I have conducted some research on TNA’s roster. TNA’s roster is composed of 43 wrestlers. I did not include any non-wrestler. The average age of a wrestler on TNA’s roster is 33. There is a reason that I have done this research. Please be patient and allow me to make my point.
Let me present my data. The oldest wrestler on the TNA roster is Kurt Angle who is 46 years old. He is perhaps one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time. Along with winning an Olympic Gold medal in 1995, he is perhaps one of the most decorated champions in the WWE and TNA. Kurt was in the 20 man Gauntlet and came close to winning but MVP who is 41 prevailed. TNA’s current champion Bobby Lashley will be 39 in June. Just like Kurt Angle, Bobby has an impressive resume. He is a two time TNA World Champion, two time ECW World Champion, and a one-time WWE United States Champion. Both of these wrestlers are very well established and have made an impact in the industry. The youngest wrestler on the TNA roster is Mandrews who is 23 years old. Mandews has plenty of years ahead of him. Currently TNA is allowing the veterans to be in the limelight and main event the PPVs.
One of the topics that I continue to read and hear about is the disappointment from fans that TNA was not able to retain Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe is going to turn 36 in March. I am a fan of Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe has been the bedrock of TNA and Ring of Honor. Fans need to remember that this is a business. As Samoa Joe left TNA, Drew Galloway has entered at the age of 29. Drew has lots of potential and could be a future major player. Fans need to understand that the shelf life of a wrestler is short. It is no different than basketball and football. A wrestling promotion needs to evaluate their talent just like football. They assess their talent individually and what type of impact that they can provide as a team. Age is a big factor in the wrestling business. You can only repackage wrestlers so many times before fans begin to yawn. The WWE had proved that with Davey Boy Smith.
Rebuilding is a challenge. You can’t replace Samoa Joes talent, but we can embrace the memories that he created. Perhaps TNA is trying to get younger. We can shake our heads at the creative team and some of the storylines. I will admit there are times the storylines are somewhat directionless. I as a fan assess the evolution and the progress of a wrestler. It is quite difficult to think of what more that TNA could do with Samoa Joe. Any suggestions? Rebuilding and developing talent is not a science. There are plenty of NFL teams that appear to rebuild every couple of years. Unfortunately I am a Cleveland Browns fan and can testify to this.
My question is…. who is the future of TNA? How long will we see the veterans in the limelight?