NWA working with All Elite Wrestling has led to several inquiries about other talent that AEW could use while NWA is out of action. For those who mentioned or asked about former TNA Champion "Cowboy" James Storm, he's no longer under contract with National Wrestling Alliance. His deal expired on February 1, and had a provision in his deal in which he handled his own outside bookings, too.
After months of no contract offer, Fightful can confirm that IMPACT Wrestling has offered their Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo a full-time contract with the company. There's no word on whether or not pen has been put to paper, but we're told it's at minimum a two-year deal with financial increases as the contract goes on. There were rumors backstage that Purrazzo was going to leave the company in October, which led to an offer finally being made. Alex Shelley is also working without a contract as tag team champion, and EC3 says he does not have a contract at this time.
We're told that internally, there were plans being thrown around to bring the Forgotten Sons back to television soon. We're not sure what they are or if Jaxson Ryker would be involved, but have been told Edge has provided some advice to them. Creative was told to come up with ideas for the team.
In addition, we've heard that WWE has started the main roster contract process with all three members. It should be noted that Ryker has been left off roster sheets in recent months, but Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake have been on them. Ryker has been back home in North Carolina for months.
We'd reported recently that many of the new NXT call-ups were not given new contracts as they were brought up to Raw and Smackdown. There have been several call-ups in recent weeks that we've heard of that were told that they'd be discussing new deals soon. WWE's rationale was that travel and schedule was already significantly reduced, and with cutbacks happening, there was no reason to offer new deals.
The money associated with these contracts is way, way below what wrestlers were being offered last year.
ROH, IMPACT's reaction to Twitch
WWE caused some controversy by limiting third party agreements, but it seems that other companies are going in an opposite direction. We're told that Ring of Honor has actively encouraged wrestlers to participate in things that accentuate their personal brand, including Twitch. IMPACT has long had a partnership with Twitch, and we're told that there's been no attempt to restrict talent from performing on it.
You won't see any sour grapes coming from Aiden English about his WWE release. He seemed very positive about how everything went down. English says that he knows the people who even had to made the calls had rough days in doing so, even though it was a regular part of their job. He was surprised so many people were let go, however.
We joked about the Simon Gotch Buries Enzo Amore clip that everyone on earth has seen on Youtube, and I tried to get him to bury Big Cass so I could also get 1.5 million views. It didn't work as Aiden likes Big Cass, so he buried his cat for waking him up instead.
English wishes that he would have worked to develop more of a professional relationship with Vince McMahon along the way, but that they did get a little time speaking with each other. He says McMahon stays busy, and most of the time you get one opportunity a week to even visually see him, if he's at TV. Aiden says that the guys and girls who are successful usually make the effort to develop that rapport with McMahon, and he wanted to do more of that in retrospect.
I asked English about his Vaudevillains run and he admitted that initially he wasn't sure how it was going to work out, but trusted the process and liked how things ended up for the team.
Fred Rosser, formerly Darren Young, told us that Rocky Romero led to him getting in to New Japan Pro Wrestling. I spoke to him a year ago, and he hadn't yet wrestled in 2019. Shortly after, Lance Archer invited him to a New Japan show, and Rosser wanted to see how everything looked and felt to decide if he wanted to try to give it a go. After seeing the show, he thought that he could, but admitted that the style had intimidated him in the past.
He was contacted early in the year by WWE for the Nexus reunion, before the pandemic stopped it. He said WWE took care of him in booking him for the Bump, and would sign with WWE if they offered him another deal and doesn't have anything negative to say about them, but he's not going to wait around. His goal right now is to sign a full-time deal with NJPW and wants to wrestle Yuji Nagata.
Rosser credited Chris Jericho for inspiring him to try out for a musical, too.
Tenille Dashwood tells Fightful that she is currently under an exclusive contract with IMPACT Wrestling, but would not indicate the length of the deal. She said that as long as she's happy there and things go the way she want, she's going to stick around and isn't going anywhere. Tenille admitted that she explored all of her options last year before deciding to sign with IMPACT, but that IMPACT made it abundantly clear how important it was to them that she signed. She's not planning on wrapping up her career any time soon, and says she can't picture wrestling not being in her life.
Tenille noted to me that she was putting her health and happiness first during the pandemic and wanted to make sure her own things were in order. When seeing all the big signings IMPACT was making, she missed wrestling and wanted to get back in the fold. She calls it one of the most pleasant places she's worked and it's refreshing to have input and know that something is always in the works.
Tenille has hopes to grow the Taste of Tenille brand, which is topical considering WWEs restriction of using IP for third party endeavors. She noted to me that she never planned on giving WWE any say over her brand, and hopes that she can turn it into a TV show in the future.
AEW Match Breaks Down
If you watched the most recent AEW Dynamite, you might have realized that Thunder Rosa and Ivelisse were working kind of snug. That's because they were.
During the match between the two unsigned wrestlers, things broke down a bit and the two started to go at each other physically with stiff strikes being thrown.
Word spread among the locker room after the match, with wrestlers in AEW saying they didn't seem to be getting along prior. Thunder Rosa has also been working with some of the female wrestlers training with Dustin Rhodes, and according to many has attempted to take a leadership role in that regard. She's known as a stiff worker in the ring, which depending on who you ask or work with, can be seen either way.
During the match, Ivelisse was seen no-selling some of the spots, and Rosa took exception to this. Those in attendance thought that the match was going to have to be edited, but we weren't told whether or not it actually was. Rosa is said to take the perception of NWA seriously, and didn't want them looking bad in the situation.
Since the publication of this article, we've heard some support for Rosa from the AEW locker room, though many were uncomfortable as the match progressed. One person told us that they were surprised that by the time the show aired, that next week's booked match featuring them both wasn't completely edited of the broadcast and changed.