Why These 10 Talented TNA Impact Wrestlers Failed In The Business
Impact wrestlingThe history of missed opportunities had many promising ideas that did not work. Talent was not the issue for TNA which failed to reach its potential. Most fans and wrestlers blame it on the creative side of things for the negative storylines that unfold. TNA has seen quite a few wrestlers who looked quite unable to recover.
Several variables are usually at play when a wrestler misses the mark in a promotion. TNA has had more cases than the average promotion of talented names not finding the success needed to leave an impact. Top names have helped the company create strong memories, but not everyone reaches that level. Each of the following talented wrestlers failed for the respective reasons associated with their fate.
ten Samuel Shaw: No depth in his character
WWE’s recently released Dexter Lumis shocked fans as he did a great job recovering from NXT. Lumis’ character work was his calling card, but it makes it even stranger that his TNA character work was the reason for his failure.
Samuel Shaw was the name given to him in TNA with a sadistic gimmick stalking Christy Hemme. There was no depth to this gimmick beyond creepiness and everyone laughs at it. TNA missed the charm that NXT exploited for its success.
9 Spike Dudley: I felt like a third wheel too much
Many fans forget that TNA signed Spike Dudley shortly after Bubba Ray and D-Von to reunite the Dudley Boyz trio. Spike was given the new name Brother Runt and continued to compete in hardcore matches. Abyss’ feud with Spike was the height of his time in small business.
TNA hasn’t done a good enough job of making Spike as important as WWE and ECW to feel as important as his kayfabe brethren. Spike came across as a third wheel and saw TNA come up with some weird stuff like making him an alcoholic to drum up interest.
8 Santana Garrett: no script
Santana Garrett forgot stints with both TNA and WWE due to a lack of storylines. TNA used Garrett as Brittany and had trouble finding a role for him. Brittany’s only notable angle came as Samuel Shaw’s love interest.
TNA didn’t even do enough for fans to care about the couple, as Santana posed as the only person capable of supporting the controversial wrestler. There was no other storyline for her until the run ended without much success.
seven Rob Terry: Lack of charisma
The massive size made Rob Terry a prospect TNA wanted to invest in as a future star. Terry had the look that was more appreciated in previous eras, but they couldn’t get more out of it. TNA pushed Terry into a few roles and as part of several factions.
Nothing worked to raise Terry’s profile as he always came across as someone TNA wanted fans to like more than they did. Terry not having much of a personality or promotional skills doomed him since in-ring skills were already an overlooked weakness by TNA.
6 Rellik: no one understood his trick
TNA signed former WWE and WCW talent Johnny the Bull, but no one knew it was him because of his masked gimmick. Rellik was the name of the new character he had come up with and wanted to use on his next big break from wrestling.
Every fan knew about Rellik that he was supposed to be scary, and TNA loved to remind us that Rellik was Killer spelled backwards. There was no real context to the gimmick other than it was inspired by horror characters and teamed up with Dustin Rhodes’ TNA character Black Reign.
5 Low Ki: Behind the Scenes Attitude
Many fans considered Low Ki on the same level as Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles as the best independent wrestlers of the 2000s. TNA and Ring of Honor from that time opened up opportunities for the next generation of rising stars.
Low Ki has never achieved the same level of success as these other names due to his own ego often getting the better of him. TNA and most other promotions to book Low Ki saw it as a headache that didn’t always do the business the way wrestlers were expected to do.
4 Matt Morgan: hasn’t improved enough
TNA signed Matt Morgan in hopes that he would become a main event artist under their booking. Morgan received notable scripts for most of his runs working with Jim Cornette, Christian Cage, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan and many more.
Morgan’s various pushes have always seen the company expect something to change with him finally delivering. Unfortunately, a lack of improvement stalled every push and saw Morgan not become a main event player as hoped.
3 Lance Archer: Never get a strong push in singles
One of the biggest examples of TNA dropping the ball with a future star focuses on Lance Archer. Recent success as an AEW top card talent and formidable New Japan asset has us wondering how TNA couldn’t get much out of it.
Lance Hoyt was the name used when TNA employed him for a few years. Most of his roles have come teaming up with Jimmy Rave, Kid Kash and the New Age Outlaws. Lance never received a strong push in singles to even test his abilities at this level.
2 Crimson: Overworked Too Fast
TNA tried to use the lure of an undefeated streak early in their career to elevate Crimson right away. The new unknown wrestler had an impressive look that TNA said was enough to overcome booking winning matches for many months.
Fans eventually turned on Crimson, which was rare for TNA events in the Impact Zone. Crimson getting overworked without proving anything saw names like Samoa Joe and Magnus cheering him on. The unbeaten streak hurt Crimson’s career more than it helped look back to 2022.
1 Desmond Wolfe: change of direction
Nigel McGuinness’ signing with TNA after his WWE contract fell through felt like a huge giveaway for the promotion. Desmond Wolfe’s new name saw him start well with an epic feud against Kurt Angle and a pivotal place in the early days of the Fortune faction.
However, things changing quickly with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff gaining power, hurting Wolfe and many other wrestlers long before them. Wolfe even received some heat for winning a fan poll for a title shot on desired names. TNA poorly booked Desmond until he stopped appearing when he contracted hepatitis in the ring.