Tuesday, February 27

10 Most Unlikable Wrestlers In TNA History, Ranked

Over the course of its two-decade history, TNA — at one time known as Impact Wrestling — has delivered fans pretty much everything imaginable in pro wrestling, from some of the best matches ever to some of the worst matches ever. When it comes to the wrestlers themselves, it’s introduced a variety of beloved talent to wider audiences like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe as well as some of the most unlikeable wrestlers of all time.


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When it comes to unlikeable wrestlers in TNA history, these hated figures run the gamut. Some of them are the most unlikable because of their heel work while others are unlikeable for reasons that aren’t necessarily a part of kayfabe but are nevertheless inherent in their characters when fans see them on screen.


10 Abyss Was Impact’s Go-To Monster Heel

The Monster Had Some Infamous Matches During His Run

Highest Rated Match On Cagematch

Lowest Rated Match On Cagematch

Abyss vs. AJ Styles, TNA Lockdown 2005 (8.92)

Abyss vs. Mr. Anderson, TNA Genesis 2010 (3.00)

The TNA equivalent of Kane, “The Monster” Abyss first showed up in the Impact Zone in 2002, and soon developed a reputation as one of the company’s most violent figures. With a tortured past and his own Paul Bearer in Father James Mitchell, Abyss fought in classics like his Steel Cage Match against AJ Styles as well as notorious stinkers like his Last Rites Match with Sting. As an ultraviolet heel, Abyss was one of the most unlikeable villains in TNA — albeit on purpose, which certainly puts him ahead of many of the other wrestlers on this list.

9 Bobby Fish Became A Meme

It Was All Thanks To A Reviled Promo

First TNA Appearance

Last TNA Appearance

Catchphrase

Victory Road, 9/23/2022

Impact Wrestling, 10/13/2022

“Folks, Where’s The Lie?”

After leaving AEW amid some mild backstage controversy with CM Punk — he certainly got off better than some other wrestlers — Bobby Fish made his first appearance in Impact at the Victory Road 2022 pay-per-view. While the idea of Fish tearing it up on his own showed some promise, he immediately achieved some unintentional infamy thanks to his smug, sarcastic promo, where he tried to make “Folks, where’s the lie?” into a catchphrase. While his run with TNA was brief, fans still ironically drop his would-be catchphrase on Reddit threads and the like.

8 Jeff Jarrett Was The Main Character Of TNA, For Better Or Worse

Double J Was Considered Overexposed In The Company He Founded

TNA Runs

TNA Accomplishments

2002-2014, 2015, 2017

NWA World Heavyweight Champion, TNA King Of The Mountain Champion

A source of controversy among die-hard wrestling fans, Jeff Jarrett is crucial to the existence of TNA, as he and his father Jerry Jarrett founded the company in the wake of WCW’s demise. While it’s not uncommon that the wrestler in charge is prominently featured on his promotion’s show, fans took exception to the younger Jarrett doing it.

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A multi-time world champion in the company, countless TV time was devoted to Jarrett as both a face and a heel during his time with the company. For some fans, it was such a reign of terror that it was often the source of unfavorable comparisons during Cody Rhodes’ time in AEW.

7 Austin Aries Left TNA Under Controversy

Aries’ Reputation Only Got Worse Over The Years

TNA Debut

Final Appearance

TNA Accomplishments

TNA Sacrifice, 8/14/2005

Impact Bound For Glory, 10/14/2018

TNA World Champion, X-Division Champion, Impact Grand Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion

First debuting for TNA under the name Austin Starr, Austin Aries became a highlight of TNA television in the early 2010s as he moved on from X-Division star to World Champion, often working as a heel. But the former indie wrestler soon developed a poor reputation for having a bit of an ego — appropriate for a wrestler nicknamed “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” — which came to a head at Bound For Glory 2018. After losing to Johnny Impact in the main event, Aries was seen abruptly getting up and walking out, refusing to sell the loss he just took in an incident that marked his departure from the company.

