For its first couple of years in existence, TNA was one of the hottest wrestling promotions in the world. With young talent and unique match types, the company was seen as a hip alternative to WWE, which had had a stranglehold on American professional wrestling for a number of years. As time went on, however, TNA began to lose what made it special and gradually became a cheap copy of WWE. This was due in large part to the hiring of former WWE superstars who signed with the company for no other reason than the promise of a lighter schedule. Ultimately, TNA failed in becoming WWE and is today closer to 2000 WCW.
While TNA can’t match WWE for ratings or talent, it can hold its own in one area: superstar arrests. Over the years, dozens of TNA superstars have gotten themselves into trouble with the law and wound up behind bars. This is likely due to the relatively low standard which TNA holds its talent to in terms of mental and physical wellbeing. There is virtually no system in place to ensure superstars are not abusing drugs or alcohol, which results in talent getting into trouble far more often than they should. While these arrests reflect poorly on the individual superstars involved, they are generally indicative of a larger problem and bring a great deal of well-deserved negative attention upon TNA management.
Sure, these arrests are pretty heartbreaking when you see them, but in the long run they make for some pretty memorable stories. Here are ten of the most embarrassing TNA wrestler arrests.
15. Taryn Terrell
Taryn Terrell left TNA at the beginning of this year after a relatively successful stint, claiming the company wasn’t the right place for her at that time in her life. She didn’t explain just why TNA wasn’t a good place for her to be, but it may have had something to do with the fact her ex-husband was on the way to becoming one of the company’s biggest stars.
Back when she was working with WWE, Taryn Terrell met and married Drew Galloway, who was performing for the company under the name Drew McIntyre. Their marriage was strained and was the discussion of many internet forums in the summer of 2014 when the two were involved in a domestic dispute.
According to reports, Terrell and her then husband were out partying into the wee hours of the morning and upon returning to their hotel room became embroiled in an argument, which turned physical. Police became involved and Terrell was arrested. She was later released on $20,000 bail and indefinitely suspended by WWE.
14. The Sandman
For a while, TNA beefed out its roster with ex-ECW wrestlers. There are multiple reasons why this was not a good idea, the most glaring being ECW’s biggest names have a tendency to be somewhat unruly.
The Sandman has worked with TNA a couple of times in his career, but each run has been marred by his troubles with alcohol, drugs, and, of course, the law.
The most infamous of The Sandman’s many arrests came in 2008 when he got involved in a fight at a party for legendary wrestling manager Captain Lou Albano. Police were called to the scene, which served only to further enrage the former WWE superstar. The Sandman began hurling glasses at police officers before they finally managed to subdue him. He was arrested and fined $1000, a lenient punishment which came as a result of his early guilty plea.
13. Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam’s time in TNA was not all that memorable. In fact, the most remarkable thing about his time with the company was the fact that his theme music was deemed fit for television – it should be noted that it was in no way inappropriate, just terrible.
The mystique around RVD had long evaporated by the time he got to TNA and fans weren’t all that thrilled to see him. Thing started to fall apart for the ECW original in 2006, shortly after the best night of his career.
In July of 2006, Rob Van Dam was on top of the world. He had finally captured the WWE World Championship and was the face of the recently reintroduced ECW brand. However, this all came to an abrupt halt when he was arrested for possession of marijuana.
Although RVD was released shortly after and got off with an easily affordable fine, his WWE career suffered. He lost both the WWE and ECW championships and was suspended for 30 days, a punishment which he never really recovered from.
Rob Van Dam was discovered to be in possession of illegal drugs when his car was pulled over after a WWE house show. His traveling partner? Former TNA superstar Sabu.
Sabu, real name Terry Brunk, was also arrested for drug possession, to which he plead guilty. Brunk’s punishment was not quite as lenient as Rob Van Dam’s, though it was nothing he couldn’t handle. One ten day suspended sentence and a $500 fine later, Sabu was in the clear and the whole incident was forgotten about. Except it wasn’t.
The ECW legend was suspended by WWE for violating the company’s wellness policy and struggled to re-establish himself as a serious competitor once he returned to the active roster. Sabu left WWE in 2007 and hit the independent circuit, returning to TNA for a brief run in 2010.
11. New Jack
TNA has made a lot of mistakes these past couple of years, but signing New Jack has to be the most irresponsible thing the company has ever done. How does one possibly sign this guy and not think that something is going to go wrong? His history of legitimate violence inside the ring is well-documented, as is his trouble with the law.
