TNA: We had written deals signed

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    Spudz

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    TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by Spudz on Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:57 pm


    The TNA Impact Wrestling website ran a story claiming that A.J. Styles, Doc Gallows (a/k/a Drew Hankinson), and Karl Anderson (a/k/a Chad Allegra) struck a handshake and written deal with Dixie Carter for TNA contracts only to pull out of their deals. “Start dates were determined, creative decided, merchandise designed and plane tickets purchased,” reads the story. “These discussions culminated on December 14th in Nashville, Tenn., where all attended a meeting at Dixie Carter’s home.

    “A handshake and written deal between AJ, Drew, Chad and TNA was agreed upon and signed by all. Start dates were determined, creative decided, merchandise designed and plane tickets purchased. Over the Christmas holiday, and after the lawyers finalized the long form agreement, all communication with TNA stopped. AJ’s lawyer contacted TNA and stated the wrestlers had changed their mind and would not be honoring their commitment to TNA.” Read more at ImpactWrestling.com.

    Powell’s POV: Well, this just got ugly. We’ve now heard TNA’s side of the story and I imagine we’ll eventually hear something from the Styles, Gallows, and Anderson camp. The timing is obviously intentional given all the buzz about the threesome debuting in WWE. In the case of Styles, all signs point to him appearing in the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. Obviously, if they signed with TNA, this could and have already become a legal battle, and there’s no telling how that could affect the status of the three wrestlers as far as WWE is concerned.



    The LAW(Live Audio Wrestling) spoke to the management for A.J. Styles and they stated to us that no contract was ever signed or finalized by any of the parties.

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    Swarles
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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by Swarles on Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:35 pm

    TNA is coming off saltier than a $1 crunchwrap slider, am i right whobetta?!

    But for real if tna somhow prevents this from happening fuck them and their rinkydink promotion forever. AJ and the rest of that NJPW crew showing up in WWE is the only non-lucha underground thing I care about in US wrestling right now.

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    Vipes

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by Vipes on Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:47 pm

    How can TNA afford any sort of lengthy legal battle? Is James Storm paying for all the legal fees? Just the latest desperate cry for attention from a rotting corpse of a promotion.


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    Spudz

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by Spudz on Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:48 pm

    I just don't see any of the 3 guys signing anything binding with TNA until they knew for sure that they could still work some dates with New Japan.

    My guess when New Japan told them, there would be no way of them still working dates (due to TNA being idiots in the past and how it would cause issues with there relationship with ROH) is when they started considering and talking serious with WWE.

    This just makes TNA look bad unless they they actually can prove what they are claiming and do a lawsuit against the 3, and if they do that well it still doesn't make them look good lol.
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    Spudz

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by Spudz on Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:33 pm

    By Mike Johnson on 2016-01-22 23:11:09

    Since TNA released their statement regarding AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, PWInsider.com has been hit with a number of queries from readers, so here is some background on what happened between all sides, where the issues lie and what might happen going forward.

    Based on conversations with a number of sources over the last several hours, it appears TNA began discussions with AJ Styles sometime in November 2015 in regard to bringing him back to the company. TNA had more money available to them to sign talents with Kurt Angle's deal expiring and a number of TV deals, most notably India and the UK, bringing the company greater rights fees when January 2016 as well as the new deal with Pop TV, which insured the Karl company was going to be a stronger position financially then it had been in recent years.

    TNA wanted Styles back bad. The feeling was that when Styles left, the company had lost their "Sting" in terms of a talent who was so strongly branded to them, he was the embodiment of the company, as Sting once was to World Championship Wrestling. The belief was that Styles' return, coupled with the new TV home, would be a nice one-two punch to show the audience that things were finally turning around. Styles' return would give them their "homegrown top guy" back and kick off the first quarter of the year with a strong storyline that would generate attention for the company. For those wondering, at no point during these discussions was Styles under contract to New Japan Pro Wrestling.

    We are told that TNA had daily discussions with Styles in November and December and that the idea of bringing Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson was tossed out there. The pair were looking to leave New Japan for a number of reasons, including, allegedly, unhappiness over money the Bullet Club was making over merchandising as New Japan pretty much has a license to print money with that stable. Gallows was not under contract to NJPW. Anderson was and still is.

