The future of TNA is in doubt with various rumors out about potential buyers having different reasons for wanting to purchase the company. Billy Corgan wants to own the company and completely re-brand with a new name and approach to make the promotion relevant again. The more interesting rumor focuses on WWE buying TNA to own the rights to the library, which is rumored to have already happened. WWE Network’s need for content and TNA’s deep library featuring many former and current WWE stars made it a perfect purchase. The problem is the WWE only wanted the library and not the company.
TNA has made its fair share of mistakes, but there has always been decent talent on the roster. The current regime of TNA has created a compelling roster with quite a few great talents. WWE’s brand split and the importance of NXT means they need as many great wrestlers as possible. TNA going out of business or re-branding means WWE will have access to more wrestlers from that core of talent. WWE would have a chance to pick many performers ready for television. We’ll break down the best names with the top fifteen stars WWE needs to keep if they buy TNA.
15 Bobby Lashley
WWE saw the potential in Bobby Lashley to become a big star, but it didn’t happen until his recent years for TNA. Lashley at one point hoped to join John Cena as the top star in WWE with a huge push early on in his career. The company grew frustrated with his inability to improve at a fast pace and Lashley was also unhappy with the WWE schedule. Following a few runs in TNA, Lashley finally started hitting his stride over the past two years.
14 Mark Andrews
The addition of the cruiserweight division on Raw means WWE can use the X-Division wrestlers currently on the TNA roster. One of the more underrated performers in the entire company has to be the young Mark Andrews. The 24-year-old star made his name in the United Kingdom and earned a TNA contract through the reality television series British Boot Camp. Andrews still wrestles for various UK promotions and has outstanding matches in the California based independent promotion PWG.
TNA used to have the best women’s division in North America with the WWE slacking way behind in that genre of wrestling. Things have changed with the WWE finally investing time into making the women’s division credible. While TNA struggles to create new female stars, Jade is one of the best new talents in the division. WWE needs more female wrestlers who are good enough to work frequently on Raw or SmackDown with the brand split creating two divisions.
12 Mike Bennett & Maria Kanellis
The dual act of Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis helped the careers of both performers. As a real-life married couple, Bennett and Kanellis use their relationship on television similar to The Miz and Maryse. Bennett and Maria saw their stock rise together in Ring of Honor with Maria primarily serving as the manager for Bennett and other wrestlers in "The Kingdom." They then made the jump to TNA in early 2016 and have become a crucial part of the show.
11 James Storm
WWE has hired many of the top stars in TNA history to make them important parts of the current product. A.J. Styles is the WWE World Champion and arguably the face of the SmackDown brand right now. Samoa Joe, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode are all pivotal parts of NXT helping the third brand continue to thrive. One TNA star that tried his luck in NXT for a very short time period before heading back is James Storm.
10 Rockstar Spud
Rockstar Spud is one of the smallest stars in wrestling at just 5’4’’ and 140 pounds. His heart and determination allowed him to achieve his dreams of becoming a successful professional wrestler currently residing in TNA. Spud has an amazing personality and expresses great charisma to make up for what he lacks in size. The feud between Spud and Ethan Carter III a few years ago was arguably the final great rivalry in TNA history.
Former NFL player Moose has entered the professional wrestling world and has picked it up at a great speed. Moose started his wrestling career on the independent wrestling scene and became a popular member of the Ring of Honor roster. Despite his lack of experience, Moose used his natural athleticism and learned many important traits along the way to become an entertaining wrestler. There were rumors of WWE having interest in Moose months ago before he signed the dotted line to go to TNA.
8 Trevor Lee
TNA has failed to utilize the X-Division properly in recent years, but Trevor Lee has emerged as one of the better talents signed for it. Lee earned a reputation as an elite young talent to keep an eye on due to his great work in PWG. Kevin Owens handpicked Lee as the guy to have his final PWG match with because he wanted to put over the new star. With someone like Owens believing in Lee, you know he was going to be something special.
Lee still works the independent wrestling circuit, but his primary home is TNA. His all-around talent is mind blowing, especially considering he’s only 23-years-old. WWE could find use for him in just about any option possible. Lee would be a great fit for the cruiserweight division or he could main event NXT.
