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By Mike Johnson on 2018-02-09 09:38:00

During his media call yesterday promoting Impact Wresting, Impact champion Austin Aries noted he is not currently under contract to the company.  His discussions to return began as soon as he was a "free agent" but they initially began as talks of Aries working behind the scenes to get involved to help "right the ship."  When the new team became in charge, those talks turned to him returning as an in-ring talent.  Aries said he didn't feel pressure being the nucleus of the company as they try to rebuild.  He said that one of the aspects of the return that interested him was the ability to continue to work independently and go off to different companies and "collect belts."  He came off very well as a rep for the company, as did Braxton Sutter and Allie last week.

In regard to Rey Mysterio, the word that has made the way among the talents in the company is that the company had negotiated a deal with Mysterio for him to debut, but once Konnan (who reps Rey) got involved to seal the deal, something went wrong leading to the agreement never getting finalized and signed.  Thus, Rey's debut was canceled.  That explains why we heard travel was set at one point.  There was hope of trying to get him to debut in April at the TV taping, but with Mysterio making it clear that he and WWE are in a courtship phase of trying to work something out, he obviously won't be coming into Impact unless something falls through with WWE.  The big sticking point with WWE and Rey is that they want him back full-time, but he, at 43 and with an infinite number of knee surgeries under his belt, wants to work part-time.

Sonjay Dutt replaced Jeremy Borash as the lead announcer on last night's edition of Impact Wrestling.  He was very good and since he is the one writing the TV shows right now, it's a smart move to have him in the booth as he above all will know exactly what he's trying to highlight and get over, similar to how Bill Watts knew exactly what to say when he did color commentary alongside Jim Ross in Mid-South Wrestling.    With Dutt having a long rehab before he can return the ring, I think the best think Impact can do is keep him in the booth until then, then run an angle setting up his return.  That gives them someone obviously very good in the lead announcing role until they decide on someone else, as opposed to scrambling to replace Borash.

Josh Mathew was also on commentary last night.  The plan had been to replace Mathews with Don Callis, so we will see if that continues.

With no venue announced and no tickets on sale for Toronto, it's becoming more and more likely the April Redemption PPV and post-PPV tapings will be back at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.   A number of talents are actually hoping that's the case as they'd rather spend a week in Florida obviously, especially if they are going to bring their families.

Tonight's Impact Wrestling's Twitch channel will debut "Brace for Impact" the 2/3 WrestlePro event from Rahway, NJ that drew in excess of 1,000 to the Rahway Rec Center at 8 PM Eastern.   Pat Buck and his promotion are excellent in local promotion and have some great young talents.  Buck is actually one of the most underrated bookers out there.  The lineup for the show, when it took place, featured:

*Tenille Dashwood  (fka Emma) vs. Angelina Love 
*Fallah Bahh vs. Alberto El Patron
*Bobby Wayward vs. Eddie Edwards
*Chris Payne vs. Matt Sydal 
*Johnny Impact vs. Danny Maff 
*Braxton & Allie vs. Nikos Rikos and Nikki Adams

Next week's Impact Wrestling will feature Impact Wrestling champion Austin Aries vs. Eli Drake, Hijo del Fantasma challenging X-Division champion Taiji Ishimori, Rosemary vs. Hania the Huntress and the debut of Brian Cage.

Rosemary, while keeping in character, acknowledged this week on Twitter that she had suffered an injury while wrestling Jessicka Havok over the weekend for AAW in Illinois.

Hania the Huntress, who debuted yesterday, is already done with the company, as previously noted, so don't get used to her on TV.

There's been zero contact between Impact and Jeff Jarrett to the best of my knowledge.

Impact's social media channels are now being run by Garrett Kidney, a long-time Impact Wrestling fan.  It was a smart move to hire him as one can feel the legitimate excitement from the person handling the social media in the postings.


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