Ranking TNA Wrestling's Top 25 Stars

Rob SchimkeContributor IIIDecember 1, 2011

Ranking TNA Wrestling's Top 25 Stars

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    TNA Wrestling is continuing its quest to become a true competitor to the WWE.  When evaluating their roster, it is easy to see that they have talent.  

    But who is the best all-around performer?  

    To answer this question, I looked at four areas and gave each wrestler a ranking of 1-10, with 10 being the highest.  

    The categories are as follows: Look, charisma, in-ring ability, and the "It" factor.  

    Using these four categories, I came up with a list of the top 25 wrestlers currently in TNA.  

    Keep in mind this is for male wrestlers only, who are not primarily in a tag-team.  

25. Jeff Jarrett

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    Look: 6

    Jeff Jarrett is bland.  He is still in shape, but in no way physically imposing.  His fake guitar gimmick was tired in the 1990s.  He has not evolved with the business, and he is largely forgettable.

    Charisma: 7

    Jeff can talk on the microphone.  He is not necessarily entertaining, but he is smooth.  He draws heat from the crowd, but it is tough to tell if it is legitimate heat for his character, or people simply hating having to watch him parade around the Impact Zone every week.

    In-Ring Ability: 5

    His move set is limited.  It has grown even smaller as he has gotten older.  There is nothing unique or interesting about his style.  He has a degree of technicality to what he does do, but nothing is memorable.  His finisher, "The Stroke," is not a clean maneuver.  It looks like a botch half the time. 

    "It" Factor: 4

    It is no secret Jeff is in the twilight of his career.  If it was not for the fact that he founded TNA, would he really have a job?  We can appreciate what he has given to the business, but he has never been truly over.  

    Average Score: 5.5 

24: Devon

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    Look: 5

    Devon looks just kind of...well, weird.  He looks strong, but he is kind of chubby too.  Let's call him "Shapes."  His style is rather simple.  Maybe a change in his look would give his career some new life.

    Charisma: 6

    Devon is a very intense guy.  His intensity is felt when he gives an interview.  While he isn't the most entertaining or well-spoken, he is passionate.  

    In-Ring Ability: 6

    Devon can carry his own in the ring, but he is nothing special.  If this were a tag team ranking, his score would be higher.  But his ability to carry a match on his own is somewhat questionable.  His move set is primarily power moves, yet he is not big enough to make them look as effective as someone who would be six inches taller.

    "It" Factor: 6

    Does anyone buy tickets to see Devon wrestle?  Probably not.  But his staying power and accomplishments show that there is something about the man that you have to respect.

    Overall Average: 5.75

23: Kid Kash

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    Look: 5

    Kash has aged quite a bit since his last run with TNA.  He used to look like Kid Rock's uglier brother, but with the short hair and putting some weight on, he has lost the resemblance.  He looks about the same as every other dude you may see walking down the street. 

    Charisma: 7

    What I like about this carnation of Kid Kash is that he seems to be relishing in a role that best suits him.  That role is to put over younger talent in the X division.  So far his work with Jesse Sorenson has been nothing short of great.  He can still talk a great game.

    In-Ring Ability: 6

    While he has slowed a bit, Kash can still go.  Given his body size, his ability to hit difficult high spots is impressive.  In comparison with the rest of the division, he looks a step slow.  

    "It" Factor: 6

    It would surprise me if we ever see Kash as a champion again.  At this point there is too much young up-and-coming talent to put the strap on him.  He is a solid mid-card filler, but there aren't many fans that are out there buying Kid Kash merchandise.

    Overall Average: 6

22: Abyss

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    Look: 6

    Abyss is one of the biggest, baddest men in TNA.  But his look does not always reflect it.  he look homeless most of the time.  He is trying to look like a monster, but he often just looks sloppy.  

    Charisma: 6

    Abyss is not great on the microphone.  He tends to get angry a lot, but at the end of the day he makes his point.  He comes off as almost cartoonish with his facial expressions.  

    In-Ring Ability: 6

    Abyss is your standard big man in the ring.  He is serviceable, but no aspect of his ability is overly memorable.

    "It" Factor: 7

    What many fans have been clamoring for with Abyss is his return to a true monster.  Less talking and more destruction.  As a dominate heel, Abyss can be a championship-level talent.  

