Tonight marks Total Nonstop Action wrestling’s ten year anniversary and for the occasion I’ve assembled a list of my 25 favourite TNA DVDs. It was originally supposed to be just 10, but looking through my collection, I realised that ten DVDs couldn’t possibly capture everything that TNA has brought to the table in the last ten years. So sit back and enjoy my top 25 TNA DVDs of the decade!
NOTE: This list is entirely my own. The countdown is not a definitive list of the greatest TNA DVDs, but simply a list of my own personal favourites. I put the list together myself, without any help or input from the rest of the WWE DVD News team, so my opinions do not represent theirs. I’m not claiming my favourite DVDs are better than your favourites and I don’t intend to insult anyone by claiming this list is more accurate than any list they could write. I am just a wrestling fan like the rest of you and I have only made this list for fun, to celebrate TNA’s 10 year milestone. If you agree with any of the choices/placements on this list, then by all means sound off in the comments section. And if you disagree with my opinions, that’s even better. Feel free to let me have it!
Title: Best of the Bloodiest Brawls
Synopsis: The second of the original TNA DVDs, this set brings together twelve 90’s style hardcore or “garbage” matches from February 2003 to March 2003. Just over a year ago ECW had shut it’s doors and so TNA decided to go extreme themselves and start their own hardcore division with the likes of Raven, Sandman, Jerry Lynn, Justin Credible, New Jack and others. Mike Tenay and Don West have the call.
Best Match: Jerry Lynn vs Justin Credible (Falls Count Anywhere, Dog Collar and Last Man Standing Match)
Final Verdict: This makes the cut for some exciting hardcore action and a mixed roster of TNA and ECW wrestlers.
Title: Enigma: The Best of Jeff Hardy
Synopsis: This 2 disc feature released in 2005 covers Jeff Hardy’s first TNA run from June 2004 to April 2005. That TNA produced this DVD with only 10 months of footage available tells me that they were more interested in making money off Hardy’s popularity than making an exciting and comprehensive collection of his TNA matches.
Best Match: Jeff Hardy vs Abyss Falls Count Anywhere (Destination X 2005)
Final Verdict: A solid look back on Jeff Hardy’s fist year with TNA. Could use more bonus features.
Title: The History of TNA: Year One
Synopsis: This single disc set features an in-depth 1 hour and 46 minute documentary on how Total Nonstop Action wrestling began and how the promotion managed to survive their first year. Also included are four matches and an array of bonus clips. Due to the level of blood and violence in the last match, this DVD is rated 18.
Best Match: Jerry Lynn vs Low Ki vs AJ Styles (Ladder match)
Final Verdict: A comprehensive look back on the first year of TNA. Not enough matches though.
Title: Best of the Bloodiest Brawls: Scars and Stitches
Synopsis: TNA’s follow up to the very well received Best of the Bloodiest Brawls Vol 1 (4.5 STARS). A single disc featuring nine hardcore gimmick matches from December 2005 to February 2008 spliced with interviews with Abyss, Rhino, Christian Cage, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, James “Former Champ” Storm, Christopher Daniels, Homicide, Hernandez and Tomko
Not that it affects the quality of the DVD but whoever said “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” clearly hasn’t seen this cover. It’s awful.
Best Match: Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe (Genesis 2006)
Final Verdict: Some top quality hardcore and cage matches, but let down by the ridiculous talking segments.
Title: Nevermore: The best of Raven
Synopsis: A rare find today, this is TNA’s two disc collection of Ravens’ best matches from his debut in January 2003 to his match with Sabu in August 2004. I’m going to come right out and say that this is not the best “wrestling” DVD you’re likely to see. However since hardcore gimmick matches will always have a place in professional wrestling, it is simply a matter of taste. And when it comes to this style of wrestling, Raven is one of the very best.
Best Match: Raven vs AJ Styles (Ladder match)
Final Verdict: A mixed bag, quality wise, but an efficient collection of Raven’s best TNA matches.
