The world — well, a few thousand folks anyway — was watching last night when TNA Impact wrestling debuted their August 1 Warning man, who has been producing promos for the last week or so. Tito Ortiz was that man.
For those who don’t know who Ortiz is, let me set the stage for you.
He is a former UFC light heavyweight champion, UFC Hall-of-Famer, owner of a 28-12 professional record in the world of MMA as a pioneer of the sport … and is now the newest member of the Impact Wrestling roster.
What people don’t know is that this isn’t Ortiz’s first time on the wrestling scene. The Santa Ana, California native served as the special guest referee for Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles at the Hardcore Justice pay-per-view in May of 2005.
As I scoured through Twitter, it was full of hate — hate that even goes over what TNA usually receives on a weekly basis on how it should shut down or the fact that it’s failing. This move by Impact brass could not have been more pitiful. My claim of putrid regret towards Ortiz being the man behind the promos is this: he isn’t a wrestler.
Yes, he had a wrestling background as a mixed martial artist, but he isn’t a “professional wrestler”. It is completely different and most will attest to that claim.
The TNA fans wanted a wrestler and got “another” former UFC champion. Rampage Jackson debuted on the roster a few weeks ago and is now a part of the Main Event Mafia stable. Here’s the kicker: Ortiz and Jackson will be fighting at Bellator 106 on November 2, 2013.
Could this be just a ploy to market the fight? Many questions will be answered in the coming weeks as to who was behind the decision to bring in Ortiz, and if he will actually wrestle on Impact.
If you ask me, Impact messed up.