What Christopher Daniels’ Departure Means For TNA

Michael Sullivan

Not to spoil the ending of my own article or anything, but Christopher Daniels’ departure from TNA to wrestle for Ring of Honor doesn’t mean anything to Eric Bischoff’s organization.  On the other hand, the fact that Daniels’ exit is so meaningless means absolutely everything to TNA’s future.

That’s a bit of a confusing premise, so I’ll try to explain.  Daniels was conspicuously absent from recent programming, and (unlike other MIA figures such as Samoa Joe) wasn’t even being hinted at in terms of future feuds.  The TNA roster is bloated — they have nearly as many active wrestlers on their roster as WWE, but unlike their big brother they lack secondary and tertiary television programs with which to fully utilize them.  The Fallen Angel doesn’t have great name recognition with the general public; he’s probably not putting a lot of "butts in seats," to quote Tony Schiavone.  He’s in his late thirties, so Daniels doesn’t really fit in as part of a youth movement or stable.  The bottom line is that the loss of Christopher Daniels probably isn’t going to harm TNA revenue or ratings over the short-term.  I get that.

Nevertheless, I would make the case that Daniels is the type of guy that you should use as a foundation, not someone you willingly allow to walk.  For those of you who are blindly committed to the WWE, Daniels took part in some of the greatest matches of my lifetime, a brutal series of three-way matches against AJ Styles and Samoa Joe including that gem from 2005. That was no outlier, either.  He’s a terrific worker with a steady history of excellence in the ring and the ability to elevate his opponents. That last quality alone should have made him indispensable in the new TNA.

The words “enhancement talent” have an incredibly negative connotation in the industry, but I’m not saying they need to cart Daniels out with no storyline to job to every Shannon Moore who walks down the ramp. Daniels is competent on the mic, and that’s an unfortunately rare quality on the current roster. He would have been capable of carrying feuds for multiple weeks, and he could have generated heat in live arenas (presuming TNA follows through and pumps up their touring schedule). He was exactly what Bischoff and Russo needed to coax watchable matches with some of their more… well, let’s be charitable and say “venerable” acquisitions.

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