Bound For Glory is coming and the question on my mind more than any other is whether or not this year's event will push the reset button and take the company back 3 years before the regime took over the reins of the look and feel of the product. Slowly, but surely, pieces of the regime have fallen away and faded into the background. Bruce Pritchard, Ric Flair, RVD, Orlando Jordan, the Nasty Boys, Ken Anderson, and the list goes on of those Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff brought with them from WWE exile who are now either back with WWE or gone from TNA.
Furthermore, Jeff Jarrett has come back from his position as a potential scout, looking for more opportunities for TNA to expand their influence on either the world market or the local market to aid in the day to day riggers of the company. Is his presence welcome? I'd like to think so. His face on TV would be a welcome sight, that much is for sure. But how much would return if his presence were re-exerted? Would we be welcoming back the 6 Sided Ring? How about Don West? King of the Mountain matches? Just how much from TNA past would return if and when Jeff Jarrett's influence were plugged back in?
I think the thing that most intrigues me is the way the 6 Sided Ring was set to the side. It all happened in a week's time. It wasn't like there was a storyline where the switch took place, or a poll that allowed the fans to speak their mind, but rather it was done without the input of the fans, which was a true shame. I left a sour taste in the mouth of SOME (like me) fans. Those who had the problem argued that Hogan and Bischoff were tampering with a piece of TNA's identity and if they took that piece away, it would slowly begin to look like WWE-lite, which it kinda did for a while during 2010.
This is 2013, and everything would reset in the next two weeks once Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter have finished their negotiations as to whether or not she is going to pay to keep him around. I like his position as GM, but I DON'T like some of the changes he's made and the hefty price tag he's been wringing out of the promotion without the kind of nitrous boost he heralded as he tooted his own horn coming into this thing.
Ethan, Lei'D Tapa, and others are beginning to debut, which kinda puts to rest the notion of TNA hurting for talent. Yes, their 45 member roster is a bit lean, but every member of the roster matters right now and is pretty critical for the running of the promotion at the this stage in the game. If TNA wishes to pull out of the funk they now find themselves in, I have a few last suggestions......
1. Start looking at life after Hogan.
Assume Hogan won't sign on the line if his monetary demands aren't met. Operate as if his signature wouldn't change the direction of the ship. Truth is, if Hogan wants to be HELPFUL, he'll fall in line with TNA's budget and not get hung up on his asking price. If he wants to put his own lifestyle over the well-being of the roster, he needs to go. Simple as that.
2. Examine life after Sting.
Let's face facts, Sting isn't going to stick around for much longer. His body may not be falling apart at the seams, but he can't go forever and his name value is limited. He has a similar price tag on his contract, but HE has made his contract worth every penny. Much respect for the painted one, but time is wearing short in his usefulness to the talent pool as a legitimate resume help. There was a time when beating Hulk Hogan made you the best in the world, but after Hogan's stride was hit, beating him only made you better at playing the game of politics. While Sting simply doesn't play politics, beating Sting doesn't do as much for the resume as it once did. Number 3 goes in tandem....
3. Begin planning Sting's farewell run.
Pull out the stops and look at who will be Sting's final opponent, setting them up to work the final curtain match even now. We need the foreshadowing to happen even now. Sting's contract expires near the beginning of 2014 and it HAS to be given some major gusto. Run everything you have to and make this thing the biggest story and make his final opponent a star as a result.
4. What does an extra million dollars help with?
Once Hogan and Sting are figures of the past, that's what you'll be looking at and it begs the question of how the budget would be affected by the extra influx of funds. Could that money go back in to give deserving talents a raise? How about to give marketing a breath of life? We're looking at the beginning of a new era and it still remains to be seen what things would change, but adding a million dollars to ANY place in TNA's budget is a good thing.
TNA HAS to hit the ground running here. If Hogan re-signs, some things are going to have to change, but if he DOESN'T? I'm hoping this reset button will bring back pieces of TNA's identity that were set aside in favor of assimilating to the WWE led sports entertainment culture. Step out there, TNA, with your OWN foot and be counted as something different. Go ahead, press the reset button. Everything will be fine.