TNA, now known as GFW after the recent acquiring of Jeff Jarrett’s new company, has been a force in the American pro wrestling scene for the better part of the last 15 years, and while there have been ups and downs (major downs), you can’t help but be proud of what the Nashville-based promotion has managed to achieve in that time. While there has been some controversy, and major periods of just being horrible for TNA, they find themselves in a place they haven’t been for quite some time, and that’s seeming financial stability. But even with this new lease on life, GFW will never be able to compete with the WWE on a financial level.
With that in mind, it’s unlikely that GFW will ever be able to lure or keep their big time stars, unlike Ring of Honor or other independents, as they offer a more stable, respected platform to perform on, so this list will take a look at 10 performers currently under the GFW banner that we’d love to see jump ship, and 5 that shouldn’t, for several different reasons that will be expanded upon.
15. WANT: Angelina Love
When it comes to the longest-tenured TNA/GFW performers, people will always look to the likes of Abyss, James Storm and AJ Styles, but someone who doesn’t get the recognition is Angelina Love, who has been with the company on and off since 2007. While she doesn’t match up from an in-ring perspective against the likes of Gail Kim or Awesome Kong, she is a fantastic performer, and should return to the WWE soon. While this half of The Beautiful People never made it to WWE’s main roster, she did work in developmental from 2004-2007, and with the upcoming Mae Young Classic, it may be time for Angelina to have one last shot, on the biggest stage possible. It’s unlikely, but for a veteran of the business whose never got a shot with the WWE on television, she deserves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
14. WANT: Eddie Edwards
The Wolves, consisting of Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, have been one of TNA’s most consistent performers over the past few years, but when the duo split, it created one of the hottest and most intense rivalries in recent memory for the company. Although they look to be on the rise in the newly-formed GFW as singles stars, we’d love to see them in WWE, whether it be as the hard-hitting tag team they once were, or Eddie on his own. The face in this hard hitting rivalry, Edwards is a very likeable character who excels in the ring, and while NXT may be full of hot babyfaces right now (Black, McIntyre, Itami, Ohno, Strong and potentially Adam Cole quite soon), it would be great to see him working in front of Full Sail. Ultimately, I don’t think this will happen in the future, or maybe not at all, but seeing such a tenured and amazing wrestler finally make it on the big stage would be great to see.
13. STAY AWAY: Scott Steiner
With guys like Sting, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Ric Flair all retired from the wrestling industry, it’s crazy to think that Big Poppa Pump is still kicking for Impact. After his bout with Josh Mathews against Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park at Slammiversary, he still definitely has some entertainment value. Fortunately for the majority of WWE fans, Vince McMahon’s company doesn’t value that kind of entertainment, and if they’re smart (which I believe they are), they’ll never bring back The Big Bad Booty Daddy in any capacity. At this point of his career, Steiner does a lot for GFW, and can be a great help for the rebranding of the company going forward, in a way that he just wouldn’t be valued in the WWE.
12. WANT: Sienna
GFW are now pushing this as a new beginning for their company, and understandably so as they’ve been the butt of too many jokes for too long now. One of the performers they’re putting at the forefront of that is Sienna, who is not only a great character, but a legit badass, making her a great candidate for the face of the women’s division. She has been wrestling for almost a decade now, and while she was crowned the Undisputed GFW Women’s Champion recently at Slammiversary, she is coming to the end of her prime years, and there’s no better place to spend that than WWE. With the Mae Young Classic, and plenty more opportunities for women in WWE on the horizon, she should definitely look into that. I don’t see this happening, but someone with the skillset that Sienna possesses definitely deserves to be in the WWE, as she could make a worldwide name for herself.
