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The Way I See It - Top 5 WWE-to-TNA Wrestlers

Rating: 2 votes, 3.50 average.
Hello, again. I'm going to do something a bit different this week. Instead of touching on the current happenings in TNA wrestling, I'm going to do a top five list. My list is going to revolve around the top five wrestlers that have jumped ship from the WWE to TNA. Now, I understand that a simple idea such as this can have many loopholes, so allow me to fix them:

1.) I'm not including guys that simply had a cup of coffee (or less) in WWE. For example, both AJ Styles and Samoa Joe wrestled a match or two (or three) with WWE, but neither made a splash in the company. To be honest, many wrestling fans do not even realize they appeared for WWE.

2.) I'm only including wrestlers. Guys such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, etc. are not going to be on this list because they were not brought into TNA for their wrestling.

3.) I'm only counting guys that came from WWE at some point. Thus, Sting, for example, will not be on this list because he never wrestled for the WWE.

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There, now that I have that out of the way I can start my list. I am going to stress that this is simply my OPINION. It can be argued, countered, etc. I am taking success into consideration for this list. Guys that won championships, important matches, had memorable feuds, etc. For example, you won't find Rikishi (just to name someone) because he only had about three matches in TNA. Also, when I say "best," I don't necessarily mean guys who made TNA the most money, increased ratings, etc. Because, let's face it, none of the WWE guys have really raised TNA's ratings. I am just choosing guys based on in-ring success. Anyway, here's the list; it's in order from five to one, where the guy at the one spot is the "best" wrestler to have jumped to TNA.

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5.) Gail Kim - [[ Accomplishments: TNA Knockouts Tag Champ, 2x TNA Knockouts Champ, Knockout of the Year (2007) ]]

I failed to mention that my list isn't gender-specific, didn't I? Anyway, what can you say about Gail Kim? She's ridiculously hot. In my opinion, she pioneered the Knockouts division. I mean, it takes more than one female wrestler to make a division, but Gail was floating around on TV before the division was even in existence. On top of that, she was the first TNA Knockouts champ. Oh, and did I mention she's hot? (I know I did. But it needed to be said a second time!)

When she returned to the company, I thought she was excellent in the heel role. Since she's lost the title she's kind of faded, but I'm sure she'll be back eventually. But my point remains -- she's one of the best Knockouts in TNA history, if not the best, and she's definitely the best "WWE-to-TNA" female member of the roster. She has a dynamite combination of great looks and awesome wrestling ability. And you know what? She's really hot... heh.

4.) Team 3D (Bully Ray and Brother Devon) - [[ Accomplishments: NWA Tag Champs (when TNA used those belts), 2x TNA Tag Champs, and Tag Team of the Year (2005) ]]

I'm not a fan of Devon, especially when doesn't have Ray by his side, but the main reason they are on this list is their success as a team. Everyone knows The Dudleys; hands down, they are one of the best tag teams in the history of professional wrestling.

For years, TNA had the best tag team division in wrestling. It was strongly anchored by these guys, as they put on great matches with teams such as LAX, Motor City Machineguns, America's Most Wanted, Beer Money, etc. They were a constant in a division that held strong for many years. Unfortunately, the tag team division in TNA has died down in the past year or so, but that's neither here nor there.

My point is: and this is a point that can be argued, but I don't think TNA's tag division would have been as much of a success as it was if Team 3D weren't involved. They brought name recognition and their ability to have solid matches with almost anyone, especially considering that neither members of the team are ring generals, is amazing. These guys definitely gave a lot to TNA and had a lot of success along the road in their five years as a team in the company.

I'm thrilled to see Bully Ray having a successful single's run and I'm not upset at all that Devon is no longer with the company. Without Bully, I can't get behind him.

3.) Christian Cage - [[ Accomplishments: 2x NWA World Heavyweight champion (when TNA used this belt) ]]

Again, I want to stress that this list is my opinion. Many of you may not agree with my positioning of Christian, but perhaps it's a pick I made with my heart rather than my brain. I loved Christian in TNA, and honestly, he was my favorite wrestler while he was there. I hated him for leaving, but I understand why he did it and I don't hold a grudge against him any more.

