Former WWE Superstar Alberto Del Rio has officially signed with TNA Wrestling and even made a huge impression at the latest set of television tapings the likes no one expected. Del Rio, of course under his independent name of Alberto El Patron, had been in talks with TNA Wrestling in the past. In fact, he was in talks last year around the time he left the WWE, but things did not work out.
The original plan was that he would be offered a high contract of $300,000 and he would be guaranteed a run with the TNA World Championship almost immediately upon his signing with the company. Talks stalled when Jeff Jarrett and Anthem Sports and Entertainment took over, which caused Alberto Del Rio to consider other plans for his career.
However, when Matt and Jeff Hardy left on top of Drew Galloway this week, TNA knew they had to bring in top names. In fact, there is even a rumored plan that TNA might bring in Jim Ross to replace Josh Mathews, the self-proclaimed best announcer in the world. However, this is not confirmed, although an announce table shake-up is set to happen. Anthem was most likely willing to pay out a bit more to bring in Alberto Del Rio because they needed him badly with major losses.
With TNA’s top guys leaving over disrespect and contract issues, along with other up and comers like Mike Bennett and Jade, the need for more talent was obvious. TNA brought back ODB for the tapings and Alberto Del Rio may not be the only top name TNA is going after. Rumors have them going after Rey Mysterio as well, but nothing is confirmed for him at this point.
Rumors started to run rampant the moment Anthem VP Ed Nordholm tweeted out a photo of Alberto Del Rio. The plan was to keep his debut with TNA a secret, because that’s how it should have been. However, Anthem, never having apparently handled things like this, did not tell Ed to keep things to himself. Thus, he put out the photo and got people talking.
Rumors turned out to be true when Alberto Del Rio showed up to the tapings. During them, his original contract discussion of winning the TNA World Championship came to fruition. He would shock the world with his big World Title win, and automatically help to establish himself as the top guy of the new TNA Wrestling.
Unshockingly, WWE Superstar and fiance of Alberto Del Rio Paige was backstage. Obviously Paige is still under WWE contract despite trying to quit and get fired in 2016 by failing multiple drug tests back to back. Paige is expected to return to WWE in a few months, but her deal with WWE is quite long and it is unlikely they will release her. This means Paige joining Alberto in TNA seems doubtful, at least for now.
Due to recent departures, it likely that TNA starts to go after a few big names. The issue with the original names was that the contracts offered were pretty low in comparison to what was being offered. The ones that were given a guaranteed salary saw an addition of a 10 percent royalty on all independent bookings a talent took on. This is what ultimately led to Matt Hardy turning down his TNA deal.
It’ll be interesting if Anthem and TNA management will be willing to offer more money to bring in more top names and also remove their percent fee for them as well. Most all TNA Superstars works the independent scene due to the ability to make more money on top of the fact that TNA does mass tapings, giving them more time to take the bookings on. If TNA did realize their issues and found a way to work them out, we could see some interesting names join Alberto Del Rio in TNA soon.
[Featured Image by WWE]