Impact Wrestling has been in business since 2002. The promotion (then TNA) proved to make upcoming stars that we see today. Stars such as AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Homicide, and Jay Lethal all had their first big break over there. TNA also reinvented careers of former WWE and WCW superstars, and introduced us to their women’s division called the Knockouts Division. With that, along with unique match stipulations, TNA was something of an alternative at the time when they launched.
But over the years and to this day, there is at least one terrible match per year that gives Impact the “LOLTNA” reputation that the internet wrestling community coined. Today, I will list those very bad matches from that promotion in the order of when it happened that year.
Hair vs. Hair: Raven vs. Larry Zbyszko
Victory Road 2006
Watch Raven try to carry a 54-year-old, broken old man for 4 minutes, and fail spectacularly. No one should be wrestling at this guy’s age. See also: Larry Z’s Loser Leaves match with Eric Young at BFG of the same year.
Jay Lethal vs. Petey Williams
No Surrender 2006
Jay Lethal had been turned into a Jackass fanboy in one of the worst pieces of cross-promotion ever (see also: JWoww in TNA). But even with bad build, how could these two great workers produce such a terrible match? Hint: it involves laxatives.
Tuxedo Match: Christy Hemme vs. The Big Fat Oily Guy
Against All Odds 2007
Yes, that’s right, Christy Hemme once feuded with a nameless Big Dick Johnson ripoff, which culminated in one of the regular worst match stipulations, a rip-off-the-clothes match.
Elevation X: AJ Styles vs. Rhino
Destination X 2007
Wonder why no one does scaffold matches anymore? They’re ridiculously dangerous and impossible to have a good match on. But substituting the single scaffold for 2 scaffolds in an X-shape… yeah, no, it doesn’t make it any less unsafe or unwatchable.
Blindfold Cage Match: James Storm vs. Chris Harris
Thank heaven the “Eye for an Eye” fiasco didn’t include a blindfold match at some point. They’re almost always awful, good only for a couple of cold-warm-hot spots with the crowd. This didn’t even have that.
Electrified Cage Match for the Tag Team Titles: LAX (c) vs. Team 3D
Sure, it’s electrified. If by “electrified” you mean “completely normal, but the wrestlers convulse when they hit the cage while the lights flash and a joy buzzer sound effect plays”.
Reverse Battle Royal
Bound for Glory 2007
Yes, REVERSE Battle Royal. Sixteen men fighting to get INSIDE the ring, at which they suddenly struggle immensely despite being okay with it the rest of their careers. This was on their biggest show of the year, somehow.
MMA Match: AJ Styles vs. Frank Trigg
No Surrender 2008
Faux-shoot matches (e.g. the Mr. T/Piper boxing match) are never good. Styles can’t even pretend to play a legit fighter, and Trigg is a fish out of water in the scripted world of wrestling. Also, it ends in shenanigans.
Number 1 Contender for the Knockouts Title: ODB/Roxxi/Taylor Wilde vs. The Kongtourage
Three actual good women’s wrestlers try to make sense of the hopeless Rhaka Khan and Sojo Bolt, as well as Cheerleader Melissa in a burqa. The “one who wins the pinfall gets a title shot” stipulation rears its ugly head, leading to obvious shenanigans.
Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell
Victory Road 2009
When wrestling fans think “bad TNA match”, all too often they’re thinking of this, and it’s not hard to see why. A valet against a no-name Survivor contestant – with ACTUAL WRESTLER Awesome Kong at ringside – produces a legendary piece of **** of a match.
Abyss vs. Mr. Anderson
A hardcore wrestler working a four-sided ring for the first time in forever vs. a guy wrestling the “generic mid-2000s WWE” style. That clash of styles isn’t exactly going to result in anything good. The crowd, who weren’t exactly happy as it was, HATED this.
for the Global Title: Rob Terry vs. Orlando Jordan
See Genesis 2010, but substitute Abyss’s description for “Rob Terry, a man who has never been able to wrestle at all”. Eight minutes that feel like eight years.
For the Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Winter/Angelina Love vs. Mexican America
Victory Road 2011
Featuring a notable botch where the future Zelina Vega has to hold Winter down in a roll-up pinfall for a good 20 seconds because Velvet Sky missed her cue. If that sounds good to you, you’ll love this match! Sarita deserved better.
First Blood: Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez
Victory Road 2011
A finish to a feud that had been on hold for years, featuring no end to end action, no good wrestling (because Matt Morgan) and a stupid, screwy finish. I could put all of Victory Road ’11 on here actually. They managed to make an Ultimate X match suck! How?!
No Disqualification Match for the World Title: Sting (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
Victory Road 2011
There’s not much of a match here, as Hardy going out while completely off his face on drugs curtailed the action to 89 sad, sad seconds. Instead, admire the efforts of the referee, Sting, and Eric Bischoff to ensure that no one came out of this night hurt.
Crimson vs. Rob Van Dam
Hardcore Justice 2011
I could put Crimson’s entire “winning streak” on here. Repeated DQ wins and generally looking like shit for an “undefeatable” wrestler will do that to you. This match’s ending is one of the dumbest you will ever see, especially considering what it’s meant to build to.
Robbie E vs. Robbie T
Robbie E was always best when he was outside of the right, whereas Rob Terry… wasn’t best anywhere. This was the peak of a feud based around “bro-offs”, featuring everyone trying to pretend this massive Welsh man can dance.
Knockouts Gauntlet Battle Royal
One Night Only: Live! 1
This got -2.5 stars from Meltzer, which is somehow the third-worst rated TNA match ever. A slow and heatless mini-Rumble featuring a young Deonna Purrazzo, who will want to forget she was even at this show.
Monster’s Ball: Abyss vs. Grado
One Night Only: Live! 1
A hardcore bout with barely any hardcore and Grado fucking about, described by one commentator on Cagematch as “XPW with higher production values”. If you want to see Grado actually work the stipulation, watch Bound for Glory 2017 instead.
Rebel vs. Shelly Martinez
One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown 4
Just when you thought Jenna/Sharmell was the worst women’s match ever, here is this disaster, featuring offense that targets the vagina. Not even kidding.
These 20 matches really stand out to me. It is because it pinpoints the worst time to be a fan of Impact Wrestling. I hope within the next decade, I will not have to do a top 40.