I was doing some thinking, folks. That's right. And the subject of this column is more speculation concerning TNA's newest mystery, their shadowy new investor, whom EE and DR signed their contracts through. Rather than give potential scenarios per se, I'd like to talk about the names I've been seeing in the forums and determine who the best name would be to give TNA the kind of boost they need. SO, I say let's explore.....
1. AJ Styles.
After his unceremonious booting from the company via screwjob, it's been rumored that since they hadn't been able to re-sign him to a deal by their deadline, that they would have to use this to further their Dixie Carter's faction, as it were. The internet wrestling community have been trying to determine whether or not Styles and TNA are still in talks or not, but last word was that plans are to make HIM the investor and for him to make his return as soon as March. But that isn't the purpose of this column, as you all know. The question is, would he make the biggest impact as a man making his return to the company after having appeared on ROH TV leading up to the big reveal? I say NO. Why? Despite his status as the true face of TNA, he simply doesn't have the mainstream following of the public eye. Do I think he would flop as the new investor? No, but I do think his name value isn't as valuable as other names on the list.
2. Jeff Jarrett.
So the founder makes the list. Yep. And why not? TNA fans have been clamoring to see the big man of TNA make a return to TV for some time now and in a face role. His departure may have come at an inconvenient time....or did it? Think about this, his departure came at a time when Dixie's cronies were first assembled and since fans would assume he would be the logical choice to take up the defensive mantle and make a dramatic return, he steps away from the company to allow the storyline to play out according to plan. His plans, which at first were going to be announced on the 17th of this month, have stalled and now must "wait until a few details fall into place". But is he the best name on the list? I would argue that, despite HIS name being synonymous with TNA, even his name isn't big enough to draw new fans into the current product.
3. Jim Ross.
The voice of RAW, himself. Now HERE is where name value means something. Good 'ol J.R. has the virtue of history on his side as the single most recognizable wrestling commentator that fans will rally behind. Why? WWE fans know he not only worked the commentator's booth, but also that he scouted talents during the Attitude Era and shortly thereafter. His credits include the Hardy Boys, Kurt Angle, Edge and Christian, and even John Cena. In terms of wrestling names, I doubt any other has a better handle on what it takes to run a successful campaign towards the top. Would he be a good name to serve as the new investor? Count on it. Is he likely? To my mind? No. In his retired status, I see no real reason for him to care one way or the other as he seems content as a wrestling fan, offering commentary from his Twitter account at will.
4. Toby Keith.
At concerts for years after, he was still showing footage of him suplexing Jeff Jarrett at TNA's very first PPV. Keith is no stranger to TNA, suffice it to say. My question, however, isn't if he has ties to TNA, but would his name value have a difference in TNA's overall place in the wrestling landscape? At over 650,000 Twitter followers worldwide and 4.5 million fans on Facebook, I'm going to say his name is undisputed in terms of his ability to generate some buzz in the wrestling world. Of all 4 names I've been hearing to serve as the new investor, Toby Keith has no equal. So is it on his radar? His name was on the short list of names looking to buy the organization outright from the Carter family and if he manages to get his hands on it, Jarrett comes with the package. Simple as that.
Here's the long and short of the matter, folks.....Toby Keith may not have the wrestling knowledge of even a Dixie Carter, but his name carries more weight. The man has restaurants, has founded one label and helped found another and is on the cover of the July 15th, 2013 issue of Forbe's Magazine under the headline "Country Music's $500 Million Dollar Man". Simply put, virtually everything Toby Keith touches turns to gold and with a reputation of being an easy man to do business with and having more clout with venues and establishments, I see no one better on the landscape to take on TNA as a project, allowing Jarrett more complete creative freedom and using his name value to attract new fans to the venture. Period.