5 Impact Wrestling Stars With Wasted Potential
Joseph Park—better known as “The Monster” Abyss—was an Impact Wrestling/TNA O.G. He was there when it was still NWA: TNA.
Even after leaving for WWE, he is still one of the longest-tenured wrestlers the company ever had. Listen, he was there longer than the founders of the company.
However, TNA never really used him to his full, destructive potential. While he had several brushes with the World title, he only managed one almost 2-month reign in 2006.
That’s criminal because he really put his body on the line for Impact. Not only that but he ended up showing that he could deliver the goods as a character in the second half of his TNA career.
Abyss had other accomplishments in Impact but because the booking was inconsistent—or consistently questionable—the ship sailed on him when he had his ticket ready.
James Storm (2002-2015, 2016-2018)
Another TNA O.G, “The Cowboy” James Storm was someone who got the Abyss treatment. TNA was like “Love the ring style, love the charisma, the energy? Fabulous—not a concrete main eventer.”
Like Abyss he should’ve been one of the major acts in TNA for a lengthier period of time. He also should’ve been World champion longer than eight whole ass days.
He did manage a number of accomplishments in the company—most of them being as a tag competitor. Still, his handling as a star was criminal.
Monty Brown (2002, 2004-2006)
Brown was one of Impact Wrestling’s most charismatic wrestlers and a pretty good, athletic brawler. The guy was all power and electricity—something that early TNA needed.
There were three talents in early TNA that the rocket pack should’ve been strapped to: A.J Styles, Ron Killings, and Monty Brown.
TNA ran with Styles as the company’s face, Killings was given opportunities and reigns with the World title for a brief period, but Brown never held the belt.
Mind you, he was there for the shortest period of anyone on this list but the guy was one of two—along with Killings—who had crossover appeal and charisma.
The company should’ve hit the switch on Brown in 2006 but that wasn’t to be. It’s not surprising at all, really. By this time, TNA was bringing in former major league stars.
Those stars usually got bumped up in card position which threw the most of the company’s day one stars and future main eventers’ positions for a loop.
Samoa Joe (2005-2015)
You know, when I was looking into Joe’s run with Impact Wrestling, I was surprised it ran for almost ten years. There are periods of his TNA career that kind of merge together.
Every year of a wrestler’s career with a company isn’t going to be memorable. Still, Joe deserved more than three memorable years, his machete and face paint, and being kidnapped.
Samoa Joe was one of the hottest wrestlers in North America during the 2000s and Impact was like “Let’s spoil this gift. Just kill all this momentum.”
For what reason? I mean, we could say “Because of Russo” but one person couldn’t clap that many careers…right? Like, it’s possible to mess up a bunch of characters.
The Face of Impact Wrestling: A.J Styles (2002-2014)
For over a decade, Styles had been positioned as either the face of TNA or the company’s ace. You’d think those were the same but stay tuned for another article.
Early on in TNA, the company did a decent job at presenting Styles as such. He was surrounded by up-and-coming talent who could’ve been career rivals and rose with him.
If this sounds familiar that’s because as valuable as Styles was to Impact Wrestling, he couldn’t dodge the WCW-esque surge of former WWE talent.
As mentioned before, when this talent came into the company, roster positions were…impacted. One or two uppercard talents or main eventers weren’t going to shake the native roster much.
However, halfway through Styles’ TNA tenure, former stars from WWE of all roster positions started coming in. Some stayed awhile and others bounced the same year.
Since TNA brought them in, creative had to give them storylines and suitable pushes to warrant storylines. Styles’ position was either dropped one or he was involved in meh stories.
I will say that his last two years in TNA were actually very eventful. Weird that he was getting the level of storyline involvement in 2014 that he should’ve gotten years earlier.
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