By Thomas Albano
You may not have noticed, but the second half of last week was somewhat newsworthy in pro wrestling.
For starters, the biggest news piece is that Impact Wrestling (previously known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) is officially done after exactly 15 years and two weeks — at least as a brand. Last night’s Slammiversary XV was the final event in the history books of Impact/TNA as we know it.
The company has merged with and acquired Global Force Wrestling (GFW), founded in 2014 and headed by Jeff and Karen Jarrett, the former of whom, ironically, co-founded Impact. And while the original reports were that Impact would absorb GFW, it now is officially going to be the other way around. Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA Impact), which airs on Thursday nights on Pop, will now be rebranded as GFW Impact Wrestling.
As much of the internet wrestling fan base has stated, Jeff Jarrett must be the smartest wrestling promoter alive. As he has taken back the company he originally founded with a three-year plan. And the irony that it all started with Jeff Jarrett and everything ends and changes with Jeff Jarrett.
When asked about the merger last week, Jeff Jarrett told The Tennessean: “We’re a global brand. We have partnerships in Mexico, Japan, other places. Collectively coming together, we’ve combined forces and basically the rebrand final touches happen at Slammiversary.”
Slammiversary saw positive to mixed ratings across the board, a good sign considering Impact’s troubling times in recent years. In the main event, GFW Global Champion Alberto El Patron defeated Impact World Champion Bobby Lashley to become unified champion. Sienna unified both companies’ women’s belts, the Latin American Xchange (LAX) — entering as the tag team champions of both promotions — retained their titles, and Sonjay Dutt retained the Impact X-Division title.
It is unknown what the fate is for the X-Division and Impact Grand Championship, the two titles to not be unified at Slammiversary.
In other news:
World Wrestling All-Stars reborn?
The World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA), a touring wrestling organization that has been inactive and defunct since May 2003, has new ownership. Andrew McManus, an Australian concert promoter who founded the company, has sold WWA to a man named Wade Brewer.
The WWA was founded in 2001, following the closure of WCW and ECW, bringing the biggest names from said companies, and other noted independent workers and future stars, together for several tours in different continents. For a more in-depth look at the organization, check out this video from Brian Zane (Wrestling with Wregret):
“At the moment, the focus needs to be placed on brand awareness,” Brewer told 411Mania.com. “We’ve re-released our first two pay-per-view events for online streaming on our pivotshare account, and formed a partnership that also makes them available on the Highspots Wrestling Network. As for future events and tours, get connected with our social networks and when the time is right, you’ll be the first to receive the big announcements.”
Title Awarded in the Mae Young Classic?
A profile on Stephanie McMahon in a recent AdWeek may have spoiled that the winner of WWE’s upcoming Mae Young Classic women’s wrestling tournament may win a championship. This would be similar to last year’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament, where TJ Perkins ended up walking away the first-ever Cruiserweight Champion (not counting the cruiserweight title quietly retired in 2008).
There is also some speculation that with this leak, current NXT Women’s Champion Asuka may be called up to the main roster, with the winner of this tournament becoming new NXT Women’s Champion.
The finale of the Mae Young Classic airs live on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 10 p.m. — the current time slot of the cruiserweight-exclusive show, 205 Live. There’s no word on if this will result in 205 Live’s cancellation and replacing, or 205 Live being moved to before Smackdown Live — whether for the one night or on a permanent basis.