Multiple Former WWE Stars Debut At TNA Hard To Kill

wwe Dana Brooke

There were a few familiar faces who used to work for WWE who made their TNA debuts at Hard To Kill.

The TNA Hard To Kill pay-per-view in Las Vegas on January 13th was a reboot for the company that was known as Impact Wrestling since 2017, but was mostly known as TNA since 2002.

It was also an event that had good timing for many former WWE stars, who were let go in September 2023. Following their releases, the wrestlers that were let go had to wait 90 days before appearing in another company due to a “no-compete clause” in their contracts.

Nic Nemeth, the former Dolph Ziggler, made the biggest impact of the former WWE stars when he appeared after the main event. Nemeth confronted new TNA World Champion Moose, they got into an altercation and Nemeth dropped him with a superkick along with the neckbreaker move that used to be known as the Zig Zag. Nemeth celebrated with fans while unveiling a TNA shirt.

AJ Francis (Top Dolla in WWE) also debuted at TNA Hard to Kill in a segment where he debuted a new music video. That led to issues with TNA’s Joe Hendry. Francis ended up hitting Hendry with a Chokeslam to show his dominance.

The Grizzled Young Veterans also debuted at Hard to Kill. They used that name on the WWE NXT UK brand and NXT, but then they became The Dyad on NXT as part of the Schism group. They are back to using their James Drake & Zack Gibson names. The team was part of a four-way match for the TNA Tag Team Titles. They did not win the titles in that match.

On the women’s side, the former Dana Brooke also made her TNA debut after spending about a decade in WWE.

The blonde bombshell appeared wearing a fur coat along and a man who escorted her to ringside to watch the TNA Knockouts Title match. Brooke’s name in TNA was “Ash by Elegance.” Her real name is Ashley Sebera.

Xia Brookside is another former WWE name that appeared at Hard To Kill. She was in the Women’s Ultimate X match, but failed to win. Brookside worked for WWE from 2018 to 2022 on the NXT UK brand. According to Fightful Select, Brookside has side a three year deal with TNA.

There’s no official word on what kind of deals these ex-WWE stars have with TNA. Sometimes people sign for several years, other times they have six-month deals and shorter-term deals.

What’s Next For Former WWE Stars In TNA?

TNA will tape multiple Impact episodes on January 14th in Las Vegas with Nic Nemeth facing off against Zachary Wentz in singles action in Nemeth’s first post-WWE match.

The other WWE stars that debuted at TNA Hard to Kill will likely be featured on TNA television in the weeks ahead as well. TNA’s next PPV special is No Surrender on February 23rd.