You know, I love TNA Wrestling. It was the first wrestling company I ever loved (and pretty much only with the exception of the defunct WCW). However, it’s gotten really bad since Hogan came in in 2010. I decided to think about the old great days of TNA and make a top 25 list of the greatest matches they’ve had (that I’ve seen). Two things though I have to say: 1) These are my personal opinions, so don’t complain if you disagree. 2) I’ve pretty much stopped watching with how bad 2010 was (with the Nasty Boys defeating Team 3-D, Orlando Jordan defeating Samoa Joe, Mr. Anderson defeating Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam defeating AJ Styles for the world title, I was done), so there will probably be good matches that aren’t here (I’ve heard great thing about some of the Motor City Machine Guns/Beer Money matches), but I haven’t seen them so I can’t rank them. Now, let’s get started. Feel free to point out any great matches I forgot.
Matches that just missed the cut.
Hard Justice 2007: TNA World Heavyweight Championsip, TNA X-Division Championship, TNA World Tag Team Championships, and IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe *
Turning Point 2005: NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Jarrett (c) vs. Rhino
Genesis 2007: Fight for the Right Tournament Finals: Ladder: Christian Cage vs. Kaz
Turning Point 2009: Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe
Turning Point 2008: Falls Count Anywhere: Kurt Angle vs. Abyss
Turning Point 2008: TNA World Tag Team Championships: Beer Money (c) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns
Bound for Glory 2009: Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan
Genesis 2006: AJ Styles vs. Christian Cage *
Destination X 2012: TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Austin Aries
Final Resolution 2005: TNA X-Division Championship: Ultimate X: Petey Williams (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Chris Sabin Unbreakable: TNA X-Division Championship: Christopher Daniels (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe **
* Would of made the list if it didn’t have a screwy finish.
** Am I the only one who finds this match highly overrated?
25. 20 Man Steel Cage Gauntlet: AJ Styles vs. Abyss vs. Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal vs. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin vs. Matt Morgan vs. Homicide vs. Scott Steiner vs. Consequences Creed vs. Rhino vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Yujiro vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shane Sewell vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir vs. Booker T. vs. Tetsuya Naito vs. Eric Young vs. Hernandez from TNA Impact on March 26, 2009
Holy crap that’s a lot of people. Leading into Lockdown in 2009, they held this match to determine the Team Captains for the annual Lethal Lockdown match. The match immedietly gets off to a good start with AJ & Abyss starting off (giving me flashbacks to their 2005 match at Lockdown where they basically killed each other). Pretty much everyone looked great in the match (with obvious exceptions like Shane Sewell. Why did they even have him wrestle?), and the story telling was also great. Jeff Jarrett was coming down to the ring and Kurt attacked him to prevent him from entering the ring. Angle later attacked him again when it was time for Angle to enter the match, and eventually everyone was eliminated except Angle and #20 came out, which was Jarrett re-entering. Angle beat him, until Joe came out and he was show to be the final person in the match. Joe ended up pinning Angle, and later gave up being Captain of Lethal Lockdown and Jarrett tried to give it to AJ until AJ gave it to Jarrett.
24. TNA World Tag Team Championships & IWGP Tag Team Championships: Full Metal Mayhem: Scott Steiner & Booker T (TNA) vs. The British Invasion (Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams) (IWGP) vs. Team 3-D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) vs. Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) from Bound for Glory 2009
They never made the rules 100% clear until the match started, but basically both the TNA & IWGP belts were hanging above the ring. Whoever grabbed the IWGP belts won those titles and whoever grabbed the TNA belts won those titles with the match not over until both belts were pulled down. The rest were normal Full Metal Mayhem rules. This was a great match that perfectly ended the feud these four teams had during 2009 (though the Brits & Beer Money later entered a feud which was never finished). The British Invasion finally captured the TNA World Tag Team Championships while 3-D recaptured the IWGP belts. Beer Money looked strong in it, and so did Steiner. Booker was taken out on a stretcher during the match and was later released from the company (the storyline reasoning being that Beer Money injured him by hitting the DWI on him). Just a great match.
23. Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles from Slammiversary 2008
The first one on one match between AJ Styles & Kurt Angle, and it was a great match. I didn’t care for the finish (I’m not a fan of AJ, plus it was a screwy finish), but I can forgive that with how good of a match this was. First of many great, good, and mediocre matches (I can’t think of a bad match they’ve had).
22. Vacant TNA X-Divsion Championship: Alex Shelly vs. Chris Sabin from Genesis 2009
An absolutely great X-Division match. After the title was vacated, both Sabin & Shelly entered a tournament to crown a new champ and they advanced to the finals. Both were members of the Motor City Machine Guns, so there was no cheating or anything (I don’t have a problem with heels cheating, but a match just feels better if they don’t). There was good high-flying and technical wrestling in the match, and Alex Shelly FINALLY became X-Division champion. Just a great match, but it still didn’t take match of the night.
