TNA Wrestling isn’t doing the best by its top talent

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Mike Bailey enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling at Ryogoku Kokugikan on October 09, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Mike Bailey enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling at Ryogoku Kokugikan on October 09, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

TNA wrestling (Impact!) has some of the best house-made wrestlers in North America, but their latest booking suggests that they are under-utilizing their top talent.

The TNA wrestling locker room currently has four pillars that are keeping the company far away from mediocrity: Deonna Purrazzo, Josh Alexander, Alex Shelley, and Mike Bailey. These four wrestlers stood out as the GOATs of TNA. Their stories and matches do not disappoint as fans go nuts to see these people every week.

But lately, TNA wrestling has been shooting their prized horses. The best of the best are being treated like less.

Deonna Purrazzo is the modern face of the Knockouts. She has hustled her way through many deserved title victories. TNA Wrestling took a chance on her and she proved to be an amazing workhorse. Lately, that has not been reflected in her win-loss record. Trinity is the current KO champion and has fought Purrazzo in a series of three matches. In all three matches, the queen of the Knockouts has tapped to Trinity’s submission. Deonna does not tap. She has always been the one making her opponents tap.

The Deonna and Trinity feud felt like the Kurt Angle versus Samoa Joe feud of the late 2000s, but it had a much different turnout. In Angle and Joe’s three feud matches, Angle got two victories and Joe got one. Joe gave the pedestal to Kurt because he was the face that would launch TNA wrestling into the big arenas.

Similar to the Knockouts, Trinity is the newest graduate from Ex-WWE Fame University, meaning that TNA wants to elevate her as much as possible while she is still trending. Deonna was previously in that role for two years. It makes perfect sense that Deonna would lose to Trinity, but in this case, Deonna lost so badly to Trinity that it seemed like TNA was phasing her out. Usually, when a top wrestler starts losing pivotal matches it means they are going to make a major character change or get into a new rivalry. Most likely Deonna will do neither. She got into a shoving match with Gail Kim, the TNA KO legend, at Turning Point leading Gail to knock her out cold, but that has not led to a future rivalry between them. In fact, Deonna lost to Tasha Steelz in the next TV taping. No one suffers such a great loss streak without making the audience wonder if they are slowly changing employment.

Take Mike Bailey, Josh Alexander, and Eddie Edwards as the next test case. These men have played huge parts in pulling TNA out of the shadows of obscurity. TNA wrestling should be throwing roses at their feet everywhere they walk (Josh and Mike more than Eddie). In the past three weeks, they have been mowed down by Will Ospreay. Will has been pivotal in helping them score 5-star matches, of course, but there are other things at stake. When Mike Bailey, Eddie Edwards, and Josh Alexander lose to New Japan’s golden goose, it makes the TNA locker room look helpless against the big boys.

TNA wrestling has proven that they will roll over and expose their neck to big promotions, sacrificing the credibility of their talent. When AEW’s Kenny Omega won the Impact! World Championship, no one in the TNA locker room could best him. He had to be beaten by Christian Cage on AEW programming.

Will Ospreay is worth millions and TNA is grateful to have him in their main events, but is he worth dominating their best talent? Ospreay is not going to be a permanent part of TNA so it makes no sense to crush all their dedicated talent under his wrestling boot.

What about the new champion, Alex Shelley? He has been the loyal workhorse of TNA since the very beginning. Is TNA going to get some AEW, WWE, or NJPW hotshot on loan to rob him of the belt?

There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing TNA produce such stellar matches and shows, but still act like they are just a small Canadian duck in a large pond. Alex, Deonna, Trinity, Josh, and Mike are the best of the best and that should be reflected in TNA’s future.