The history of TNA is going to be most remembered for the mistakes they made that caused their ultimate demise. Even though the promotion is still going under the name of Impact Wrestling, they missed out on a few golden opportunities to create something special during the television deal on Spike TV. Many top legendary names and future superstars worked for TNA throughout the years, but the booking decisions of the creative team often failed them all.
We will look at the worst of the worst when it comes to the ideas to reach the television product in TNA. All these moments contributed in small or large ways to lose any momentum they built. Instead of bringing in new fans to grow the product, TNA often insulted the intelligence of their fan base to lose viewers. These are the worst ten booking decisions from TNA that are hard to believe truly happened.
10 Dixie Carter becoming top heel character
One of the more embarrassing times in TNA came when Dixie Carter wanted to become a top heel character. Carter started appearing on television in a generic role as the person making the decisions to sign talent.
However, things would get to the lowest point for Dixie when she portrayed a weaker version of Stephanie McMahon. The television product was not a fun time as Carter feuded with face wrestlers of the time like Bully Ray and AJ Styles. Many fans gave up on the product as this was one of the final Spike TV angles.
9 Samuel Shaw stalking Christy Hemme
TNA wanted Samuel Shaw to become one of their biggest prospects during a rebuilding period. Shaw showed potential and a unique character was given to him. It started with broadcaster Christy Hemme visiting him to film a special looking at his artistic talent.
Shaw however made it uncomfortable quickly with his stalking gimmick making Hemme his target. Mr. Anderson entered a feud with him where it was revealed he lived with his mother and had an unusual home life. Everything about the decision to introduce him this way ruined his TNA career Shaw luckily has another chance in NXT now to make us forget about his past.
8 Making Aces and Eights the top angle on the show
The faction of Aces and Eights became the top aspect of the Impact television show during the latter stages of the Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff regime. It was a huge mystery at first with everyone showing up in masks to build the anticipation of the reveal.
The execution was poor as wrestlers like Luke Gallows, Mike Knox, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff provided no excitement for the fans to care after months of hype. Bully Ray and D-Von would become the leaders, but nothing saved this faction from harming TNA’s credibility.
7 Eric Bischoff defeating the Young Bucks
The incredible success of the Young Bucks in recent years played a huge role in the idea of All Elite Wrestling. Both Matt and Nick Jackson have made huge names in the industry after TNA dropped the ball with them on the roster.
The worst moment of the Bucks run in TNA featured them facing off with the team of Matt Hardy and Eric Bischoff. It ended with Bischoff pinning them to score the win for the team. This unnecessary burial helped destroy any chance the Bucks had at making a mark in TNA as the company lost out on future stars.
6 Hulk Hogan giving Abyss his WWE HOF ring
Hulk Hogan fell in love with the work of Abyss during his first few months in TNA. A radio interview featured Hogan going as far as to say Abyss was going to be his version of what John Cena was for WWE at the time in 2010.
Hogan and Abyss became linked on-air with the storyline of Hogan giving his WWE Hall of Fame ring to Abyss. It was meant to be portrayed as the missing ingredient that gave Abyss the tools to become a top star. Unfortunately, this just made Abyss look silly and he never would find much success in the main event picture.
5 Having Eric Young win the TNA Championship to copy Daniel Bryan
Eric Young was a respected and beloved wrestler in TNA for his long stint there. Fans should have been able to enjoy his moment winning the TNA Championship, but the thinking behind the decision is what ultimately ruined it.
The look of Young was comparable to the bearded underdog Daniel Bryan as he won the TNA Championship days after Bryan won the WWE World Championship. To make matters worse, Young had to win two matches in the same night to become champion just like Bryan. It just made TNA look desperate and hurt Young’s credibility.
4 Reverse battle royals and reverse ladder matches
The silly decisions for match stipulations often created a negative aura surrounding TNA in general. Vince Russo came up with the idea of having a battle royal starting outside of the ring. All the wrestlers would attack each other with the winning four getting into the ring without being stopped.
The King of the Mountain match may be even worse given how much it ruined the beloved ladder matches. Wrestlers had to score pins, grab the title, climb a ladder and hang it on the rung. There was also a penalty box involved, because why not?
3 Having Okada wrestle as Okato in Green Hornet gimmick
Kazuchika Okada is currently in a long run as the face of New Japan with it not expected to stop any time soon. The legacy of Okada already has him set as one of the greatest NJPW stars of all time.
However, Okada could have become a star sooner during his time in TNA. NJPW sent him there for a learning excursion, but TNA used him poorly. Vince Russo booked him as Okato as a nod to the character in The Green Hornet movie. NJPW was so upset that they still refuse to work with TNA today.
2 Claire Lynch
The Claire Lynch storyline is often mentioned among the worst ideas in TNA history. It featured a mystery woman appearing and claiming to be pregnant with the child of AJ Styles during his feud with Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.
Most of the segments were extremely embarrassing and made fans ashamed to watch the product. The local actress from Universal Studios quit the role after the negative response from the wrestling fan base got to her. Styles considers this angle one of the worst times of his career.
1 Jeff Hardy turning heel to form rip off nWo faction
Jeff Hardy was a huge signing for TNA when he joined the company as the major name added in the Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff regime. The popularity of Hardy should have helped TNA more than it did, but the decision to turn him heel was a mistake.
A huge storyline ended with Hogan, Bischoff and Hardy forming the Immortal heel faction which basically ripped off Hogan turning heel to form the New World Order. This was different since it did not provide a spark and instead soured fans on the TNA product.