Total Nonstop Action Wrestling has been criticized a lot over the years. It seems some people just don't want to give this organization any credit for doing anything good or interesting. I'm not one of those people. I like to look at the positives and give credit where credit is due. The TNA brand as a whole has been doing a pretty good job lately. While I feel they aren’t quite on par with their peak in the spring/summer of 2009, I feel like they can approach that level if they continue to be solid.
With that said, though, there have been some mistakes made over the years by the Nashville-based promotion. The following series of articles will illustrate what I consider to be TNA's 5 biggest mistakes over the years. The list is full of moments where peoples momentum was stopped due to illogical creative or ideas that seemed good on paper that just didn't flesh out like they planned. All of them have left me scratching my head, and likely will yours as well.
The list is in no particular order. If you agree or disagree, or would like to offer your own choices, feel free to leave a comment. Below is the first installment.
Franke Kazarian becoming Suicide
In the early days of TNA, Frankie Kazarian was a fun, fast-paced X-Division wrestler. He was solid and showed signs of being a great character. He eventually jumped to WWE in 2005 and made a few appearances on their second-tier show at the time, Velocity. Wrestling folklore has it that WWE officials asked Kazarian to cut his hair and he objected, asking for his release. About a year later, he popped up back in TNA. Ironically, he had cut his hair.
Kazarian bounced around for a little while, hitting a new low as a flunky for Raven. Things started turning around when he broke free from Raven and had an amazing couple months. The crowd was getting behind him as a new face and his performances were on a main-event level. He won a tournament to earn a World Championship shot, defeating Christian Cage in a thrilling ladder match in the final. He lost the title match against Kurt Angle, but held his own and looked great. He then won a "Terror Dome" match to earn an X-Division title shot. At that same pay-per-view, Samoa Joe was supposed to defend his title against Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle. Angle was injured days before, and officials stuck Kaz into the match. A star was made.
Kaz lost the World Title match. Then he lost the X-Division title match the next month. Then he lost a couple more matches. Then he did an interview where he said he was frustrated and taking some time off.
Then Suicide showed up.
Suicide was a masked character created specifically for TNA's first video game. It was decided to make him a real character in TNA. Suicide was a cool-looking character and he was talented as well, as it was Kazarian under the mask. Why? I don’t understand why. Kaz was a main-event talent waiting to take his spot. Suicide was a masked character that any wrestler needing a boost could have done. In fact, when Kazarian injured his biceps muscle, Christopher Daniels was Suicide for a couple months. When Kaz left the company, TNA considered giving Suicide to a Japanese wrestler, Okado. They ultimately retired Suicide.
Kaz came back to TNA in 2009. He has been solid, but not spectacular. He is nowhere near the level he once was. It was a blown opportunity for TNA to create a potential main eventer. Had the character of Frankie Kazarian basically not disappeared from TNA from 2006-2009, maybe we’d be talking about how many World Championship reigns Kaz had acquired. He definitely would have been a bigger star had he not become Suicide.