Before Christian came to TNA, he had a lot of success in WWE. Obviously, he was in a hugely successful tag team with Edge, he won a couple of midcard championship, etc. But he was never "the man," you know? When he joined TNA, he instantly became the top guy. He won their top championship on two different occasions. He was such a phenomenal heel, he could be a prick, he could be funny, he could be arrogant; he could truly do whatever was needed at any particular moment. The stable he formed with AJ Styles and Tomko, called Christian's Coalition, was brilliant and I enjoyed every moment of it.

While he was in TNA, he ranked as high as the seventh spot on the PWI 500 in 2007. TNA showed the wrestling world that Christian could be "the guy," and when he returned to WWE, he had reigns as the ECW champion as well as the World Heavyweight champion.

Who knows what could have been, you know? He was in his prime when he was in TNA. The limited touring schedule allowed him to do more in the ring than he normally would in WWE. He could say what he wanted, when he wanted, when he had the mic. He was a star, and while WWE will always have a place for him on their shows, he'll never be treated as a well as he was in TNA.

2.) Jeff Hardy - [[ Accomplishments: 2x TNA World Heavyweight champion, 2012 Bound for Glory Series winner ]]

Again, I'm not sure if people will agree with this choice, but I'm going to roll with it. For a moment, I want to touch on Jeff Hardy's TNA stint since he returned from drug and legal troubles. When I see him, or when I read dialogue from interviews he does, I really, really believe he's having fun, you know? He looks thrilled to be wrestling. Thrilled to be alive. He shows so much appreciation to the fans, each and every time he performs. I actually met him at a TNA live event once, in fact; I had a picture taken with him in the ring after the show. He's just so nice. You always hear that wrestlers are pricks, but not this guy. You can say so much about him, but he has his head on right, at least at this moment, and I hope he continues down the right path.

But anyway, enough of that, I might be the only one, but I thought his heel run when he was the champ in 2010 was awesome. I know he was beyond messed up on drugs, but I thought he did great in the role. It was something different, kind of similar to when he first broke in with Matt Hardy when they were aligned with Gangrel, in a sinister, dark kind of way. And, of course, he has one of the most memorable TNA moments from his original run, when he jumped off the big screen with a Swanton Bomb onto Abyss, who was lying on a table.

Obviously, for TNA, he's amazing because of how much merchandise they can sell because of him. Even at his age, I think he is one of the best high-flyers in the business and I really enjoy watching this guy perform. As long as he can keep his head on right, he's going to continue to do great things in TNA, which will eventually lead to more title reigns down the road.

1.) Kurt Angle - [[ Accomplishments: 5x TNA World Heavyweight champion, 2x TNA Tag Team champion, TNA X Division champion, King of the Mountain (2007, 2009) ]]

Anybody surprised by this? When he signed with TNA in 2006, his body was already breaking down. To some, it was a reckless signing by TNA, but how could they pass on this guy? To this day, I think he's the biggest signing TNA has ever made. Even if I threw Hulk Hogan into this list, Angle is still the biggest signing. The thing is, even though he was already starting to falter in 2006, he still had a lot left in him and apparently, he still does. The guy puts on great matches each and every time he steps into the ring. He wrestles injured more often than most, I'm sure.

Sure, he says some stupid things on Twitter and what not, and he's had some stupid run-ins with the law, but when it comes to wrestling, he's one of the best competitors in the history of the business. I don't know if signing him did anything in terms of creating immediate growth within TNA, but having him as a mainstay for many years has definitely helped them grow.

I don't know how many years he has left, but in terms of "WWE-to-TNA" guys, he's definitely at the top of my list. He's had some great, great matches in TNA and I'm sure he'll get another run or two with the belt before he retires. And of course, he'll be inducted into TNA's Hall of Fame, as well.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Jarrett - and here's the reason I didn't include him: it's a fine line, really. Since he started the company, he wasn't truly a "WWE-to-TNA" guy, but at the same time, he was. He definitely could be on this list because of the amount of success he's had in TNA, but given the circumstances, I didn't incorporate him.

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I hope you guys enjoyed the read. I think it's a pretty solid list, but a couple of spots could be debatable. There's been some solid WWE-to-TNA guys; Mr. Anderson, RVD, Booker T, Scott Steiner, etc., but many of them failed to truly make an "impact." Anyway, thanks for reading guys. Have a good one.

