The history of TNA featured the company having a chaotic backstage environment in many ways. One constant problem was the different regimes coming in and out with everyone promising to take them to the next level as a top promotion. Wrestlers struggled to make a mark due to the booking of the show on-screen leading to ultimate disappointment. Unfortunately, things were sometimes worse behind the scenes with some of the strange stories to take place.
We will look at just how things went down in the wild world of TNA. These stories range from dramatic to comedic to embarrassing. Wrestling is unlike any other medium where the egos involved can lead to things growing out of control. TNA happened to make it worse with their lack of leadership behind the scenes. Find out just how wild things got with ten backstage TNA stories that will blow our minds.
10 Dixie Carter Not Knowing Shelton Benjamin
Taz shared a hilarious story about his time in TNA when it came to Dixie Carter’s knowledge of wrestling. The company often had holiday parties to celebrate their roster and Taz happened to attend this one. Shelton Benjamin was a free agent at the time and attended to hang out with some of his friends in the company.
According to the story from Taz, Carter met him and asked others about the talent of “Benjamin Shelton” the following day. Despite being one of the top free agents in the wrestling world, Benjamin was not someone Dixie knew of enough to remember his name.
9 Awesome Kong vs Reby Sky
The backstage fights to go down in TNA have often been confirmed by talent. Unlike WWE, the wrestlers didn’t have a filter about having to hide inside information. Awesome Kong and Reby Sky had beef for many years after negative interactions on the independent circuit.
The tension reached the point of no return when Kong confronted Sky in the women’s locker room during a show they worked together in TNA. A fight broke out before the rest of the roster and security had to remove Kong from the locker room.
8 TNA Filming And Airing A Segment On WWE's Set
One of the more controversial backstage stories in TNA history actually took place near a WWE set. The timing saw WWE filming a commercial in Florida across the street from the Impact Zone on the same day as a TNA show.
TNA sent wrestlers Shane Douglas, Abyss, Road Dogg and Traci Brooks to welcome the WWE wrestlers with balloons and cookies. They filmed footage while blurring out the faces of Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio whom where quite friendly. TNA aired the segment in a controversial moment throwing shade at WWE.
7 Wrestlers Not Getting Paid On Time
The history of late payments in TNA has been a consistent issue for the company. TNA has tried to put together a great roster of credible talents by offering them fair contracts. Unfortunately, there have been plenty of times stories broke about the talent not getting paid.
This started picking up steam towards the end of the Spike TV deal as Dixie Carter’s parents’ Panda Energy company looked to sell TNA. Wrestlers have continued speaking out about not getting paid or getting late payments in the various regimes since then.
6 Nasty Boys Burying Jay Lethal
Jay Lethal was one of the rising young stars for TNA when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff joined the company. The push of Lethal would see its fair share of ups and downs, but Lethal clearly wasn’t a high priority wrestler for them.
Hogan’s friends the Nasty Boys joined TNA to a huge backlash from fans and wrestlers not understanding the value of having guys almost two decades past their last stint of relevance in the company. The Nasty Boys reportedly ran down Lethal in front of the locker room during their first night in TNA to show how little they cared.
5 Kevin Nash Confronting Samoa Joe After Joe's Shoot Promo
The run of Kevin Nash in TNA featured him making more friends than expected given his controversial reputation in WCW. Nash however connected with the younger talents and tried his best to help them. There was one instance of him clashing with a younger name when confronting Samoa Joe backstage.
TNA would get burned by Scott Hall no-showing a PPV where he was scheduled to team with Joe and Nash in the main event. Joe cut a worked shoot promo ripping apart Hall and other veterans using TNA for the easy payday. Nash revealed he approached Joe backstage in anger about the promo and even threw hands before the two made up afterwards.
4 Hulk Hogan Changing His Finish Last-Minute
The Bound for Glory 2011 main event featured Kurt Angle defending the TNA Championship against Bobby Roode. This storyline showed Roode winning a tournament and chasing his first world title to accomplish his dream in wrestling.
Hulk Hogan did a radio interview ahead of the show and essentially buried Roode for not being ready for such a big role. The reports indicated this carried over to the day of the show. Hogan played a role in changing the plans as Angle shocking defeated Roode on this night. Roode would eventually win the title with a heel turn a month later.
3 Awesome Kong vs Bubba the Love Sponge
Another fight for Awesome Kong came against an unlikely foe in TNA. Radio host Bubba the Love Sponge joined TNA as a backstage interviewer with the connection of being Hulk Hogan’s best friend. Fans and wrestlers resented Bubba for many of his actions behind the scenes.
Kong confronted Bubba after his social media posts mocking the victims of a Haiti earthquake. It culminated in a fight where Kong knocked Bubba down with a few hits. TNA sent Kong home as a punishment, but Bubba was quickly released from his role as well.
2 Management Letting Jeff Hardy Wrestle Under The Influence
Jeff Hardy appearing in the ring under the influence to wrestle Sting remains a low point in TNA and wrestling history. The huge match could have been a great moment for TNA, but it showcased why they always fell just short of finding relevance as a top promotion.
Hardy was clearly in no condition to wrestle, but he convinced management to let him in the ring. Eric Bischoff came out to cut a promo and stall for time after Jeff struggled just walking down the ramp. The match lasted a handful of moments as TNA never truly rebounded from it.
1 Kurt Angle/Jeff Jarrett/Karen Jarrett Love Triangle
Kurt Angle signing to TNA made him the biggest name in the company. This influence allowed him to get his then wife Karen Jarrett hired as an on-screen character. Karen eventually left Kurt for Jeff as things got quite personal with all three talents admitting the details.
TNA sent Jeff home and removed him from his position of power. Jarrett eventually returned and the company tried making a storyline out of it to draw some money. The love triangle was awkward to watch unfold and even more bizarre backstage. All three have made peace since this happened.