Impact Wrestling announced today that former Impact World Champion Eli Drake is done with the company and is free to pursue other options. The announcement was made on the official Impact website where they wrote:
Impact Wrestling announced today that it has terminated its relationship with Shaun Ricker, known as ‘Eli Drake.’
While it was expected Drake might be leaving, the expectation was that it wasn’t set to happen for another couple of months. Drake is one of the company’s biggest stars after starting with the promotion just over three years ago. During his tenure there, he carried the Impact World Championship and the Impact World Tag Team Championships with Scott Steiner.
Obviously, this will create a little buzz about AEW or WWE and where exactly Drake might pop up next. When asked what was going to come after Impact, he said on The Wrestling Perspective Podcast:
“I know AEW is out there, all of that stuff, so, the fact is, there’s a lot of options at this point,” Drake explained. “This is a time where, truth be told, I run up on May 31 at Impact, so, if that’s the case, it’s time to start thinking about what options I have, things like that.”
There’s no word at all on whether or not he’s considering WWE but it’s interesting timing that the company announces his exit from Impact, prior to his official contract date being up and it just so happens to be WrestleMania weekend.
Fans in WWE that are not hardcore may not know Drake as well as they might know other stars. That could limit the potential of him popping in during a Battle Royal or a run-in with another angle since he may not be the most recognized name. What would make more sense is an introduction with NXT.