TNA's unsung merchandising hero Don West has found a better paying job. Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
Before joining TNA, West gained a degree of fame for being a hyperactive pitchman on the Shop At Home network, which led to Jeff Jarrett offering him a position as a colour commentator when he started up the company. He adapted to wrestling announcing much better than most broadcasters with no prior experience in the business, getting by with his sheer passion and exuberance.
However, that wasn't enough for him to keep his commentary spot forever. When Taz decided to leave WWE after his contract expired in April 2009, TNA quickly hired him and he soon ended up replacing West in the booth. Given that West was well liked within the company, they found new roles for him, including a short-lived but successful stint as The Amazing Red's manager, before being given the merchandising position.
It was a role West really excelled at and made his own. He became an integral part of TNA's surprisingly profitable house show formula by being a modern day carnival barker, constantly shilling merchandise deals and enticing fans to have their photos taken with the babyface main-eventer at the end of each event. West was so brilliant at his job that it will be extremely hard for TNA to find a replacement that is even half as good as him.
The reason Don West gave notice and is departing TNA is that he was offered and accepted a position working as the General Manager of the Wenatchee Wild hockey team in Wenatchee, Washington.
West will be heavily involved in all aspects of the team and was offered a great deal that he just could not have reasonably turned down, according to TNA sources. There is not heat on West for leaving and the relationship is ending with everyone on good terms.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Are you sad to see Don West go after all these years? Or is it no skin off your nose?