Anthem Sports & Entertainment thought they were doing the right thing by bringing back TNA founding father Jeff Jarrett, and appointing him as Chief Creative Officer, which doesn't guarantee that the former champ will return to an on camera role. They say that he won't, but we heard that rap from Eric Bischoff when he was hired in '09, and.......!
However, the Anthem suits have caught the same disease that has plagued Jarrett's pride & joy since day one. The inability to conduct business without shooting themselves in the collective corporate foot. Proof of this is the sudden exodus of talent announced in the course of the last 48 hours and change.
First, current Grand Champion Drew Galloway announced he was leaving, while still holding the title. Then, as had been speculated and expected by most online, the Hardys decided they were leaving when they felt Anthem was getting greedy and wanted 10% of all non-TNA revenue that they earned, as they (Anthem) believed they owned the rights to the Hardys' Broken gimmick. Like, seriously? Matt & Jeff took the advice of Matt's lawyers and decided not to re-up.
In lockstep with the Hardy clan, Mike & Maria Bennett, after 14 months, decided to bolt, too. Maria's Knockouts title reign was a sham from the get-go, as she thought she could be just as big a heel as Stephanie McMahon, but lacks Stephanie's charisma, beauty, and brains. Mike Bennett, billed as the Miracle, cheated his way to a short X division title run, but otherwise was about as interesting as watching paint dry. Odds are a ready made storyline awaits the Bennetts should they return to Ring of Honor, finding that Matt Taven has taken possession of the Kingdom gimmick and won the 6-man titles.
Jade, formerly known as Mia Yim elsewhere, including ROH, also decided she wasn't going to re-up. Next stop for her could be a return to ROH or she could head for WWE/NXT, as they can use a fresh face in the women's division.
Most folks think the Hardys could get a sweetheart deal to return to WWE, but don't bet on it, as Matt has made it clear he wants to keep the Broken gimmick active. The Dudleys, when they returned to WWE following Summerslam 2015, had to have Bubba give up his Bully Ray persona, although aspects of it surfaced when the Dudleys turned heel near the end of their run last year. I don't think WWE Uncreative would be able to handle the Broken Hardys and the prospect of Matt insisting on his toddler, Maxel, getting in the ring. For all that I've written suggesting that Vince McMahon should be in a rubber room, Matt made it seem like he belonged in one, too, until the cash registers started ringing for merchandise.
Surprisingly, the Dudleys haven't been tapped for the WWE Hall of Fame yet, though there's still time, seeing as how Kurt Angle will join Sting in being inducted into both the TNA & WWE Halls when he goes in at the end of the month. There's still room for the Dudleys to join him in that exclusive club. I'd say a call to the Hall awaits the Hardys, too, and that would be the incentive to get them signed.
In the final analysis, Jeff has reportedly said he wants to finish his career in WWE, even though they tossed him out due to drug issues in 2009. Something tells me that when money is discussed between the Hardys and McMahon, the past will be left behind.
As for TNA Impact Wrestling, soon to lose the acronym they've had since 2002, they subscribed to the theorem of the late Roddy Piper. When you think you've got all the answers, insofar as TNA is concerned, they change the questions. Then again, they only thought they had the answers.