I think it’s time for all TNA fans to collectively realize something; TNA is dead. I think that’s the most honest and surest thing I could say right now. And I should explain something to all of you readers before you get angry and start lobbing angry remarks my way; this site was a mecca for TNA fans long before a lot of the TNA-exclusive sites popped up. Hell, we had one guy quit because he thought we were “too biased” (ha!). So this isn’t a place of someone who wants TNA to fail, on the contrary. I want TNA to thrive, and blossom, but Dixie Carter is fully pushing this Impact Wrestling stick. I thought it was just a show name-chance, but in reality it was an overhaul of everything. Everything that TNA was.
Now I know a lot of you have just finished this weeks Impact, or finished it last night, (some may not of seen it yet) but basically, the gist is this; Sting’s gone (or “gone”). And for the first time in 11 years, it appears as if Sting is no longer going to be associated with TNA in some way. If the rumors are true, Sting will be heading “up North” to Connecticut to join the WWE, which is on the verge of celebrating WrestleMania 30.
While the TNA-D’s (no, not diehards), will argue that Sting’s age makes him expendable and that he no longer offered anything to TNA, I would beg them to look at Twitter last night. The majority of fans were either thanking Sting or cursing TNA (Dixie) for letting him go. Any other year, and fans will just naturally assume that Sting is coming back. The fans want Sting in TNA, and why wouldn’t they? He’s their first true legend. He’s given up so much of his life to help TNA because he truly does….or did, love it. Sure, maybe he shouldn’t wrestle as much, but you can’t just let him go, and the fans were raging about that very fact. Though, there are fans who steadfastly refuse to accept this.
This seems to be the mentality of the TNA-D’s (D is for Delusional, just FYI), that this is all one huge work. That Dixie Carter showing a Jeff Jarrett and AJ Style pictures indicates that it’s all just an elaborate work! Except by all accounts Jarrett is starting a new promotion, Styles is wrestling in promotions that don’t look favorably at TNA, and not too mention there’s the giant fact that there’s just too much evidence mounting against that theory.
TNA has cut or opted not to renew a total of 27 names since last March. Bobby Roode kicked it off, when TNA let his contract run out. He got re-signed by them of course, but TNA went on a spree, and gutted all of their Gut Check winners (sans 1), Christian York, Alex Silva, Joey Ryan, Taeler Hendrix, Wes Briscoe and Jay Bradley. Not too mention, they followed that up by cutting basically every Aces and Eights member, starting with Devon, DOC, D’Lo Brown (who served backstage as well), and with Knux and Garrett Bischoff on the chopping block next, that number could rise. Young guns Jesse Sorenson (though that one makes sense) and Crimson were cut. Madison Rayne was cut because she was unable to work, and TNA didn’t want to pay her while she was out of wrestling, though they did eventually bring her back. Veterans like Matt Morgan, Kid Kash, Bruce Pritchard (another backstage hand, as well as on screen character) and Douglas Williams were sent packing as well. Don’t forget about Todd Keneley, Brooke Hogan, and SoCal Val. Then what about names like Rob Van Dam, Tara, Mickie James, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan. Then include the two biggest releases; Jeff Jarrett the founder of TNA and main driving force for years, and the poster boy of TNA, AJ Styles. Will it be 28 names to be without a contract in one year? Will Sting go to the WWE and join the rest? I don’t know, but even though he lost on Impact, I can’t say he won’t end up winning in the end.
Now you can argue that Madison Rayne and Bobby Roode shouldn’t count, but is 25 names really any better? To compound issues, there are two rumored and two confirmed big names who may be gone this year as well. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian have contracts that expire in April, and many believe Daniels won’t be brought back. The fans who see this rumor keep saying “well he’ll stay, where else will he go?” And that’s the sad part, they think that if Daniels leaves, it’ll be Daniels decision. Without them, and Sting, that number goes to 30 names in 13 months. Then you get to the rumors. Allegedly Samoa Joe, easily one of TNA’s most popular wrestlers ever, has a contract that expires this summer and he may bail regardless of what kind of push he gets. After all, TNA is notorious for making initial promises and never following through on a talent promotion. Joe could easily go on to win the TNA title, but re-sign, lose it, and end up being lost in the shuffle, again. The guy who would be the crippling blow in my opinion? Jeff Hardy. Hardy allegedly signed a one and one contract. One year guarantee, one year option. Starting in mid-late February, Hardy’s option kicks in. Now, options generally go either towards the athlete or towards the company/team. I don’t know what type Hardy has, but the rumor I read indicated it’s a TNA option. You could be looking at a vastly different roster in just 18 months, and if that doesn’t worry you, you are in severe denial.
