WWE: 7 TNA Stars Who Need to Work in WWE
Say what you will about TNA's shortcomings in terms of storyline development and production values, but there is no question that it has a talented roster. TNA doesn't always utilize its wrestlers as well as it can, though, so it's interesting to think about how said wrestlers would fare in the WWE.
TNA's roster is a mix of veterans and youngsters who have never made it to the WWE, as well as guys who were once in the WWE, but have been reinvented in TNA. It's truly amazing how a wrestler can be used poorly in one company only to become a superstar in another.
With that in mind, many wrestling fans would love to see some of the current TNA stars in WWE at some point. It's hard to say what the future holds in that regard, but there's a pretty good chance that there will be some movement in the coming years as the business is cyclical.
Here are seven TNA wrestlers who need to work for WWE at some point to either cement their legacy or turn their respective careers around.
Pretty much anyone who's anyone in the wrestling business has worked for WWE, but the one notable exception is Sting. Most consider him to be one of the best ever, but he has never truly reached the pinnacle of the sport. Sting was a massive star in WCW and continues to be one as a veteran in TNA, but his career wouldn't be complete without a WWE run.
At the age of 53 there truly isn't much time left, and every time he has seemingly had an opportunity to jump ship, he hasn't. The WCW was huge and was technically the top wrestling company in the world at one time when Sting was in the fold, but it wouldn't be unfair to call him a career minor-leaguer who needs at least a cup of coffee in the big leagues.
Sting plays the role of a part-time wrestler and authority figure in TNA, and while he is a useful commodity, he would be used so much better in WWE. One dream match that most would love to see is Sting vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Both men are near the end of their respective careers and the clock is truly ticking on that one.
Sting will always be remembered as a great wrestler, but if he were to have a program with Taker in the WWE, he would finally take that next step.
Austin Aries has only been back with TNA for about a year and he has already become the TNA Heavyweight Champion, so that tells you all you need to know about the company's confidence in him as a performer. Aries is 34 years of age, but he hasn't been in the spotlight long and could be considered a rising star in the business.
TNA has given Aries a lot in a short amount of time, so I doubt that it will be willing to let him walk any time soon. WWE has come to recognize independent talent much more in recent years, however, so I'm sure that Aries is on the WWE's radar and that he will receive an offer at some point.
Aries really made a name for himself in Ring of Honor and he could have great feuds with guys like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in WWE. The WWE has been much more receptive to allowing smaller guys to wrestle in the main event and in other big spots, so I'm confident that Aries would be used correctly.
Aries is one guy who TNA seems truly committed to right now, so I wouldn't expect much movement on this front in the near future, but Aries would be a great fit in WWE.
Kurt Angle was one of the WWE's biggest stars for about eight years, but he was granted his release in 2006 in order to deal with some health issues. Angle signed with TNA not long after and has been one of the faces of the company ever since. Angle already accomplished essentially everything possible in WWE, but fans of the WWE still long for him to return.
Angle is a five-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, but you could argue that he isn't always used to the best of his capabilities. Angle is 43 years of age and has obviously slowed down to some degree compared to the wrestler he used to be, but he remains one of the best workers in the business and should be in the main-event scene at all times.
Angle could work with essentially anyone in the WWE right now from younger stars like CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan to veterans like The Rock and The Undertaker. Angle was pure gold in the WWE as a serious wrestler and even as a comedic act, so he would fit in very well with the current product.
I don't blame Angle for remaining with TNA since he can wrestle a lighter schedule, but it would be great to see him in a WWE ring one last time.
Like Angle, Bully Ray had a good run in the WWE previously, but he has truly blossomed in TNA. Bully Ray was with WWE from 1999 through 2005, primarily as a tag-team wrestler with Devon and Spike Dudley. He did go off on his own for brief periods of time, but Bully Ray has really hit his stride as a singles competitor over the past couple years.
Bully Ray obviously always had this type of potential, but as one half of one of the greatest tag teams of all time, he didn't get many chances to showcase his individual talent. Bully Ray has proven to be a great heel, though, and has excelled both in the ring and on the mic especially.
One of the WWE's biggest weaknesses currently is a lack of main-event heels. CM Punk has become one, but aside from him the company has had to turn to the likes of Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan and Big Show. All of them have their merits, but there is a certain amount of staleness at the top of the card.
Bully Ray seems ready for a main-event push and I would love to see him feud with someone like Sheamus. His physical style would mesh well with the World Heavyweight Champion and make for a great angle. Bully Ray is fairly entrenched right now, but another WWE run would be great.
Few wrestlers have done more for the emergence of TNA than A.J. Styles. He has been a part of the promotion since 2002 and has put on countless excellent matches. Styles has held essentially every title imaginable in TNA and has done it all, so the only thing left for him is a foray into the WWE.
Styles wrestled some matches on low-level shows for WWE in the past, but he has never officially reached that top level in the wrestling business. Styles is capable of putting on a great wrestling match with anybody, and although I wouldn't call him great on the mic by any means, he can hold his own and would be a fine addition to the WWE roster.
Styles is stuck in an absolutely awful storyline right now with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian that centers on him fathering the child of a drug addict, or something to that effect. TNA has clearly run out of ideas for Styles, and I could see him making the jump to the WWE as soon as he gets an opportunity.
As is the case with many of TNA's wrestlers, I would love to see him feud with Punk or Bryan in WWE, but he could also do something with a guy like John Cena or Randy Orton. The worst-case scenario is that Styles could bring legitimacy to the mid-card. Whatever the case, Styles would really freshen things up for himself in the WWE.
Samoa Joe is the perfect example of a wrestler who has been misused for far too long in TNA. He had a reputation as a wrecking machine when he came to TNA from ROH, and while he was booked well to start, he has experienced far too many lulls over the course of his career. Joe should be a main-eventer in TNA, but he has probably been a mid-carder longer.
Even if Joe doesn't excel when it comes to cutting promos, he has a unique look and an awesome in-ring style, so he is definitely marketable. As I said earlier, the WWE could use some credible heels and Samoa Joe could be precisely that. He is very different from the heels currently on the roster and is a guy who could be given some clean wins.
I'd love to see him against any of the WWE's top guys, but especially against either Cena or Sheamus. Both of those guys are essentially booked to be unstoppable because nobody can match them up physically, but Joe is a rough-and-tumble competitor with submission skills that could be a viable contender against them.
Of all the guys on this list I view Joe as the most likely to make the jump to WWE over the next couple years. He has never been treated particularly well in TNA and could use a change of scenery.
I understand that I'm cheating a bit with this selection since it's technically two superstars, but I would love to see Beer Money in WWE. It is no secret that the WWE's tag-team division is in absolute shambles, but Beer Money would certainly change that. James Storm and Bobby Roode formed one of the best tag teams of the past five years and could restore the WWE's rich tag-team history.
Storm and Roode are now singles wrestlers in TNA, and while some people think they are great in that role, I was far more entertained by them as a team. Since Storm and Roode have moved on to a new phase in their respective careers, I wouldn't expect them to make the jump together and reform Beer Money, but a guy can dream.
The WWE puts no effort into its tag division and part of that is probably because it doesn't have many credible teams. Beer Money would be a great start, though, and it could lead to a return to the golden age of tag-team wrestling. Even if the team doesn't last, both Storm and Roode could be solid mid-carders in the WWE as individuals as well.
This is little more than a pipe dream at this point, but as somebody who really misses tag-team wrestling, it would be a major coup for WWE to get Beer Money.