What’s Ahead for TNA Stars?

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
What’s Ahead for TNA Stars?
On the eve of Sacrifice, The Kingfish Arnie Katz peeks into his crystal ball and forecasts the future careers of some of today’s best-known stars.

As TNA and its diehard fans prepare for the Sacrifice pay per view, my thoughts turn to the future. The TNA announcers so often tell us that this wrestler or that one is “the future of TNA” or “a champion in the making” or similar glib predictions.

This installment looks at the current TNA roster.

Mick Foley, Sting, Team 3D, Booker T, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash and Jeff Jarrett
These big-name performers are all approach the end of their careers. Some may linger a little, but the end is in sight.

Kurt Angle
The former Olympic Champion seems marked for a future career of extremes. He has the devotion to physical conditioning that could well allow him to work well into his fifties, like Ric Flair and Fit Finlay, yet his vulnerable neck could suddenly render him Stone Cold Steve Austin or even Arn Anderson.

He’s a great star and is likely to stay a main eventer as long as motivation and health stay strong.

The Knockouts
Women tend to have short careers in today’s big-time professional world of wrestling. Women worked to a much older age when physical appearance meant less. Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson, Sable and Sunny all reached the end of the line in WWE and the Knockouts must remain competitive with the Divas.

One exception could be Awesome Kong, unless she succumbs to cumulative injuries. She is fairly young and, obviously, not riding her good looks. Raisha Saeed will probably be working i a decade, too, though she’ll have a new gimmick.

AJ Styles
Fans love AJ Styles, which probably explains why his stint as a heel never quite worked out right. It did give him a chance to work closely with Christian and his promos have improved tremendously since that experience. The Phenomenal One

AJ is too small to ever be a big success in WWE; they’d have him doing jobs every week for the big lunks they can’t seem to resist signing. So AJ’s future in wrestling is pretty much bound up with what happens to TNA. He figures to prosper if the promotion does. Conversely, if TNA goes belly up, Styles will be scrambling for ring work that befits his great ability.

Matt Morgan
If TNA management was writing this column instead of me, they’d probably predict that Matt Morgan would be champion of the world, the reigning superstar of pro wrestling on the level of Hulk Hogan or at least John Cena.

Morgan certainly has the raw physical attributes that could lead to such success. He isn’t good on the interviews, though, and that will be more and more of a problem as he tries to rise to a more prominent spot in the show.

Matt Morgan is among the hardest to predict, because his career is still in its formative stages. TNA can’t even decide whether to push him as a babyface or a heel. If they make him a face and push him effectively, the dreams they have for him might actually come true. At worst, he would be a main eventer.

Samoa Joe
If the last six months are a guide, he’ll be finished inside five years. Somehow, though, I think Joe will survive the wretched things TNA is doing with him at the moment and will again emerge as a favorite of hard core wrestling fans. Samoa Joe can be a long-term major star, but TNA has to stop jerking around his character and get him rolling forward again.

You have to wonder if this period will hurt his long-0term standing. It would be so easy for him to slip to the top of the mid-card, like an Umaga and Rikishi.

Abyss
He has reached the limit of his current character. Chris Park can maintain his mid-card spot for years to come. He’ll fight the third or fourth match on a pay per view card and never seriously challenge for a major title.

His only alternative carries considerable risk. He could completely change his character. Remember, Foley stepped out of the Mankind persona, so it isn’t impossible for that kind of radical change to occur.

Lethal Consequences
The team is unlike to continue for too many more years. Jay Lethal should be in his prime as a main event wrestler n five-10 years. Consequences Creed could find himself as a similar level, because his larger size makes him look like a main event performer.

Lethal and Creed may never reach the dominant positing in the wrestling show to which they aspire. This could lead one or both into the tag team division. I’d pair Creed with someone like Eric Young and let the duo mature into a topflight babyface team.

Eric Young
Showtime appears to have a wealth of talent, but TNA never gives him a consistent, sustained push. He has a good luck and great natural strength, but it takes weekly face time and meaningful matches.

Given his size, Eric might eventually find greater success in WWE. If they like Dolf Ziggler, they should absolutely love this man.

Beer Money, Inc.
The next five years look bright for James Storm and Robert Roode. They will accumulate the credentials that put them among the top all-time wrestling tag teams, assuming they stay together. The same prediction might’ve been made abut America’s Most Wanted, before Chris Harris switched to WWE.

The Motor City Machine Guns
Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin will go their separate ways as singles competitors. Although the team will probably dissolve in a feud, they will ultimately reconcile and the Machine Funs will reunite occasionally. Mostly, however, Alex and Chris will chase singles titles.

Shelley appears to have the brighter future, because he is very creative and has some charisma. At this point, Chris Sabin is a sidekick. He’ll have to learn to show more energy during the dramatic scenes to go with his fine in-ring work. I think Sabin will focus on the X Division for the next few years while Shelley looks toward becoming a contender for the TNA World Championship.

That’s it for today. I’ll e back tomorrow with a fresh installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring along your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(5/21/08)