As each week creeps by, more and more “necessary” facelifts occur to TNA, its’ roster and its’ staff. Magnus is a victim of this, as TNA and Dixie Carter have decided he’s not a strong enough champion. All of his title matches have been met with loads of interference, and really didn’t look to strong in the tournament prior to it. The big issue was that Magnus wasn’t ready before the tournament to be this guy and now he’s done nothing since winning the title to impress the fans. TNA is DESPERATELY trying to get a great return on this United Kingdom tour, and because of that and only that, Magnus was given the belt. The new face of the company wouldn’t be able to find “legitimacy” if you wrote it on a card, threw it in a plain paper bag and asked Magnus to rip it open. Magnus is a hell of a hand, with a good luck, albeit generic gimmick, and TNA, because they themselves are panicking, is given him too much of a push too soon. This isn’t Booker T in WCW. Booker was in his mid 30’s when he got his big break. Magnus is a good 8 years younger. Why TNA is rushing this, is still a shock to me.
Lump all this in with the failed TNA 365 video service, the declining ratings, the lack of any outside support with attendance and the fact that TNA apparently doesn’t have a place to film their show anymore, as Universal and TNA have again parted ways (the reasons for why are all rumors to this point), and you can easily see that TNA is in dire straights. This wouldn’t be so bad if TNA was actually putting out a product that was good. I mean, TNA has been on Deaths Door for so long (according to the media) that TNA has actually just started renting a room from Death, since they’re always there. But this time is so much different because we are seeing the physical proof on a near weekly basis. When you can let the Founder of your company bail, and the face of your company go unsigned, you have reached a point of desperation.
TNA is dead. Will the company die? No, probably not. They’ll get everything they need to limp back from the brink and galvanize their spot as….something, in the wrestling community but as they keep distancing themselves from what they were (which is something they do, whether you can admit it or not, they do), they’ll continue to change who they are. They’ve gone from a show that had the perfect blend of multiple man X-Division matches, Knockout battles, young up and comers and legendary names, to a reality show that focuses more on Dixie Carter than on any other title in her company. We get more nonsense story lines and less pro wrestling story lines. I’m still trying to figure out how an investor is buying into a privately owned company under this shroud of secrecy. If Dixie can’t write a proper storyline about something she’s supposed to know all about, business, then how is she supposed to run a wrestling company that many ex-employees (practically all of them) have claimed she knows nothing about?
I pray this whole thing is a work. That Jarrett/Styles and company are working all of us in one giant work, but honestly, what proof does anyone have besides a few “troll” worthy moments on Carters part? I have almost 30 releases to support my theory (with a possible grand total of 32 by mid summer), I have the fact that TNA had to stop doing road shows regularly, they stopped doing live shows (every show is at least 2 hours, or a week plus delayed), stopped doing NINE pay per views, and replaced them with those horrible One Night Only’s. They’ve LITERALLY regressed ever since that Lockdown week, where they pulled in 10,000 at the Alamo Dome (the sixth of the venue they used), not too mention the some 6-7 thousand in Chicago that next week. Ever since then? Ever since that week? The worst year of TNA in history, in both presentation, financial status and quality.
When Dixie Carter brought in Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, I guarantee you that they told her the company would never succeed as is, and convinced her to change everything. And she did, because she saw the same thing. Because she probably agreed with them. She saw that TNA had only gotten so far in just a mere fear 7 years, so why the hell would Hogan and Bischoff be wrong? Except, in the following four years, TNA has done more than enough to regress nearly all the way back to the days of 2002, where TNA was a laughing stock. In 2009, you were a fool to bash TNA, with their roster and their shows, they were amazing (for a few exceptions). In 2014? There’s nothing cutting edge or cool about TNA. All of that is gone. Oh, wait, we have The Wolves. They’ll save everything.
I keep saying TNA is dead, because it is. TNA is dead, and Impact Wrestling continues to whore out it’s legacy to fool the fans into believing that what we’re seeing is JUST LIKE IT USED TO BE. It’s not. It’ll never be again. Not as long as Dixie Carter has control of the company. Not as long as Jeff Jarrett remains in a self imposed exile. It kinda makes you think what Carter had to do to TNA and it’s future to make Jarrett, a man who has gone through so much, to finally bail on the promotion he built.
Take a moment and think about it. What did Dixie Carter do to that made Jeff Jarrett finally walk away. It makes you think, and if you have a clue in your head, you’re going to want to think long and hard about it.