New Jack has been arrested on multiple occasions throughout the years, with each crime crazier than the last. In 2004, he was arrested for aggravated assault to commit murder after he stabbed his opponent in the ring. That’s right, he literally took out a knife and shoved it into his opponent’s body. Nine times. The victim decided not to press charges on the condition that New Jack agreed to train him. New Jack agreed but promptly skipped town.
Moose’s TNA debut came after weeks of rumors that he had signed with one of the biggest wrestling promotions in the United States. However, that promotion was not TNA; it was WWE.
According to various inside sources, WWE was extremely interested in signing Moose to an NXT deal. The former NFL player was large, charismatic, and capable in the ring, combining what WWE management likes with what the WWE fans like. However, the company decided to withdraw their contract offer after a background check revealed that Moose had been arrested in 2009 for a domestic assault.
According to the police report, Moose became embroiled in a heated argument with his wife over the nature of his relationship with a female Facebook friend. He allegedly tossed his wife onto a flight of stairs before picking her up and throwing her out of their house.
Any reputable wrestling promotion would have distanced itself from Moose after discovering this, but TNA saw him as a perfect addition to the roster and snapped him up as soon as WWE’s interest evaporated. Moose is unlikely to ever be hired by the image conscious WWE, but he seems bound for a great career in TNA.
Crimson – real name Anthony Mayweather – was arrested in Clarksville, Tennessee in April of this year following a public altercation with his wife. According to reports, the husband and wife became involved in an argument outside Kraft Street’s Mid-Town Inn and police were called after things turned physical.
By the time police arrived on the scene, the two had calmed down and seemed to be on the same page. Crimson’s wife insisted they had just had a bit of a disagreement and nothing physical had occurred, but this was contradicted by a witness who claimed he saw Crimson headbutt her. The latter claim was supported by the fact Lady Crimson was sporting a bloody nose and a busted lip when the authorities showed up.
Crimson was taken into custody on a $2,500 bond. His wife was also arrested and charged with public intoxication, as officers noticed her speech was slurred when they questioned her about the incident.
8. Awesome Kong
Although Awesome Kong is one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time, she has experienced the kind of suffering and mental anguish usually reserved for 19th Century painters. In 2012, she announced to the world that she had given birth to a healthy baby boy despite the fact the child had died in the womb. Kong later admitted to lying about the birth of her son out of fear and desperation. This and other unpleasant situations have left Kong in a state of perpetual anger and she was recently released from TNA after carrying out an unprovoked backstage attack on Reby Sky.
In December of 2010, shortly after her first stint in TNA came to an end, Kong was arrested in Hillsborough County, Florida. She was charged with driving with a license which had been canceled, suspended, or revoked. She was brought to jail, where her mugshot was taken but was released shortly after on a $1,000 bond.
Despite the publicity surrounding the case, there has been no word on just why Kong’s license was invalid. It could be for any number of innocent reasons, but most people assume it was the classic pro wrestler offense of driving while intoxicated.
7. Gregory Shane Helms
Before he signed with TNA, Gregory Shane Helms had a long and successful career in WWE. First competing as The Hurricane, he won numerous titles, including the WWE World Tag Team Championships and the WWE European Championship, which he won in his debut match. While competing as Gregory Helms, he became the longest reigning WWE Cruiserweight Champion in history, holding the title for a total of 385 days.
Despite his success with WWE, Helms’ final few months with the company were underwhelming and marred by controversy. In January of 2010, Helms was arrested alongside fellow performer Chris Jericho after the two got into a drunken fight after leaving a bar in Kentucky. According to the police report, things got serious inside a cab after Helms punched Jericho and some other unlucky passengers. Authorities arrived shortly after and both Helms and Jericho were taken into custody.
Gregory Helms was released the following month and made his way to the independent circuit before finally signing with TNA in 2015. He hasn’t done much wrestling since the beginning of his time with TNA, but he has worked backstage as a producer and even managed Trevor Lee to the X-Division Championship.
6. Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy’s problems with drugs and alcohol have been well-documented and the memory of his substance abuse seems to haunt him wherever he goes. His troubles with drugs began during his early years with WWE and continued to pop up every now and then until 2011 or so.
In September of 2009, Hardy was arrested and charged with trafficking of controlled prescription pills and possession of anabolic steroids. It was claimed that he had been obtaining pills from a fan who approached him after a show and offered to hook him up. Over a year later, Hardy pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten days in jail.
