So, it’s official, as TNA has posted a statement that suspended NFL star Adam “Pacman” Jones has signed with the wrestling promotion, and even says that he will have his “in-ring debut” in a preview for this week’s iMPACT! (although by all accounts, he will debut in an interview, but will not wrestle on Thursday, since the show was already taped without him). This announcement has gotten a ton of mainstream press, with some interesting stories coming out over the past day or so. The Tennessee Titans’ local paper has a story up here, and in an interview with NBCSports.com, Jones says that his goal is to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion (despite earlier reports that he will not actually wrestle, since the Titans claim that would violate his contract). According to PWInsider.com, Jones will be trained by Jeff Jarrett and possibly Jerry Lynn, Chris Harris and James Storm, among others, and Dave Meltzer at WrestlingObserver.com says that a wrestling ring has been set up in Jones’ back yard.
According to Meltzer, TNA expects Jones to wrestle at least twice, and in the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (click here for subscription information), he reports that Ron “The Truth” Killings was offered a raise to come back and be Jones’ tag team partner. Meltzer goes on to say that TNA’s Terry Taylor called him and sweetened the pot by saying Killings wouldn’t have to give the normal 20% booking fee back to TNA for indie dates AND could still work for AAA.
Other TNA News from the Wrestling Observer:
– Also in the Observer dated August 6, 2007, Meltzer reports that TNA, which was pretty much done dealing with Konnan, proposed a AAA invasion angle since they don’t want him talking about company issues on HBO’s upcoming Real Sports special on deaths in wrestling, etc., and he is still under contract with TNA (but suspended and unable to work in the U.S. until the contract runs out). Meltzer updated this story on his Web site by saying that this “was Vince Russo’s attempt to smooth things over earlier in the week, and the best intentions don’t always pay off.” It doesn’t look like this angle will ever happen.
– Meltzer is reporting that TNA will “most likely” be getting the 9 to 11 p.m. Thursday slot on Spike after the current deal expires on September 30, although nothing has been signed. The working idea is for two tapings every other week (Mondays and Tuesdays). The Pacman Jones signing wasn’t done with network pressure, but rather it was an internal idea to boost ratings and impress Fox, who TNA is also in talks with.
– On September 8, Kurt Angle is currently booked for a IGF show in Nagoya, Japan, followed by a 15-hour flight to Orlando to work TV tapings. A Brock vs. Angle rematch is rumored but not confirmed.
– TNA is in talks with Solafa Fatu (Rikishi) and Brian Lawler to come in as a tag team.
– Ken Shamrock came close to accepting an offer from TNA to team with Rick Steiner to face Team 3D after Scott got injured.
– Homicide was fined for a MySpace blog entry, which may or may not have been because he showed support for Konnan.
Some TNA news not from the Observer:
– Mike Johnson at PWInsider reported that there has been increased discussion of “instituting regular drug testing of performers this fall,” as opposed to the current policy which has the company stepping in if they see a problem, but according to “a number of performers at different level of the company” there is no “known” testing program.
– TNA’s YouTube.com account seemed to be suspended due to “terms of service” violations yesterday, but the videos are now back on the site.
– PWInsider.com also posted this statement, which was originally found on Andrew Martin’s MySpace account:
So I guess by now the cats out of the bag and as many of you know, I took my ball to TNA. I never wanted to decieve any of you, trust me I was excited about going but it was something that we tried to make a secret. You have to admit in this day and age that’s hard to do, I mean you guys usually know before I do what’s going on. It’s not that I want to keep secrets from my fans but don’t you guys just miss the old way of a good old fashioned surprise in wrestling? Remember when a WWF guy would show up on WCW and vice versa, it made the show always more exciting no matter what or who it was. Remember seeing Lex luger on Raw and Nitro, the same night?…that was a great surprise. I have to thank all you guys…i have never recieved so many positive messages and reactions from you guys about my decision to join TNA and I want to thankyou for that. I also want to make the fans that were at the Impact Zone in Orlando for the greatest reaction I can ever remember getting in wrestling. Most of all I want to thank everyone at TNA for making me realize why I wanted to be a wrestler in the first place!! Something that had been beaten out out of me by years of politics, ass kissing, back stabbing, empty promises that never came, having to liten to “Vinces YES men” because everyone there doesn’t want to rock the boat…Thankyou for making me realize that I wanted to be a wrestler because it’….FUN!! and I had forgotten how much fun you can have. I know TNA stands for Total nonstop Action but I learned last night it also stands for Totally NO Assholes!! I want to thank everyone for making me feel right at home right away and seeing first hand what a wrestling company really should be. I’m not here to bash any other companies…I have no regrets but in just one night at TNA I felt more comfortable than I did anywhere else. Everyone is so hands on and so positive. I mean I loved watching the guys watch the matches hoping that everyone had a great match, I’m so used to guys watching the monitor, cutting up the matches only to tell the guys when they got to the back “great match”…I’ll be honest I didn’t sleep much Sunday night. I was excited, nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect but that all changed last night when all the TNA fans gave me without question one of the greatest moments of my career with your huge roar,my ears were ringing and inside I had a smile a mile long…thankyou because to be honest I was ready to walk away from wrestling and it would have been a shame because I would never have gotten to experience what a great group there is at TNA. So please tune in to watch TNA every thursday night at 9pm eastern time on spike tv and see what a great company with a group of guys and girls with all heart can accomplish…I know I had a blast!
Personally, I can’t tell if Test has trimmed down or not, but it has been strongly rumored that he violated WWE’s Wellness Program at least once, which makes this a curious signing from my perspective with so much heat on pro wrestling in the mainstream media. That being said, TNAWrestling.com has an interview up with Martin that claims he is 6’6″ and 219 lbs (for perspective, WWE’s cruiserweight division is promoted as 220 lbs or less).