As reported on Saturday, pro wrestler Kurt Angle was arrested for possession of human growth hormone. This led to speculation among TNA fans that Angle would drop the heavyweight title the following night, last night, at Hard Justice.
But that didn’t happen.
Angle retained his title, and TNA blew a golden opportunity in more ways than one.
First of all, Angle should not have retained the belt. This is not the first time he has been caught with HGH, and since no punishment has been given, it probably won’t be the last.
I’m well aware a lot of wrestlers juice, and a lot of them get caught for it. But do you really want a steroid user to be the poster boy for your entire organization? Do you really want to support Angle the way MLB did Barry Bonds, allowing him to taint something sacred and then quietly sweep him under the rug?
Dropping the title could also have allowed TNA to give a push to one of their younger superstars as well. Many fans of this promotion complain on a routine basis how old, washed-up wrestlers such as Angle, Kevin Nash, Mick Foley, and many others keep ending up with the titles, while younger crowd favorites like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and others keep having to settle for the likes of the X Division.
Had TNA management opted to have Angle drop the title, it should have passed over Sting and given the belt to Matt Morgan. Sure, he’s not the most technically sound guy, but he’s young and full of charisma—the formula for a champion.
Don’t believe me? Look at how WWE uses John Cena.
Instead, not only did Angle retain, but every other member of his stable, the Main Event Mafia, retained and/or won their titles as well.
Honestly, who really wants to see guys like Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash walk around with gold? They are mere shells of their former selves—these guys should be mid-carders at best.
OK, so they could have let Angle win that match. Big deal. If you follow TNA and saw the show last night, you’d know Hernandez reacquired his Feast or Fired briefcase, which is good for a TNA World Title match at any time.
His former partner, Homicide, utilized his case to win the X Division title a few weeks ago, so why couldn’t this happen last night as well?
Hernandez is only in his mid-30s, satisfying the condition of being a young superstar, and his victory could have drawn Hispanic fans away from WWE—where they showcase Rey Mysterio like he’s unbeatable—and helped promote business in a time of economic uncertainty.
But no, that didn’t happen either. Instead, TNA chose to spit in the faces of its fans by allowing a man arrested not 24 hours ago for possession of an illegal human growth hormone to retain the title and be the face of the organization.
Unless this situation is amended soon, expect TNA to start going the way of WCW in a hurry.