By Ryan Frye
The word impact is described as having a strong effect on someone or something. And for over a decade, making an impact has become a way of life for the athletes of IMPACT Wrestling. In this TNAsylum exclusive series, we’ll take a look at some of the most impactful moments from TNA’s past and present product, all in an attempt to preview what has yet to come.
This post-Slammiversary edition of INSTANT IMPACT will primarily focus on Jeff Jarrett returning to TNA, reclaiming his crown as King of the Mountain, and the possible Global Force takeover that awaits TNA.
For thirteen years, there's been constant whispers, constant chatter as to what the future of TNA is. However, over the course of the past year, these whispers have grown as loud as ever. So much so that they could hardly be considered whispers at this stage.
It began with Spike, TNA's television partner of nine years, declining to renew IMPACT Wrestling late last year. And while IMPACT would find a new home on Destination America beginning in January of this year, it only took a matter of months for rumors of IMPACT's second cancellation in twelve months to begin circulating. Currently, according to the Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, IMPACT Wrestling will again be without a home come the end of September.
Throughout all of this, TNA has reportedly been late to pay members of its production staff and roster, which has only made matters worse.
Countless names have left TNA, including wrestlers that were once synonomous with the brand: AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Samoa Joe, for instance, are all gone. There's a cavalcade of others, too, none more prominent than Jeff Jarrett.
Jarrett departed from the company he and his father once founded in December of last year, and began building a new wrestling promotion—Global Force Wrestling.
For months, Jarrett and GFW were said to be public enemy number one for TNA. But this past Wednesday on a live edition of IMPACT Wrestling, that was proven to be incorrect when Jeff, with his wife Karen, uncerimoniously walked down to the ring.
The reaction, overwhelmingly, was shock. Jarrett claimed that he'd address other aspects of the situation later, but he was there to announce that at Slammiversary—the thirteenth anniversary of the company that was once his—he'd walked down TNA's aisle one more time. He was entering the King of the Mountain match. This match would later be revealed to be for the new King of the Mountain Championship.
On Sunday night, Jarrett would win the match he created in the main event of Slammiversary. This left even more questions to be answered after a bit of bizzare night to begin with. Like, for example, what happens to the newly created championship?
Going into the weekend, rumors of various departures floated around the internet. Austin Aries, Magnus and James Storm being the most prevelant.
Prior to his match, Magnus stated "Tonight, the smart money is, is that two of TNA's biggest and brightest stars shine bright on pay-per-view for the last time." Not only this, but on Monday Magnus officially signed with Global Force Wrestling.
And after his match with the aforementioned Magnus, James Storm seemed to thank the crowd. Despite this, Dixie Carter confirmed on Twitter that both men were scheduled for the July tapings, and it's been reported that they'll remain on IMPACT television, but they'll be paid per appearance. But if so, why are they seemingly saying goodbye?
Many have stated that in its entirety, Slammiversary seemed to have finality to it, almost like a farewell show. Granted, it's an anniversary show, but a black cloud most definitely looms over TNA more than ever. Even Josh Mathews alluded to uncertainty in the close of the show.
So, why would TNA be playing up these rumors?
A GLOBAL FORCE TAKEOVER?
Nobody knows what's actually going on with TNA and Global Force Wrestling, but there's validity to believing that it's far more than Jeff Jarrett having a proper farewell.
It could be a working relationship, an invasion angle, or a complete purchase of TNA by the Jarretts and a rebranding to boot. Wild speculation? Absolutely, but also interesting possibilities to consider.
What's undeniable, though, is the irony of the man that started TNA, and was exiled not long ago, has now returned to the scene and may hold the fate of the company in the palm of his hands.