21. TNA World Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Kurt Angle from TNA Impact on January 4, 2010
While I hate Hulk Hogan and think he’s pretty much killing TNA, that Impact where he debuted was pretty good. This was perfect to end it, and a perfect match to show people who were watching TNA for the first time. Kurt Angle finally received his rematch for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship (why did it take him 4 months to get a rematch anyway?), and still looked good in defeat. I was depressed Kurt lost that night, but it was still a great match and probably the best Impact match we’ve seen.
20. TNA World Tag Team Championships: Monsters Ball Match: Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) (c) vs. Team 3-D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon vs. L.A.X. (Hernandez & Homicide) vs. Abyss & Matt Morgan w/Special Referee Steve “Mongo” McMichael from Bound for Glory IV
The Monsters Ball Match is always good at BFG, but this is by far the best. TNA took their four top tag teams (minus the Motor City Machine Guns for some reason) and put them in the most violent Monsters Ball match in TNA. There were the usual chairs, trash cans, kendo sticks, etc. Then we got into weapons like forks and cheese graders, and it kept progressing until Abyss was put through a flaming table. All four teams put up a good fight (though as always, Morgan has to carry Abyss in the match), and the ending was great. Team 3-D put Hernandez through a table covered in thumb tacks, Storm spit beer in Devon’s face and covered Hernandez for the three count. Steve was weird as the ref, but I won’t complain. Just a great, violent match that any fan of hardcore wrestling should see.
19. TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Sting from Bound for Glory 2007
The match was a bit rushed, but still a great match and one of Sting’s best matches in recent years. Taking place in Atlanta, Sting returned to his “stomping grounds” while Kurt returned to the city where he won the gold medal (with a broken neck). After a great match, which (unfortunately) had interference, Sting was still able to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion and continue his undefeated Bound for Glory streak (which began in 2006 ended in 2009, That sucks). However, Sting lost the belt a mere two days later at the tapings for the next impact.
18. TNA World Tag Team Championships & IWGP Tag Team Championships: Steel Cage Philadelphia Street Fight: Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) (TNA) vs. Team 3-D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) (IWGP) from Lockdown 2009
This was by far match of the night. It’s one of the few steel cage matches I’ve seen where the majority of the match took place outside the cage. This was a match to unify the two titles. Great match where both teams gave it their all, and Team 3-D captured their 22nd tag team championship in the same city where they captured their first.
17. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe from Turning Point 2006
After Joe suffered his first loss to Kurt at Genesis 2006, Joe demanded a rematch and received it. This was built as THE Rematch and the final time Joe & Kurt would face each other. This was a great match that almost topped their match at Genesis, but the screwy ending brought it down (Angle tried to use a chair, ended up hitting the ropes which bounced back and hit him, so Joe but him in the rear naked choke and won). Still a great match and not their last.
16. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe from Genesis 2006
This was Samoa Joe’s first loss in TNA after 18 months. They built up to this after Angle debuted and headbutted Joe (nicknamed “The Headbutt heard around the world”), and was advertized as the “Dream Match of the Decade.” The match was amazing and it was a great moment to see Joe tap for the first time. Joe got all angry after the loss and led to the match seen above, and many other matches. Including…
15. TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Steel Cage: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Samoa Joe from Lockdown 2008
Great match that didn’t suffer from any interference and the match where Samoa Joe finally became TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Both men looked good, though Frank Trigg (I think that’s his name) on commentary was really distracting. The match was great, though the stipulation made it mean less. If Joe lost, he would of retired from professional wrestling. There was no way Joe was going to retire, so at this point it wasn’t even debatable who was gonna win. Still a good match though, and led to some great Samoa Joe title defenses including…
14. TNA World Heavyweight Championship: King of the Mountain Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Booker T vs. Rhino vs. Christian Cage vs. Robert Roode w/Special Enforcer Kevin Nash from Slammiversary 2008
At the time, this was the best King of the Mountain match. It was also Robert Roode’s first shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and the match made Samoa Joe the first champion to ever successfully defend the title in the King of the Mountain match (a point they said too many times, which gave away who was gonna win). Roode should of won the match, but oh well. Still a great match.
13. TNA X-Division Championship: King of the Mountain Match: Suicide (c) vs. Alex Shelly vs. Chris Sabin vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequences Creed from Slammiversary 2009
I still have no clue what TNA Was thinking with Suicide. He was good in the ring since he was portrayed by either Christopher Daniels or in this case Kaz (or Kazarian), but the gimmick and idea was awful. But this was still a great match. I was really hoping one of the hometown Motor City Machine Guns would take home the gold, but that didn’t happen (though Shelly was the most impressive in the match). This is one of the best X-Division matches TNA has ever put on. This was just a perfect match for the X-Division to shine on TNA’s seven year anniversary.
