We recently put together a list of 15 wrestlers who will be released on bad terms and only included WWE workers before realizing TNA needed its time in the spotlight. A much smaller company that employs a fraction of the workers Vince McMahon’s company has working for it, you’d think this list would be harder to put together. You’d be wrong. Although we appreciate the skills of several of the men and women who work for TNA (or is it called Impact Wrestling?) it has become clear that management in TNA is messed up. Known for letting many of their most talented and bankable workers slip through their fingertips, giving negative interviews about management seems to be a rite of passage for former employees.
In order to be considered for this list, all you need to be is a current employee of TNA. As a result, wrestlers, announcers, interviewers, agents, managers and even authority figures are up for grabs. On the other hand, people who’ve already stopped working for the company at the time of writing were excluded. Keep in mind; we’re not saying that we hope that these people leave the company on a bad note. Instead, we expect that eventuality it will be a strong possibility. Also, keep in mind that we didn’t take their announcements about wrestlers resigning with them into account. They have a history of announcing a wrestler has signed a multi-year deal and then making another similar announcement a few months later.
With the exception of The Hardy brothers, there is nobody in TNA today that has come close to the level of acclaim Lashley once enjoyed. A massively muscled man who looks like he was born out of Vince McMahon’s dreams, when he made his debut on WWE television everyone instantly knew that he would be given every chance to succeed. Included in one of the highest profile matches the WWE has ever put together, serving as the muscle of Donald Trump in his battle against Vinnie Mac, Lashley seemed poised for a legendary run. Surprisingly released by the company while nursing an injury, Lashley has since become a more complete worker, including improved mic skills and he has put together a pretty impressive MMA career.
The current TNA World Heavyweight Champion, you’d think that would be evidence that his time in the company is as assured as anyone. We think you may be wrong about that assumption. A fighter for Bellator MMA, a company owned by Viacom, the company that also owns the network TNA formerly called home, Spike TV, he has won four fights for them. If he continues to succeed, we wouldn’t be surprised if MMA started to require more of his time and he stepped away from TNA, something he did for the same reason once before. The only wrestler included on this list because we can see TNA resenting him if he spurs them again after they’ve put their all behind them, we can see some of TNA’s higher-ups(excluding the always kind Dixie) bashing him.
A massive man who once served as a bodyguard for stars like WWE Hall of Famer Snoop Dogg, the man known as Tyrus today has had one hell of an interesting life. Signed by the WWE in 2006, he toiled in developmental presumably training hard for his eventual debut on the main roster, something that wouldn’t come for a staggering four years. Initially working with Alberto Del Rio and competing on NXT when it was a competition show, he stepped away for three months and his return was announced to be imminent on RAW. Reportedly planned to be pushed as an unbeatable monster, he instead was a “Funkasaurus” which apparently is a dancing dinosaur of some sort and was released after two years in the mid-card.
This Mastodon of a man seems like he just can’t catch a break. Brought into TNA as muscle for Ethan Carter III, Tyrus has worked for the company since 2014 and accomplished next to nothing. Briefly also serving as a bodyguard for Matt Hardy, the only thing of note he has done otherwise was win a Gauntlet for the Gold match to become number one contender. The only problem, that accomplishment has largely gone undiscussed ever since and although TNA has a history of randomly bringing up guaranteed title shots in the past, we have no way of knowing what will happen here. If Tyrus, a former WWE performer, gets released in the coming months, something that seems entirely possible, he has every reason to be pissed that he was named a title contender and forgotten.
13 Gail Kim
We know what you’re thinking, future TNA Hall of Famer Gail Kim is on the list? Stick with us on this one. After an extremely lackluster run in WWE where she won the Women’s Championship on her fist night and went on a steep decline every day after, Gail Kim debuted in TNA. A company that showed no interest in treating women’s wrestling seriously at the time, Gail, with the help of some talented peers, managed to change their mind and become the inaugural Knockout Champ. Unquestionably the most decorated woman in company history, she has carried the belt for more days than anyone else and has won a bevy of other awards as well.
