How many times over the last few weeks have we read about one or more talents getting cut from the iMPACT Wrestling roster? Front office guys like D’Lo Brown and Bruce Prichard were let go along with top tier talent like Tara and Matt Morgan. Heck, the interwebs even went bonkers when never-used talent like Jesse Sorensen and Crimson were released, though similar outrage did not follow the decision not to sign a new contract with the company from folks like D.O.C. and Madison Rayne. It has definitely been a few weeks of cost cutting and trimming the fat for Dixie Carter and her team at TNA.
And yet, there are still people actively employed by iMPACT Wrestling that I would release from their contracts immediately. And since people are being cut from the TNA roster left and right, I figured that a column discussing who is on my fictional chopping block might be of some interest. Here we go!
Without question, Christy Hemme is the number one person on the list of people I would get rid of immediately in iMPACT Wrestling. Hemme may have been a big star for a hot minute up in Stamford and she may have had a mildly entertaining ring career when she first entered TNA, but she currently offers nothing of unique value to the promotion. That’s a very important point to remember – Hemme doesn’t do anything that someone else couldn’t do (and probably do better). Right now, Hemme is the ring announcer for iMPACT Wrestling and she co-hosts the weekly podcast with Jeremy Borash. If money really is tight in TNA, then she absolutely does not need to be getting paid whatever it is that she’s getting paid to do these tasks. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t pay her more than $100 per night to play her current role as a sub-par ring announcer.
In all honesty, I’m most annoyed at myself for putting Brooke Hogan on this list, but she deserves to be here. I do not agree with all of the haters on the interwebs who suggest, “Bruk sux!” and similar unreadable garbage. I was always a fan of the idea of Brooke Hogan running the Knockouts Division. However, if there has ever been an authority figure with worse booking than Hogan, I want to know that person’s name. This position could have worked out for Hogan; in fact, it should have worked out. But no one in Nashville knew how to book Brooke. Hogan didn’t need to be on the screen each week – she didn’t even need to be on the screen for a prolonged period of time. She just needed to make short 30 second appearances in backstage segments over the course of her first 6 months with the company. TNA gave us the exact opposite. They gave us a reality TV star who was untested and unfamiliar and put her in a major program with Bully Ray. That program, in itself, would have been sufficient. Unfortunately, Hogan remains a regular part of the show and still has that “Executive in Charge of the Knockouts Division” title. The fans aren’t into her because her authority figure role has been badly botched. It’s time to let her go and maybe bring her back a few years down the line.
Another difficult decision, but Devon is ready to be let out to pasture. Or rather, if it comes down to finding space on the roster for a guy like Matt Morgan or a woman like Tara versus someone like Devon, then you have to let Devon go. He just can’t compete in any respect when it comes to being a major singles player. Sure, when Team 3D first broke up he dropped a bunch of weight and became a pretty good lower-to-mid card guy. But let’s be honest – Devon has always stopped short of becoming a “must see” performer. Other than backing up Bully Ray, he brings nothing to the table. He’s the Marty Jannetty to Bully Ray’s Shawn Michaels. He has no future as a singles wrestler (which is obvious because the folks at iMPACT Wrestling never book him in any substantial storyline) and he’s not worth anything in WWE or ROH by himself. It’s time to let Devon go.
I’m a huge Rob Terry fan and that’s one of the reasons why I think he needs to be let go. He’s not doing anything in iMPACT Wrestling and the writing team at TNA is never going to find anything substantial for him within the company’s current structure. Someone is always going to say he’s too big, too slow, too clumsy, or too muscular. I disagree with all of those assessments. Terry is a great performer and someone who is learning and growing every day. Just watch his performances in OVW and you’ll see that he’s constantly improving. But he should ply his trades among the independent promotions for a little while to build some more experience. Then he can come back as the monster that he really can be (and should be) in iMPACT Wrestling.
Much like Rob Terry, I’m a huge fan of Velvet Sky. However, I don’t know what else can be done with her in the promotion at this point. Sky is one of those knockouts that you have to keep around because she is smoking hot and can push merchandise. And while it would be great for TNA to utilize her for this specific purpose, I don’t know if she needs to be making an active roster member’s salary while pushing merchandise. Sky has been to the mountaintop and back. She’s be the TNA Knockouts Champion, let go, returned to the fold, and fought her way back to the top of the mountain. I don’t know what’s left for her in terms of telling a story to TNA fans. And with the drought of good ideas for the entire roster coming out of creative these days, I’m hard-pressed to find any reason to pay someone like Velvet Sky to just do the same old, same old.
Joseph Park, Esq./Abyss
Just like so many of the performers noted above, if Abyss isn’t going to be used correctly or used consistently, then it’s time to let the guy go. Do I think that Abyss (or many of the folks listed above) has pushed himself into a position where he deserves to be let go? Absolutely not. However, if the writing team isn’t going to give him something substantial to work with and if he’s not going to be used consistently, then cut him loose. Offer him a per-appearance sort of deal and keep the payments low on that deal. For the lackluster position that we’ve seen Abyss placed in over the last year, I don’t know if I’d pay him more than $250 per night for those performances. It’s nothing against Abyss – it’s just a business and numbers thing.
Those are the people that I would immediately cut from the roster. What do you think? Did I get it wrong? Did I get it right? Who would you immediately cut from the roster – and why? Use the comment box below to let me know your thoughts!