    An angle was created that would have seen Styles return and then eventually, once Anderson was free and clear from his NJPW commitments, he and Gallows would have come in as well.

    The discussions moved forward to the point that all three gathered with TNA President Dixie Carter, Vice President John Gaburick and others for what was termed a "summit" at Carter's home in Nashville, TN on 12/14. The group met all day and according to ONE TNA source, "It could not have gone better as a meeting." That day, creative storylines were locked in, a logo for the group was finalized and start dates were locked in, with the idea that Styles would start in January 2016 and the others would follow when the storyline dictated. It was said to be a major part of TNA's creative for the first half of the year.

    The trio were presented with a contract to sign. The trio met privately and came back with some requested amendments, which TNA agreed to. Styles' deal was said to have been "at least" a three year deal with an option for one additional year at the end. I have no confirmation on the length of the deals for Gallows and Anderson.

    At the end of the day, TNA sources claim (and are adamant) that Styles, Gallows and Anderson, as well as TNA officials all signed agreements that would bring Styles home and bring Anderson and Gallows into TNA as a team. There were no lawyers involved, just the principles and at the end of the day, AJ Styles had returned home and the Bullet Club members were coming to TNA.

    So, what happened?

    Well, as often happens in life, once lawyers get involved, it all goes to hell.

    The story that has made the rounds is that once Styles' agent/lawyer Bill Behrens learned that Styles (and perhaps the others) had signed an agreement without Behrens' involvement and supervision, he did not have a positive reaction. TNA sources, as you might expect, support this story, noting that Behrens was against the deal after he learned about it and that Styles' deal could not be ratified without his involvement.

    Communication between Behrens (who, it should be pointed out, worked for TNA in its earlier days) and TNA began. Longer form contracts were being drawn up by TNA attorneys as the Christmas holidays hit, leading to the obvious delays as businesses shut down for that season.

    In the meantime, TNA purchased plane tickets for Styles to come to Bethlehem, PA for the final day of tapings for the Pop TV debut episodes. One story we have heard is that Styles was going to secretly come to shoot pre-tapes at a hotel that would then be inserted into the show, with the idea that TNA would shock the world when the shows aired and out of nowhere, here was the return of Styles - sort of a play on the surprise announcement that Kurt Angle had signed with the company going forward.

    From there, Styles would return to the TNA ring at the end of January during the UK tour. I am guessing he would have been one of the final Kurt Angle opponents, because logically, that would make the most sense. We are told Styles even suggested some British talents that the company should take a look at, including Will Ospreay.

    But, then, according to TNA sources, they never heard from Styles, Anderson or Gallows again. Texts and calls were not returned and suddenly, the storyline that had been laid out to help kick off 2016 and thunder into the new TV home was non-existent.

    The company would later hear from Bill Behrens that the deals would not be going forward, which according to TNA sources, was mind-boggling, because in the company's mind they had already signed these talents to come in. It was especially mind-boggling in the case of Styles, because since he left, there was a feeling that he was the one "TNA Original" the company couldn't live without in the eyes of some fans, so TNA went and finally brought him back into the nest, only to see him disappear before their very eyes after they thought he was locked in.

    As the beginning of 2016 came, word began spreading that Styles, Anderson and Gallows had given notice they were leaving New Japan. In the case of all three, the word was they would eventually, once legally and medically cleared to do so, sign with WWE.

    It was branded in some circles as WWE targeting New Japan and raiding them. It was never a raid on New Japan. The reality is that the trio were already one foot out the door from New Japan, only before they put that foot down in TNA, someone, somewhere on either their side or WWE's, started communications and the trio, like Bugs Bunny, made a left turn in Alburquere and instead negotiated deals to go to WWE. WWE didn't raid New Japan - they instead swooped in and smartly, prevented TNA from bettering their company and in the process, bettered WWE.

    TNA sources remain adamant that they have, to date, not heard from Anderson or Gallows personally but that Styles did later have communication where he, according to one TNA source, stated he was going to do what was best for his family. We are told that frustration over being iced out when it came to communications from the trio and having signed them only to see them back out of the deals, coupled with the feeling that they had "done the right thing" only to get fleeced, led the company to release today's statement.