    Overall Average: 6.25

21: Jesse Sorenson

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    Look: 7

    His lame gimmick as a high school football player is fitting for his look.  

    Charisma: 5

    We haven't see too much of him on the microphone, but from what we have seen he is still a bit raw when it comes to speaking.  He has had flashes of decent promos, but nothing to write home about.

    In-Ring Ability: 7

    Being as young as he is, his work in the X division is impressive.  He does not fly around as much as the others, but he still puts on quality matches.

    "It" Factor: 7

    Jesse fits the mold of what a future star should look like.  He is young, athletic, and has a bright future in the business if he continues to progress.

    Overall Average: 6.5

20: Scott Steiner

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    Look: 8

    Scott Steiner has one of the most distinctive looks in wrestling.  While he is not as big as he once was, the guy is jacked.  And with his bleached hair and goatee, and interesting choice of tattoos, he is a memorable wrestling character.

    Charisma: 6.25

    Scott is almost so bad on the microphone that he is entertaining.  He has a certain swagger about him that can be a guilty pleasure to watch.

    In-Ring Ability: 5

    At this point in his career, Scott's body has taken too much of a beating to still be a good wrestler.  He struggles with every bump.  

    "It" Factor: 7

    Scott is a good entertainer.  Overall, he has a lot of things you look for in a solid wrestler.  It's just at his age, he is not in the long-term plans for TNA.

    Overall Average: 6.56

19: Brian Kendrick

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    Look: 5.5

    Kendrick's look is unique, but not in a good way.  He is a small guy, but always seems to wear clothes too big for him.  This makes him look even smaller.  He also never seems to wear a shirt or shoes.  

    Charisma: 7

    Talking is something he can do.  It is his content that is the question mark.  He gets off on some crazy tangents that leaves fans scratching their head.  If he is ever able to focus his content into a single focused direction, he may be one of the best mic workers in the business.

    In-Ring Ability: 8

    Kendrick is the definition of what the X division should be.  He can fly when he needs to, but he does not simply do spots.  He balances his high flying with a solid ground game to keep fans guessing as to what he is going to do next.   

    "It" Factor: 6

    Kendrick has everything thing he needs to be a huge success.  He just hasn't been able to put it all together. Kendrick may go down as one of the best wrestlers never to make it big, and it is not because he didn't have opportunities.

    Overall Average: 6.3

18: Gunner

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    Look: 8

    Gunner is in great shape and his he has a unique look to him.  Ever since he got out of the security uniform, he has had a lot going for him.

    Charisma: 6

    It would seem that TNA is trying to push Gunner into the form of a Randy Orton type.  He has a high level of intensity, and is quick to fight.  But overall, he is very vanilla when it comes to his personality.  When you watch him, you feel like he should be better, but he simply is not.

    In-Ring Ability: 6.5

    Gunner is still pretty green in the world of wrestling.  He is solid enough to work a decent match, but has yet to find a style of wrestling that suite him.  Is he a brawler?  A technician?  TNA seems to recognize his potential, but is not sure how to use it.  

    "It" Factor: 6

    You can't just look the part of a pro-wrestler.  You need to put it all together.  Based on what Gunner has shown us so far, he is not a main event talent.  But if he can find his soul as a wrestler, the potential is there for him to be great.

    Overall Average: 6.6

17: Eric Young

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    Look: 6

    Eric Young's beard right now lost him at least a point.  The thing is out of control.  I understand he is playing up the whole he is crazy thing, but he looks awkward. 

    Charisma: 7

    Eric is currently playing the Santino role in TNA.  He seems to be there strictly for comic relief, and he is doing really well.  He has a distinct voice and a lot of energy that he brings to each show.  There is just an element of legitimacy he seems to be lacking in his character.

    In-Ring Ability: 8

    EY is solid in the ring.  While he is not spectacular, he is able to put on a decent match on any given night.  

    "It" Factor: 6.5

    It is tough to figure out why EY has not been more successful.  He just can't seem to get over unless he is being humorous, and he can't be taken as a serious contender when he is being crazy.  If Eric can ever find a balance, he could be a force.  

