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Pondering with Plumtree - Plumtree Trade Machine

Pondering with Plumtree is a column on the popular blog, TNAsylum, that is written by yours truly. The blog is focused towards being a fan site for TNA Wrestling fans where they can get news, rumors, opinions, and any and everything else, TNA Wrestling. Known as"The Haven for TNA Wrestling Fans", I'm hoping to bring some of my thoughts to an already impressive roster of columnist for as long as the site will have me. You can read the latest column here, or in the text below. 
As TNA works its way through some growing pains in which the company seems to be prioritizing and streamlining specific factors within it's structure, I've begun to take a closer look at not only the overall roster of TNA Wrestling, but the rosters of all the major wrestling companies in the world. Why? Well oddly enough, like I do with my favorite sports teams (Yankees, Knicks, and ahem...*in a muffled voice*, the Jets) I'm always looking for scenarios to shake things up and ways to turn to dead weight into new life. 

Amazingly, during a time when there is an abundance of wrestling at our disposal (some might even argue overexposure), there is talent in each of the companies that can benefit from a different environment. Maybe, even a rebirth somewhere else. It's an unfortunate ideal in wrestling which sometimes feels as if the fans get robbed from potential opportunities for entertainment. This often bugs me and gets the wheels turning on ways to maximize the talent in each company. Very similar to the famed "ESPN Trade Machine" which offers the opportunity to work out potential fantasy trades in the NBA, I often wonder if trading were a possibility in the world of professional wrestling, what kind of trades would and could occur?

With that said, I've decided to share those trade thoughts and ponderings (the ones focused on TNA of course) with all of you through this column. So I guess, the Plumtree Trade Machine (Part 1)! 

There are two rules I often follow when thinking through these wacky scenarios, and they are the following:

1. Equal Trades - Nothing bugs me more than friends or comments suggesting trades ludicrous in nature. I'm sure you know a person like that, because, honestly, we all do. They'll recommend something absurd like Kaz Okada for Santino Marella. Ummm no. Absolutely not. All trades will be equal, and will benefit both sides. Trades are a two-way street, and it will be treated as such. 

2. Current Value - All trades and those involved in trades are valued at the current time of thus trade (Sorry to sound like a rule book). Therefore, for example, a trade involving Sting will be based upon today's Sting who is in the Main Event Mafia and rarely wrestles. Not the bleach blonde-haired Stinger that seemed to wrestle Big Van Vader in every type of match possible. 

The trades below are transactions that make the most sense at this time for all parties involved. And yes, I'm highly aware that everyone will have an opinion on these trades, with some vehemently disagreeing with me. That's okay. It's all part of the fun, all part of the debate, and all part of the discussion. Feedback is encouraged and always welcomed. 

Trade 1

WWE Receives:

- Jessie Godderz

- Robbie E

- Velvet Sky

TNA Receives:

+ Tyson Kidd

+ R-Truth

+ Zack Ryder

Why This Works for WWE? 

WWE is essentially giving up three pieces in this deal that are rarely, if ever, seen on there 78,456 hours of television each week. And if they are, it is usually to help get over other talent who they have bigger plans for. Godderz and Robbie E, despite the beliefs of a few, in my opinion, are highly entertaining and not bad at all in the ring. Their look is something that would fit into the WWE, and their act would as well. Not to mention WWE would love the TMZ attention Godderz receives as a former "Big Brother" cast member.

As for Velvet Sky...look, I have a special place for TNA originals in my fandom heart, but Velvet has exhausted almost every opportunity in TNA. She definitely can fit in with the Divas, and in some cases, probably out wrestle them as well (scary, huh?). A WWE Velvet Sky would freshen things up for fans, for both companies, and for her career. And the WWE would receive possibly the closest thing to a Diva (even more so than Mickie James) off of the TNA Roster.

Why This Works For TNA?

For me, selfishly, this trade was about bringing excuse me, Ron "The Truth" Killings back home. For those of you who have never seen Killings' work in TNA, YouTube a couple of TNA's old weekly PPV shows. It was his best work, and at one point, he was the lead heel in the company. A return to the "Sun Tanned" Superman would - for me at least - be pretty awesome. 

