Top 5 Current Wrestlers in TNA

With the news of TNA President Scott D’Amore’s firing from the promotion, a move which seems to have sent the morale of both TNA talent and fans plummeting, what better time than now to remind ourselves about some of the positive things in the promotion—namely, the incredible roster? TNA has, low-key, an exceptional roster that sometimes doesn’t get the love and attention from the wrestling community that it deserves. So, let’s say “thank you Scott!” and let’s take a closer look and celebrate the top 5 wrestlers, male and female, on the current TNA roster.

1. Josh Alexander

I’ve been a fan of ‘The Walking Weapon’ since his days as a two-time Impact World Tag Team Championship with Ethan Page as The North. As much as people, quite fairly, big up FTR as the perfect contemporary take on the ‘classic’ tag team, a modern-day Tully and Arn, for that time The North just as much deserved that accolade. Ethan Page bought the Tully ring smarts and cocky swagger and Josh Alexander brought the grit, the technique, the wrestling masterclass. When Page left to go to AEW, Alexander remained behind, and I worried at the time that ‘The Walking Weapon’ would get lost in the shuffle as a singles wrestler. I’ve never been happier to be proved wrong.

Now a one-time X Division champion and a two-time Impact World Champion (making him the ninth in only ten wrestlers to have held TNA/Impact’s triple crown of titles), Josh Alexander has only gone from strength to strength. A legitimate main eventer for the company, in some respects Alexander is kind of the Bryan Danielson of TNA (if that’s not too far-fetched a comparison); he can do character work, but his strength is in just going out there and being an absolute s**tkicker; a machine in the ring.

Josh Alexander locks in the ankle lock tight on an unfortunate, unseen opponent

That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but the reason Josh Alexander is so compelling as a main eventer is that he’s so damn good at that physical, hard-hitting, gritty, technical style of wrestling. Not only that, but Alexander is versatile too, always a sign of a strong talent. Just look at how celebrated his matches with the ‘Aerial Assasin’ himself, Will Ospreay, have been. What should have been a clash of styles actually made for two of the best wrestling matches of the modern era. With that, it’s clear that whatever happens with TNA, Josh Alexander is going to be a big part of it’s future.

2. Jordynne Grace

Jordynne Grace is the real deal. Plain and simple. I was lucky enough to see her wrestle here in the UK at a show for the excellent Wrestle Carnival promotion and get my photo taken with her. I can honestly say, having seen her in action live, she lays her blows in snug, hard and powerfully! You cross ‘Thick Momma Pump’ at your own peril.

In fact, it’s Grace’s formidable displays of power and strength that help her stand out from the pack. There’s a lot of strong women in wrestling today, but none that you could imagine could go toe-to-toe with the likes of ‘Dr Death’ Steve Williams or Stan Hansen—Grace is that tough. It’s no surprise when you consider she is a legitimate, competing bodybuilder (who has seen some success in that field) and that one of her heroes is Scott Steiner. Like Steiner, she utilises her strength in a way that ties her power back into a strong grappling game, making her a more well-rounded wrestler than just a purveyor of power moves. Her wrestling game is more substantial than that.

Jordynne Grace holds up her TNA Knockouts title belt as a ref holds her arm up in victory

Her feuds with the likes of Deonna Purrazzo, Taya Valkyrie, Mickie James and Trinity (now Naomi again in WWE) demonstrated, to any doubters that are still left, that women’s wrestling is more than capable of matching and even surpassing the wrestling quality and compelling drama and storylines of similar feuds in men’s wrestling. In particular, the tangles between Jordynne and Deonna Purrazzo over who is the better wrestling proved that simple stories really do still work, and both women told that story in the ring expertly.

With her surprise appearance at WWE’s Royal Rumble this year, the current TNA Knockouts champion was exposed to a much wider audience, one whom a lot of its members were seeing ‘Thick Momma Pump’ for the first time and were blown away. A successful future is in the palm of her hand but for now, Jordynne Grace is one of TNA’s crown jewels.

