In one of their most significant acquisitions, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling has signed recent World Wrestling Entertainment defector Christian (32-year-old William Jason Reso) to a significant contract, according to several sources.
Publicly, TNA has only acknowledged the “single biggest jump in TNA history.” That quote, attributed to Dixie Carter, appeared on the TNA website Tuesday. But sources off-the-record have pointed to Christian, the former WWE wrestler who ended a seven-year relationship with WWE two weeks ago when he decided not to renew his contract.
In the suggested contract, Christian was said to have been offered a non-negotiable cut in base salary of approximately 50%.
Many former WWE wrestlers have found a home in TNA. At once, WWE suggested that working for TNA would be construed as working for competition and not received well when being considered for a spot in the future, but this did not dissuade the group formerly known as the Dudley Boyz, Team 3D, from accepting a lucrative contract.
TNA also recently negotiated with Mick Foley and Matt Hardy recently, and came close to signing both, but lost in both bids when WWE presented a more competitive offer.
Christian has turned down several other high-paying dates since leaving WWE. It is unknown if a contractual stipulation prevents him from working for other companies for a certain period of time. Such stipulations are common and often preclude wrestlers from making appearances for companies shortly after leaving WWE.
According to TNA, his debut will be at the TNA PPV Genesis on Sunday.
Christian was highly expected to come to an agreement with TNA. It will allow him to work only a handful of dates every month, as compared to 15-20 with WWE, for a sizable amount of compensation per week. The extra time will allow Christian to pursue an acting career but will require a commitment of time that the inflexible WWE schedule could not offer. Christian also lives in the immediate vicinity of Orlando, Fla., where TNA tapes all of their shows and can commute by car.
TNA’s show Sunday also features Rhino and Team 3D vs. Jeff Jarrett and America’s Most Wanted; AJ Styles vs. Petey Williams for the X Division Championship; an elimination match featuring Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Alex Shelley, and Roderick Strong vs. Chris Sabin, Matt Bentley, Sonjay Dutt, and Austin Aries; Sabu vs. Abyss in a no disqualification match; Monty Brown vs. Jeff Hardy; and Team Canada vs. 3Live Kru.