As for Tyson Kidd and Zack Ryder, there are two talents that haven't been exploited for what they can bring to a product. Of course, WWE never get's criticism for wasting talent, because that's only a complaint you can have regarding TNA, right? Either way, Kidd can add lots to the X-Division, and Ryder could hopefully find a home in TNA to develop. The same way Christian once did a few years ago. 

Trade 2

WWE Receives:

- Chavo Guerrero

- Hector Guerrero

- Rob Terry

TNA Receives:

+ Yoshi Tatsu

+ Ted DiBiase

+ Cash Considerations

Why Does This Work For WWE? 

Once again, this trade is about the dead weight on the WWE roster for whom they have zero plans for. Tatsu hasn't been seen since someone skipped over him to get to The Undertaker in WWE 12, and Ted DiBiase needs to somehow separate himself from the company his dad became a legend in. Maybe having the same name hurts him. Possibly he should try taking a name from his father and one from his grandfather...I hear that's popular these days. I'm kidding...sort of. 

However, the WWE can use both or either Guerreros in a future angle with Vickie, or even for the mere idea of making the Guerrero name synonymous with the WWE. I know Chavo is a favorite whipping boy by many, but we all have to admit, there is a lot of experience that comes with Chavo that he can use to help make your company better in a variety of ways besides on television. And I hate to say it because he's made a second career out of this, but he is indeed a Guerrero. Lots of intangibles to offer.

He might get a lot of criticism also, but Rob Terry's physique is impressive and it is a plus-quality to work with. Maybe the slower style in the WWE could help Terry develop. Heck, maybe even stick him with Brodus Clay and Tensai. Dude does have moves.

Why Does This Work For TNA?

Yoshi Tatsu has shown flashes in the few times he was on TV. He can be a part-timer that can help the X-Division as well as add some diversity to a product that is going Worldwide. I believe Tatsu offers much more than what the opportunity he is giving with the WWE.

As for Ted DiBiase, he once seemed destined for stardom in WWE's Legacy, but it seemed his career flat-lined along with the Marine 2. Maybe a change onto the TNA roster could be beneficial. At least in TNA he would be able to play up the "son of a legend" role without it becoming too redundant compared to the WWE's heavy second and third generation roster. He'll only compete with Garret Bischoff who is...well...umm...yeaaaaah, onto the next trade scenario. 

Trade 3

ROH Receives:

- Hernandez

- Rockstar Spud

TNA Receives: 

+ Mike Bennett

+ Maria Kanellis

+ Ms. Chif

+ Bobby Fish

Why Does This Work For ROH?

The ROH product has suffered for about a year now. While it is much better than it was under the Cornette regime, it still seems to lack someone they can build around. The product lacks freshness. Hernandez has improved weekly through the Bound For Glory Series and I've become comfortable in seeing him as a singles act, rather than a tag team guy wrestling a singles match. Die-hard ROH fans would probably deny this due to disgust with this trade, but Hernandez is more of a well known name than anyone on the ROH roster outside of probably Davey Richards. And even that's very debatable. Hernandez can give ROH a guy to build around, possibly even becoming a main attraction for the company. Possibly even a top babyface? For some odd reason, I believe an ROH Hernandez can be an athletic-monster who has a previous repor with wrestling fans that can help keep him at the top of ROH's roster. And of course, there is always the history with Homicide and ROH, just throwing out some creative options as well.

As for Rockstar Spud, he has loads of charisma, and would also inject some life into ROH in terms of international notoriety (albeit minimal) and of course, bring some character to the product. A quality ROH so desperately needs right now. Plus, the height issue is something die-hard fans wouldn't care for as he can wrestle.

Both men are more polished for prime time television than most of the ROH roster right now, and can step in right away to help the product.

Why Does This Work For TNA

I like Mike Bennett's work. Truth be told, I think he's most ready for prime time television on the ROH roster. Just my opinion. Nonetheless, his act with Maria is one that can transfer to TNA, and subsequently give them another knockout to throw in the ring on occasion (on occasion only!). Ms. Chif would also add depth to a dwindling Knockouts division. Finally, Bobby Fish, a throw in to even the trade, could possibly be the sleeper with a style that could compliment the X-Division. Maybe even worth an investment in OVW (or wherever the new development site will be).

