LWOPW’s All Decade Team: TNA/IMPACT Wrestling

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Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

A lot has happened with the former Total Nonstop Action (TNA), and now simply IMPACT Wrestling, over the past 10 years. Since 2010, there have been numerous managerial changes, finally ending with the sale to Anthem Sports & Entertainment in 2017. While some of TNA’s earlier stars like Samoa Joe saw their stock diminish in the 2010s, relegated to being an enforcer in stables like Main Event Mafia and Beat Down Clan (only to leave in 2015 for NXT), others managed to remain in the true main event or refound glory in tag teams or renewed singles pushes. But while there’s been some drama in the board rooms over the past decade, TNA (and now IMPACT) have still had their soldiers help keep the product afloat. As their upcoming pay per view states, no matter the circumstances, TNA/IMPACT is Hard to Kill.

THE IMPACT/TNA MEN’S DIVISION

AJ Styles

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2013

Accolades: TNA World Heavyweight Champion x2, TNA World Television Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion (w/ Kurt Angle)

AJ had a tumultuous 2010s with the company he was the undeniable face of during the 2000s. While he would finally leave the company in 2013 to return to Ring of Honor and subsequently New Japan to assume the leadership of Bullet Club, he still managed to win two TNA World Heavyweight titles in his final runs with TNA, as well as pick up a TV title and score tag team gold with Kurt Angle.

Austin Aries

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2011-2015, 2018

Accolades: TNA/IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion x3, TNA X-Division Champion x6, TNA World Tag Team Champion (w/ Bobby Roode)

Austin Aries had his second and third runs with TNA/IMPACT during the 2010s and he made the most of each opportunity. In his second run from 2011 to 2015, he captured the X-Division title a whopping six times and cashed in his X-Division title with Option C to become the World Heavyweight Champion. His second run in 2018 saw him win the World title on two more occasions, becoming one of IMPACT’s most decorated stars of the decade.

Bobby Lashley

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2014-2017

Accolades: TNA/IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion x4, TNA King of the Mountain, TNA X-Division Champion

After never breaking through that glass ceiling in WWE, Lashley would become a legitimate main eventer, both as a face and a heel, en route to becoming the most decorated World Champion of the 2010s for TNA/IMPACT, winning the world title four times in his four year run with the company.

“Broken” Matt Hardy

Matt Hardy
Photo: Impact Wrestling

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2011, 2014-2017

Accolades: TNA World Heavyweight Champion 2x, TNA World Tag Team Champion 2x (w/ Jeff Hardy)

When Matt Hardy made his second run with TNA, many were fearful of what may happen. He had unceremoniously left WWE following substance abuse issues, and his first run in 2011 with TNA ended the same way. But when he returned sober in 2014, he went on a spectacular run with the company. He won the TNA World title twice, but after losing it the second time, his character underwent one of the most successful transformations ever when Matt Hardy became “Broken”. There was arguably no single character so popular (or polarizing) than “Broken” Matt Hardy from 2015 to 2017.

Bully Ray

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2014

Accolades: TNA World Heavyweight Champion 2x

The Dudley Boyz left the WWE in the late 2000s and headed to TNA to continue their tag team dominance, but in the 2010s, Bully Ray emerged as one of the strongest singles heels in the game. He led the biker faction Aces & Eights and captured the TNA World title on two separate occasions.

Chris Sabin

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2014; 2018

Accolades: TNA World Heavyweight Champion, 4x TNA X-Division Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion (w/ Alex Shelley in Motor City Machine Guns)

The Motor City Machine Guns were one of the top tag teams in the world in the 2000s, with both ROH and TNA, but in the 2010s, they separated for a lengthy spell (Alex Shelley headed to NJPW to form Time Splitters with KUSHIDA). Chris Sabin jumped on the opportunity to become a singles competitor, capturing the X-Division four times and becoming a World Champion on his own merits.

EC3

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2013-2018

Accolades: TNA World Heavyweight Champion 2x, IMPACT Grand Champion

EC3 was a former WWE reject (as Derrick Bateman) from the early days of NXT and arrived in TNA with little thunder. But the cocky rich boy (and “nephew” of TNA owner Dixie Carter) showed that WWE had indeed dropped the boat on Bateman and he became a star, both as a heel and a face. While his final year was a bit of a letdown, his two World title reigns showed that EC3 was a bankable star who could lead a promotion.

Jeff Hardy

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2017

Accolades: TNA World Heavyweight Champion x3, TNA World Tag Team Champion 2x (w/ Matt Hardy)

Jeff Hardy’s second stint with TNA lasted eight years, and the Charismatic Enigma would go on to become a perennial presence in the main event as a singles wrestler. He captured the TNA World title three times, and routinely reunited with his brother Matt Hardy as needed (and often as rivals), including becoming broken himself as Brother Nero.

Kurt Angle

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2016

Accolades: TNA World Heavyweight Champion 2x, TNA World Tag Team Champion (w/ AJ Styles)

While his second decade with TNA was slightly worse than his 2000s run, Kurt Angle remained TNA’s greatest ambassador during the 2010s, including two more runs as TNA World champion.

Sami Callihan

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2017 – present

Accolades: IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion

Arriving in IMPACT at the end of 2017 to reunite with his Ohio Is For Killers (OI4K) stable mates Dave & Jake Crist in oVe (Ohio Versus Everything), Sami Callihan became a magnet of controversy. But each controversy drew more and more eyes to IMPACT’s product, and “The Draw” became one of the most interesting heels in the business. He’s had some of IMPACT’s greatest moments of the past three years, culminating in his ascension to the top as the IMPACT World Heavyweight Champion.

