Impact Wrestling: Five Stars Most in Need of a Change of Scenery

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2011

Impact Wrestling: Five Stars Most in Need of a Change of Scenery

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    Impact Wrestling has long been the company talent sought out for opportunity.

    It has been the company independent workers looked to receive their first exposure in, or where former WWE Superstars hoped to receive the opportunities they never had in the McMahon empire.

    For a few wrestlers, however, it may be time to move on. For whatever reason, there is nothing left for them to do in the number two cult-favorite organization.

    Join me for a look at five talented TNA workers who would be better suited changing their scenery and taking their talents elsewhere.

AJ Styles

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    The face of TNA/Impact Wrestling since the company's inception in 2002, Styles has done everything there is to do in the last nine years.

    A multiple time World Champion, X-Division Champion, and Tag Team Champion as well as the holder of the now-defunct Legends Championship, Styles is one of the company's true home-grown talents and one of its most popular and marketable.

    Unfortunately, the last year has served as evidence of a common problem the organization. AJ has appeared to be on a career treadmill, never moving upward but never never moving downward either,

    The fact of the matter is that AJ Styles has accomplished so much in his nine years with TNA that he, literally, cannot accomplish anything else.

    He, more so than any other TNA/Impact Wrestling star, would benefit from a change of scenery. That change of scenery should be with the the Vince McMahon-owned WWE.

    AJ has proven himself in the number two wrestling company for so long that it is almost as if he deserves to receive the exposure that comes with working for McMahon's company. Styles has participated in nearly every "dream match" TNA has or had to offer.

    Imagine the potential match-ups awaiting AJ in WWE. Styles versus Cena. Styles versus Mysterio. Styles versus Orton, Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Alberto Del Rio. AJ could revive his career which, in all honesty, has become creatively stagnant in recent months.

    If anything, Styles deserves to have his, pun intended, "phenomenal" skill set seen by the largest audience possible.


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    Abyss, like AJ, no longer has anything to pursue in Impact Wrestling.

    He has given blood, sweat, tears, and teeth to the fans inside the Impact Zone. Abyss has been one of the cornerstones of TNA since 2003 and would absolutely benefit from escaping the miserable booking of Vince Russo and joining a company that would be better suited for an athletic, intimidating big man.

    WWE would be an option but so would Ring of Honor. He could stand out, benefit from strong Jim Cornette booking, and show off his considerable in-ring talents.

    Also awaiting Abyss would be stints in Japan, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, if he chose to go to the international route. A fresh start is needed for Abyss and that start will not occur in the Carter-owned Impact Wrestling.

The Pope

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    The Pope is a rare case of a TNA star who needs to break away from the company if he truly wants to succeed.

    Typically, TNA is the company that attracts stars looking for the opportunity they may not have had in WWE. The Pope seemed well on his way to becoming a breakout star with TNA and a surefire World Champion. He developed a character fans could get behind and expressed an ability to talk on the level of a number of the company's top stars.

    Upon the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff to the company, however, whatever momentum and push Pope had behind him quickly evaporated.

    A return to WWE for The Pope with the character he has perfect in TNA and not the generic character he played previously could result in a more successful run with the international wrestling juggernaut.

    A run on the independent scene could not be out of the equation, but a personality as big as Pope's needs a stage as big as WWE's to shine.

Samoa Joe

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    It is clear to see that Samoa Joe belongs in a different company with a stronger booker and more stable backstage environment.

    WWE, Ring of Honor, or a number of promotions in Japan would be a much better landing spot than what he currently considers "home." It really is that simple.

Kurt Angle

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    The best pure wrestler in the world needs a change of scenery. The future Hall of Famer deserves to end his career on the big stage that WWE provides.

    Angle has accomplished, arguably, as much with TNA as he did during his span with WWE. He has defeated nearly every major star TNA has to offer and has been the unquestioned face of the company since his arrival in 2006.

    Like AJ Styles, he no longer has anything to prove in TNA or to its fans.

    A return to WWE would allow the 1996 Olympic gold medalist to work with a number of young talents that have risen to prominence since his departure from the company some five years ago.

    Matches against CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Tyson Kidd, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and even Sin Cara would almost certainly have fans drooling.

    All of these young stars could benefit from working with Angle, and Kurt could benefit from a rejuvinated career.