This week Bill Bodkin fills in for Michael Dworkis.
Tonight, by hook or by crook, TNA will present their annual “big show” of the year, Bound for Glory.
The shenanigans surrounding this event have become the talk of the pro wrestling world this week. We still have no idea how the company is funding this pay-per-view event — rumors are swirling like crazy, but we have no confirmation how Dixie Carter was able to find the cash to make this show go on.
One of the most intriguing rumors is that WWE may have some interest in purchasing the company. So I’m using this column to theorize on what Vince McMahon and company would do if they got their hands on TNA.
Let’s break down the roster:
Matt Hardy: The days of Matt Hardy Version 1 are long gone as Matt Hardy has completely re-invented himself as “Broken” Matt Hardy. The requisite nostalgia pop would be out the window, Matt would automatically be a top draw in WWE. Prediction: Main Roster Addition.
Jeff Hardy aka Brother Nero: Before his brother’s ascension into madness, Jeff Hardy was probably the #1 piece of talent WWE would want to bring back into the fold. Now he’s probably #1a. Brother Nero is an absolute no-brainer. Could he work a full-time schedule? Absolutely not. But even in a limited capacity, he’d be a top WWE draw. Prediction: Main Roster Addition.
Bobby Lashley: This is an interesting one. Lashley is a bona fide talent, but how many people are riding the Bobby Lashley nostalgia train? Remember he’s been out of WWE longer than he was actually in it (three years on the main roster to be exact). Yes, he was in a marquee match at Wrestlemania, but really that was more about Donald Trump and Vince McMahon than Lashley and Umaga. When it comes down to it, I can’t see WWE picking up Lashley’s price tag, or adhere to his Lesnar-like “I wanna do MMA” career path. Prediction: Future endeavored
Ethan Carter III: EC3 is one of the true success stories of TNA — taking a former WWE development talent, and turning them into a bona fide draw. EC3 has truly evolved from his TNA debut and has become a complete competitor — his mic work is top notch, he’s a workhorse in the ring, and he has the swagger of a champion. This is a guy WWE needs, however I could see him more effective in NXT for the immediate future. Prediction: NXT Bound.
Drew Galloway: Galloway is in a weird spot. He’s currently on the shelf with a neck injury (hence why he’s not on tonight’s show), so if WWE pulled the trigger on the sale soon, he could be a forgotten asset. Obviously, Galloway’s WWE career wasn’t great as he went from Vince McMahon’s hand selected “guy” to a jobber in 3MB. Since then he’s evolved into one of the best independent wrestlers in the world, and a top guy in TNA. WWE would definitely benefit from having him on the roster, but his previous run and current injury could hamstring him. Prediction: Future endeavored.
Mike Bennett: Mr. Upside. I’m not the biggest fan of Mike Bennett in the ring, but his charisma and his mic work are really strong. Sending him directly to NXT and putting him in the mix with the upper echelon of talent, as well as honing his in-ring work with the Performance Center staff would sky rocket Bennett to the “Miracle” status he talks about so often. Prediction: NXT Bound
Aron Rex (Damien Sandow): This would some seriously bad timing and luck for the artist formerly known as Damien Sandow. We all know how poorly used he was in WWE, and he hasn’t been shy about expressing that. Would WWE jump at the chance to bring him back? Honestly, if this were a year after his release, I’d say there’d be an awesome chance. However, with his release being till so new, I can’t see Vince and co. clamoring to bring him back. Prediction: Future endeavored.
Cody (Rhodes): I would say “see Damien Sandow” but I have a feeling that WWE would want Cody back. However given Cody’s comments about his time there,I don’t think he’d be interested coming back, even if they wanted him. Right now Cody would benefit from working Ring of Honor, and New Japan, building his reputation up, and then heading back to WWE when he’s red hot. Prediction: Future endeavored.
Maria Kanellis-Bennett: If you believe the Internet, Marisa’s heat with The Bellas is what has kept her and her husband out of WWE. Well, we’ve seen people with “heat” return to WWE before, and I think Maria is at the top of her game as a heel. Put her in NXT with her husband and you’ve got a great top heel couple who could incite the masses of the homegrown, and touring fans of NXT. Prediction: NXT Bound.
Moose: He’s got all the raw talent in the world, but when his ROH contract came up, WWE did not come calling. I don’t see it happening this time either. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
DJ Z (Zema Ion): He’s always been a solid hand, but over the past year he’s really upped his game. He’d be a great addition to the cruiserweight division. Prediction: NXT Bound with some stops on the main roster.
