impact wrestling -TNA as it was at the time- was nearing the end of its 2008 peak. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff had yet to enter the creative picture, the company’s key players yet to leave amid a lack of creativity, and The Nasty Boys had yet to wrestle some of the worst matches TNA had to offer, but it was only a matter of time before TNA became a cesspool of their once burgeoning selves.
That’s why, in 2008, the workforce the company boasted seemed so polished. They had AJ Styles at his first peak, Samoa Joe when he was the dominant ‘Samoan Submission Machine’, The Motor City Machine Guns when they were on par with what The Young Bucks were doing with the American independents, and a horde of secrets. wrestlers you had no idea worked under the TNA banner.
10 shelly martinez
Many will remember Shelly Martinez from WWE’s ill-fated ECW revival, where she played Kevin Thorn’s vampire girlfriend. Nicknamed Ariel, Martinez did little to stand out under the company, her most notable “accolade” being a calamitous intergender tag team match in 2006. december to dismember pay-per-view, and was subsequently fired from her contract in May 2007.
Joining TNA full-time in 2008, Martinez was recast as Salinas, the valet for the incredibly popular Xchange Latin American pairing of Homicide and Hernandez, and occasionally Hector Guerrero. She wrestled nine matches for TNA in the year, including her participation in the infamous Sacrifice 2008 Makeover Battle Royal which ended with Roxxi Laveaux getting a shaved head. Her last TNA match of 2008 was a loss to then-Knockouts Champion Awesome Kong.
9 Milano EN Collection
A Japanese sensation before his retirement in 2010, the hyper-speed Milano Collection AT was a selection for his country’s team at the 2008 TNA World X Cup, joining Japanese high-speed pioneers Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino, and Puma, that it was actually TJP under a mask.
Milano worked two TNA matches in 2008 as part of the Cup, picking up two points for Team Japan in a July TNA Impact on Alex Shelley, before teaming with Yoshino and Puma in a four-team loss to Shelley, Chris Sabin and Chris Sabin from team TNA. Curry man in the victory path Pay per view. The Japan team ultimately placed third in the X World Cup, scoring a total of four points.
8 Hector Guerrero
While many fans will remember Hector Guerrero for his time as The Gobbledy Gooker in the then World Wrestling Federation, the later stages of his career led him to Impact Wrestling to join Willie Urbina on the group’s Spanish-language commentary team. Guerrero spent eight years in the role between 2007 and 2015.
Like Shelly Martinez, the Guerrero family man was paired with Homicide and Hernandez, both of whom he heavily favored while commentating, much to the chagrin of newly formed Beer Money Inc. pairing of James Storm and Robert Roode. The two teams’ antagonism against each other resulted in Hector working his first match in five years when he teamed with The LAX to battle Storm, Roode, and their manager Jackie Moore, where the stipulation was that the losing team would be forced to deliver their management services. LAX lost and Hector resumed his only role as a Spanish-language commentator.
Former WWE Women’s Champion Jacqueline, as Jackie Moore, was used in TNA for several years in a variety of roles, but it’s her time spent as a valet for Beer Money Inc. that is most prominent. The future WWE Hall of Famer ranked beautifully alongside ‘The Cowboy’ and future ‘Glorious One’, helping them to their victory over Homicide, Hernandez and Hector Guerrero in what was their last televised match of the year for the company.
Nicknamed ‘The Pride of Tennessee,’ Jackie also participated in a series of knockout division matches throughout the year, picking up victories over icons of the TNA women’s division including ODB, The Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky ), and the future Impact Hall. of the famous Gail Kim.
Serena Deeb would not achieve notoriety until 2010 when, along with CM Punk and Luke Gallows, she appeared regularly on WWE programming as a member of the Punk-led Straight Edge Society, and later for her work in All Elite Wrestling, where she wrestled. notable matches against Thunder Rosa.
However, in 2008, in what was the first time Deeb had worked on a mainstream pro wrestling product, she was a planted fan who answered the $25,000 challenge set by then-Knockouts Champion Awesome Kong. She didn’t stand a chance and was easily defeated by Awesome Kong over two minutes and thirty seconds in the annual event. slammiversary Pay per view.
5 jon moxley
Before he was known the world over for his work alongside Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns on The Shield or for his frequent breaking of the Muta Scale, Jon Moxley was an unharmed, boxer shorts-wearing rascal whose idea of a good time was punching. to helpless fools. and occasionally knocking them through glass panels.
He did not achieve this in TNA, but did defeat Lamar Braxton Porter prior to the November 11, 2008 TNA Impact television tapings. The crowd also audibly reacted for the future AEW World Champion, with Jon Moxley becoming a household indie star. for his death-defying work in DJ Hyde’s Combat Zone Wrestling group. This match reportedly served as a test run for Jon Moxley to join TNA permanently before he was caught up in the WWE development.
4 tiger mask IV
The initial working agreement between TNA and New Japan Pro-Wrestling meant that the latter’s talent was infrequently sent to TNA and vice versa, with Tiger Mask IV making the most of his January 2008 stint with the company. Although he worked only two matches for the Dixie Carter-led promotion in the month, one was a well-received television match with AJ Styles that saw TNA’s Ace take on one of Japan’s biggest exports.
His second match wasn’t nearly as glamorous as it was a fairly standard tag team match where he teamed with Eric Young’s alter ego Super Eric in a winning effort over Jimmy Rave and Lance Rock.
3 Hiroshi Tanahashi
Hiroshi Tanahashi has worked for TNA numerous times over the decades, as recently as 2023 when he defeated Mike Bailey on Impact and co-promoted NJPW. united multiverse finished event WrestleMania 39 weekend.
However, in 2008, Tanahashi went the extra mile before his third IWGP Heavyweight Championship win in January 2009, while working a series of matches on TNA programming and non-televised live events. He faced off against all manner of adversaries, from company luminaries like The Motor City Machine Guns to rising stars like Consequences Creed and Jay Lethal.
2 shinsuke nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura was the IWGP Heavyweight Champion at the time of his only jaunt to TNA Impact, having clinched the title for a second time after defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi at the 2008 Wrestle Kingdom event, and Nakamura remained Heavyweight Champion. of IWGP during his brief flirtation with Impact. Zone.
He faced, and defeated, Elix Skipper in an edition of TNA’s eliminated sideshow Xplosion, beating the tag team specialist in just over two minutes, making his plane ride from Japan an uneventful experience.
1 bob armstrong
‘Bullet’ Bob Armstrong is the head of the renowned Armstrong clan of professional wrestling, with his sons, Joseph, Robert, Steve and Brian, all following in their father’s footsteps. It was Brian who became the most popular of the foursome, rising to fame in WWE as Road Dogg.
Armstrong wrestled two matches for TNA in 2008 and surprisingly both were excursions to the TNA World Tag Team Championships. He challenged AJ Styles and Tomko both times, teaming with Road Dogg, at the time, BG James, the former and Kip James the latter, with Kip being Road Dogg’s longtime partner as Billy Gunn in The New Age Outlaws. . Both times, ‘Bullet Bob’ failed to lift his first championship since 1988.