Eric Young leaves TNA

No longer a problem.

It is being reported that Eric Young has turned down a contract extension from TNA and left the company after a six year run.  From what I’ve read, he was offered substantially less money and he declined.  He does not have a no-compete clause that would prevent him from immediately appearing elsewhere.

In my view, it’s probably the best thing Young could possibly have done after the 2010 he’s had.  After spending months rebuilding his image after a lengthy stint as a mentally-challenged (for lack of a better term) comedy act, Young broke out as an underdog face until he turned heel last year.

He became the leader of the World Elite which took the dominant stable role at the end of 2009 after the breakup of the Main Event Mafia.  He finished off the year having upset Kevin Nash for the Legends title, which he renamed the Global title to go along with his stable.

Upon the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in January, the World Elite suddenly vanished without explanation, and Young remained MIA (along with most of the roster) for some time.  When he returned, he was once again a face (likewise without explanation), allied with Kevin Nash against The Band.  After being betrayed by Nash and feuding with him for a month, he joined The Band for no real reason.  The heel turn got him a tag title run (via the Freebird Rule) until being stripped of the title due to Scott Hall’s arrest and subsequent release from the company.

Spending weeks on Xplosion, Young suffered a “head injury” from Suicide by tumbling off the turnbuckle to the floor.  That put him right back into the simpleton role that he fought so hard to escape over the past years.  He spent the rest of the year in a rather offensive team with Orlando Jordan which was nothing more than an in-joke to make gay jokes at their expense.

You will be missed, Eric.  But maybe not actually in TNA until Hogan and Bischoff either leave the company or simply finish flying it into the ground.

In other news, Robbie E. of Shore holds the X-Division title after just three matches in the company.

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Maria, Hurricane, Paul Burchill released

WWE announced three releases from the company yesterday in Maria, Shane “Hurricane” Helms and Paul Burchill.  None of these come as a huge surprise.

According to some, Maria has been looking to move on from wrestling and expand her opportunities, a la Stacy Keibler.  She has not had much to do on her own lately, as the Celebrity Apprentice has limited her storyline possibilities.  That makes two WWE Divas lost to reality TV appearances.

Helms (who WWE finally announced was the Hurricane) was finally rising through the ranks of Smackdown as a bitter heel, but was stopped flat when a neck injury took him out of action for over a year.  When he came back, he was inexplicably turned to a backstage announcer, which eventually transitioned back to his popular Hurricane character.  Unfortunately, a recent arrest for drunkenness pulled him from the air, and he was gone once ECW ended.  Look for him in TNA.

Paul Burchill really perplexes me.  Not that he was released, but that he was never really used.  He’s got a good look, size and talent, but the WWE simply never used him.  His pirate gimmick was crazy over with the fans, but got nixed quickly.  He did an awesome job in OVW, but came back to WWE and was used mainly as a jobber.  Really a tragic waste.  I’d expect to see him in ROH before TNA, as I’m not sure a talented young guy would have a place in the Hogan regime.