I’m not surprised Alex Shelley is leaving TNA. The injury that sidelined Chris Sabin for a year would have been the perfect opportunity for the group to promote Shelley as a singles star in their X Division but they declined to do so. Instead he was left to work meaningless matches on Xplosion while waiting for Sabin to return to action. Given the company’s track record it’s hardly surprising but that doesn’t lessen the frustration.
When Sabin finally made it back to television a few months ago it seemed a safe bet that the reunited Motor City Machine Guns would get a major push, being one of the few regularly tandems at the promotion’s disposal. Not only that but they were talented and over with fans too.
The Guns had a tag team title match at Lockdown but have done absolutely nothing of note since. Why would Shelley want to stick around in a company that fails to recognise and utilise his talents? The same goes for Chris Sabin: I predict he’ll follow Alex out the door when his contract allows him to do so.
For now it’s just Shelley that’s a free agent. He seems to have quite a few options: he could go to Japan, join DGUSA, or sign with WWE and be a part of their long-rumoured cruiserweight television show on the WWE Network. Or he could return to Ring of Honor, the promotion in which he first gained notoriety.
The first three options have some pretty big negative points attached to them. Touring Japan is draining for a wrestler thanks to the amount of travel involved and the stiff style of the country. Shelley would also find it tough to make an impact there as a singles star. While DGUSA may be a popular promotion it doesn’t have a TV outlet, which means Shelley’s star power would diminish fairly quickly if he were to work there. The pitfalls of signing with WWE should be obvious: the company has never had any time for men of Shelley’s size and while a rumoured cruiserweight show would be an ideal environment for the Detroit native it is still months away from happening. Would Shelley really want to spend months toiling in FCW?
A return to Ring of Honor would be a positive move. The current lack of big stars in the promotion is a golden opportunity for a guy with his talent. Not only does he now have the name power to warrant a top spot within the organisation but he would get the opportunity to wrestle to his full potential, something he hasn’t had with TNA for quite some time. He would make a nice addition to ROH’s sparse main event line-up of Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Kevin Steen, and Roderick Strong and could help to elevate the likes of Michael Elgin, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly too.
In an ideal world Shelley would return to Ring of Honor as soon as possible and be placed into high profile singles matches against current and rising stars. Let him get himself and the company over and hope he converts a few people who are only aware of his work in TNA into ROH viewers. If he can get over as a singles star then that will allow for the eventual debut of Chris Sabin (if he can be signed when he inevitably leaves TNA too) to be promoted as a big storyline.
The Motor City Machine Guns would spice up ROH’s doubles division and could give the tag belts a shot of credibility in the process. A Young Bucks v Guns match would be a tremendous site on an ROH pay-per-view, and I personally would be interested in a clash between the Guns and the unfairly maligned Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
A return to Ring of Honor would benefit both the company and Shelley himself. If an offer hasn’t already been made it should be seriously considered.
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