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HOW TNA ENDED UP IN THE HERNANDEZ SITUATION, WHAT WAS CLAIMED TO THEM, LUCHA UNDERGROUND'S SIDE AND MUCH MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2015-07-17 09:53:00

Since PWInsider.com broke the story of the situation TNA has found themselves after hiring Shawn Hernandez and signing him to a contract, only to receive a cease and desist from Lucha Underground stating that Hernandez was still under contract to them (which necessitated TNA releasing Hernandez and having to edit a ton of material on their TV shows, to the point the Beatdown Clan as a whole were dropped), the question we have received is: how could this have happened?

After reaching out to both TNA and Lucha Underground sources, this is what we have learned.

Hernandez was hired by TNA after being strongly touted and pushed by MVP as a good addition to the BDC.  TNA management (one would assume John Gaburick) made the decision to sign Hernandez based on MVP's suggestion.

TNA sources have indicated that before he was signed, Hernandez stated that he was free and clear of any contractual obligations with any other promotion, had a release from Lucha Underground and was legally able to sign with the company.  TNA included a clause in Hernandez' contract, which I am told he signed after his attorney signed off on it, that included that Hernandez was presenting himself as such.  TNA filmed Impact Wrestling episodes and when they aired, the company was hit with the aforementioned cease and desist.

 Lucha Underground sources have stated that Hernandez requested a release, but did not actually receive one.  The release was in the works, but had not been issued, I am told.  With their first season over and all their material for that season filmed, LU sources claim that Hernandez was told that if he wished to receive his release and get out of filming new seasons (none of which are set in stone yet, although there is hope the new season will commence filming in September), things could be worked out, but they requested that Hernandez not appear anywhere on TV before 8/5, the date of their season finale, and also that he abide by a no-compete (I am not sure on the length).  After that, he would be free and clear. 

LU Management was fine with letting Hernandez take an offer that would see him working regularly and making good money and even told him that he could come back down the line, but they expected him to adhere to the requests mentioned.  Instead, Hernandez went right on TNA TV while he was also appearing on LU TV, leading to LU taking steps to protect their series.

TNA sources contend that after LU contacted them, Hernandez insisted he had a verbal release from LU and provided proof that there was communication between himself and LU that a release was in the works.  TNA informed Hernandez that if he wanted to go after LU legally over the situation, they would be happy to use his footage and gave him a deadline (I believe this past Monday) to file something in court in California against Lucha Underground that would at least, provide a temporary restraining order against his LU contract and allow him on TNA TV. 

When that deadline passed with no word from Hernandez or his attorney, TNA made moves to release him from his TNA contract and extricate as much evidence of his presence on TNA TV as humanly possible.  As noted, TNA will be using older material (including the King of the Mountain match from Slammiversary) and new material they rush to film next week to fill the gaps in their TV episodes created by the loss of segments and matches that featured Hernandez.

I also want to point out that yesterday, TNA sources stated that the company offered to pay LU for the rights to use the Hernandez material that was already filmed but LU sources strongly deny any financial offer was ever made.

To say this was a black eye for TNA is an understatement as even if none of this is their fault, it still gives off the appearance that the company signed someone without doing the correct due diligence.  It's also a major black eye for Hernandez, who was released from TNA and now finds himself locked into a contract with a promotion that, one would assume, won't be looking to use him going forward.  

It's entirely possible there will be additional ramifications of the situation moving forward as well.

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