IMPACT just wrapped up 6 days of tapings in Orlando and they were full of surprises, wrestlers wise. We’re not going to talk about titles changing hands or upcoming matches and feuds (you’ll find out about in the upcoming IMPACT reviews), but about the men and women who arrived or left.
If the company acknowledged the arrival of Austin Aries and Brian Cage, other wrestlers made their debut or their comeback. And if Chris Adonis and Laurel Van Ness announced they were leaving IMPACT, other wrestlers are officially done with the company.
As of today, Abyss and Jeremy Borash are the two only TNA originals remaining in the company, as they’ve been there since Day One and never left. The matches tapped during the last 6 days will be aired in the episodes that will lead to IMPACT next PPV, Redemption, on April 22 in Toronto, Canada.
She was already there in Ottawa tapings but the match she was apart of was not aired. This time Hania will make her IMPACT television debut as, on Day 1 of tapings, she made her presence felt. Hania The Howling Huntress has been wrestling since 2011 and was trained by Cesaro. Very popular on the independent wrestling scene, she has competed for CHIKARA, Women Superstars Uncensored, Queens of Combat, Ring of Honor, among others.
Last August, Tyrus left IMPACT because he felt he and his fans were “handcuffed and treated like a second-class citizen creatively”. It seems like IMPACT Creative answered positively to his request of being treated right as he made his comeback on Day 2. The man formerly known as Brodus Clay in WWE made his debut with TNA in 2014 and teamed up with Ethan Carter III, Matt Hardy, and Eli Drake.
She announced on Instagram she signed with IMPACT 5 months ago. Ever since, we have heard from her working with SHINE, SHIMMER, Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU). Kiera Hogan, 23, made her official debut on Day 3. In less than 3 years, she earned a great reputation on the independent circuit, working also for Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment and Queens of Combat. She’s been the current WSU Spirit Champion for more than 300 days.
Many rumours were surrounding her arrival to IMPACT Wrestling. And they were true as Su Yung made her debut on Day 4. Since 2008, she has made her way through the independent scene with this mysterious gimmick of “The Undead Bride”. She signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2010 and wrestled for FCW as Sonia, but was released the following year. Rich Swann’s wife has been working with SHIMMER since 2011 and SHINE since 2012, but at the same time has worked with every possible indy promotion in USA. She also wrestled in China, Japan and United Kingdom.
Ethan Carter III
Three wrestlers have their contracts coming to an end this year, EC3, Bobby Lashley and Eddie Edwards. Even if his contract was due to end in the summer, Carter’s been given an early release and left the company after Day 4. After he quitted WWE in 2013, EC3 found a home in IMPACT Wrestling, where he made his debut as Dixie Carter’s spoiled nephew. A 2-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion and a one-time IMPACT Grand Champion, Carter has been really important as he stayed when the company was in the eye of the storm, business wise. This time, it seems like the game is over. It is said some expert eyes in Stamford, Connecticut, were expecting his release to happen in order to sign him as quickly as possible…
It was the huge surprise of Day 5, when Lashley said goodbye to the crowd and bowed to them on the ramp, indicating this was his final appearance. After being released by WWE in 2008, Lashley made his mixed martial arts debut and has worked with many promotions ever since. He signed with Bellator a few months after he made his comeback with TNA in 2014 (he had a first run with TNA in 2009 but left the following year to concentrate on MMA). In 2016 he was THE man, so indestructible he was at the same time X-Division, King of the Mountain and World Heavyweight Champion. His interest for MMA was recently attached to a storyline in which he was supposed to quit wrestling for MMA. Time will tell if storyline becomes reality or if Lashley will emerge in another wrestling company.
He was backstage during the first days of tapings to help the backstage teams as Sonjay Dutt was unable to be in Orlando after undergoing a foot surgery for a torn Achilles tendon. But on Day 6 of tapings, the Hardcore Legend and soul of ECW made a surprise appearance. We don’t know yet if Dreamer is back on IMPACT for one match or more, but the “House of Hardcore” words associated to his comeback could let think a partnership between IMPACT and Dreamer’s promotion could be in the works. Dreamer was apart of TNA from 2010 to 2011, and then from 2013 to 2015.
Another surprise from Day 6, Steiner also made an appearance in the Impact Zone. Like for Dreamer, we don’t know yet if he’s back on IMPACT for one match or more. But Big Poppa Pump, 55, said he would always come back to IMPACT every time they will ask him to, mostly when it’s time to beat up any wrestler. He was recently involved in the announcers feud, teaming with Josh Mathews against Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park at Slammiversary XV. Steiner was a major asset of TNA between 2006 and 2010, then in 2011 and 2012.