3. Moose

Moose is the meanest, moodiest, bad-tempered SOB you may hope never to meet—and that’s why I love the guy! What’s not to love about a big, tough ass-kicker who doesn’t seem to like anybody and wants for nothing but to hold the gold at the top of the promotion and have everyone put respect on his name?

Well, hold the gold he does; Moose is the current TNA World Champion, on his second reign with the belt, and is the man at the top of the food chain, the face of TNA. It’s a role he more than deserves, having put on bangers over the years with the likes of Austin Aries, Sami Callahan, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake (the current LA Knight), Kenny Omega and Josh Alexander.

Moose displays his TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt

Ah yes, Mr Alexander. Him again. The pair had a mighty feud, but it wasn’t all Josh Alexander. Moose did a masterful job as his counterfoil. The moment at the Impact Bound for Glory 2021 PPV where Moose cashed in his ‘Call Your Shot’ opportunity by appearing out of nowhere and spearing new champion Alexander in front of Alexander’s wife and child to win the World Championship was perhaps one of the best cash-ins I’ve seen in wrestling, just for the drama of that spear in front of Alexander’s family. Damn, that was cold, Moose!

Moose himself is anything but cold at the moment though, and with his new stable ‘The System around him, and a big headlining bout with a certain Nic Nemith on the cards for the future, Moose is going to stay at the top of TNA for a long time, belt or no belt.

4. Grizzled Young Veterans

Ok, this might be a bit of strange choice for some, and that’s fine. I know the Grizzled Young Veterans have only been in TNA for about a month or so, having spent several years in different parts of WWE’s NXT system. This choice isn’t so much about what the Veterans have done for TNA as it is about what they can do for TNA.

It might be UK bias, but I love the Grizzled Young Veterans. Their runs with PROGRESS and NXT UK were great, with matches against the likes of Aussie Open, Moustache Mountain, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster and Gallus standing out. Their initial time in NXT was fruitful, with some brilliant matches in various Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournaments against the likes of The Broserweights, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly and MSK. Unfortunately, WWE really dropped the ball with ‘The Dyad’ gimmick, but TNA is somewhere the Grizzled Young Veterans can make an impression and an impact (pun intended).

TNA Hard to Kill 2024 promo card featuring the Grizzled Young Veterans

Zack Gibson and James Drake can go in that ring, and they can go hard. The start of their best-of-three series with TNA Tag Champions ABC has already shown why TNA fans should be excited. Not only that, but in Zack Gibson, TNA has a great little heat machine at their service. Gibson is astonishingly good at getting the crowd riled up (“shoes off if you hate Gibson!”) and if used properly (i.e. not like The Dyad), then TNA fans are in for a treat moving forward.

5. ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey

‘Speedball’ is damn right with this guy! Faster than lightning, Mike Bailey combines a defiance of gravity with his hard-hitting, precision-striking ability based on his legitimate practice of taekwondo. It’s not often, after watching wrestling for over 30 years, that I’m left absolutely speechless, but some of ‘Speedball’s’ offence does that to me. He feels innovative to me, but doesn’t seem to get as much credit as perhaps he really deserves.

I have to make a small confession: I wasn’t really aware of Mike Bailey until he joined Impact. Doing some research, I was amazed to find Mr Speedball has been kicking ass and taking names since 2006! He’s very well travelled on the indie scene, which is perhaps why he is so good now, having honed his craft, but admittedly PWG, where Bailey has wrestled a lot, is not a promotion I’ve actually seen a lot of (hey, I’m game for recommendations! Let me know where I should start with PWG in the comments).

'Speedball' Mike Bailey soaks up the applause of the TNA audience

A former X-Division champion, Bailey has impressed me mightily in outings against Josh Alexander(!), Will Ospreay, KUSHIDA and Chris Sabin. That Bailey can hold his own with such esteemed grapplers is a testament to the ‘Speedball’s’ immense talent and if TNA has any sense, they’ll give him another big push this year.

Written by Chris Flackett

Chris Flackett is a writer for 25YL who loves Twin Peaks, David Lynch, great absurdist literature and listens to music like he's breathing oxygen. He lives in Manchester, England with his beautiful wife, three kids and the ghosts of Manchester music history all around him.

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