49) Red Shirt Security
50) Brother Runt
Spike Dudley debuted in TNA in 2006 to aid The Dudley Boyz brethren, but he couldn't use his former name (even while appearing on Spike TV). He was often referred to as the "runt" of the Dudley litter (thus the name), but TNA didn't differentiate from his WWE persona - a common theme on this list.
No, these isn't the Red Shirt squad from Star Trek - that almost would have made more sense than this: they were the red-shirted security crew for Don Callis feuding with Erik Watts' Black Shirt Security team. The only difference? The Red Shirts won the Tag Team Championships in 2004.
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett would appear to be an imposing heel trio, particularly in the early days of TNA. But instead of using their experience to take over the company, the former nWo members dressed like Elvis (not the final Elvis gimmick on this list) and did little else.
After floundering around for three years in TNA as The Outlaw and Kip James, the former Billy Gunn was christened Cute Kip, the "image consultant" for The Beautiful People. Because the world needed to see Mr. Ass in short shorts and not wrestling whatsoever.
47) The Kings of Wrestling
48) Cute Kip
Morasca was a winner on Survivor and a contestant on The Amazing Race, and TNA thought they could bring her in to get some celebrity rub. But they overextended any notoriety casting her as the financial backer of The Main Event Mafia and then wrestling Sharmell in what many people called the worst match of 2009.
TNA did some decent things with the Aces & Eights storyline, but some appeared to be done at random. Case in point: After revealing that Brother Devon was the first unmasked member of the group, they needed someone big to be the next member. Instead it was the former Luke Gallows, going under the name D.O.C. (Director of Chaos).
43) Jenna Morasca
46) Samuel Shaw
In the earliest days of TNA, Baldwin competed as the masked Shark Boy, but one week, appeared on Disco Inferno's talk show under his real name, pretending to be an arrogant member of the Baldwin family. The next week, he went back to being Shark Boy and no one ever heard from Dean Baldwin again.
Balls Mahoney was originally scheduled to compete at TNA's ill-fated ECW reunion pay-per-view known as Hardcore Justice. Instead, he was referred to as Cojones, but TNA didn't differentiate from his ECW persona for the appearance, in which he teamed with Axl Rotten against Team 3D.
TNA has had some major success with members of its Knockouts Division. This, however, wasn't one of them. Veteran women's wrestler Mickie Knuckles made her way to TNA in 2008 and instead of going by her own name, was given the Moose moniker instead, and quickly faded away into obscurity.
Another attempt at creating the nWo came in 2010, when Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman returned to TNA. They were referred to as "The Band" because Nash had once made a comment about "getting the band back together" way back in his WCW days; fans were expected to know this and not think they were, like, musicians.
42) Dean Baldwin
39) The Band
Among the talent TNA has signed is T.J. Perkins, a noted light heavyweight with experience in Japan and Mexico. Instead of leveraging his reputation, TNA changed Perkins to Manik, a version of the Suicide character (more on him later) who is now apparently manic depressive as well as suicidal.
A former WWE Diva Search contestant, Trenesha Biggers was dubbed Rhaka Khan by Scott Steiner upon her TNA arrival in 2008. It was apparently a tribute to singer Chaka Khan (yes, the one who last had a hit song in 1984), although no one's sure what attributes the two have in common.
A huge winning streak that lasted seemingly forever until it was ended to the surprise of many. If you guessed Bill Goldberg or The Undertaker, you'd be wrong. Crimson had one of the quietest winning streaks (470 days) in wrestling history, which finally ended at the hands of James Storm in 2012.
Former WCW preliminary competitor Luther Biggs debuted in TNA in 2003 as Disgraceland, another Elvis impersonator (see # 47). He was introduced to fans as part of Vince Russo's S.E.X. faction and (of course) turned on by other members shortly after, ending his TNA run at about three weeks.
37) Rhaka Khan
What's the best way for TNA to promote its innovative X Division? In 2003, they thought it was to feature a masked wrestler named X who had the exact same physique as former WWF and WCW competitor Jean-Pierre Lafitte. It lasted about two months before he became a French language announcer for the company.
Another TNA original creation in 2003 was D-Ray 3000. The up and comer, named Dorian Hill, was told he looked like musician/actor Andre 3000. This led to a regrettable comedy character that was mostly known during his TNA run for teaming up with Shark Boy and (often) losing matches.
What's so regrettable about having a famous announcer on your show? In 2002, Schiavone appeared on TNA's weekly pay-per-view doing a heel "shoot" interview on Mike Tenay, the fans and everyone else about the death of WCW. Of course, this wasn't WCW, so who cared?
33) d-ray 3000
32) Maple Leaf Muscle
31) Tony Schiavone
Originally the new name for WCW's Lenny and Lodi, it quickly became Lenny and Bruce (former WCW competitor Kwee-Wee) in a homosexual tag team gimmick that was already politically incorrect by the time of its 2002 debut. Surprisingly, Lenny and Bruce stayed together until November of that year.
