The closing of September 24th’s No Surrender pay per view featured two major announcements. First, Jim Cornette told the packed Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida that TNA is moving to prime time. Then, he cut to a video package announcing that Kurt Angle would be coming to TNA.
Angle was released from WWE on August 25th after a series of injuries and a suspension under the WWE wellness program. He will debut with the company on November 19th.
In a press release posted on Angle’s official website, the Olympic gold medallist stated, “being with TNA feels like I found my home. TNA will be the most watched show on cable TV – it’s just a matter of time. Thank you TNA for saving my career, my life and my desire to do what I love.”
“This has been a huge week in our company’s history. The signing of Kurt Angle and the move of IMPACT! To 9pm (EST), are both significant benchmarks in the growth of TNA. The history of pro wrestling is marked with events that change the landscape of the industry and I believe that this week will be viewed in that context,” said TNA president Dixie Carter, adding, “Kurt is considered the greatest wrestler in professional wrestling. His in-ring ability is matched only by his leadership and attitude. We are thrilled Kurt will be joining the TNA family and we look forward to a long, successful relationship.”
Starting Thursday, November 16th, TNA Impact will move to 9pm EST, with a two-hour special. The show will return to its one-hour format after that. Behind the scenes, TNA faced another shake up with the announcement this week that Vince Russo is joining the creative team. Russo was in WWE creative during the height of the “Attitude Era” before joining WCW in 2000. He had a run in TNA in 2003, which saw him manage AJ Styles in his first NWA title run.
The announcement has gotten a mixed reaction as to many Russo is not a popular man, including Jim Cornette, who presently plays the on-screen role of commissioner of TNA. Cornette was quoted in an article that appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Montgomery Advertiser. In the piece, Cornette, commenting on Russo, stated that, “I’ll be down there Sunday and I’m going to have a conversation with some people. I have a hunch both of us won’t be in the same place for too long.”