Title: Best of TNA 2007
Synopsis: A countdown of the best seven matches from 2007, inter-spliced with highlight videos honoring the best wrestlers, knockouts, tag teams, finishers, etc of the year.
Best Match: Kaz vs Christian Cage ladder match (Genesis 2007)
Final Verdict: An experimental concept that hasn’t been brought back, but contains some good action nonetheless.
Title: TNA: The 50 Greatest Moments
Synopsis: The title says more than I ever could. But just to be clear this DVD is a countdown of TNA’s 50 greatest moments. At the beginning we also get a nice little music video highlighting the first four years of TNA Wrestling. The artwork too is very impressive, usually with TNA DVDs it’s Hit and Miss. Now this isn’t TNA Wrestling: Greatest Moments (2010). That’s a different DVD entirely and frankly that’s a good thing. The less said about that DVD the better! Keep in mind though this one is 4 years old so there’s no Hulk Hogan (except from the Jeff Jarrett guitar shot in Japan), Ric Flair, Eric Bischoff, Mr Anderson or RVD. In fact there’s not even Kurt Angle. Four years is a long time in professional wrestling.
Best Match: Not Applicable
Final Verdict: A fun countdown but no matches unfortunately.
Title: Enigma the Best of Jeff Hardy Volume 2
Synopsis: TNA’s second 2 disc set on the one-and-only Jeff Hardy. Six years after the release of Enigma the Best of Jeff Hardy (2.5 STARS) the controversial, yet still incredibly popular Enigma returns in a new sit down interview along with brother Matt Hardy, Shannon Moore, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, RVD, Mr Anderson and others to discuss his first year back with TNA. Matches range from March 2010 to March 2011.
Best Match: Jeff Hardy vs Kurt Angle (No Surrender 2010)
Final Verdict: An improvement on the first Hardy DVD, with good matches and an in depth profile.
Title: Christian Cage The Instant Classic
Synopsis: TNAs offering of seven complete matches from Christians TNA career between February 2006 and March 2007. Also included is a 38 minute documentary on his life and career, a Cribs style tour of his house and a bonus match against Lance Diamond (TNA Road Agent Simon Diamond) with commentary from both men. Presumably because of the Barbed Wire Steel Cage match with Rhino, this DVD is rated 18 in the UK.
Best Match: Christian Cage vs Rhino Barbed Wire Steel Cage match (Impact 2006)
Final Verdict: A satisfying look at the first half of Christian’s TNA journey. Will he join the TNA Hall of Fame tonight?
Title: Doomsday: The Best of Abyss.
Synopsis: A single disc comprising 8 of Abyss’ best matches held between March 2005 and November 2006. There’s also a documentary of his 2007 angle with Kayfabe father James Mitchell, Sting and Christian Cage. As you may have guessed, every match on here is a gimmick match used to hide Abyss’ limited in-ring skills, while focusing on what he can do competently: Bump, brawl and bump some more. I should probably warn you that the good folks at the BBFC have rated this feature as 18 (for obvious reasons).
Best Match: AJ Styles vs Abyss Six Sides of Steel (Lockdown 2005)
Final Verdict: With nothing but hardcore matches, this DVD accentuates all of Abyss’ strengths.
Title: Jeff Jarrett: King of the Mountain
Synopsis: A mega 4 disc chronicle of Jeff Jarrett’s storied career. A gargantuan interview is divided by 25 matches.
Best Match: Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Rhino vs Christian Cage, Abyss, AJ Styles, Scott Steiner and Tomko Lethal Lockdown match (Lockdown 2007)
Final Verdict: One could argue that 4 discs and 25 matches is overkill but this set displays Double J at his best.
Title:TNA Best of 09
Synopsis: A collection of 8 matches from both TNA Impact and Pay Per Views held between January and November 2009. Very small for a year in review. My immediate reaction was, as the Miz might say: “Really? … Really?”
Best Match: Kurt Angle vs Desmond Wolfe (Turning Point 2009)
Final Verdict: A very short DVD by today’s standards but full of cracking wrestling action.
