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Impact Wrestling fires Eli Drake: What happened and where could Eli end up next?

Impact Wrestling fires Eli Drake
Eli Drake has been released from Impact Wrestling. Pic credit: Impact Wrestling

In a shocking and sudden move, Impact Wrestling fired Eli Drake, one of their most promising stars over the last few years.

The news came with a terse and short announcement.

Impact Wrestling announced today that it has terminated its relationship with Shaun Ricker, known as ‘Eli Drake’.

According to PWInsider, Impact Wrestling management was angry at comments that Drake had made about the company in interviews.

One example came in an interview with Wrestling Perspective:

“It’s time to start thinking about what options I have. Should I stay or should I go? We will find out. There are so many options out there. How can I best boost my brand awareness and how can I put more money in my pocket? It’s a matter of figuring out what’s going to work best for me long-term.”

This was also added to the fact that Eli Drake has been dismissive of Impact Wrestling offering intergender matches, saying it can’t make matches look like an actual fight.

This comes only a short time after he signed a six-figure contract to remain with Impact Wrestling in 2015 after NXT showed interest in him.

“Do you remember back when James Storm went to NXT for like a minute?” Drake asked in an interview with 411mania. “I was also supposed to go to NXT… I sent an e-mail to John Gaburick back in around September/October 2015 requesting my release. He vehemently refused…”

“He ended up writing me a six-figure deal; the first six-figure deal I had ever seen. And so, I was like very happy to stay with Impact at that point.”

Now, it is over.

So, what is next for Eli Drake?

He burned some bridges, specifically in the aforementioned interview with 411mania where he said that training at the WWE Performance Center made him a “worse wrestler.”

“I’ll be honest. I think with the way that they ran it then, I hear it’s different now, I think with the way they ran it then, I actually got worse,” Drake said.

Of course, things are different there now, with guys like Bill DeMott gone.

However, there are also openings at the new AEW Wrestling and Eli Drake could be a nice surprise at their first Double or Nothing show. Add in Ring of Honor, and there are opportunities out there for someone with the talent of Eli Drake.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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