    PWInsider reached out to Bill Behrens and he declined to comment on the record, but it should be noted that The Fight Network in Canada reported the following: "The LAW spoke to the management for A.J. Styles and they stated to us that no contract was ever signed or finalized by any of the parties." After that was reported, PWInsider.com again reached out to Behrens for comment but as of this writing, did not hear back. If and when we do, we will update.

    So, here is where things stand. We have one side claiming there was an agreement and the other, if Fight Network is to be believed (and I have no reason to discount their reporting) claiming there was not. The only way to be sure exactly what was signed is and whether it was legally executed is for TNA to produce the actual document featuring all the signatures from the parties involved. Thus far, that has not yet happened and it may not happen unless the company decides to pursue the manner from a legal standpoint - more on that in a bit.

    Did TNA sign talents to binding, legitimate deals? Are they simply blowing smoke out if bitterness and frustration? It's impossible to definitively say so without looking at the deals but if Styles, Gallows and Anderson did sign an agreement last month in Nashville, what did they did sign and what happened to make them instead head towards the waiting arms of WWE? Did they have buyer's remorse? Did old, angry feelings stemming from TNA's reduced contract offer to Styles year before bubble back up? Did WWE simply make a better offer? Was WWE tipped to what was going down and went predatory? Did someone from the talents' camp play an old school trick out of the Monday Night War era and use TNA's deal as leverage to get an even greater deal for them from WWE? These questions can't be answered today. They may or may not even be answered in the days and weeks to come.

    As far as the most asked question we have received, whether TNA intends to pursue legal action, we are told that no decisions have been made. TNA opted to make today's statement because there was a feeling that the company had been wronged when they tried (and believed they accomplished) something to better the company and make fans happy, only to end up burnt. One source noted that the company didn't want to be a "patsy" and give the appearance they let their "Sting" just walk into WWE without at least letting people know they wanted and tried to get him back. TNA executives wanted what they feel is "the truth" out there for the masses.

    And of course, and this is just my opinion, they timed it for the Royal Rumble weekend on the off chance the ripple effects of it might see WWE blink and change their plans.

    As I wrote earlier today, the TNA statement seemed "carefully worded" and certainly could be seen as a shot across the bow warning that legally, there may be more to come. Whether that happens or not rests in the hands of the lawyers, which truth be told, is how all the chess pieces ended up in these positions on the board to begin with. Time will tell what, if anything, the next move will be...and whether New Japan or WWE get involved in what could easily turn into a far muddier situation.
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    2kNikk

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by 2kNikk on Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:54 pm

    Show the signed paperwork or shut the hell up.


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    TeeBeeKay

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by TeeBeeKay on Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:39 am

    I echo Swarley's statements, if TNA somehow fucks things up for the good brothers I will be so pissed

    That being said if they did sign something with TNA what the fuck were they thinking?
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    SBR

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by SBR on Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:40 am

    Swarles wrote:TNA is coming off saltier than a $1 crunchwrap slider, am i right whobetta?!

    But for real if tna somhow prevents this from happening fuck them and their rinkydink promotion forever. AJ and the rest of that NJPW crew showing up in WWE is the only non-lucha underground thing I care about in US wrestling right now.



    For real though fuck TNA.


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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by PhenominalXX1 on Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:09 pm

    – In an update on the situation between TNA and the WWE-bound AJ Styles, Styles’ agent and lawyer Bill Behrens issued the following statement:

    No contract was ever finalized nor signed by the parties.

    That I would need to be involved in the contract process was known by TNA prior to my involvement and understood by them.

    TNA and its 1st lawyer did not present in a timely fashion a contract that accurately reflected previous discussions at all. That created great concern tied to past experiences. In that time and prior there was other interest and there were other firm offers on the table and other discussions.

    TNA was aware of other interest and various conflicts. TNA was aware a final contract was required. It was creating that contract and controlled that timetable. Too much time passed early on. Other things came into play. No contract was ever finalized with TNA.

    To suggest I make any decision for my clients is to misunderstand my role and diminish the role each talent has in making their own decisions, and insults the talent in the process.


