Three Top TNA Stars Could Be On Their Way To WWE

As previously noted on the site, Drew Galloway’s deal with TNA is up next month. Galloway did an interview last week where he noted that he has some decisions to make and he is looking at all options, even though he says that he has enjoyed his time in TNA. One would think that WWE would have plans for him for either the UK tournament or as a top star on Raw or Smackdown Live. I could see there being interest from New Japan Pro Wrestling as well but, as Dave Meltzer reported in the latest Wrestling Observer newsletter, NJPW has not been aggressive lately about signing new talent since they already have so many guys. Galloway will not be at the TNA tapings until the 1/7 show because he has bookings with What Culture Pro Wrestling. TNA does want to keep him and they would like to sign him to an exclusive deal.

TNA also wants to lock in the Matt and Jeff Hardy to exclusive deals but it would take a nice dollar amount to get them to agree because they are making good money on the independent scene by booking themselves. If Anthem is willing to spend to keep talent then it wouldn’t be out of the question to think that Matt and Jeff would consider staying especially since they get to call their own shots with indy bookings and they would still work a limited schedule in TNA as opposed to a full-time WWE schedule.

As noted in the Wrestling Observer newsletter, WWE wants to sign both of them. If they can keep their current gimmicks then it could be huge for their merchandise sales. The word on both Matt and Jeff is that things are in the early stages in the negotiations. Both Matt and Jeff have said publicly that their current TNA deal expires at the end of February.

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Brock Lesnar Wrestling At SmackDown Live Event In March, Match For Next Wednesday’s NXT, Ryback Releases Book

– WWE has announced that NXT Tag Team Champions Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will defend the championships against The Revival on next Wednesday’s episode of NXT on the WWE Network. Also, NXT Women’s Champion Asuka will make an announcement.

Will #TheRevival @ScottDawsonWWE & @DashWilderWWE become 3x #WWENXT #TagTeamChamps? Find out NEXT WEEK! @JohnnyGargano @ProjectCiampa

— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 5, 2017

What does your longest-reigning #NXTWomensChampion @WWEAsuka have in store for the #NXTUniverse? Find out NEXT WEEK on #WWENXT!

— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) January 5, 2017

– Originally, WWE announced that the company was going to hold a RAW live event on March 12th in New York, NY at Madison Square Garden. Advertisements have changed, and now it will be a SmackDown live event. As noted, Brock Lesnar will be wrestling at the event. Ticketmaster has changed the pre-sale code for tickets from WWERTW to WWEMSG. John Cena, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss are advertised to appear at the event.

– Former WWE star Ryback has released his first motivational book via paperback, Kindle, and Amazon. “Wake Up! It’s Feeding Time: A Professional Athlete’s Advice on How to Succeed In the Game of Life” is the title of the book. He posted the cover of the book on his Instagram account, which you can see here:

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Jeff Jarrett Reaches Deal With Anthem To Return To TNA

Jeff Jarrett has reached a deal with Anthem to return TNA, according to PWinsider. As noted, Jarrett and Ed Norholm of Anthem Media have been in talks since last month about Jarrett returning to the company that he founded. He has been in Florida this week and will be backstage at this week’s Impact Wrestling TV tapings at Universal Studios. While Jarrett is back in TNA, this doesn’t mean the end of Global Force Wrestling, which he launched in 2014, as he is still trying to TV deal in conjunction with “American Ninja Warrior” production company A. Smith & Co. Productions in Los Angeles.

Also, Dutch Mantell, who went by the name Zeb Colter in WWE, is also back in TNA and will be at the TV tapings. It’s believed that Jarrett will be working with talent as well as with the creative team. Mantel was a part of TNA’s creative team in the early days of the company.

As noted in the press release that Anthem issued on Wednesday, Dixie Carter has stepped down as Chairman and now owns a minority share of the company. It was said by one person in TNA that with Jarrett being brought back in the company is proof that Carter is done with TNA and has no power. It will be interesting to see if Jarrett appears on upcoming episodes of Impact Wrestling.

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Kyle O’Reilly Done With ROH, Is He WWE-Bound?

Former Ring of Honor World Champion Kyle O’Reilly is no longer under contract after he turned down a new contract with the company just days before NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 11 event on Wednesday, which saw O’Reilly lose the title to Adam Cole.

O’Reilly’s contract with ROH expired on December 31st, and when he was approached by the company about re-signing with them, he turned them down and noted that he plans to weigh out his other options for now. It should be noted that the promotion recently announced that O’Reilly would team with Lethal against Cody Rhodes & Adam Cole at the upcoming TV tapings on January 14th in Georgia. It possible that he still works that event under a pay-per-appearance deal.

Dave Meltzer noted in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that ROH officials expect O’Reilly to leave for WWE. He also noted that when he first won the title, the plan was not for him to lose the title so quickly but they had to take the title off of him since he was leaving the company.

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TNA Star Headed To WWE To Compete In The UK Championship Tournament

WWE announced last month that a tournament to crown the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion will take place on January 14th and 15. There will be 2 alternates and 16 tournament participants. The single-elimination tournament will air on the WWE Network.

