While TNA should be the second-biggest sports entertainment company in the world today, that distinction is arguable with New Japan and Ring of Honor, most notably, nipping at their heels. WWE is clearly the dominant entity in the industry, but even the giant has been forced to change its own tune lately due to poor ratings and online backlash. Two years ago, several WWE officials, including Triple H, were noted as saying that they’d be steering clear of signing anyone from TNA’s roster when their respective contracts expired. What a difference now.
Over the last year and change, the WWE has signed the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Eric Young and at one point, James Storm after their runs with TNA. Storm had a very brief stint with NXT before returning to TNA this past January. Joe, Aries, Roode, and Young all reported to NXT while Styles headed straight to the WWE’s main roster in what has been a memorable first five months for the Phenomenal One.
But now, is it TNA’s turn to turn the tables? Former WWE superstars Matt and Jeff Hardy, Drew Galloway, Lashley and Tyrus (to name a few) have all jumped ship to TNA, and it appears TNA may have some interest in some more of Vince McMahon’s castaways. While the WWE is about to embark on its biggest roster of all time, they’ve executed a talent purge as well, just in May alone. The WWE brand split is set to launch in July, further-signifying a new era; but, many were left behind with rumors of more releases expected in the coming days.
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) May 23, 2016
TNA president Dixie Carter was a recent guest of The Fan Garage, where she got hit with hard-hitting questions about the company’s future and the non-stop rumors of TNA’s demise. But, interestingly enough, she was also asked about those aforementioned former WWE stars who might be looking for work, and if TNA would have any interest in them.
“Many believe that our actual roster and their wrestling are best in the business. So we are always on the lookout for new talent. In the last few years, we focused on growing home-grown talent. A lot of new talent like EC III, Rock star Spud, Eli Drake, and Bram, there are so many and I could go on. They’ve grown so much but I think we also did a fantastic job with people like Drew Galloway who was at the WWE and came in and completely relaunched himself. There are definitely some incredibly talented wrestlers on the market right now and some will be available at some part of this year. And I do see ourselves talking to them. I think it would be exciting to bring a few into TNA.”
While she didn’t mention anyone specifically by name, the stars that have been discussed as potentially signing with Dixie and heading to TNA include Damien Sandow, Alex Riley, Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes. Sandow, Hornswoggle and Zeb Colter (who were also released along with Cameron, Santino, El Torito and Christian) have already found work on the independent circuit. Barrett has maintained that he will be taking a significant amount of time off, but you’d have to imagine that he’d fit immediately into the TNA main event scene if he were to join those ranks.
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) May 27, 2016
In Cody Rhodes’ lengthy statement after his release was granted, he ended it by saying, “As far as the future is concerned though, I’m a wrestler. So that’s what I’ll do…wrestle.” Cody made it well-known that he wants to continue performing in the ring and perhaps TNA could be the place to allow him to do the things WWE did not. The other WWE superstar who could potentially land in the Impact Zone is Ryback. The Big Guy is most likely sitting out the remaining months of his contract. He got the Internet buzzing last week by sending out a tweet before the start of Extreme Rules, asking fans if they’d like to see him (and a new name, Ryborg) in TNA.
[Image via TNA/Impact Wrestling]