With Bobby Roode’s contract issues these past couple weeks, it looks as though there’s still problems within TNA management. Okay, we all know there’s issues TNA management, but this is talent relations, something that you’d think would be handled fairly well with Bruce Prichard at the helm, but obviously not.
Roode is just another in a long line of wrestlers who have gone right down to the wire with their contracts before something was done about it. At least when TNA was in the lawsuit with the WWE they had some breathing room with their roster, but that time is over. And even with that breathing room, that’s no way to treat your wrestlers, no matter what level your company is at. TNA is trying to take steps forward, but with troubles like this they continue to look worse than some of the small indy companies. I’ve always thought pretty well about Bruce Prichard, especially over John Laurinaitis, but it looks as though Johnny Ace might have been the much better Executive Vice President of Talent Relations over Prichard’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations.
It seemed to really start with RVD. He was signed to a fairly lucrative contract with a limited number of dates, but then TNA burned through those dates and his contract was under question. Would Prichard be able to to talk him down and keep him with TNA? After a couple quiet struggles through the years, RVD was again back, and TNA was supposed to commit more to his character. We saw an X Division Title reign, but little more than that as RVD has barely been seen on Impact, even while carrying gold.
The next ball they obviously dropped was Morgan. He had been expressing his unhappiness with TNA, then his contract quietly ran out. He had been wanting to return to the WWE, and held out for quite a long time, but that lawsuit was hanging in there, until he finally signed with TNA again. I will get back to Morgan again later.
Then there was Devon who’s contract completely ran out without anyone saying or doing anything about it. It was only when Devon posted on Twitter did things start happening. Some people say it was all storyline for Devon joining A&8′s, but the obvious scurrying of Hogan online – that man is so glaringly obvious, no matter what he says – that shows that things were not as neat and clean as TNA might like the fans to think. Luckily they got Devon back and he’s in a great role with the company.
After Devon it was EY who’s contract was in question. This wasn’t the first time there had been issues with EY’s contract. In November of 2010 EY’s contract had run out and they had EY over a barrel. He loves wrestling, and he loves TNA, and because of that he signed a contract where his pay was about cut in half. EY was out only for a brief time, and when he returned he was not quite himself. It was then that he’d been knocked loopy and removed the old TNA WHC from the trash and ran around with believing he was Champ. But not long ago EY’s contract came up again and there was question whether he was going to return from his fishing show, return to his waiting wife, ODB, with a bucket of chicken and some lovin’. Many of us were shocked (and thrilled) when he did return after more contract negotiations. He was not around much, and then was ‘injured’ by A&8′s, but now seems back and raring to go. Hopefully TNA will finally do right by EY without another ‘Don’t Fire Eric!’ campaign.
All the while Velvet Sky was also off Impact as her contract had run out and renegotiations hadn’t gone well. She really wanted to hold out for WWE, but how long can you really wait for something when there’s a lawsuit involved? She wanted to join Shelley and Sabin heading into the WWE, but with Sabin injured, there were too many questions floating out there. Finally, when it looked like the lawsuit was going to drag out forever, she went back into negotiations with TNA and worked out a contract. Velvet and Morgan signed their new contracts with TNA around the same time, and as they were two of the bigger names TNA was trying to keep hold on, the lawsuit ended. Anyone can say that they worked things out and the lawsuit came to a natural resolution, but the timing seemed terribly interesting as TNA managed to sign the bigger names they wanted back, and knew they could get back. Shelley stated that there’s no way he was returning to TNA, and Flair was no-showing events because he was so unhappy with the company, so TNA got all the big names that they were going to get back. Good time to end the lawsuit.
And now there’s Roode. That Roode had to bring parts of his contract to the attention of Prichard shows a serious lack of professionalism on Prichard’s part. That Roode knows his own contract well enough to know what’s going on shows how on the ball he is, and that he’s treating this like the business it is. Too many wrestlers rely on others to take care of their contracts and get themselves into trouble, but Roode brought his contract issues to TNA. So, why wasn’t the Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations on top of that?
Bruce Prichard is being blamed for this issue with Roode’s contract, but there’s been quite a number of other contract issues where Prichard has either dropped the ball, or just hasn’t gotten the job done. He couldn’t get Sarah Stock (Sarita) and Thea Trinidad (Rosita) to stick around with a massive pay cut, so they are also gone from TNA. How many others who have left TNA have left due to not being able to work something out with Prichard? I know not every contract is worked out, and it’s not all the fault of the talent relations guy, but it seems as though TNA has had more than their fare share of contract issues over the past couple years. While there’s a lot of management problems in TNA, I’m wondering if it might be time for Dixie to be looking for someone new to plug into the talent relations role. I’m not saying that Prichard should be fired, I don’t like saying anyone should be fired from any job that I’m so far removed from. What I am saying is that it might be time to move people around and find someone different for talent relations so TNA doesn’t continue to have these really serious issues.