Five WWE Stars Who Would Thrive In TNA Wrestling….And Five Who Wouldn’t

tyson-kiddWhen I was a kid, which was a long time ago during the territory days of professional wrestling, I would imagine ‘Supercards’ and put together my own matches. This was before the internet and I had to rely on basic cable and Pro Wrestling Illustrated (anyone remember this one?) to know the who’s who of the sport. These days, there are only a fraction of the promotions remaining, with limited exposure for young wrestlers.

It’s definitely a different game now. So, this led me to think about how current talent would fare if they wrestled for the competition. How would John Cena or Sheamus go over if they signed with WWE. How about R-Truth? I broke down the field, let’s start with the five workers who would thrive on the TNA roster.

They include;

zack_ryder5. Zack Ryder

Given a lame gimmick, Zack Ryder is a very talented worker who could chase after the X-Division or TV Title (there is still a TV Title, right Hulk?) Ryder got a small push over a year ago in the Kane/Cena/Eve angle, though he is primarily used a jobber. A top-notch tag team talent, imagine Ryder with Rob Terry, Sam Shaw or the hoping-to-return Zema Ion (“Breaking necks and cashing checks!”)

4. Kaitlyn

WWE Divas are a joke compared to TNA Knockouts. Period. Kaitlyn is the WWE’s diamond in the rough, the most talented Diva (other than Natalya), and her angle with AJ Lee will likely go nowhere (like most AJ Lee angles). Though I’m sure she’s thrilled with the experience provided by WWE, she’s bored. I would love to see Kaitlyn match-up against the likes of Gail Kim, Mickie James and Velvet Sky.

3. R-Truth

Before he was the schizophrenic, ‘Little Jimmy’-talking R-Truth, he was Ron ‘The Truth’ Killings, former NWA World Champ. R-Truth was phenomenal in TNA and used poorly in the WWE. I would love to see Killing return to TNA in the role he left. This is one talented worker I think was ruined by the WWE brass, while giving him the Tag Titles with three different partners, feuding with two of them, John Morrison and The Miz)

TNA-Christian2. Christian

Captain Charisma regained his footing with his time in TNA, and it gave him and Edge a chance to shine on their own. Some people are born for this business and Christian is one of them. Although he’s facing Alberto Del Rio at Summerslam for the WHC, I would still love to see him in TNA challenging for the World Title there. He’s overlooked in WWE, mostly by the fans who only see the ‘Edge and Christian,’ and not the true Christian, the former Intercontinental Champ, NWA Champ and leader of Christian’s Coalition. The most important thing on Christians side right now is the support of Vince McMahon. If he wins the WHC at Summerslam, expect him to retire shortly after, just like his best buddy Edge. If not, I’d rather see another run in TNA than a slow fade.

1. Tyson Kidd

Straight from the Hart Dungeon and once publicly termed a ‘workhorse’ by CM Punk, Tyson Kidd is one of the best technical and overall wrestlers in the sport. Tyson Kidd in the X-Division would send shockwaves through the company, the roster and my very own spine. I think the last match I saw with Tyson Kidd was a tag team with The Great Khali- and I only half-watch ANY match featuring Khali. Imagine Kidd vs. Austin Aries, Kenny King or AJ Styles.

The talent who would NOT see success in TNA Wrestling include;

word-life5. John Cena

The WWE Champ’s Cinderella-story is one of legend. Vince and the WWE made John Cena what he is today, and with sub-par ring ability combined with a whole lot of charm and charisma, Cena would NOT go over, and I believe would not be able to keep up with the likes of Austin Aries and Chris Sabin, TNA’s two best workers.

4. Daniel Bryan

In my opinion, Daniel Bryan is the most gifted in-ring worker in ALL of professional wrestling right now, and WWE barely knew what to do with him. Unfortunately, I have seen talented workers in TNA fall at the wayside due to the two-hour programming and lack of exposure. Daniel Bryan is another WWE Cinderella story, much different than that of John Cena- meaning that he worked hard, created a craft instead of a gimmick, and is now at the top of his own game, and the entire sport. Daniel Bryan will be WWE Champ at SummerSlam, barring something really dumb by WWE Creative.

