Big things are going down in TNA. The company may look drastically different a year from now than it does today.
For fun, let's imagine that it happens.
When WCW went out of business, the WWF snatched it up—but only bought out the contracts of about 20 wrestlers. Many of the top talents had deals that would have required massive buyouts (Goldberg, Kevin Nash), though there were many wrestlers that the WWF just wasn’t interested in.
Now, just to lay this out there, WWE would never run TNA as a fully separate entity. Impact just hasn't been successful enough for them to strongly consider it. Lest we forget the new Monday Night War of 2010. A TNA vs. WWE invasion angle would never happen either.
But that doesn’t mean WWE shouldn’t be interested in some of the company’s talent.
Even though WWE has its own developmental system, the WWE brass would be foolish not to bring in wrestlers with years of experience and untapped potential if they were available.
Check out the last slide for some notable omissions, but here are the top 12 wrestlers WWE should take from TNA.
There may still be some bad blood between WWE and Mr. Anderson, but time heals all wounds.
Heck, Ultimate Warrior and WWE are friendly again, and they released an entire DVD burying him!
The 37-year-old Anderson can usually be counted on for an entertaining promo with his distinct vocal style. He’s also delivered a couple of great matches during his time in TNA. His recent babyface turn has also been encouraging from a crowd reaction standpoint.
There's a lot for WWE to like, if only they'd give him another chance. Just imagine the feuds he could have with John Cena and Daniel Bryan. The company could use some fresh heels, and Anderson has a lot of big league experience.
Let’s just maybe keep him away from Randy Orton for now.
OK, so the “It Factor” nickname is a bit of an exaggeration, but Bobby Roode does have at least a “pretty good” factor in every key area.
He’s a great tag team wrestler, good on promos and solid in the ring.
He’s kind of like Curtis Axel, except two years older and at least a little better in every tangible way.
ODB would be the perfect counter to WWE’s obsession with the women on Total Divas.
This is also why the company would probably never bring her in.
You can imagine her having some fun matches with everyone from The Bellas to AJ Lee. She could be used as a face or a heel, and would inject a much needed dose of energy in Divas matches.
No other woman in wrestling looks or sounds like ODB. Few can wrestle as well as she does either.
Let’s face it. Would the average fan rather watch Cameron, Aksana, Layla, The Bella Twins, Ava Marie or Jojo wrestle, or would they rather watch ODB?
Can Sting still wrestle?
The answer is technically a “yes,” though if you saw his match at Bound for Glory, you may disagree with that assessment.
That shouldn’t really matter though, as Sting joining WWE would be big. The pop he would receive in his first appearance would be huge. He’s the biggest name from the past 25 years to have never had a run in WWE, and it’s not even close. (Who would be second? Disco Inferno? Scott Norton?)
Sting is 54, and hasn’t had a great match in years. The dream showdown against The Undertaker would surely disappoint. That doesn’t mean the company couldn’t try it though, or put Sting in a few special attraction tag matches.
Even if Sting never wrestled for the company, he would be great for TV appearances and the inevitable Hall of Fame induction. Sting definitely belongs in WWE in some capacity, but because of his in-ring limitations he shouldn’t be the top choice.
The days of A.J. Styles being the face of a company are long gone.
He’s been pushed so poorly for years that it’s hard to get too excited about him in TNA anymore. Right now he's cast in the unfortunate role of portraying CM Punk from two summers ago.
The company could still get something out of him though.
WWE is lacking in high-flyers these days with Evan Bourne out with a lengthy injury, Rey Mysterio slowing down considerably and Sin Cara flopping fantastically.
Styles can still go, and remains one of the best in-ring performers in the business. At 36, he’s not as fast as he used to be, but he can still easily put most men 10 years younger than him to shame. If WWE can work around his limited mic skills, he could be a star.
If Vince McMahon thinks he can’t make any money with Styles in WWE then does he still deserve to be called a genius?
There's no doubt about it, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian absolutely deserve a run in WWE together.
Now, this may sound strange to WWE, but these two are a comedy act that are actually funny.
This act isn’t composed of a giant man and small man dancing, it’s not someone with a sock on their arm and it’s not a miniature bull running into another man’s butt.
Basically, they may be above WWE’s head.
Kazarian and Daniels just click as a team. They put on entertaining matches, have great chemistry and are better than every WWE tag team besides The Shield.
Yes, Daniels is 41 years old, but you wouldn’t know it by watching his in-ring work. If WWE is actually serious about pushing its tag division, then it couldn’t do much better than signing Bad Influence.
You gotta feel sorry about James Storm’s damn luck in TNA.
