The wrestling community has been buzzing all weekend about Mick Foley and TNA Wrestling severing ties after creative differences, all but killing the company’s headline “network” story. Combined with the fact that Chyna is also done with the company after a paltry two appearances, you’d think Dixie Carter would have some money left over for the rest of the camp.
Not so fast, my friend – WrestlingEdge.com is reporting that more cuts are on the way, clearing the roster of storylines and wrestlers that aren’t working for both the company and fans.
[adinserter block=”2″] Although it’s not known how extensive the roster shrinkage will be, this comes as no surprise considering the recent low turnouts at house shows and pitiful buy rates for pay-per-views since Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff garnered creative control. What’s more disturbing is that despite clear evidence that aging superstars do almost nothing for improved ratings, it’ll probably be more of the little guys who get shown the door when the dust settles. We already saw how they “thanked” Jay Lethal for his several years of service.
Sometimes the writing is on the wall, though. Chances are, if you haven’t seen a guy in a while, which is the case with guys like Shannon Moore and Orlando Jordan, it’s probably a good bet that they will be future endeavored real soon. With a slight profit margin in play, if you aren’t getting called up to push ratings, and there’s no sign of the older guard slowing down, what else can you do than break the unfortunate news? But hey, look on the bright side, TNA B-Team…at least you know at your next job the benefits are guaranteed to be better than the scrounging for change late night empty arena matches in Podunk cities you’ve been experiencing.
Here are the guys I think should seriously start getting their affairs in order, bunched into descending groups of endangerment.
PACK YOUR BAGS
Orlando Jordan. One of the few veterans that’s probably worn out his stay in TNA. The stuff with Eric Young and “I love Tag Teaming” gimmick was funny and all, but Young has recently started flying solo and his recent TV title win shows that we have probably seen the last of the bizarre duo. Also being a former WWE guy, his price tag is probably a bit higher, so this makes more fiscal sense. His saving grace is that the tag team division is crippled with injuries right now, and even though Jordan is no longer intriguing as a singles competitor, his personality is definitely acute enough to warrant a new tag partner.
Robbie E.. His initial gimmick was one based off the Jersey Shore, but since that show has jumped the shark and TNA has seen two actual cast members come and go, I think Robbie E should start applying to ROH, pronto. He’s got the look, so a possible repackaging is what may save the actor, but Robbie E. has got to go, my dude. Cookie can stay as Bischoff’s new ornery secretary, Miss Cooks.
Shannon Moore. Ink Inc., is a fun, vibrant tag team, but Jesse Neal really needs to fly solo. We thought Moore was going to have an extended promo with Scott Steiner when he was “disrespecting” the vet, but that story lasted all but two weeks. Moore still has the occasional flash of aerial brilliance, but the clutter that’s keeping guys like Generation Me off of television has become too much, and Moore’s near the center of it.
Murphy. While partner in crime Gunner really excelled at being two shades of crazy and having some of the biggest quads in the industry, I just don’t see anything redeeming about Murphy, who was summarily ousted from Immortal a few weeks ago when he lost to Rob Terry. He has the size, but the skill set isn’t developed enough to be running with the big boys. I could see him coming back in a couple of years after some hardcore training, but right now Murphy is too flat.
ON THE HOT SEAT
Hernandez. I’ll be the first one to tell you that I love the Mexican America faction but Hernandez botched a Border Toss finisher that almost broke Douglas Williams’ neck a couple of months ago, and recently botched a slam that injured Jesse Neal’s neck. The guy is dangerous, and if we don’t see Mexican America move forward in the next couple of weeks I wouldn’t be surprised if Hernandez is sent back to AAA…permanently.
Anarquia. Like Murphy, I haven’t seen one iota of talent or charisma from the guy, and if Hernandez is gone, what’s left for Anarquia? Plus, I’m sure management was thrilled when he caused Chris Sabin’s severe knee injury a couple of weeks ago.
Okato. I know he’s over here via some sort of talent exchange with New Japan Pro Wrestling, but no one really cared for him during his brief run as Samoa Joe’s private eye. That’s more on TNA’s booking of one of the worst angles of the year though, pitting a tweener Joe against an ambiguous Pope. And is his name actually Okato? Half the time they were calling the dude Okada. He’s not even that fast anyway…isn’t there an Asian version of Sin Cara they can get?
ON THE BUBBLE
Jeff Hardy. While his merchandise is still a top seller, his Anti-christ persona was successful and his agility is still comparable to his prime, what will TNA possibly do with Hardy? After being unable to compete at Victory Road against Sting in their main event, Hardy was publicly excommunicated from Immortal and hasn’t been seen on television since. With his pending legal troubles still up in the air, I think TNA has to call a spade a spade, save their money and move on from this whirling dervish of controversy. I’d pull the trigger, but I put Hardy in this group because I don’t think Carter and Co. have the heart at this time.
Desmond Wolfe. While I haven’t seen anything reported as fact just yet, Wolfe’s “medical ailment” that has sidelined him for most of 2011 is being rumored as the devastating Hepatitis C virus that also claimed Sean Waltman‘s TNA career. The rule is that a positive test prevents you from seeing in ring action, which is probably why Wolfe has quietly been holding down the commissioner role on sister show Xplosion. Who watches Xplosion? Do they really need a Commish? Wolfe has buckets of talent (he was ROH Champion before coming to TNA) so I really hope the mysterious ailment is something less serious, but I’m not holding my breath for the internet darling.
Tommy Dreamer. He’s slow, out of shape, and should probably stick to the production stuff. I’d want to say the name about Bully Ray, but his character has taken on new levels of “heelishness” previously unseen within the company. Dreamer is just his lackey who isn’t sure why he does what he does. Some may think Dreamer’s character is perplexing…I just find it difficult to watch.
Editor’s Note: Tommy Dreamer tweeted that he is finishing with TNA this weekend.
[adinserter block=”1″]TNA Knockouts. Even though the Knockouts have been running two separate stories on Impact the past couple of weeks, the show normally goes on with only one. And even though the Knockouts usually carry the ratings on television, it wouldn’t hurt to trim the fat a bit. If Mexican America falls through, expect Rosita, Sarita or possibly both to get the boot. While Rosita is a fresh face, she’s entirely too small to entertain, other than the occasional rag doll beating she receives. Sarita could also be in jeopardy, especially considering that Madison Rayne, Winter, and even ODB are all stronger heels than her at this juncture.
Another option is cutting ties with Tara, who at this point looks like a hybrid of Robocop and Barry Bonds with all that protective crap on her arms and legs. I like her work ethic, but what more can you do with her since her liberation from Madison? I’d bet she’s also the second highest paid Knockout (behind Mickie James) so this could free up some payroll.
It goes without saying that I wouldn’t want to see anyone lose their job, but I understand the nature of the business, and this business is struggling. I just hope that in one year’s time when Hulk Hogan is gone from TNA for good that I won’t have to be writing about the younger talent having to sit on their hands, worrying about their futures.
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