It’s no secret that there have been a ton of departures from Impact Wrestling recently. Just this week, Rockstar Spud, MJ Jenkins, Brian Hebner, and a couple of other roster members left Impact, and those names barely scratch the surface of the total number of wrestlers who have departed the company this year. Yet another individual has announced that he is officially finished with Impact now, that being referee Brian Stiffler. Stiffler had been working as a referee for Impact for over ten years before confirming that he asked, and was granted, his release this week. When asked for comment, he told Pro Wrestling Sheet the following: “I’m extraordinarily grateful for being given the opportunity to have worked with TNA/IMPACT for the past 13 years. I’ve learned and grew so much with the help of so many incredible people, including Brian and Earl Hebner (who also I became best friends with!!)”
Got to main event one last time w/ @IMPACTWRESTLING!! Thanks for granting my release! Big THANKS to the locker room & crew for everything!!
— Brian Stiffler (@BrianStiffler) November 3, 2017
As previously mentioned, Brian Hebner announced earlier this week that he had been granted his release from Impact Wrestling. It appears that his father, Earl Hebner, may also be on his way out of the company. Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Hebner left earlier this week because of the company’s choice to hire local referees for their Bound for Glory pay-per-view and subsequent television tapings this week. Earl Hebner is one of pro wrestling’s most famous referees, and he had been working for Impact since 2006. The company honored him back in 2015 when he was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. Neither side has commented on the reported departure, and no plans for Earl’s future are currently known at the moment.
One of wrestling’s most popular characters from 2016 was Matt Hardy’s transformation into “Broken” Matt Hardy. Since leaving Impact Wrestling, Matt has been forbidden from portraying the character due to Impact claiming ownership of the gimmick, which he has publicly disputed so far. It’s been a while, but a new update on the current status of the “Broken” gimmick has been provided. PWInsider reports that Matt’s IP lawyer submitted a new specimen to the USPTO on October 31st. Hardy has provided a promotional poster for a CWF Mid-Atlantic event advertising him as “Broken” Matt Hardy, which was made during he and Jeff Hardy’s “Expedition of Gold” tour. Matt has since added an IP lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee to aid him in registering the trademark.