In the aftermath of WCW and ECW's demise in 2001, the wrestling world was left with one major player in the form of WWE. Below Vince McMahon's empire was a collection of independent territories nationwide of various sizes and styles, but without the capital and brand recognition to compete on a national level. WCW and ECW, prior to their extinction, had both had weekly television deals, and were broadcast across the country, and at least posed some sort of competition to McMahon.
This left plenty of room for a new competitor to take shape; enter the formation of Jeff Jarrett's TNA promotion in 2002. Initially branded as NWA-TNA, Jarrett's original model for the promotion desired to blend classic veteran stars, with youthful, up-and-coming talents who utilized a lot of athleticism. Aspects of the promotion such as the high-flying X-division, the original six sided ring and a conglomeration of different wrestling styles were used to set it apart from WWE.
In the end, some of it worked, and other portions of it fell flat. While the promotion has featured exciting new wrestlers with something to prove, some of it has suffered from poor booking and a blatant re-tread of veteran talents who have been well past their prime. All of these highs and lows throughout the last 16 years has given way a truly massive roster of wrestlers. While some have been a revelation, others can be used as case examples to prove that Jarrett and TNA have succumbed to the same pitfalls that killed WCW. This list is a realization of that, because the wrestlers named on it are downright awful, or at least were when they were with the promotion.
Ranked below are the top 20 worst wrestlers in TNA history.
20 Buff Bagwell
Bagwell was a mainstay in WCW through the company's demise, and wrestled for TNA in 2002 and 2003. While not a complete liability in the ring (though still not noteworthy for anything at all), he is widely considered one of the most annoying characters in the history of the sport. It's as if a garden variety mid-carder took all the steroids they could muster, and was granted the ability to continue wrestling in mediocre matches for over a decade. It took a while for Bagwell to fall out of favor, and now he is relegated to the independent circuit.
19 Balls Mahoney
He made his name in ECW as one half of "The Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks" along with Axl Rotten. While the duo had their place, by any measure of the word "wrestler", Mahoney was not good. He appeared in TNA in the first several years of the promotion to team up with The Sandman, and then disappeared into various Indy promotions. He just was never really versatile enough to make any kind of run at a singles career, and had a one-dimensional gimmick that had been done countless times before. Entertaining for sure, but not sustainable.
18 Big Vito
Teaming with Johnny The Bull in the dying days of WCW as The Mamalukes, Vito looked to have potential as the size and power-half of a successful tag team. His run in TNA came in 2004, and despite several pay-per-view appearances, he never exhibited the longevity to stay with the promotion. At the end of the day, he was a garden variety big-man, with the same power moves that had been executed better by others before him. He continues to bounce around the Indy circuit, never really staying with any one promotion for too long.
17 Scott Hall
Hall may have been talented in his heyday as Razor Ramon in WWE, and as one of the founders of the NWO in WCW, but by the time he got to TNA, Hall was truly a shell of his former self. Substance abuse had taken hold, and he looked out of shape and a step behind. Hall had multiple runs in TNA, but predictably never stayed more than a year for any of them. Simply, his time in TNA did not showcase him at his best, and is better left forgotten.
16 Shark Boy
While Shark Boy was a consistent presence for years in TNA, he was really nothing more than the token jobber of the company. He wasn't too bad in the ring, but his lack of size, even for a cruiserweight, and goofy gimmick always prevented him from climbing the ranks. Instead, he was often used to put over other young talent. Truthfully, it's surprising to think that he lasted as long as he did with the company, though he would often wrestle concurrently with other independent promotions. He remains a fixture in TNA history, despite never accomplishing much.
15 Kevin Nash
Another one who was noticeable better five or ten years prior to joining TNA, Nash made his name in WWE and WCW, winning both world titles multiple times during the 1990s. Many would argue that Nash was one of the better big-men in the history of the sport, but there was always an element of his matches that tended to drag a bit. Regardless, he was a staple in TNA, and likely wouldn't have had an important role had Jarrett not been involved with management. Nash won world titles in TNA several years after it was still acceptable for him to do so.
14 BG James
The New Age Outlaws were one of the best tag teams of their era, but for some reason, it just didn't work in TNA as well as it did in WWE. James teamed again with Billy Gunn in the promotion, along with Konnan and Ron "The Truth" Killings, but none of it could ever hope to match up to their work for McMahon. James' in-ring skill was regressing also, and by the end, he was barely even at mid-card status. He left TNA in 2009.
13 Norman Smiley
Smiley was a hardcore staple in WCW, but otherwise is pretty much the definition of a journeyman talent. He spent several short stints in TNA, and was mostly used to enhance young talent. Smiley was always at his most noticeable and his best when he was put in hardcore matches, which allowed his zany personality to come to the forefront. Unfortunately, in TNA that was nearly non-existent, and he was just used as a glorified jobber. Smiley has since retired, and now works as a trainer.
