I was in the middle of writing another piece for Wrestling Rumors last night, and was unable to finish it. It was concerning WWE’s debuting Wyatt family, a column which I will now finish later in the week.

Instead, now is the time to rant.

TNA has screwed up with its. It screwed up royally with Gut Check. When I say royally, I don’t say that lightly. ROYALLY.

On the heels of several TNA releases of former Gut Check talent or other members of the roster, we have now come to a realization, if you hadn’t realized it yet, that TNA’s priorities are way out of whack. Alongside that, rumors persist that there is chaos backstage at the direction of the company, and that Ohio Valley Wrestling, its own development company, appears to be in shambles. People are making promises they can’t keep, and roster spots are going to waste quicker than an Orlando Jordan push.

But I guess that’s pretty ironic since development has been a pretty strong issue within TNA.

The idea of Gut Check was confusing once it started. Was it a work? Was it shoot? Regardless, the idea of a judging following a match of two relative no-names (for the most part) was ridiculous, and the belief that two unknowns could get over with an audience is just as much. Moreover, there were no long-term plans for these guys, and it seemed ludicrous to think that a true superstar could develop from such tomfoolery.

Had it been construed differently, it may have worked. And that’s only if it became a rarity that the Gut Check talent could win. Instead, it was essentially a roster spot, for little pay, to a talent that couldn’t be utilized.

The worst part is, it may even continue. But it’s time for TNA to learn a lesson that it should have learned long ago.

Do yourself a favor and head over to the official Impact website and take a gander at the roster. Count, quite possibly on two hands, how many of these stars are under the age of 33. Impact has zero focus on the youth. Its Main Event Mafia consists of guys well into their 30s, even into their 40s and 50s. Sure, many have delivered strong performances, but what happens when they can’t anymore? Where does that leave you?

Paul Heyman put it best in a rant on TNA “legends” a few years back. He blatantly said he’d fire anyone over 35. Moreover, the idea of promoting younger talent by word of mouth from the reputable comes about. Find programs for these guys, and make them the talk of the town. But instead, the near-60-year-old Hulk Hogan may have a title shot at the company’s biggest pay-per-view of the year, and the 54-year-old Sting is a main eventer.

I have nothing against these guys, for the most part. And generally, I even enjoy the TNA product. But have the powers that be not learned a lesson here?

With no development, no plan for the youth, the company will fizzle out quickly. It is quite literally impossible to hold such a big roster of wrestlers if there is no plan to utilize them on television. They have put money into King Mo and “Rampage” Jackson, two guys who are not a big enough draw to consider a strong investment into. Heck, I’m sure Spike is paying their contracts, not the offices of Nashville. Many will argue that WWE does not find ways to get all of its talent on RAW, but keep in mind, they also have three other shows, monthly pay-per-views and weekly house shows to showcase them.

TNA does not.

Let this be your Gut Check, TNA. Take this week, gather up your talent. Ensure them that there is a long-term plan for them, and then if there isn’t, come up with one fast. In three years, it’s very possible every single member of the main event scene in your company may not be active wrestlers. Where do you go from there?

Establish a development system. Take notes from WWE. Let the young blood grow into the stars of tomorrow. You think Hogan is a draw? Explain the ratings.

CREATE that next draw. This is the opportunity to push restart before it becomes too late. Dixie, I enjoy the Impact product. I love wrestling, along with many others and am willing to give it one last chance.

But there’s no guarantee you’ll be around in five years to continue giving me a chance to watch you.

Follow Jon Alba on Twitter!


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