6 Hulk Hogan Took Over TNA In 2010

One Of Wrestling’s Greatest Draws Is Also One Of Its Most Controversial Figures

TNA Debut

Final TNA Appearance

TNA Impact, 1/4/2010

Impact Wrestling, 10/3/2013

In 2010, TNA experienced a huge change with the arrival of Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan, who not only appeared as on-screen authority figures on TNA television, but were also running the company behind the scenes. Thanks to years of well-documented backstage politics especially during his career highs, Hogan is a controversial figure among many fans, and his changes to TNA’s presentation (ditching the six-sided ring) and booking decisions (publicly trashing Bobby Roode ahead of his biggest match) did little to endear him to fans. As an on-screen figure, Hogan took part in some nWo rehashes that failed to get over with fans.

5 Christian Cage Is One Of TNA’s Most Hateable Wrestlers

To His Credit, He Was Hateable On Purpose

TNA Debut

TNA Accomplishments

11/13/2005

NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Impact World Champion

Fans watching current AEW have quickly learned what TNA fans have known for years — that Christian Cage is one of the most unlikeable heels of all time. Initially a babyface in the Impact Zone, Cage’s heel turn happened after less than a year when he bashed Sting over the head with Jeff Jarrett’s guitar. As a bad guy, Cage is fully devoted to playing the villain, making him the kind of bad guy that’s impossible to root for by design.

4 Glenn Gilberti Was a Lowlight Of The Early Years Of TNA

The Former Disco Inferno Remains Controversial To This Day

Disco Inferno TNA

TNA Runs

TNA Accomplishments

2002-2004, 2007, 2018-2020

None

These days, Glenn Gilberti — formerly known as WCW’s Disco Inferno — is one of those veteran pundits who seemingly trash modern wrestling to harvest clicks. But Gilberti’s unlikability predates social media, going back to (at least) his days in TNA.

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For proof, one should look no further than his talk show segment in the early days of Impact, Jive Talkin’. Lacking the charm of his WCW days, this segment had Gilberti openly hurling misogynist comments at female guests and failing to be even remotely funny. He also wrestled a bit.

3 Eric Bischoff Remained A Hateable Authority Figure In TNA

Bischoff Formed Immortal With Hulk Hogan & Held Back The X-Division

WCW Run

TNA Run

1991-2000

2010-2014

Best known for his time in WCW, Eric Bischoff was not only the backstage boss of the company for much of the mid-to-late 1990s — a.k.a. the Monday Night Wars era — but was also a regular nuisance on WCW television. This practice continued when he and Hulk Hogan arrived in TNA in 2010. Partnered with Hogan on-screen as well as backstage, the two revealed themselves as heels bent on taking over the Impact Zone, which was a bit of a rehash of their mega-successful nWo storyline. One of Bischoff’s other big angles had him antagonizing the X-Division wrestlers in a storyline based on their actual frustrations with their booking.

2 Bully Ray Is One Of TNA’s Most Irredeemable Heels

The Former Bubba Ray Dudley Made Several Returns To The Impact Zone

TNA Runs

TNA Accomplishments

2005-2015, 2022-2023

TNA World Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion, NWA World Tag Team Champion

While he’s certainly been a babyface during his career, Bully Ray — a.k.a. Bubba Ray Dudley — is at his best as a heel. Loud and aggressive, Ray feels no compunction about saying absolutely horrible things to fans and other wrestlers alike. Bully Ray infamously turned on his tag team partner Devon and staged a takeover of the Impact Zone as leader of Aces & Eights, but he’s also recently committed some heinous acts in TNA. In late 2022, Ray — who already had a guaranteed contract for a world title match — decided to not only attack Impact World Champion Josh Alexander, but also threatened to piledrive his wife.

1 Vince Russo Is One Of The Most Hated Men In Wrestling History

This Writer Often Wrote Himself Into The Story

TNA Runs

TNA Accomplishments

2002-2004, 2006-2012, 2014

None

Initially coming into prominence in WWE as one of the architects of the Attitude Era, Vince Russo brought his talents to WCW for a much-reviled run and later joined up with TNA in its early days. Known for crude sex jokes and a focus on shenanigans over good matches, Russo brought both to the Impact Zone while also making himself one of the company’s top heels, leading a faction called Sports Entertainment Xtreme (S.E.X.). As the years went on, Russo’s notoriety was such that fans at TNA shows would chant “Fire Russo” during particularly bad matches.

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