12 years. Can you imagine what you’re doing 12 years ago? It’s probably pretty different than what you’re doing now. In this day and age, it’s hard to stay in one place for that long. Especially in the wrestling business. But Bobby Roode and Eric Young stayed with TNA Wrestling for a dozen years going through many different transformations. And with the company itself going through a bit of a creative revitalization, it’s understandable that these two stalwarts of the company have decided to go in different ways. Life is change. And sometimes it is best to know when to say goodbye moving on in the next stage of your career.

TNA has been dealing with a lot of departures from the roster in the last few years. Names like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Samoa Joe, Sting, Kurt Angle, Austin Aries all spring to the forefront. But none I think are more important than Bobby Roode and Eric Young. Similar to when The Radicalz left WCW in the early 2000, the two Canadian superstars were the work horses will of the TNA brand for many years. Whether it was as Team Canada or later during the singles run, Young and Roode were go to guys for the company to make the card have substance and be entertained.Both men had great wrestling skills but it took them a while to find themselves personalities.

While Bobby Roode was proficient as an in ring general, he felt bland and uninteresting. He was a throwback to a bygone era. For a while, he was the new Tully Blanchard with an entourage having a focus on his abilities playing the opposite of the comedic Eric Young. Ironically, it wasn’t until Roode would explore the tag team division that he would find his “It Factor” as a performer. His teaming and subsequent feuding with James Storm, as a part of Beer Money , made him the top star for the company. This pairing gave him the ability to click with the audience like never before as a heel. Bobby still is the longest reigning champion in company history and for good reason. The old school psychology he employed as champion made him one of the greatest heels and proved how far he came as a singles performer. He would later show his greatness once again teaming with Austin Aries as The Dirty Heels really making inroads to being one of the greatest tag team competitors of the modern era.

Eric Young throughout his tenure with Impact Wrestling did everything he could for the company. Whether it be wearing a turkey suit, being a superhero, stripping down to a speedo at a moments notice or being a mad scientist. He did it all.

Unlike Roode in a lot of ways, Eric Young had an innate charisma about him that made you love every segment he was in regardless on how goofy it was. And that’s a sign of a good performer someone that gives their all to make something not good better for the television viewer. And without a doubt Eric Young did that and then some. Young always left you entertained whether it was as the lovable mascot or as the maniacal heel. The last year of the TNA career has been great seeing him be this over-the-top bad guy in the modern era where that kind of character does not exist. There is no one now in any modern televised wrestling company that had that much goodwill with the fan base as Eric. Young also found out notoriety with television as the host of “Extreme Catches Off the Hook Fishing” / “No Limits” programming on Animal Planet gaining him a new audience and appreciation outside of professional wrestling bubble.

With all that said, I think the thing that gets overlooked with Eric Young is his wrestling ability. His in ring technique and ability to sell is above and beyond amazing. I am so happy that Impact Wrestling honored him with his own TNA World Title Run. No one deserves it more.

I will be watching closely to see how TNA moves toward without these great performers. It’s an interesting time for Dixie Carter and company as this will be the most transformative year in their existence. With a lot of the established company names exiting for one reason or another, what will TNA be at the end of 2016. Currently, the company has been the on all cylinders creatively. But without the utility players of a Bobby Roode and Eric Young to build off of can TNA sustain themselves? They have a lots of great talent still there but not many homegrown stars to help anoint the new generation. Only time will tell, if TNA can find the it factor again without guys like Eric Young and Bobby Roode doing the heavy lifting.