- Kurt Angle plans to return to the ring next month after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in February. He Tweeted the following on Tuesday:
Knee Recovery Going Well. Be back in the ring very soon my friends! #AngleHungry
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) March 18, 2014
Angle delayed his surgery from January to February, so he could make good on advertised dates for TNA's 2014 European tour. However, it didn't stop the company from advertising him in a match against Ethan Carter III for their Lockdown pay-per-view, only to pull it from the card just a few days before the show.
Angle will return to TNA but is expected to fully explore his options when his contract expires in September 2014. According to sources, the general belief is he'll accept any offer that WWE makes for his services, however, we cannot confirm interest as of press time.
- The opening to this week's episode of Impact Wrestling is online at this link.
- The latest Impact Podcast is now online at this link.
- We're being told that Lei'D Tapa is finished with TNA Wrestling and her match with Gail Kim taped for Xplosion is expected to be her last. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, TNA officials do not think she's committed enough to the wrestling industry and they don't want to build around someone they think will leave anyway. Tapa is a former professional American football player and she's been talking about quitting professional wrestling to try her hand at Mixed Martial Arts. When TNA learned that Tapa had been telling people of her intentions, they decided to write her out of storylines as soon as possible. We're told there is some mild curiosity from WWE, however, one source notes she's viewed as a bodyguard type and would be too similar to Tamina Snuka.
- WhatCulture has a Q&A online with Bobby Roode, where he discusses a myriad of topics. We've published some excerpts from the coverage below:
How confident are you that you’ll get another reign as TNA World Heavyweight Champion?
Oh, I’m very confident that I can get that opportunity again. I think I’ve proven myself significantly from the first time I had the World title, becoming the longest reigning champion in the company’s history. You know, there will come a time when I get another opportunity to become champion and I’m going to make the best of that opportunity and hopefully, if I have it my way, it’ll be a bigger, better, longer reign than the first one.
You’re in your 16th year as a pro. Do you have a long-term plan – how many more years do you intend to wrestle?
Right now, physically, I feel good. I think I have a lot of years left to serve here, a lot of great years left. So long as I am able to go out there and produce great matches and keep the fans intrigued, and stay healthy, I think I have a lot of years left. Once I’m physically unable to do this any more, I’d like to stay in some sort of role where I can help guys get to certain points in their careers. But for right now, obviously the most important thing for me is my career and to continually get better, and to re-iterate the other question you just asked me, to once again become the World Heavyweight Champion and be the top guy in this company.
Sticking with that theme, you had an incredible bloody battle with James Storm at Turning Point last year which was one of the most intense matches I’ve seen in years. Do you feel that blood still has a place in wrestling in this day and age, or is it something that sets TNA apart from WWE?
I don’t know if blood separates us from WWE, I mean, there’s a time when it calls for it in certain situations. You talk about James and I, our rivalry lasted almost a year and a half, so you know, things happen in matches and obviously there’s a lot of hatred there, so to answer your question, I don’t think blood separates TNA wrestling from the WWE, no.
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
TNA is running an angle on ImpactWrestling.com where they are reporting that Dixie Carter had a "sensitive talent meeting" with Bully Ray at the company's headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday. They highlighted Tweets from Dixie's assistant, Daisy Marx and Bull Ray.
The following is from Twitter:
Taking my laptop down to production for a few hours. Bully Ray is coming to meet with Dixie.
— Daisy Marx (@daisymarx) March 20, 2014
Took a red eye from LA to Nashville. Big meeting. Should be real interesting.
— Bully Ray (@REALBully5150) March 20, 2014
Click here for kayfabe coverage on ImpactWrestling.com.
Impact Wrestling TV News…
- Due to interference by Willow, Ethan Carter III has defeated Bobby Lashley. TNA did an angle where Lashley's victory at Lockdown> was nullified due to Lashley not being an official member of the roster at the time. In the rematch Lashley lost due to Willow coming out an attacking EC3.
- As per a prematch stipulation Lei'D Tapa is "finished" with TNA. Tapa lost a match tonight vs. Gail Kim in which Kim had stated that if Lei'D Tapa lost she would be done with TNA.
- Angelina Love and Velvet Skyreunited tonight to reform the Beautiful People. Former third member Madison Rayne was also invited to rejoin the group but declined saying she felt Angelina Love never gave her the respect she deserves.
- The TNA tag team champions The Bro Mans retained their titles in a triple threat match against The Wolves and the team of Sanada and Tigre Uno.
- A rematch between Gunner and James Storm was just announced to take place on next week's episode of Impact Wrestling. The bout was taped at last week's set of tapings. You can read what happened in our spoilers section.
- TNA Champion Magnus retained his title in a match against Samoa Joe when "The Monster Abyss throws a chair as Joe was attempting a dive. The interference was enough to give Magnus the victory.
- Lei'D Tapa is finished with TNA Wrestling. We broke the story on Thursday morning here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that the decision was made to write Tapa off television when word leaked she had been talking about quitting and possibly pursuing a career in Mixed Martial Arts.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, TNA didn't feel she was committed enough to the wrestling industry and wanted to get her off television before any more time was invested in her. This is the reason for the stipulation in her match with Gail Kim that aired on this week's episode of Impact.
Click here to read our initial report.
Click here for news from this week's Impact.
Click here for complete Impact Wrestling results.
- TNA Wrestling issued a press release on Friday morning, indicating that travel packages for their Slammiversary pay-per-view are now available.
- Twitter is celebrating their 8th Anniversary and a result, users are able to search their first Tweet. TNA compiled several for their workers and posted them at this link. You can lookup your first Tweet at this link.
- Ken Anderson answered questioned from fans during the airing of this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. You can read the entire transcript embedded below:
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 997,000 viewers with a 0.89 cable rating on Spike TV. The number was abysmal but the competition was stiff with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Impact was not among the top 100 cable shows for the day.