June 19, 2002, TNA Wrestling held their first-ever show. In celebration of their upcoming 13th birthday, we’ll have a number of TNA-centric articles celebrating the good, the bad and the ugly of TNA/Impact Wrestling over the last 13 years. 

On June 4, 2004 at three in the afternoon, a little show called Impact aired for the very first time on Fox Sports Network. Since then, the show has stayed on the air for eleven years and aired over 500 episodes across three different television channels. I figured I’d look back at the ten best favorite matches in the history of the show. While Impact hasn’t always been known as a wrestling-heavy show, it’s produced more than a reasonable amount of worthwhile matches through the years.

10. Christian Cage vs. Rhino – Barbed Wire Six Sides of Steel
November 16, 2006

I was randomly flicking through channels one day in 2006 and stumbled across this match. I decided to watch it because I knew Christian and Rhino from WWE. Little did I know that would start nine years of watching this show every single week after this match (as well as going back and watching the two years of shows I missed). There are some goofy elements in this match surrounding items they could bring in the cage, but none of it really mattered. At its heart, this match was a bloodbath and a brawl. The crowd was going absolutely bonkers, and the finish, Rhino spearing Christian through the cage door, looked fantastic (the door even flew off its hinges). ****

9. Samoa Joe, Magnus and James Storm vs. Bully Ray, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries
March 1, 2012

TNA had a bit of a creative renaissance in 2012 with Roode, Storm, Aries and Bully were emerging as fresh headliners. Joe and Magnus and Bad Influence were tearing it up in the tag division. A renewed Jeff Hardy was having one of the best years of his career while Styles and Angle were still pillars of consistency. This match was six of those names having a really great match. It was also the first time Aries was associated with main event guys (the culmination of which was his elevation to World champion later that year). This match was loads of fun. ****

8. Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries, Sonjay Dutt and A.J. Styles
November 3, 2005

When TNA got the X-Division right (and, realistically, the successful X-Division formula was always pretty straightforward: give good wrestlers time to have good matches) it created an energy that was difficult to replicate. It produced the same kind of raw energy you get from the best Dragon Gate tag matches. This match was exactly that, just “total” nonstop action. Looking at the sheer amount of talent on display should tell exactly how good this match was. ****

7. A.J. Styles vs. Bobby Roode
May 24, 2012

After the first two Styles vs. Roode matches under-delivered at Turning Point and Final Resolution in 2011, the two had a chance to redeem themselves six months later on Impact. The story was simple: A.J. Styles held the record for the longest reigningTNA World Heavyweight champion in history, if Roode would eclipse that record if he beat AJ. Finally these two delivered the match that lived up to expectations. ****1/4


6. Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles
October 15, 2009

Mere days before Bound For Glory, where Styles was set to face Sting, and Angle was to face Matt Morgan, Styles and Angle went out and had a match better than anything that ended up on TNA’s biggest show of the year three days later (though in fairness, Angle vs. Morgan was excellent). Even with the time limit draw finish (partially to protect both guys before the PPV, partially to set up an Angle/Styles title match down the line), this match was exactly what you’d expect with Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles. ****1/4

Check back for Part Two later this week. In the meantime, browse the rest of our #TNAWeek content: https://www.voicesofwrestling.com/category/columns-2/tna-week-2015/