The big TNA news story of the past week is the recent release of talent on the TNA roster: Christian York, Taeler Hendrix, Crimson, Joey Ryan and Madison Rayne. Why is this such a huge shock when these talents, aside from Madison Rayne, were not used efficiently on TNA TV? The suddenness of it is mainly the reason why, along with the number of individuals released. However, to begin the process of making better business decisions and save money that can be used elsewhere, trimming the fat is necessary.
The decision to release someone from a job is a difficult one. We all need to eat and provide for ourselves and our families. However, on a business and product perspective, the recent TNA cuts are good for finances and focusing on other needed aspects of the show (production, story, etc.). These are the obvious reasons, so no great detail is really needed on an internal company level. So, let’s take a look at each roster release for my justification on a wrestling fan level.
Christian York – York, a 16 year plus veteran of the ring, was terrible. Remove the fantastic physical appearance and you’re left with a veteran that performs each match with the confidence of a first week rookie. He was slow and very sloppy in the ring. It also seemed as though he was going through the motions with no desire to stand out from the rest of the pack. The fans were behind him, but mainly because of his look and that’s truly the only thing going for him. Aside for financial reasons, I’m sure management saw the flaws in York and could not risk placing him in a position to assist in carrying the TNA flag in the future. For a 16 year plus veteran, York was a disappointment.
Taeler Hendrix – Nothing against Taeler Hendrix at all. She is hard working and did her best to better herself in the ring. Very likeable and has a spark in her that’s almost early AJ Lee. However, her in-ring abilities are in dire need of improvement. Or is it her character? I mentioned AJ Lee and we all know her bubbly character was cute and acceptable, but when she turned crazed, she took off. Perhaps Taeler was a bit too vanilla and couldn’t truly connect with the fans. If you can’t connect with the fans, you’re stuck in wrestling limbo. A few more years of training with the right team on her skill set and character, and we’ll see Taeler Hendrix on television again.
Crimson – The shocker of the bunch. Admittedly, I was not a fan of Crimson’s character while in TNA but respected his talent and main event level drive. He was placed in many prominent programs with top tier talent, so this release may be the only one TNA should have thought over. A sort of repackaged Crimson made a return at a BFG Series qualifier a few weeks ago and lost to Joseph Park. Crimson was a prime example of how to build up for the long fall down. The only reason one would think of to justify his absence is a simple one: there was nothing for him after the undefeated streak was broken. If there was really nothing for him, then a release was the only course to take. However, a win over Joseph Park into the BFG Series could have started a new program for Crimson down the line. The release of Crimson could have been avoided with the right booking, but if management truly felt otherwise, then we’ll see Crimson again elsewhere some time in the near future.
Joey Ryan – In this day and age, the “sleazy” persona really has no place on wrestling television. Much like U.S.A. themed angles, this is one of “been there done that”. Also, could one truly see Joey Ryan in the main event in his current character? He is not the type of performer to carry the weight of a wrestling promotion and is a low midcard level performer at best. Aside from the Al Snow angle during Ryan’s Gut Check time, he had no place to settle in the TNA landscape. The product didn’t need Joey Ryan after Gut Check and, as shown via his lack of TV time or entertaining storylines, the product doesn’t need him now. This was a great move by TNA in letting go of an unnecessary talent. He has a persona and has ability in the ring, but a gimmick change is probably what’s needed the most.
Madison Rayne – This is a temporary release. Madison Rayne, from what we know, is in good terms with TNA and has been involved in fun angles throughout her TNA career. She is on maternity leave so, as she is not being used, her contract was not renewed. TNA will certainly welcome the Queen Bee back once she is ready, or if she even wants to return after her pregnancy. There isn’t much to dig into regarding this particular release so we can all wish Madison Rayne the best in her personal life and hope to see her back in TNA or another promotion when she knows she is ready to do so.
What are your thoughts on the release of these five talents? Are they all justified? Unjustified? Sound off below and have a great rest of your Sunday!
Follow me on Twitter: @RealRicSantos