11. WANT: Moose
It’s no secret that the WWE loves big guys, and in recent years, they’ve tended to favor the athletic guys just as much, and there is absolutely no one in the entire wrestling world who combines those two attributes like the former NFL star Moose. While he looks to be locked down with GFW for the foreseeable future, he has to be WWE-bound at some point. Standing at a good 6’5″, Moose can do things that you would think are exclusive to cruiserweights, and with an infectious charisma and crowd chant to come along with it, he could be a top star in the WWE. Moose almost came to the WWE after his ROH contract came to an end, but contract negotiations stalled. If he ever wants to leave GFW, he will be welcome on any WWE brand.
10. STAY AWAY: Abyss
The WWE absolutely love big, ‘supernatural’ type characters, as we’ve seen guys like The Undertaker, Bray Wyatt and Kane excel over the years, but one that they never managed to pry away from TNA was Abyss, despite their best efforts, as it was rumored he was asked to come into the WWE and wrestle a program with the Undertaker for WrestleMania. He showed loyalty to the promotion he has been with for all 15 years of it’s existence, and they’ve repaid him, letting him show his range as a character, and he will go down as one of the company’s greatest ever performers. It just makes no sense for Abyss to leave at this point, as he would be nothing but watered down in the WWE, and while there probably isn’t any interest from WWE at this point, I’d like to see him stay loyal to GFW for his entire career.
9. WANT: Davey Richards
As already mentioned, Eddie Edwards would be a fantastic addition to the NXT baby face ranks, but Davey Ri chards, on the other hand, would make a perfect villain, on a show that truly lacks them outside of Bobby Roode, and would present us with many dream matches against the likes of Aleister Black, Drew McIntyre and even Roderick Strong. That, or we could add The Wolves to the tag team division which already includes the AOP, TM61, Heavy Machinery (and the rumored additions of ReDragon, half of which are already in NXT, and War Machine), and seeing one of the best tag teams in TNA history join that pack would be a sight to see. Both members of the Wolves are experienced in tag teams and singles competition, and with the WWE struggling with their tag team divisions, these two need to sign as soon as possible, for the fans’ sake, and their own.
8. WANT: EC3
WWE usually don’t miss out on big time talents too often, but this is the most famous case in recent years, as they had a young wrestler named Derrick Bateman in NXT. Despite performing well as a comedy character when given the chance, he was released, and surfaced a little while later in TNA known as Ethan Carter III, the spoilt nephew of Dixie. In that role, he became an absolute star (it didn’t hurt that he also became shredded and looked like a true top star), and ever since then, he has been a shining light for the promotion, showing he has great range and talent as a top-flight performer. The WWE have an abundance of talent right now (some of which they struggle to book well) but EC3 would be a perfect main event fit on any of the three WWE brands, and could draw some true heel heat, something that they have struggled with over the past few years.
7. STAY AWAY: Matt Sydal
The WWE has brought back the cruiserweight division after the incredible success that was the first ever Cruiserweight Classic, and with that, brought rumors of former WWE fan favorites an their imminent returns. One name that was on the mind of all fans was Matt Sydal, formerly Evan Bourne in the WWE. Unfortunately for those fans, “Reborn” Matt Sydal has been on fire since leaving his poor run in the WWE, both as a tag team with Ricochet in New Japan or on his own in ROH, PWG and Impact, and it should stay that way. The cruiserweights have been booked horribly, and on the independent scene he has more freedom and compete outside of the cruiserweight division, so while GFW may not be his primary promotion, it’s somewhere he shouldn’t leave for WWE anytime soon.
6. WANT: Eli Drake
In the world of TNA/Impact/GFW, the best wrestlers and the best characters often get over, but unfortunately for them, a lot of times those performers struggle to combine both of those areas as their strengths, but Eli Drake, in his short tenure with Impact/GFW has shown that ability. He may not be as good a wrestler as AJ Styles, and he may not be “Broken” Matt Hardy in the character department, but Eli Drake is an entertaining performer, and under his current gimmick, he could be a welcome change in the wrestling-based NXT program. He’s been with Impact for a little while now, and they’ve shown faith in his ability to carry a storyline, so don’t expect him to leave anytime soon. But he is soon turning 35, and his career is winding down, so he should spend the last few years of his prime in the WWE, entertaining more fans than he ever could in GFW.
