After his brief appearance at NXT Takeover: Dallas, former Total Nonstop Action (TNA) superstar Bobby Roode is reportedly signed to a WWE contract, according to Wrestling Inc.
The deal with WWE was reportedly signed one week before Roode was shown on-camera during NXT’s big show during Wrestlemania 32 weekend. In addition to his appearance at the NXT event, Roode was also backstage at Wrestlemania 32 and was “introducing himself to a lot of people.”
As Wrestlemania 32 was underway, Roode cryptically referred to WWE and their welcoming atmosphere over the weekend.
Great experience tonight. Certainly appreciate the hospitality. Looking forward to what on the horizon……. #Staytuned
— Bobby Roode (@REALBobbyRoode) April 4, 2016
Roode, 39, officially departed from TNA, along with Eric Young, on March 19 after spending the last 12 years of his career with the promotion. During his tenure with TNA, Roode achieved every conceivable accolade, winning the TNA World Heavyweight champion (two times), TNA Tag Team championship (six times), NWA Tag Team championship (two times), TNA King of the Mountain championship (once), and the 2011 Bound for Glory Series.
Just after the departure became official, Roode spoke to the Peterborough Examiner about why he left the company.
“It felt like it was the right time. After almost 13 years in a wrestling company, I felt like there was nothing really left for me to do there. I wanted to mutually part ways. I have nothing negative to say about TNA Wrestling. They treated me very, very well. It was just a matter of me being in a part of my life where I’m not sure TNA was the right fit for me anymore. The brand has been stale for the last little while and the growth wasn’t there as it was in the early years.”
Despite his success in several tag teams, including Team Canada and Beer Money, Roode cemented himself as one of TNA’s top singles performers earlier in the decade. He feuded with several top names in TNA over the past five years and is following in the footsteps of some of his past colleagues.
— WWE (@WWE) April 2, 2016
Names such as Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, and AJ Styles departed from TNA and eventually made their way to WWE. Outside of Styles, all of those competitors are currently NXT superstars. Roode’s former partner in Beer Money, James Storm, also made a few appearances with NXT last year before re-signing with TNA.
— James Storm (@JamesStormBrand) October 21, 2015
Since TNA tapes their television shows in bunches, several weeks of episodes are ready to go. Therefore, even though Roode is no longer under TNA contract, he and Storm are technically still the TNA Tag Team champions, having won the titles on the March 8 edition of IMPACT. The remaining episodes of Roode’s run with TNA are scheduled to air in the coming weeks.
While Roode is nearing 40-years-old, an advanced age in the industry, his reputation as a talented veteran ensured that several promotions would have interest. Outside of his TNA stint, Roode had previously wrestled in a bevy of dark (non-televised) matches for WWE and was a mainstay on the independent circuit. During his interview with the Peterborough Examiner, Roode was not sure where his future was but he knew what the legacy he wants to leave behind is.
“People always ask me what I want to be remembered by when I do hang them up. It’s to have the respect from everybody I’ve worked with that I’m a professional. I wanted to go out the professional way.”
Roode is expected to debut with NXT in the coming weeks.
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