• By Anthony Cox, Kayfabe Kickout Senior Columnist

Contracts and such…

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

Photo: WWE.com

I am back with my latest column here at *Kayfabe Kickout. It has been a snowy weekend here in Pittsburgh, but things have been heating up in the wrestling world. Before I get started with this week’s topic, I want to send condolences to the friends and families to professional wrestlers “Iron” Mike Sharpe & Archie “The Stomper” Gouldie. If you watched WWF Superstars in the 80s and 90s, then you couldn’t watch a show without watching Mike Sharpe do the job to some of the greatest stars of that era. The man held plenty of regional titles, and even wrestled Bob Backlund for the WWWF Title at Madison Square Garden before becoming a “jobber to the stars” in the WWF. The Stomper was a mainstay in both Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling, where he was a 14 time North American Champion, as well as Southeast Championship Wrestling in Knoxville, Tennessee where he was an 11-time NWA Southeastern Champion. Both men will solely be missed, and we should raise our lighters up to them for their contributions to the wrestling business. Today, I want to give my thoughts on the contract situation between that is going on with WWE and TNA Wrestling that has AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows somewhere in the middle. If the three of them flaked on TNA wrestling as TNA claims, part of me can’t be all that mad at them if WWE was offering a sweeter deal. The wrestling business is one of the last places where anyone should be talking about honor and commitment because it’s a part of the entertainment industry. We all know the entertainment industry contains neither of those. What is that old saying? There is no honor among thieves. They are going to do what is best to feed their families. If that meant casting TNA off to the side to sign with WWE, then so be it. No matter what, a wrestler is going to want that chance to make it on the big stage. Everyone wants that chance to see if they can succeed in WWE. Gallows’ first run was nothing to write home about as he portrayed characters like Fake Kane and Festus. I am sure he is chomping at the bit to give it another try, and I think the best move would be keeping him and Karl Anderson together. As for AJ Styles, people have wanted him in WWE for years. I just hope that WWE does right by him. I hope WWE does right by all of them. TNA claimed that they wanted to make AJ Styles their “Sting”. If that was the case, then they should have done the right thing with him back in 2009 when TNA was gaining traction with him as champion. That all came crashing down, and hurt inside once they decided to bring Hogan and Bischoff in. He was considered too small, brother! Then we saw as people started tuning out of TNA wrestling because it was becoming WWE-Lite. In fact, I once said that it was like watching a spoof of a wrestling show. TNA should have done right by AJ Styles, instead of putting him in stupid storylines like that Claire Lynch angle (look it up, it was terrible). TNA should have done right by AJ Styles when he was champion, and they decided to low-ball him on his contact renewal. AJ Styles went on to make a ton of cash between New Japan, Ring of Honor, and competing on the independent wrestling scene. Meanwhile, TNA has been on three networks between the time Styles left and the time that he joined up with WWE. Karma is a bitch, isn’t it? I found it interesting that TNA waiting until now to report about this alleged bait-and-switch. They figured that Styles was going to be making his debut at the Rumble, and wanted to spoil things in hopes of hurting WWE. To the people of TNA, I want you all to get the huddle with me. I am talking to YOU, Dixie! Well...you and everyone else all the way down to the janitor. You should have much bigger fish to fry at this point as a wrestling promotion. You have an excellent roster of athletes, a TV deal on a channel that wants to grow with you, and ANOTHER chance to start new. Yes, you lost out on AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson, but maybe it is time to focus on the current talent and storylines that you have. Get back to basics, and try to carve out your own fan-base and product by being different and by being a true alternative to WWE. Don’t try to be competition to WWE, because you can’t. The goal of any business should be making a profit. Start there, and let the rest fall into place. Don’t be the fly on WWE’s windshield; you’ll get squashed every time. Also, you shouldn’t be posting what should be private on your website in hopes of getting a knee-jerk reaction out of WWE and the marks. You should have just handled this whole thing in court if there were any supposed wrong doing. If the whole thing had gone to litigation, we are the IWC, we would have heard about it anyhow. You also have to wonder, if those three TRULY signed an agreement with TNA before joining WWE instead, does this mean that CM Punk was telling the truth? That those contracts aren’t worth the paper they are printed on? Just something to think about! As always you can hit me up on Twitter @whosantcox with your thoughts and opinions, and I am also now goofing off on Instagram under the username “UltraGoldenAnt”. I’ll catch you next time, wrestling fans!

*Kayfabe Kickout (2012 - 2020) has since rebranded in July, 2020 and is now known as 'Pro Wrestling Slam!'

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