Rohit Raju Says He And IMPACT Wrestling Couldn't Come To Financial Terms On A New Deal

Rohit Raju talks about his time in IMPACT Wrestling.

Hakim Zane spent several years in IMPACT as Rohit Raju. During his time with the company, he held the X-Division Championship several times and was afforded the opportunity to test his abilities against the likes of Josh Alexander, TJP, Jordynne Grace, and more.

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Speaking with Sean Ross Sapp about his decision to leave IMPACT Wrestling, which he revealed earlier this year, Zane expressed gratitude towards the promotion for giving him the opportunity to test himself against some of the best in the world.

The former X-Division Champion also explains that he had only signed a single-year extension which expired on December 31, 2021.

“Well, I only signed a year extension. So I don’t know where the multi-[year reports] came from. My contract was up at [December] 31st and we just couldn’t agree on money. I felt like I had doubled my value there. No matter what they put me in I was making it work. They put me in with some of the best guys in the world. Cardona, Rocky Romero, Josh Alexander. It didn’t matter if I was doing X-Division stuff. Wrestling FinnJuice. I was standing there toe to toe with these people putting on good matches and not only that, but I was reliable and consistent. My promo work, I’m gonna toot my own horn. There was nobody in the company that was touching me. Maybe a couple of guys cut some really good promos, but I was up there,” says Raju.

In the end, Rohit says it came down to a matter of contract negotiations and money as he felt that he was worth more money than what he was offered.

“I felt like from the Rohit that had signed even a year prior to my X-Division run wasn’t the same guy,” Raju continued. “I had wanted this amount, they said ‘No,’ of course and they offered me this amount. I was like, ‘Hell no.’ I felt like it was really low. I said I won’t do anything for less than this. They said, ‘Sorry, man. We can’t do it.’ I said, ‘Okay, I guess we’ll just part ways.’ We parted ways and that’s it. That’s what happened. I love IMPACT Wrestling and I have nothing bad to say about them. I loved my time there. I miss everybody there. I’m sure the door is open, I would think. I didn’t leave on any bad terms. We just couldn’t agree on money. It kind of stung a little bit ‘cause I was like, ‘I’m worth way more than what you guys offered.’ But it is what it is.”

Speaking about how he first landed in the promotion, Raju said he started out on a per-appearance basis and that is where he was afforded the opportunity to win Gut Check.

"It was all per appearance. The first time it was just kind of like, ‘Hey, I won the gut check thing.’ The first thing I got was my tryout match. I did real well, but that was when Jarrett was in charge. Then all that stopped and I didn’t have anything until the gut check. Won that, then they brought me to the Ottawa tapings, liked what I did. I got to wrestle Ishimori, which was awesome. Then they would just sign me per appearance and one-year extensions. Which I was fine with. I didn’t mind that. Then I just wanted more this time ‘cause I thought I’d earned it," said Raju.

Furthermore, Rohit Raju would say that he still believes the wrestling world doesn't owe anyone anything and while he understands that professional wrestling is first and foremost a business, he still believes he had earned more money than they were willing to give.

"I said before, wrestling doesn’t owe you anything, but I did think I earned much more than what they were trying to give me. Just because I thought my work spoke for myself. That’s something people still fail to realize. I do the wrong thing and read the comment sections sometimes, ‘This guy’s a jobber, he always loses!’ That’s how wrestling works, man. If they want to push me to the moon, they’ll push me to the moon and if they don’t want to, they will not. The smart ones are still pretty dumb sometimes. If the machine wants to get behind you, it’s gonna get behind you. If they want to give you the money, they will pay you the money. If they want to sign you, they’ll sign you," he said.

Raju continued, "It’s business. But if you want to do something, you will do something. Because you will go pay so-and-so that amount of money or you will sign so-and-so to this amount of contract. I don’t want to say I take it personally, but it was a hard pill to swallow to know that. I do value myself pretty high, but there’s still lots of room to grow. I feel like that sucked because I felt like my value was way higher than that in the world of professional wrestling. Just not at IMPACT. Sometimes it’s just like, ‘Damn. It’s not catching on for whatever reason.’"

Since leaving IMPACT Wrestling, Raju has been staying busy by making appearances on AEW Dark in addition to making appearances on the independent circuit.

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