WWE | Pro Wrestling

The TNA Wrestling Employment Depth Chart

Abyss and Hulk HoganBlame Eric Gargiulo for this column.

On Pro Wrestling Radio, Eric offhandedly asked me if I’d do a TNA employment ranking the way I’d done a WWE one. I quickly answered “sure”. Since I don’t lie on the radio like the top cats of TNA (Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff) seem to do, I had to uphold my promise to my blogger boss.

Besides, TNA has budget cuts apparently looming, and though this column may soon find itself outdated thanks to roster cuts, it’s still a fun concept, I think.

I used TNAwrestling.com for the roster, so if I missed anyone, it’s because their website is more outdated and out-of-touch than Reefer Madness.

So to recap: females are left off the listing, as are Hogan and Bischoff. This concerns men who are considered “active full timers”, plus Ric Flair and Mick Foley. This list is the ranked likelihood of them being fired due to budget cutbacks or personal demons or politics. You may disagree with some of the opinions I share, but this is merely just a gauge, based upon my view of Total Nonstop Action.

So away we go.

45. Daniels
Apparently, he’s back with TNA, which no one can fully confirm, but he’s on TNA’s roster page, so let’s go with that. That said, Hogan and Bischoff releasing him again would do wonders for idle chatter, since the first time they let him go, EVERYONE was talking about TNA. It was negative, but they were talking, right? That’s something, right?

44. Homicide
Now that Eric Bischoff has mastered Facebook, wait till Easy E gets his mitts on Twitter and gives Homicide a follow. He may not enjoy what he reads.

43, 42, 41, 40, 39, and 38. Kiyoshi, Raven, Dr. Stevie, Amazing Red, Magnus, and Shark Boy
If TNA’s looking to cut costs, how about six men who haven’t appeared on TV since Hogan was doing a house show loop with Killer Khan?

37 and 36. Tomko and Rhino
Like the previous six, except it’s a bit more inexplicable to see these guys hardly used. Tomko’s a veteran big man, and Rhino’s an intense and charismatic brawler. “Why is neither man used?” would be question 582 in my forthcoming back “Things TNA Does Wrong”. I’m thinking of selling it in installments.

35 and 34. Max and Jeremy Buck
Ah, Generation Me. Talented and ambitious as they are, there are a ton of indie guys who can do what they do (take hard bumps, make big opponents look good) and TNA can find two other kids to do their schtick. That’s not a knock on G-Me, who’re better off in PWG performing on one of their events with the oh-so-hilarious names. You know, names like “Seven People Are Buying the DVD”.

33. Mick Foley
This one will be voluntary. Wait till he sees the first quarter numbers for his first book to be released under TNA’s banner. I imagine Vince will be waiting by his phone. “Collect call from: GETMETHEHELLOUTTAHERE!!!!~!”

32. Sean Waltman
With the revelation that Syxx Pac has Hep C, the only way to make this work with him in TNA is to give him a gimmick where he challenges everyone to a first blood match, and he keeps winning when the opponents voluntarily cut themselves. Waltman can probably go back to WWE, since they’d pay for his rehab, and nobody EVER bleeds in WWE!

31. Scott Hall
That recent mug shot screams “I’m trying to get fired, Chico”. Sadly, Dixie can’t hear anything when she’s being coerced into listening to Brooke Hogan’s music on full blast.

30. Orlando Jordan
Will probably do something extra risqué to get himself fired. Spike TV won’t allow such brazen display of open sexuality. They would, however, remind you that the season finale of The Ultimate Fighter 11, featuring 14 men living together, waiting for the days in which they get to strip down to baggy shorts, and nothing else, and roll around on a canvas together. Spike TV: Get More Action!

29. Brian Kendrick
I’m hoping he’s fired, just so he can get high and provide another delightfully entertaining shoot interview about his TNA run. Paul London can shoot along with him and just pretend he was there for the sake of giving him something to talk about.

28 and 27. Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley
Probably safe for the long term, but given their long tenures in the promotion (Sabin since 2003, Shelley consistently since 2005) with very little reward other than showcase matches that ultimately lead nowhere, I can see both men putting their ideals first and demanding a full break-up from Dixie-land. Or they could get fired when Hogan realizes they’re “too small”, whichever is first.

26. Kazarian
Came back to the very promotion that once made him get pinned by race car driver Jeff Hammond on PPV, so clearly his ego isn’t that grand. He’s a good worker, though, and has that Antonio Banderas look, so he might have a future yet.

25. Eric Young

Loyal, will do anything to please, and has never worked for a bigger promotion, so these should be good signs that Young can and will be a contributor to TNA for a long time. If he gets fired, that’s quite the morale killer. In a long series of them.

24. Ric Flair
Will gladly speak out against TNA one day in the future and praise WWE in the same interview. That’ll be when he has enough money to finally buy enough food to last a week or two. His courage is only as large as his wallet. So long as he’s bleeding green out of his sphincter, he’s going to tell you how Bischoff and Hogan are his bestest buddies in the whole wide world! The bestest!

23. Jesse Neal
He’s big and he has a Mohawk and he’d never try to upstage Hogan. Hulk’s trying to adopt him.

22. Sting
Will stick around until he retires. Would be awesome to finally see the dream match between he and Undertaker, though.

21. Shannon Moore
Will remain with TNA as long as a certain someone….

20. Jeff Hardy
….can keep getting their trial delayed.

19. Hernandez
Hogan would never let TNA get rid of a bigger wrestler, unless they upstaged him or tried to injure him. Hernandez would need to somehow set Hogan on fire while attempting a Border Toss to meet the unemployment line.

