With or Without TV, TNA Can’t Re-Sign Bully Ray

Mark Madden

bully rayTNA can’t re-sign Bully Ray. TNA really can’t re-sign or sign anybody.

Without TV, TNA’s days are numbered. TNA’s TV contract is about to expire.

But if TNA does get a new TV deal, TNA still can’t afford to pay Bully Ray what he wants, or what he got. Same goes for Kurt Angle. TNA doesn’t have any individual performers that move the needle. None. All TNA has is limited brand-name recognition that attracts basically the same amount of viewers each week.

Losing Sting, AJ Styles and Kazarian & Daniels hasn’t hurt TNA. Losing Hulk Hogan didn’t hurt TNA’s ratings. Why would losing Bully Ray hurt TNA? TNA, finally, is putting a more efficient business model into play.

Too bad it’s probably too late.

TNA’s lone hope for survival, in all likelihood, is to do what isn’t best for business. It’s easy to imagine Dixie Carter taking a very unfavorable deal in order to further her “TV career.”

Spike TV knows Dixie is a mark. Perhaps this is what Spike TV has been angling for all along.

You’d hope Bully Ray would work for TNA on a per-date basis, perhaps through a final resolution of deal/no deal with Spike TV, or at least through Team 3-D’s induction into the TNA Hall of Fame Oct. 12. Remember that term: “Per-date.”

The TNA “Hall of Fame.” That takes some brass, doesn’t it? Is there a minor-league baseball hall of fame?

Would WWE want Bully Ray? WWE should. Bully Ray is a great heel.

But something tells me WWE won’t. WWE doesn’t want anyone from TNA.

In fact, except for major, major stars like The Rock, WWE is likely done recycling. #PerformanceCenter Unknowns from ROH are one thing; 23-year veterans who have already been massively exposed are another.

If TNA can’t get a TV deal, it should pull the plug. TNA barely exists now. Without TV, it’s a loosely-orchestrated string of indie shows.

Perhaps Global Force would fill the gap. Or maybe, for a while, we’d see an amped-up version of ROH. If ROH selectively absorbed some of TNA’s better talent, ROH could raise its profile. With the IWC, anyway.

We’re in an era where American wrestling promotions can pay performers whatever the promotion wants. WWE pays all but its top stars whatever it feels like. The boys haven’t even been told about the “big show” payment plan now that PPV has given way to WWE Network. Whoever WWE doesn’t want, TNA can pay whatever it feels like. The trickledown continues to ROH.

Guys like Matt Hardy and A.J. Styles are lucky. Due to long-term TV exposure, they have a niche where they can prosper as legitimate independent contractors. It won’t last forever.

Follow Mark Madden on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX

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