One Man Could Have Saved TNA's TV Deal...And His Name Is Paul Heyman
Posted by Greg De Marco on 07.31.2014
Spike TV has reportedly cancelled TNA Impact Wrestling, but could it have been saved? 411’s Greg DeMarco weighs in on the one man who could have saved that TV deal—and his name is Paul Heyman!
Sunday night brought about one of the biggest news items in 2014 to date—the potential demise of TNA Wrestling with the announcement that Spike TV was going to cancel their flagship (and really only) program, Impact Wrestling. [LINK]
But if you've read anything I've written over the past four years, you know I look at things a little bit differently. I believe that there was one person—and one person—that could have kept TNA Impact Wrestling on Spike TV and in position to take the risks needed to remain on television for years to come.
That's right, the one behind the one in 21-1 could have been behind one of the best turnaround stories in wrestling history—the turnaround story of TNA Impact Wrestling!
"But Paul Heyman was a terrible business man! Look what he did to ECW!"
We're not talking about running the business side of things, here, okay? So just calm down. There are three ways that Paul Heyman's role in TNA would have saved their television contract.
We all know how entertaining Paul Heyman is as an on-screen character for the WWE. He'd be the best "authority figure" imaginable in TNA. Picture this:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman and I have come here to save this sinking ship called T…N…A."
Heyman can be the voice of the people, the voice of wrestling, and he can right the ship for TNA. He'd have an amazing level of support from the fans—more than MVP ever hoped to have during his early TNA run.
But more than authority figure, Heyman could be the best hype-man TNA ever asked for. Imagine him selling the fans on Ethan Carter III, or discussing the dominance of Bobby Lashley as champion. You think TNA misuses Samoa Joe? I'd bet the house that Paul Heyman would make Joe out to be a monster.
(An actual threat, not a "monster" like Abyss.)
Creative Presence Behind-The-Scenes
It was Paul Heyman's creative mind that created an environment where fans chanted "E-C-W" regardless of who was in the ring and what they were doing. You want to make TNA a house hold name? Paul Heyman can do that. Maybe they'd have dropped the TNA letters. That's okay. He can get "Impact Wrestling" over, and in a big way.
Remember the aforementioned Samoa Joe? He wouldn't be kidnapped by ninjas if Paul Heyman held the book. James Storm would have the edge that he's missing. The X-Division would matter again. TNA (and Spike TV) have the opportunity to push the envelope, and no one was better at pushing the envelope than Paul Heyman.
In The Spike TV Boardrooms
This is actually the biggest benefit of having Paul Heyman around. The two biggest points of contention mentioned for Spike TV dropping TNA Impact Wrestling? The loss of Sting and the secret employment of Vince Russo.
Want someone to sell Spike TV executives on the importance of moving on from Sting and promoting the younger talent? Paul Heyman is the man for the job. Need someone who can show the network that Vince Russo is "best for business?" Paul Heyman can turn that impression around.
I'm not saying that Paul Heyman was ever under consideration for an executive role in TNA. Nor am I saying he would have taken it. But if he had been in position, TNA wouldn't be in the spot they're in now.
Greg DeMarco is a graduate of Virginia Tech and Arizona State, working in higher education. Greg started in improv comedy in 2001, making his stand-up debut in 2004.
Greg first appeared as a ring announcer for Rising Phoenix Wrestling in Phoenix Arizona in 2006 and served many promotions in both on-stage and back-stage roles for over six years, most notably Ring of Honor in 2010.
He began writing for 411Mania in October 2010 and has been pissing readers off ever since!