In general, for a long time, Impact Wrestling was considered by fans as merely a form of second rate WWE. That was however not the case, for currently, many stars are sitting in the top ranks of WWE, who started in Impact Wrestling.
Although TJP only made it for about three years in WWE, he came from Impact Wrestling. TJP, also known as the masked Suicide, had a tough life as a child. There was a period when he was homeless and lived in his car. His wrestling career already started when he was only a teenager, and he had his first success when he signed with Impact Wrestling. In the Cruiserweight Classics, he defeated opposition like Kota Ibushi and Johnny Gargano and won the tournament.
Maverick was a comedy wrestler in Impact Wrestling known to the crowds as Rockstar Spud. He started as being part of the British Boot Camp and then Impact signed him. From there he moved up to Ohio Valley Wrestling, being the sidekick to EC3. His success in WWE was unsuspected. He is considered to be in the top ranks of general managers for WWE and is a star on 205 Live.
Joe was one of the top-ranked wrestlers in Impact Wrestling for quite a while. He was involved in both Impact Wrestling as well as Ring of Honor but did spend more time on Ring of Honor since he was their world titleholder longer than anyone else. Joe is a two-time winner of the NXT title and made his WWE debut. Joe remained a dominant wrestler in NXT, and when he moved to the main roster, he became a star in the ring as well as behind the microphone. He hasn’t won a world title yet but became the US Champion twice.
He used to be the face of Impact Wrestling and is today one of the best in the ring in WWE. Styles left Impact Wrestling as being the world champion five times as well as Tag Team Champion and X-Division Champion both six times. This meant that when he moved to WWE, his stardom was large enough that he skipped NXT and went straight to Royal Rumble. In his first three years, he won two world titles.
Although CM Punk shined the brightest in Ring of Honor, he was also involved in Impact Wrestling before moving to WWE. Punk made his debut in Ring of Honor during 2003 by feuding Raven. At the same time, he also made his debut at Impact Wrestling as Julio Dinero’s tag team partner. Here he was part of Raven’s group called The Gathering. Impact Wrestling felt however that Punk wasn’t connecting as they wanted with the fans and decided not to use him anymore. He moved to WWE and became World Champion six times and the company’s star.