Wentz's Wonderings: It's Time for TNA to Stop Checking Guts and Start Developing Talent
Wednesday, we reported that there were a slew of primarily developmental level roster moves that TNA made. After some thought and other reading, I’ve come to realize that TNA has essentially cleared out their developmental roster.
We know who was sent packing and you can read about that here to save the rehashing. So, who is left? Rob Terry spends a lot of time in developmental. He isn’t really improving though, and there are reports that he still can’t sell well and is still very green and clumsy in the ring. At some point TNA just has to cut bait here. His status is rumored to be in question, but he’s still listed on the roster.
Rockstar Spud won the British Bootcamp contest. He was impressive in that showing, and he has charisma. He definitely has something to offer to the X-Division. Sam Shaw is still there as well, and he has shown some promise for the X-Division as well.
Beyond those three, there is no one else left in what TNA calls their developmental system. Jay Bradley and Wes Brisco are on the roster and they are the last of the Gut Check competitors. Jay is in the Bound for Glory Series, and Wes is active with Aces and Eights. So who else is the future? Who else is going to be the next Sting, or the next Kurt Angle, or even the next AJ Styles?
There’s no easy way to say this. TNA’s approach to developing talent is just lousy, disorganized and essentially non-existent. And with an aging roster, there isn’t someone in a position to step up as the stars of today age and perhaps move on.
WWE has made big news of their Performance Center in Orlando, FL. They have stepped up their game to the point where they are light years ahead of TNA in developing the future of wrestling talent. Even Ring of Honor has a school attached to the promotion and they place emphasis on talent development. What does TNA have?
Gut Check. And it’s just not working.
I can point to one glaring failure of the Gut Check system: Adam Pearce. Pearce is well known on the independent circuit and has held the NWA Championship. He’s a veteran performer with a solid body of work that could have contributed right away in TNA.
It is this writer’s opinion that the failure of Gut Check in his case is that it seems as if TNA officials relied solely on the Gut Check match that he had with Magno, which was not his best work. Pearce’s body of work speaks volumes about him – he is a strong performer. One match with an unfamiliar and perhaps greener opponent does not speak for his career as a whole.
There is a lot of tape that can be had on Adam Pearce’s career. My question is simple: Did anyone in TNA care to scout him more thoroughly than one match on their program?
I will state honestly that I don’t think Pearce is a future face of the company for TNA. But Pearce is going to come in and make an immediate impact on the main roster and be able to freshen up stories and feuds with quality in-ring work. And there are other talents on the independent circuit that could be scouted that fit a similar mold as Pearce.
It all boils down to this one key point: TNA NEEDS a real system of developing future talent. They need to do a better job of scouting talent. They don’t need a posing competition on Thursday night television. It’s time for Gut Check to go by the wayside in favor of a more diligent means of talent development and scouting.
Do yesterday’s roster cuts hurt TNA right now? Aside from Crimson, no, I don’t feel they do. But the bigger problem is that TNA has nothing going for them in terms of developing new talent. This is an issue that will rear its head several years down the road unless they do something today to address that void.