End of the People Power Era, Piper/Cole, TNA vs WWE in Court?

Nick Paglino

John LaurinaitisSo, Handsome Johnny is out. Yes, John Laurinaitis is no longer the EVP of Talent Relations and is also out as the GM of Raw and Smackdown.

Michael Cole snickered and made fun of Roddy Piper, Cyndi Lauper and Wendy Richter during the Legends segment on the same show.

I thought the way Johnny took his beating on his way out the door was great but the way Cole disrespected everyone? Shameful. I should be used to it… But where’s Cole’s beating from Piper? At least we have hope for the 1,000th Raw.

But am I over-reacting?

John Laurinaitis gets a bad grade from me when it comes to developing talent (Remember, he told me he didn’t see anything in Bobby Roode) but don’t expect him to be permanently shown the door just yet. While no longer having a title or power or a spot on TV, there’s a little thing called a Senatorial Campaign that Linda McMahon is going through right now. Nobody’s getting fired right now because Linda will be knocked off her “job creator” perch if useless talent and former crummy executives are let go.

If I was guiding Linda’s campaign, I would defend the firing of Johnny Ace and highlight his lack of accomplishments in leadership – over 130 talents hired by him and fired by him, involved in the TNA Contract debacle and responsible for hiring Ty Bailey (enormous douche) to start. Sometimes, it’s addition by subtraction and Linda would not lose any points by firing someone so awful in their job.

But, he could write a great book someday, know what I’m saying? So it might be wise to keep Johnny Ace on the payroll.

Maybe he’s not so stupid after all.

But am I over-reacting?

Speaking of the TNA contract situation, I know Brian Wittenstein through former New York promoter extraordinaire Frank Goodman. Allegedly, Brian left his position in Talent Relations in TNA and took contracts loaded with tons of info with him when he got a job with the WWE. When I met Brian, he was Frank Goodman’s gopher and he carried a clipboard. Hung posters, whatever was asked. Nice guy but if the allegations are true, he could be in big trouble.

If it gets this far (and it’s a big “if” at this point), could Wittenstein be in violation of the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, and face up to 30 years in prison? Is the WWE also in deep doo-doo for accepting those contracts? Could they face fines and other penalties? Tens of millions of dollars? Not good…

Of course, if this case ever gets beyond the initial stages, I’d be shocked. Companies accuse one another of this all the time but very few of these cases ever get to court. That said, I wonder if Frank Goodman still has some UXW posters for Brian to hang? Maybe a clipboard still lying around?

Does this mean that wrestlers who let their TNA or WWE contract expire will not be able to freely sign with the other company while this contract issue is being sorted out? How long will that be? Does that mean Matt Morgan, Alex Shelley, etc. won’t be able to do what they want? Will that leave them in limbo?

But am I over-reacting?

I want to end this article by thanking all the fans who have contacted me via Twitter or at Ring of Honor Live Events. I get a lot of great feedback from you and I hope I can continue to bring you my opinions for a long time to come. So, tell me…

Am I over-reacting? Tell me on Twitter @RealKevinKelly.

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