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Pondering with Plumtree - Plumtree Trade Machine II

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 the case has been this past year in TNA, there is plenty of discussion among fans regarding the company's  present roster, and what it will look like moving forward. The names on the roster at the end of January (and the focus) are very (very!) different than those we see on the website today. TNA, now back home in Orlando, the company looks to be shaking things up with a fresh product that involves new characters, new (or returning) gimmicks, and overall, younger faces as that focus. And of course, there is the huge 800lb gorilla in the room (or ring?) that is the potential departure of AJ Styles.

As the shift in focus continues (whether you think it's for the better or not), the TNA roster quality is a topic that is quite vital as the company looks to re-haul its talent through creative scouting, whether it be through international searches or developmental plans.

We've seen FK9 and Jason Blade, two writers with a good pulse on the TNA Knockouts here on the TNAsylum, weigh in and discuss their need for new female talent. The comment sections on this very site are filled with lengthy discussion of the company's lack of depth in other divisions, specifically, what is now the forgotten child of TNA in the X-Division.  

With this being PWP's last column of 2013, I felt the time was appropriate to break out the Plumtree Trade Machine to spur discussion on the TNA Roster moving into 2014. And speaking of 2013, please be sure to cast your votes for the Year End Awards. Lots of categories to be decided which should be make for a fun reveal in a few weeks.

Also, because it's the Holiday season, we'll jump into the spirit of giving and discuss some "gifts" that could further strengthen the TNA Roster a whole.   

First, let's ponder what would be possible if trades were allowed in the wonderful world of professional wrestling. For those new to this, here are the brief rules for the Plumtree Trade Machine: 

1. Equal Trades - Nothing bugs me more than suggesting trades that are ludicrous in nature. 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 will be valued at the current time of thus trade. For example, a trade involving Kurt Angle will be based upon today's Angle who seems to be slowing down a bit and not the machine of five years ago. 

Looking at TNA's roster and the rosters of other companies where they are as of this writing, especially the AJ Styles situation (more on that in a bit), here are four trades I think could benefit all parties involved. And of course, PLEASE feel free to disagree. As always, this is all fun in the name of debate. 

Trade 1 

ROH Receives:

- Manik/TJ Perkins

TNA Recieves:

+ Kyle O'Reilly

Why This Works For ROH?

ROH's roster seems to have an over abundance of very plain, vanilla, guys on their roster. Talents that are great at their craft, but too many of them seem to fit the same mold, with the same look, of the same generic name. Whether ROH would like to keep TJ Perkins "under the hood" as another version of Manik, or simply as TJ Perkins, the trade would break up the monotony on their roster. TJ would offer a different high-flying style, plus add some name recognition to the roster. 

Why This Works For TNA? 

Kyle O'Reilly would bring a unique, MMA-ish style that TNA hasn't seen in the company since Samoa Joe. For the same reason he is an overabundance type in ROH, it is something that is lacking in TNA. While he'd need some character development, O'Reilly would give TNA another young talent to form under their influx initiative of new characters. 

Trade 2

WWE Receives: 

- Wes Brisco (I know...I know, stay with me here)

TNA Recieves

- Curt Hawkins

Why This Works For WWE?

I'll be honest, I took a look at the TNA roster and thought to myself, who is the least valuable person right now? Evaluating everything including overall ability, charisma, involvement in storylines, and potential future, Brisco was my choice. And because of that, I wanted to see if a trade were possible. I'm sure if I called right now as GM of TNA offering Brisco to another company, I would probably either A. get laughed at; or B. get hung up on. 

But here is why I find this trade to be acceptable. Both aren't doing much. And Brisco, at least in the WWE where the Brisco name can be capitalized on more (we know how much WWE loves the second and third generation guys), there is some potential there. Some. A bit. It's there, trust me. He was released form WWE developmental before, but maybe they are willing to stash him away in the performance center? 

Yes, this is simply one of those "challenge trades".

Why This Works For TNA? 

Hawkins isn't too terrible. But much like Brisco, he's barely involved in anything, and his loss would barely make a wave. A change of scenery could possibly help in adding some depth to a roster. Possibly tagging him with another? 

There, I tried trading Brisco. It's a lot harder than you think. I challenge you as well to give it a whirl.  

Moving on...

Trade 3

WWE Receives: 

- James Storm

TNA Receives: 

+ Dolph Ziggler

Why This Works For WWE? 

This trade very much intrigues me. In my opinion, its highly fascinating as one moment I believe its a push, then others I think either one might be valued higher than the other. 

Storm is definitely one of the guys on the TNA Roster who probably fit the mold of what WWE looks for in a wrestler. Storm would probably have to tone down his "cowboy" gimmick as it may be too "twangy wrasslin'" for Uncle Vince, but for the most part, Storm is too talented to let that hold him back. It seems TNA continues to push the reset button on getting behind Storm whether due to injury, or for some other reason. Which brings me to...

Why This Works For TNA? 

Talking about the reset button, Ziggler is the epitome of that. Ziggler is highly talented as well as a supreme athlete. Although some would question his natural charisma. Despite the minor hit, Ziggler is an entertaining wrestler, and is definitely a talent I think could succeed, ala Christian Cage, away from the politics of the WWE. 

And now that brings me to trades 4a and 4b. With AJ Styles all but set to leave the company, I wondered what if TNA were allowed to trade Styles before his contract expires? Somehow, someway, possibly get a return on AJ who is all but gone at this point. Here are two trades that would fit this scenario: 

Trade 4(a)

ROH Receives:

- AJ Styles

TNA Receives: 

+ Roderick Strong
+ Michael Bennett
+ ACH
+ Veda Scott

Why This Works For ROH? 

