If you’re looking for the next generation of Impact superstars… well, you’ll probably still mostly want to see whose release requests are granted by WWE.
But the Anthem-owned company isn’t content to wait for other promotion’s cast offs, and have recognized that the market for finding and signing talent which isn’t already under contract to WWE or one of their partners on the independents, Ring of Honor, New Japan, MLW, All Elite, etc., is extremely competitive. So they’re rekindled a partnership with an organization which has a pretty good track record of developing wrestlers, Ohio Valley Wrestling.
OVW was WWE’s training ground in the aughts, and served the same function for TNA from 2012 – 2014. It’s now owned by Al Snow, who’s worked for Impact on-and-off for most of this decade, so the move makes sense due to lots of shared history.
Here’s the official press release from Impact:
IMPACT Wrestling Re-establishes Developmental Agreement with Ohio Valley Wrestling
TORONTO | LOUISVILLE – IMPACT Wrestling announced today that it has re-entered into an agreement with Louisville-based Ohio Valley Wrestling to serve as an official development and training territory for IMPACT Wrestling.
The announcement of the renewed partnership follows the success of the co-promoted One Night Only: Clash in the Bluegrass event, a sold-out show from Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky, which featured stars from both organizations.
“We are excited to grow our outreach and partnership with promotions worldwide,” said IMPACT Wrestling Executive VP Scott D’Amore. “It is great to work with Al Snow and the team at OVW, which has a long history of developing great talent.”
“OVW is proud to be entrusted with the development of the true lifeblood of any professional wrestling promotion – the in-ring talent,” said OVW CEO and owner Al Snow.
As part of the agreement, IMPACT Wrestling management will look to OVW when scouting new talent and those on the development roster will see future opportunities to appear on the flagship weekly show IMPACT!, which is televised in more than 120 countries around the world.
Al Snow acquired OVW in June 2018 and formed Gladiator Sports Network, which also produces professional boxing events and a high school sports prep series while keeping wrestling as its signature brand. OVW served as the official development training ground for World Wrestling Entertainment from 2000 to 2008 and as IMPACT Wrestling’s training territory from 2012 to 2014. With more than 1,000 television episodes, OVW is the longest running professional wrestling series broadcast on local television in the U.S. The series is the signature of the company’s elite training program, which boasts more than 150 alumni who went on to international fame, including John Cena, Brock Lesnar and reigning IMPACT World Champion Johnny Impact.