Anyone who reads this who lives in the United States knows that our country’s economy has pretty much been on the decline in the past few years. Unemployment has at times been at levels that have not been touched since the 1920’s during the Great Depression. As someone who has been impacted by this economy and was laid off from a long time position I can attest that sadly enough people lose their jobs due to the inefficiency of the people running the company or due to lack of revenue coming into that company but not necessarily through any fault of their own. I can also attest that your next opportunity may not necessarily be as good as your last assuming you are in the position to get another opportunity. While it’s unfair it happens, it’s life and wrestlers for all their celebrity are not exempt from this. TNA wrestling has for all intents and purposes not been a prosperous company. While the company has made strides towards improving its business model it has yet to really reap the rewards that a successful company should have, in other words it has made no money. When you are making no money you get to a point where you have to start cutting costs. This can be something as simple as running fewer shows, cutting production costs and yes laying off employees. Recent reports have come out that Dixie Carter has been advised to cut at least 10 wrestlers in the company. This may be an easy decision for fans but for someone who works and forges relationships with their co workers and knows the potential hell that those employees will be experience if they lose their position in the company it’s a very hard decision to make. I mean how do you tell someone who you have had a relationship with for years that they are going to have to find another way to feed their family? So who should go? I’m going to play the role of TNA ax cutter and tell you who I would cut if I was running TNA wrestling…you’re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
It should be said that while many people have called for cuts there are a lot of employees within TNA who are on pay per event contracts, however some of those contracts call for a maximum guaranteed number of dates and are almost as good as guaranteed contracts. Many of these employees work the house shows because the fact of the matter is many of the pricier guys on the TNA roster (Sting, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair) don’t work house shows. Many of these guys are not stars but at the same time you need grunts on the circuit too so some of my cuts may surprise you when you take notice as to who I have actually left on the roster. So without further ado on behalf of “Wrestling Rumblings” if I was running TNA you would be future endeavored:
1. Mick Foley- I have been very hard on Mick in recent years but there is probably no nicer guy in wrestling and I truly believe that unlike some of the big free agent signings you have in wrestling where a guy is usually just concerned about making all the money he can Mick does care about TNA. The big issue is what do you do with him at this point? It seemed at one point they were going to try to book a Mick Foley vs. Hulk Hogan feud but let’s be honest while it would be a first time ever feud do wrestling fans in 2010 really want to see Mick Foley vs. Hulk Hogan? He has already had his feud with Abyss and I don’t see too many appealing options for him on the roster. Sure if I sat down and thought about it I could probably book Mick Foley forever after all he is one of those few guys who will probably allow anyone to go over on him and you can always use a guy with that kind of name value who is willing to do that but when I look at the price tag on him and the fact that sooner or later he is probably going to have issues with some of the powerbrokers in TNA and the fact that he is not just on the decline but well past it, I don’t see much reason not to cut him from the roster. On another note because he is such a nice guy, such a big name in the business and has always been a shrewd guy with his money I don’t have to fear that he will all of a sudden find himself in the role of Randy “The Ram” of the “Wrestler” fame. I am sure after some smoothing out WWE will welcome him back with open arms and sadly probably utilize him better than TNA ever could.
2. Kazuchika Okada- Most TNA fans have probably never even heard of the guy but he has been in TNA for about 4 months now competing mostly on dark matches and Xplosion. He brings no name value to the company as most fans wouldn’t know anything about him and he can’t speak English to help him establish a personality. NJPW was happy to have him go to TNA to get some American experience and for all I know they may be paying his salary but I doubt that and I don’t think coming to TNA was a good move for him. Assuming TNA is paying his salary I would cut him as there is no value to him being here and I am pretty sure he would be more than welcome back in NJPW where that company would probably have big plans for him.
3. Shark Boy- It’s amazing how most fans don’t even realize Shark Boy is still employed in TNA since he hasn’t been on Impact since doing the “Stone Cold” Steve Austin parody in TNA 2 years ago but Shark boy rolls on (or should I say “swims on”) and regularly performs at TNA house shows and from what I hear has been a pretty good crowd pleaser. I don’t know how someone who hasn’t been on TV can be over with a crowd the way I have heard Shark Boy is but what I do know is that if he wasn’t on the show TNA wouldn’t sell any more or less tickets to those shows than they already do. He is not making a lot of money and would probably be able to come close to that income doing independent dates where he would probably be just as over as he is wrestling in TNA. If I was running the company Shark Boy would be cut.