    Overall Average: 6.8

16: Robbie E.

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    Look: 7.25

    Robbie is in great shape.  But his Jersey Shore gimmick is to over the top.  His hair just looks ridiculous.  It makes him stand out, just in a clown sort of way.

    Charisma: 6

    Given his gimmick, Robbie does okay on the microphone.  He has not blown anyone away, but he looks comfortable.

    In-Ring Ability: 7.5

    Robbie can wrestle.  He is technically sound, and has a wide variety in his arsenal.  Paired with an outstanding wrestler in a feud, he could put on some great matches. 

    "It" Factor: 7

    Being saddled with such a heavy gimmick makes Robbie tough to judge.  He seems to have all the tools to be great, we just haven't seen it yet.

    Overall Average: 6.94

15: Kazarian

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    Look: 7

    Kazarian has a good, clean look to him.  He is a bit on the small side.  He is one of the guys who would look more legitimate with short hair, much like Chris Jericho.

    Charisma: 7

    Kaz is strong on the mic, but he lacks a certain amount of energy.  He has not shown a wide range of levels, and can sometimes come off flat.  If he can be put in some sort of angle, he can be more intense with, we may see an improvement in his overall character.

    In-Ring Ability: 8

    There are not many wrestlers who can hold their own in both the X division and the rest of the company.  Kaz is able to do it seamlessly.  He is extremely agile and quick for a guy of his size, and he uses these skills to put on very interesting matches.

    "It" Factor: 6

    Will we ever see Kaz make a run at heavyweight gold?  Likely not.  While he is solid in the ring, he doesn't have enough depth to become a true contender.

    Overall Average: 7

14: Christopher Daniels

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    Look: 6

    Christopher Daniels' look is unique if nothing else.  While his eye-liner and nail polish won't win over a huge amount of fans, he is not your run-of-the-mill wrestler.   

    Charisma: 7

    The Fallen Angel is much better as a heel when it comes to charisma.  As a face, he seems rather one dimensional.  As a heel, he brings a cockiness that is interesting to watch.

    In-Ring Ability: 9

    Overall, in all aspects of the wrestling game, Christopher Daniels is one of the most complete wrestlers TNA has.  While he is primarily know as a high-flyer, he is able to more than carry a match wherever it may go.

    "It" Factor: 7

    Daniels has a pretty decent sized cult of fans who have followed him his entire career.  There is a certain mystique about him that makes him a great overall talent.

    Overall Average: 7.25

13: Bully Ray

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    Look: 6

    Bully Ray isn't exactly ripped.  His in-ring wear is fitting, but it seems like he is trying too hard to look tough.  It looks like a costume.

    Charisma: 9

    There are not many people better with the mic than Bully Ray.  He runs his mouth like few can.  He is funny, creative, and can talk any situation into an interesting one.

    In-Ring Ability: 7

    As a bigger guy, he is rather proficient in the ring.  He moves well, and sells better than most when it comes to taking bumps and damage.  He is somewhat limited due to his size, but he still can keep a good pace in the ring.

    "It" Factor: 7.5

    With his ability to build a feud on the microphone, Bully Ray has potential to be a main event mainstay.  If he can stay in shape, and further his character development, it will be interesting to see where Bully Ray goes.

    Overall Average: 7.37

12: James Storm

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    Look: 8

    The cowboy gimmick has been done to death in wrestling.  However, James Storm does it better than most that have done it before.  He doesn't overdo it, just does enough to be believable.

    Charisma: 7.25

    James brings great energy to every promo he does.  Sometimes he is a bit hard to understand, but his catch phase has really seemed to take off in TNA.

    In-Ring Ability: 7.5

    The Cowboy hasn't been a singles competitor for a majority of his career, but he has shown the ability to put on great matches when given the opportunity.  He is surprisingly agile for a man of his size.

    "It" Factor: 7

    He really seems like the type of guy you would like to have a beer and party with.  He is over with the fans so far as a face, and has a lot of momentum with his surprising title run.  While it was short, it showed the company has some faith in him.