3. The Miz

imagesMike Miznanin is an actor with mediocre wrestling ability (Can You Smell What The Hell I’m Cooking Here!). His character work, like The Rock, is what gets him over. In TNA right now, it takes more than that to get off the ground. I have always believed that TNA emphasises in-ring talent, whereas WWE still focuses on gimmicks. TNA already has their ‘Miz’ in the talented Kenny King. Someone who should have never been WWE Champ, The Miz and his various gimmicks are best suited for WWE, preferably at the announcers table.

2. Randy Orton

The son of Cowboy Bob Orton is not going anywhere, if WWE had any creative sense. Orton is a talent who has gotten better with age. If you remember the ‘Evolution’ Legend Killer Orton was brutal, handsome and deviant. Orton is now the ‘Viper’ and ‘Mr. Money In The Bank’ and soon, new WWE Champ. Can you imagine Orton vs. Magnus or Samoa Joe? Epic, though unlikely. Orton would take TNA by storm at first, but the direction of the company would eventually work against him.

images (1)1. Sheamus

The Celtic Warrior is simply a cartoon character. Think The Ultimate Warrior with a brain and a vocabulary. Limited ring-ability, colorful voice and character, Sheamus would be a hard person to book in any promotion Ridiculous as a heel and too ‘Barney the Dinosaur’ as a face, TNA Creative would have fits trying to book him. Seeing Sheamus get schooled by AJ Styles would be comedy act.



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  • Kazuya

    You guys always tend to forget Cena was way over with his Dr Thuganomics gimmick before he became WWE champ

  • kbunyon

    But that doesn't mean that Cena would thrive in TNA. Just because Cena was The Master of Thuganomics doesn't mean he can actually work the ring on the level of guys like Aries and Sabin.

    Jason is absolutely right with both of his lists.


    • Kazuya

      Cena turning heel in TNA could be like Hogan’s heel turn in WCW. Besides Cena can have great matches with Great opponents as he has shown with Punk, HBK and soon Bryan

  • Joel

    I think DBry would fit well in TNA. He's one of wwe's best workers, and can go toe to toe with Aries, Sabin, Roode. Actually Bryan and Aries have worked in the indies together and I could see him dominate the x division and be pushed to the top of the card in not time. Cena can work when he wants and has the right opponents. Remember his feud with CM Punk? But his gimmick would need a huge overhaul. He's too pg right now. He has the look, but would need to drop his goody too shoes act…

  • Kazuya

    I would love to see Samoa Joe vs Orton or Cena

  • TNA_is_Best

    Another great article by Jason Franklin. I totally agree with you on both of the lists, except for maybe Daniel Bryan but I'll get into that later.. On the first list, they all seem like wrestlers with great athletic ability that could thrive in the independent scene. Not to mention their charisma. (Captain Charisma) The second list mainly looks like people with some charisma and can take the spotlight when it is given to them but if you put them in a PWG or even ROH show against CM Punk or Austin Aries, I definitely do not think they could thrive or put on a good show.

    Back when I watched WWE, Zack Ryder was a guy I could not stand. Maybe it was the gimmick. But I do see him having potential. He could have some great matches in TNA.

    Oh, here we go with the knockouts and divas. Another thing that I could not stand about the WWE. There would be a ten minute screaming match, I mean, wrestling match. Eh, what's the difference on that show? They would barely do anything and scream almost every second. I would get mad at seeing it and say that there should not be a women's division. My dad would totally disagree because they are eye candy. Well, he is right. Espeicially with Kelly Kelly. But seeing them wrestle is laughable. And the attention that they get from the media being called wrestlers is a disgrace. Either let them wrestle and call them wrestlers, or have them scream and call them crybabys.

