TNA, despite many ups and downs throughout its more than 10 year history, has always managed to simply be who they are: A smaller group of wrestlers and promoters who are always looking to take the next step to becoming legitimate competition to WWE but always seeming to fall short.
It's impressive the company has lasted as long as it has, and even more impressive that it's managed to get such incredible support from Viacom and Spike TV. Without television, there likely wouldn't be a discussion about how much longer the company can remain viable.
However, that's exactly what we're doing now because, let's face it, chaos is reigning supreme. It's not a complete wasteland just yet, but it's getting there and far faster than anyone could have anticipated.
After ditching its lease at Universal in Orlando to take Impact on the road, a move that reportedly costs some $600,000 for each set of tapings every two weeks, TNA has been in financial peril. Talent like Matt Morgan, Doc, Tara, D-Lo Brown, and others -- not to mention office workers and executives like Bruce Prichard -- were released and the bloodletting has yet to subside. It's been bad enough that there's been talk recently of tucking tail and finding another singular location to tape from, even if it means not charging for tickets.
Mickie James dropped the Knockouts championship at the Impact tapings last week because her deal expired and the two sides are negotiating a new one. It's been reported she's open to returning to WWE.
Mr. Anderson was written off television last week in an injury angle after a title shot against Bully Ray where he turned babyface with an overdone beatdown. It seems likely he'll be back, but he was already only making a reported $2,500 per appearance.
Then, the two big ones: Hulk Hogan and Sting.
As our resident rumor monger Eric B. Stephen brought word of today, Hogan's deal expires on Oct. 1 and it's certainly not set in stone that he'll be renewed. Sting, meanwhile, has his current deal come up at the end of the year. There's been talk recently that WWE is definitely interested in making a play for him, and that interest is apparently mutual.
After all, the window for that one WrestleMania appearance is almost closed.
Speaking of WrestleMania, it's looking more and more likely that The Rock won't be back for it. If that's the case, Sting working the show as a wrestler and Hogan showing up in any capacity could be worth the time and investment, even if both are just a couple bad bumps away from a retirement home.
WWE didn't release those polls at Night of Champions revealing Sting and Hogan as the greatest U.S. and world champions of all time for nothing.
Really, Sting and Hogan leaving TNA for WWE could make sense for all involved. TNA simply can't afford to pay their salaries, which are reportedly some of the highest within the company. By unloading those contracts, which WWE would have no problem picking up, TNA would save a great deal of money and have no excuse not to focus on younger, far more capable talent.
Where wrestling matters, remember?
As for Sting and Hogan, well, if there was ever a time to jump ship, this is it. TNA may not be in any real danger of closing up shop, but it could be as close as its ever been and there's no reason to go down with it if there's a better opportunity somewhere else.
Then again, Dixie Carter is reportedly turning heel on TV tonight, so maybe business will turn around and all of this will be nothing more than a bad dream.