It’s been very, very important for the professional wrestling industry in north America that TNA has been in business for the past fifteen years or so.
To begin with, they provided the NWA with a much-needed home to rebuild from - and later on, they continued to provide a haven for frustrated former WWE performers, who found themselves on a much smaller stage, but still a global stage of sorts.
They've always been a distant second to the WWE but second-ranked doesn't have to mean second-rate: however, one of the biggest bugbears that their detractors have is the insistence on slavishly following the fortunes of the WWE, as though desperate to replicate any success the bigger company might have had.
There’s nothing wrong with snapping up former WWE stars if and when they become available of course. However, there are other ways in which TNA has gone a little Single White Female on their biggest competition in the last few years.
Here are a few of the most glaring examples.
8. Abyss Imitates Mankind And Kane
The most famous example of TNA ripping off a gimmick wholesale is of course in the case of Chris Park’s masked alter ego Abyss.
To begin with, Abyss was clearly defined by his inspiration Kane. There’s the enormous size of course, and both wore the mask. Beyond that, there are their characters: both were mute, silent serial killer types, very much like horror movie villains Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.
As the Abyss character progressed, he became a lot more like the original iteration of Mankind, the damaged, childlike personality at war with the monster he’d become, capable of extraordinary acts of violence.
Abyss even began to use a two-by-four studded with dozens of nails, a weapon he called Janice - which, in turn, was a deliberate fudge of Mankind’s barbed wire baseball bat, Barbie.