One of the most bland wrestlers of all-time, Maven never had a shot at super-stardom in an industry that demands entertainment and originality. After winning the Tough Enough competition in 2001, he spent most of his time with WWE in the early part of the 2000s. After failing to make a splash there, he wrestled some TNA house shows in 2006, and experienced roughly the same results. He was athletic to be sure, but had nothing in the way of mic skills, or match psychology. Since the late 2000s, Maven has largely been retired from the sport.
11 Matt Morgan
Originally appearing in WWE as one of McMahon's heavyweight prospects, Morgan just didn't have the in-ring skills necessary to make a notable run. It didn't help matters that he was generic on the mic, and generally the next in line on the assembly line of big-men that WWE produced. He made his way to TNA in 2007 when he debuted as the bodyguard for Jim Cornette. He actually turned his stay there into a productive five-year presence, but it was abundantly clear that elite talent and skills were lacking.
10 The Johnsons
During TNA's early days, the team of Mike and Todd Shane were given the gimmick of The Johnsons. The men would appear in TNA wearing tight latex body suits that made them look like male privates. They were dubbed with the names of Richard “Dick” Johnson” and Rod Johnson. It wasn't really their fault that they were dealt such a crummy gimmick to try to jump-start their TNA careers, but the gimmicks are too bad to leave them off.
Following a similar career trajectory to Matt Morgan, Tomko was a WWE hopeful that quickly fell out of favor with management, and then went to TNA for a fresh start. It didn't really work, as Tomko was out of the company within three years. Similar as well to Morgan, he wrestled in a generic power style, that had been exhibited many times before in better fashion. He essentially remains retired now, and the wrestling world is probably better for it.
8 Lash LeRoux
LeRoux came onto the scene in 1999 with WCW, and was a dubbed as a potential future star, after winning the cruiswerweight title. He never quite garnered the fan reaction necessary for that to happen, and when the company folded, he shopped around, including a would-be stop in WWE, before landing for a few matches in TNA in 2004. Apparently, they didn't see the fascination either, and he bounced around various independent promotions in the South before ending his career in the late 2000s.
7 Chris Candido
Candido wasn't that bad of an in-ring performer during his numerous years in WWE (as one half of the BodyDonnas), WCW and ECW throughout the 1990s, but he never really took his talent to the next level. Lacking size and mic skills, he rested on his in-ring laurels, and as a result, he never really made it out of mid-car action. He stopped in TNA in 2005, and it resulted in more of the same. Unfortunately, he passed away that same year due to a blood clot after a surgery.
6 Shane Douglas
Douglas was from from the worst wrestler out there, but his talent was always vastly exaggerated throughout his entire career, whether it was in ECW, WCW or TNA. He was billed as a main event-caliber performer, and when it came down to it, there were always better options out there. He first appeared in TNA in 2004, and would spent the next several years with them on and off. As it stands, he is probably one of the most overrated wrestlers of all time.
5 David Flair
The son of the "The Nature Boy" could never hope to measure up to his family name, but even with all the opportunity he was granted, he never even cracked the upper-tier in any promotion he was in. He spent some of 2003 with TNA, but never exceeded a lower mid-card role. Ultimately, Flair was never able to get on his feet anywhere, despite starting his career in WCW because of his father. He currently remains retired from the business, allowing fans to recognize who the true talent in the family really was.
4 Jim Duggan
The very definition of a "gimmick wrestler", one could make the argument that Duggan should be number one on this list. Establishing himself in 1980s WWE with his "Hacksaw" character, Duggan was pretty much set for life in the business to do as many nostalgia matches and appearances as he wanted. One of those came in 2003 in TNA, and the lethargic results were pretty much guaranteed at that point. While he may be an all-time classic character in the realm of wrestling history, his actual in-ring skills were barely passable, which warrants such a high ranking.
3 Vampire Warrior
When he gained popularity in WWE, he was riding the coattails of The Brood stable. It was a good thing, because he was never even a "good" in-ring talent, and without the gimmick and other stars around him, never would have lasted in a big-time promotion. He was just another on a long list of veteran, established guys that Jarrett brought in during TNA's infancy, and never established any longevity with the company. Much like Duggan before him on the list, Vampire Warrior was the product of a gimmick, but was maybe even a worse wrestler.
2 Disco Inferno
The holder of what is probably the worst, corniest, most grating gimmick in the history of the sport, it has always been a curiosity how Inferno managed to stay in the sport as long as he did. He was a borderline star in WCW at one point, and managed to stay in TNA for about a year when he joined in 2003. No matter what the year was, the disco gimmick was always terrible, and made for some of the most cringe-worthy moments on television. It could be argued that it was the point of the gimmick to begin with, but it ran its course far quicker than Inferno's time spent in the spotlight would lead you to believe.
1 Insane Clown Posse
One of the biggest mysteries in wrestling history is how these guys ever got booked to do a show. Their matches, gimmick, mic skills, and everything about them were bland, boring, and try-hard. They weren't skilled in the ring, and generally never contributed anything to any single promotion they ever wrestled for. They wrestled a few matches in TNA in 2004, and predictably left a short time after. At a ROH show in 2002, after the match they were showered with chants of "don't come back". That really tells us all we need to know. They will go down as the biggest hacks to ever step inside the squared circle.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!