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    Spudz

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by Spudz on Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:50 am

    Recap of Meltzer's WOR talk on the situation:

    TNA had been putting out a rumor that AJ was coming back to them, but Dave never reported on it because that was the only source for it. Dave did think Karl Anderson was coming to TNA, and probably Doc Gallows as well...until the Tokyo Dome thing happened where they gave notice.

    Dave says TNA and New Japan do not have good relations still. He doesn't know if it's over how TNA treated Okada or just TNA being inept. He does know that when the Dudleys were IWGP Tag Champs, TNA had them lose the titles in TNA and didn't even tell New Japan about it. Dave says John Gaburick wanted to settle everything between them

    Dave brings up again that Karl Anderson was going to go to TNA. They offered him 200k a year, but he still was trying to keep his New Japan dates too. Says if Karl had his way he wanted to stay in New Japan, and while the TNA schedule wouldn't have precluded that, the NJPW/ROH relationship might have.

    Dave says that when TNA mentioned in their statement that TNA had already purchased plane tickets for AJ, Anderson and Gallows, that may or may not be true, but if so, none of the three were aware tickets were purchased for them, because they were still under the impression that they hadn't agreed to a deal. Just "agreed to negotiate a deal".

    Dave says TNA was aware that AJ was talking to everyone (WWE, ROH, TNA and New Japan) and that he was going to sign with whoever gave him the most money.

    Dave says he was told no contract was signed. He says AJ and co. were presented with something that basically was an agreement to negotiate a contract. Dave says there were things that AJ and friends agreed to with TNA, and when they got some kind of written paper, many of those things were no longer there. Dave says that's not uncommon though (And I know WWE wrestlers have complained about that).

    Bryan gets Dave to reiterate that they had not signed a finished contract, but just agreed to negotiate. Dave says there were still deal terms all three needed to negotiate with TNA, so nothing was finished yet. Dave has heard from their side that TNA was slow getting back to them, Dave doesn't know if that's true of if it was just a matter of WWE getting to them, but he does know that all three officially broke off negotiations with TNA around Christmas.

    Dave says this is complete speculation on his part, but he says everyone is guessing that the reason TNA put out the press release was to try and put heat on AJ Styles, and maybe get WWE to think he's untrustworthy, maybe fuck him out of the Royal Rumble.

    Dave says that the story about the Bullet Club guys leaving New Japan because they were pissed that New Japan wasn't giving them a cut of t-shirt money is wrong, and that they would've been happy to keep working New Japan for what they were making. He points out that they all want to stay on good terms with New Japan and that Karl Anderson is sticking around a little longer to do good business. Dave does go on to say that he believes that there probably was "some unhappiness" from the guys that they weren't getting t-shirt money, and that Dave will probably get a lot of heat for even saying that. He's heard hints of that, but he's also heard people even deny that. Dave kind of suggests that the Bullet Club T-Shirt money stuff has been floated by someone to try to spark bad feelings between them and New Japan.
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    SBR

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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by SBR on Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:34 pm

    What I'm getting here is TNA is pissed that Styles used them, EVEN THOUGH THEY FUCKING SENT HIM RIGHT OUT OF THE COMPANY and are trying to fuck up his WWE run. Great people.


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    Re: TNA: We had written deals signed

    Post by Spudz on Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:38 pm

    AJ finally comments about it..

    Brian Fritz of Between The Ropes spoke to WWE Superstar AJ Styles, who is performing in his first WrestleMania tomorrow.

    During the interview, Styles said that he had written off ever even performing at WrestleMania, and now it's a question of how many he'll perform at. He hasn't been in the same city as WrestleMania since they were in Atlanta in 2011.

    Fritz asked Styles about the issues surrounding himself and TNA, which were made public earlier this year, saying that he, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson had signed with the company.

    "I had signed a letter of intent," Styles said. "I agreed to 'this is what you said you were going to pay me, so you can send it to legal,' there was no contract whatsoever involved. What we signed was nothing. It was not a contract in any shape or form."

    Styles seemed surprised that TNA put out their now infamous statement about signing him, and said it only served to make them look bad.

    "I thought they did a great job of making themselves look like crap by putting out that statement," Styles said. "Just let it go. Things didn't work out. From what I'm hearing, man did I make a great decision coming here. I'm not shameful of what I've done in the past with another company, but I'm disappointed."

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