Quick note before we kick things off here. A few of you (and by that I mean one or two people) might remember a series of columns I wanted to start when I first came to the Main Page detailing a number of things I would do to "fix" TNA if I were in charge of the company. For whatever reason, I only ever wrote the first two columns of the series where I took a look at who I would release and who I would hire, but never did anything past that. I've toyed with the idea of restarting that series of columns, but just never had the time to do it like I wanted to.
Now that it's summer and I'm about to head back to Vancouver after a lengthy visit back home to see family and friends, I thought it would be an appropriate time to get it done. I won't be starting tonight, but within a week I should have the first column done and posted. But to change things up a bit, I want to hear from you guys about things you would change. At the end of each column I'm going to announce the next column's topic, and if you have an opinion you'd like to share (and maybe have posted in that column) shoot me an email or piece of feedback.
The first column of the series is going to again look at names that I would release from the company. This could mean wrestlers, authority figures, announcers, on-air personalities, behind the scenes employees, etc. Anyone who you think is somewhat responsible for TNA's failures is fair game here. So if you have a couple of names you think should hit the road, let me know who and why.
But enough talk about what's to come. Let's take a look at what's going on in TNA right now.
Oh Ric Flair, how you've tarnished your great legacy…
Flair, despite being one of the biggest legends in the history of professional wrestling, is the perfect example of someone who should have stepped away a long time ago. While he's certainly demonstrated that he's not ENTIRELY useless in the ring, he's far from the wrestler he used to be. Add to that how bad he looks physically now (to the point where Spike executives are requesting he keep his clothes on if TNA insists on putting him on screen) and the fact that, sadly, the fans just don't seem to care about Naitch anymore, and I really don't get why TNA has kept him around this long. Maybe it's because he's such an upstanding citizen and a great ambassador for the company?
Oh wait, that's completely wrong. According to reports, Flair has been involved in a number of incidents in Orlando, including being banned from drinking at a Hard Rock Cafe and being unable to cover bar tabs. When you're as recognizable as Ric Flair is, and when you're getting paid the kind of money that TNA is shelling out for his contract, you have to kind of keep it together and represent the company in a positive way. Acting like a big shot who doesn't need to respect anyone but himself doesn't cut it, especially when your value to the industry is severely less than it used to be.
I can't blame TNA one bit for wanting to be done with Ric Flair. He's just not worth the money or the trouble any more. Flair needs to go back to WWE on a Legends contract, maybe make a couple of special TV appearances, maybe even manage a few wrestlers, but most importantly he needs to realize a couple of things. First, his in-ring career is over. He just can't do it anymore, and no one wants to see his tits flopping around the ring. Second, he needs to realize that while he may have some value as an on-screen personality of some kind, under no circumstances should he try to overshadow the younger talent on the roster. If Flair is brought back in that capacity, he needs to do everything he can to make everyone he is associated with look like a million bucks without tooting his own horn. And finally, he needs to realize that he needs the wrestling industry a lot more than it needs him, and if he messes up his next opportunity with (I'm assuming) WWE, I don't doubt that they'll toss his ass to the curb. At 63 years old, Flair is getting up there in age and has already received more second chances than anyone rightfully deserves. If WWE gives him another chance, it needs to be clear that this is it for him.
The title there says it all, Austin Aries has resigned with TNA for at least the next year.
Aries is by far one of the best acquisitions TNA has made in recent years, and he hasn't even begun to hit his full potential in the company yet. He's been the X-Division Champion for 253 days now, making him by FAR the longest reigning champion in the title's history (and only 85 days away from the most days as champion period, an honour currently held by Chris Sabin) and during that time has become arguably the most entertaining part of iMPACT Wrestling. In the ring, on the mic, even his facial expressions, no one can touch Aries right now.
I really hope TNA realizes just how good Aries could be for their company in the future. At 34 years old, Aries is still young enough to make an even bigger splash in pro wrestling, and if the executives in TNA have any amount of brain power they'll make sure that their company is the one that benefits from this potential. Pay him well, use him properly, and when the time is right give him a World Championship run. Aries is already more than capable of owning the TNA main event, but TNA needs to do the smart thing and slowly have him make the transition, ensuring that the average fan will also be okay with it. Not so slowly that Aries becomes the next Samoa Joe, but similar to what they did with Bobby Roode where he was built up over a few months, only this time TNA needs to not screw up the ending.
Aries is awesome, and I'm glad TNA got him to stick around. I wouldn't be surprised if someone at WWE wanted to snatch him up, so Dixie needs to do everything in her power to keep A-Double happy in Orlando. Don't fuck up a potential goldmine Dixie, or I promise I'll be down in Orlando pimpslapping your entire staff silly.
My guess is no, Morrison and Melina will not be headed to Orlando any time soon. At least not for any sort of significant run.
A while back, shortly after Morrison's departure from WWE, I said that TNA should absolutely do what they could to have him sign with the company, and I still feel that way today. I'm not one of those people who believes Morrison is the next Shawn Michaels or anything, but the guy's talent and potential is certainly undeniable, and having a fairly recognizable name on their roster can only be good for TNA.
The fact that Morrison and Melina have been brought up in multiple recent creative meetings tells me that TNA at least has some sort of idea what they would do with the two were they to sign on, and that's definitely a good thing. It wouldn't take much to make Morrison a top player in TNA, and considering Melina would likely be at his side, he would have someone to act as a mouthpiece for him, which is good because Morrison isn't the greatest on the mic.
If they end up going to TNA, I can't see it being for more than a year or so. Morrison's place is with WWE, and that's just how it is. That being said, a couple of years spent in TNA could work wonders for Morrison. It worked for Jeff Hardy, it worked for Christian, and it could work for Morrison too. Either way I just hope he makes some sort of big return to wrestling soon, before the average fan forgets who he is.
I wanted to have more written for today, but as I'm only home for another few days before I fly back to Vancouver, I have a rather full schedule right now. Deal with it haters.
As I mentioned at the start of this column, I'm going to be restarting my series on steps I would take to "fix" TNA, starting with a column on who I would release from the company. I'd like to get your guys' input as I go along this series, so if you have any opinions on who YOU would release, shoot me an email/bit of feedback. I'll feature a few of the comments I get in the next column.