Impact Wrestling is once again trying to rebrand with a change in management. Their most recent branding of changing the name to Global Force Wrestling has ended in failure like usual. Jeff Jarrett is out and the GFW name is no longer allowed to be used by the company trying to find a new identity. Impact is now claiming to be a Canada based promotion with most of their shows taking place north of the border. Most of you reading this likely gave up on TNA, Impact Wrestling, Global Force Wrestling or whatever you remember it as being named.
This will introduce you to the current roster of Impact, at least for now. Ten familiar faces will be explored as these former WWE talents have joined the company at some point and still remain there. Another five names will be put on the radar as talents that have the talent, name value and upside to leave the career purgatory of TNA for WWE. Both sides will be explained as to where everyone is in their current career paths while working for Impact. Get ready to learn more about the least relevant promotion in wrestling right now. These are ten former WWE stars you didn’t realize worked for Impact and five that will be WWE bound sooner than later.
15 Impact Star: Chris Masters
WWE once viewed Chris Masters as being a future top star. The physique, upside and youth of Masters earned him a huge push back in 2005. Masters would struggle to get to what the company wanted from him. Following various ups and downs in the company, Masters would get his release from WWE despite many reports of him improving greatly.
A long road of working for various promotions has seen Masters end up in Impact. The fact that he was a major member of the Global Force Wrestling brand made it an obvious idea to bring him over. Under the new name of Chris Adonis, he is a regular for Impact today. Many of his old character traits are still in play as seen with the Adonis name.
14 Impact Star: Jimmy Jacobs
The recent shocking news of Jimmy Jacobs getting fired from a writing position in WWE made him an interesting name. Many fans expected Jacobs to sign with Ring of Honor or New Japan to join the Bullet Club given a photo with the controversial faction caused WWE to fire him. Jacobs instead decided to take a position with Impact Wrestling while still wrestling on the independent circuit.
Impact plans to use Jacobs both on screen and backstage. The first appearance of Jacobs came on Impact’s recent Bound for Glory PPV. Jacobs walked to the commentary table and alluded to working there now. Reports indicate Jacobs will serve as a manager for wrestling on the television screen and being a part of the creative team backstage.
13 WWE Bound: James Storm
We have witnessed many of the all-time great Impact Wrestling stars sign with WWE in recent years. A.J. Styles is the current WWE Champion. Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe are forecasted to participate in the Raw vs. SmackDown ten man tag match at Survivor Series. One man that decided to stick with Impact after making a few NXT appearances is James Storm.
Storm has done everything possible in Impact Wrestling. The decision to stay there rather than risking it was based off Impact offering a bigger contract. Storm however is at the end of the contract and is expected to become a free agent. We know that Triple H expressed interest in Storm a few years ago. Storm getting ready to leave Impact could see him finally take that NXT deal.
12 Impact Star: Hornswoggle
The post-WWE career of Hornswoggle has seen him continue to wrestle on the independent circuit. Hornswoggle’s most noteworthy work has come as a member of the Impact Wrestling roster. Impact initially brought him in to be a part of Matt Hardy’s special episodes in the Broken Universe. Hornswoggle stuck around to feud with Rockstar Spud in a comedic feud.
It has been quite some time since Hornswoggle has appeared on television, but Impact still lists him as a talent on their official roster. Hornswoggle spends more of his time wrestling for independent promotions making Impact a secondary option given all of the confusion regarding the company. You have to believe he'll be back sooner than later or they would have removed him from the roster by now.
11 Impact Star: John Morrison
One of the bigger signings for Impact this year was adding former WWE star John Morrison to the roster. Known as Johnny Impact now, he instantly entered the main event picture. You have to give Impact some respect for seeing his talent and knowing he is the kind of performer they need to build around. Morrison spent the past few years working for Lucha Underground as one of their main eventers.
A falling out with Lucha Underground saw him decide to head to Impact Wrestling with his fiancé Taya Valkyrie. Morrison could have tried to return to WWE but seemed to want to continue his outside projects while wrestling. It made Impact the promotion he decided to commit. If Impact has any chance of finding relevance again, Morrison will be one of the main reasons why.
10 WWE Bound: Sienna
The Women’s Division of Impact Wrestling has always been among the stronger points for the company. There are a few talented women on the roster today trying to bring attention to the Knockouts Division. Sienna has been a bright spot for the company and should be considered among their better signings in recent years. The in-ring work, charisma and character work of Sienna all come together for great results.
Sienna seems to enjoy her work in Impact, but there’s no doubt that she will want to move up sooner or later. The reputation and talent of Sienna makes her the kind of performer WWE will want to sign for NXT. Triple H has kept his ear to the ground regarding capable wrestlers in other promotions all over the world. Sienna joining WWE makes too much sense to not happen at some point.
9 Impact Star: Ethan Carter III
The lack of momentum for Impact Wrestling is hurting almost everyone on the roster. Ethan Carter III was considered one of the best success stories for talents outside of WWE just a few years ago. Following a disappointing WWE run as Derrick Bateman, he adopted the EC3 persona and became the top star in Impact Wrestling during their final relevant period.
