Shooting Fish in TNA's Barrel

Lewis HennigCorrespondent IJanuary 4, 2009

Now, I am no TNA fan, and although I do like WWE, I would say I am a pro-wrestling fan first and foremost. I watch indie shows as well as the big-time shows, all because I love to see the action.

TNA is something, however, that I will check out for maybe five minutes when nothing is on. It just has really bad booking and no match chemistry.

I think that competition is good in the world of wrestling; however, TNA is just not giving WWE any of that. At most, TNA should offer something on par with its main WWE adversary, Smackdown, which also airs the same night. For me, the choice between Smackdown and Impact is like the choice between a pat on the back and a kick in the balls. I know which one I will be picking.

But maybe that's just my taste.

However, as a pro-wrestling fan, I cannot ignore the skill and talent that TNA has on their roster. There are many fine competitors on the show with much promise. Sure, some may be WWE leftovers, but does that make them any less appealing?

Many consider TNA to be dying a slow death. Whether or not this happens, there are many fine apples I would like to harvest from the tree that is TNA. If the WWE was my basket, these are the TNA stars I think are the ripest for WWE to seize.

A. J. Styles 

There is a reason he is often referred to as the "phenomenal A. J. Styles." The man is a gift to wrestling. From the little I see of TNA, the man is a true talent. He has a good look, good charisma, dynamic skill, and seems to be credible with any title strap on his waist.

One muttering I hear through the pro-wrestling underbelly is that he is not that handy on the stick yet, but Jeff Hardy is no Johnny Carson either.

In the WWE, I can see A. J. Styles following the same pathway as CM Punk. Both have unique styles and are capable of winning the big one. Should A.J. join the company, a feud with Punk would be the first thing I would like to see, maybe follow it up with a battle with Edge.

Alex Shelly & Chris Sabin (the Motor City Machine Guns)

These two have to come together. I have seen both before in singles competition and they were good, no doubt about it. But a lot of wrestlers on the TNA roster are just good, not great.

These two worth more together than they could ever be apart. If they were to try come to WWE separately, I wouldn't want them at all.

As a Legacy and Priceless fan, I get shivers over the feud that could culminate between these teams. On Smackdown, I think a feud with the team of Ryder and Hawkins would be the best, possibly even making Ryder and Hawkins something to care about no that they are no longer associated with Edge.

This team would definitely light the fire in the belly of either tag team division they may find themselves in.

Kurt Angle

What? He was with WWE before, he can go back. According to the rumor mill there is a feeling he just might. Regardless though, Kurt Angle is still everything he was in the WWE before, just no one cares about him as much anymore. He is still a damn good technical wrestler, with great prowess, charisma, and microphone skills.

There are so many people he could fight with right now, like Edge, who has become a totally different character since Angle was last in the company. Or Umaga would make for a great challenge for Angle to triumph over.

I think Kozlov and Angle could put on a very MMA styled match that would get a good amount of interest and help get the Moscow Mauler's popularity up.

Petey Williams

Canadian Destroyer...Is there really anything I need to say? If you are a hardcore wrestling fan you've seen it, or at least heard of it. Sure, there are imitators, but Petey Williams does it best.

He is among the very few smaller wrestlers who can use a more power style format of wrestling and make it work. Yet he still has a very fast paced nature about his style which keeps him going with those more agile than him.

Petey Williams versus Rey Mysterio is something that instantly comes into my mind and makes me drool. I think he could mesh well with alot of the ECW superstars like Jack Swagger and Ricky Ortiz.

That would both be good feuds to see, plus Petey's skill would help improve that show as well if he were to become apart of it.


You know he's not an animal, he's a Man-Beast, so please spell his name correctly, it's Rhyno (Yes, I do know WWE owns the name which is why he really changed it)! Another WWE fallout, Rhino is a great performer.

His mic skills may be lacking, but his intensity sure does not. He brings the power game more than anyone else his size does. He won't just mow you over, he'll gore you.

You know, I want to see Rhino Gore Triple H. There doesn't need to be a match involved, I just want to see it happen. A good match-up would be to see him take on the WWE's Animal Batista. These two play the power game, and while Batista may have the edge in strength, I think Rhino out-does him when it comes to speed and technique.

I would like to think Rhino would pick up the win if this were to happen, but with Batista being much more over, I doubt it would happen.


This man is also golden, it's no wonder he was technically already picked up by the WWE. Unfortunately due to an attitude problem or something (I heard he didn't want to cut his hair) he never went anywhere.

The suicide gimmick is something I think will go no where, but I sure hope Kazarian does better than that and ends up in the WWE. Another man with a distinct wrestling style. If TNA is a movie rental store and the wrestlers are the movies, Kazarian is either Back to the Future or Back to the Future Two.

I find myself pairing him up with WWE wrestlers I've already named like Edge, Rey Mysterio, and Punk. But for a fresh matchup, I think Kofi Kingston would be a nice fight for him. If you wanted to see an interesting underdog fight toss him in the ring against Orton and see how he fares.

--Honorable Mentions--

Now I don't watch a whole lot of TNA as I said, so there are a few I am not sure of, and some that I have seen a lot of yet just can't seem to completely sell myself on saying yes or no fully. These five are the questionable lot and though they are good I don't know if they are great.


The Kane of TNA in my books, and what would become Kane on estrogen if he were in WWE. It's not that Abyss has a bad look, but we've really seen what a scary wrestler can look like.

I mean Kane, Undertaker, and Mankind (hmmmm, maybe Abyss found that mask he wears in Mick Foley's garbage) are all pugilists we've had that fit into that genre of wrestlers, is there anything he could add that would make him special enough to steal from TNA? James Mitchell maybe?

Booker T

Another WWE wash-out. Booker T. was one of my favorites in the WWE prior to the King Booker epidemic. He is talented, and good on the microphone, but the bookers don't seem to know how to use him in WWE, not that TNA has been doing much better.

If someone could guarantee something good for Book, I would like to see him in WWE, but that probably won't happen.

Samoa Joe

Maybe it's just me, but I see him fighting and I think of that stereotypical fat kid from a school setting trying to fight the best he can. While Joe is good at fighting, his look holds him back for me. It's not that he's a large athlete, he just looks funny.

I've had friends who have seen him perform live at indie shows and they tell me he's awesome, so maybe he could make it, but I can't help but think of Chunk from the Goonies. I wonder if Joe ever did the truffle shuffle?


Old. There I summed it up. If there is one reason I don't want to see him come to WWE is because he is getting too old for this. If I could expect him to perform like he did in his hey-day or be around long enough to really shine in a way that reflects his character then bring on the Sting.

Unfortunately, besides my own reflections Sting himself has nixed the possibility of him coming to WWE, so this would be an extreme long shot anyways.

Christopher Daniels

Christopher "don't call me Curryman" Daniels is someone I think has talent on par with either Kaz or A. J. Styles. Very distinctive and interesting.

Unfortunately, Curryman never seemed like a good idea to me. Why he ever changed I'll never know. "The Fallen Angel" gimmick couldwork in WWE, but because I said could work and not can is exactly why he not a sure thing in my books.

You may wonder where are the Knockouts? Well to be quite honest every time I see something with the Knockouts it is some terrible segment that is impossible to watch. So I don't. I'm sure there is some fine talent in terms of female wrestlers on this show, but I never had the fortitude to sit around long enough to watch it.

So if you want to make a comment about a Knockout you think would make a good WWE draft pick, or anyone else you think should be on this list, please go ahead.


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