Title: TNA Fandimonium: Beer Money Inc. & The Motor City Machine Guns
Synopsis: Disc 1 features the best matches from Beer Money (Robert Roode and James Storm). Disc 2 features the best matches from The MCMG (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley). The matches, all of which are held between 2008 and 2009, are punctuated by fragments of a sit-down interview with the respective team.
Best match: Alex Shelley vs Chris Sabin (Genesis 2009)
Final Verdict: Not quite a complete collection of both teams’ best matches, but still loaded with quality tag team wrestling.
Title: Phenomenal: The Best of AJ Styles
Synopsis: A look back on the first year of Styles’ TNA career with some of his earlier matches and interview clips.
Best match: AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn vs Low Ki vs Psychosis (Double Elimination Match)
Final Verdict: Some excellent matches which show AJ’s rise from X Divison star to World Heavyweight Champion.
Title: Best of the Tag Teams Volume 1
Synopsis: A collection of tag team matches from 2006 featuring Team 3D, the Naturals, AMW, the James Gang and LAX.
Best Match: LAX vs AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels Six Sides of Steel (Bound for Glory 2006)
Final Verdict: This DVD shows why 2006 was one of the best years in TNA. Tag Team wrestling at it’s finest.
Title: World X Cup 2008
Synopsis: It was in the Summer of 2008 that TNA held their third World X Cup Tournament and all four rounds are here in their entirety on one disc, along with three bonus matches featuring participants from the tournament competing in non-tournament matches.
Best Match: Team TNA (Curry Man, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) vs Team Mexico (Ultimo Guerrero, Rey Bucanero and Averno) vs Team International (Alex Kozlov, Tyson Dux and Doug Williams) vs Team Japan (Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi and Puma)
Final Verdict: An amazing collection of different wrestlers and styles from around the globe. TNA needs to bring this back!
Title: Best of the X-Division Matches
Synopsis: One of the three fabled original DVD releases from TNA in 2003, this set focuses on (you guessed it) the best of the X Division matches. Included are 14 matches from the very first match in TNA history (a 6 man tag which opened the first Pay Per View in June 2002) to the first ever Ultimate X match between Michael Shane, Chris Sabin and Frankie Kazarian (August 2003). Prominent players in this one are AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Kid Kash and Amazing Red. Mike Tenay and Don West are your hosts.
Best Match: Amazing Red vs AJ Styles (X Division Championship)
Final Verdict: Easily the best of the original three DVDs. Fantastic aerial action.
Title: Phenomenal: The Best of AJ Styles Volume 2
Synopsis: A follow up to the first AJ Styles DVD which covers his World Championship run in 2005, his X Division wars with Daniels and Joe from 2005-2006 and his celebrated tag team with Daniels in 2006.
Best Match: AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels vs LAX Ultimate X (No Surrender 2006)
Final Verdict: There’s a reason why they call this man Phenomenal!
Title: The Best of the X Division Volume 2
Synopsis: This follow up to The Best of the X Division Vol 1 (See previous Review!) offers a collection of 15 X Division matches between October 2005 and August 2006, plus a documentary style look back at the epic series between AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe. This time around an obvious effort has been made to feature the new generation of X Division stars and keep the established stars like Styles, Daniels and Joe separate. As a personal note I would just like to add that the artwork for this DVD is awesome!
Best Match: Chris Sabin vs Petey Williams vs Sonjay Dutt vs Puma (Destination X 2006)
Final Verdict: Between the short Impact matches and the long Pay Per View matches, this DVD features some first rate X Division action.
Title: Best of the Bloodiest Brawls Vol 1
Synopsis: This single disc set brings together 10 of TNA’s most hardcore gimmick matches from November 2004 to December 2005. I won’t call it “Garbage” wrestling even though that’s the real name for it, because that term is open to interpretation and I’m not (ahem) trashing it . Key players in this one include Abyss, Raven and Sabu. It should come as no surprise to anyone that this charming feature is rated 18 and is not recommended for people who are underage, easily squeamish, or expecting pure athletic technical mat-based wrestling.
