WZ.com Exclusive: TNA To Release Wrestlers? Try-Out Others?

Bill Behrens


Throughout my time at TNA there was always discussion about needing to trim the roster, freshen it up, and then find new talent.

Many a list of recommended new stars was created and sent to TNA Creative. Every once in a while someone received a try-out, but most try-outs did not lead to deals, ask Joey Matthews & Johnny Swinger, Mikal Judas etc. Consequences Creed was signed after a strong performance in a spot where TNA needed someone for PPV to wrestle instead of Pacman Jones, but that was a unique situation, and he was not rushed to TV. Shawn Daivari was brought in for the World X Cup then signed and renamed, again a unique situation. Both were additions to the roster, not replacements.

Part of TNA’s problem is they have no real system to look at or develop new talent. Going back to when the company still did PPVs in Nashville they was discussion of a wrestling school and try-outs and at least one clinic was held in Atlanta to “try-out” guys, but nobody really found a spot because of it. Lots of guys and girls were booked by me for XPLOSION matches, including Mr. Kennedy, Kenny Dykstra and others who ended up in WWE, but only a few folk were signed by TNA from XPLOSION matches primarily because the decision makers did not usually bother to watch the matches. When the company moved PPV then TV to Orlando a wrestling school was discussed again, various ideas ranging from something at Universal to working with Devon & Bubba’s school were considered, but again nothing happened. TNA stopped using outside talent for XPLOSION after a while in Orlando, and again decision makers really did not pay attention nor take advantage of the XPLOSION bookings to scout talent.

Lately the idea of talent try-outs is sorta on a front burner and as many as 5 wrestlers were scheduled for try-outs, but that has been postponed.

Why?

Because TNA first needs to trim the roster, something most there agree, but something that has never been easy for TNA. Jeff Jarrett does not like letting people go. So usually TNA loses talent when they decide to go or ask to go, like Senshi (Low Ki) did, Tomko did (sorta), Ron Killings did. Chris Harris (Brayden Walker) turned down a renewal offer to go “briefly” to WWE. Dustin Rhodes (Black Reign) left TNA for personal reasons, which made it easier to part ways with Rellik (Johnny The Bull). Abyss was pulled off TV for a while which made not renewing Jim Mitchell easier when his contract came up. Raven & TNA couldn’t agree on terms upon renewal. Konnan got sick, and his situation became complicated with his lawsuit, but he was gone. But when it comes to just “wishing someone well in future endevors”, TNA has trouble.

Right now lists are being made of up to 10 wrestlers TNA should release and internal discussions on that continue. Several guys are seen as “dead men walking”, but so far no releases.

Until TNA trims it’s roster, opportunity for new talent is limited. Who should go becomes an internal struggle at TNA. Creative & TNA Management frequently disagree, which continues. But it appears pressure is on from management to get rid of some folk, and certainly creative wants some fresh blood, but until everybody can get on the same page who knows what will happen.

Business as usual.

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