26 August 2013

What if AJ Styles left TNA?

Since 2002, AJ Styles has been the face of TNA Wrestling. Now he hasn’t been always promoted as such but I guarantee you when you ask the average wrestling fan to name a TNA wrestler, they name AJ. Recently, there has been a lot of talk that AJ Styles’ contract is coming up in September and that he has not signed on as of yet, chances are he will resign with TNA and all will be well. However, let’s have a little fun with a “What if” scenario shall we?  What if AJ Styles left TNA? The first reaction from most diehards would be “the sky is falling. TNA is going out of business!”. That is understandable as we all love AJ and would hate to see him go, however, I’m here to argue that it may actually benefit TNA to lose AJ Styles. Here’s three ways it could be a positive:

1. The ushering in of a “New Era”

In a lot of ways AJ embodies what TNA Wrestling has been for the last eleven years. Maybe it’s time for a change? Fans complain that the product feels stale and no matter what TNA does this complaint comes up. It’s hard to usher in a new era when the guy that led the previous one is still hanging around. Imagine Bret Hart in the WWF during the Attitude Era, it would just be a reminder of the past and with AJ out of the picture TNA could revamp itself and maybe find a new and exciting identity. They could take this as an opportunity to start a new ad campaign that pushes a big change in TNA much like WWF did with the “New Generation” after Hulk Hogan left. Now, it might take a few more guys leaving for this to be true but instead of mourning the loss of AJ Styles, fans will be getting amped up for the new era of Impact Wrestling.

2.  Freeing up some cash

There have been reports (and if it’s on the internet it has to be true) that TNA officials are looking to use money from some of the big name contracts to hire more new, younger talent from the independents. I like this idea as it would give TNA a new undercard and more fresh matchups. Sometimes when watching Impact I feel like I have seen a lot of these matches before and mostly it seems like creative is just rearranging the same guys to wrestle each other over and over again. Remember when Austin Aries came back a couple of years ago and how refreshing it was to see him against the TNA roster? Well with the money freed up from not resigning AJ we could see some new talent in TNA, the only problem is I’d like to see AJ wrestle those guys so it’s kind of a catch 22.

3. Eliminates the AJ Safety Net

Back in 2003, fans were turning on Jeff Jarrett as World Champion so who did TNA turn to? AJ Styles; fast forward to 2004, same thing. Wash, rinse and repeat in 2005 and during the first run of the Main Event Mafia in 2009, who dethroned Kurt Angle? Why AJ Styles of course. Now we see the fans are growing tired of the Aces and Eights and who is rumored to face Bully Ray at Bound for Glory for the championship? You guessed it. With AJ gone there would be a pretty big hole to fill on the TNA totem pole but it also gives someone on the roster the opportunity to step up and take the reigns as Mr. TNA.  Who would that be? No idea, but it would force the TNA brass to take a chance on someone new instead of relying on the AJ safety net. They gave Austin Aries and Chris Sabin the title over the last couple of years and people were ecstatic but TNA didn’t stick with them for long maybe with a big name like AJ out of the picture they would be forced to give someone the ball and let them run with it and maybe, just maybe that individual takes TNA to another level and my guess is that guy would be D-Ray 3000 (if you don’t know who he is look him up).

With all that being said, I’m not hoping for AJ to leave as he is one of the best wrestlers on the roster and I would let other names go before AJ that’s for sure. But I do feel that if the situation were to arise that TNA would be ok without him, this may not have been the case a few years ago but that was a different time. Hmmmm maybe it is time for change.

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