Best Match: America’s Most Wanted vs Triple X Six Sides of Steel (Turning Point 2004)
Final Verdict: This DVD is absolutely packed with bloody hardcore insanity. Even non-hardcore fans should give this a look!
Title: TNA Ultimate Matches
Synopsis: This 2 disc set features a look at TNA’s signature gimmick matches from December 2004 to June 2008. Matches included here are typical TNA mainstays Ultimate X, King of the Mountain, Six Sides of Steel as well as more common matches with different names like the Monsters Ball, Full Metal Mayhem, and (for some reason) a Ladder match. As far as overall content goes, this DVD is loaded!
Best Match: Kurt Angle vs AJ Styles vs Christian Cage vs Samoa Joe vs Chris Harris King of the Mountain match (Slammiversary 2007)
Final Verdict: Ultimate X, King of the Mountain, Six Sides of Steel, Monsters Ball, this is one of TNA’s most loaded DVDs ever!
Title: The Best of the X Division Volume 1
Synopsis: A one disc DVD composing nine X Division matches (eleven if you count the two bonus matches) held between November 2004 and July 2005. The focus, as you would imagine is on TNA’s then signature division which at the time was the hottest thing going in the company. I should mention of course that a lot of these matches are very spot-heavy, but rest assured there’s plenty of excellent wrestling mixed in.
Best Match: AJ Styles vs Chris Sabin vs Petey Williams Ultimate X (Final Resolution 2005)
Final Verdict: This is why the X Division was once the crown jewel of TNA. You must own this DVD!
Title: Kurt Angle Champion
Synopsis: This 2008 DVD release by TNA is a two disc set featuring the very best of Kurt Angle. A documentary worthy of a WWE DVD is shown across both discs, covering Kurt Angle’s life and wrestling career. The documentary is punctuated by ten Kurt Angle matches held between November 2006 and April 2008.
Best Match: Kurt Angle vs Yuji Nagata (Global Impact 2008)
Final Verdict: Kurt Angle may be the greatest active wrestler today. With some excellent matches and a gripping documentary, I can’t recommend this one highly enough!
Title: TNA The Ultimate X Collection
Synopsis: A single disc featuring the first two Ultimate X matches from 2003 and 2004 and the entire Super X Cup tournament from 2003. A bonus match is included: A six man elimination match featuring the return of the Amazing Red.
Best Match: Chris Sabin vs Low Ki vs Christopher Daniels vs Michael Shane (Ultimate X 2)
Final Verdict: With the first two Ultimate X matches and the 2003 Super X Cup, this DVD is a must have for any fan of TNA’s X Division.
Title: The Best of Samoa Joe: Unstoppable
Synopsis: This DVD covers the first 7 months of Joe’s TNA career and an amazing collection of matches shown in between highlights of a sit-down interview with the man himself. Also included is a sweet music video, a slideshow and some outtakes from the main interview. This the best of Samoa Joe!
Best Match: AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels vs Samoa Joe (Unbreakable 2005)
Final Verdict: This is my favourite TNA DVD of all time. Not only does it feature a collection of outstanding matches (including the legendary Unbreakable three-way), this DVD shows how, when booked, right, a new comer can get over right from the start and become one of the biggest stars in the company. This is Samoa Joe during one of the hottest times of his career and this is a DVD that everyone reading this needs to have in their collection.
And finally: Congratulations to TNA Wrestling for reaching the ten year milestone. I’ve been watching TNA since 2004. I’ve seen their highs, their lows and their very lows. No doubt about it, a large percentage of my time spent watching wrestling has included watching TNA and love it or hate it, I won’t deny that TNA has had a major influence on my life as a wrestling fan.
Also as a bit of a side note, has anyone else notied that like TNA, Ring of Honor and Chikara Pro also started out in 2002. They’ve all survived the decade. I wish nothing but success for all three promotions and everyone involved with them.