The independent wrestling world let out a collective groan when TNA Wrestling announced that they were suspending the voting for their Gut Check hopefuls after many of the wrestlers were using "methods destructive to the sanctity of the vote" to add votes to their totals. In some cases hopeful wrestlers were adding several hundred votes per hour, some by using "bots" before TNA decided to shut things down.
The idea of the Gut Check vote was for fans to choose their favorite of the hopefuls and who were the most deserving to advance in bracket format with the winners getting a shot to make the TNA roster. Initially the vote was to be restricted to one per day but that was quickly abandoned when it was discovered it was possible to vote more than once especially for the same wrestler. When TNA learned a user could record multiple votes the company "opened the voting" which led to the abuse that eventually shut the contest down.
TNA has chosen to end the contest with a promise to revisit at a later date with a better system in place to prevent this kind of "cheating" next time.
While many veteran wrestlers are laughing not only at the workers who were hopeful but at the abysmal way TNA handled the Gut Check "tournament" there are a great number of indie workers who were counting on an opportunity to possibly work for TNA. Social Media has been a sounding board for many who say a wrestler has to "bust their ass" in order to make it in the business all without realizing professional wrestling has evolved and there are no longer territories from which to learn and hone your craft and fewer veterans who are available and willing to teach newcomers.
Gut Check, while not a new concept, could have been a salvation for TNA and was an opportunity for the company to grasp onto up-and-coming workers who would solidify TNA for years where talent is concerned. Ohio Valley Wrestling has an excellent track record for producing stars including almost half of the current WWE roster and OVW is currently training workers for TNA. There are many who were listed on the Gut Check list who would benefit greatly from the experience in OVW and would be ready to move to the main roster in six months to a year.
For many the mishandling of the Gut Check voting may be the end of their dreams and for some the end of their career while for TNA it is opportunity lost.
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