Eddie Edwards: Eddie Edwards has become the man in TNA. He’s always been strong as hell in the ring, but once ended up going on his own due to Davey Richards’ injury he’s become the man. Eddie would be an instant Cruiserweight champion, and a big time addition to the roster. Prediction: Main Roster Addition.
Madison Rayne: WWE desperately needs depth, and talent in the Women’s Division. She’s got talent in spades, and I think would be a terrific addition to the Smackdown! roster which really needs seasoned vets. Prediction: Main Roster Addition.
Laurel Van Ness: One of the few wrestlers in TNA that I don’t know. So, this wouldn’t be fair to judge.
Gail Kim: I could see Kim retiring from wrestling, or just opting for a light indie schedule rather going to WWE. However, I think WWE would definitely love to have her on board, even in a limited capacity. She’d be a great trainer, and would definitely be fun to see on RAW or Smackdown even for a brief run. Prediction: Main Roster Addition– if she wants it.
Abyss, Crazy Steve, Rosemary: I think keeping The Decay, one of TNA’s top gimmicks, together would be a solid move. I think NXT is the right spot for all of them, because we’ve already got The Wyatts. Prediction: NXT Bound.
Aiden O’Shea: Barely used on TNA television, already been cut from WWE. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Andrew Everett: He’s solid but injury prone. Prediction: Future endeavored.
Baron Dax and Basile Baraka: They got dropped from NXT, and haven’t made an “impact” in TNA. No way I see them coming back. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Caleb Konley: He’s awesome, but he’s barely been on TV so I can see him getting lost in the shuffle. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Eli Drake: Dummy! Yeah! Eli Drake is another former WWE developmental guy. However, unlike EC3, I don’t think Drake has had the time to fully develop as an all-around guy yet. If he went to NXT he’d have to be on TV a lot, and be working matches constantly, because that’s his road to success. I think WWE would give him one more shot, but have him on a short leash. Prediction: NXT Bound.
Davey Richards: Gut feeling, but I see WWE passing on the talented former tag champion. Prediction: Future endeavored.
Mahabli Shera: He’s not very good, and they have plenty of Indian nationals or wrestlers of Indian descent on their roster. Prediction: Future endeavored.
Grado: I love me some Grado. He’s hilarious, and is a seriously underrated performer. If WWE brought him out (complete with his “Like a Prayer” theme) at an NXT Takeover (especially in the Northeast), the building would explode in joy. However, if he came out in Salt Lake City on RAW, I could see the reception being less than awesome. While I think he’d be a great asset to WWE, I can see them not “getting” Grado. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Jessie Godderz & Robbie E: The WWE is pretty rich with up and coming tag teams, and while these guys work hard I don’t see them fitting in. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Rockstar Spud: This is a must-get for WWE. He can work tremendously as a heel, and underdog babyface. He’s a tried and true veteran. He could easily be a massive addition to NXT’s touring brand. Prediction: NXT Bound.
James Storm: He was in NXT once before, but left on good terms. He’ll be back for sure. Prediction: NXT or Main Roster Bound.
Mark Andrews: Super-talented, but has been pretty much wasted in TNA. Totally can see him as a freelancer on RAW and NXT, or even in the next CWC, but nothing full time. Prediction: Sorta NXT Bound.
Trevor Lee: So talented, but in desperate need of promo help and character development. Prediction: NXT Bound.
Tyrus: Can’t see WWE kicking the tires on the big guy again after spending a long time there. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Braxton Sutter (Pepper Parks): I love him in TNA, but he hasn’t been positioned in a strong way. I could see him being passed over, which is a shame, but a reality. Prediction: Future endeavored.
Allie (Cherry Bomb): Sadly, we only see her as a character, and not a solid wrestler. I could see her getting released, then maybe getting a look in that rumored women’s tournament. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Brandi Rhodes: She goes where Cody goes. Prediction: Future Endeavored
Jade: WWE needs talented women on TV ASAP, she’d be great for RAW or Smackdown. Prediction: Main Roster Bound.
Marti Belle: Definitely bolsters the lack of ready-for-TV talent on NXT. Prediction: NXT Bound.
Raquel (Manager): She’s got the look, but not exactly strong in the ring. I could see her falling through the crack. Prediction: Future Endeavored.
Reby Hardy: She goes where Matt goes. Hopefully Maxell and Señor Benjamin come with here. Prediction: Main Roster Bound.
Sienna: Huge upside here, but she doesn’t have the recognition of the other “knockouts.” She’d fill the “monster” role in NXT nicely. Prediction: NXT Bound.