In the history of (TNA) Impact Wrestling, many talents have come and gone over the years. But there remains one character who may be forever ingrained in to its DNA; an enigmatic and mysterious character known primarily as Suicide.
The idea for the gimmick originated in the company’s one-and-only video game titled ‘TNA Impact!’, in which Suicide is the story mode’s main character (voiced by Low-Ki). In 2008, the company attempted to capitalize on this by introducing it in real-life at the Final Resolution PPV. Below are excerpts from the video game in which Suicide was born.
Who Has Portrayed Suicide?
Due to the nature of the gimmick, several men have played the part of Suicide over the years. Frankie Kazarian was the original, til he picked up an injury and Christopher Daniels was asked to take over. Upon returning from the sidelines, Kazarian would occasionally jump back in to the role to ‘prove’ Daniels (who other wrestlers had been accusing) wasn’t him. It worked really well, as it kept fans guessing who the real Suicide was. In 2009, the character went on to claim the X-Division Championship (with Daniels & Kazarian defending it), along with winning an X-Division King of the Mountain match.
Suicide took a backseat in 2010 due to the Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff regime burying the X-Division. Kazarian & Daniels moved on to other things, but the character continued. This time, Suicide would be portrayed by Japanese wrestler Akira Kawabata AKA Kiyoshi/Akira Raijin/Sushi. It was short-lived however, as the company abandoned it a few months later. Daniels briefly returned as Suicide a year later, but it was only a fleeting appearance on an episode of Xplosion.
For almost two years the gimmick was all but dead and buried. And then it reappeared outta’ nowhere in 2013. While TJ Perkins originally worked under the mask, this time will be more remembered for Austin Aries unmasking in front of Hulk Hogan after winning the X-Division Championship from Petey Williams; and later revealing he pretended to be Suicide after stealing the costume from someone’s locker. Two days later, the character was repackaged as ‘Manik’, with TJ Perkins continuing under the mask; although everyone knew it was him because he unmasked and made no attempts to hide his identity.
While hardly anything changed about the character’s presentation, many fans groaned at the name change because it felt like the company was unnecessarily giving in to outside pressures. They’d happily book wrestlers named Homicide, or nicknamed “The Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal, Death–Defying Maniac” Sabu; but a wrestler named Suicide was crossing the line? The rechristened Manik did go on to become the X-Division Champion, but it didn’t get over and Perkins lost the title a few months later at Bound For Glory.
By 2015, Manik was repackaged so drastically that he no longer looked anything like the original Suicide. He was still masked, but the attire was generic in comparison. TJP ended up being the only man to portray Manik, as he was later released from the company in early 2016; so he could enjoy winning the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Tournament. In 2020, TJ Perkins has returned to the Manik gimmick with the unique attire he used from 2015-2016.
Since TJP departed, Suicide is known to have been portrayed by Jonathan Gresham (2016) and Caleb Konley (2017-2019). Since Konley announced he’d become a free agent in March of last year, he has only knowingly been seen working as an enhancement talent on NWA Powerrr. Due to friction between NWA owner Billy Corgan and Impact Wrestling (because he wanted to buy the company but was screwed out of it), it feels unlikely they would agree to share talent. Below are pictures of the known wrestlers who have portrayed Suicide/Manik in chronological order.
Who Is Suicide?
On last week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, Scott D’Amore reintroduced the Suicide character to Moose; who has been on a mission to embarrass many TNA Originals. The new Suicide attacked Moose and revealed an attire which looks like it’s been through the wars. But who is Suicide this time? And who does Impact have on its roster with the build of who we see in the video below? For now, I have only three possible suspects.
1) Ace Austin – Something is off with the X-Division Champion lately. While he’s known for being a slimy, sleazy guy hitting on any woman he can find, he was acting severely out of character the last we saw him. During the February 9th TV tapings, he came to the aid of Willie Mack by interjecting himself in to a handicap (to make it a tag team) match as his partner against Glenn Gilberti & Johnny Swinger. They won the match, but Willie Mack looked at him with sheer confusion. There was no reason for this behaviour, and it has yet to be explained.
After losing to Tessa Blanchard & Trey lately, this could be a smokescreen to allow Ace Austin to continue wrestling while he remains in hiding with the X-Division title. It’s the perfect way for him to turn a new leaf without being judged for his past antics. He’s also got the athleticism to pull it off without giving the game away.
2) Wentz – Out of The Rascalz, I would say Wentz is the one struggling to get over the most. Trey does well as a singles wrestler, and Dez has a look which will likely always get him bookings. Wentz however, has felt like the third wheel, and this character branches him in to singles competition without disrupting The Rascalz’ dynamic. He’s also the biggest of them physically, and this new Suicide is on the larger side; so it’s unlikely to be Trey, and it’s definitely not Dez going from a point made below.
3) Caleb Konley – The outside chance here, is that Billy Corgan doesn’t mind Konley working for Impact Wrestling and they’ve simply updated his attire? But it seems unlikely to me, because this Suicide looks wider (like Austin) and more agile than before. This would be huge for Konley if he remains though, because he hasn’t really done much since becoming a free agent last year; and a program with Moose would be a step up for his career.
The video gives away that whoever is portraying Suicide is Caucasian. The way the new attire works is the mask isn’t connected to the suit, so the revealed skin colour tells us it’s definitely not Dez, or anyone similar like Chris Bey.
Next week’s episode will feature Suicide teaming up with Manik for the first time, so we can rule out TJP. Unless someone else is Manik? Which is very unlikely. While it could be Jake Crist or Daga, it doesn’t feel like something they would do at this time. Or it could be someone else entirely? A wrestler who isn’t known to be contracted to Impact Wrestling?
I know it’s a lot of speculation, but it’s something the Suicide character has provoked for close to a dozen years. Who do you think it is this time? Are you digging the new attire? And if it’s not someone on the roster, who do you think it is? Please let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading!
Wish to share this piece on your site? Please give credit to Kyle Dunning with a h/t to eWrestlingnews.com