So, we bet you’re wondering what makes us think that she may depart the company in the not too distant future. Look at the entirety of the TNA Hall of Fame, it seems as though the accolade is used as a precursor to either the company letting you go or as a present to someone who is about to leave unless you are a ref. Sting, gone. Kurt Angle, gone, Jeff Jarrett, gone, Team 3D, gone. Gail Kim, gone soon? Seems statistically probable. Unlike the others in the theoretical hall we’ve listed, Gail doesn’t have a “promotion” like GFW to run to, big money indie dates or a WWE contract in the offing. Keep in mind Gail had unfortunate tenures under McMahon and spent years of working her butt off to make TNA the home of real women’s wrestling. Can you then imagine how it would feel that the Knockouts have devolved and the WWE women’s division has soared? We’d have a lot to say too.
12 The Wolves
One of the most acclaimed tag teams in the world today, known as The Wolves, The American Wolves, or even The American Pitbulls they were the talk of the town in 2013. Two men who were former holders of the ROH World Championship in their time, they seemed capable of adding a great deal of star power and in-ring prowess to whatever company they served. Racking up five separate reigns with the tag team gold in TNA, on top of Eddie Edwards winning the X Division Championship twice, you’d think these two would be on top of the world.
Instead, their runs as a tandem of champions have been marred by a severe lack of interesting opponents. Working against teams like The BroMans, The Revolution, and a far past their prime Beer Money, they really haven’t had a single notable feud. Additionally dragged down by injuries, again and again, their run could fairly be considered a disappointment, through no fault of their own. Keeping that in mind, their outside notoriety demanding a halfway decent salary, and TNA’s money problems, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them depart sometime soon. If that does take place, we would understand if they resented the time they wasted in TNA during their biggest money-making years.
11 Matt Hardy
One-half of the most talked about feud TNA has had in years if not ever, Final Deletion, with his brother Jeff, Matt has got to love the attention their utterly unique segments have received. Working in the industry for more than two decades, much of which he spent working for the biggest company in the world, Matt has one of the biggest names of anyone in TNA. A tag team specialist who has also achieved a lot of success by himself, one thing is certain about Mr. Hardy, he always gets a response of some sort.
Immensely popular at the height of The Attitude Era in WWE, Matt has always had a deep connection with his fans which has gotten him into trouble in the past. Prone to taking his complaints to those fans when he is dissatisfied, he was once even released by the WWE for his choice to complain to his followers about his personal relationship with a fellow employee. Add to that his past history of putting up peculiar videos about grapes and you have a history of erratic behaviour. If he ends his times in TNA in any manner that he doesn’t appreciate, it seems certain that we’ll hear him vent passionately about it.
A student of former TNA powerbroker Scott D’Amore, this talented young woman became a standout wrestler wherever she went, including Shimer, NCW, and Maximum Pro Wrestling. A former tag champ who teamed with current NXT trainer and indie legend Sara Del Rey, she signed with TNA in 2016. Introduced as the manager of the new tag team of Abyss and Crazzy Steve, she took a couple of wrestlers who were going underutilized and helped to turn them into the hottest team in the company. Also wrestling in a few matches with her fellow Decay members, she has proven that she is adept at every onscreen aspect of the business.
Arguably one of the most interesting and entertaining performers on the entire TNA roster today, Rosemary should by all rights be pushed to the moon. While we’re happy to see that she has unbelievable chemistry with her Decay teammates, we’re shocked to realize she has only competed in one singles match so far. If TNA makes the colossal error of letting her get away, we’d expect her to complain that she never got a shot to show her singles potential.
9 Mike Bennett
One of the most talked about wrestlers on the indie circuit at one time, Mike Bennett had managed to create a relatively large and passionate following for himself. A former performer in ROH, where he won tag gold with Matt Taven and stood victorious at the end of a Top Prospect Tournament and Honor Rumble, Mike could have continued to be a star there. Additionally known for his time in NJPW alongside his aforementioned partner and his wife Maria, he also took home tag team gold there and could have been a big star. Instead, he signed with TNA.