On Thursday morning, WWE announced that TNA star Mark Andrews would compete in the tournament. Andrews goes by the name Mandrews in TNA and he had been wrestling for TNA since 2014 in their Cruiserweight division after they discovered him during their British Boot Camp series. Andrews will still continue working on independent shows but will not be working for promotions that have TV exposure so that likely means the end of his run in TNA. Most, if not all, of the names in the UK tournament are getting $20,000/year and they are still allowed to work on the independent scene.

BREAKING NEWS: #MarkAndrews of Cardiff, Wales will compete in the 16-man tournament field at the @WWEUKCT, LIVE Jan. 14-15 on @WWENetwork.

— WWE (@WWE) January 5, 2017

The competitors in the tournament are Mark Andrews, Trent Seven, Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Wolfgang, Tyson T-Bone, Tucker, Jordan Devlin, Roy Johnson, Joseph Conners, HC Dyer, Jack Starz, Sam Gradwell, James Drake, Dan Moloney, Chris Tyler, Saxon Huxley, Ringo Ryan and Tiger Ali.

The two-day tournament will air a on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15 at 8pm local time/3pm eastern on the WWE Network.

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Hatin’ On: Jeff Jarrett

All that getting to people really takes it’s toll on a man.

As a youngster, some bad guys were cool – Undertaker, Brian Pillman – they were intriguing, took no shit, and played by their own rules…and then there was Jeff Jarrett. This entire series actually owes its soul to my twelve year-old self’s desire to ball tiny fists and punch that Tennessee bleach blonde hillbilly right in his doofy slackjaw. As I’ve gotten older however, I found myself begin to appreciate those talents that truly get my blood boiling. After all, wrestling is at it’s best when there is an emotional attachment. This pinnacle of maturity and perspective has lead to an uncomfortable and paradoxical conclusion – that I both love and hate Jeff Jarrett. I hate his cheap and predictable antics to get himself heat, his never-to-be-believed repentance – that voice, his face with its ever present shit-eating grin, that chicken sausage of a finger always pointing knowingly to his doughy temple after he so much as reverses a hammerlock. This is Hatin’ On: Jeff Jarrett, because seriously, fuck that guy.

That’s J-E-Double-F, J-A-Double-R-E-Double-Oh shut the hell up.

Let’s get one thing straight, if you saw that image of Jeff Jarrett and don’t want to punch him, wrestling may not be for you. And that’s as intentional as it is a natural gift of Double J. This is the same man who married Kurt Angle’s ex-wife and then preceded to incorporate it into his storyline with Angle. This is the same man that then took Karen Angle (now Karen Jarrett) to AAA in Mexico, and thought “How can I be as offensive as possible?” and appeared in front of thousands of fans in a sombrero & poncho, winging tortillas into the crowd. Read more with this gallery of Jeff and Karen Jarrett’s Mexican Vacation.

Whenever Jeff Jarrett does turn face, a 24-hour clock starts counting down the on-air time until he inevitably shows his true colors (again, duh), and has turned heel no less than 1,769 times over the course of his career. His absolute coolest feature is the guitar – which he ripped off from Honky Tonk Man, because of course he did. Jeff Jarrett is also the lead founder of TNA along with his father, Jerry. But in creating what was then a bright and fledgling wrestling promotion, and a true potential alternative to WWE, he – in typical Jeff Jarrett fashion – hamstrung the company for a decade by deciding to call this alternative TNA. Real edgy, slap nuts.

Just fucking no.

But ol’ Double J is more calculated than you might initially believe. In AAA, he knew exactly what he was doing, and exactly what the response would be. You see, Jeff kept those tortillas in a styrofoam cooler, and when he would turn to start heckling audience members and flinging tortillas, he would hoist the cooler onto his opposite shoulder. This not only protected his blindside from his previously thrown and now returning tortillas – it also blocked most of the other trash being hurled his way too. That instant heat Jarrett garners turns otherwise forgettable 6-minute “nothing on the line but pride and future championship consideration.” matches into on-your-fucking-feet-thank-hell-the-babyface-pulled-out-the-win reactions. He’s a tremendous heel exactly because he’s such hell to look at, and even manages to be worse when he does anything at all. Before you say “But wait, hasn’t Jeff Jarrett laid out multiple old ladies with guitar shots? That’s pretty cool.” To that, I say: It was the least he could do. After all those years of suffering his presence on a weekly basis, whapping those old broads kabong-style was the least we, as fans, deserved. 

Jeff Jarrett’s moment in the sun involves hitting an old woman with a guitar. Think about that.

All of that said, there is no question Jeff Jarrett is a legend in wrestling. He is an icon – a really, really shitty icon. The kind your out-of-touch grandmother gets you for Christmas and you keep in a shoe box in your closet because it’s just so hideous to look at, and it’s existence makes you question the religion to which you belong and were brought up to love. Well, take that gaudy, ham-fisted, shitty icon out of the shoe box. Display it proudly above your front door and say “Ain’t it great?”

