In a recent interview, Hogan mentioned some of the guys on the TNA roster....AJ Styles, Robert Roode, James Storm, and Jeff Hardy. He said AJ may not be 'the guy' in TNA. He said Robert Roode isn't ready to be yet. He said that Storm could perhaps be one of the best heels in the company if they built him that way....
He said Jeff Hardy is 'the guy'.
I'm probably going to be chastised for some of the things I'm about to say, but before the criticisms fly, I would like a chance to run a new pattern....let's play devil's advocate.
AJ Styles isn't the greatest mic worker, but he'd been improving and I think Hogan is wrong, but for the sake of argument, let's give it a second look. He works harder than a great deal of the talents in the locker room for every match, BUT he's not the draw. He works better as a face because he isn't as versatile as some other performers in the locker room. AJ Styles puts on the show, but he doesn't put people in the seats. PART of the problem is the booking. That much I grant, but without the charisma, there is only so many directions to go with the character. AJ Styles shines when he's the underdog chasing the title, but as a champion he seems to flounder. In my opinion, with a little bit of work and I'm NOT talking about a mouthpiece or as a lackey oppressed, he can become 'the guy'. I want him to be 'the guy'....but unless some real charisma asserts itself in the next couple of years, we may be treated to only an occasional reign in the top ranks.
Robert Roode is being prepped right now to see how people respond to him. This is the strongest his character has ever been and it's pretty spectacular, but is he there yet? Maybe, but one, perhaps two more swings at the highest level might perfect the hunger and truly bring out what is meant to shine in our newest star.
James Storm is a great talker and can cut a great many 'someones' into pieces with his microphone...I'd even say he's one of the most versatile performers on the roster. He works as a heel; he works as a babyface; whatever is asked he can do and do quite well. I have to give him every confidence as a top tier guy.
Jeff Hardy I have written about at great length and so shall remain silent concerning his story, albeit the best surrounding him in recent memory.
Hulk Hogan has some good points, but I think he's a bit premature to say who is or is not 'the guy' right now for TNA's foreseeable future. With a mind like that, the lower tier remains the lower tier forever because there is no hope of moving higher. And without the hope of breaking out, it's only a matter of time before performers decide that the areas of work elsewhere are more attractive.