Somewhere along the line, Joe developed a reputation for causing problems backstage when he doesn't get his way.
Many in the industry, including Kurt Angle, feel Joe's notorious attitude may have hampered him in his career.
When you're fighting for a top position in a company as competitive as Impact, you see the downsides of this right away. Both Rick Flair and Scott Steiner were shown the door after inundating the already stressed staff with their excess baggage. When you're fighting a losing war in ratings while bleeding money, diva wrestlers are the last thing you need.
Therefore, it stands to reason that a relatively young guy like Joe, with no real leverage beyond his in-ring talent, would see his pushes constantly stunted, if not practically vanish, even after a single temper tantrum.
But things are different now, because Joe's attitude may very well be the thing that propels him past his TV title holding predecessors.
First, let's get one thing straight: It's never a good idea to be a diva.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to reality. Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, CM Punk, etc.—sometimes being a company guy just doesn't pay off and you have to look out for yourself.
Look at Devon. If there was ever a person that exemplified the moniker "company guy," it's him. He won the Television belt, and despite never really getting the push he may have thought he deserved, gladly accepted the role of trying to "break in" Garrett Bischof. He could've bitched about it, but no, Devon's not that type of guy.
But sometimes you have to put yourself first when you're a main event star. Otherwise, you could end up being taken advantage of and jobbing to every young kid who tickles creative's fancy.
That won't happen with Joe, period.
Especially not after this year's Bound for Glory series.
Before, his attitude hampered him. He was young and had no leverage. Now he's a proven main event star, other wrestling companies have been foaming for him and TNA is finally starting to realize what they've always had.
Joe doesn't strike me as the type of guy who will let someone bury him into oblivion. He has the belt and the stroke now to dictate where he wants to go, and if TNA doesn't listen, expect to hear about it from the Dirt Sheets every Friday. Sometimes, being a successful championship means being a bit selfish.
Now, being an asshole just might pay off.