It's quite obvious for ROH. AJ Styles comes full circle for the company, and would provide the star power ROH so desperately needs right now. Styles is by far the biggest free-agent/potential free-agent on the pro wrestling market right now. If ROH were to land Styles, it would give them the big name they need to center their company around, as well as equip them with a recruiting tool to get more attractive names to ROH. In a weird way, Styles would instantly become the franchise guy for ROH. Go figure.  

Why This Works For TNA? 

As stated above, it first and foremost allows TNA to get something in return for losing Styles. Second, it gives TNA an abundance of workers who are either seasoned veterans, talents with very high ceilings, and needed depth for various divisions. You can't replace AJ Styles and what he means to TNA for tangible, intangible, and nostalgic reasons, but getting pieces to help sustain the present and future is important. 

Very curious, which do you think says no to this deal?  

The other trade I had in mind was one that netted TNA an established star instead of pieces for the present and future. 

Trade 4(b)

NJPW Receives:

- AJ Styles

TNA Receives:

+ Hiroshi Tanahashi

Why This Works For NJPW?

Tanahashi and Styles are respectively huge company men for both companies. At 37, Tanahashi isn't as globally known as much as Styles is for his work. The die hards outside of Japan are aware of Tanahashi, but Styles' is a brand at this point that I'm sure would help change things up for NJPW. 

Why This Works For TNA? 

Once again, with the option of losing Styles on the table, you might as well get something for him, and landing someone with the talent of Tanahashi would be a major coop. Both are around the same age, which means TNA isn't really gaining anything but a Japanese version of the original, and if you've seen Tanahashi's work, that is pretty much a solid gain. 

---

As for some last minute gift giving for those on the TNA roster:

Eric Young - The Gift of a Main Event Push

I might be in the minority on this, but I really feel there is huge babyface potential in Eric Young. A World Title pursuit could be fun, and possibly even some mainstream appeal with his side projects and other TV Shows. An argument can be made that Eric Young is TNA's biggest crossover star. 

Garrett Bischoff - The Gift of a Repackaged Character

I know, I know...the debate on Bischoff is a heated one among many. However, he has improved. Whether that is up to your personal standards is subjective, but the fact remains, he has improved. And improvement is a quality sign of development, which ultimately is a good thing. 

I find the idea of being Eric Bischoff's son to be a huge aspect that hasn't been used enough in the wrestling career of Garrett (other than his debut angle), and is definitely something that could help him as a face, or even as a heel. After all, Aces and Eights are done. 

Magnus - The Gift of a New Finisher

Magnus is no longer the future. He's arrived. He's now. I like the cloverleaf and the Michonoku driver, but it just doesn't click. I'm not sure why. Hopefully, he finds something that's catchy, trendy, and desrving for a superstar of his budding stardom. 

Mr. Anderson - The Gift of Complimentary Dinner

Has anyone stepped up their game more than Anderson in 2013? He's gone from stale, to a nice piece in the Aces and Eights, to an act that is truly entertaining and must-see on Impact. Anderson/Bully looks like can't-miss stuff going into 2014. Buy that man a steak dinner! 

Kenny King - The Gift of a Role on Television...any Role

For a moment I thought Kenny King was bound for regularity on TNA TV  when he crossed paths with Austin Aries. But he just disappeared again. Hopefully, he gets another re-start, and one that lasts. Speaking of roles...

Samoa Joe - The Gift of the Main Event

Samoa Joe has been pretty directionless for a long time now. It would be nice to see the big man get back to being the force that he was...that he is. Especially, if AJ leaves, Joe's status as one of TNA's homegrown stars will increase. 

AJ Styles and TNA Wrestling - The Gift of Compromise

Pretty Obvious. Both sides need each other. It's only right. 

---

So there you have it. Four trades, as of today, that I believe could work (fairly) in helping to shake up TNA's roster in this crucial time, of course in conjunction with other pro wrestling rosters, and some subtle holiday gifts that could enhance the roster in 2014. With the sudden youth movement and potential entertaining pieces in that initiative, TNA is oddly in a interesting rebuilding mode.

The time is ripe for TNA to rebuild it's foundation on what is looking like a completely new era in TNA Wrestling.  

What do you think? What are some other interesting trades and "gifts" that would work for TNA right now? 

Random Rhetoric

Isn't Bobby Roode/Kurt Angle just great stuff? 

Am I the only one that thinks the Joseph Park/Abyss saga is crawling along, yet, oddly, is a bit intriguing because you're not sure if this will go as you expect?

Sting's in-ring ability might not be what it used to be, but doesn't the man still have a special presence when he is on a wrestling program? 

And aren't his appearances that much special when they are few and far between?

How cool was that Sting/EC3 showdown?

And for someone that truly hasn't done anything, how kickass is EC3?

Am I alone in thinking Madison Rayne can still contribute to this Knockouts division?

Isn't Dixieland the sort of name that is perfect for this "obstacle" cage/ladder match? 

Was your jaw left open with furrowed eyebrows after Bully Rays promo? 

And once again...Isn't he the most underrated wrestler of this generation?

Wasn't Feast or Fired a lot of fun, and actually feel less random of its purpose than the previous three go-arounds? 

How great was Curry Man leaving before it started? Damn that Fired Championship. 

Are you as impressed with Rockstar Spud as I am? 

Hasn't he been overly entertaining in his role?

And finally...

Isn't it cool that everyone on the roster is involved in something meaningful on IMPACT right now? 

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