4. Raven- Another guy who hasn’t been on TV in quite some time and at last time I checked is still on the roster. I think Raven is one of the most undervalued talents in TNA wrestling and there to this day is still so much that can be done with him but my role here is to ax people and not to book them and since I don’t have faith in the people that run things and I want to save costs I would have no choice but to ax Raven from TNA Wrestling. I’d probably feel really sad about this one as he has burned his bridge seemingly with WWE but while one of the more expensive guys to book on an independent show I have faith that Raven would still be in demand and still be able to do things even outside of wrestling to support his family.
5. Dr. Stevie- One of the nicest guys you will ever meet but he brings no real value to the show. As a matter of fact I don’t believe I have seen him on Impact since him and Raven lost a match to then Tag Team Champions Matt Morgan and Hernandez on the January 4th show which shows me Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have no real plans for him and because many people like him he has managed to stay on the roster this long. I don’t know what kind of deal Stevie has. I have had people tell me it is pay per event and others tell me he is guaranteed a certain amount of money over a certain amount of dates. Regardless of what it is if I have no plans for him to even use him as a jobber on TV than I should probably cut ties with him now. Stevie has always been known to be real good at saving his money and I even remember hearing how he owned a business at one point with some money he had from his time in WCW. I have no reason to believe that Stevie will not find some way to land back on his feet.
6. Magnus- Some people have it and well others don’t. Magnus doesn’t. I like many fans enjoyed the British Invasion group and as good as the tag team with himself and Douglas Williams was it seems to have run its course. Douglas Williams is going to continue on in the X Division and TNA seems to have plans for Rob Terry. Magnus is the odd man out without a real character or a feud for fans to get into and without a company to give that to him it just makes sense that I would axe him. I am sure he can do things in his country of the UK where he was a former Gladiator on the UK version of the show and he would be promoted proudly in the UK independent scene but I don’t think TNA gets anything out of keeping him so I won’t.
7. Rhino- I’m not really sure why there hasn’t been more of an effort to do more with Rhino as I think he could be really good in the role of putting others over but he hasn’t been around since his feud with Bobby Lashley. I thought he had a character worth promoting since it was one that many internet fans would have strongly stood behind since most of what he was saying was done in the context of a worked shoot which most internet fans enjoy but alas it was not to be and he hasn’t been on TV since the Lashley feud although he has made appearances on the house show circuit. As I said with Shark Boy previously what good is a guy on the house show circuit if I never feature him on TV even in a squash match? No one buys tickets for Rhino anymore and well it wouldn’t hurt TNA’s bottom line to cut him so I would. He would get work in the independents and he may even be given a job in WWE where they could use him to help break in some of the developmental guys.
8. SoCal Val- Ok so she isn’t a wrestler, she still is a TNA talent who really doesn’t do much for anyone. She is not a featured character on TV anymore and when she does appear on TV she is nothing more than a glorified ring girl and well how many people watch the post TNA shows to see SoCal Val? I am sure she would have no problem finding modeling work and maybe work as an actress but I don’t see any real reason to keep her in the company.
9. Scott Hall- I like Scott Hall and away from him actually wrestling I find him entertaining. This would mostly be about his conditioning and his out of the ring activities. Scott Hall is a tragedy waiting to happen and as cold as this sounds if I was Dixie Carter I wouldn’t want that tragedy to happen on my watch. I don’t know what would happen to Scott Hall if he was no longer booked in TNA and to be honest I would release him with a clean conscience as his fate is of his own doing. The guy was given the keys to the kingdom on so many occasions and failed to capitalize on his talent. He has been coasting for years and unless this deal with “The Band” was to really take off I would cut my losses by cutting him.
10. Miss Tessmacher (Brooke Adams)- While I enjoy looking at her I just don’t see why she was ever employed in the first place as she doesn’t add anything that makes me want to watch the product to the show. If she could work maybe I would take a chance on her but this is TNA not WWE and I don’t have the time or energy to develop a women’s wrestler with her lack of talent when I’m in such dire financial straits. She would get the axe if I was running things.
I am sure there are many people that fans would probably love to see on this list and some that are on this list that fans would completely object to for various reasons. I just want to say I am not advocating firing anybody. Losing your job is tough, especially in this economy, however if the rumors are true and TNA has to start instituting cuts this is what I would do. Let’s hope business picks up and no one has to lose their jobs.
Time to wrap this week’s edition up but not before I give you all something to do. While it is not pro wrestling UFC is holding UFC 114 with a strongly promoted main event of Rashad Evans vs. future Raw guest host Quentin “Rampage” Jackson. If WWE could promote events the way UFC has promoted this fight they would do tons of buys every month. Of course I am answering emails so keep them coming at email@example.com and well that’s it for this week, next week I will try to do better, and until then, I am out.