Various: Santino Marella Signs with Impact, Michael Oku on NXT UK Hurting UK Indies, WOW TV Ratings

Santino Marella Makes Surprise Appearance at Hard To Kill 2023, Signs with Impact

Impact Wrestling’s Hard To Kill 2023 event on Friday in Atlanta, Georgia featured a surprise appearance by former WWE talent Santino Marella.

Following Moose’s tainted victory for the Digital Media Championship, Marella made his surprise appearance revealing himself to be Impact’s new Director of Authority and replacing Scott D’Amore, who is currently out of action due to a storyline injury at the hands of Bully Ray. Marella demanded for the match to restart, which led to Joe Hendry retaining his Digital Media title in the end.

PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources confirmed that Marella had recently signed an official contract with Impact.

In regards to Marella being able to use the same ring name he had in WWE, Impact’s parent company Anthem had filed a trademark for the the name this past December.

Michael Oku Comments on His Concerns with WWE’s NXT Europe Plans & How NXT UK Hurt UK Indies

Stephanie Chase held a recent interview with indie wrestler Michael Oku. One of the topics discussed included Oku’s thoughts on his concerns over WWE’s plans to launch a new NXT Europe brand and why their former NXT UK brand was meant to hurt and not help the indies in the United Kingdom.

“It feels like NXT UK was created not to help, but to hurt and I think the biggest bit of evidence on that is when there was nothing to compete with anymore and when there is a pandemic and when they’re not making money from it, their immediate thing is to get rid of it and again, they say, ‘We’re gonna do NXT Europe.’ Okay, okay. If you are, what’s the explanation for firing all of your roster? That’s what I wanna know. That’s the one thing that they would love to know, the ones that got let go.

It was a few of them that were asked to do promotion for it [Clash at the Castle]. They were asked by the company to help promote it and then they get let go so, there’s a lot of reasons — a lot of the things that they have done, I feel, in my opinion, kind of give away what the true intentions of ‘our brand’ was. But, when it got disbanded, when it got closed down, you really just did validate what we’ve been doing on the scene at the moment. Again, especially RevPro, because I know a lot of people, if you wrestle there, they’ll be looking for you and they’ll be trying to get you.

What happens next with NXT Europe if it’s a thing? The running joke was that now that [William] Regal is back in the company — once Triple H is in charge and brought Regal back, it’s like, oh, it’s definitely now a thing. Before, we’re like, it’s not a thing but now it definitely is. But then, the new joke is that because Vince [McMahon] is now back in the Board of Directors, it’s not a thing anymore. So we’ll have to wait and see… I don’t wanna to just call it 100 percent this evil thing because it did provide wrestlers, independent wrestlers with more money than they would have got if they were independent wrestlers but again, we’ll see what they do. We’ll see if they realize that Europe is not a country and it’s like a load of different countries, there’s different laws and see if they can bring people around. It’s intriguing. I’m intrigued to say the least.”

Transcript h/t:

WOW TV Ratings – Dec. 25, 2022

WOW: Women of Wrestling reportedly drew 360,000 viewers for their December 25th episode on syndication, up from the prior week’s 301,000 viewers.

It drew a 0.06 18-49 rating, up from the prior week’s 0.03 rating.

Source: Wrestlenomics