12. Three Degrees of Pain Match: Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe
TNA was trying to give Wolfe a major push when he debuted (they really dropped the ball in 2010) and entered him in a feud with Kurt Angle. They had an awesome match at Turning Point, but this one was even better. The rules to the match were it was a 2 out of 3 falls match. Fall One was pinfall only, Fall Two was submission only, and if needed, Fall Three was won by whoever escaped the cage. Wolfe impressively pinned Angle in round 1, and Angle was able to get Wolfe to tap out to the Ankle Lock in Round 2. Round 3, Angle put Wolfe back in the Ankle Lock until Wolfe basically passed out and Angle began to climb out of the cage. Wolfe crawled his way to the door and ALMOST got out before Angle, but Angle was able to escape first. It was an awesome match that finished their feud.
11. NWA World Heavyweight Championship #1 Contership: Steel Cage: Abyss vs. AJ Styles from Lockdown 2005
The main event on the first Lockdown, the most dangerous PPV of the year where every match took place inside a steel cage. Well only part of this match did. When Abyss came out, AJ jumped through the door and attacked him, and they were fighting through the crowd and went all over the place. Eventually, they fought their way back to the cage and started fighting there. Both men were doing great moves, involving the Styles Clash into tacks, the Black hole slam into tacks, and Abyss rapping a chain around AJ and holding him over the side of the cage. I said earlier that they basically killed each other, and I wasn’t kidding. The finish came when AJ did a sunset flip piledriver on Abyss from the top of the cage into tacks and pinned him. AJ later went on to win the NWA World title from Jeff Jarrett at Hard Justice 2005.
10. TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Steel Cage: Bobby Roode (c) vs. James Storm from Lockdown 2012
I said earlier that I pretty much stopped watching TNA when Hogan came in, but this was a match I had to see. I found it online, and it did not disappoint. Both men went in there and put out one of the best steel cage matches I’ve ever seen. It probably would of been better if I actually watched the build up to it, but I was still able to enjoy the match. The ending has Storm hit the Last Call (basically a superkick) on Roode, which knocked him through the door and causing him to hit the floor, resulting in Roode winning the match and retaining the title (despite being unconscious). Just a fantastic match with a brilliant finish that I’m glad I found online. I considered starting to watch TNA again after how good this match was, but with how bad some of their booking choices have been, I decided not to.
9. 30 Minute Iron Man Match: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe from Final Resolution 2007
Their third match, which I consider the best of their matches. They went in and preformed an amazing match for 30 minutes. Kurt demanded the match after tapping out to Joe at Turning Point 2006, and Joe eventually accepted. Angle won 3-2, though for the final 20 seconds, Joe had Kurt in the ankle lock. About a second after the clock ran out, Angle tapped out, but he still technically won the match, so I was pleased.
8. Last Man Standing: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles
The match that kind of ended their never ending feud. It was pretty much the end of that chapter of their feud. It was an incredible match where both men looked amazing. There were a few times though were Angle looked weak, such as when he tapped out to the Ankle Lock. That just annoyed me. But he made up for it in other sections, such as a summersault (I spelled that wrong) from the top ramp onto AJ (I guess is the best way to describe it). Angle may not always seem it since he always tries to be more of a technical wrestler, but he can pull off some really high risk moves. AJ won the match after hitting a DDT from off the top rope and AJ was unable to answer the 10 count. Angle was laying there barely moving and medics came out to take him out on a stretcher. I’m not sure if this was serious or just booked like that, but it still looked like he landed the wrong way. He seemed fine on following episodes of Impact though, so that’s good.
7. TNA X-Division Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe from Turning Point 2005
During Joe’s impressive undefeated streak, he was in the X-Division for the longest time. He had matches against Christ Sabin, Alex Shelly, Matt Bentley, and most notably, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. After Joe beat the crap out of Daniels, AJ was complaining that he broke the “code of the X-Division” (WHAT CODE!?!? And AJ & Daniels were bitter enemies, what does he care?) which led to this match. And it was a great match where Joe was able to look like a monster (despite the hair) while AJ was still able to look good and there were a few times where it looked like the streak was going to come to an end. That didn’t happen however, and AJ tapped out to the rear naked choke which Joe continued to hold until AJ passed out. He was going to put AJ out like he did to Daniels, but Daniels came out and stopped him. That sucks.
6. Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett from Genesis 2009
After Angle was cheated out of a victory at Bound for Glory IV (which was a great match despite the finish), Angle demanded a rematch. But Jarrett was a coward and refused to fight him, until Angle finally got him in the ring at this PPV. And they pretty much went out there and almost killed each other (more so than AJ & Abyss did). It was a great match where both men looked strong, and there was a ton of offense from both sides. Angle hit the Olympic Slam on Jeff through a table from the top ramp. They both crawled back to the ring and continued to beat the crap out of each other. We even saw how cheaply made Jeff’s guitar is (he must have a warehouse full of these things) as it was broken before anyone hit anyone with it. The ending was a bit anti-climatic, but they made up for it afterwards with the beat down Angle gave Jarrett. Just an awesome match that gave Angle a bit of revenge after Jarrett won at BFG.
5. TNA World Heavyweight Championship: King of the Mountain Match: Mick Foley (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
Man, never though I’d be putting any of Foley’s matches on this list, let alone this high on the list. But this was a great match and the best King of the Mountain match TNA has put on. Everyone in the Match looked good, with the possible exception of Foley (but this is his best TNA match). Everyone went out there and did their best, and there was even some nice humor (such as Angle wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey in Detroit the day after the Penguins beat Detroit’s hockey team [which I forget the name of]). Foley was kind of out there in the match, because he started the match wanting to stay on the ladder and not get involved, then gave Jarrett a pin over him so he could go to the Penalty Box and couldn’t be hurt there, then got choked out by Joe. He was either getting his butt kicked or doing some crazy move (such as jumping off the penalty box, which looked a lot better when someone like Chris Sabin was doing it). And it also made no sense why AJ & Joe kept trying to stop each other from winning the match (though Joe trying to stop him later made sense after the finish). Despite my complaining though, this was a fantastic match and the best King of the Mountain match. I also love the finish with Joe letting Kurt win the match and Joe joining the Main Event Mafia. It also made Kurt the ONLY man to be undefeated in the King of the Mountain match, and ended Jarret’s streak.
4. TNA X-Division Championship: 30 Minute Iron Man Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Christopher Daniels
The first ever one on one meeting between these two in TNA (I’ve heard somewhere that as of right now they’ve faced each other 115 times. Everything special about these two in the ring has been taken away) and (as far as I know) Daniel’s first shot at the X-Division championship. This was an amazing match and is by far the best X-Division match TNA has ever had (screw the AJ/Joe/Daniels 3-Way). They put on an amazing match with each man looking great. It ended in a 1-1 tie, but Daniels demanded an overtime which was given. AJ ended up coming back and beating him, resulting in him retaining the title. This is just an amazing match that really shows how good the X-Division is. Luckily, Daniels won the title the following month at Destination X in an Ultimate X match (AJ had the belt pulled down, but Daniels hit the Angel Wings, took the belt, revived the referee and won the match & title).
3. Texas Death Match: James Storm vs. Chris Harris from Sacrifice 2007
A violent, bloody match with tons of history behind it. For years, they were America’s Most Wanted, TNA’s best tag team and 6 time NWA World Tag Team Champions (and the longest reigning champs when TNA had possession of the belts). They faced LAX in a match for the belts where the loosing team was forced to disband. AMW lost when James Storm hit Harris in the face with a beer bottle. Harris eventually returned for a blindfold match at Lockdown (which I haven’t seen) and this incredible match. Pretty much everything was done right in this match. My biggest complaint is that James Storm really should have won. But I won’t complain, as the match was still great and by far match of the year in 2007.
2. Street Fight: James Storm vs. Bobby Roode at Bound for Glory 2012
This is another one that I had to see and was able to find. This is simply an amazing match that doesn’t get enough credit. This is the best match TNA has had in years, both men going in there and putting up the fight of their lives. Nothing more needs to be said than this is simply an amazing match and I can only think of one match TNA has had that’s better…
1. Six Sides of Steel: America’s Most Wanted (James Storm & Chris Harris) vs. Triple X (Christopher Daniels & Elix Skipper) from Turning Point 2004
This is the epic conclusion to America’s Most Wanted and Triple X’s never ending feud. And it is by far the best steel cage match I’ve seen. Everything about this match was perfect, from the build up to their performances to the finish. It has the best move in Elix Skipper’s entire career where he walks across the top of the cage and preforms a hurricanrana on Chris Harris. Other moves using the cage were amazing, everything from powerbombs to the Death Sentence (AMW’s signature move) to simply shoving someone’s head into the side of the cage. The finish to the match is great, with Chris Harris being hand cuffed to the cage while Triple X double teams Storm (and shoves the key into his forehead). Storm eventually is able to free Harris and cuff Daniels to the cage. Storm & Harris hit the Power-Plex, Triple X’s own signature move, on Skipper and pin him, disbanding Triple X in what was suppose to be forever (though they later got lazy and brought them back in 2007). This is simply a fantastic match and the best TNA has ever had in my opinion.
There’s my top 25 list. Any of your favorites not make the list? Feel free to leave some in the comment.