And now, the most interesting trade I came up with, and I'm hoping to see everyone's take...

Trade 4

WWE Receives:

- Hulk Hogan

- Garrett Bischoff

- 3 Unprotected Picks from Ohio Valley Wrestling

TNA Receives: 

+ The Miz

Why Does This Work For WWE? 

I know this will illicit a lot of opinion. But follow me through on the explanation. Much like sports, we know that Hulk Hogan is an expiring contract (Ending in a couple of months is the rumor, correct?). Hulk is the prototypical legend who isn't giving you the results he used to in his prime. A trade back to the WWE, really home, would give the company one last hurrah to celebrate it's Babe Ruth. The WWE could afford Hogan, and would love to host the Hogan retirement tour because it would be great business. And as a fan, I think it would be tremendous for his career to come full circle. 

As for Garrett Bischoff, the poor guy get's beat up from critics and the IWC quite a bit for being the son of Eric Bischoff. However, I think the criticism is now too much as he has improved steadily, and usually has a presence about him when he's in the ring with the other Aces and Eights. If I haven't talked you into Bischoff yet, well, you can't argue with the fact that he's at the very least more of a personality than Knux and Brisco. Bischoff has a distinct look, and you can't deny that he gets a reaction from the live crowd.

There is legitimacy and an already built-in foundation to being Eric Bischoff's kid. A company can really use that in presenting Garrett Bischoff. His early babyface run was rather annoying because let's face it, wrestling fans hate obvious and undeserved nepotism. But imagine heel Garrett Bischoff? Imagine a rich, entitled punk, son of another great heel, Eric Bischoff, and the potential and possibilities that are there. WWE could even touch on the history of WCW in an angle with Mr. McMahon. Garrett gets revenge on Vince? Who knows? Point is, lots of options there. Bischoff, Garrett that is, could be an asset in this trade. And that's enough to justify the inclusion.

As for the three picks, TNA would be able to protect up to 4 talents in OVW, thus allowing WWE to select three to report to the WWE Performance Center immediately.

Why Does This Work For TNA? 

If Hogan is that aging veteran and Bischoff is that young talent that you hold out hope for based on blood lines, then The Miz is that once hot prospect that did great things and has suddenly crashed back to earth. This trade is all about taking a chance on a guy who once was in the main event of a Wrestlemania, who now finds himself in awkward guest commentary appearances on the company's flagship show. You're hoping a change of scenery would re-ignite him. It's an interesting risk, but essentially, it's a low risk considering Hogan's eventual retirement and Bischoff's questionable potential. 

Well there it is, four trades that I think could really help all parties involved as of today. What do you think? 


Random Rhetoric

Why do I always enjoy it when Mike Tenay either gets: a. bullied b. yelled at; or c. kicked out of the building?

Has Sabin as World Champ grown on you over the last two weeks the way it has on me?

And even in the midst of this new comfort, doesn't his failed "full of it" joke remind you that he still has some room for growth on the mic?

Even though the stipulation placed on Bully creates a certain predictability factor for next week's big match, does anyone else think Sabin retains due to Hogan shenanigans, thus leading to Hogan/Bully at BFG?

And if not, am I just crazy?

Also, don't the Aces and Eights feel like more of a threat when Bully, Devon, Anderson, and Taz are the only representatives?

Oddly, how surprisingly good was the commentary team of Borash, Taz, and Anderson?

Were you also laughing hysterically when Taz stated Angle got his glasses from 7-Eleven?

And regardless of how you feel about those glasses, how over are they?

Is Kurt Angle over protective of TNA, or is a stare down with him the official orientation program for TNA newcomers?

Don't you feel robbed when Christopher Daniels makes an entrance and doesn't do his strut?

I know I said it last week, but it bares repeating, how great is it to have the "It Factor" back?

Think TNA has enough factions?

How stacked is the card already for Hardcore Justice?

Wasn't the main event really good? Like, surprisingly good? 

And finally...

If you've never watched TNA and only knew about it via the IWC comments and reputation, wouldn't you be highly confused by the "too much Hogan and Sting on TV" misconception after tonight's show?

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