As you probably know, WWE’s most recent big signing is James Storm.
Storm is one of the most accomplished wrestlers in TNA’s history, winning their world title once, the NWA Tag Team Championship 7 times (whilst it was part of TNA) and the TNA Tag Team Championship 6 times.
He’s also won the TNA Beer Drinking Championship but let’s not mention that. In the wake of Storm’s debut on NXT on 8th October (to be shown on 21st October as NXT is pre-taped), Vince McMahon has stated that he is interested in signing more wrestlers from TNA.
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This is very good news indeed. WWE and TNA have always had a strange relationship; they never acknowledge each other on their TV shows, legends like Jeff Jarrett, Christian, Mick Foley and even Sting have had runs with TNA that have never been credited by WWE.
For a long time now TNA has been considered a second class citizen, only watched as a last resort for people who don’t like WWE. However, there is a lot of talent, both old and new, in TNA’s roster, talent that WWE should seriously consider making a move for.
TNA have a whole host of ex-WWE stars on their books, but it is not uncommon for wrestlers to flick back and forth between the promotions. So who would come back?
Probably the biggest name TNA have is former WWE Champion and Olympic gold medallist, Kurt Angle. Angle first signed with TNA in 2006 and has been a mainstay for most of the company’s recent history. He is a record six-time TNA World Heavyweight champion (also the first ever), holds the record for total days as champion (608) and is in their Hall of Fame.
It’s safe to say Angle will not be leaving TNA anytime soon – he’s got it pretty comfortable there, so it’s highly unlikely that Angle will be returning to WWE.
Lashley and Mr. Anderson
Two more ex-WWE stars on TNA’s roster are Bobby Lashley, who goes by the name Lashley in TNA, and Mr. Kennedy, who goes by Mr. Anderson.
Again, it is unlikely that these two will make a return – Kennedy’s WWE career ended abruptly after he was fired for allegedly hurting Randy Orton – a claim Kennedy disputes – and Lashley never really got the recognition he deserved, his only real moment coming at WrestleMania 23, when he was involved in the “Battle of the Billionaires” between Mr. McMahon and Donald Trump.
You could call his ECW Championship reign a big moment, but remember who he lost it to? Vince McMahon. Great. Both men have been taken altogether more seriously at TNA, winning two world titles each, so a return for either man seems pointless.
Jeff and Matt Hardy – collectively known as The Hardy Boys. The two won the World Tag Team Championships 6 times in WWE and, after the team disbanded, went on to have successful singles careers that included Intercontinental, United States, Hardcore, European, World Heavyweight, ECW and WWE Championship reigns.
The two are perhaps most famous for their involvement in Triangle ladder and TLC matches with Edge and Christian and The Dudley Boyz. With The Dudleys’ return, an incredible throwback feud could be arranged between the two teams.
However, with Matt currently involved in a feud for the TNA world title, a recent return doesn’t seem likely, but, if anything could draw The Hardys back to WWE, it may well be a feud with The Dudleys. I can dream.
Arguably the most successful homegrown TNA talent, Roode holds the record for the longest single TNA World Heavyweight Championship reign at 256 days and has won the belt twice in his career.
Roode is apparently top of the pile of TNA wrestlers McMahon wants and this is very, very good. Roode is an amazing wrestler and still has good years in him. A legend in the world outside of WWE, it would be amazing to finally see him wrestle with the best of them and get the recognition he deserves.
The most recent TNA champion (barring Matt Hardy) is Ethan Carter III, who had a run with WWE as Derrick Bateman. Carter’s run in WWE was short and limited, only appearing on NXT (when it was in its reality show format) and FCW (WWE’s old developmental territory).
Carter is another wrestler who owes TNA a lot and he is white hot there right now with the whole Matt Hardy feud. It would be stupid for him to sign to WWE now, but keep an eye on him, he’s got a lot of potential and, maybe once he’s established himself in TNA, he might decide to make the jump.
One wrestler often overlooked in the grand scheme of things is Eric Young – a former world champion and one of only four men to win the TNA Grand Slam Championship (all active titles).
Young has been a staple for TNA viewers for over a decade, debuting in 2004 and working all the way up till 2015, when he joined GFW (Global Force Wrestling) which is in partnership with TNA, so he is still a big presence in the TNA world.
Young would make an excellent edition to WWE’s roster; he’s proven to be an excellent worker, even when given awful gimmicks to work with, and has proven to be good when given a title. His experience could match that of James Storm’s in NXT and help the show to take shape as its own brand, which it is fast becoming.
For a long time, TNA has been overlooked by the WWE, but now it is clear that Vince has opened his eyes to the rival company and seems to be beginning to treat its talent with the respect and consideration they deserve.
However, TNA will not give up their best talent without a fight, so this is something that must be done carefully and respectfully, or you can say goodbye to any chances of seeing some of the greats I’ve listed above ever working for WWE.