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Details on Why Impact Wrestling Terminated Eli Drake

April 7, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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UPDATE: PWInsider has some new details on Eli Drake’s departure from Impact Wrestling. The site reports that management was unhappy with comments Drake had made about Impact on recent interviews, which compounded the fact that the company wasn’t happy that he refused to wrestle Tessa Blanchard at Impact United We Stand.

Drake initially tweeted about his decision not to do the match back in February, “I have amazing respect for @IMPACTWRESTLING and @Tess_Blanchard and can see that she is likely the greatest female talent in wrestling today. Although that said, I will not participate in a one on one intergender match,” sharing a post from a fan about how such a match screams “this is fake.”

Drake told us that he thought Joey Ryan, who replaced him in the match, made more sense to face Blanchard than he did: “You got two great performers in their own right as far as what they do. I’ve known Joey for a long time. I’m cool with Joey. I’m friends with Joey. Is it my kind of wrestling? No, but I think it has its place. If he does on that on Bar Wrestling, I’m cool with that. I wouldn’t want to do that on television when I’m trying to push serious angles. But at the same time, nothing but respect for the simple fact that he’s been able to get a lot of eyes on him with what he’s doing. And I think that as far as at least a way from a physical standpoint, you look at a matchup between the two, at least a little more physically matched I would say.”

We’ve reached out to Drake for comment on his release.

Drake talked at length with us about why he is against intergender wrestler as well as how him nearly returning to NXT got Impact to offer him a six-figure contract.

ORIGINAL: Eli Drake’s time with Impact Wrestling has come to an end. The company announced on Sunday that it has “terminated its relationship with Shaun Ricker, known as ‘Eli Drake.’” No reason was listed for his release.

During his interview with 411’s Jeffrey Harris, Drake confirmed that his contract with the company was ending on May 31st, saying, “That is absolutely true.” Asked about where he might go from there, Drake said:

“I have signed nothing. There’s no ink on any papers. I know what I’m doing. I’ve already made my decision, but I think I’m going to keep that one tight to the chest right now. But nothing has been signed anywhere whether Impact or anywhere else.”

He also noted that he hasn’t been in talks with WWE, saying, “No, it’s still kind of the same thing where I’ve got friends in there. I mean, look, the good fortune of my career with as long as it’s been and as many different places as I’ve bounced around, I know a lot of people now who are in that system. That goes for coaches, producers, wrestlers, and so occasionally, I’ll have conversations with them, where like, last year in New Orleans, I ran into Robbie Brookside and had a great conversation and just talked about how I used to be there and what not. So things like that, and sometimes I’ll reach out, or they’ll reach out or whatever. And they’ll say like, ‘You’d be really good here. Blah blah blah.’ But again, that’s not anybody making me an offer, so much as a person that I’m friendly with saying, ‘It’s something to consider.'”