TNA has created plenty of negative stories over their fourteen years of existence. The company showed great promise once with new exciting stars being introduced to wrestling fans but they could not capitalize on their strengths. An overall failure to grasp what the audience wanted and their inability to put together a cohesive creative team led to disaster after disaster. There have been enough poor decisions, characters and agendas to make the worst stories in wrestling history. Most of the fans that were backing TNA in 2006 are laughing at how far the company has fallen in just ten years.
The roster has rarely been the problem. TNA has definitely hired a fair share of overrated or unskilled wrestlers but they have employed many more great talents. Samoa Joe’s WWE debut and the rumors of AJ Styles coming into the company have been met with complete excitement and hope from wrestling fans. Both men would likely go down in the history books as the two greatest TNA superstars of all time. Considering how much time they spent in the company and the hype surrounding them today, it is mind boggling how they ended up becoming irrelevant in TNA. It perfectly captures how TNA could turn treasure into trash.
Those are just two wrestlers who saw their values diminish over the years in TNA. There are countless other great talents that had a much worse time with the company. TNA was home to many wrestlers flopping. Some of these wrestlers just didn’t have what was needed to succeed in the wrestling business but most of the stories feature poor decisions. The last few years have seen many wrestlers bolt TNA, whether by choice or by the company not having money to pay them. We all know what Styles and Joe have been doing but what about the lesser names? We are going to examine the fifteen stories of what TNA flops to leave the company are currently doing today.
15 Samuel Shaw
The Samuel Shaw character in TNA is often laughed at and referred to as some of the worst wrestling writing in recent memory. Shaw played a deranged and terrifying stalker obsessed with Christy Hemme and later, Gunner. The character went nowhere and Shaw decided to part ways with TNA. Shaw has made some appearances in various small independent promotions but has yet to make a mark in a noteworthy company and wash away the TNA failure. In addition to wrestling, Shaw has a passion for art and has showcased his talent on social media, which you can see here. The artist sells his prints and is hoping 2016 will be his best year in both fields.
14 Luke Gallows
Following a run in TNA’s India project Ring Ka King, the promotion signed Luke Gallows to play an important role in their new faction, Aces and Eights. The problem was the faction turned out to be a complete failure and one of the biggest flops in company history. No one aside from Eric Bischoff cared about mysterious bikers. Go figure. Gallows left TNA and was granted a tremendous opportunity in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Karl Anderson brought Gallows into The Bullet Club as his tag team partner and they have been hugely successful together. The current hot rumors indicate Gallows and Anderson are heading to WWE. Gallows is definitely one of most successful stories of rebounding after TNA failure.
13 Jimmy Rave
TNA signed Jimmy Rave to a deal in 2007 and it ended up harming his career more than anyone would have guessed. This was around the time Ring of Honor was hitting a new high and talents from the promotion were finally getting a look from WWE. Rave was arguably the promotion’s best heel but he decided to take the contract with TNA since it was a bigger promotion with more money. The company put him in a ridiculous gimmick of an intentionally terrible rock band with Lance Hoyt and Christy Hemme. Rave was let go after it flopped and has been working lesser known independent promotions but recently had a great match with AJ Styles in ProSouth Wrestling. Global Force Wrestling has booked Rave on some its tapings as well.
Daivari came over from WWE and hoped for better chances at success in TNA. WWE used Daivari more prominently as a non-wrestler but he became a part of the X-Division in TNA. Despite having a bigger push and X-Division title run, Daivari never connected with the audience. The tired anti-American gimmick didn’t work and Daivari was out of TNA after two years. Since his departure, Daivari has worked his own schedule on the indies and is currently a member of Lucha Underground. In a non-wrestling moment, Daivari made news by choking out a drunk, disruptive passenger on a train because the guy was harassing other people on board.
11 Roderick Strong
TNA was looking to book the most promising young talent available in the mid-2000s to set up a future. Roderick Strong was on various television tapings and PPVs in a miniscule role. While working for both TNA and ROH, Strong didn’t follow TNA’s orders to skip an ROH show due to a snowstorm and was punished for working the show against their wishes. Strong wasn’t fired but definitely was demoted until parting ways with the promotion. Over the years, Strong has been a consistent top performer for Ring of Honor and has been outspoken about how leaving TNA was a great choice. Strong is the kind of work horse performer TNA currently lacks but he continues to be successful in ROH.
10 Bubba the Love Sponge
Shock jock radio host Bubba the Love Sponge was brought into TNA by his former best friend, Hulk Hogan. Dixie Carter gave the keys to the company to Hogan and he brought in many friends that didn’t deserve spots. Between getting into a fight with Awesome Kong and obtaining heat from most of the roster, Bubba was kicked out of the company as quickly as he got there. Friendships don’t necessarily survive TNA unscathed as hardships hit the love between Bubba and Hogan. A sex tape with Hogan and Bubba’s wife leaked and it caused Hogan’s reputation to hit new lows. Hogan sued Bubba for leaking it and any friendship they had fell apart shortly after the TNA exit.
