Death of Wrestling: Contract Negotiations

Greetings to all… It’s David Davis with my weekly blog: Death of Wrestling. For all of those who read this regularly, you will know that this is not a blog about bashing wrestling; it’s a blog of a frustrated fan, who loves the business and wishes that each week it could be a little better.

The world of professional wrestling is a weird and wonderful one. What we see on screen is only the tip of the iceberg of what professional wrestling really is. What makes some get over; why a push is nixed; why a wrestler is pushed in the first place… all of these questions and more are what wrestling really is… I mean, what it is to call professional wrestling your occupation.

For the most part, as a ‘mark’ or perhaps more affectionately known, a fan, it doesn’t really matter to us what lies beneath. As long as the wrestlers lace up them boots and step through that curtain then we are happy. But sometimes, probably a lot more than we’d even like to think, the politics of professional wrestling is directly driving what we see on screen, and something about that just doesn’t sit right with me.

It’s no secret that AJ Styles is nearing the end of his contract, and for many, along with Samoa Joe, he is considered Mr. TNA. They are the TNA success stories. People who made their names in the company and are there because they want to be, not just because they failed to make it big in WWE. So it’s weird to me that they’d even let his contract near its end date in the first place.

But I guess this is the world we live in, not the world we’d like it to be, and as far as TNA is concerned, right now at least, it’s best to expect the unexpected and the downright ludicrous. All the cuts and lapsing of contracts is sometimes more enjoyable than the product right now, which is unfortunate…

I seem to remember, though I could be wrong, it was about this time last year when Jeff Hardy’s contract was set to expire and TNA wanted to make sure he didn’t go back to the WWE, so what happened..? He won the Bound for Glory Series and ended up winning the big one at BFG…

Fast forward 12 months and this time it’s AJ Styles’ contract that’s set to expire and guess who ends up winning the BFG Series..? Yep, the Phenomenal One AJ Styles. Although this time it left a slightly sour taste in my mouth. My day job involves working for a long running UK drama so I know that certain assurances have to be given to the ‘talent’ when doing contract negotiations. To be fair, it’s the same in any job; we want to know that we’ll get that promotion, or get to do the extra training course etc. But what we don’t do is rewrite months of storylines just to appease them – that is a slippery slope to incredibility and in turn incredulity.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what appears TNA has done. Worse, they had to rewrite their own rules to do it. Must win Thursday became: it doesn’t matter what day it is because we didn’t realise AJ’s contract’s expiring and we’ve promised him the main event at Bound for Glory so he doesn’t jump ship and go to the WWE. This kind of hand to mouth booking can’t be what’s best for business, and I don’t know about the Death of Wrestling, but it sure is a slippery slope towards the Death of TNA.

That’s all folks… As always, post your comments, thoughts and opinions below! Or message me on twitter and let me know what you think the ‘Death of Wrestling’ is and I might just blog about it!!! Peace and I’m out…

  • Albert T

    I agree, wholeheartedly, with this article. AJ Styles should never have to negotiate a thing with TNA, because he’s done everything possible to get that company over. What else does he have to do to prove his worth? In my opinion, nothing.