TNA Wrestling are making moves. A couple of days after announcing a new day and time for their TV show, the company is aggressively pursuing the hottest free agent in pro wrestling and he could be coming to Impact in 2015.
[adinserter block=”1″]Dave Meltzer in the newest Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that TNA are making a hard run at the former Alberto Del Rio, now known as El Patron. According to Meltzer, the company reportedly offered Patron $400,000 a year to come to TNA. Former WWE producer and now head writer over at TNA, John Gaburik is pushing hard to get him in. The deal on the table is for one-year.
Meltzer also reports that Patron has not signed the deal. According to Meltzer, the hold ups are money and exclusivity. TNA would either have to pony up more money or drop their exclusivity clause in order to sign Patron. The negotiations could move in either direction before the end of the year, although that is yet to be determined.
Patron just recently announced a series of dates with Ring of Honor wrestling. Patron also has a big guaranteed money deal on the table from El Rey according to Meltzer. There is a strong demand in pro wrestling for a Latin superstar. That is why the WWE paid so highly to bring Patron over several years ago and give him the big Alberto Del Rio push.
One interesting aspect of this story is that Patron has been getting offers from MMA groups. Bellator reportedly has made Patron a big offer to come fight for their organization. This is much different than CM Punk in that Patron has a strong amateur wrestling pedigree and has fought in MMA before. Patron has reportedly received offers from other companies and is weighing his options.
What is most interesting to me about this story is that TNA has $400,000 to play with. We have heard countless stories about reduced budgets and impending cuts with the Destination America deal. While that may be true, this is certainly an indication of something much different. I am curious as to whether their television partner would be helping with these negotiations because it seems odd that a company rumored to be in financial distress could afford such a high-ticket free agent.
[adinserter block=”2″]Patron is probably worth the investment. If TNA can use Patron to break through the Latino market and bring more eyes from that fan base to the product, well then he is worth every penny. I am real curious as to whether the WWE tries to make a big play to bring him back. We all know how his last run went down, but money talks. With CM Punk in the headlines signing with the UFC and rumors of Brock Lesnar leaving, the WWE may have to suck it up here and cut off its competition by bringing Patron back. Patron doesn’t sound like a guy with any interest in going back yet again, money talks and it is pro wrestling.
It’s a good time to be Elllllllllllllllllllllllll Patron!