THE IMPACT/TNA KNOCKOUTS DIVISION

Gail Kim

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2011-2019

Accolades: TNA/IMPACT Knockouts Champion x6, TNA Women’s Tag Team Champion (w/ Madison Rayne)

There is no other woman that singularly defines TNA/IMPACT’s Knockouts Division than Gail Kim. She left the land of WWE after a second failed stint, only to prove time and time again that their short-sightedness was not a fluke. She captured the Knockouts title on six different occasions as well as one run as TNA Women’s Tag Team Champion, becoming of one TNA’s legitimate legends of all time.

Madison Rayne

Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010 to present

Accolades: TNA/IMPACT Knockouts Champion x5, TNA Women’s Tag Team Champion x2 (w/ Gail Kim, w/ Velvet Sky & Lacey Von Erich as Beautiful People)

“The Queen Bee” has been an anchor in the Knockouts division, as both an ally and rival with Gail Kim. From the Beautiful People to becoming the Locker Room Leader, Madison Rayne has become synonymous with the IMPACT Knockouts Division, winning the Knockouts title five times in the past decade, as well as two tag team reigns.

Mickie James

Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2013; 2015

Accolades: TNA Knockouts Champion x3

Mickie James left WWE amidst one of the worse stories in women’s wrestling (“Piggy James”) and headed to TNA to reinvent herself. She became a consistent performer with TNA, winning the Knockouts title three times.

Rosemary

Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2016 to present

Accolades: TNA Knockouts Champion

Ever since the rise of Decay in 2016, Rosemary has become the rock in the IMPACT Knockouts division. While she’s only held the Knockouts title on one occasion (for quite a lengthy reign), her character has flourished with its intricacies and been mesmerizing whether in the hunt for a title or a Bunny in the Undead Realm. Undeniably one of the IMPACT’s most popular characters of the decade.

Tessa Blanchard

Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2018 to present

Accolades: IMPACT Knockouts Champion

Before signing with IMPACT in 2018, she was a diamond in the rough, but her work in the indies and IMPACT have made her simply a diamond. Not only one of the best women’s wrestlers on the planet, but her intergender work in IMPACT Wrestling (and elsewhere) has also proven she’s one of the best wrestlers on the planet period. She’s locked on a collision course with IMPACT World Champion Sami Callihan that could change the landscape of wrestling forever.

THE IMPACT/TNA TAG TEAM DIVISION

Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)

Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2014

Accolades: TNA World Tag Team Champions x2

Christopher Daniels was a huge singles competitor for TNA during the first decade, creating a rivalry with AJ Styles that may have cemented TNA’s legacy. But in the 2010s, Daniels reunited with West Coast running mate Frankie Kazarian (they trained together with UPW). As Bad Influence, the two athletic superstars added a new chapter to their own stories, that continued when they left for ROH in 2014 to become The Addiction and later SoCal Uncensored (SCU) alongside Scorpio Sky. While they’re now flying high in All Elite Wrestling (AEW), it was their formative work as Bad Influence in TNA in the early 2010s that created the blueprint.

Beer Money Inc. (Bobby Roode & “Cowboy” James Storm

Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2010-2016

Accolades: Tag Team: TNA World Tag Team Champions x2; Bobby Roode: TNA World Heavyweight Champion x2; James Storm: TNA World Heavyweight Champion

One of TNA’s greatest tag teams, both men could have easily made the men’s singles list individually. Bobby Roode was a 2x TNA World Heavyweight Champion (including the longest reign at 256-days) and “Cowboy” James Storm proved to be TNA’s most versatile utility players, who could play World Champion, mid-card gatekeeper, and tag team general. When the two united as Beer Money, they dominated both decades of their existence.

LAX (Santana & Ortiz)

Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2017-2019

Accolades: IMPACT World Tag Team Champions x4

They’ve become “Proud N’ Powerful” in AEW, but in three years, LAX’s Santana & Ortiz went from New York indie legends to one of the world’s greatest tag teams via IMPACT Wrestling. Stars with Beyond and the NY/NJ indie scene, Ortiz & Santana become international superstars and 4x IMPACT World Tag Team Champions and the longest combined reigning champions of all time.

The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix)

Impact Wrestling
Photo: Rudos Photos

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2018-2019

Accolades: IMPACT World Tag Team Champions

Mexico’s Lucha Brothers – Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix – were the undeniable breakout stars from cult fave Lucha Underground, and it was in IMPACT Wrestling that they took the next step. Pentagon Jr. captured the IMPACT World Heavyweight title, but it was together with his brother Fenix that the two created an intense legacy in IMPACT Wrestling in only two years. Their rivalry with LAX went all over North America, from the US to Canada to Mexico, including in AAA.

The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)

Impact Wrestling
Photo: IMPACT

Years With TNA/IMPACT during the decade: 2014-2017 

Accolades: Tag Team: TNA World Tag Team Champions x5; Eddie Edwards: TNA World Heavyweight Champion, TNA X-Division Champion x2

The most decorated tag team of the 2010s was the Wolves, who had helped define indie tag team wrestling in the 2000s with ROH as the American Wolves. Together they became 5x IMPACT World Tag Team Champions, in feuds with the likes of The Hardy Boyz, Team 3D (Dudley Boyz), Beer Money Inc., Decay (Abyss & Crazzy Steve), and more. When they disbanded in 2017, Eddie Edwards has gone on to become of the impact players (no pun intended) and one of its most loyal soldiers, capturing the World Championship and the X-Division title twice.

So who would you put on your TNA/IMPACT Wrestling All-Decade Team for the 2010s? Let us know in the comments below!

See our other All-Decade Teams!

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.

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