I feel like every time I'm writing these days, I'm waiting for the big news to drop....some kind of big news that officials claim is coming, some announcement that will change the way we look at the promotion I've spent nearly 1000 columns defending. Mark my words, the day the 1000th column drops, it'll be something special. As for the topic? I'm still about a month's worth of titles before the big number, but I think I'll leave that to a couple of places to determine. First, I'll leave it here, for those of you who come in here on occasion to check out what's new. I thank you for coming and chilling for a time. And I'll toss up a poll on the Sting (TNA) fansite over on Facebook.
What should this whole thing be about in the coming year? Will everything change with the network switch? What kinds of borders can TNA cross and still remain the company we cheer for and pull for in the long run? It seems like there are a few more borders than COULD be crossed, provided those in the rumor mill keep the rumors running for me to speculate over. Which brings me to a WWE main eventer who has yet to sign a renewal contract.
For the record, this man is NOT John Cena, not that he wouldn't be welcome to see in TNA IF he is completely changed in terms of his persona. I do NOT want to see Cena as a good guy for a long time...seriously. But why am I even bringing HIM up....it isn't he who hasn't resigned with the machine, but rather a surprising name, if the rumors are accurate.
Apparently, Randy Orton has turned down two separate offers from WWE Corporate for contract renewals for 3-5 years in length. Why? I have no idea, but what intrigues me about the story is just how much control he has over the way his character's persona carries over the airwaves. Stories about WWE creative coming to him with ideas he doesn't like and using his relationship with HHH to dismiss them outright put me in mind of the way Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash did the same thing in WCW. I wonder if he's as bored with his current usage as those of us who've jumped ship are.
Truthfully, I didn't intend to put Randy Orton into a new persona, but if I could put him ANYWHERE on TNA's roster, where do I start him? In my mind, there are only two or three choices.....and all but one put the history on display with the kind of backstage reveal to help bring down the mystique WWE wants to bring to their show.
1. Jeff Hardy....Orton and Hardy have a storied history battling over the Intercontinental Title in his early years, but in his final years with WWE, Hardy feuded with Orton over the big gold belt; the World Heavyweight Championship. To me, history could begin here.
2. Kurt Angle.....In the world of professional wrestling, there are few who could put Orton through his paces in the opening months of his TNA tenure than Angle. With a compelling story beginning with Orton calling him out and laying him out with an RKO, only to be attacked by a couple of Angle's hired guns just to show Orton that he's not in Kansas anymore.
3. AJ Styles.....If TNA really wants to embarrass one of WWE's golden boys, AJ Styles HAS to be the one to do it. Why? Because it would be among the best representations of WWE vs. TNA booking, with TNA coming out looking like a million bucks. Like it or not, Orton loses here and has to earn his keep even if only to hold the attention of the masses of WWE fans who believe he can do no wrong. I firmly believe he HAS to don the unpredictable persona, carrying it far further than he did up north.
But I don't want to see the man himself destroyed. No sir, not by a long shot. This is only temporary and I would want to ally him with one of TNA's best and brightest to bring him back up the ladder and into the main event. But see here's the thing: Randy Orton makes a TERRIBLE babyface. If we're talking about an anti-hero or a true heel, I can get behind the guy, even root for him, but as a babyface, I really can't......ever. So who would I ally him with? My choices are three in number...
1. Austin Aries....If Orton allied with Aries, you could do so much with them as a tag team, but this is only a vehicle to take both up the ladder before turning one against the other.
2. Bobby Roode....The "It" Factor and the "Legend Killer" as a tag team? Sign me up please. Both pull off the all business persona well, with both having been in stables with Ric Flair and both have accolades worth comparing. As far as a money feud goes, this one is in my top three for TNA on my wish list.
3. Magnus....My reasoning for Magnus is because he took out one legend the "Legend Killer" never had the chance to, Sting. With Sting on the horizon for Wrestlemania next year, this feud putting Sting's name in two places at once would be something I'd find interesting. From a business perspective, it lessens the loss of the Icon by putting together an alliance of those who've beaten the legends and seen them leave.
I realize that this post is about one of WWE's golden boys, but in the end, we're always talking about options and TNA is the option that WCW wasn't in the end. TNA still has enough focus to put together something coherent and cohesive and something that gels well. With TNA in an era that they fit well with and WWE more focused in on their reality shows and pandering to the lower aged, affluent audience, I see nothing but potential for Orton making a jump AND with injuries plaguing him of recent, it would give him more time to heal if he DID make the jump and signed with TNA with the proviso that he would get whatever medical help he needed and recovery before making his debut. I'm open to new possibilities....heck, I was even open to Hogan.