It is believed that there will be several wrestlers that depart the company over the next month or so, including some main event talents. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that with James Storm recently leaving the company, the next two top talents who may be leaving when their contracts expire are Bobby Lashley and Ethan Carter III, who currently holds the Impact Grand Title on TV. As noted, Storm left the company because he had a high guaranteed money contract that Impact would not renew.
Two stars who will be staying for a while are Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie. They both recently signed deals that will allow them to continue working for Lucha Underground when the series films the next season.
On a related note, the belief is that Impact will feature a much larger contingent of Canadian-based wrestlers going forward as the company is now based out of Toronto, Ontario due to parent company Anthem being located there.
As noted, Impact announced today that Scott D’Amore and Don Callis have been hired as Executive Vice Presidents of the company. They will report to President Ed Nordholm and form a three-member Executive Committee. The committee has an “overall responsibility for developing the creative direction for the Company and managing the execution of the Company’s business plan.” Impact has not confirmed any significant office departures related to the new committee but PWInsider notes that word going around says John “Big” Gaburick will be officially leaving the company during early 2018. Gaburick was kept on as a consultant when Anthem took over and he’s also worked TV tapings but he was kept more as insurance in case the regime under Jeff Jarrett didn’t work out. Gaburick helped with the transition following Jarrett’s departure but mostly with production as creative was being led by D’Amore and Sonjay Dutt. Gaburick is no longer needed with Don Callis and Scott D’Amore being hired but he had already been preparing for life after Impact wit new projects as of late. Gaburick isn’t the only one leaving in early 2018 as Dutch Mantel is expected to part ways with the company. One source noted to PWInsider that Mantel is already gone but that could not be confirmed. Mantel was not brought in for the November TV tapings after losing his power when Jarrett left.
PWInsider notes that one of the longterm employees that is expected to stay with the company and work from home is Bob Ryder, who still works as an executive.
Regarding the rest of the creative team, Dutt is still working creative and as a producer, and that is not expected to change. Abyss, Gail Kim, Jeremy Borash and Jimmy Jacobs will all continue to work as producers and will also have input into creative. The final calls on creative and direction of the company will now be made by Callis, D’Amore and Nordholm.
The company is looking to try and run live events more consistently in 2018 as well. There’s been talk of taping 4-5 weeks of TV episodes at a time, instead of 10 weeks or so over a longer stretch of time. They are also interested in running live non-televised events at smaller venues in between tapings if they can be cost-effective. The January TV tapings are confirmed for Orlando, Florida but the company is planning on running the US and Canada next year. There’s talk of holding the March TV tapings in Canada, possibly the in the Windsor area.