More and more fans turning their backs on the promotion makes it hard to know what Carter is doing. Many people have no idea he still works for Impact since there’s basically no talk about anything in the company. EC3 is still there in the upper-card. The best bet for him would have been leaving when his name value was at a high. Now, he is back to square one trying to build momentum.
8 Impact Star: Sami Callihan
Sami Callihan recently made his debut for Impact Wrestling at Bound for Glory. The formerly known Solomon Crowe in NXT failed to make a mark when many of his prior peers were moving up the card. Callihan realized his name value was dropping and his career was going nowhere sitting on the sidelines in NXT. This led to him requesting his release from the promotion.
Callihan has built back up his brand on the independent circuit working for various promotions all over the world. The recent appearance of Callihan in Impact Wrestling is a move the company hopes will bring his independent fans in. Callihan is scheduled to appear for New Japan on an upcoming tour as well. It is unknown what his future holds, but he currently works for Impact.
7 WWE Bound: Moose
Impact Wrestling is currently trying to make Moose one of their top stars. Moose chose to sign with Impact at a time when Ring of Honor and NXT each showed interest in offering contracts as well. Since then, NXT has continued to be successful and Ring of Honor is the most successful it has ever been in terms of live crowds and PPV buy rates.
Moose is treading water in Impact trying to help contribute to the company as it continues to sink. Sooner or later, he will have to try to progress upwards after spending time in a damaged promotion. WWE originally wanted to sign him to NXT thanks to his background in football and an impressive athletic ability. Moose has to regret missing out on joining NXT and should have a chance to correct that.
6 Impact Star: Alberto Del Rio
The status of Alberto Del Rio in Impact Wrestling is confusing to the fans that match the product, let alone those that barely pay attention. Alberto was suspended for allegations of domestic abuse towards Paige. Impact decided to keep him away from the company due to the publicity received from employing him. Various other stories paint Del Rio as a train wreck promotions are shying away from booking.
Impact decided to bring him back to television at Bound for Glory. The promo from Alberto saw him have a loose cannon vibe portraying him as someone that would do anything on live television. It seems like a shady thing to do since a lot of his “unpredictable” actions have been considered violent. However, the relationship makes sense. No one else wants to book Alberto aside from the failing Impact.
5 Impact Star: Eli Drake
Eli Drake is the current Impact Global Champion as Impact Wrestling is trying to make him one of their cornerstones. Many fans have no idea that Drake used to work for WWE as he spent time training at the WWE Performance Center with a few appearances in NXT. The name Slate Randall was used in WWE before he was released from his contract in 2014.
Impact signed Drake to a deal in 2015 and he has been with the company ever since. Drake’s promo work has made him stand out to Impact management, but he is hardly a talent that will bring back viewers to the show. There is definitely still some bitterness towards WWE as Drake posted rude comments about Kevin Owens succeeding a few years ago.
4 WWE Bound: Eddie Edwards
One of the most underrated talents in professional wrestling today is Eddie Edwards. The former ROH World Champion ended up signing with Impact Wrestling along with tag partner Davey Richards a few years ago. Both men worked well together as the American Wolves until Edwards received a huge singles push winning the Impact World Championship.
The problem here is that Edwards is wasting the prime of his career in an irrelevant promotion. Many of Edwards’ former peers like Adam Cole, Roderick Strong and Kassius Ohno are currently doing well in NXT. Edwards would likely have an offer to join them when becoming a free agent. Both parties would benefit greatly from the signing. Edwards is too good for Impact in its current state and needs to move on before it is too late in his career.
3 Impact star: Matt Sydal
Many instances of wrestlers signing with Impact Wrestling will see them go there as a last resort. This is the unfortunate story of Matt Sydal as he was blacklisted from other promotions. Sydal used to work in WWE under the name of Evan Bourne before violating WWE’s Wellness Policy and suffering a bad foot injury. WWE released him after a long time being inactive.
Sydal did some outstanding work in New Japan in recent years but would get detained in Japan for having marijuana on him. The worst news for his career was that he would get banned from entering the country for three years ending his NJPW time. Sydal started appearing for Impact Wrestling this year as a member of the X-Division without the option to return to WWE or New Japan.
2 Impact Star: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley could be argued as the face of Impact Wrestling right now. The big man had a horrible run in WWE over a decade ago. Vince McMahon tried to force him into a main event role despite his lack of experience. Lashley has finally fulfilled his potential the past few years becoming a top star for the Impact Wrestling roster.
Most of the PPVs over the past few years have seen Lashley in the main event. Unfortunately for him, his best work is coming at a time when very few people care about Impact. The hopes of Impact are to rebrand with a product that allows them to have a fresh slate. Many former top stars have left the company, but Lashley is one they try to keep for the long run.
1 WWE bound: Rosemary
The mysterious Rosemary has become a special performer Impact Wrestling as both a wrestler and a character. Rosemary joined The Decay faction with scary characters Abyss and Crazzy Steve. Most wrestlers having such a gimmick would have failed badly in the current era in wrestling. They however found a way to make it work with Rosemary being the breakout star of the three.
Rosemary has been considered the best thing in the Impact Knockouts Division and one of the best overall talents in the company. WWE is always looking to add unique top tier performers to the Women’s Division. Rosemary is unlike any other woman in professional wrestling today. WWE will have dropped the ball if she is not at least in NXT within the next year or two.