This is obviously the big story, so let’s break this down piece by piece. Let’s start with the original source, which is Davey Boy Meltzer himself. Meltzer wrote that “there were forces attempting to sell IMPACT Wrestling” to the group creating All Elite Wrestling. This is alleged to be some time back, as it was prior to All Elite filing trademarks. It’s safe to say that this is an old story.
The context implies that Anthem want’s out of the wrestling game. However this isn’t a new report, necessarily. Last year around this time, after Jeff Jarrett relapsed and the merger between Global Force and then TNA/IMPACT fell apart, Anthem was looking to get rid of IMPACT then (allegedly). There were reports that Ring of Honor and Billy Corgan had been contacted. Who’s to say that was all there was?
More to the point, as Christopher McManus pointed out, things have changed drastically for Anthem in the following year. McManus cites Meltzer by saying;
The report from Dave Meltzer stated that with The Fight Network losing UFC at the beginning of the year, Anthem still has good reason to keep IMPACT around.
In other IMPACT news, this is more specific though, Joe Hendry is done with pro wrestling. While it’s not out right stated, this is probably the cause to why he hasn’t been booked recently. On Defiant Wrestling’s 3rd episode of Loaded, Hendry announced he was walking away from pro wrestling to pursue his MMA goals, saying;
He who tries to have it all ends up with nothing. I’m 30 years old. I’ve got some goals to achieve. If CM Punk can compete in the UFC then why can’t Joe Hendry? Maybe it’s time to go down the mixed martial arts route. I’m a two-time British amateur wrestling champion, and I know it’s possible. Whether it’s UFC, Bellator or BAMMA, this is something I can do. I want every single one of you to come with me.
They tried to get him to go to ALL IN, like, over-the-top, and he wouldn’t do it. He wanted to make his debut for Dragon Gate.
FYI: The lettering on the weight belt is the same custom typeface used on the Jags’ website and branding. Notice the T,B,A,C. pic.twitter.com/TU6FnFVh9p
— Bill Pritchard (@bpritchard152) December 28, 2018
On to Major League Wrestling news, the company has announced that Teddy Hart has formally signed a contract with the promotion, that should limit his availability elsewhere. Court Bauer, MLW’s owner, commented on the signing, by saying;
I love a good comeback story. Teddy has lived up to his end and has brought it in every match. He’s hands down one of the most talented wrestlers of his generation and his commitment to MLW has been exceptional so we’re committing to him.
Teddy had been known as being hard to work with, and being unreliable, which ended stints in IMPACT Wrestling, WWE and Ring of Honor, so it’s good to see Hart getting the chance. He is obviously the nephew of Bret Hart and is currently in a group with his cousin Davey BoyJr. and family friend Brian Pillman Jr., who’s father Brian Pillman Sr. was part of the Hart Foundation back in 1997.
WWE’s turnaround may not happen with the current regime. Usually a strong offering for the company, The Madison Square Garden post-Christmas show is always a big gate for the promotion. However, the 20,000+ seat venue wasn’t even at half capacity this year, with barely 12,000 fans in attendance. This continues the streak of failed-sell out attempts at their home arena, something that should be seen as a troubling, but in conjunction with the next piece of news, is downright terrifying.
The WWE’s flagship show RAW had it’s lowest rating ever for RAW on Christmas Eve. “But Chad!”, you shout expecting me to care. “It’s Christmas! The ratings are supposed to be low!” And you’d be right, voices in my head. However, last year’s
It’s fair to say the new era is already turning fans off. Last year ON CHRISTMAS, RAW pulled in 2.7 million viewers.
This year, on Christmas Eve, a traditionally less busy night during the holiday season, pulled in a pathetic 1.7.
Down a million viewers.
— NerdCorp (@NerdCorp) December 28, 2018
When you lose a million viewers over a year, coupled with poor tickets at a guarantee hit? The New Era sure smells like the old one.
In minor news, Pat McAfee has re-signed with WWE, and will continue to serve as a pre-show mouth piece for NXT Takeover events and other WWE duties. According to Wrestlezone; he announced the deal on his show. I didn’t know he had a show, so there’s that.
WWE has formally offered me a multi-year contract. Who knows what we’re going to be doing over there, they just want me to come make some content. And we’ll see where it goes.
…I am very excited for this. This is a dream come true.