There was a time when the new face on the landscape looked like the best possible thing to happen to TNA, but a couple of recent developments lead me to believe that the new face on the block may not be the reboot I've been calling for.
On one front, TNA officials have now warned their talents NOT to take photographs with Jeff OR Karen Jarrett. Whether this could lead to a storyline that brings everything full circle remains to be seen, but this was a curveball on my radar screen when I read it because of Jarrett's current status with TNA as a shareholder in the company. Fact is, as a shareholder, even a MAJOR shareholder being treated like an outcast is something normally reserved for major offenses dealing with monumental issues of trust, respect, or conduct that reflects both.
Is this something worth placing in the danger zone? I can't really say for sure, but signs are mounting that tell me this won't be pretty, regardless of how well the partnerships gel in the long run. What's worse, even though TNA has been doing a decent job of buttoning down their key players of late, some of their most iconic players have been allowed to escape or are in process of leaving as this post is being drafted. Kazarian and Daniels as well as Chris Sabin have already been making plans for life outside of TNA's contracts. Apparently, the song played by TNA officials is the same as was played in the loss of AJ Styles.
I don't like this about TNA, folks. Why? Because it's the darkest part of the story right now. Yes, the return of Angelina Love was great and news of the possible returns of Jesse Sorensen and even Taylor Wilde are every bit as amazing, but some of TNA's homegrown greats are gone, people. It's a hard thing to see good performers believing that greener pastures are elsewhere, but actually finding them and signing there....that's a harder pill to swallow. I don't want to see the hometown heroes leave. I want to see guys have a good reason to remain loyal to the brand because it's a good place to be and because there's room at the table for them.
You can do a great many things in this life. A great many things. Eventually, however, you'll run into some inescapable truths....
1. The best way to keep people from leaving is by giving them a reason to stay.
2. The best way to start mending broken bridges is by admitting to having a part in their brokenness.
3. The best way to defuse anger is gentleness
The list goes on and on, but the point is that some of the most loyal members of TNA's roster would well have stayed loyal had TNA not tried to play a game of financial "chicken" with contracts that deal with the livelihood of those under negotiations like AJ Styles or Sonjay Dutt or Petey Williams or this person or that person. Maintaining those ties with those who have given a great deal to the company is critical for fostering good public relations as well as relations internally.