WWE News and Rumors: WWE Should Sign These TNA IMPACT Stars; Here's Why
It looks as if dark days may be coming for TNA Wrestling in the wake of the news that Spike TV has reportedly decided not to renew their TV deal with the wrestling company in October.
The news of Spike's reported decision to stop airing TNA's IMPACT Wrestling show this fall has made mainstream headlines, with the future of the No.2 wrestling company on the planet in limbo. For months, there have been widespread reports about TNA's financial woes, the smaller company lacking the resources to compete with the larger global entertainment brand and overall star power that WWE brings to the table.
Yet, WWE isn't doing all that well these days, either. Rumors of budget cuts have been swirling amid news that the company lost $300 million while their WWE Network has failed to get any traction thus far. All in all, to borrow a phrase from WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, it's hard times within the wrestling industry these days.
But even as WWE looks to save on costs, there is an old adage they may want to adhere to: sometimes, you have to spend money to make money.
While WWE caters largely to children these days, the 18-to-34 demographic of older wrestling fans helped drive business during the Attitude Era. Nothing could galvanize this base like bringing in new stars -- and some old ones -- into the fold of the WWE's roster. And a bevy of those stars can be found in TNA's roster. Granted, some of those talents have been wary of WWE and have even left the company at some point, but the fact remains that WWE is still the best place to go to get the most money in wrestling. And for WWE, they are in a position where new stars could pay off in huge dividends as they look to create new feuds, angles and stars.
Latin Post takes a look at some of the biggest TNA stars that WWE should consider going after:
Right off the bat, much like his unique look and unorthodox high-risk style, the former three-time WWE world champion sticks out. He might be older now, but Hardy still has the goods to live up to the thrill-seeking daredevil billing that made him an icon in WWE who once was trusted as the biggest star on the Smackdown brand. The positives on bringing Hardy back into the fold is that he's a draw: Kids love him, women love him and older fans are largely fond of the Attitude Era star that helped make the TLC match iconic. The main issues that could deter WWE from bringing him in, however, are Hardy's documented history with drug problems -- which may cause the image-conscious WWE to shy away from the high-flying star -- and whether or not Hardy is willing at 36 years old to put his battle-tested body through the rigors of WWE's demanding road schedule. But should Hardy and WWE reunite, it would add a big-name, main event-caliber star to their roster whose aerial and extreme theatrics could put on some exciting rivalries with the likes of Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Batista and more.
He's the big fish on the roster. Arguably the greatest overall wrestler in pro wrestling history, Angle, a former 1996 Olympic gold medal winner in amateur wrestling has done it all, winning virtually every major title WWE had to offer -- including six world championships -- while holding TNA's world title on multiple occasions. He's athletic, he's great on the mic and he can put on a five-star classic bout with virtually anyone. At 45 years old, his body may not be up to the travel that WWE would require of a full-time wrestler, but bringing Angle in on a part-time deal that stars like Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar are offered could be a way to bring the charismatic super-athlete back into the fold. Angle testing his mettle against Bryan in what would surely be an instant classic or battling the up-and-coming Roman Reigns, who could benefit by working with the more seasoned ring veteran Angle (or even renewing old rivalries with John Cena, Orton, Lesnar and perhaps even his old foe Triple H), would be a prospect that Vince McMahon would find hard to turn down.
Bully Ray and D'Von
Arguably the greatest tag team in pro wrestling history, with a record 24 tag team championships held by the duo in WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, New Japan Pro Wrestling and other circuits, the pair known most famously as the Dudley Boyz would inject a huge boost to WWE's tag team circuit while appealing to nostalgic older fans who remember the two putting opponents through tables back in the Attitude Era. In addition, Bully Ray -- or Bubba Ray, as he's known in WWE -- has proven his ability to stand on his own as a legitimate singles star after holding the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and developing his hard-hitting mat style and vitriolic ability to sell a promo. Imagine the extreme-style-loving Bully Ray trading blows and barbs with the volatile Dean Ambrose, who has drawn comparisons to the late Brian Pillman, or the enigmatic and dangerous Bray Wyatt, who could be the biggest heel the company has in a year or two. Or picture the large and strong Bully Ray and D'Von waging wars with the gargantuan tandem of the Wyatts' Erick Rowan and Luke Harper or the speedy and experienced Cody Rhodes and Goldust. The kind of electricity those matches would bring could easily thrill crowds at tapings and live events all around.
