Formed in late 2008, the original Main Event Mafia consisted of Kurt Angle, Sting, Booker T, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner. All multiple-time World Heavyweight Champions, who went on to capture and hold hostage every TNA title known to man. What led to their formation was the perceived disrespect from the youngster wrestlers on the roster, who would later band together as the 'TNA Frontline'. The Mafia ran together for a solid two years and saw multiple additions to their ranks, including the likes of Samoa Joe, Taz and Traci Brooks. However, the group eventually fell apart after losing all their Championships and several members leaving the company. Despite being a Heel faction for the entirety of their existence, 'The Icon' Sting is currently seeking to reform the Main Event Mafia as heroes to defeat current villains, Aces & Eights, once and for all. Taking this into account, we thought we'd take a look at the likely candidates for Sting's new army!
The only known current member and presumed leader of the new group. 'The Icon' was the leader of the original group for a short spell, but was quickly ousted by Kurt Angle, even while holding the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Sad as it is to admit, Sting is getting up there in years and can no longer perform to the standard we once knew. He was recently defeated by Aces & Eights leader Bully Ray at Slammiversary and as a result of a stipulation of the match, he can no longer challenge for the World Title. Here's hoping this allows Sting to fall back into a figurehead role, acting as the mouthpiece of the group, but no longer fighting their battles.
Kurt Angle - Definitely
As a former member and leader of the original group, the Olympic Gold Medalist would be an obvious choice for recruitment. He's recently been embroiled in a feud with disenchanted poster-boy AJ Styles, but after two bouts in short succession, this conflict may have reached it's end. For the past few weeks, Angle has been far more concerned with the debut of MMA star Rampage Jackson. But as hot as this feud may be, Jackson is still far from ring-ready and will be away from Impact Wrestling for a number of months to train in developmental territory, OVW. This leaves a huge gap in Angle's schedule and barring another feud rearing it's head, he has nothing better to do than put a stake through the heart of the monster that is Aces & Eights.
Samoa Joe - Prospect
Another former member and ideally situated for recruitment. Having already been caught up in the war against Aces & Eights, Samoa Joe still has a burning hatred for the group and would love to see them fail. He's also not currently involved in any notable feud and could be drafted in a heartbeat. God only knows his career could use the attention. Since his World Heavyweight Championship heyday, the Samoan Submission Machine has been pretty much left idle. He's had runs with the Television and Tag Team Championships, but no real program of substance. A high profile angle such as this would be the perfect way to get his floundering career back on track.
Jeff Hardy - Definitely
My first surprise pick! He would never have fit in with the original group (god only knows we don't need another Hardy heel turn), but with the Main Event Mafia returning as a Face faction, I feel it's a dead cert that everyone's favourite Charismatic Enigma will side with the Stinger. Not only is he a loyal fan favourite, but he's been butting heads with Aces & Eights since the Lockdown pay-per-view in March, where he lost his World Heavyweight Championship to their leader, Bully Ray. Even when it came to the return bout in a Hardy-speciality Ladder match, the Bully used underhanded tactics to keep his dirty paws on the title. If anyone wants to see Aces & Eights fall more than Sting, it's got to be Hardy.
James Storm & Gunner - Maybe
Let me get this out of the way to begin with - Gunner would be a terrible fit for the Main Event Mafia. He's never been a World Champion, he was a terrible Television Champion and he's been a pretty piss poor Tag Team Champion. But what he does have is James Storm's coattails. Gunner has zero credibility on his own, but pair him with a fan-favourite, multi-time Champion like Storm and he's got a golden ticket. Frankly, Storm's own career has been in a bit of a funk lately, never being able to live up to his feud from last year with former partner Bobby Roode. But through drafting these two, you secure the Tag Team Championships, both within TNA and within the Main Event Mafia itself. Also, the Tag Team Division appears to be on the brink of falling apart. Roode, Aries, Daniels, Kazarian and Hernandez have all qualified for the Bound for Glory Series and will be focusing on singles competition for the foreseeable future. This leaves the Tag Team Champions with no challengers, making it an opportune time to involve them with the Aces & Eights feud.
These six men strike me as the most likely choices for the resurrected Main Event Mafia. Five former World Champions is a nice solid foundation for the group. Of course, there are other candidates that could easily fit in with their objectives. AJ Styles would be a brilliant addition, but he's far more concerned with himself these days and any involvement with a group would contradict his attitude. Similarly, Abyss would serve multiple purposes, what with being the current Television Champion and Monster in his own right, but Joseph Park seems to be the one getting the attention right now. Matt Morgan would make for a fantastic wildcard to the group, but having no significant title reigns on his resume, I'd hate to dilute the concept any more than by including Gunner. If Sting was really smart, he'd recruit current X Division Champion Chris Sabin, who is due a World Title shot at the upcoming Destination X. If the Mafia play their cards right, they could bring the Championship home in one foul swoop.