5. WANT: Bobby Lashley
Over a decade ago, Bobby Lashley was seen as the prototypical main eventer in the WWE, and as hard as Vince McMahon pushed, Lashley was just way too green and didn’t have the charisma needed, and after some time on the independents, he returned to Impact, and has been the biggest star in the company (outside of that “Broken” guy) ever since. Allowed to be the dominant heel that he should have been in the WWE, Lashley has flourished, and while he’s made great improvements in the ring, his biggest improvement has been his promo work, as he is now one of the most understated yet effective in the business, and is the true, main event star that GFW/Impact has been missing. While you might want Lashley to stay in GFW to guide the ship at the top of the card, it would be great to see him back in the WWE, as there are many great matchups awaiting him there.
4. STAY AWAY: Low Ki
Low Ki is one of the most tenured and renowned cruiserweights in the history of the current independent scene, as he has wrestled for TNA, New Japan, Ring of Honor and WWE, and he won championships in every promotion but one. Given that he is currently in a fantastic rivalry with X-Division Champion Sonjay Dutt, and is still respected and used well in GFW, it makes no sense for him to return to that one promotion in which he didn’t win gold, the WWE. Last time he was there, on the back of a strong performance in NXT (the game show edition) as Kaval, the WWE completely wasted him, and he was back on the independent scene in no time, so he should just stay put. Out of everyone on this side of the list, Low Ki is perhaps the most likely to return to the WWE, but with their terrible booking of the cruiserweights and stacked NXT main event scene, it’s best if he stays put.
3. WANT: Andrew Everett
Much has been made of the current state of the WWE cruiserweights, and with their time being split between RAW and 205 Live, but with limitations placed on whom they can work with, it seems like this thing is destined to fail, so bringing in more talent won’t do much other than offer us fresh matchups. But I, for one, would love to see Andrew Everett in the WWE. He may not have much of a character at this point, but he is one of the most jaw-dropping high fliers in the professional wrestling world today, and whether he is put in the 205-pound division or NXT, he would certainly thrill. At this point, after being passed over for the CWC, it’s unlikely Everett is high up on WWE’s wish list, but he would provide some depth and amazing offense to a very boring cruiserweight product.
2. WANT: Rosemary
A lot has been made of the “Women’s Revolution” in WWE, and don’t get me wrong, they’re doing great things with the first ever women’s Money in the Bank match, with a women’s tournament this year and a rumored Royal Rumble bout next year. While the wrestling quality from the females in WWE is great, they don’t have the best character, not by a longshot, as the title without a doubt goes to GFW’s Rosemary. The “Demon Assassin” is portrayed by a woman called Courtney Rush, and after eight years on the independent scene, she was given a shot by Impact in 2016, and as a part of Decay, she became the biggest positive in the entire company. After their breakup, she went on a solo run with the Impact Women’s title that only recently came to an end at Slammiversary, and while it looks like she will stay with the newly-dubbed GFW for the near future, if given the freedom in a WWE run, she would become the most interesting character not only in the women’s division, but the entire WWE.
1. STAY AWAY: Alberto El Patron
Plenty of wrestlers over the years have left the WWE only to voice their bitterness about how their run went, and at this current point in time the most notable is Alberto El Patron (Del Rio from his WWE days), who has voiced his displeasure on social media, as well as in the middle of GFW’s six-sided ring. It has gotten to the point where GFW officials have begun to play his music to drown him out whenever he tries to trash his former employer, so obviously, it’s very safe to say that we won’t, and don’t want to see him back in the WWE anytime soon. With Paige still affiliated with the WWE, it’s surprising how vocal he is about his opposition to “the guy with the big nose,” as it could severely effect her standing there if she ever returns, so please, Alberto, for everyone’s sake, just shut up.
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