The former WWE World Champion was already in TNA by this point and had just gotten over the infamous Victory Road incident, which had seen him show up too intoxicated to compete. Hardy’s ten-day jail sentence stretched from October 3rd to October 13th, 2011.
Jeff Hardy seems to be in a good place nowadays, with his personal demons at bay and his career in something of a comeback. Alongside his broken brother Matt, he recently captured the TNA World Tag Team Championships.
Despite the fact he is just 30 years of age, TNA’s Bram has lead quite an interesting life. He competed for a period in WWE as a member of The Ascension and even married Ashley Fliehr, who is known to WWE fans as Charlotte. This made Bram the son-in-law of the legendary “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and would have set him up for great things had the marriage not fallen apart.
After his separation from Charlotte, Bram entered into a relationship with another woman, but that was destroyed by his failure to tackle his personal problems. In August of 2015, Bram was arrested on two counts of domestic battery by strangulation and false imprisonment. The following day, he paid a $5,000 bond and was released from jail.
The charges against Bram were dropped in full on the 19th of October. Ten days later, his divorce from Charlotte was finalized. Since this incident, Bram has managed to get his life back on track. While the domestic assault arrest likely means he isn’t going to be hired by WWE anytime soon, he has carved out a nice career for himself in TNA and has held the King of the Mountain Championship on one occasion.
4. Matt Hardy
While he is doing the best work of his career at the moment, Matt Hardy’s time in TNA has not been easy. During his first run with the company, Hardy was plagued by substance abuse and was released from the promotion after receiving a DUI in August of 2011.
In early 2014 Hardy was arrested again after an altercation with his wife at a Virginia motel. According to the 911 caller, whoever was in Hardy’s room was “Beating the hell out of his wife”. When police arrived on the scene, they found both Matt and his wife covered in cuts and bruises. Both were taken into custody and later released on a $3,500 bond.
Despite the fact that they obtained restraining orders against each other following the incident, Matt and Reby have since patched things up and their relationship seems to be stronger than ever. They frequently appear together at TNA tapings and indie events, often accompanied by their young son Maxel.
3. Reby Sky
As mentioned in the previous entry, Reby Sky was also arrested that night in Virginia. Judging by the mug shots which were released after the arrests, Sky did a pretty good job of defending herself as Matt’s face was covered in scratches and small cuts.
This arrest in 2014 was not the first time Sky found herself in trouble with the law. In 2007, while still working as a model, Sky was pulled over by a police officer who spotted a broken taillight on her vehicle. Sky was uncooperative and opposed the officer, though she did not use violence.
The following year, Sky was brought before a judge for the incident. She was spared jail time but was put on probation and forced to pay a hefty fine, as well as required to perform community service.
2. Kurt Angle
In recent interviews, Kurt Angle has opened up about his problems with drugs and alcohol during his final years in TNA. According to Angle (and multiple others who have been backstage in TNA), drug use in the locker room is rampant and it is nearly impossible not to get swept up in it.
In 2011, Angle was pulled over on a number of occasions and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. For most people, a single arrest is enough to knock some sense into them, but this was not the case for the Olympic gold medalist. It was not until 2013 that he was forced to admit his dependance on drugs was ruining his life.
In August of that year, he was once again charged with driving while intoxicated in Decatur, Texas. That same day, Angle announced that he had hit rock bottom and would be entering a rehabilitation clinic immediately.
1. Tyson Tomko
After an underwhelming run in WWE, Tyson Tomko went to TNA, dropped his first name, and joined forces with his former WWE buddy Christian, who had adopted the surname Cage.
In October 2011, Tomko was arrested and charged with the robbery of a CVS pharmacy. According to the pharmacist, Tomko entered the store and demanded they provide him with the drug Oxycodone or he would resort to physical violence. Understandably frightened by the mountain of a man, the pharmacists gave Tomko what he wanted before calling the police.
Tyson Tomko was apprehended the following day and has since recounted the incident in shocking detail, describing how, after receiving the Oxycodone, he made his way to a Chili’s bathroom and crushed over 100 of the pills before injected them into his bloodstream.
Thankfully, Tomko has since managed to get his life back together, though the so-called Problem Solver didn’t achieve that by himself. After news of his arrest broke, WWE became involved and paid to send him to rehab, where he managed to kick his habits. Many fans have criticized TNA for not footing part of the bill, especially since it was the last major company Tomko worked for before his arrest.
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