The biggest star who we’ve learned has recently parted ways with Impact Wrestling was Rockstar Spud, but he wasn’t alone.
Tag team Reno Scum, X-Division competitor Marshee Rocket and Knockout MJ Jenkins aren’t major names, but they were deemed useful enough to get television time and, in the case of the first two acts, title shots in the tag and X-Division, respectively.
Then there are the departures of two long-time referees, Brian Stiffler and Brian Hebner. And it’s not some sort of crusade against dudes named Brian - referee Robert King also announced he was leaving this week. (UPDATE: Pro Wrestling Sheet reports Brian H.’s legendary father, Earl Hebner, has also left)
Actually, there are good explanations for the departures of the three refs, and mid and undercard hands like Rockett and Jenkins. With the move of their Bound for Glory pay-per-view (PPV) and the subsequent television taping to Ottawa, Impact’s parent company Anthem is looking to employ as many Canadians as is necessary to qualify for “Made in Canada” tax breaks on production (according to PWInsider).
While shrewd, it creates a weird look with so many people leaving the company in the days leading up to a major show. Combined with cuts elsewhere within the company - like layoffs at Fight Network and the cancellation of the popular wrestling show The LAW (Live Audio Wrestling) and release of its long-time host John Pollock - you have to wonder if there isn’t something to reports and rumors about serious financial issues.
Perhaps a leaner operation will be just what Impact needs. But it also needed a smooth transition and a clear vision for the future after the Dixie Carter years, and the Anthem takeover has been a non-stop chaotic mess that’s reinforced rather than changed negative public perception about the promotion.
Who’s fired up for BFG?!?!