The Undertaker may be taking the coming year's Wrestlemania off. As the story goes, Mark Calloway has been nursing his career wounds, which are more severe than WWE officials had believed. Working with freshly repaired knees, and problems involving hips, neck, and back that have accumulated over the course of over 20 years in the industry, it has become clear that his days are numbered. With his annual Streak retaining match in jeopardy, WWE is in the unique position of having to replace that yearly staple with something else. This COULD make for unsettling buyrates for the next Wrestlemania in any case.
On a similar note, though far less severe, Sting on TNA's side of things is running under a year-by-year deal, as are a few others on their roster. Under terms of the deal, limited appearance dates and PERFORMANCE dates, which aren't always the same, are carefully weighed to give proper healing time and recuperation for each talent under those terms. In terms of talent acquisition, however, TNA is on the verge of having the youth edge in their roster numbers. With Gut Check Challenge segments like those coming tonight at Open Fight Night, each young talent acquired brings TNA that much closer to elevating a brand new crop of debuting stars for their roster.
For each federation, I humbly offer a suggestion or two.....
WWE needs to cultivate an attraction. The Undertaker gimmick has almost run its course. It doesn't have to even be a character. In fact, there were years like Wrestlemania X7 where they put together a Legends Battle Royal to enhance an already stellar card. Right now, WWE is in a state where a lot of things are changing and Vince is still debating just how hands on he still wants to be in the daily running of the company. Either a restoration of a WWE exclusive match type or the debut or enhancement of a current Superstar to shore up the gap left by a vacant Undertaker HAS to be on their minds.
TNA is a different animal in virtually every way as they seem to be moving in the right direction and without much in the way of leadership debate to get in the way of moving forward. MY only suggestion to this point, however, is to cut down the debut time of Gut Check WINNERS. Alex Silva, Sam Shaw, Taeler Hendrix....where are they? TNA could really use the depth that Alex Silva could add to their X Division along with further use from their nearly equally young acquisition in Kenny King. TNA is truly needing these debuts to happen BEFORE they get potentially lost in the shuffle once the Aces and Eights members are revealed. Sam Shaw has a guaranteed built in push, having been beaten down by the faction once already, provided they see fit to use it.
To put an even more fine point on my stance, why is Joey Ryan, who didn't even win a contract to begin with, debuting ahead of Alex Silva, the very first winner? I'm not complaining....believe me. Nothing could be further from the truth. But do you see my point? TNA needs to cut the tape and pull a few triggers lest they have to create a Future Endeavors Club of their own.