It looks like IMPACT wrestling could be dead. Again.
"Effective immediately, Jeff Jarrett is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his position as Chief Creative Officer to focus on personal matters. Jeff will be available on a consultative basis as needed."
That was bad enough, but Jarrett's exit may only be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. According to Justin Barrasso of SI.com, IMPACT may be dead in the water:
"GFW is hemorrhaging funds, and sources close to the situation have confirmed that Anthem is ready to withdraw itself from the wrestling industry and sell GFW. Anthem even needed to gut the Fight Network in order to finance GFW.
Another wrinkle to the story is that Jarrett still owns the name of Global Force Wrestling, so Anthem would be selling Impact Wrestling."
There's a lot of entities and names at play here, so let's extrapolate this as cleanly as possible: Anthem is the Canadian ownership group that acts as IMPACT Wrestling's wallet. GFW, Jeff Jarrett's company, was in the middle of merging with IMPACT. However he's now gone and Anthem, the financial backer, is now considering selling IMPACT which makes GFW an orphan with no food or home.
The potential sale IMPACT/GFW has some juicy ramifications. First WWE is likely interested in their video library at a minimum. With former current and former WWE Superstars like Sting, Kurt Angle AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe, WWE may have enough incentive to acquire their old tapes.
Even further, if WWE purchases IMPACT/GFW, then the Hardy's legal battle over their 'BROKEN' gimmick is officially over. Jeff and Matt would be able to legally bring their eccentric characters to WWE television.
However, WWE would not be the lone suitor of IMPACT/GFW. Ring of Honor is also rumored to be interested in scooping up the broken promotion. This would inherently make ROH the stand-alone #2 wrestling promotion in the United States.
The third possibility is Billy Corgan. The Smashing Pumpkins front man nice one at stake in TNA and recently purchased the rights to "Nation Wrestling Alliance." Consider Corgan the official wild card.
There is a multitude of direction this scenario can go, but it seems certain that IMPACT/GFW is going down. Dysfunction continues to plague this promotion and IMPACT may be desperately seeking to cut bait. It's a shame because IMPACT/GFW does have talent and does play a role in the wrestling ecosystem. This story is likely just beginning. We'll keep you posted as learn more.