He was a world champion briefly, and was really getting over with the crowd. The company then had him drop the title abruptly, and booked his character to quit the company.
He lost all momentum and has yet to recover.
WWE, for some reason, doesn’t push southern wrestlers seriously, even though it’s a huge part of its fanbase. Besides Steve Austin, the results have been pretty degrading. We’ve been subjected to acts like Hillbilly Jim, The Godwins, Jesse and Festus and Heath Slater that seem to openly mock anyone with a drawl.
James Storm could change all that.
He’s a tough talking redneck whose proud of who he is. He also just loves a good brawl and a beer. What's not to love?
He is 36 years old, which would probably hold WWE back from giving him a huge push, but it wouldn’t be unprecedented.
Storm is capable of cutting some of the best babyface promos in wrestling right now when motivated, and could do a lot of great work for WWE.
Bully Ray has been the best heel in all of wrestling for some time. He deserves some more recognition for that.
He doesn’t attempt to be cool like HHH, he draws better crowd heat than Alberto Del Rio, he isn’t overshadowed like Randy Orton and he’s a much better talker than Ryback.
Yes, Bully Ray is 41, but he’s in better shape now than he ever was in WWE.
If WWE could look past his mid-carder past, and see how well he’s re-invented himself, he could immediately be a main event act. He would be a perfect foil for John Cena before WrestleMania. The promo work between them alone would be fantastic.
WWE could also draw off Bully’s history and team him up with Paul Heyman, and set the duo off against CM Punk. The possibilities are limitless.
The one thing WWE shouldn’t do, though, is also bring in Devon.
Sure, a Dudley Boyz reunion would be fun for a couple matches, but Ray has far eclipsed Devon as an act. The company could get a lot out of him if they pushed him as a big deal, and Ray’s mouth could easily get the crowd riled up in no time.
For reasons never fully understood, TNA never went all-in on Jeff Hardy.
Despite getting the best crowd reactions of anyone in the company, the shows were never built around him.
Hardy’s last couple years in WWE were huge. It seemed that he was rivaling John Cena in popularity before his personal problems returned. But he’s been on his best behavior ever since his incident with Sting at Victory Road 2011, and would easily be one of WWE’s top stars again.
Sure, Hardy may not be interested in a full-time return, but he could possibly be talked into a Rob Van Dam like schedule. If the opportunity arises, WWE should try their best to bring Hardy back home.
Sometimes the internet community just gets it right.
WWE has made a lot of money off of net darlings CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in recent years. With the right push, it could do the same with Samoa Joe.
WWE could use a killer babyface. It tried with Ryback, but pulled the plug on him too soon. Joe would be an even better choice because he's a far superior in-ring performer.
Sure, he’s not known for his promo skills, but WWE could keep him as the silent, strong type. Have him go out there, toss around his opponents and choke them out. It’s bound to get over.
A lot of people are high on Joe’s skills, even Steve Austin would love to see him in WWE.
He may have to lose some weight to appeal to Vince McMahon’s and Triple H’s body fetish, but his physique is also what makes him stand out. WWE should take advantage of that. Some of the company’s biggest stars like Rey Mysterio, Punk and Bryan don’t posses the typical body builder look either and they worked out just fine.
Magnus may be one of the few talents that TNA possesses that could develop into a big star.
At 26, he has a natural confidence that is hard to come by. However, he still needs a bit of in-ring work. To compare, all three members of The Shield are a little older than him, but are more polished in the ring (except for Roman Reigns possibly).
WWE would maybe want to stick him in developmental for a while before calling him up, but he could probably be molded into the kind of worker they are looking for and make an immediate impact (pun not intended).
Magnus has the potential to be an international star as well. Wade Barrett has the talent, but WWE isn’t interested in pushing him as a big deal. Perhaps Magnus would be able to excite the UK fanbase as well as stateside fans.
With so many years ahead of him, and so much untapped potential, Magnus should be WWE's first wrestler to sign if it bought TNA.
Abyss: His character is a lot of fun, but he’s 40, doesn’t have a great physique and isn’t as big as WWE’s resident monsters of Kane, Erick Rowan, The Big Show or Great Khali.
Kurt Angle: The man just returned from rehab, and has a history of neck problems. If he can get clean for good he would be incredibly valuable for some dream matches, but it's just too risky to sign him right now.
Hernandez: At 40 years old, he’s never developed into a good worker, and has always been awkward on the mic.
Austin Aries: Aries is a great talent, but I just don’t see him fitting in well in WWE. The company already has a shorter star in Daniel Bryan, and may feel his body type is too similar. He’s also had a history of causing trouble behind the scenes.
Rob Terry: No. Just no.