Aron Rex Cuts Through In TNA Debut

The former Damien Sandow talked about his plans and his WWE run in his opening promo with TNA ...

Aron Rex as arrived. The former Damien Sandow is officially a member of the Impact Wrestling roster, after the news leaked to Rolling Stone earlier in the day. Under a new name, Rex ripped into WWE during his opening promo, which took place in the show’s second segment.

Here is some of what he had to say:

“I’m not going to stand out here to talk about glass ceilings and brass rings, or any other cliche,” he said. “I’m going to come out here to tell the truth. I’m going to speak with full disclosure. And for those that used to employ me, don’t worry because this is not about you.

“This is about something near and dear to my heart. Something that I have always put first and foremost in my career. The paying customer, the supporter of professional wrestling, the fans. And over the course of the last five years, me having this philosophy, some people have labeled me too entertaining to receive opportunities to compete for world titles.

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“But remember this, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, no matter what any majority shareholder, CEO, or authority figure wants you to believe, anyone who has ever set foot in any ring has always worked directly for all [the fans].

“So, Impact, here we are. Let’s talk about opportunity. There are some who are pre-ordained to receive opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. In the process, your intelligence is insulted and your opinion is thrown out the window. There are others who on an even playing field, seize opportunity. This is a proving ground where talent can succeed or not succeed based on talent alone.

“Do we really need proof? I’ll give you proof. ECIII. Drew Galloway. Bobby Lashley. I mean, there’s even a guy called Brother Nero I hear everyone talking about, but I haven’t met him.

“When I first came here, there was a graphic that said I was going it my way, and this is my way. Even playing field. Take and seize opportunity. Realize my full potential.

(Crowd chants, “You’re a genius!”)

“Actually, I never tested my IQ, that was just an act, but thank you very much.

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“Mark my words, my way isn’t simply proving it here. My way will not only change the landscape, but it will change the very template of our industry. And for those of you who know be personally, you know I’m telling the truth. I’ve been called many names over the years. My name is Aron, and as of this second, Aron Rex’s new home is Impact Wrestling.”

It was a ery strong promo by Rex. There were plenty of shoot elements there, and given some of his interviews on the podcast circuit after his release, most of those elements were unexpected, at least by me. This wasn’t just a bash WWE promo, though. He clearly stated his goal. This was a really good introductory promo. The crowd knows who he is, and after the story was given to Rolling Stone, we knew Rex was headed to TNA.

What I liked most about it is that he didn’t dwell on the WWE stuff. He addressed it, and really it was the elephant in the room, but there was a lot more substance than that. He talked about winning titles and doing things his way. He talked about the restraints finally being off of him. Some can take issue with how much he talked about WWE, but in reality that’s what he was there to explain. He’s doing it “his way” … so why wasn’t he doing it “his way” before? That had to be addressed and Rex did it wonderfully here.

1. Mike Bennett & Moose beat Eddie Edwards & ECIII

Prior to the match, Lashley again sold that he beat Kurt Angle in his promo. It’s good to see TNA trying to capitalize on that win as much as possible. Remember, that match happened seven months ago. But a good heel brags a win like that into the ground, and Lashley is doing that. Moreover, it was a big win for Lashley.

This was a very good tag match as well. ECIII and Edwards have great chemistry and TNA planted the seed for a Moose turn with Bennett stealing the win. Turning him so early in his run could be problematic, but the crowd was chanting for Moose in this match. Also, if he’s going to face Lashley, he needs to go into that match as the babyface.

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2. Gail Kim beat Marti Bell in a No DQ Match

Maria continues to torment Gail Kim. Maybe we’ll finally see them square off at Bound For Glory? Maria booked a match next week where Kim will face her friend, Jade, who actually ran down to help Kim against Maria, Allie and Marti Bell in this episode.

3. Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy beat The Tribunal

Well, that just happened.

Jeff Hardy wrestled most of this match and won, but his post-match tirade is what really was the story here. After the match was ended, he put Al Snow through a table on the outside. Then, Jeff said the only person in the world who punishes him is himself. Jeff then goes to the top turnbuckle and swantons himself through a table at ringside. Matt moans and laughs in his face. Jeff screams that he is Brother Nero. Matt gets right in Jeff’s face and yells that he is broken.

Broken Matt Hardy will be joined by Broken Brother Nero for a whole big broken family tag team thingy. Honestly, as campy as this whole angle has been, it’s been entertaining. The whole thing is getting weirder, but it started weird so it’s going to an appropriate place. And a Broken tag team is incredible plot twist.

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4. Bobby Lashley beat James Storm to retain the TNA World and X Division Titles and win the TNA KOTM Title

Lashley and Storm had me sold on the near-fall with the two Last Calls near the end of this match. The crowd bought in to Storm winning the World Title on that spot, which means they hit home well. The videos on Storm leading up to this match were also so well done and really made this match feel huge. For a time, given how much they were building up Storm in the videos, I actually thought he might win the World Title. The spot with the two Last Call kicks had be totally bought in before Lashley kicked out.

Rex coming out on the stage at the end sets the stage for him challenging, maybe, for the World Title at some point. There seems to be too many challengers for Lashley right now, though. Lashley is set to face ECIII at Bound For Glory, at some point they need to follow up on the Moose thing, now there’s Rex and Drew Galloway is still a hanging chad along with Eddie Edwards and maybe even D.J. Z.

That could begin to sort itself out over the next several weeks and months, though. It’s unlikely that TNA unifies all three titles into one title, so at some point Lashley – or someone – will begin to singularly win those titles back. Either that, or something will happen to separate them. There are ways to do that logically. We see it in boxing a lot, where a weight class will have its titles unified only for one sanctioning body to strip a champion of their title for not facing a mandatory challenger, or something. It’s dumb political play, but it happens. With so many potential challengers, the road needs to begin to be cleared as we get closer to Bound For Glory, but that event is still two months away.