Since The Wolves signed with TNA in January of 2014, Mike is the sole high-profile signing TNA has actually made. Given a head scratching character that calls himself The Miracle, for reasons we can’t begin to fathom, his run with the company has actually managed to make him into less of a star than before. A true disappointment so far, if we were Mike we’d be ranting and raving that he’d made a horrible mistake every night in his hotel room as he wrestles in front of increasingly dispassionate fans. As a result, we expect him to do the same in public once it is no longer in his best interest not to.
For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to the content of these entries so far and have assumed that we actually want these people to lose their jobs, we don’t. We would never hope someone who is a talented worker and sacrifices their bodies for our entertainment finds themselves worrying about how they are going to pay their bills. We’re just saying that the people we’ve mentioned here, on the day they no longer work at TNA, may have their fair share of gripes. That said, we have no idea what possessed TNA to sign Raquel. A former contender in the last season of Tough Enough, she carried herself pretty poorly, seemed incapable of getting along with anyone and brought a creepy old dude to all the live events. Also mired in controversy, when she complained to TMZ about “being assaulted” in the ring, she seems like a great person to have on your roster.
Seeming like someone who is completely full of herself, judging from her past history, she may just rub a lot of people the wrong way. If that does happen and she gets shown the door, she has proven that she will take her gripes to TMZ, or anyone else who will listen, in a second. If a fellow performer took advantage of her in the ring, as she claims, we support her in sticking up for herself either in the back with the person, their boss or even law enforcement. The choice to instead take her claims to TMZ serves no purpose other than trying to get attention for her at another person’s expense.
7 Gregory Helms
Starting his career on the main stage with a run as part of Three Count in WCW and then Sugar Shane Helms, he had his contract bought out by WWE. Wrestling there as The Hurricane, an over the top character who believed himself to be a real-life superhero, he managed to create some fantastic television. Whether it was his feud against The Rock, his time with Mighty Molly or his attempts to chokeslam men like The Big Show, Gregory as he is known today has an incredible highlight reel.
Brought into TNA last year as a backstage agent, a position in which veterans help younger talent to put together their matches, he ended up finding himself playing a character onscreen. An outspoken and opinionated man, he has a long history of frankly speaking his mind about his life in the business. That is a trait that may be fine when he leaves a company like WWE that certainly has its issues but overall treated him well and is run professionally. When you’re a company like TNA however, which consistently has more subdued men like AJ Styles speak out about it, that should be a huge worry. As such, unless Gregory has a completely different experience than the majority of TNA employees or works for TNA until he dies, this situation seems to be a ticking time bomb.
6 Madison Rayne
Let’s just get this out of the way, Madison’s theme as a solo star may be the catchiest one we’ve heard in the history of TNA. That said, she has also had one of the most respectable runs in the history of TNA’s knockout division. A former member of The Beautiful People, she was extremely good at getting the company’s fans to hate her and her comrades, through egotistical and hypocritical behaviour. Later, breaking out on her own, we’d argue that she had the most successful run of any of her stablemates, as best evidenced by her five Knockouts Title and two Knockout Tag title runs. Equally able to illicit cheers from the crowd, there is only one woman who has held TNA’s biggest belt for women longer than her.
The only member of The Beautiful People, one of the most watched factions in TNA history, remaining in the company, Madison has become an afterthought in a division she should be a legend in. Seemingly, someone that only needs the company she works for to give her something to really give her all to in order to entertain, it is a shame TNA seems to have little interest in her. Unfortunately, someone who hasn’t been relevant in TNA for years at this point, we’re certain she’ll have lots of tales of incompetence to share once her contract ends.
5 James Storm
One of the very few “TNA Originals” who remains employed, James Storm has played a major part in every era of company history. Quickly put into a tag team with Wildcat Chris Harris, America’s Most Wanted, it was arguably the best team in TNA’s early years. Also, one-half of the supremely popular Beer Money and a member of the, unfortunately, underutilized faction Fortune, James Storm in a TNA tag team is gold. Also once a World Champion for the company, his blood feud with former partner Bobby Roode over the title was the hottest thing in the company for a time.
