TNA Gut Check vote revived, but things are still screwy

TNA Gut CheckJanuary saw TNA launch its Gut Check Challenge with the promise that the winner of the vote would be offered a chance of a match on Impact Wrestling and an evaluation from the judges, which could lead to a TNA contract. However, things were a mess from the start.

Without consulting the people who had taken part in their sessions in the US, Canada and the UK, the company put personal details of the wrestlers on their website – real names, professions, home towns – leading to some such as Mia Svensson going with it, but saw others like Courtney Rush show anger for a breach of confidence. On top of that, you could vote before the actual poll began – not that it counted – and the official start date was moved on three occasions.

Some wrestlers like LuFisto lobbied hard for votes. Her campaigning in particular was so successful that she was leading her bracket by a country mile, but then the next mess-up occurred when a glitch meant that people could register multiple votes, meaning that LuFi went from leading the bracket to a distant fifth. TNA went with it until realising that the vote was being royally skewed, and shelved the whole thing in mid-February. By that point, a number of wrestlers – including Athena – had washed their hands of the whole debacle – but now, it’s back.

According to the press release, the brackets have been rearranged with each one running for three days starting from April 4, and the winners advance to a final poll, with the overall victor getting the live Gut Check match. However, the number of women involved has nosedived.

Foxy Roxy (Bracket 9), Kowgirl Kissey (11), LuFisto (11), Luscious Latasha (12), Mia Svensson (12) and Starr (15) are included, while Shanna (2) and Nikki Storm (13) – who were part of the recent Nottingham session – have been added. So that’s eight names – though in the original vote, there were no less than sixteen women involved. What happened to the rest – such as Niya, Lylah Lodge and Tina San Antonio, for example?

Ivelisse VelezWe have been in touch with a number of women who have been part of Gut Checks to see if there was any reason why they were left out. Apparently TNA sent through emails asking former participants if they wanted to be added to the poll – and presumably all who said yes have been included, and those who said no were left out. However, others did not know they weren’t part of the new vote until we got in touch with them, and were surprised to find out that they had been omitted. As a result, women who may have wanted to be part of the Gut Check Challenge have missed out – possibly because they did not see the email, had it go into a junk folder or never received any notification at all.

Consequently, it’s another botched Gut Check vote – but even if it was all in order, just how legit is it?

As explained in the (frankly, excellent) Rise of the Aces and Eights videos, Bully Ray revealed that Wes Brisco‘s Gut Check win was part of a storyline, meaning that TNA is not above using the process as a plot development, rather than as a legitimate talent search, which makes you question just how seriously we should take all of this. Compounding that is the most recent Gut Check where despite winning their match, Ivelisse Velez was passed over in favour of the defeated contestant Lei’D Tapa – who ended up winning the contract. There’s not an argument about Tapa’s win, but to overlook the person who won the match was a terrible decision that hurt the contest’s legitimacy.

A number of wrestlers have rejected the whole contest, while others – such as current World Of Stardom Champion Alpha Female (someone who was very keen to be part of TNA) – are not part of the proceedings, while others may be reluctant to push as hard for votes this time after the previous one ended in such a farce. In addition, it doesn’t seem to matter what you bring to the table – the decision on if you will be successful may not be above board, or may only make the wrestler a pawn in a plot device. For a number of reasons, the attraction of this Gut Check Challenge has faded, and makes you wonder how much stock anyone should put in it.

If you were part of the original Gut Check and are not anymore – for whatever reason – we would love to hear your thoughts. Send us an email and we will treat it in the strictest confidence.

– Lee Burton


8 thoughts on “TNA Gut Check vote revived, but things are still screwy

  1. Wait isn’t LuFisto still in this contest as well in Bracket 11? Still it’s a shame to see the likes of Athena and Jessie Kaye not included, but seeing as how TNA handled the last voting, I dont blame them for not accepting. I’ll still vote for the women listed for the sake of them having a better chance at winning, but I won’t hold my breath for anything to come from this contest either.


  2. Lylah Lodge is already in OVW. Yeah she might get on TV for a gutcheck, but she’d be sent right back to OVW where she already is. She’s great, people need to check her out…she’s not your typical diva…she’s very strong, slilled, and cares very much about improving her wrestling…I think she’s quite beautiful as well.


  3. To be honest, I am really not surprised that a lot of the girls have declined. The way that people in the first round, that was a big deal to some and nothing to others it seems, were treated was not right in my honest opinion. Coming from a small town I would not want my REAL name and TOWN as well as OCCUPATION and what not revealed. You never know what “stans” could do with that info especially with some of the more familiar names. I think the main issue with that was not the fact that people’s info was used but rather the fact that they were not asked. When applying there was a CLEAR statement that said after accepted you had to sign a liability waiver (which you had to print out, sign and upload photo evidence, as well as sign one AGAIN at the actual seminar) AND a MEDIA RELEASE! However at the seminar I attended there was no media release passed around to sign and there was not one previously online either. I don’t know how other seminars worked. But if people did sign the media release I assume (as I didn’t see, nor sign one) would mean TNA COULD technically do that without the person’s permission. Although I still don’t think that is right in any way!
    Another reason I think many have turned it down is because it didn’t seem legit. The whole way the original was treated seemed rather shady and the fact that the recent gutcheck match on impact was two people who hadnt even taken the seminar (well Lei’d Tapa may of but I didnt hear anything so I’m just assuming she wasn’t)and both got contracts even though Iveliesse wasn’t disqualified or said no to or whatever. To be honest I think that TNA will sign who TNA want to sign. I think that while the seminars/tryouts in person is a good thing and gives people (like myself) who would not of been on TNA’s radar otherwise is great and an amazing oppurtunity. I just don’t think the challenge is a legitame way into the company. I’m not sure if the rule has changed as I really don’t care about the contest or that company at all anymore, but in the original I know that the company wasnt offering a contract to the winner of the challenge, just a match.
    For the girls who arent on it there are a number of reasons. Maybe they got other oppurtunities within wrestling or would rather do what they are doing on the independents. Maybe the WWE has interest in them and they don’t want to ruin that by being with their rival. Maybe there is personal reasons behind it. Maybe they didnt like the way the previous contestants or even themselves were treated with the personal info thing. Or maybe they just wouldnt want to work for a company like that. They will ONLY hire who they want to at the end of the day. I personally would not like to be involved because of many OTHER reasons than I listed above, as well as some of them listed.
    For those that ARE involved though I wish them the best of luck and don’t blame them for being involved. But in my honest opinion I feel like TNA is more interested in trying to sign ex divas than indy talent at the momeny anyway and that’s a very sad thing. As I said (or maybe I didn’t I can’t really remember what I’ve said and what I haven’t by now LOL) this is all my opinion and I guess no one will really know unless the said girls speak out about it.
    Great article though!


  4. ivelesse? is on the knockouts PPV so looks like she got a contract after all. i think of the whole gut check as a story line esp seeing as seeing vetrans like joey ryan winning contracts from it.


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