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TNA attempting to steal top Ring Of Honor talent, looks like they'll be turned down en masse

The war for the number two spot behind WWE in the American wrestling market is heating up as TNA looks to take revenge on ROH for encroaching on their turf by attempting to steal their top talent. Good luck with that, Dixie!

Dixie Carter - doesn't play nice with rivals on her own turf!
Dixie Carter - doesn't play nice with rivals on her own turf!

According to the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, TNA seems to have declared all out war on Ring Of Honor for encroaching on their turf.

They are now direct competitors on pay-per-view, as ROH will hold their first ever live PPV event on broadcast television, Best In The World 2014, on Sunday June 22nd, just one week after TNA's Slammiversary event. To add insult to injury, that show will also be held in the Nashville Fairgrounds, TNA's home arena for the first two years of its existence and the city TNA's offices are still located in. There's been a lot of speculation that Ring Of Honor has the potential to outdraw TNA in their almost head-to-head PPV battle, despite TNA's huge advantage of having two hours of prime time weekly television on a well known national cable station, which would be another credibility blow to Dixie Carter.

Just a couple of weeks ago, ROH fired another shot at TNA by announcing that they would be the ones holding a major event at the 7,500 seat MCU Park in Brooklyn, NY, this summer, a plum spot that TNA had held since 2010. With the annual MCU Park show traditionally being TNA's best attended domestic house show of the year, the loss of the date likely cost them a good deal of money.

It should also be noted that Ring Of Honor's business resurgence this year has been significantly aided by picking up several top TNA stars who were cut at the end of their contracts to save money. AJ Styles returned to the promotion on Jan. 4th, 2014, leading to a noticeable uptick in attendance on the shows he appeared at. The main selling point of their pay-per-view is the homecoming of "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels and debut of his tag team partner in TNA Frankie Kazarian, as they face the ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon of Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish.

So TNA has fought back by going after several key ROH performers this week, wanting to steal them at a critical moment in the company's evolution. However, it looks likely that TNA will be thwarted in their attempted ROH talent raid, as all the people they've contacted are under contract to the company. ROH management is currently making sure that there isn't any contactual loopholes TNA could exploit, perhaps fearing a repeat of the embarrassing situation with Kenny King two years ago where he debuted on Impact whilst still being one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions when he breached a verbal agreement that required him to get permission before appearing on a rival television show.

The only names that have been leaked out as having talked with TNA is the aforementioned O'Reilly and Fish, who were contacted through their mutual friend Davey Richards. Clearly, TNA would relish having the ROH tag champions jump ship and simultaneously forcing the cancellation of the PPV's real main event, whilst Richards would love to be complicit in this cheap stunt, as he hates both ROH's head booker Hunter Johnston and its COO Joe Koff.

However, the odds of anyone selling out would be slim even if they weren't all under contract, unless TNA gave them a massive pay rise, which they really can't afford to do at the moment, anyway.

Firstly, their blossoming relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling is a potential gateway into being chosen by the puroresu powerhouse for a well paid spot on their Japanese tours after the summer.

Moreover, WWE has shown a real reluctance to sign any talent that made their names in TNA of late. On the other hand, they have been open to bringing in many ROH stars, which should continue given their strong success rate of transitioning into popular WWE headliners, as CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins and Cesaro so far have powerfully demonstrated. At this point, going to TNA is career suicide if you have any WWE aspirations and is a step that should only be taken if WWE has shut the door in your face.

There also has to be concern about TNA's creative direction and their long term future. Even the few name indy guys they can land and are high on, like The American Wolves, find it hard to overcome the booking incompetence that unintentionally cuts them off at the knees before they can really get going.

Meanwhile, Ring Of Honor wrestlers will surely have seen the pics going round of their TNA counterparts wrestling in front of a measly 200 fans in empty baseball arenas, and heard the horror stories that the promotion is now so disorganised that many of their wrestlers weren't sure whether they'll be on the Slammiversary card or who they would be facing on Sunday night. They will also know that TNA's television deal with Spike TV expires in October and they still aren't close to re-signing with them.

So who on earth would choose to board the Titanic from a safe passing ship, as all those that can escape the sinking vessel are hurriedly making their way to the lifeboats, some of which are even making SOS signals to your captain?

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