It's interesting to look back at how many future stars TNA passed on. Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and various other top names currently in WWE were free agents for years but the company didn’t see their value. TNA would instead look to build around guys like Crimson. The overall look of Crimson was impressive but he was horrible in the ring and atrocious on the microphone. Fans didn't care about him and he wasted a roster spot. After TNA finally cut bait, Crimson continued wrestling on the independent scene but has not had much luck breaking out. TNA has brought him back for a few short-term appearances but Crimson spends his time these days as a personal trainer and attending classes in business management.
8 Kazuchika Okada
TNA struggled to spotlight many future stars of the wrestling business but Kazuchika Okada was one of the sadder stories. The young Japanese talent showed great promise and many stars like Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin and The Young Bucks tried to help get him on the show but TNA didn’t care. Okada was saddled with a pathetic gimmick of “Okato,” playing a rip-off of Green Hornet character Kato. After Okada left TNA, he became a massive star for New Japan Pro Wrestling and has been one of the headliners over the last five years. New Japan also severed all ties with TNA due to their horrible use of their young star and refuses to work together again.
7 Joey Ryan
The Gut Check concept was TNA’s attempt to have an American Idol type of “reality” segment where wrestlers tried to get hired. Joey Ryan lost the competition but entered a storyline that saw him get a job. TNA completely dropped the ball with him and made Ryan one of the more useless characters on the show. After he left the company, Ryan has seen his career get rejuvenated. His tag team with Candice LeRae in PWG developed instant popularity. Ryan currently works weekly as one of the top independent stars in the industry. A recent stint in Japan saw one of his comedic spots become a viral hit on the internet and Ryan continues to make it in the business without a big company backing him.
6 Petey Williams
Petey Williams was one of the most exciting members of the X-Division and is often remembered for his fantastic Canadian Destroyer finisher. Despite having success in the company, Williams failed to hit the upper echelon the way guys like A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe did. Williams was treading water in the lower card for years before the company decided to let him go. Williams went on to have some memorable moments in Ring of Honor and other small promotions but he decided it wasn’t the right career move to keep doing it. Williams retired in 2014 and looked for a more stable line of work than professional wrestling because his wife was pregnant at the time.
5 Sonjay Dutt
Sonjay Dutt was another talented X-Division star that ultimately failed to find a larger spot in TNA. Dutt served as great depth for the roster but couldn’t get anything going in TNA and was eventually released. Unlike many others, Dutt has continued to grind and hustle traveling the world making a living in pro wrestling. TNA has brought back Dutt for various one night appearances but he’s spent more time in indie promotions. The last year has seen Dutt play a big role in the early stages of Global Force Wrestling. While it doesn’t look impressive since GFW has yet to do anything of note, if the company takes off, he'll be well positioned.
4 Low Ki
Low Ki has endured many stints in TNA over the last decade but his most recent work was in 2015 as a member of the Beat Down Clan with MVP, Kenny King and Samoa Joe. The matches were impressive as usual but Low Ki was once again stuck in the mid-card with a ceiling of X-Division work. Following the TNA split and his burnt bridges with WWE, Low Ki claimed he would be retiring from wrestling but that was short lived. Low Ki returned to work for AAA in Mexico and has been working on a few tours there. Given the lack of options out there for both parties, it would not be shocking if Low Ki returned to TNA again at some point.
3 Wes Brisco
Second generation star Wes Brisco was brought into TNA and given a huge push right away. The company saw something special in Brisco but no one else did. Following a stint with Aces and Eights in a feud against Kurt Angle, Brisco flopped and didn't last long in TNA. Brisco has failed to get a break outside of TNA and is still looking to make it in the wrestling business. Most of Brisco’s work has been for NWA and it led him to New Japan to represent the company on a couple of shows. Brisco also appeared on a big Legends of Wrestling show at Citi Field in a match against Tommy Dreamer.
2 Garett Bischoff
Garett Bischoff was everyone’s least favorite example of nepotism in TNA. Eric Bischoff was holding a powerful position in the company and it led to his son Garett getting a chance as a wrestler, along with him receiving a huge push. The younger Bischoff was terrible on all fronts and flopped with every opportunity. TNA just stopped using him and after he was eventually released, Garett sued the company for unpaid salary. Baby Bischoff has not made many attempts to continue his wrestling career and is looking for other options. Garett runs a clothing brand company called “One Bad Cat” and apparently works as an education liaison at Sonoran Desert Institute School of Firearms Technology.
1 Matt Morgan
There were many disappointments, failures and flops in TNA but none could top Matt Morgan. The big man had a great look and athletic ability but he could never put it together to reach his potential. TNA tried to push him on multiple occasions but it never worked out. Jim Cornette believed Morgan could be this generation’s version of The Undertaker, in terms of a great big man, but he couldn't have been more wrong. Morgan eventually left TNA and decided to retire from the wrestling business to become a regional manager of a “big time medical device company” in hopes of a more stable life for his family. While Morgan has returned for a TNA match since then, it was just for his son to see him wrestle one time and he is still retired.