All wrestling promotions have a top guy, a centrepiece attraction whom the company is built around. TNA have chosen the wrong man to fill this important position, and that is one of the many reasons it’s not performing as well as it could. Instead of opting for one of its home-grown guys like Samoa Joe or AJ Styles or a former WWE guy like Matt Morgan, who looks the part and can talk incredibly well, they’ve opted for 52-year-old Steve ‘Sting’ Borden.
In my opinion they should cut their losses and concentrate on making Mr Anderson the biggest star in the company. His bad points are well known: he is injury prone, clumsy and will forever be remembered for his ridiculous claims and outright lies during the 2007 Signature Pharmacy scandal, but they can be worked around. The trend of him accidentally injuring opponents seems to have stopped and the key to stopping him from embarrassing the company is to prepare him for media appearances. His negative attributes are not insurmountable.
I’d like to be clear: Anderson is not the ideal choice, just the best option TNA has under contract right now. He’s young enough to make it worth TNA’s while to spend time and money using his natural charisma and verbal skills to make him a far bigger star than he is now. Make him drop the ‘Stone Cold’ tribute act and allow him to invest his real feelings into his character and I think Mr Anderson could be the central figure TNA needs.
What other options do they have? AJ Styles has gone from being the star of the show in 2002 to 2004 to losing to Tommy Dreamer on 2011 pay-per-views, with stints as a dumb redneck lackey to Kurt Angle and Christian and a Ric Flair wannabe along the way. That hideous tattoo doesn’t help either.
Samoa Joe could, and should, have been ‘The Man’ a long time ago. He had a yearlong winning streak during which he dominated the then-impressive X Division, but it all went wrong when he was chosen as Kurt Angle’s first opponent. Had TNA been smart they’d have kept the two men apart and built them up for an epic confrontation and massive payday six to twelve months after Angle’s debut. In typical TNA fashion they rushed things and cost themselves a big money feud and a potentially huge drawing card in exchange for instant gratification that made them no money.
Matt Morgan, as I said above, has all the tools, but it’s too late for him now. He’s been irreparably damaged by his lacklustre use over the years and too many switches between heel and face. Had he been treated as a star from the moment he first showed up in the organisation he could have been a big name now.
Is there anyone else that can even be considered? Jeff Hardy? No, even TNA don’t want to put that much faith in him these days. If a former WWE performer’s too unreliable for Dixie and company to push you know they’re in a bad way.
Rob Van Dam is too heavily associated with ECW to be able to become the face of TNA. Some of his lifestyle choices make him a less than ideal candidate for the role too.
Matt Hardy? Don’t make me laugh.
The former Mr Kennedy is the best choice for the top spot in Total Nonstop Action. My advice would be to spend a year getting him as much media exposure as possible and to use it to make as many people as possible aware of TNA’s existence. After that year two or three younger guys should be picked out and given star pushes, with the most successful one going on to work a feud with Anderson, gradually segueing into his role as ‘The Man’. If TNA wants to survive they need to do this or something very similar. A fifty-something man who was limited even in his prime doing an impression of the Joker is not going to get the ratings a failing company needs.