TNA is in the midst of running a program featuring AJ Styles winning the promotion's heavyweight championship title before running off with it because the powers that be within the company, namely President Dixie Carter, refuse to cave in to his financial demands.
It's a clear ripoff of the CM Punk angle in WWE in 2011 when his contract was expiring and he planned on leaving. It's also closer to reality than fiction.
In fact, a new report from PWInsider.com is stating Styles is likely gone from TNA when his contract expires on Dec. 16. The two sides have been negotiating for some time, at one point agreeing to a short term extension in an effort to get a long term deal worked out, but money, apparently, continues to be a hurdle that cannot be overcome.
TNA has taped television for the next month or so and within that span -- SPOILER ALERT -- Styles will return with the title and lose it to Magnus, who wins the heavyweight title tournament by defeating Jeff Hardy. After doing so, he thanks the fans for all they've invested in him and rides off into the sunset.
Or back to the independent scene, where he's already accepting new bookings.
So what does this mean for TNA? That's a difficult question to answer.
Carter has maintained that while financial issues have most definitely caused some widespread changes, including a complete binge and purge of the roster of talent, the company is in no danger of going under. Ratings are steady for Spike TV and there aren't any plans to cancel Impact on Thursday nights.
Still, Styles is an original. He's been with TNA since its inception in 2002, having remained loyal for over a decade through some incredibly difficult times. He is to TNA what Sting was to WCW.
Well, not exactly. Sting stuck around until the bottom dropped out completely and WCW closed its doors after being bought out by Vince McMahon and the WWF. Styles is getting out before that happens, if it happens at all.
It should be noted that this isn't final. Things could change, of course, and, as mentioned previously, his contract doesn't run out, according to PW Insider's report, until Dec. 16, giving the two sides another week to reach an agreement.
It just doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Thoughts on all this, Cagesiders?