNA returned to Universal Studios on November 21, 2013 in Soundstage 19, which is smaller and holds fewer people than their orignal soundstage. Since then, the company has been taping most of its programming at the Universal Studios (with occasional tapings at other venues), but there is no permanent venue for the tapings. The company switches between Soundstages 19, 20 and 21.
As part of the agreement with Universal Studios, Impact Wrestling (previously TNA) are not allowed to charge general admission to events held at the Impact Zone, with the exception of VIP packages. This means the company sometimes look for alternative venues to host their large pay-per-view events.
Impact Zone Wikipedia
Soundstage 21 was originally known as the Extreme Arena and was used for the game shows Nickelodeon Guts and Global Guts from 1992-1995. In 1996 World Championship Wrestling began taping their syndicated wrestling shows WCW Pro and WCW Worldwide from Soundstage 21, now dubbed the WCW Arena. (Before then they had been taped at Disney-MGM Studios.) WCW continued to tape the shows and a few episodes of WCW Saturday Night until 1998 when Pro was canceled and Worldwide was taped before WCW Thunder. In 1999 the Roller Derby show RollerJam was filmed from the building now called the RolllerJam Arena. They left after their show was cancelled in 2001 and another wrestling company called the XWF began taping their shows there.
In May 2004, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling announced that they would be starting their first nationally airing television show, TNA Impact on Fox SportsNet. They also announced that they would be airing this show from Universal Studios as part of an agreement reached with the theme park. Accordingly, TNA leased Soundstage 21 for the purposes of putting on wrestling events for an indefinite period of time. TNA also moved several of its main offices down to Orlando from their original home in Nashville.
From June 2004 to March 2013, TNA taped its flagship show, Impact Wrestling as well as its secondary show Xplosion from the Impact! Zone. They also aired every monthly pay-per-view in company history from that location until October 2006 when Bound for Glory was broadcast from the Compuware Arena in Detroit. They also hosted a special viewing of The Best Damn Sports Show Period that was entitled the Best Damn Wrestling Event Period.
In August 2006 at Hard Justice, a fire sparked in the rafters of the Impact Zone. The fire was the result of pyrotechnics igniting a burlap sandbag. The sound stage was evacuated for approximately 20 minutes while the Orlando Fire Department inspected the resultant damage and the building in general. Afterwards, the audience was allowed back in and the show resumed with only one match cancelled.
On January 31, 2013, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling announced that they would be taping their weekly show, Impact Wrestling from different venues around the United States with the first live show on March 14, 2013 from the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago. The final two episodes of Impact Wrestling filmed at this location were on February 28, 2013 and March 7, 2013. After this, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling cleared out the venue and ended the Universal Studios contract after these shows.
TNA returned to Universal Studios in Soundstage 19 with its first show back on November 21, 2013. A smaller version of the road set debuted that night along with new lighting structures and new seats in the smaller venue that is 16,500 square feet. From 2014 to 2016, the company has been taping its programming in Soundstage 20, which is bigger than Soundstage 19, but smaller than Soundstage 21. However, in January 2017, the company taped TV from Soundstage 19 again. In March 2017, the company returned to Soundstage 21, the original TNA Impact Zone, for the first time in four years. The April tapings are scheduled to happen in Soundstage 20, so the move to Soundstage 21 wasn't permanent.
In May 2011, TNA rebranded TNA Impact! to Impact Wrestling.