UPDATE: Former TNA iMPACT! Wrestling star Jesse Sorensen, who was released from the company on Monday, announced on his official Facebook page on Friday evening that he will be making his first wrestling appearance since his TNA release tonight at the NWA Florida Underground independent wrestling event in Tampa, Florida.
Sorensen was reportedly adamant about returning to the ring for TNA while under contract, despite the fact that he had not received the proper medical clearance to do so. According to sources, that is among the reasons TNA decided to release him from the company.
Sorensen will return to in-ring action tonight in Tampa for the first time since February of 2012 when he suffered a broken C-1 vertebrae and herniated C-5 and C-6 discs in his back, momentarily paralyzing himself after being hit by Zema Ion during a dive-to-the-floor spot in a TNA Impact Wrestling match.
ORIGINAL: As you probably know by now, Jesse Sorenson was released from his TNA contract on Monday. Reaction to the development has been almost universally negative toward TNA and partially led to Dixie Carter's attempt to do a Q&A on Twitter under the hashtag #AskDixie to become a haven for negative comments toward the promotion.
As previously reported, the release was made as a purely financial perspective as TNA is trying to cut costs and make the company viable as it tours live. Sorenson was being paid much higher than someone in his duties as a production assistant and according to sources in the company, the reason for that had to do with the company attempting to help Sorensen as he recovered. The company had changed his deal following his injury from a per-appearance one to a monthly guarantee and he was paid during the period of his recovery as well as when he came back on as a PA (Production Assistant). Basically, they tried to help him out as much as possible.
When Sorensen was made a PA once iMPACT! started going on the road, he was essentially being paid a good salary for working two to three days a month where he would make sure everyone who was needed for the taping had signed in and confirmed they were present, then bring talents to different areas they were needed for filming of promos and the like. The reason for this was so he could learn production skills that he could eventually use in TNA and possibly elsewhere. After the financial cutbacks began, the company started reviewing everyone's positions and Sorensen was making more than the average TNA staffer that could also handle the responsibilities, but wasn't working full-time. He was making more than some of the actual wrestlers on the roster. The feeling was that their hands were tied as they could not afford at the moment to hold onto anyone who wasn't "pulling his weight" compared to others who would be cut in his place.
Another thing that was hurting him, and perhaps kept them from offering him a different deal or giving him more to do, was Sorensen's desire to return to the ring both on independent dates and eventually for TNA. The opinion was that the company was trying to help him transition out of his in-ring career for his own health and safety but he was more interested in returning to the ring. Sorensen pushed himself to make a return and has trained to do so when TNA was telling him that he would need to get medically cleared to get indy dates, which wasn't going to happen considering his circumstances. All accounts is that the company struggled with the decision because he was well-liked and the company wanted to help him out, but they had to make a very difficult choice in the end.
Sorenson has been soliciting bookings on his Twitter account, suggesting he's still looking for an in-ring return. Many feel that it's not a smart decision but ultimately that is up to him.