PWInsider.com and PWTorch.com have reported that Andrew Martin is pretty much gone from TNA, having never officially signed with the company.
Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch broke the story last night on his VIP Hotline (click here for subscription info) that both Martin (a.k.a. “Test” or “The Punisher”) and Alex Shelley were no longer part of TNA’s roster, despite both still being pictured on TNAWrestling.com. Listen to the audio for more details on the Shelley situation. (From my understanding, his contract is either up shortly or has recently expired, and if he wanted to stay with TNA, he didn’t help himself out by wrestling with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla this weekend; although I’d love to see him in ECW…)
As for Test, PWTorch.com reports that he was brought in on a trial basis, but put off members of TNA management sensitive to the recent Congressional inquiries into the use of steroids in the wrestling industry. Whether or not he was using muscle-enhancing drugs, he was pretty huge in his TNA debut, from what I recall.
Not wanting to draw attention to themselves, he was told that if he wants to be considered down the road to slim down. Also, TNA will be “instituting random drug testing within weeks,” with details still being worked out, according to Keller.
In other TNA news, Keller reports that unless something shocking happens to change things, TNA and Spike TV are set to announce (possibly next week) an expansion to a two-hour Thursday show for the Fall. The show will be taped in Orlando, not live, with tapings held at Universal Studios more often than they are currently. From Spike’s perspective, maintaining a 1.1 average rating would be a win, and TNA wants to use the expansion to feature longer matches, more character development, more time on the X Division while hopefully growing its fanbase and ratings over time, according to the Torch.