Former IMPACT Talent Infuriated By The Kingdom's AEW Debuts
IMPACT Tag Champions The Kingdom debuted on the October 14 AEW Rampage
AEW and ROH’s tag divisions were recently bolstered when former ROH World Tag Team Champions The Kingdom arrived in AEW, with the team of Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, and Maria Kanellis making their official AEW debuts on the October 14 edition of Rampage.
On-screen Bennett and Taven are the current holders of the IMPACT World Tag Team Championships, but are set to drop the titles on the October 20 edition of IMPACT Wrestling, with Rhino and Heath having defeated the pair for the gold when the episode was recorded on October 8.
As a result, The Kingdom’s AEW debut has telegraphed the outcome of their title bout with the pair making their AEW debuts without the titles, and former IMPACT referee Brian Hebner is not happy with how things have transpired saying the following on the Refin’ It Up podcast:
"I am so very happy for them. I really am,” said Hebner. “I became very close in the short time that I was able to work with Maria and Mike, and they are just wonderful people. I love them and I think they're the sweetest people in the world. They have beautiful kids. They're just wonderful people. I'm not as close with Taven, but boy, we became really good friends too in a short period of time. What a great dude he is and I'm just so happy for them.
"Now the only thing that p***** me off, and it's not about them, it's about how it always just seems that Impact bends over backwards and does every f****** thing they can with AEW to do the ‘forbidden door’ gimmick or whatever the f*** it is now, and then they had the audacity to put them on their TV show before it's even on Impact's that they're not there anymore. You can't just wait or talk about it? You have to introduce them before the storyline comes out on Impact? It's all about them all the time and it just kind of sucks. If I was Scott D'Amore, which I'm not, thank God, because I couldn't be as patient and as gentle and nice as Scott, I would just be p*****. It just infuriates me because I just know when I was there, we did things for them as much as we could and did it right, and it just seemed like they just wanted to turn around and do what they wanted to do, how they wanted to do it, and they didn't give a s***. It is what it is. They think they're the bigger company, which I guess they are, but that doesn't mean that you just can do whatever f*** you want, but I guess they can."
AEW and IMPACT have enjoyed a working relationship since late 2020, but some fans and industry insiders have questioned what IMPACT really got out of the agreement.