I get that a lot of wrestling fans would mark out if Steen was involved in the Aces and 8s but is that really going to happen? Wouldn't it be a bit of a "Mask comes off - who's that fat guy" moment for 95% of TNA's audience?
If anything, TNA should be pushing hard to bring in the Briscoes, Cole, Martini and Strong. I'm as big of a Steen fan as the next guy but Steen would need to be brought in the right way for his character to work. To suggest that he come in as the VP of the Aces and Eights is dumb, due to him not having much exposure to the national audience. He'd be awesome as a member though.
I don't think 95% of the audience would have a who is he moment. TNA's fanbase is seemingly a little more knowledgeable than that of the WWE fan. Not saying a large percentage would know who he is/was either. But there would be a small percentage (probably closer to 15% than 5) who would be aware of who he is.
Most importantly is if done correctly it would work out fine. Sure in a market like NYC or Chicago you would get a louder reaction to Steen than in San Antonio. However if he came out in the final moments of the PPV to help a heel or group of heels defeat a babyface or babyfaces, you are gonna some heat. He isn't going to be out there for fans to cheer him, all you are looking for is for is that heel heat, and while masked and helping the heels go over will do that if the crowd is hot. Sure once unmasked on PPV there is a good percentage who won't know who he is but they will know he is not a good guy. He embraces the Aces show goes off the air. The announcers can easily put over who he is and make him out to be a big deal for the paying customers at home. At the tail end he wouldn't be out there for longer than 4-5 minutes if that before the show goes off the air.
Impact would be more important as it would need to be used as a tool for establishing him and luckily those fans have shown that they know a little indy wrestling (they knew exactly who Jigsaw was). Also once he appears on PPV, you may generate some interest in Florida area Indy fans to show up at Impact as it's free, so it could help some. However a promo segment on Impact (and we all know Steen can work a crowd while cutting a promo) that starts with Steen and the Aces and ends with Steen and Hogan (and the president if revealed) verbally exchanging could help generate good heat on him going forward. There is no doubt Steen could hold his own with the Hulkster and generate heat...maybe you even manufacture some easy cheap heat by having it all end with Steen spitting in Hogan's face.
Steen is every bit as good of a choice as would be the other big names available (Edge, Jericho, Batista, Goldberg) if not arguably better. The latter 2 are not very good on the mic nor in the ring, which is a bad combination. Especially in the case of Goldberg, who was still green when he left the business, does anyone really think he is going to add much to TNA outside of lackluster and short main event matches ? Add in the fact that TNA does not script so much in terms of promo's these days, does anyone truly want to hear Batista and Goldberg unscripted on a live mic ? That's a recipe for disaster. Edge and Jericho bring so much more to the table but realistically what are the chances they would have interest in TNA at this stage of their careers ?