It was just a few days ago when the rumors began that Maria Kanellis and her husband Mike Bennett, whose Ring of Honor contracts expired recently, were telling people that they are TNA-bound this January, and will presumably make their TNA debuts on January 5th. Since then, a couple of wrestling sites have reported that the duo has indeed signed a contract with TNA so I think it's safe to say that it's almost a certainty. Personally, I'm in favor of this addition to the Impact Wrestling roster because I've always felt that it was simply a matter of time before Bennett made his way to the mainstream.
Bennett has all the qualities required to compete at this level but, in particular, I think it's his star potential that will make him someone to watch in 2016 and beyond. He doesn't quite have the mic skills of an Eli Drake or the allure of an Ethan Carter III but I'd say he's a better in-ring worker than both and has a presence that is undeniably appealing. Whether that translates to a successful run in TNA remains to be seen but his challenge will be to stand out on a roster that includes a bevy of mainstream wrestling staples such as Bobby Roode, Lashley, and others. That being said, there's also the Maria factor. This gives Bennett an advantage over many of his counterparts simply because she will command the sort of attention that he can not on his own. A female valet can be valuable but a female valet that is Maria Kanellis is simply priceless.
Recently, we learned that TNA has been talking to Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish about potentially signing the former ROH tag team champions to a contract. This is not as clear a situation as the one involving Mike Bennett and Maria but I think it's one that we should monitor simply because the addition of reDRagon would immediately improve the TNA Tag Team Division and do so in a big way. There have been conflicting reports however. While one prominent wrestling site reported that reDRagon's contract expires at the end of the year, another reported that the duo has been working ROH shows without contracts. I tend to believe the latter but it ultimately doesn't matter because any new TNA signing can not debut until January 5th at the earliest, and I strongly believe that O'Reilly and Fish will opt to explore free agency before agreeing to any new deal with Ring of Honor.
I've seen some scoff at the possibility of reDRagon, and other talented indie wrestlers, choosing to sign with TNA, and quite frankly, this boggles my mind. As smart as some wrestling fans think they are, they often can not comprehend that the priority of most, if not all, wrestlers is to make a living in this industry. It's not to work for a grass roots promotion with zero market share in the very country they exist. Yes, the potential of having five-star matches that a fraction of the wrestling community watches is rewarding but they do not and have never paid the bills. As long as TNA exists, they will be a great option, in fact, the second best option in the United States for wrestlers looking to make a decent living. TNA currently has the second largest budget for a wrestling company in the US and that means more money is allocated to talents' pay. And unlike the WWE, TNA allows their contracted talents to work some indies and international shows. While this might seem minor, TNA talents can command more money than those employed by any other promotion that is not the WWE. This is the reality that free agent talents face and I can assure you that when Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish weigh their options as they explore free agency, they will realize that their market value right now is much higher than what ROH can afford. This is the reason why TNA has as good a chance of signing them as does their current employer.