18. Desmond Wolfe
“Umm, Mr. Silkin, it’s me, Nigel. Hey, umm, did you see the video of Hulk Hogan blinding me with hair spray and then me tumbling backward over Ric Flair into a hole in the mat? Ahh yes. And you say you watched me have to sell Abyss’ offense as he did a bad Hulk Hogan impression? You’re not willing to buy out my contract, are you?”

17. Douglas Williams
TNA lets him talk. Generally, if you have a talking role, you tend to keep your job. Who am I kidding, TNA and “inconsistency” go together hand in hand like Sarah Jessica Parker and an oat bag.

16. Samoa Joe
I currently have “September 1” in the pool for “Day Samoa Joe finally snaps and realizes that going to TNA did more harm than good, and took his anger out by threatening to get revenge on Hulk Hogan “in the name of John Graziano”. I’m with Joe, personally.

15. AJ Styles
So AJ’s throwing hissy fits about his recent portrayal, allegedly. If I’m AJ, I just act grateful that TNA puts a live mic in my hand. If Vince McMahon had him cut one promo in WWE, and he sounded like that, he and Evan Bourne would form the smark dream jobber team “Vanilla Sky”. Be careful what you wish for, AJ. Sheamus could always use more squash fodder.

14 and 13. Brother Devon and Brother Ray
Team 3D claim loyalty to TNA. That’s what Brother Ray will tell you. Truth is, there isn’t a treadmill on planet Earth that could get his lazy carcass ready to be in “WWE shape”, so he’s stuck (pun intended). As for Devon, he only goes where Goateed Curly Howard goes.

12. Matt Morgan
I shouldn’t have to repeat myself every time I mention a big guy. TNA has a chance to do what WWE missed the boat on, and that’s make good use of a wasted talent. TNA seems to like Morgan, and I do as well, so hopefully, they can get SOMETHING right.

11. Jay Lethal
He can imitate Randy Savage and Ric Flair. All he needs is a Vince McMahon impression and he can keep Hogan laughing gaily for hours. He ain’t going anywhere.

10. Robert Roode
I’ll never get Robert Roode. He has hair like a hockey defenseman from 1988. His five o’clock shadow makes him look like a businessman with insomnia. He has the magnetism of a hermit being forced to go to a freshman mixer. And he’s only a big part of TNA because he can yell “MONEY!” after his tag team partner yells “BEER!”. Robert Roode is just like Mafia Wars on Facebook: I’ll never understand what people see in him.

9. James Storm
Here’s a diet plan for you: how to lose 235 lbs of boring fat. James Storm can do so by convincing the idiots in charge to part ways with the previous entry. Storm as a singles star is money, and his loyalty to TNA for eight years is noted.

8. Mr. Anderson
Holy crap, someone under 40 who can cut a promo! TNA needs to break the bank and sign Anderson long term. Wait, the bank’s already broken. Oh well, what could have been.

7. Kurt Angle
I’m getting the sense he’ll end his career with WWE, but TNA will never consciously get rid of Angle, unless Jeff Jarrett goes missing. And even then, I think the fans side with Angle. I know I would.

6. Rob Terry
If human clones have zero personality, I’m going to guess somebody cloned Batista, and the tattoos didn’t make it through the process. Also, with the Bart Simpson hair, TNA hasn’t been this enamored with anything since Pacman Jones found himself free for a year.

5. D’Angelo Dinero

TNA finally has a chance to make WWE look foolish, and that’s by pushing the real life Elijah Burke to the moon. TNA seems to realize his high ceiling, and once he’s 100%, he’s going to be a player. Sometimes, TNA gets it right. Give them credit.

4. Kevin Nash
Can you believe “Big Sexy” has lasted five and a half years in TNA? He seems to be more well behaved this time around, and has actually gone his entire TNA tenure without a belt before May of 2010, and that’s just a Tag Team Title. I actually have no qualms with Nash anymore. Just don’t let him book, that’s all.

3. Jeff Jarrett
Like soda stains on white pants, it’s going to take a lot to get rid of everyone’s least favorite pink shirt wearing baron of boredom. If TNA were the Republican party, Bischoff is Glenn Beck, Dixie is Sarah Palin, and Jeff is Pat Buchanan: I stopped listening to what he was saying YEARS ago.

2. Bubba the Love Sponge
As a Hogan loyalist, he—wait, they fired Bubba? Really? REALLY? Oh, wow, I would’ve bet money that he’d survive longer than anyone worth a damn. Well then, scratch that.

2. Abyss
If you’re a Hogan clone, Hogan’s got his faith in you. Abyss could swing a hatchet at Brian Kendrick, and he’ll be praised for his dedication and drive.

1. Rob Van Dam
Mr. Teflon himself. If WWE couldn’t make RVD look foolish to the point where fans lost faith in him, TNA won’t either. With the lax drug policy, Van Dam’s sustained push is preserved. Since he’s the only guy in TNA who has never been considered dumb, TNA would HAVE to be dumb to lose him. And while TNA IS dumb, are they THIS dumb?

I guess we’ll find out.

Justin Henry is a freelance writer who enjoys putting his thoughts and opinions into text. His love of professional wrestling, as well as enjoyment of writing, has led to the creation of the Cynical Examination, his personal writing haven. Justin can be found on Facebook, Twitter, his website portfolio, or he can be e-mailed at [email protected].

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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