TNA’s Slammiversary pay-per-view will take place this Sunday and, on top of all the high-flying superstars and title matches, an announcement will be made revealing the identity of the third member of the company’s Hall of Fame.
The chosen inductee, who will be revealed by last year’s choice Kurt Angle, will join Angle and ‘The Icon’ Sting in TNA’s specially selected cast of greats. He or she will officially be inducted into the Hall of Fame at Bound for Glory in October.
Speaking on the official TNA website, Angle said: “When you get to the level of being a Hall of Famer, it is the greatest feeling of honour. You’ll go down in history as one of the all-time best.
“In TNA, only one inductee is selected each year and so that is even more prestigious in my mind. Last year, I became the second inductee and I followed one of the greatest wrestlers to ever step inside a ring – Sting. Getting to this level takes a lot: being a great athlete, being an exciting character, telling a great story – and, above all else, being persistent and having real passion for this sport. You must love this business and put your heart and soul into it.
If you do, great things will happen. So, I lift my hat to the next Hall of Famer to join our ranks because you are truly one of the greats.”
Here are GiveMeSport’s top five contenders:
• Samoa Joe
When looking at the current TNA roster, there are few more deserving than Samoa Joe – a choice that would also allow TNA to stick with their Main Event Mafia theme. The Samoan sent shockwaves through the company when he arrived in 2005, and proceeded to dominate anyone that stood in his way during an 18-month unbeaten streak. A TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Television Champion, two-time Tag Team Champion and four-time X Division Champion, there is very little the Samoan Submission Machine had yet to accomplish within the company.
• Bobby Roode
Another faithful TNA servant, Bobby Roode has been with the company since 2004. One half of the most successful tag team in company history – Beer Money Inc. – alongside James Storm, as well as the longest reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Roode has enjoyed an extremely successful career with the company. The inaugural winner of the Bound for Glory Series, as well as the number two ranked wrestler in the PWI 500 in 2012 – few can deny Roode’s credentials. However, his recent storyline suspension, which is yet to be resolved, could scupper his chances.
• Jeff Jarrett
During the early years of the company, Jeff Jarrett was TNA Wrestling – helping set them up and lead them as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The holder of twenty-two championships in total during his time with WWF, WCW and TNA, Jarrett has been one of the biggest names in pro wrestling for two decades. Realistically, his recent departure from the company and his ongoing setup of his own new wrestling franchise, Global Force Wrestling, is likely to ultimately cost him his chance of ever joining the Hall of Fame.
• A.J. Styles
Jeff Jarrett may have been the first face of TNA Wrestling, but there is little doubt in the identity of the biggest name to ever come out of the company. A.J. Styles is one of the most talented pro wrestlers of all-time – the ‘Phenomenal One’ twice won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, while he was also the inaugural TNA X Division Champion – a title he held six times. Styles was also a two-time Television Champion and a two-time TNA World Tag Team Champion, making him the first ever Triple Crown Champion and Grand Slam Champion. He was also recently voted the favourite for the honour on www.tnanews.com. However, any in-ring return at Slammiversary, even if it was simply to acknowledge his award, would come as a huge surprise, with Styles now firmly a part of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
• Gail Kim
While Gail Kim would be an admittedly surprising selection, if TNA were to go down the route of electing their first Knockout to the Hall of Fame, she would undoubtedly be the company’s first choice. After debuting in the company in 2005 as part of America’s Most Wanted, she helped build the Knockouts division. After returning from a brief stint in WWE in 2011, she has only served to enhance her reputation – in 2012, Pro Wrestling Illustrated named Kim the number one female wrestler in the world. The inaugural Knockouts Champion in 2007, Kim has now won the title on three occasions, and could appropriately win the gold for a fourth time at Slammiversary.
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