Former IMPACT Wrestling referee Brian Hebner has hit out at the timing of The Kingdom’s debut of on AEW TV.
The Kingdom (Matt Taven and Mike Bennett) and Maria Kanellis made their last appearance for IMPACT Wrestling on October 20th when the team lost the promotion’s Tag Team Championships to Heath and Rhyno.
However, the episode was actually taped several weeks before then and the trio had actually left the company when their contracts expired on October 8th.
This left Taven, Bennett, and Maria Kanellis free to make their AEW debut on the October 14th edition of Rampage. After FTR and Shawn Spears defeat The Embassy in the main event, Kanellis and The Kingdom appeared on the ramp and challenged FTR.
They then attacked the ROH Tag Team Champions before Wardlow and Samoa Joe made the save and sent the newly All Elite stars packing.
On the latest episode of his ‘Refin’ It Up’ podcast, former IMPACT official Brian Hebner said that, while he’s happy for the group, he wishes AEW had held back on their debut until their last appearance on IMPACT had aired.
“I am so very happy for them. I really am. 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 pisses me off, and it’s not about them, it’s about how it always just seems that Impact bends over backwards and does every fu**ing thing they can with AEW to do the forbidden door gimmick or whatever the fu*k 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 pissed. 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 sh*t. 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 fu*k you want, but I guess they can.”
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the above transcription.