On Sunday night at IMPACT Slammiversary, IMPACT EVP and announcer Don Callis was attacked by Michael Elgin following his loss to IMPACT World Champion Brian Cage. Callis was brought into the ring, where Elgin was getting ready to beat down the announcer. But a masked man entered the ring and speared the former Ring of Honor World Champion, allowing Callis to escape. While the masked man was never identified by Josh Matthews, the stance was eerily similar to the stance of former IMPACT World Champion and ECW World Champion Rhino, and the spear was very “Gore” like.
.@MrGMSI_BCage retains the World Championship but CHAOS ERUPTS after the match!
Who is the MASKED MAN?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 8, 2019
To add further fuel to the possibility of this being Rhino returning to IMPACT, earlier in the day, Rhino himself tweeted a photo from the famous Southfork Ranch from the TV series, Dallas, with the note “time to get back to work”. Slammiversary was held in Dallas on Sunday night.
Nothing better then a 4th of July weekend in Texas. Time to get back to work. pic.twitter.com/0tQLZY45w4
— Rhyno (@Rhyno313) July 7, 2019
While a returning Rhino assisting Don Callis may seem like a random or odd narrative to re-introduce Rhino into IMPACT, it may have ties to an alliance the two had back in the last days of ECW. Don Callis has experienced several encounters with talents over the past few months, so perhaps Callis has suddenly felt the need to get some protection for himself. And what better protection that re-enlisting someone from his entourage from ECW. Back in ECW, then known as Cyrus the Virus, Callis had an on-air role that was actually somewhat similar to the real life position that Callis has with IMPACT today.
As Cyrus, he was an authority figure that reported directly to ECW’s then TV-home, SpikeTV, and his stable was called The Network. Originally partnered with Steve Corino, The Network soon expanded, adding Corino’s manager, Jack Victory, as well as Cyrus’ personal security duo of Rhino and Tajiri.
One of the interesting things if Rhino is indeed back with IMPACT is the timing of his return. In a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, he stated his WWE contract expired on July 17 this year, which would mean he’s shown up in another company over a week ahead of his WWE contract fully expiring. Although, it’s possible he was quietly given his release recently. With IMPACT doing their next round of TV tapings in Windsor, Ontario, Canada (which is directly across the river from Detroit, Rhino’s hometown), it’s more than likely that we’ll see Rhino make his unmasked re-debut with IMPACT in a very Rhino-friendly area of the country. While Steve Corino is unlikely to return to a new “Network” (as he’s now a producer/agent with WWE), Tajiri is still a freelancer. While he primarily works in Japan these days, with the likes of All Japan and Big Japan, he has been working more US and Canadian indie dates this year, including matches with House of Glory, DEFY Wrestling, Next Generation Wrestling (NGW), and International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS).
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.