September 03, 2009

Keep or Cut?

Originally posted on on 5/08/09.

Keep or Cut?

by FK9

The feeling is that TNA are allowing several stars contracts to expire, including Roxxi, Rhaka Kahn, Kip James and Jackie Moore. All 4 have their contracts coming up and haven’t been used on TV in weeks.

Jeff Jarrett recently went on record saying they want to cycle talent every so often to keep the product fresh and these look like the prime candidates not to be re-signed.

The most surprising would be Roxxi, who has been a solid part of the Knockout's division. With Kip James it’s a case that his contract doesn't warrant his drawing power.

Rhaka Khan has been reportedly hard to deal with and isn't progressing in the ring like the other females. She also no longer has Kurt Angle on her side. And Jackie Moore’s character seems to have just run its course.


I would like to wish TNA the best in their future endeavors!

I was thinking about doing this column for a while, but I held off on it out of respect for the wrestlers. I didn’t want to be the guy talking about who deserves to lose their job and who doesn’t. Then I read the 1st news item you see at the top of the page and I changed my mind.

TNA can’t get rid of Rhaka Khan fast enough. But Roxxi? They can’t be serious.

The 2nd news item is a message Roxxi posted on her twitter page and it seems pretty self-explanatory.

The sad truth is, if this does turn out to be true and TNA management has decided not to renew Roxxi’s contract, I would be very upset, but I wouldn’t be surprised. In a previous column, ‘the Unappreciated Knockout’, I explained how the higher ups have never appeared to be big on Roxxi. They seem to view her as a solid talent that can be trusted to perform consistently well, but they’ve never gotten behind her like they have for women like Taylor Wilde, ODB or the Beautiful People. She gets small pushes every now and then, but never anything that lasts very long, the promotional department constantly ignores her, the writers have thrown away several opportunities to make her a star. And quite frankly, if her agreeing to a head-shaving angle last year wasn’t enough to get her a run with the Knockouts title, then it was probably never going to happen.

I have never understood this. Roxxi is an attractive woman who has a good attitude, delivers consistently solid matches and is very popular with the fans. Why management would not want to keep and push someone like that is beyond me. And with the Knockouts division drawing criticism of going downhill without Gail Kim, releasing one of the more talented and most popular female performers still there is certainly not going to help.

Rhaka Khan & Jackie Moore? Yes.

Roxxi? Hell no!

So if TNA has a mind to start cutting women from the roster, then this week I’m going to take a look at said roster and examine who really should be cut and who deserves to stay.

--KEEP or CUT?--

Yeah, right. Like I really need to explain this one to anybody.
VERDICT: Keep her.

The way they’re booked is pretty questionable at the best of times, but the fact remains that they never hurt for screen time, their gimmick is a heat machine and Angelina is the current Knockouts champ. Plus, an attitude change and the addition of Madison Rayne have refreshed their act when it was growing stale.
VERDICT: Keep them.

Her neck injury came at a really bad time as her training was just starting to pay dividends. She still wasn’t great by any means but she did deliver a couple fairly decent performances before going on the shelf in January. I don’t know when she’s due back, but with the addition of no less than 5 new women to the roster, she’ll probably get lost in the shuffle when she does.
VERDICT: Decision to be made pending reevaluation. When her neck heals, put her on the bubble on the condition that she continues to improve in the ring. If she doesn’t, get rid of her.

She doesn’t seem to be an active wrestler anymore (at least not on TV), she’s getting on in years and Beer Money have been much more enjoyable since their transition to more serious characters who don’t need her interference to win every single match.
VERDICT: Cut her.

She’s gotten stale and, to be honest, I’m losing interest. She’s been wrestling less and less over the last few months and her character has never really grown beyond the same collection of dirty jokes over and over and over again. But as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I can’t justify getting rid of a talent that’s as over as she is, even if it’s a character I’ve grown bored with.
VERDICT: Keep her.

