The hit list of amazing wrestlers to work with Impact Wrestling aka TNA featured some of the all-time greats. TNA had its fair share of bad moments, but the talent was typically impressive. Fans got to witness some of the top names from the past, present, and future as they worked for the secondary promotion.
Quite a few heels walked the line between being a hated villain and becoming a beloved villain. The hardest task for a heel is to continue to deliver solid work without the audience wanting to love you at some point. TNA had this in mind with quite a few talented performers. Each of the following heels was the most likable in TNA history.
Sting’s heel career in TNA featured him playing a unique character. Sting attacked Hulk Hogan and lined up with heels that were against him at the time. TNA portrayed Sting as a heel to a mixed reaction as some fans loved his actions.
However, this was all meant for a bigger plan when Hogan turned around at the end of this story to form Immortal. Sting ended up being right all along and returned to his babyface role to continue his feud with Hogan.
9 monty brown
TNA’s early years saw the company take a chance on unknown talent with the upper hand. Former NFL player Monty Brown wanted to move into the wrestling industry as the next crossover hit and found his first big break in TNA.
Fans took advantage of Brown’s talent with captivating moves like the leap. TNA turned Monty heel when he sided with Jeff Jarrett against newcomers Sting and Christian Cage. The fans continued to support Brown and still miss him to this day.
8 don west
A commentator going badass is a rare act, as they usually only portray their characters while narrating the action. Don West had an elaborate heel turn that came with a promo that ran over his fellow commentator Mike Tenay.
Vince Russo’s idea of conflict led West to claim that Tenay did not have his back in a meeting with management about his future. West played a hilarious badass commentator that fans enjoyed for the tremendous comedy and sale of his character.
7 petey williams
X-Division wrestlers in TNA usually had the difficult task of getting heat as a rudo. TNA expected them to always have good matches that would entertain the audience with exciting action. Petey Williams perfectly summed this up during his run as X-Division Champion.
There were times when the crowd was against Petey due to his involvement with the Team Canada faction. Unfortunately, this ended when Williams had the match for him and delivered the innovative Canadian Destroyer finisher to always a standing ovation.
Raven’s signing by TNA felt like his first major acquisition as a free agent since joining right after leaving WWE. Raven started out in a big heel role by targeting NWA Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett and having a short-term faction with his fellow ECW alumni.
Fans often cheered for Raven for baby faces like Jarrett to ensure a face change at the end. TNA fought to get the audience to hate Raven since he was such a compelling character. Raven even received cheers during his speech into the Impact Hall of Fame for hitting Tommy Dreamer with a DDT for old times sake.
5 AJ Styles
AJ Styles’ TNA career saw him become the top wrestler on the roster for most of his career. Despite TNA signing dozens of former WWE and WCW stars in the hopes that they would become top stars, Styles was always seen by fans as the face of the company.
Several of AJ’s heel runs culminated in him having to change faces after too long due to his great performances and audience connection. Styles showcased this best as part of the Christian Coalition faction with stellar matches and hilarious character work.
4 money for beer
James Storm and Bobby Roode were coming off failed singles attempts when they formed the Beer Money team. An instant chemistry was formed making them feel like bigger stars working together after outdoing each other as entertaining heels.
Fans began rooting for Beer Money in matches where they played heels. A later run of faces allowed Roode and Storm to experiment with their characters. Beer Money proved that good things can come from being adorable heels.
3 gail kim
Gail Kim’s greatness saw her shape the Knockouts division as arguably the best female wrestler in the world. Gail played more of a heel than a babyface during her stints on Planet Jarrett and as the dominant Knockouts Champion.
Fans admired the impressive work and enjoyed cheering on Kim during various heeled moments. The time on Planet Jarrett was fascinating as Gail was a rare woman who got involved in matches. Kim’s Knockout Championship reigns as such after her return from a second stint in WWE helped define her career.
2 scott steiner
TNA couldn’t have predicted how Scott Steiner’s career turned out when they signed him. Steiner instantly showed the humorous side of him with promos that have to be seen to be believed. Fans fell for Steiner as an act of guilty pleasure.
Steiner’s unpredictable nature and crazy tendencies led to dozens of hilarious moments. Steiner was a heel during his infamous math promos and “he’s fat” over Samoa Joe. TNA still gets great views and attention for these moments years after the beloved rude.
1 samoa joe
The beginning of Samoa Joe’s time in TNA was one of the best careers for any new wrestler. Joe joined after some buzz in Ring of Honor and got another commanding push. Joe’s unbeaten streak lasted over a year with the booking protecting him.
Joe decimating beloved names like AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels didn’t even stop the audience from loving him. A tremendous talent that seems dominant in big games will almost always be acclaimed by the fans. Joe was always loved by the TNA audience for his excellent character and his work in general.