Every walk of life people are making sacrifices and cuts to lifestyle choices and the professional world cannot be exempt. It is a hard world at the moment, and nobody knows that more than Dixie Carter and TNA management.
It is no secret that TNA have made budget cuts throughout the company, at a time where the expenditure of taking Impact on the road is not a small one. Add the fact that they are attempting to increase their viewership and are trying to move away from the lucrative contracts that show similarities to WCW.
Now, with rumours circulating around the internet about Ken Anderson’s future within the company, how can TNA react to the constant revolving door of talent?
THE COMEBACK OF AJ STYLES
There is no doubting that AJ Styles has been one of the top performers in the whole wrestling business for the past decade. Whether it has been for TNA, ROH or other independent companies, Styles has a near unrivalled ability to have good matches week after week, no matter the opponent. Now, after a confusing storyline at last year’s Bound For Glory revolving around the fact he couldn’t receive a World Title shot for 12 months, and a dark period where he was as far removed from the Phenomenal gimmick, Styles is back on the main event scene, where most would argue is where he belongs.
Like most in the locker room, and in a similar situation to what Bobby Roode found himself in 12 months ago, Styles is reportedly towards the end of his contract, and negotiations will be crucial at this time. So as the winner of the Bound For Glory series on this week’s edition of Impact, Styles is in a position where TNA management are putting a lot of trust in him.
On top of that, with more and more fans reading internet news sites, it is probably a common fact that Styles is not guaranteed to stay with the company. In a situation similar to CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2011, there is a new style of intrigue surrounding the match between Bully Ray and AJ Styles at Bound For Glory. Will AJ Styles leave TNA with the World Heavyweight Championship? Will AJ Styles leave with a pipe-bomb? It’s good to have the element of mystery back in TNA to be honest.
THE NATURAL END OF ACES AND EIGHTS
I’m not totally against the whole Aces and Eights storyline, but it went on a little too long, and the group were nowhere near as dominant as they were six months ago. One great thing to come out of the faction though, is the rise of Bully Ray.
I guarantee that when he had his singles run on Raw for a few months when WWE first split up The Dudley, nobody could have predicted that a decade later, he would be arguably, the best heel in the business. The opportunity to be the leader of a leading faction was one that he took with both hands, and he proved to the world that he had the ability to be a World Champion in the second biggest wrestling company in the world.
Out of the newcomers in the group, I’ve seen little from Garrett Bischoff that makes me think he will be a main event star of the future, but he has had a taste of the main event scene, and I’m sure that he won’t be complacent when it comes to improving his skills. Wes Brisco on the other hand comes from a legendary wrestling family, and has a bit more potential, but again, he has to put in the work to get up to the standards of the current top guys.
THE BENEFIT FOR YOUNGER WORKERS
There are hundreds, if not thousands of young wrestlers around the world who are one opportunity away from getting a contract with someone like TNA. If there are a number of mid-card main event workers who aren’t happy with their new contracts, there will be plenty of young, hungry workers who will gladly take the chance to lead the company.
There are obvious answers like Chris Sabin and Magnus, but there is no way of predicting of who will be able to take the opportunity to go to the next level. Could people like Jay Bradley, Manik or someone in OVW be the next big thing in TNA? Whatever happens, it is a perfect opportunity for the company to create their next big star.
So look at TNA how you want. You can look at the company cutting people, and see it as a sign of things heading in a downward spiral. Or you can be positive, and think about what good can come out of the whole situation.