For those of you who've been keeping up with this column, I owe you all a great debt. It's not easy to keep a column going as long as this has been, so thank you. This marks 800 columns and I'm still running strong. SO, the question I'm wondering is what to talk about.....do I go into more depth concerning the impending Main Event Mafia reunion? After all, the Main Event Mafia was arguably the biggest thing going for TNA in the year leading up to the regime taking the reins. But for now, the answer is no.
No....instead, I'd like to have a look at what could happen when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff decide enough is enough. I've heard everything under the sun about how they're killing TNA or that they've wasted the product with pushing certain guys over others or that they're sabotaging the show to give Hulk more face time on TV.....it goes on and on and on. Frankly, it getting old, people. I may not like how much time Hogan has on the show, but he IS the General Manager and there is NO difference between his time on screen and what time Teddy Long spent on Smackdown or Bischoff spent on RAW a decade ago. In fact, he's around less time than most promos on RAW last these days.
In ANY case, I'm not wanting a debate, but rather to take a look at who remains when Bischoff and Hogan decide to get off the TNA train. To the best of my knowledge, no creative team member is planning on leaving, which leaves the question of who takes the reins? Sorry folks, I haven't been contacted by the upper management team, not that it wouldn't be an HONOR to sit at the table and dream up storylines. How cool would THAT be, right? But the list is short, peeps.
Jeff Jarrett- He's the logical choice to step in and take over once more, but I daresay he wouldn't be an on camera figure for the bulk of his time. Why? Because he will HAVE to have a more balanced perspective than he has in the past. During his time as the lead guy, he held the belt most of the time, making for a VERY small top tier while everyone else seemed like more of an afterthought. Not the best way to run an organization when you want people to sit up and take notice. The regime helped bring some of the homegrown talents into the top tier and he will be expected to help continue the trend of pushing the trend into the future.
Bruce Pritchard- Here's the fact of the matter, he won't take the lead role even though he probably could. Bruce needs the ear of the boss, whoever that might be, but taking the ball and running with it wouldn't serve the product as well as someone else might. His understanding of the business is great and I defy ANYONE who would say otherwise. Having served as Vince McMahon's right-hand man for MOST of the Ruthless Aggression and Brand Extension Eras has served him well, being a large factor in the rise of Benoit, Orton, Batista and Lesnar to the top tier of their respective brands. But I don't see him holding a lead role moving forward.
Dusty Rhodes- Having served as a member of the board for a time, Rhodes was a heavy factor for Jeff Hardy ever signing with TNA in the first place. I would LOVE to see a return of the "American Dream" to the Impact Zone, even in a backstage role. His fingerprint on the brand was old school, but refreshing because he understood how to build champions. His influence helped Ron Killings, AJ Styles, and others into their respective reigns. Few understand how the business works better than Dusty Rhodes and few could outdo his influence in creating careers for hopefuls.
Outside of these three, I see no names on the landscape who could do the product justice. Not Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, or anyone else could give TNA the kind of boost they've seen the past 2 years now. The only advice I could give to a new reinholder is to "stay the course". TNA is on a sharp incline in terms of their quality and I simply don't see how they could get anyone else other than these three men to keep their eyes on the ball. Call me crazy, but I call myself realistic.