Jordynne Grace appeared in the Fightful Studios for an in-person interview ahead of IMPACT Bound For Glory, and was very frank about her situation with the company. She gambled on herself by remaining unsigned for months, then negotiating a new deal.
She said that she was "terrified" at what would happen and had never been scared about anything as much in her life. She was very happy in IMPACT and wanted to stay there, but was prepared to leave if she didn't get a fair offer to her. IMPACT put the deal together very quickly and didn't keep her on the hook long. When she returned to work for the next tapings, there was no awkwardness or anything of the sort. She just wants wrestlers to negotiate for what they're worth as opposed to jumping into the waters and signing a contract right away.
She pointed to LuFisto as someone she'd like to see get some kind of offer by IMPACT Wrestling, which would maybe entice her to stick around, and also spoke about the possibility of Mercedes Martinez being brought in.
When the news dropped that she was without a contract, many expected her to land in Ring of Honor. The company desperately needs established female stars, and Grace is engaged to ROH's Jon Gresham, who was also without a contract. She said she saw plenty of that speculation, but doesn't see ROH and IMPACT as anything resembling the same product or directly competing. She pointed to IMPACT's willingness to utilize intergender wrestling as a big part of that contrast.
Intergender wrestling is something that she says she wants to see more of, especially involving herself. She feels like IMPACT is starting to build genders equally and women are being given equal opportunity along the way. She mentioned teaming with Tessa Blanchard, and that they've jokingly tweeted about being the IMPACT Tag Team Champions, but it's a realistic goal. The ultimate goal, however, is the IMPACT World Championship. In regards to Tony Khan not liking her intergender spot at All In, she said he can do whatever he wants in his company, but hopefully he's exposed to more good intergender wrestling and ends up changing his mind.
A subject of "performance artists" and real names was broached, and she found it weird that often times she doesn't know her co-workers real names. She feels like the evolving and adjusting pro wrestling and social media landscape will help make that more of the norm. The limits of entertainment within the scripted program was discussed, with her saying that people shouldn't assume a story line she's involved in is sexual harassment, because she signs off on what happens -- specifically the Scott Steiner spot. She said that she has passed up kissing wrestlers in the ring because she's not comfortable with that.
Her use of the bear hug was tackled, with her joking to us that her cardio isn't the best and it's a great way to slow things down, and eventually she used it as a finisher. Grace then revealed to us that she's going to take all of December off from wrestling.
Continuing with the IMPACT Wrestling trend ahead of Bound for Glory, I spoke to Ethan Page. We actually briefly filmed content for his blog as we started off a bit of a cold open for the interview that we'll air here on Fightful.
As I'm not that hip to the Ontario indie scene, I was shocked to learn there was heat between SMASH Wrestling and Ethan Page, and even Sebastian Suave. I've interviewed both Ethan and Sebastian, and coordinated a bit with SMASH and all of them were incredibly easy to deal with. Ethan and Sebastian have worked together in the past, but Page didn't specify what caused the issues, just that SMASH won't book him and he prefers working in his own company, A-1.
Page's Canadian bookings have drastically decreased in recent months, which he says isn't on accident. The weakened Canadian dollar compared to a strong American one both prevents him from taking bookings locally, and makes it difficult for him to book talent himself. He's instead been working in the midwest pretty often, capitalizing off the boom of the indies. He's considered making a move, but isn't sure that's the route he's going to go. He formerly had visa issues, which is what kept him from working IMPACT Wrestling for quite a while.
Now, he is in IMPACT, and he admitted things have changed big time in recent months. He cited a conversation he had with Killer Kross, who wants out of his IMPACT deal. Previously, Page says that probably would have ended up happening. However, with an expanding wrestling landscape, IMPACT has to hold on to the talent they can, as acquiring high level talent is an uphill battle and comes at a premium.
We would delve into his unique offense, specifically a top rope body slam he uses. He seems to remember Darby Allin being the first to take that move, and has gone on to make it a regular high spot in his arsenal. He also promoted his successful vlog as a tool to help connect with fans both in and out of character.
- With Bound For Glory taking place in a week and a half, IMPACT has stepped their media game up to a level I haven't seen in years. They have events in Chicago and LA leading to BFG.
- Some of the "redundancies" Anthem had talked about that were let go upon the acquisition were brought back to the company in the past week or so.
- IMPACT Wrestling tells Fightful's Denise Salcedo that they're actually not just sold out, but over capacity for Bound For Glory on Sunday. It's on pace to be the company's highest grossing event in ears.
- Some IMPACT talent, namely Brian Cage, said he found out about the AXS-Anthem deal around when everyone else did.
- There were several talents brought to the WWE Smackdown show on Friday who weren't slated to be drafted, or even in the draft pool.
- Wrestlers were not told where they were going at least as of Wednesday of last week. There were a couple who contacted us frustrated that WWE kayfabed them all week, but had actually known and leaked the order of draftees themselves ahead of time.
Former WCW Champion David Arquette has been pulled from several upcoming dates through November. Consequently, RJ City has also been pulled from those shows, including WrestleCade.