The story going around Impact Wrestling on Rhyno’s return at the recent Slammiversary 17 pay-per-view was that someone else was under the mask, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Despite the masked man looking the part and doing the Rhyno mannerisms, word going around was that it was not the real Rhyno who attacked Michael Elgin.
As noted, Rhyno was still legally under contract to WWE when the Slammiversary return happened, but it’s been reported that WWE has no plans to take action. There had been some speculation on Impact and WWE agreeing on a deal to allow the appearance, perhaps in exchange for Rob Van Dam’s RAW Reunion appearance, but The Observer reports that there was no deal between the two sides.
It was also noted by the Observer that one Impact source outright stated that the masked man was not the real Rhyno, but Impact officials wanted everyone to think it was him, and they thought it was great that they were able to fool people.
We noted earlier this week that Rhyno spoke with SportingNews.com and confirmed that he turned down a lucrative WWE deal to return to Impact under a new multi-year deal. In that same interview, Rhyno was asked what happened with the Slammiversary appearance, and if he was still under WWE contract for another week at that point.
“I cannot confirm or deny,” he said. But I will go on the record of saying I was still under contract no matter who I worked for. Whether it’s my word or a contract, I will do it justice. But with that being said, Rob Van Dam was also under contract when he appeared on Monday Night Raw for the Reunion show. So, does Impact and WWE have some sort of backdoor understanding type of agreement? Or was that not me? Or was that me? Did WWE allow me or give my blessings? Because at the end of the day, what are they going to do? Fire me? But at the end of the day, doing business is one of the essential things in wrestling. I try to stress that to younger talent. It’s always beneficial to do good business because it ends up being best for the wrestling business and the fans.”
Rhyno also talked about wanting to help some of the younger talents in Impact, and what he sees in Elgin that makes him want to work the feud.
“He’s just a powerful individual,” Rhyno said of Elgin. “He gets it like a lot of people in our locker room. I’ve known Michael Elgin since Ring of Honor. He’s always been a force in wrestling. Whether it’s been on live events or televised events, the guy lives, breathes and eats the gym and wrestling. And that motivates you. You’re not going to get better if you aren’t facing people better than you. You always want to be fighting from underneath because you become bigger, better, and stronger. I know he’ll make me a better person in the ring because he’s a beast. He’s so strong. It’s insane.”
Regarding his pro wrestling career, Rhyno said he would like to try and wrestle for eight more years. He was asked when he sees himself hanging up the boots.
“I would like to try for eight years,” he revealed. “That’s my goal. Hit 32 years in pro wrestling. I was watching a thing on former NASCAR driver Richard Petty and he drove for 32 years. Along with winding it up, I’d like to get more involved in my community. I own a marina in Monroe, Mich. called Big Daddy’s Boatyard and want to work on that. I don’t know about becoming a wrestling coach, but I think you owe it to wrestling business to do like autograph signings for the fans or help build another talent by taking more of a behind the scenes approach. These major pro wrestling companies need to help bring guys in to help develop the future behind the scenes. Hopefully, my career ends eight years from now, so I can help the younger generation because I don’t want to abandon the business like that whatsoever.”
Below is video from the Slammiversary return along with Rhyno’s appearance on the July 26 Impact episode:
.@MrGMSI_BCage retains the World Championship but CHAOS ERUPTS after the match!
Who is the MASKED MAN?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 8, 2019