To many, Roode, a mainstay and former world champion in TNA, has brought to mind comparisons to one of WWE's greatest performers: Triple H. Jokes about the similarity in haircuts aside, Roode has blended strong skills on the mic and the ability to sell his character as a heel or face with a solid, aggressive fundamental in-ring style that could be technically sound when he needs it to be and entertainingly brutal when it suits him. Roode's athleticism and charisma could bring a new star on the rise to WWE, who could use some new stars and faces, especially ones that can bring in the estimated 1 million-strong audience loyal to TNA. And since he has the big build that the WWE brass seems to covet, Roode may be a natural fit for the company.
He might not be the biggest guy around, but this former TNA World Heavyweight Champion's in-ring mat skills and his natural ability to talk on the mic have made him a hit with independent circuit crowds for years. And in recent years, WWE has seen huge dividends pay off with indy circuit stars that have broken through into main event players -- see CM Punk and Daniel Bryan -- which makes Aries, who has a devoted fan base in the indy circuit, a great pick to book into the main roster. Picture for a moment the possibilities -- the mic work from Aries vs. Dean Ambrose. The in-ring entertainment of Aries vs. Rey Mysterio. The David-Goliath aspect of Aries vs. Roman Reigns or Aries vs. Batista. He would likely face his share of obstacles due to his lack of size and unorthodox look, but as other "undersized" talents like Punk, Bryan, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero have proven over the last few years, the cream does rise to the top. And as good as Aries is, his rise seems inevitable if given the chance to prove himself.
Next to AJ Styles, who left the company months ago, this 280-pound Samoan freight train is probably the most popular indy circuit wrestler never to have wrestled in WWE. Big, strong, agile and versed in submission holds and a smash-mouth, MMA-grounded style, Joe, a former TNA world champion, has entertained crowds in TNA and across the indy market for years, developing a large following and inspiring one of the most entertaining-and intimidating -- chants in the business: "Joe's Gon-na Kill You!"
A CM Punk-Samoa Joe rivalry, which was the stuff of legend in ROH, may not happen anytime soon, even if Joe did find his way to WWE. But fans would love to see the Samoan star trade kicks with old ROH rival Daniel Bryan, come to blows with stars like Cena, Jericho and TNA alum Rob Van Dam, or even fight/team with another star Samoan in Roman Reigns. Also entertaining when he needs to be, Joe could even have some engaging feuds with the more flamboyant acts like Fandango and Adam Rose, giving them a great in-ring partner to work with for some great matches. And on an interesting note, Triple H, who serves as WWE's Executive Vice President of Talent and Creative, recently briefly followed Joe on Twitter earlier in July. Was that merely a coincidence, or is it a sign that Joe, underutilized in TNA for years, may finally have an "in" to introducing the WWE Universe to what the "Samoan Submission Machine" is all about?
Brittany / Santana Garrett
A second-generation wrestler, the 26-year-old stunner was actually given a WWE tryout in October. She later found herself working in TNA, where she has emerged as not only a solid ring competitor, but also an entertaining personality during her Mickie James-esque "crazy fan" angle with ex-Knockouts champion Madison Rayne. The Divas Division is being built around two bonafide stars in AJ Lee and Paige, while mic-savvy siren Summer Rae, fan favorite Emma and Charlotte, daughter of the legendary Ric Flair, are moving up in the roster. Still, the roster could always use another Diva that's both easy on the eyes and can put on a good showing in the ring, and Garrett can do all that and then some.
Angelina Love / Angel Williams
A six-time TNA Knockouts Champion, Love-known during her brief stint in WWE's developmental territory as Angel Williams-is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but she's a seasoned pro in the ring and has one of the most dynamic on-screen personalities of any woman in the business in the last 10 years. An AJ Lee-Angelina Love feud or a Paige-Love rivalry would be the booster shot the Divas Division needs, and the "Beautiful People" member could help make a gradually improving Divas roster -- which is starting to get stronger for the first time since Mickie James, Melina and Michelle McCool left the company years ago -- become even better.
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