    Overall Average: 7.44

11: Rob Van Dam

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    Look: 8

    Rob Van Dam has had a pretty consistent image over his entire wrestling career.  What always stands out about him is his singlet he wears to the ring.  He has each one air brushed, and typically include dragons and ying-yangs.  He has stayed in great shape as he has gotten older.

    Charisma: 7

    RVD has never been great on the microphone.  Most of the emotions he tries to portray seem forced.  His stoner gimmick does not translate well when it comes to promos.

    In-Ring Ability: 7

    Rob has many signature moves that he innovated.  There are many moves that only he is doing in mainstream wrestling.  He also has been criticized as in the last decade he hasn't varied his game that much.  But his leaping ability and athleticism allow him to put on entertaining matches.

    "It" Factor: 8

    Rob has the ability to wow the casual fan.  He has performed in numerous companies and gotten over in every company he has been in.

    Overall Average: 7.5

10: Samoa Joe

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    Look: 6.25

    Samoa Joe has often been criticized for his weight.  He could afford to lose a few pounds, but he at least stands out with his look.  His style is simple and fitting of his character.

    Charisma: 7

    Joe is a good speaker when he is calm.  When he gets upset, he starts spitting and slurring.  He has personality, and he plays up his tough guy persona well.

    In-Ring Ability: 9

    It is hard to watch a Joe match and not be impressed.  He wrestles with such impact that it is surprising he doesn't hurt more people.  It is amazing how he is able to move given his size.  I like the "muscle buster" finish, but it takes too long to set up.

    "It" Factor: 8

    Joe has what it takes to be a huge star.  He is a bad man.  Be it booking or whatever else, it seems like TNA does not have faith in him.  If he ever gets a true push, he could really light the world on fire.

    Overall Average: 7.56

9:b Austin Aries

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    Look: 6

    Austin Aries is a small wrestler.  His style is also kind of strange with the boas and the like.  There is something with his facial hair that is weird, too.

    Charisma: 9

    What a great heel Aries plays.  He is cocky, arrogant and grinds on your nerves to get over like crazy.  He is the best character in the X division.

    In-Ring Ability: 9

    The versatility Aries shows is nothing short of amazing.  The guy pulls all the classic heel tactics, flies around the ring, goes for submissions and has great technical ability.  He is great in all areas of the ring, and that really sets him apart.

    "It" Factor: 7

    Aries is a rising star in TNA.  As he continues to grow, he will be able to showcase his balance of personality and skill.  

    Overall Average: 7.75

8: Crimson

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    Look: 8.5

    If there was an ideal look for a wrestler, it may be Crimson.  He is big, but lean.  This allows him to move while still pulling off power moves.  He looks like a legitimate fighter.

    Charisma: 7

    If Crimson can figure out what he is doing during promos, he will have it all.  He just hasn't seemed to come out of his shell yet.  He is tenative, almost unsure at times.

    In-Ring Ability: 7

    Crimson still has his moments where he shows his inexpierence in the ring, but overall he is greatly improving as a wrestling powerhouse.   

    "It" Factor: 9

    As long as Crimson keeps progressing, it is a matter of time before he will be world champion.  He has all of the things you look for in a future star, and is gaining momentum each week.  Crimson can be the future of TNA, but he is just not there yet.

    Overall Average: 7.88

7: D'Angelo Dinero

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    Look: 8

    The Pope has a style all his own.  

    Charisma: 9

    The Pope is fantastic.  He is truly a personality.  Whenever the mic is in his hands, gold usually follows. 

    In-Ring Ability: 7

    The Pope is technically sound in the ring.  The knock on him is that his wrestling style is very by the numbers.  He doesn't have a signature style necessarily.  

    "It" Factor: 8

    When given the opportunity, the Pope can shine like few wrestlers can.  He has a magnetic personality that fans seem to flock to.

    Overall Average: 8

6: Matt Morgan

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    Look: 9

    Matt Morgan is an absolute beast.  He is built like a tank and looks like a champion. 

    Charisma: 7.25

    If there is one person who is underrated in their ability to give a promo, it may be Morgan.  He has improved leaps and bounds since his days in the WWE.

    In-Ring Ability: 7

    Morgan is very serviceable in the ring.  He is never going to put on five-star matches, but he no longer makes the mistakes he once did.  Being so big, it would improve his in-ring style to have a more powerful finisher.  The "Carbon Footprint" isn't very impressive.