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BREAKING NEWS: Dixie Carter Resigns From TNA Impact Wrestling

Anthem officially announces it has acquired control of TNA Impact Wrestling. Dixie Carter resigns as chairman.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Forms Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC, Acquires Control of IMPACT Wrestling

Toronto, Canada (January 4, 2017) – Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in TNA IMPACT Wrestling, and has formed Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Anthem also owns Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 multi-platform channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, which is IMPACT Wrestling’s exclusive broadcast partner in Canada and worldwide digital partner.

“We are thrilled to have acquired TNA IMPACT Wrestling,” said Ed Nordholm, Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., the parent of Fight Network. “As we grow Anthem’s linear, digital and mobile platforms globally, top tier content with global appeal is key to that success and this acquisition is a perfect strategic addition to our portfolio. IMPACT has been a dominant wrestling brand around the world for more than a decade and we are confident that Anthem can leverage its assets and strategic partnerships to take IMPACT Wrestling to even greater heights.”

Mr. Nordholm, who has been the managing director of the IMPACT Ventures Board of Managers since October 2016, will assume the position of President of Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC. Dixie Carter will resign from her position as Chairman of Impact Ventures and join the Advisory Board of Fight Media Group, which holds all of the combat sports-related assets of Anthem, where her focus will be on the global growth of the combat sports-related brands owned by Anthem.

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WWE RAW Viewership Rebounds This Week

– According to ShowBuzz Daily, this weeks episode of WWE RAW, featuring Bill Goldberg’s return kicking off 2017, drew 3.046 million viewers.

This number is up 6.7% from last week’s 2.855 million viewers.

* First hour drew 3.042 million viewers
* Second hour drew 3.159 million viewers
* Final hour drew 2.939 million viewers

RAW was #8 on cable for the night in viewership, behind the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Cotton Bowl and four other ESPN college football programs.

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Kenny Omega On The Announcement That Changed His Career, His Vision For NJPW, More

– New Japan Pro Wrestling star Kenny Omega recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard and discussed a wide variety of topics, check out the highlights below:

On wanting to be a legend that never worked in WWE:

“I would rather be the legend that never stepped foot in WWE but was better than every single one of them and did something that none of those guys could do in their prime or could ever do if they left WWE and tried. No one is going to win ten ‘matches of the year’ in Japan, no one could. I’ve already won ten. No one could go from WWE and win one – if you did, you’d have to have a better match than me, and that isn’t going to happen. That’s the kind of pride I bring to my work. AJ is the closest guy who could do it, but I’m talking about their roster as a whole. It’s just not going to happen. That’s not just me saying that because I’m a cocky prick. That’s me saying it as a challenge because I’m pushing the barrier every single day. I’ll take all my matches against WWE’s best matches, I’ll put it up against Ring of Honor’s best matches, or whatever promotion you want, and I guarantee people will be more entertained with my matches than theirs. That is the attitude I need to carry with me. If I lose my confidence, then I’ll lose my way. And yes, I’m saying controversial things, but I’m not purposely saying them just to be controversial. I’m just one of the only guys to be speaking my true feelings.”

On his vision for NJPW:

“My vision for the company is different from what we’re seeing right now. We are using a ton of foreign talent, and it would be easy for us to cross over and extend our borders. We have talent that is looking to stay loyal and see this company grow, and I’m not just sitting on the sideline waiting to see the highest bidder. I’m committed to seeing this company grow, as well. I can be multi-cultural, multi-lingual, work a physical style, push forward entertaining storylines, and be the more worldly entertainment that the company needs. I’m also willing to accept the blame if it fails. I’m not afraid to fail, and I have no fear because I believe we can do it.”

On how his career changed:

“My career changed instantaneously with the announcement of Shinsuke, AJ, Gallows, and Machine Gun leaving in the blink of an eye. I went from being a junior—and probably set to be Kushida’s arch-nemesis until the cows came home—to suddenly being vaulted into the heavyweight title picture for the Intercontinental championship. That taught me a lesson: I couldn’t put a limit on myself. The things I wanted were finally coming true. I was finally going to get a shot against these heavyweights, the guys that had all the hype. I had to listen while people said all these different guys were the best, but I knew, if I was ever given the chance, I would be able to show everyone something new. Then I was finally in the position to do it, so I wasn’t going to just be complacent. Some guys do that—they look at this as a job, but I knew I could show something really cool that people hadn’t seen before.”

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Seth Rollins On Wrestle Kingdom 11, Bret Hart’s Emotional Return, RAW In Detroit Pre-Sale

– WWE Superstar Seth Rollins tweeted the following message on New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 11 event, check out the tweet below:

Pretty awesome to see professional wrestling on all levels alive and well all over the world. #wrestlekingdom11

— Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) January 4, 2017

– WWE RAW returns to the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI on March 13th. The pre-sale is underway, you can purchase tickets using code RAWRED. The pre-sale ends on January 5th at 10pm.

– Seen below, WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart steps back inside a WWE ring to address the WWE Universe:

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