Skip to main content

Despite being a wrestling promotion that has been around for 20 years, Impact Wrestling has always been seen as the 'underdog' since it's very first event back in 2002, So when a wrestler of such great talent or name recongition appears for the company...many (including a few Impact fans) are shocked to see such names appear on screen.

Some of wrestling's all time greatests or future legends have journeyed to Impact over the years and while some of their tenure has been better than others, you can bet the people on this list left many wrestling fans and journalists alike in disbelief even to til this day.

Here are the Ten Wrestlers You Never Thought Would Up in Impact...But Did





























The Great Muta

10. The Great Muta

One of the most iconic wrestlers in all of Japanese Wrestling, Keiji Muto also known as The Great Muta has entertained many wrestling fans both in his home country and in the United States. While some are familar with his work in World Championship Wrestling, few may know that the Great Muta spent some considerable amount of time in Impact never mind appeared in the promotion.

Largely thanks to the partnership between Impact and Wrestle-1, the Great Muta made his in-ring debut in the opening contest of the 2014 Lockdown pay-per-view where he and his partners were able to defeat the likes of Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels in a six man tag team match inside a steel cage.

A few months after that, Muta would find himself headlining the main event of that year's Bound For Glory PPV as part of a storyline that against TNA original, James Storm and future Bullet Club member, Seiya Sanada before having matches with names like Mr. Anderson. Michael Elgin and John Morrison/Johnny Impact with Muta's signature mist being used throughout all of his encounters. 

While his work in Impact may not be as memorable as some of the others on list, the fact that Muta appeared in any kind of wrestling capacity for the former TNA Wrestling is something special.





























Kylie Rae

9. Kylie Rae

When news broke in the early part of 2019 that indie wrestler, Kylie Rae was departing the then relatively new All Elite Wrestling many fans were stunned and began to speculate where she would appear with a majority of folks believing that the Illnois native would be heading to the WWE.

However those ideas were put to rest in October of that same year when Kylie Rae appeared as a surprise entry in the inaugural Call Your Shot Gaunlet match at Bound For Glory where she got a great reaction from the crowd and managed to stand out from the rest of her fellow competitors.

It wasn't until the March 2020 Impact tapings when Kylie made her return to company before announcing that she was signed to an Impact Wrestling contract further shocking the wrestling world at time when the Covid-19 pandemic was already doing a good job at that.

Sure her time in Impact ended anticlimatically due to struggles with her mental health at the time, but the fact that she was one of the first high profiled names to be a part of All Elite Wrestling to jump ship to another promotion makes her appearance in Impact all the more important.





























Jushin Liger

8. Jushin "Thunder" Liger

Much like the aforementioned Great Muta, Jushin "Thunder" Liger first appeared in Impact by way of a partnership with a Japanese promotion, this time New Japan Pro Wrestling.

In the fall of 2005, Liger made his Impact debut at the very first Bound For Glory event where he was defeated by Samoa Joe in an ultracompetitive opening bout; Liger was then scheduled to take on another former X Division star in Christopher Daniels in a steel cage match at Lockdown 2006 but allegedly pulled out at the last minute.

Liger's final appearance for the company came at the 2006 Sacrifice pay per view when he took part in the TNA World X Cup tournament and he defeated the captain of Team Canada Petey Williams, however Liger would end up getting eliminated from the World X Cup gaunlet match later on in the night.

Short as his time was, interactions with some the X Division's best is what makes it all the more memorable.




























The Good Brothers

7. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows 

One of the biggest casualities of the 2020 mass firing known as 'Black Wednesday' were mutliple time tag team champions, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows who had re-signed a deal with the WWE and were working with former TNA Superstar AJ Styles around this time, so you can only imagine what the reaction was like for Styles, Anderson & Gallows and the wrestling world upon hearing of their unexpectedly firing.

Many believed that the two would end up joining their buddies in AEW upon hearing the news of their pinkslips from the WWE while some reported that the newly named 'Good Brothers' would go to Impact Wrestling as rumors of them being in talks with the higher ups in the company.

Because most fans follow the mantra: "I'll believe when I see it", they tended to disregard the rumors that the Good Brothers were in talks with Impact management, that all changed on July 18th 2020 when a video showing Gallows and Anderson in a dark room was posted to social media a little over midnight (as their 90 day no compete clause had now expired).

In the video, both Gallows and Anderson address the thing that was on everyone's mind at the time and that was where were they gonna end up next and upon the house lights being brought up the wrestling world got it's answer as the Gallows and Anderson confirmed the rumors to be true and that they've signed with Impact Wrestling...and the rest is history.




























Deonna Purrazzo

6. Deonna Purrazzo 

Another victim of WWE's mass firing in 2020, Deonna Purrazzo much like many others at the time was let go as a cost-cutting measure and her future was uncertain.

As it tends to be the case many presumed Purrazzo would come to brand new promotion in AEW to helped bloaster their women's division or rejoin her old stomping grounds in ROH as the company was moving closer towards establishing it's own division for the females.

