We reported a month ago that Bully Ray's TNA contract was about to expire and that he had called a backstage meeting with all the talent at his last house show to inform them that he might be leaving the company and say goodbye to them all just in case he didn't come back. This was seen as a very bad sign for TNA's future given how hard he had been pushed for the last couple of years and the creative influence he held by virtue of being the promotion's top road agent.
It now looks like the two sides have come to a short-term agreement so that Bully Ray can be properly written out of TNA storylines and be inducted into TNA's Hall Of Fame at Bound For Glory as originally planned. Earlier today, Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported that Bully Ray was close to signing such a deal:
"Sources close to Bully Ray are indicating that he is close to signing a two date deal with TNA that would allow him to return to close out the TNA Tag Team Series storyline this week at the tapings in Bethlehem, PA.
His second and final date would then be the 10/12 TNA Hall of Fame ceremony as part of the Bound for Glory PPV in Tokyo, Japan.
We are also told that Devon's last contractual obligation to TNA is currently the 10/12 PPV."
Since then, Dave Meltzer has also claimed that "Bully Ray is expected to appear on tomorrow night's Impact tapings in Bethlehem, PA."
This is a sensible move for both parties, as it allows them more time to negotiate a new longer term contract without Bully Ray being off television for an extended period of time, or if that is not on the cards, then he can leave TNA with his head held high having allowed them the opportunity to tie up loose ends on TV.
The news is not a surprise, as Dave Meltzer in last week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter intimated that TNA was only offering per-date agreements to their performers whose contracts have recently expired and this policy would remain in place until they have signed a new television deal for 2015 and beyond (assuming that they do indeed find one). Bully Ray was thought to be a possible exception to this rule, but obviously not.