RAISHA SAEED (Melissa Anderson)
Good lord, talk about underutilized. This woman should be at the top of the Knockouts division, right up there with Awesome Kong. Instead, she’s STILL saddled with a cartoonish Muslim character whose shelf life expired a year ago. The gimmick has got to go, but if anyone tries to tell me that Melissa should be cut I will reach through the internet and strangle you.
VERDICT: Cut the Muslim gimmick but keep the performer. Let her just be herself and she could be huge.

She’s never drawn a dime, she’s not over at all, management doesn’t like her because of her bad attitude, her promos are awful and her wrestling is even worse. The one thing she had going for her was that she was dating Kurt Angle, but they’ve since broken up which leaves her with no supporters.
VERDICT: Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!

I’ve already explained my position on this one numerous times in numerous columns. I understand the need to cycle talent from time to time, but the whole point of that is to cut the dead weight and keep the rest. Roxxi is hardly dead weight and cutting her would be absolutely idiotic.

She hasn’t done much of anything since the love triangle storyline with Lethal & Dutt wrapped and with Sonjay now gone from the company she’s currently got nothing on her plate. Still, Val’s performance during said feud was as good as anyone could’ve asked of her, all things considered. She might not be hugely important, but she’s a good talent who just hasn’t had the luck of being given good material.
VERDICT: Keep her if the writers can actually think of something for her to do that’s a little better than the Lethal/Dutt thing. But if they have nothing for her then there’s not much point in her sticking around even though she is nice to look at.

She’s young, drop dead gorgeous, a hell of a wrestler and she works her ass off. It’s not hard to see why management likes her so much.
VERDICT: Keep her.

I’ve always liked Traci. I don’t know if she’s an active wrestler anymore, but I think they could be doing more with her. The ‘Knockout Law’ angle had a lot of storyline possibilities if it had ever gone anywhere, but it didn’t, and aside from her acting as a referee once in a while, the writers haven’t done a thing with Traci in almost a year.
VERDICT: Under normal circumstances, I’d say cut her. But doing so might screw up management’s relationship with Kaz. So I say keep her on the condition that the writers find something relevant for her to do.

As for the new arrivals…

I liked Daffney in WCW and I like her now. She hasn’t really had a chance to shine in the ring yet, but Daffney is like ODB – she gets over with her personality more than her wrestling, and she should be able to do that now that the Governor gimmick is finally gone.
VERDICT: Keep her.

Not to sound like a broken record, but she has not delivered a single good match since joining the company. Not one. Her wrestling ability appears to be mediocre at best. Another problem is that the writers have killed any chance she had of getting over by changing her from face to heel to face to heel so frequently. Fans will never get behind her as a babyface because they’ll just expect her to turn heel again a week later and vice versa. The writers clearly had no direction in mind for her character and she’s worse off for it.
VERDICT: Sojo, do you see that door with the big red ‘Exit’ sign hanging over it that Rhaka Khan just went through? You should be heading in that direction.

Of the 3 new women who have debuted so far, Rayne has worked out the best. She hasn’t really distinguished herself yet, but zero notches in the win column haven’t stopped her from getting over quickly thanks to her association with the Beautiful People.
VERDICT: Keep her.

I don’t really know anything about her other than a video I saw of a terrific match she had with Awesome Kong in Japan. She can definitely go in the ring and TNA just signed her so they’re not going to cut her now unless she pulls a Paul London and pisses someone off.
VERDICT: Keep her.

Forgive my language, but I can’t ####ing wait for her to debut. And considering management seems to be testing the waters with her matching up with Kong and Taylor on Xplosion, I expect Sarah Stock has big things in store for her.
VERDICT: Duh! She’ll be wearing the Knockouts title by Bound for Glory, if not sooner.

KEEP: Awesome Kong, the Beautiful People, ODB, Raisha Saeed (sans Muslim gimmick), Roxxi, Taylor Wilde, Daffney, Madison Rayne, Ayako Hamada, Sarah Stock.

CUT: Jackie Moore, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt.

WAIT AND SEE: Christy Hemme, So Cal Val, Traci Brooks.

You keep the women who have something to offer, basing the decisions on quality of performance, wrestling ability, popularity and overall interest.

You cut the women who are simply not that talented, haven’t gotten over and/or have nothing left to do in the company.

See, TNA? It’s not that hard.


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