Samoa Joe’s last ROH match is one week before TNA’s Destination X PPV, leading to speculation he will challenge Christian Cage for the title and win it at that show. The original plan was for Joe to win the belt after losing the Iron Man Match, leading to Kurt Angle challenging for it.
TNA is trying to install a policy whereby any of their talent contracted to an independent show could only wrestle other TNA talent on that show. They don’t want their stars losing to local workers or being involving in contradictory storylines elsewhere. They made the decision to pull Joe out from ROH and Gabe Sapolsky is expected to phase out the few TNA stars left there, mainly Christopher Daniels, Austin Aries and Homicide, and push non-contracted stars in main spots. Joe, A.J. Styles and other TNA talent may still be booked for ROH shows in the future but they will not be a major part of the promotion again.
TNA is planning an Elevation X match to debut at Destination X. It is basically a Scaffold Match for the X Division guys.
Christy Hemme is expected to start managing a tag team to feud with VKM soon.
Morale is worsening among the undercard wrestlers, particularly the ones earning up to $500 per show, because of having to pay for hotel rooms and transport now. Several are staying six to a room to save on expenses.
After Kip James made numerous disparaging remarks about the product in an interview last week, TNA is going to enforce stricter guidelines about future media appearances. Anybody doing an unauthorised interview will be fined one PPV pay-off.
Rhino did an interview with his local Dearborn Press & Guide saying he’s loved wrestling since setting foot inside a ring for the first time in 1995. He went from Rhino Richards to just Rhino in ECW because they already had Stevie Richards on TV. Paul Heyman said he would come up with a new name for him instead but it never materialised. He said he still has the authentic ECW Championship belt at home. He described ECW as a lot of fun but WWE as a lot of stress. “We didn’t have writers in ECW. We just went out and did our thing. In WWE we’d have the writers calling us all the time trying to put things together. I really didn’t like that. I just wanted to go out and dazzle the crowd. I didn’t want some writer calling me on my day off when I could be spending time with my wife or playing with my kid.” He said he was glad he didn’t return to WWE when ECW was brought back. “The product is so much different now and I don’t like the way it’s going.” He said he wanted to wrestle for ten more years and become considered a top star within five.
Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter (click here for subscription information), Dearborn Press & Guide