In this week's new subscriber only Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer had tons of gossip about the new wrestling promotion that Jeff Jarrett and Toby Keith are currently trying to set up, which little concrete information is known about so far, and how that will affect TNA going forward.
Late last year, TNA was almost sold to Toby Keith, but the deal was nixed when owner Bob Carter insisted that as a prerequisite to the sale that his daughter Dixie Carter would need to remain as President of TNA Wrestling, continue to have some power in the organization and maintain her presence as a wrestling character on TNA Impact.
Shortly thereafter, Jeff Jarrett resigned from TNA and since then he has been using social media to build an underground buzz for his latest wrestling project, teasing that he will make a major announcement about it on April 7th, the day after WrestleMania 30.
So what might that proclamation entail and how could it change the wrestling industry? Meltzer had the scoop:
- The belief in the TNA locker room is that Jarrett's promotion will start in January 2015 and air on CMT, which has aired wrestling related programming in the past including Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling in 2008 and Redneck Island hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin since 2012. Toby Keith has close ties with CMT, which has fueled that speculation.
- However, "more than one station is being talked with and nothing is definitive just yet".
- Spike TV isn't currently in the picture, but not because TNA has inked a new deal with them. Filling in the dots, that's likely because Viacom is currently making a bid for WWE programming, which would lead to TNA being kicked off Spike in the fall when their current contract expires if that bid is successful.
- Even though Kurt Angle is sending feelers WWE's way, most expect him to end up as the lead star for Jarrett's group, as despite the heat they once had over Jeff having an affair with his then wife Karen while they were separated, they are now back on good terms. With TNA still in cost cutting mode, Angle, who is now their highest paid wrestler by far, is unlikely to be offered the same deal to stay with the company, while WWE may still hold resentment over how he left their fold in 2006 and it's also highly doubtful that their doctors would even clear him to wrestle.
- However, instead of relying on established star power, Jeff Jarrett wants to find new faces to expose to the masses, which means he's doing a lot of scouting on the independent scene and also looking at international tapes from Mexico and Japan.
- A lot of TNA wrestlers and staff are openly rooting for Jeff Jarrett to succeed, for fear they might need a safety net to parachute into soon. Morale is in the toilet, due to TNA's television future being up in the air, their second biggest show of the year, Lockdown, drawing a measly 1,500 fans (and that was with a good walk-up) and unhappiness with TNA's creative direction. There's a perception that Vince Russo is involved again with writing TNA's scripts, which is understandable given his tropes have been all over recent episodes of Impact, but this is being kept secret from everyone. Naturally talent would be upset if they feel they are being lied to and also irate at Dixie Carter giving another chance to someone who has failed at every opportunity he's been give since leaving the WWF in 1999.