The signing of Sienna this year was one of the better moves by TNA to add a fresh new talent to the Knockouts division. Sienna has been one of the best female wrestlers in the world over the last couple of years, making her name in SHINE, AIW and other independent wrestling promotions as Allysin Kay. With a background in MMA, she brings credibility and legitimacy to the ring with her outstanding skills.
Sienna is a tremendous heel and uses her size perfectly in the ring. It would be incredible to see her work as a bully heel against smaller performers like Sasha Banks, Bayley or Becky Lynch. NXT could deliver a dream match of Sienna facing Asuka as well.
6 The American Wolves
Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are among the best tag teams in all of wrestling when both men are healthy. The recent injury to Richards has left him off television for a few months. While Edwards has been great on his own, both men are better off working as a tag team. The American Wolves have dominated both ROH and TNA over the years with their chemistry creating magic in the ring.
WWE needs credible tag teams coming to the main roster to create two relevant tag divisions on both Raw and SmackDown. Richards and Edwards are more than capable and have worked together long enough to fit in on either show. The American Wolves would be up there with the New Day and American Alpha as arguably the best team in the company.
5 Jeff Hardy
The biggest name in TNA has to be Jeff Hardy. Before signing with TNA, Hardy had the best run of his career in the WWE as the second most popular star in the company after John Cena. Hardy became the face of SmackDown with fans connecting with his quiet charisma and death-defying attitude. There is a lot of money on the table with Hardy potentially returning to the WWE one day. The company is in need of credible top stars and Jeff is at the top of that list in terms of available names on the market.
4 Ethan Carter III
The story of Ethan Carter III is one of the WWE dropping the ball with a talented performer who then found a new life in TNA. As Derrick Bateman in developmental, WWE saw nothing special in him and wasted him away before releasing the promising star. TNA signed him and created the EC3 gimmick. This led to his career turning around in a way no one could have expected. Carter became the most popular star in TNA with his quick-wit and natural charisma standing out from day one.
EC3 evolved into a great all-around performer after defeating many legendary stars like Kurt Angle, Sting and Bully Ray. The knowledge he's accumulated from working with such respected wrestling minds helped him get to the next level as the face of TNA.
3 Gail Kim
The women’s revolution in WWE is about building new female stars by putting them in a position to succeed and treating them with respect. Sadly, the talented performers that worked for the same opportunities in the past were wasted. Gail Kim is the best example, as she's one of the best female wrestlers of all time, but had terrible runs in the WWE. TNA allowed her to showcase her skills and she became one of the biggest stars in company history.
Gail was recently inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame and it was well deserved. The legendary women’s wrestler has gone on record about not wanting to come back to the WWE due to her disdain for Vince McMahon and how the company failed to use her.
2 Drew Galloway
Another talent that the WWE dropped the ball with but needs to sign back is Drew Galloway. The talented Scottish wrestler signed with the WWE at a young age and faded away after doing poorly with a push that seemed premature at the time. They never gave him another fair chance to succeed and released him a few years ago. Galloway has used his shortcomings in the WWE to motivate him into resurrecting his career.
1 Matt Hardy
2016 will be remembered for many unique ideas emerging in the world of pro wrestling and Matt Hardy may be the biggest part of that. His character transformation into Broken Matt saw him create interest in TNA again with his off the wall storylines. Broken Matt feuded with “Brother Nero” Jeff Hardy in some of the most compelling wrestling content in recent years. Hardy realized the industry needed to expand into other universes and he basically combined the wacky elements of sci-fi movies with the storytelling of wrestling.
There are rumors that Triple H has interest in signing Matt back to the WWE when he’s a free agent and we can only hope he returns. WWE clearly ripped off Hardy’s The Final Deletion with their New Day vs. Wyatt Family segment that failed horribly. Matt’s mind for the business and his vision for his new character could be a perfect fit in the WWE with their production team and endless amounts of money. Between his momentum and star power, Matt Hardy is currently the member of the TNA roster the WWE most needs to acquire if they invade the company's roster.
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