    "It" Factor: 9

    Morgan has been on the cusp for a while now.  He has everything you would want in a heavyweight champion.  What also sets him apart from is his intelligence.  He is not your typical big-man meathead.

    Overall Average: 8.06

5: Mr. Anderson

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    Look: 8

    Mr. Anderson reminds a lot of people of Steve Austin in his appearance and mannerisms.     

    Charisma: 10

    The overall strength for Mr. Anderson will always be his ability to speak.  He fires crowds up, makes them laugh, and leaves them with memorable promos every time he walks down the aisle.

    In-Ring Ability: 7

    Mr. Anderson had a bad wrap in his WWE days for botching many moves and hurting people.  He has come pretty far in becoming a competent in-ring performer.  He puts on good, but not spectacular, matches almost every week.

    "It" Factor: 8

    Having already had a couple of title runs, Mr. Anderson is a legitimate headliner.  With the right push and story line he could elevate his stock even more as a performer.

    Overall Average: 8.25

4: Booby Roode

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    Look: 8.5

    Booby Roode has a great look about him.  He kind of reminds people of a heel Triple H—who has wet hair all the time.  

    Charisma: 8

    Roode's promos are consistently good.  He is not going to make you laugh, but his pace, tone, inflection, and emotion he puts into the promos is more than enough to make them entertaining.

    In-Ring Ability: 8.5

    He is one of the best overall technicians in TNA.  His moves are smooth and crisp.  

    "It" Factor: 8.25

    As the current champion, Roode is just now coming into his own.  He has the tools to have it all, and only time will tell what he will make with this push he has now.

    Overall Average: 8.31

3: A.J. Styles

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    Look: 8

    A.J. is a clean-cut face.  His time as a heel did not work, especially when he was trying to be Ric Flair.  He is always in great shape, and is huge with female fans.

    Charisma: 7

    While he has gotten better over the years, A.J. still cannot be considered dynamic.  He still looks uncomfortable at times when doing promos.

    In-Ring Ability: 9.5

    Styles is well-rounded in the ring.  No matter where the fight takes place, he will make it entertaining.  While he doesn't fly as much as he once did, he still is spectacular when he hits the top rope.  

    "It" Factor: 9

    A.J. has long been considered the franchise of TNA, and for good reason.  He is going to give the fans a show every time he laces up his boots.  He is a blue-collar kind of guys who fans can relate to.  

    Overall Average: 8.38

2: Jeff Hardy

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    Look: 9

    Jeff Hardy is an enigma.  He does everything with his look his way, and he always seems to pull it off.  

    Charisma: 8

    Consistency on the microphone is something that Hardy excels at.  He brings an energy to what he does that few others can.

    In-Ring Ability: 8

    Jeff Hardy sells as good as anyone in the business.  He has some great signature moves.  Even though he has added some weight over the years, he still moves well.  

    "It" Factor: 9

    It's hard to say exactly why, but Jeff Hardy is over like crazy. Female fans love him.  Male fans like to emulate him.  Even with all the negative publicity around him, he still seems to be as over as ever.  There is something words can't describe about Jeff Hardy.

    Overall Average: 8.5

1: Kurt Angle

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    Look: 8

    Kurt Angle has kept in shape as he has gotten older.  He looks like a legitimate Olympian, except that he now seems to be going gray all over.

    Charisma: 8

    Kurt is very diverse on the microphone.  Over the years, he has shown the ability to promote a match to a fever pitch.

    In-Ring Ability: 10

    There is no better technician in the world today than Kurt Angle.  It seems like every one of his matches could be a classic, and he elevates the game of the person he is competing against.

    "It" Factor: 9

    Kurt Angle is a legend.  Heel or face, he is respected by the fans.  

    Overall Average: 8.75

Conclusion

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    It is clear that TNA has a deep talent pool.  They can do a lot of good things in the wrestling world with who they have.  The question is whether Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter will use the talent correctly and take the company to the next level.

    I realize there will be much dissent concerning this list and the rankings.  I tried to compile this list as objectivly as possible.  

    What are your thoughts on TNA's top 25 stars?

    Thanks for the read.