This is a question that’s been bantered about online since the inception of the company (then NWA-TNA). It’s something that often follows any promotion as the talent believes or knows they’re worth more, but the promotion either can’t or won’t pay them more. Often times, like it has been attributed to WCW, they hand out money like there’s no end to it.
It’s like every other business, as the smaller promotions don’t have the money like the WWE and other giants. WCW had Ted Turner’s fortune behind it, and AEW has Shahid Khan and his son Tony’s fortune behind it. In many ways, it’s difficult for the smaller promotions to survive as their talent will want to go where they can make a better living.
A perfect example of this is the end of ECW
While ECW changed the world of wrestling and was the inspiration for the Attitude Era that saved he WWE, the last couple years were reportedly low income wise.
It had been reported at the time that some of ECW’s superstars like Sabu, Rob Van Dam, and Shane Douglas had been wrestling for weeks or months without being paid. They continued wrestling out of loyalty to Paul Heyman and what he did for their careers. While, as mentioned, this was mainly rumors, it can’t be ignored that ECW didn’t last much longer despite Heyman’s efforts, and when they were unable to secure a new TV contract, WWE acquired the property.
Impact is ECW 2.0
Impact is putting up a fight to remain functional as they brought back a handful of ECW superstars like Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, and Rhyno. Each have been part of some good matches, and Dreamer and Rhyno have even been part of separate feuds.
This had been successful enough that the fans have been chanting, “ECW!” during their matches. It may be nostalgia talking, but it shows the impact (pun unintended) ECW had and continues to have on us.
Is the end near?
Maybe, maybe not. Miracles often happen when people put their noses to the grindstones, but reality intrudes more times than not.
While the reasons for this aren’t clear, Jeff Jarret’s previous comments about “Anthem being out of money” have struck a chord in the wrestling community and has many believing Impact will have trouble paying its talent in the near future.
The timing of this rumor couldn’t be worse. With the rise of the AEW and its impending war with the WWE, and the NWA resurging under the ownership of Billy Corgan, the end of Impact may be closer than expected unless they can find a way to hold onto their talent and/or make a partnership with another promotion of sponsor.