The list of Impact Wrestling talent continues to dwindle down and head further towards a negative direction. The biggest blow started with Matt and Jeff Hardy. Now, they have ascended up to WWE, after having a short stint in Ring of Honor as they continue their Expedition of Gold. After much speculation of making a return, The Hardy Boyz were the surprise entrants into the Raw Tag Team Championship ladder match, which included then-champions Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, Sheamus & Cesaro, and Enzo & Big Cass. The Hardyz were able to win the tag team titles at WrestleMania 33, after nearly a decade away from the company as a duo.
Impact Wrestling’s mass exodus of names continued, as another former champion, Drew Galloway, also departed. Returning to his Drew McIntrye name, he was seen at ringside during NXT TakeOver: Orlando, and was later confirmed that he has returned to the company as a roster member for NXT. With Shinsuke Nakamura now on SmackDown, it looks like McIntrye may now be the top babyface for the company, potentially feuding with champion Bobby Roode.
Now, as of last weekend, another major name is gone from the company. While in WWE, Damien Sandow spent a majority of his career over the last few years as a copycat sidekick of The Miz. While it first was annoying to fans, it became so hilarious that he started to get the biggest cheers of every event. His character became so popular that, when he eliminated The Miz during the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, the crowd erupted in cheers. Unfortunately, he was eliminated by The Big Show, which quickly faded his cheers.
WWE was never really able to capitalize on his organic success and failed to make Sandow anything bigger than an enhancement talent. He would become a parody team with Curtis Axel, as Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan, respectively, but did not gain enough steam to be a credible pairing. As a result, Sandow was released from his contract.
Sandow would make a debut for Impact Wrestling in the summer of 2016 as Aron Rex, promising to make a name for himself in the company and create opportunities that WWE failed to give him. The fans were behind him, but his support started to fade when he was also poorly booked by Impact Wrestling. Although he would win the newly-created Impact Wrestling Grand Championship, his stock in the company plummeted, and he made a failed attempt to re-debut as a flamboyant character with Rockstar Spud at his side.
One again being poorly booked for another major company, Sandow told Title Match Wrestling on an interview during WrestleMania weekend that he is no longer with Impact Wrestling, and is not definitely sure that he will return to the ring at all (h/t Wrestling Inc).
— AttitudeOfAggression (@AttitudeAgg) January 19, 2017
“I don’t know if this is going to be it for me, because you know I’m no longer with Impact. Ending on this note is not a bad thing. I’m not saying that I’m never going to get in the ring again, but this is pretty cool and I’d much rather have people remember me for all the good stuff.”
Sandow would clarify on Twitter that he is not going to retire, but is endeavoring into other projects
I never said retirement. I'm just doing some other stuff for a while. One thing I will never do is lie to you guys. #KeepinIt????
— Aron Stevens (@AronsThoughts) April 5, 2017
Unfortunately, Sandow is a prime example of how one bad booking decision can ruin a person’s entire career. In 2013, Sandow won the Money in the Bank match to have an automatic shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Statistically, Sandow was groomed to win his first world championship. However, Sandow became the first person to lose cleanly after cashing in the case by being defeated by John Cena. Although he did manage to gain stock back by his Damien Mizdow character, it only lasted for a short period of time, and Sandow never reached a reasonable status again.
[Featured Image By WWE]