At IMPACT Hard To Kill, Frankie Kazarian announced that he signed a long-term deal with IMPACT Wrestling.
Kazarian has spent the majority of his career in IMPACT, first wrestling for the company in 2003 and actively competing in the company until 2014. He competed in ROH after leaving IMPACT in 2014 and then joined AEW in 2019. Even while signed to AEW, Kazarian made appearances on IMPACT Wrestling due to a working agreement between the two promotions, including facing Josh Alexander at IMPACT Over Drive 2022.
Speaking to Mike Johnson at PWInsider, Kazarian explained his decision to join IMPACT.
"I still had two years left on my contract, two years to get rolled over. AEW management contacted me in early December, which was only a few weeks after [Josh Alexander] match. They contacted me 30 days out, which is what they're supposed to do, and had talked about rolling me over and wanted to get the process going. I basically said, 'thanks but no thanks.' I voiced concerns and frustrations and goals and aspirations and had a really good talk with management and left it there. I was still going to TVs and the last television I was at was in San Antonio. I sat down with Megha (Parekh), head legal of AEW, and had a long in-person conversation. I basically gave her the list of reasons why I wanted to move on and bet on myself, and now was the time to do it. I've always done business the right way and been amicable about it. I wanted to get out before any feelings of resentment or bitterness. That message was relayed and they wanted to do right by me, which I respect the hell out of. As of January 1 this year, I was a free agent," he said.
Before officially signing with IMPACT, which Kazarian said the decision was made roughly 48 hours before Hard To Kill, he revealed he did have conversations about joining WWE.
"In the spirit of transparency, I had great talks with the people at WWE. Those talks could not have been better, positive, more professional. I have nothing but great things to say about everybody in that organization, especially the people I spoke to and texted with. Ultimately, this was the best fit for me at this stage of my career and this point in my life. I have a great relationship with Scott D'Amore, I have history there, a lot of my legacy is there. At this stage, I was the best fit for IMPACT and IMPACT was the best fit for me," he said before noting that he loves the locker room and has confidence in IMPACT creative and management. He also stated that he's never been more motivated.
Kazarian's last AEW match was on the December 26 episode of AEW Dark: Elevation against Konosuke Takeshita. He is a former five-time IMPACT X-Division Champion and three-time IMPACT Tag Team Champion.
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