During one of its many desperate attempts at mainstream publicity, TNA asked then-Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to appear on their show. When Palin failed to respond, TNA took former WCW competitor Daffney in the glasses and business suit and made her "The Governor", a Palin lookalike.
29) Super Eric
28) The Rainbow Express
27) The Governor
Former WCW and WWE competitor Johnny The Bull showed up in TNA in late-2007, not as himself, but as a masked villian named Rellik. The name is Killer backwards, as TNA announcers reminded us approximately every sixty seconds during his matches. Rellik teamed briefly with Black Reign before leaving.
One of TNA's earliest groanworthy gimmicks, Cheex was a 400-pounder who wore shorts to expose his massive ass. His valet was named (ugh) Brown Eyed Girl, and the pair only lasted one official match in TNA before getting the bum's rush. Also? Cheex broke the TNA ring, minutes before their frst-ever PPV.
Playing off a real-life incident where WWE and TNA performers were on the same sound stage, TNA created a fake Vince McMahon on their Turning Point PPV and pretended like it was the real one. This was about funny as it looked, which is to say, not at all.
A carry-over from the dying days of ECW, The Dupps were a group of Southern family members, chewing tobacco and teasing an incestous relationship. Following the weekly pay-per-view stage, The Dupps were no more, and Stan Dupp later became Trevor Murdoch.
In April 2011, a colorful, masked newcomer from Mexico debuted on TNA programming, thrilling fans with high-flying maneuvers. This would have been had WWE not done the EXACT SAME THING in March 2011 when it began introducing Sin Cara.
After debuting the character in its poorly-received TNA Impact video game, Suicide was brought to life (poor choice of words) in late 2008, becoming a character on television. Even if you ignore his sketchy introduction, perhaps they could have used a less-offensive name?
In 2009, TNA signed former ECW, WCW and WWE competitor Stevie Richards to a contract. Big Stevie Cool was cast as Dr. Stevie, a therapist of sorts to Abyss and Daffney. Even though his therapy ultimately had evil intentions, the tip-off for his clients should have been that he was airing their session on television!
Jones, the bad boy Tennessee Titan best known for allegedly beating women in a strip club, was given a job at TNA. Unfortunately, he was prohibited from, you know, actually wrestling, so he was teamed up with Ron Killings and won the TNA Tag Team Championships despite not ever being able to actively compete.
Never before has TNA ripped off its OWN characters, but did so here with Mexican America, a carbon copy of the innovative Latin American XChange faction just two years after LAX disbanded. In addition, one of the four members - Sarita - was neither Mexican nor American; she was Canadian. Wrap your head around that.
Having a pair of legitimate twin brothers on TNA's earliest shows should have been enough. But instead, the former Shane Twins were clothed in latex bodysuits and christened Rod and Dick Johnson - the wrestling penises. Shockingly, the WWE tried to outdo TNA years later with The Dicks. But no one won there....
To watch Goldust compete today in WWE, you'd never believe that he was Black Reign in 2007. That's not because the gimmicks weren't similar; they were. But as Black Reign, he was just one in a group of monster heels; other than that, TNA didn't differentiate from his WWE persona. A different color scheme, perhaps.
Why yes, this is the third reference to an Elvis impersonator act on this list! The very first on a TNA pay-per-view featured Jorge Estrada, Sonny Siaki and Jimmy Yang as a trio of "hilarious" Elvis knockoffs. This somehow didn't last, although Estrada kept wearing the bodysuit to the ring long after that.
Shortly after WWE debuted one of their writers as Big Dick Johnson (no relation to the Dick Johnson at # 16), TNA decided they needed a Big Dick Johnson impersonator for some reason. Thus, the Big Fat Oily Guy was born - TNA couldn't even be bothered to come up with a proper name for his character!
Robbie E and Cookie were introduced to the Impact Zone in late-2010 and were blatant knockoffs of the television show Jersey Shore. That wouldn't have been so bad on its own, but just WEEKS after they debuted, TNA brought in a member of the actual Jersey Shore cast, exposing the characters before it got off the ground.
Is he a rock star? A potato? No one quite knows how Spud, a British wrestler wearing flamboyantly-colorful suits, became Dixie Carter's Chief of Staff, but here we are. To his credit, Spud has played the cowardly assistant to perfection; we're just not sure what his character is ultimately supposed to be.
Dean Baldwin (see # 42)'s run as the man-man, have fish as Shark Boy was a fun comedy character and fairly harmless. But when Shark Boy began channeling Stone Cold Steve Austin - a wrestler who has never been in TNA and will likely never be - it was beyond silly and had very little chance of a payoff.
Taking a page from the first two men to be known as Mr. Wrestling -- actually not that's even true, TNA upheld the rich transition set by the first two Mr. Wrestlings by wearing a white hood and robe (yes, kind of like KKK) and attacked Ron Killlings. Thankfully for the fans, Wrestling III turned out to be Vince Russo.
