All Aboard! Former WWE Stars Free to Ride The TNA Train
After three months of being barred from competition, the 90-day no-compete clauses in the WWE contracts of Maria, Gregory Helms, Paul Burchill, and Charlie Haas have expired.
With TNA's forthcoming wave of releases, perhaps Hulk Hogan will let these four pass, realizing how counterproductive it would be to sign a group of wrestlers after releasing twenty. Then again, over the past few years TNA hasn't done well in the logic department.
When Shannon Moore and Jeff Hardy debuted in TNA, it was speculated that Gregory Helms and perhaps even Matt Hardy would soon join them. Now that the no-compete clause is up for Helms, I think with his ties in the promotion, he's the most likely of these four to seek employment in TNA.
As for Matt Hardy, now that he's once more being featured in a prominent role on Smackdown, I doubt he has any interest in leaving the WWE presently. Whether or not his persistence to Vince McMahon's company will pay off is a subject for another time.
Of the various stars forced back behind the curtains in WWE, Charlie Haas seemed to be the most missed by the Internet Wrestling Community. His technical prowess and breakout debut as part of Team Angle brought him the adoration of self-described smarks, so when his most significant performance over the past few years came in the form of him imitating other wrestlers' gimmicks, many fans were deeply disappointed.
With potential for enlistment in TNA, will Haas acquire a new opportunity to stand out in professional wrestling? Perhaps now with Doug Williams as X-Division Champion, he'd find a comfortable spot as a challenger to Doug's title. Long term, however, it's highly possible for him to just get lost in the shuffle of TNA's bloated roaster.
If Maria moves to TNA and is booked prominently, Hogan will be solidfying TNA's turn from exceptional female wrestling to another showcase of models without in-ring talent. Should TNA want to remain loyal to their fanbase, they'll realize how Maria has little to contribute besides maybe a slight (and I do mean slight) increase in ratings, and thus give her a pass.
Like many Americans, I'm highly ignorant of European professional wrestling. The most I know is that Nigel McGuinness came from there and they supposedly invented the cravate, so they must be great.
Paul Burchill's English wrestling career I've only heard brief references to. From what I've been told, Paul looked far more impressive in England than the WWE ever gave him the opportunity to show -- especially when he was a pirate.
Apparently Paul Burchill coming to WWE was a big deal for European wrestling fans, but unfortunately his career never really lifted off in America. TNA could offer him that opportunity, though perhaps they already have enough Englishmen.
Don't be astonished for these guys to show up in TNA -- and be even less surprised if they up and leave in a huff after they realize less television time and fewer house shows isn't worth the paycheck.
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