Each week, WrestleZone columnist Michael Sullivan tackles an intriguing or controversial subject from the WrestleZone Forums.
From an initial forum post at http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?t=260673
Ken Anderson – or “Mr. Kennedy,” as WWE-exclusive fans may know him – is nearing the end of his contract with TNA Wrestling. It has become obvious that TNA is in full-fledged cost-cutting mode over the past two months, with the company ending its affiliation with roster members Matt Morgan, Crimson, Tara, Madison Rayne, Joey Ryan, Luke Gallows, Christian York, and Taeler Hendrix, as well as ancillary on-camera talent such as Brooke Hogan and SoCal Val. Even important backstage personnel such as Bruce Prichard and D’Lo Brown have been let go. Last week, Devon appeared to wrestle his final match, trimming another principal member from a rapidly depleting Aces & Eights stable. The OP phrased his question as to whether Ken Anderson should leave, but I think the better question is whether TNA should retain him.
To be clear, I’m not claiming that Mr. Anderson lacks talent. But even if he wanted to leave, his options in the wrestling business that would allow him to retain something similar to his current salary appear to be limited. To say that it would be a tremendous shock if he were to ever return to the WWE is an understatement. When Anderson debuted there, he was given a big push and showed great potential. He won Wrestling Observer’s “Best Gimmick” award in 2005, the United States Championship the following year, and the Money in the Bank ladder match in 2007. However, his time in the Fed was marred by a failed drug test, numerous injuries (which seemingly came at the least opportune times), and backstage heat with John Cena. The final straw was an accusation of sloppy wrestling by Randy Orton. He’s also 37 years old; by all indications, the WWE is now reticent to bring in talent over 30 years old, and the same reluctance apparently applies to anyone currently wrestling in TNA. Even if all of those obstacles were miraculously resolved, the persona that Mr. Anderson has crafted over the past few years in TNA would essentially be worthless in the WWE, where he can’t say the one word (“asshole”) that the crowds chant at him, and other aspects of that character might come off as a generic Stone Cold Steve Austin impression. (He’s insulated from such criticism in TNA thanks to the presence of James Storm, a very talented and charismatic wrestler whose entire existence comes off as a generic Stone Cold Steve Austin.)