Appearing twice for NXT in 2015, he made the surprising decision to turn down an offer from the company for a larger dollar contract with TNA. We totally get choosing certain cash over a nebulous opportunity but how did James not see the writing on the TNA wall. If they get behind on paying their talent, something that has reportedly happened several times in the past, how upset should James be that he turned down NXT and WWE for them?
4 Al Snow
A wrestler who has had a pretty great run in the business despite never reaching beyond the lower mid-card, Al serves as one of TNA’s agents and onscreen managers these days. A former member of WWE’s roster who had to reinvent himself multiple times, it wasn’t until he was lent to ECW that he hit upon the gimmick that would make him a star. Coming to the ring with a mannequin head that he spoke to as if it was his best friend, nobody would have likely predicted it would soon be his calling card. Also known as the head trainer on multiple Tough Enough seasons, that experience has turned him into a sought-after figure for people wanting to break in.
At one time seen as a journeyman wrestler and the well-mannered butt of Mick Foley’s jokes, something has changed in the way Al Snow sees the business in recent years. Spitting venom at many fans of the business and figures within it these days, it seems as though anyone who doesn’t subscribe to his views on how things should work will find themselves in his crosshairs.
3 Rockstar Spud
Introduced to the world of TNA by competing in their “reality show” British Boot Camp, Spud would portray an egotistical prick on the show that he would go on to win. Given a TNA contract, he would soon start to appear on Impact and initially played a silly rock star gimmick that few fans cared about. Eventually remaking himself into the Chief of Staff, a colourful suit wearing toadie who did the bidding of Dixie Carter and her nephew, Spud quickly became the most entertaining character on TNA television. Consistently gold on the microphone or in the ring, he has been able to make us want to see him get his comeuppance and root for him passionately, depending on his alignment, ever since.
That is why it breaks our heart to see how completely this entertaining man has been totally wasted of late. Aside from a short run as a part of Matt Hardy’s entourage, where his character started to act like he was strung out on cocaine, he has largely gone the way of the dodo bird. If that is a harbinger of him being released, he should have some righteous vitriol for the dummies that didn’t recognize the gift for this business he has.
Someone who at times seems bestial on the mic and on the ring, if reports of his conduct while he is out of character are to be believed, Bram may be the person you want to cross the least on this list. Bringing to mind the temper and unpredictability of Scott Steiner, he has had several run-ins with the law during his time in the wrestling business. A former member of the NXT roster and one-half of the original iteration of The Ascension, he was released from the company after he was charged with drunk and disorderly and attacking an officer. Also accused of strangling and falsely imprisoning a woman in Florida, those charges were eventually dropped but still pretty scary.
Whether he actually committed the crimes against the anonymous woman we mentioned second, nobody has refuted that he attacked a police officer on the side of the road. Do you want to cross a person who seems to be able to tap into his temper so easily, knows what he can do with his body and doesn’t seem very good at holding back?
1 Billy Corgan
Someone who achieved worldwide fame as a lead singer, guitarist, and producer for several bands, most notably The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy got into the wrestling because he loves it. Billy is the founder of a wrestling company called Resistance Pro Wrestling, which he ultimately left in 2014. Before he stepped away from that company, the groundwork he laid helped ensure it continues to this day, a feat that a lot of would-be promoters have tried and failed at.
Now a member of the TNA management team, he has lent the name he has spent nearly thirty years building to one of the most outwardly dysfunctional appearing companies around. Going so far as to reportedly buying a minority stake in the company because it appears they needed the money to pay for a TV taping, if this experiment fails he’s put a lot of eggs into this basket. Someone who went so far as to compare outspoken progressives to members of the Ku Klux Klan, Billy doesn’t seem like someone who is tight-lipped, happy to lose money or lacking in opportunities to have his voice heard.