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Tags: hardy, jeff, kurt, tna, wwe
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Thoughts and Opinions

Comments

  1. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    I'd have Jeff Hardy a lot lower on the list. Other than a world title reign he hasn't done much of anything memorable. I'd probably put him at 5. Christian at 2 w/Kim at 3 and 3-D at 4. Obviously w/Kurt at #1. Why those rankings? Christian was really the first big name singles who jumped from WWE to TNA. Yea, Jeff did have a little run, but it was about as long as a cup of coffee. Jeff took a 1-3 years off at that time.Christian was literally on their last ppv joining TNA. Winning world titles, main eventing virtually all ppvs except his role made a big change when Kurt arrived. Christian won multiple world titles, led several factions, top heel in the company while Jeff was gone.

    Why Gail Kim over 3-D? She helped the Knockouts division and led it from the start. Her, BP, and Kong really took the knockouts division to its highest of heights. She was the face of the division til she left.

    Team 3-D added made the tag team division more legit, but it was pretty good before they got there. When you talk about Triple X, Naturals, Team Canada, AMW, and so on. Wasn't a women's division when Gail arrived and the world title picture was very thin. No slap in the face to Jarrett, Rhino, or Raven, but us TNA fans thought that the X-Division title had the most prestige in the company. That is why I say, they are ahead of 3-D and why I have them ranked the way I do. Nice blog!
  2. body slam's Avatar
    Going with only 5 you're going to leave some names off the list, but still very good.
  3. Sahu's Avatar
    As soon as i read the title, I know Kurt is the #1...n he should be #1..

    As per my heart goes my list would be:

    5. Jeff
    4. Gail Kim
    3. Team 3D
    2. Christian
    1. Kurt Angle..

    Honorable Mention: Raven

    But as far as Brain goes I've to give the same list as yours..because Jeff is the highest merch seller of TNA...
  4. Sahu's Avatar
    I have not included Jarett because he's the founder of the TNA...
  5. The Phantom Menace's Avatar
    Since no one else has I guess, I guess I have to. If anyone is going to do a list like this(that I agree with) you've got to include Jeff Jarrett!!!!! Here's why....After the demise of WCW & knowing that he'd never rise above another joke IC title run in WWF/E, Jeff did something totally amazing...he created TNA! I have never eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever(quote Chris Jericho) been a Jeff Jarrett fan but thanks to him we have TNA, an alternative to WWE. is it better than WWE...uh, no but who's to say that WWE is the best product. Does TNA make alot of the same dumb ass mistakes that WWE makes...uh, yup!! They've also had some awesome talents that they allowed to just walk away heres a few names..Petey Williams, Monty Brown, Ron Killings, Rhino, Homicide & up until recently Matt Morgan. WWE has let some solid talent slip away themselves, Kurt Angle no more needs to be said. Has TNA under utilized some great performers, uh....yes...Samoa Joe! So has WWE JoMo, Drew, Joe Henning & a few hundred others. But I've gotten away from my point...if Jeff hadn't taken the chance we would all be full fledge card carrying members of Vince's Kiss My Ass Club!!! So I for one say thanks Double J, I may have never been a fan of your character but I apprieciate what you've given the industry...much respect!
  6. TheLegendaryIcon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Phantom Menace
    Since no one else has I guess, I guess I have to. If anyone is going to do a list like this(that I agree with) you've got to include Jeff Jarrett!!!!! Here's why....After the demise of WCW & knowing that he'd never rise above another joke IC title run in WWF/E, Jeff did something totally amazing...he created TNA! I have never eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever(quote Chris Jericho) been a Jeff Jarrett fan but thanks to him we have TNA, an alternative to WWE. is it better than WWE...uh, no but who's to say that WWE is the best product. Does TNA make alot of the same dumb ass mistakes that WWE makes...uh, yup!! They've also had some awesome talents that they allowed to just walk away heres a few names..Petey Williams, Monty Brown, Ron Killings, Rhino, Homicide & up until recently Matt Morgan. WWE has let some solid talent slip away themselves, Kurt Angle no more needs to be said. Has TNA under utilized some great performers, uh....yes...Samoa Joe! So has WWE JoMo, Drew, Joe Henning & a few hundred others. But I've gotten away from my point...if Jeff hadn't taken the chance we would all be full fledge card carrying members of Vince's Kiss My Ass Club!!! So I for one say thanks Double J, I may have never been a fan of your character but I apprieciate what you've given the industry...much respect!
    If Jarret's company didn't make it as it has, another would have. I believe in an alternate timeline where Double J didn't start or failed with TNA, ROH would have come up instead. As is said in the business, no matter what the fans will be there... even if they aren't a fan of YOUR promotion.

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