TNA, for better or worse, is well known for it’s veterans and legends. The likes of Sting, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Scott Hall and Mick Foley will all be remembered for their time in the company. I look back at some of the legends you may not of known to have appeared in TNA or have simply forgotten.
10: Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, one half of the Hart Foundation and father of WWE Diva Natalya, appeared for TNA in 2009 during Jay Lethal’s open challenge to legendary wrestlers (A similar gimmick to Heath Slater). Far from being in prime condition, fans could be forgiven for expecting the worst when a pot-bellied Anvil came lumbering down to the ring. Surprisingly, he wasn’t that bad and had a short but sweet match with Lethal that had a nice crowd reaction.
09: The Road Warriors
During the embryonic years of TNA, both Hawk and Animal had a brief stint as The Road Warriors running in and saving America’s Most Wanted. The pair didn’t stay beyond that and sadly Hawk passed away later that year. However, it’s always a great early memory for the company and hearing an old fashioned Road Warrior Pop is always fun.
08: Curt “Mr Perfect” Hennig
A true legend and one of the best in-ring performers of all time, Curt Hennig appeared for TNA from 2002-2003 and unfortunately his career was cut short but his tragic passing in February 2003. Unlike other competitors on this list, Hennig was involved in the Heavyweight Title scene and had a memorable feud with Jeff Jarrett.
Match can be viewed here.
Another appearance during the early days of TNA, the former eight time world champion Vader came to the rescue of Dusty Rhodes who was involved in a feud with the Harris Brothers at the time. The pair tagged up against the Brothers and managed to win via disqualification.
The super-heavyweight was in poor shape and was over weight and sluggish, making Dusty Rhodes look like Sin Cara. He also very briefly reignited his feud with Nikita Koloff before they both departed the company.
06: Bob Backlund
Backlund made regular appearances for the company culminating in match at Slammiversary where he tagged up with Jerry Lynn against the Motor City Machine Guns. Surprisingly Backlund was in decent shape and put on an enjoyable bout.
05: Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake the Snake Roberts time with TNA is forgotten for the wrong reasons. After appearing on Impact way back in October 2006 and cutting a drunken, incoherent promo announcing that he would referee the Monsters Ball match at Bound for Glory. The segment was heavily edited, he even at one point stuffed his pet snake down the trousers of Brother Runt/Spike Dudley! The Monsters Ball match passed without incident and Roberts quietly left the company afterwards. He made a one night return two years later as a guest between the wedding of Jay Lethal and SoCalVal
04: Percy Pringle/Paul Bearer
The late Paul Bearer is a sure inductee into next years WWE Hall of Fame but how many remember his appearances for TNA during it’s formative years? It wasn’t under his legendary Paul Bearer gimmick but his other alter-ego Percy Pringle III, a much less enjoyable gimmick admittedly. Battling with severe weight issues, Bearer didn’t stay for long in the company and is probably best known for being involved in the infamous segment with Tony Schiavone.
03: Diamond Dallas Page
Debuting in November 2004 and after short feuds with Raven and Eric Watts, former three-time WCW Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page actually had a high profile, main event run in TNA. He challenged Jeff Jarrett for the NWA Heavyweight Championship in the main event at Destination X, in which he proved he still had it and could go the distance. He left shortly after but this will always be remembered as DDP’s last shot at the top.
02: Terry Funk
Of course Terry Funk wrestled in TNA. It’s nearly impossible for the legend to not appear for a wrestling promotion! Funk had a memorable stint in 2004 for TNA when he tagged up with Raven to take on The Gathering (CM Punk and Julio Dinero) Not surprisingly, Funk was still in good shape and could still work the ring well. Funk would also tag up with The Sandman to take on The Gathering again in a hardcore match, which is also a fun match. Funk would leave soon after but would reappear unannounced in 2009 during a house show match joining up with Mick Foley as guest enforcers for a match between Samoa Joe and Scott Steiner.
01: “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Did you know Randy Savage’s last ever in ring match was in TNA? After making his onscreen debut at 2004′s Victory Road, the late, great Macho Man Randy Savage teamed up with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy to defeat The Kings of Wrestling (Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall). Interestingly, Savage was orginally scheduled to defeat Jarrett for NWA Heavyweight Title at Final Resoultion and drop the title back on the following PPV. Due to health reasons this never happened and Savage left the company shortly after. Still, if TNA ever choose to induct Savage into their hall of fame, at least they will have a sliver of footage to show.