Last night (June 22), Impact Wrestling announced the firing of Joey Ryan (real name Joseph Meehan) and Dave Crist, and the suspension of Michael Elgin (real name Aaron Frobel), due to sexual misconduct allegations raised during the #SpeakingOut movement.
While these were the right & necessary moves to make, it leaves Impact in a bind with regard to their programming. Meehan and Frobel were prominently featured in television storylines, with Frobel’s character in particular booked as part of the World title picture. Making things more complicated, the company has taped their weekly shows up to July 18’s Slammiversary PPV.
It’s left Impact’s production “ripping apart and reassembling“ the episode set to debut tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, according to PWInsider.
The show was to open with the Ryan-led #CancelCulture stable in action against Crazzy Steve and two mystery partners (which would have been revealed as Dez & Wentz of Rascalz). Impact is replacing that with material filmed for future episodes and re-working voiceovers so everything lines up. A short time ago, they added a Deonna Purrazzo match to tonight’s line-up.
Big addition to tonight’s IMPACT! @DeonnaPurrazzo will face @MrsAIPAlisha TONIGHT at 8/7c on @AXSTV! #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/ud69sfdExE— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 23, 2020
Eventually, Impact will run out of future material to use to cover gaps where they’ve edited out the Ryan and Elgin characters. The latter has to be written out of the already announced Slammiversary main event, where he was set to join, Trey Miguel, Ace Austin and Eddie Edwards as challengers in a Five-Way for Tessa Blanchard’s World championship. Frobel’s character also was used to tease the return of the Team Canada gimmick, and a recently released WWE Superstar.
It’s a tough puzzle to solve, but you could argue Impact knew they were playing with fire working with Frobel given past allegations against him.
We’ll start to see how they work their way out of it tonight on AXS.