If you’re a true professional wrestling fan, you tend to not ally yourself with one wrestling company over another. Oh sure you may have a personal favorite, but your heart is always open to great wrestling wherever it may come from.
Even still, it’s hard to fault the legion of wrestling fans out there who approach the idea of TNA wrestling the same way that you may approach a shadowy figure at the end of a dark alley. When the ultimate history of TNA is written, it’s easy to imagine that a good bit of it will be devoted to telling stories of the company’s legendary missteps. TNA Wrestling has not only made traditionally awful business decisions such as poorly considered contracts and trying to make a weekly PPV revenue model viable, but they have also gone above and beyond the realm of traditional awfulness by filling their air time with such quality content as jokes involving midgets pleasuring themselves in trash cans. If you were somehow able to stretch the entire history of TNA content across a giant wall and threw a dart at it, the odds are quite good that you would hit one of the worst booking decisions this side of late ‘90s WCW in the process.
However, occasionally you may find yourself surprised to land on an all-time great match.
As awful as TNA has been throughout much of their run, the company was notorious for providing matches that were as great as any other wrestling promotion can lay claim to. While we’d all like to forget about such rousing storylines as Abyss’ magical Hall of Fame ring, you can’t talk about the bad of TNA without balancing it with the good.
Here are 15 matches that help remind us that TNA wasn’t all bad.
15 The Wolves vs. Team 3D vs. The Hardys - Impact Wrestling (10/8/14)
14 NWA World Heavyweight: Christian Cage vs. Samoa Joe - Destination X 2007
13 Steel Cage Match: AJ Styles vs. Abyss - Lockdown 2005
12 Kurt Angle Vs Samoa Joe - Lockdown 2008
Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle had been feuding for nearly a year and a half before they met in this steel cage match. Though they had participated in a number of great matches during that time, they used the steel cage stipulation to turn this contest into an MMA-style affair that played off of both men’s considerable mat skills.
11 Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe - Final Resolution 2009
10 Texas Death Match: James Storm vs. Chris Harris - Sacrifice 2007
9 AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle - Slammiversary 2008
8 TNA Contract Match: Austin Aries vs. Low Ki vs. Jack Evans vs. Zema Ion - Destination X 2011
7 30 Minute Iron Man Match: AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels - Bound For Glory 2005
6 No DQ: Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong - Final Resolution 2008
Well before the “Divas Revolution,” TNA had a women’s wrestling revolution of their own as their Knockouts Division rose to prominence in the mid-2000s. The driving force behind this revolution was the combined efforts of Gail Kim and Awesome Kong who finally got the chance to steal the show in this very rare No DQ women’s match. Awesome Kong used her size advantage to inflict her own brand of violence upon Gail Kim while Kim used every weapon at her disposal as an equalizer.
5 AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe - Turning Point 2005
4 America's Most Wanted Vs Triple X - Turning Point 2004
3 The Latin American Xchange vs. AJ Styles And Christopher Daniels - No Surrender 2006
2 Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe - Turning Point 2006
When Kurt Angle debuted in TNA to take on the still technically undefeated Samoa Joe, TNA found themselves as the hosts of a rare modern day dream match. Unfortunately, the match itself would prove to be something of a disappointment, as Angle and Joe were still trying to figure each other out.
1 Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe - Unbreakable 2005
Not only is this match widely agreed to be the greatest match in the history of TNA wrestling, but it is also considered by many to be quite simply the greatest triple threat match ever. Not only did it feature three of the very best wrestlers in the world in their athletic primes, but there were enough storylines going on between them to ensure that emotion fueled every possible pairing. What truly makes this one so special, though is the way that Joe Daniels and Styles refused to fall into the traps of triple threat match clichés, and instead created some of the most innovative three-man spots ever witnessed.
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