However to the shock of many, Purrazzo made her debut (or return if you count her sporadic appearances in the 2010's) in the summer of 2020 via vignettes and upon stepping in the ring and attempting to break one of Jordynne Grace's arm at the end of an episode of Impact, 'The Virtusoa' made her presence known thus beginning her reign of dominance within the company for years to come.




























Hulk Hogan

5. Hulk Hogan 

Legendary and he is controversial, the man nicknamed "The Hulkster" is unquestionably one of the most influential figures in professional wrestling and as such his association with any promotion tends to generate a lot of media attention which is exactly what happened during the fall of 2009.

During a press conference in Madison Sqaure Garden, Hulk Hogan along with then TNA President Dixie Carter announced that to the world the red and yellow superstar was now a part of the TNA Wrestling brand, but it wasn't until the Janaury 4th 2010 edition of Impact when the Hulkster entered the Impact Zone to thunderous applauses.

While it's easy to look back and malign Hogan's run in the company today for a number of reasons, the mere fact that the guy who was argubly the face of American Pro Wrestling in the 1980's and early 90's was joininh forces to the biggest competition the WWE had post Monday Night Wars was unbelievable.





























White and GOD

4. The Bullet Club (Jay White, G.O.D., etc.) 

Okay so this entry is more on an entire group then a person or tag team, but if we were really being honest with ourselves...Did anyone expect the Bullet Club to ever show up in Impact Wrestling?

After so many years of bad blood between Impact and NJPW upon how their first partnership ended many didn't think that one of wrestling's greatest factions would ever show up inside an Impact ring, but as this list has already shown Impact finds a way to make the impossible a reality.

Following Jay White's unexpected debut towards the end of Slammiversary 2021, the wrestling world wondered what the leader of the Bullet Club was going to do next...and in short, he slowly brought more of his crew to Impact which included names like Hikuleo, El Phantasmo and the Guerillas of Destiny aka the G.O.D. all names no one would've expected to see in Impact.

The club's continuing appearance on Impact programming continues to be a highlight of the show and the more members cross the line into the Impact Zone, the more shocking and amazing it gets.





























Mike Bailey

3. "Speedball" Mike Bailey 

After being banned from entering the United States for five years following some issues regarding his visa, those who knew or watched any of "Speedball" Mike Bailey's matches who looking forward to the day when he would be able to compete in the U.S. again but more importantly...which promotion would he wrestling for?

Stories alleged that both the WWE and AEW were trying to get "Speedball" to join their promotions but Impact Wrestling managed to pull the rug from underneath both of them when Impact EVP, Scott D'Amore emerged and gave the young French Canadian an Impact contract on Halloween night in 2021.

Since his in-ring debut at Hard To Kill 2022, Mike Bailey has already prove his worth as a competitor within the X Division as his already manage to become the X Division champion mere months after his debut.





























dds4x28_2f1d8cd2_526e_4994_b8d9_82515a660af0_5

2. Kenny Omega 

Who cares if there's rumors circulating that Dave Meltzer's favorite wrestler could've joined Impact if it had not for AEW or the fact that Omega's associate, Dan Callis is an Executive Vice President to Impact Wrestling...Kenny Omega in Impact Wrestling is never gonna happen.

This thought and many others like it was what most people responded with when it came to the idea of Kenny Omega coming to Impact but thanks to few factors like the previously mention Don Callis, all of that was going to change. 

After winning the AEW World Championship from Jon Moxley and escaping out of the building to their getaway vehicle, Callis tells a backstage interviewer standing outside that the newly crowned champ was going make his first appearance following his win the on next episode of Impact on AXS TV, which understandably made the wrestling world stand still as the two biggest rivals to the WWE post Monday Night War in AEW and Impact were going to work together.

Omega's first appearance and his first match in Impact at Hard to Kill 2021 excited fans the world over as one of the best wrestlers of his generation had finally stepped appeared on Impact programming at a time when many thought that this idea was nothing more than a pipe dream.






























Angle

1. Kurt Angle

As much as the announcements of the Good Brothers, Hulk Hogan or Kenny Omega coming to Impact shocked many, it was the announcement of our final entry coming to Impact that surprise everyone.

Following the main event of No Surrender of 2006 a video package was aired in the final moments of the event with a shadowy figure inside a wrestling ring only for said figure to be revealed as Kurt Angle...and the reactions within the crowd and wrestling community as a whole were unfathomable as the former TNA Wrestling not only signed a former WWE Superstar to their company but one of the biggest free agents in the industry at the time.

Angle's career highlights during his decade long run in Impact have been well documented over the years and his presence within the company went on to help the promotion for many years to come which makes him an easy pick for number one on this list.





Which wrestlers did you think I should've included on this list? leave your thoughts and comments below

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to follow me on Twitter @FullertonHakeem and for more wrestling related content, be sure to follow Wrestling News World on Twitter @wnwnews.

Related Articles