A lot has gone down in TNA over the last few weeks. Original founder Jeff Jarrett has officially regained control of the promotion after being brought back in by the new owners Anthem Sports and Entertainment. Jarrett, in turn, has changed-up the backstage team, replacing previous Head of Creative John Gaburick with his guy Dutch Mantell – the former Zeb Colter in WWE. With the first batch of TV tapings from the new regime set to start tonight, TNA’s future direction will finally be unveiled.
And it’s going to be pretty different.
In just this week alone, top acts Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis, former World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway, current Tag Team Champions Matt and Jeff Hardy – and now the latest, former Knockouts Champion Jade – have all left the company. The way things are going, expect several other wrestlers to have departed TNA by the time this article goes live. Even people who’ve never been signed by TNA are on their way out, like PWG and Evolve wrestler Chuck Taylor:
Last night I asked for my release from Impact Wrestling. This morning they informed me I was never employed.
— Chuck Taylor (@SexyChuckieT) March 1, 2017
One of the main reasons for so many talents not resigning with TNA’s new regime appears to be negotiations going down to the wire. Reby Sky revealed the Hardys only got their finalised contracts five days before their current ones were set to expire, making them feel bullied into resigning. Drew Galloway echoed those words to the Scottish Sun, saying that although TNA’s offer to him was “one of the best in the company…the reality is that because they waited until the last second I had to turn it down.”
It seems like a bad case of timing, with many top wrestlers’ contracts expiring at the same time company management was being overhauled.
Another victim of this is Alberto Del Rio.
PWInsider are reporting the former WWE Champion was originally meant to be debuting at tonight’s Impact tapings back when John Gaburick had the book, but – rather ironically – these fell through when Double J and Del Rio’s former TexAmerica manager Mantell took over creative.
So who is going to be in the Impact Zone tonight?
Bobby Lashley, Moose, Eli Drake, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards and EC3 all resigned with TNA before Anthem took over, so they’ll presumably be the promotion’s focus point going forward. Cody Rhodes is only booked for one of four TV taping dates.
But what next for the Hardys?
After tweeting WWE stars Sasha Banks and Bray Wyatt after departing TNA, he’s now flirting with Kenny Omega – calling out The Elite and New Japan Pro Wrestling:
Did someone say MAGIC?
Myself & the NEFARIOUS #BrotherNero have eyes on The ELITE & The New Wrestling in Japan.
We’ll see you all soon. https://t.co/JzqD4DhtA5
— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 1, 2017
Meanwhile, Wrestling News World are reporting that WWE “thinks they will land Jeff with almost certainty, however they aren’t as confident with signing Matt.” Apparently WWE are willing to offer Jeff a Chris Jericho-like deal with limited dates where he only works TV, PPVs and a few house shows and they’ll give him “a monster face push if he returns.” But because Jeff doesn’t want to leave his Broken brother, “WWE has to play to Matt as much as they play to Jeff.”
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