There is no question that 2014 is a make or break year for TNA. With Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles departing, major budget issues, their Spike TV Contract renewal coming up, a lot of questions need to be answered as to how the company will survive. It’s not unrealistic that TNA will cease to exist in its current form this year. Without a doubt, TNA has some talented wrestlers that can put on consistent performances night in and night out, but a lack of talent isn’t the only problem that needs fixing.
We here at SEScoops like TNA and want them to succeed. It’s refreshing that there is an alternative wrestling company on network television aside from WWE, but unfortunately, it looks like they’re going off a cliff and they need to make drastic changes in order to survive. Here are five suggestions that may help TNA Impact Wrestling make it through 2014:
1. Get Dixie Carter off Television
Dixie Carter is no Vince McMahon circa 1999 and the heel “Authority” angle has run its course in professional wrestling. The WWE is currently guilty of bringing back a similar angle with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon wreaking havoc on the babyface superstars on the WWE roster and TNA can be different by distancing themselves from similar storylines. Just because Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff aren’t with the company anymore doesn’t mean you have to turn Dixie Carter into a heel authority figure. We’ve already seen this sort of thing multiple times in TNA and it’s just not working this time around.
Obviously, Dixie’s mic work does not compare to Vince’s and with AJ Styles actually gone from TNA for the first time in 10+ years, there is no true Stone Cold Steve Austin-esque hero to take down the big bad boss. Perhaps TNA has figured this all out already, having Jeff Hardy return from his hiatus to exact vengeance on the boss and her henchman, but will fans really pay attention, and more importantly, pay extra cash to see Hardy fight the odds? Don’t get me wrong, Hardy is one of the company’s top assets and an extremely talented superstar, but we’ve seen this too many times before.
Dixie Carter should be removed from television as soon as possible if TNA wants to start 2014 off on the right foot. Sure, she can still be showcased every once and a while in backstage segments like she used to be, but she is definitely being overexposed. A good start in resolving this situation is to stop having the boss open the show with an underwhelming/uneventful promo each and every week on Impact.
2. Release Sting and Kurt Angle
Due to TNA’s money/budget issues, releasing Sting and Kurt Angle would be a smart move by the company. This suggestion may be a bit of a shocker to some of you, but their big-money contracts may in fact be hurting the company as a whole.
What’s left for ‘The Icon” Sting to do in TNA Impact Wrestling? He’s 54 years old, put over the current TNA champion Magnus last year at Bound for Glory, played a key role in exterminating the Aces & Eights and can never wrestle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship again. Much like Hulk Hogan, Sting’s contract with TNA is costing them more than it is helping them.
Kurt Angle will go down as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, but in my opinion, Angle is inching ever so closer to the end of his career, and it seems as if he wants to eventually bring his talents back to the place that helped make him who he is today, the WWE. In a recent interview, Angle said that his TNA contract expires in eight months and that he can’t say that he’ll never return to the World’s number one wrestling promotion.
Sting and Angle are two of the most famous names on the current TNA roster, but both superstars have paid their dues, won numerous championships and have helped put over younger talent. It’s time to move on.
3. Sign Top Independent Stars
TNA has some impressive home-grown talent – Bobby Roode, James Storm, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Christopher Daniels, Fankie Kazarian, etc. Now, by “home-grown”, I mean non-WWE talent. TNA should keep up the tradition of signing Ring of Honor and other independent talent because the roster right now seems very thin. While there are plenty of independent guys that deserve a chance to have the spotlight shine on them, here are some wrestlers that I think would be a great addition to TNA:
Kevin Steen: “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen is one of those athletes that loves the professional wrestling business and has never been showcased on WWE or TNA television. Steen is a decent talker and a phenomenal worker that can get under the crowds skin in an instant. Steen is a born heel and has received high praises from the Texas Rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin. Bringing Steen to Impact Wrestling would be a wise choice and would bring a section of new hardcore wrestling fans to the promotion.
Chris Hero: Chris Hero is an Indy sensation and a current free agent that would bring more viewers to TNA if signed to a contract. Hero was recently released by WWE and never made it onto the main roster despite being one of the more talented superstars on the NXT roster. Hero has the look to be a major star and his in-ring skills have been finely tuned by the WWE to be a sports entertainer.
The Young Bucks: The Young Bucks, known as Generation Me in TNA, put forth entertaining and consistent performances ever since their run in TNA from 2009-2011. They had some great matches with the Motor City Machine Guns, but due to poor booking decisions and monetary issues, the brothers left the company. The duo would be realistic signings because it seems that they are on good terms with the TNA promotion. Despite being eliminated in the first round, the Bucks competed in a TNA One Night Only PPV just last year. These two are in the prime of their careers and signing them to a TNA contract would undoubtedly help TNA’s now-struggling tag team division.
Sonjay Dutt: Sonjay Dutt is an easy choice because he is a world-renown athlete and continues to be showcased on Impact Wrestling time and time again. Dutt made his debut with TNA in 2003 and wrestled for the promotion until 2009. Recently, he’s made a few special appearances, but isn’t signed to a contract with the company. As Mike Tenay has said in the past, Dutt is the most talented wrestler to never win the coveted X-Division Championship. While he may not be the next Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dutt is a reliable worker that is energetically entertaining and would most definitely help the X-Division reclaim its glory days.
Michael Elgin: I’m not an avid follower of Michael Elgin, but from what I’ve seen and read, the dude can put on top-notch performances that will make your jaw drop. Last year in ROH, Elgin had a must-watch, five star rated match with Davey Richards. If you want to help your wrestling promotion, it’d be smart to hire someone that can wrestle a five star match, right?
Of course, there are other independent stars that I didn’t list that would fit into TNA’s landscape and help them become a better promotion. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are two names that come to mind, but word on the street is that they are in talks with WWE at the moment, so I left them off of the list.
Which independent wrestlers would you like to see TNA sign in 2014? Why do you think they would help the promotion? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.