    Long are the days when Lita and Trish Stratus were the stars of the women's division. If the division was still like that, I would watch it. But now, it is like my dad said. It's eye candy and nothing more. Back in the days when women were on WWF and could actually wrestle, there was Chyna/Stratus/Molly Holly/Lita/Jacqueline/Ivory/Stacy Kiebler. Most of these women could wrestle very well and the most popular of them were great wrestlers and looked great. But we do not see that anymore. They are either one or the other. (Such as Beth Pheonix or Kelly Kelly)

    Actually, we do still see it. It's just not where it used to be. It switched over to TNA Wrestling. Now I know that many people out there could point to the Beautiful People, Christy Hemme, and Traci Brooks. Beautiful People for a while looked to me like WWE's version of the divas. Especially when Angelina Love was still around a year or two ago and HH and Bischoff were giving the Beautiful People a huge push. Over time though, Velvet Sky has gotten better at wrestling.

    TNA has had Alissa Flash, Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, Taryn Terrell, Sarita, Hamada, Tara, and Taylor Wilde. All of these stars have the "it factor." They could make the crowd stand up on their feet. I still think TNA should have kept Alissa Flash, Sarita, and Hamada. Seeing them wrestle was always a treat. They were the three best in the division. And anyone who knows of the TNA Knockouts Division will never be able to forget the feud between Gail Kim and Awesome Kong. Those were days that fans of female wrestling will always treasure.

    Am I fan of female wrestling? Usually, I would say no. Other people would say that female wrestling is a big part of wrestling as a whole. I disagree. Wrestling thrived in the late 90s when the companies, for the most part, didn't even have female wrestlers. Do I think that female wrestling makes wrestling better? It can, but it isn't a big deal. I enjoy watching truly talented wrestlers like Sarita and Alissa Flash and Gail Kim wrestle, but does it truly make the ratings and overall show better? That depends on who you ask.

  • TNA_is_Best

    I like that you threw the comment of if the TNA Television title is still even in existence. I keep pondering it every time I think of TNA and their championships. It confuses me. That title has always confused me. Is it the Global Championship? Is it the Legends Championship? Is it a championship at all? I went to Wikipedia today and they list the title as defunct, along with the Knockouts Tag Team Championships.

    The Knockouts one is long overdue to be defunct. It was a joke the entire time. Way before Eric Young got the title, everyone knew that on SpikeTV, a male wrestler cannot touch a female wrestler. This whole time while they were champions was mind boggling because they would have EY as so gimmicky. EY has always been the funny gimmick, as it seems every wrestling company needs at least one. We have seen WWE have them in the past with Eugene and Santino Marella. EY has great wrestling abilitly but it is hard for me to buy into his gimmick. Then him as a champion when he couldn't touch his opponents made no sense. Good riddance TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championships!

    Ron "the Truth" Killings is a wrestler who is always entertaining to watch. He goes up against the best in the likes of AJ Styles and Abyss. In the article about Chris Sabin, it was mentioned that champions don't have to be a certain weight limit anymore. He is proof of this. His dynamic wrestling style made everyone take notice of him as a main evener.

    You say that WWE ruined him. I totally agree. He soared when he was in TNA. He is someone that I could easily see as the face of TNA. Which brings me to another man in Christian Cage. Both of these men remind me of one man who was used poorly in WWE which is The Pope. With Ron Killings, Christian Cage, and D'Angelo Dinero, TNA saw potential in these men.

    Christian Cage went on to be known as Captain Charisma. I would say he had as much of an impact in TNA as Kurt Angle did when he arrived. When CC came, the fans would go crazy. I will admit that I didn't think much of him in WWE. When I thought of WWE, his face just didn't come to mind. But after what he did in TNA, even just for a week or two, I knew that he was going to be right up there with Sting and Angle for the face of TNA. Many years ago, I was at a house show and Christian Cage and Kurt Angle were wrestling each other in the main event. It was an instant classic.

    • TNA Chris

      They already retired the tag belts, Brooke took then away during her state of knockouts speech.