Former TNA Referee Believes Partnership With AEW Was Not Fair

Former TNA wrestling referee Brian Hebner has blamed AEW for not being fair with their partner during the pandemic years.

The wrestling veteran recently appeared on the Rewind Relive Recap podcast alongside current TNA head referee Daniel Spencer.

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While talking about TNA’s partnership with different promotions, Spencer compared their collaboration with AEW back in the day with the ongoing crossover with WWE. He said that the WWE partnership makes sense today:

“I feel like the relationship with WWE and TNA just makes more sense. I know Brian was there, and we both were there when we had the other brand partnership, or whatever, with the other company. That crossover with the other company, and it was okay.

But I just feel like this one, is the right one. Not to say the other one wasn’t. Maybe it was right at that time, but it’s not right, right now, what’s right now is what we’re doing. I’m excited. I can’t wait to see where it takes us.”

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It Was Really Not That Good: Brian Hebner

Brian Hebner then shared his opinion on the matter as well. He said that a rub from a company like WWE is always good for a smaller promotion like TNA. Hebner went on to criticize the way AEW handled their partnership:

“That old partnership you’re talking about, I’ll say it, with AEW was really not that good. It was a give and take. It was all give and we take nothing. That’s what it really did amount to. I don’t know if it was, I don’t know all that aspect. I just know that I was a little bit back in the back scenes because I was traveling and doing all the stuff that we were doing mixed with AEW.

I just felt like matches were, they weren’t fair. It was just all about their talent getting over. Where I feel like WWE is not in it like that. I don’t feel like, Jordynee Grace is going to win their title while she has TNA’s, but I do feel like they’re going to give her a fair shake and make her look really, really good. That’s all I’m sure TNA is asking.”

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The partnership between TNA and AEW was spearheaded by the then AEW World Champion Kenny Omega. It started when Kenny turned heel and defeated Jon Moxley to win the AEW title with help from Don Callis at the end of 2020. Callis was an executive vice president of the promotion known as Impact Wrestling at the time.

The partnership saw many talents from both rosters crossing over to the other show. During the course of it, Kenny Omega had multiple matches in Impact Wrestling and even held the Impact World title for almost 5 months.

He dropped the title to Christian Cage at the premiere episode of Rampage. The partnership between the two promotions ended after Cage in turn lost the title to Josh Alexander at Bound For Glory 2021.