Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for TNA Wrestling, they do. A new report indicates that the futures of the two most recognizable stars in the company are very much in doubt, with one confirming his impending departure.
Dave Meltzer has the latest in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Angle told Mark Madden that this would likely be his last year in wrestling but never used the word retire. Angle told Madden that he is leaving TNA when his contract expires in January. Angle also told Madden that he would not seek out a return to the WWE.
Angle negotiated a return to the WWE last year before re-signing with TNA. What is notable about that, is it was reported that the WWE only wanted Angle back if he worked a full-time schedule. Angle felt his body couldn’t handle it and asked for a part-time schedule. Vince McMahon has also been against bringing Angle back for years, although there were reports a few years back that the WWE Creative team was told to come up for something with Angle right before he was about to hit free agency.
Jeff Hardy on the other hand is just pure speculation. Hardy and Angle are believed to be the two highest paid guys in the company. With cash flow in TNA not what it used to be, it doesn’t make much sense for TNA to keep Hardy under contract. Meltzer speculates that the WWE may want him back, writing that someone within the WWE told Meltzer that Jeff’s name has been mentioned a lot around the company.
Both Angle and Hardy left the WWE under bad circumstances. I always felt that Angle would be back, as well he should. However, when the WWE closed the door on him last year I think most fans did the same thing. Jeff is another story. Jeff left the WWE back in 2009 as one of the hottest acts in the company. It was reported that the WWE made a major play to bring Jeff back before he returned to TNA in 2010.
I think it’s very possible we see Jeff Hardy on WrestleMania 32 along with Kurt Angle being inducted into the Hall of Fame next year. I think both will be back, but I think Angle’s return will be nothing more than a Hall of Fame induction and maybe a RAW appearance.
Regardless, it would appear that whether Impact Wrestling survives or not that it will be devoid of any real star power for the first time in company history.