Another Kevin Nash recreation along the lines of Sonjay Dutt (See # 18), Jay Lethal was transformed into Black Machismo because he sounded like and kind of looked like Macho Man Randy Savage. But again, Savage had no intention of returning to TNA, making Lethal little more than a cheap knockoff.
When Crash Holly departed from WWE to TNA in 2003, he became Mad Mikey, explained through a series of vignettes to be a wrestler who was always mad at everyone, from his opponents to his roommates. Can you think of a more generic name and persona? Nine weeks later, Mad Mikey had left the company.
Rikishi showed up in TNA in 2007 as Junior Fatu, which would be fine if he were a cartoon character a la Baby Huey, but less impressive for a 400-pound dancing Samoan with an oversized butt. TNA didn't differentiate from his WWE persona, and Junior Fatu was backing that ass up out of TNA within weeks.
As an onscreen character, Dixie Carter has proven as effective at running a wrestling company as she has offscreen -- not exactly a compliment. But when she turned heel late last year, the character became inexplicably worse, with Carter accomplishing very little beyond frustrating the fans TNA still has left.
Orlando Jordan joined TNA in 2010 and was given a character that did more than hint at the fact that he's bisexual off-camera. Between his penchant for wearing only caution tape to the ring and spilling milk all over his chest, Jordan's character couldn't have one of GLAAD's finest moments.
Sure, it's similar to the escapades of Daniel Bryan's personal trainer from earlier this year, but Claire Lynch appeared from nowhere via terrible acting that AJ Styles had fathered her unborn child. Then weeks later, she admitted through more poor acting it was all a ruse. Even Styles thought the whole concept was terrible.
23) The Dupps
24) Fake Vince McMahon
19) Pac Man Jones
20) Dr. Stevie
17) Mexican America
18) The Guru Sonjay Dutt
15) The Johnsons
16) Black Reign
13) Big Fat Oily Guy
14) The Flying Elvises
11) Rock Star Spud
12) The Shore
9) Mr. Wrestling III
10) Stone Cold Shark Boy
7) Mad Mikey
8) Black machismo
5) Dixie Carter
6) Junior Fatu
4) Orlando Jordan
3) Claire Lynch
We already know that TNA wanted to spoof Vince McMahon (see # 24), but the Voodoo Kin Mafia (Kip and BG James) were a DX-like group that mocked McMahon while being named after his initials VKM. The funny thing is, you could substitute any three other words (Violin Killers Monday) and have come up with a better alternative for this formulaic, WWE-bashing tag team.
Hard to believe this character just recently finished his run instead of being left on the cutting floor. Last year, Jeff Hardy decided he didn't want to portray Jeff Hardy any more, and swapped the persona of the company's most over competitor for.... a weird artsy character from Hardy's childhood that everyone knew was Jeff Hardy wearing a mask! Even the announcers didn't try to hide it. It was almost as though TNA wanted to shoot itself in the foot.... yet again.
2) Voodoo Kin Mafia
We've done the Top 50 Regrettable WWE Characters and the Top 50 Regrettable WCW Characters, so it was only a matter of time before we turned our attention to TNA -- possibly the most likely promotion of the three to do something regrettable.
Once again, this is not necessarily meant to look at silly gimmicks, but certain characters where, if the booking team could take back the character today due to political correctness, controversy the character generated not being worth it or general silliness overall, they might have done so.
This Top 50 list is limited to characters that appeared in the promotion since its 2002. And I'd like to be clear that this list is by no way a condemnation of the wrestlers who portrayed the gimmick. but rather for TNA for presenting them as such.
Ready? Here we go!
Any names missing or misplaced? Leave your feedback in the Comments section below...
In 2007, Petey Williams underwent a body transformation and started hanging out with "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner. Unfortunately, Williams' original nickname of "Little Poppa Pump" didn't take, but he was soon decked out in Steiner-like attire, competing as Maple Leaf Muscle.
No, not an actual puppet (although you never known with TNA). Puppet was a vertically challenged wrestler who competed in the company's weekly pay-per-view era, and was most famously, discovered by announcer Goldy Locks masturbating in a trash can. Yes, really.
Mock superhero gimmicks can be fun when executed properly, just look at Shane Helms' run as The Hurricane. But Eric Young's run as a Super Eric in 2008 was practially the exact same character, only less tolerated because it was, after all, Eric Young.
45) Cody Deaner
Deaner began his career with TNA by winning a date with ODB. The Duck Dynasty wannabe then began challenging women, and at some point in 2009, he somehow defeated ODB for the Knockouts Championship.
Although TNA hasn't truly been able to regret this character yet, give it a little time. Since his debut last year, Shaw has been portrayed as a creepy stalker and psychopath, not to mention someone who was committed to a psychiatric hospital as per a wrestling match stipulation.
Dutt had been an X Division favorite since he debuted in TNA in 2003. However, it wasn't until 2007 when he was repackaged as The Guru (a nod to his Indian heritage) that he was ever seriously pushed. A gimmick that was given to him by Kevin Nash, The Guru eventually became a heel after he turned on friend Jay Lethal.