TNA is certainly not the company most people think of for professional wrestling. In fact, in the past few years, it had become the butt of many jokes in the wrestling industry. However, 2012 stands as perhaps one of the best years in the company’s history. Both homegrown talent and free agents signings have meshed together to become a legitimate alternative wrestling federation. There’s still a good deal for TNA to overcome, but 2012 is a huge step forward for a company that began as nothing more than a weekly pay per view.
10. Rob Van Dam: Van Dam has made more comebacks than anyone can count, and each proves to be just another step up for the veteran. One needs to remember that he was never technically defeated for his heavyweight title, and now stands up to the best up and comers in the X-Division.
9. Aces and 8s: It’s been a long time since the last good invasion angle in TNA. The earlier ones ended in Hogan and Bischoff, but Aces and 8s have proven to be a well put-together gang, with no real allegiance, but to themselves. Now, with Devon and Luke Gallows, the gang is even more dangerous, as they unmask even more solid workers.
8. Tara: At 40 years if age, Tara has dominated the women’s division of every company she’s been in. She’s held every title, but at this point, she’s doesn’t need a belt to prove her merit…oh, and she has a finisher that puts most other moves to shame.
7. Joey Ryan: He did not win his Gutcheck…and he was pissed. He showed up at Impact tapings, harassing Al Snow & Taz, until the brass gave in and paid attention to this strange, strange man. Joey Ryan earned his job by putting the spotlight directly on himself and he’s still not looking to share.
6. Christopher Daniels: He helped build TNA. Christopher Daniels put the X-Division on the map. Christopher Daniels owns most of the Five-Star matches that TNA has had. Daniels is in his 40s, and may be just hitting the prime of his entertainment career. He no longer needs any belt to prove that he’s still the best, whether he’s part if the World’s Greatest Tag Team In the World, or an appletini drinking playboy.
5. Zema Ion: There are a lot of people that hate Zema Ion. And he loves it. Many thought he was a flash in the pan, but his abrasive pretty boy attitude has grown, to the point that he looks to be perhaps a future top heel in the company. He already has one X-Division title under his belt, but don’t bet on it being his last.
4. Bully Ray: Ray has run roughshod over the entire company, as both heel and fave. The fans love to boo the holy hell out of him, or cheer him as the conquering champion (though he is still yet to win the belt). Everyone knows his tag team credentials, but he’s taken it upon himself to prove that was only a small picture of what he can do as a wrestler.
3. James Storm/Bobby Roode: Remember Team Canada? Remember Beer Money? Who saw Roode as the one that would emerge as the major player? Though Storm is definitely the fan favorite out of the two, Roode has blazed his own path as the dominant heel in TNA. These two fought a feud for the she’s this year, proving that TNA’s homegrown talent is every bit as good as their free agent pickups.
2. Jeff Hardy: He has finally found his spot. Personal troubles aside, there are almost no way not to get behind the Jeff Hardy story. He’s crashed & burned more times than one can count, only to come back to bigger and better fanfare. His work as a heel was awesome, but everyone knows the Charismatic Enigma will always be the underdog for both hardcore and casuals fans to get behind.
1. Austin Aries: Those in the know, know that Aries may be the pound-for-pound best in the business, but he set out to prove to everyone that he is not a force to be messed with. After an X-Division title reign of 298 days, Aries simply dropped the belt, as he was granted a shot at Roode’s heavyweight title. By defeating Roode, Aries cemented his place at the top of TNA and in the minds of fans, who can now watch The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived continue to dominate the TNA landscape.