Ever since IMPACT Wrestling teased the potential appearance of several “free agents”, both from WWE and beyond, one name has slowly emerged as a potential faction that could make its return to the company. While Team Canada was one past stable that entered the rumor mill, in recent weeks the notion that Aces & Eights, the biker gang stable that terrorized TNA from 2012 to 2013, could be reforming with a new roster. Following last week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling, IMPACT producer D’Lo Brown – a former high ranking member of Aces & Eights – was filmed on a video call with someone, hinting at a return for the stable. “Yeah, I understand perception is reality, but I don’t like being called a ‘corporate stooge’ or being company in any way,” he told his mysterious friend. “You know, I’d really like to get the band back together. We’ll talk tomorrow.” After shutting down his laptop, Brown got up to reveal his Aces & Eights jacket on the chair.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) June 29, 2020
The History of Aces & Eights
Aces & Eights officially made their debut on June 14, 2012, when three masked men attacked Sting while being inducted into the TNA/IMPACT Hall of Fame. Several weeks later, TNA General Manager Hulk Hogan would receive a note featuring the aces & eights cards (commonly known as the Dead Man’s Hand) and featuring a warning to Hogan that they were coming. The group returned on July 12 in larger numbers, attacking Sting and Hogan, and then going on to attack multiple members of the IMPACT roster, both heels and faces alike. They seemed to be targeting the whole company.
Over the course of the next year and throughout 2013, the group was unmasked and revealed to be led by Bully Ray and featuring Devon Dudley, D’Lo Brown, Luke “Doc” Gallows, Mr. Anderson, Taz, Wes Brisco, Garrett Bischoff, Knux (former WWE Superstar Mike Knox), Brooke Tessmacher, Ivelisse, Leva Bates, and former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz. During their run, Aces & Eights held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship twice (both by Bully Ray) as well as the TNA Television Championship (Devon). The group disbanded in November of 2013. This past April, at the TNA There’s No Place Like Home special from IMPACT Wrestling, D’Lo Brown was scheduled to reunite with Mr. Anderson under the Aces & Eights colors, but the COVID pandemic ended up putting a halt to the event, originally planned to occur in Tampa as part of WrestleMania Week.
Who Could Be In A New Aces & Eights?
Earlier this year, Bully Ray was replaced by Jonathan Gresham as the head of the Ring of Honor women’s division and Bully Ray himself has mentioned on his podcast that the former 2x IMPACT World Champion is a free agent. Bully Ray is one of the faces that has been shown in various teases for Slammiversary and should the former multi-time tag team champion make a return to IMPACT since his departure in 2015, assuming the Presidency of Aces & Eights could instantly propel him back into the title picture.
D’Lo Brown was Vice President of Aces & Eights and seems to be the most interested (at least on camera) of resurrecting the “band” once again in IMPACT Wrestling. With a lot of young talent on the roster to choose from, D’Lo Brown’s position as an IMPACT producer the past few years could give him invaluable insight into attracting new “prospects” into the unit.
Mr. Anderson – formerly Mr. Kennedy in the WWE Universe – was another Vice President of the stable and was originally set to return to IMPACT under the Aces & Eights colors this past April during WrestleMania week. While Mr. Anderson has been a part of the rebooted National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), following the departure of Vice President Dave Lagana during the #SpeakingOut movement, NWA talents have been reported “temporarily” released until January of 2021 when the company hopes to resume following a massive structural shake-up.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Luke Gallows joined IMPACT in 2012 following his five year run with WWE from 2005 through 2010, most notably as Festus then Luke Gallows in CM Punk‘s Straight Edge Society. He joined as DOC Gallows (with DOC standing for Director of Chaos), a nickname that evolved into “Doc” Gallows while in New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of Bullet Club. During his time with Bullet Club, he partnered with Karl Anderson to become 3x IWGP Tag Team Champions between 2013 and 2016 before the duo jumped to WWE in 2016 where they’ve spent the past four years, capturing the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship on two occasions and winning the WWE Tag Team World Cup in Saudi Arabia in 2019. The two were released this past April and have been heavily rumored in joining IMPACT Wrestling in recent months. The return of Gallows, with his longtime partner Karl Anderson, would give Aces & Eights their World Tag Team title tandem out of the gate.
Brooke Tessmacher had a brief stint in WWE as part of The Extreme Expose in the ECW reboot alongside Kelly Kelly and Layla, but she barely lasted a year in forgettable storylines. But once she arrived in TNA in 2010, initially as the General Manager for the Knockouts division, she took flight, capturing the TNA/IMPACT Knockouts Championship three times. In 2013, she turned heel and became Bully Ray’s First Lady of Aces & Eights, one of the group’s power players. While Brooke hasn’t wrestled since departing TNA in 2017, never say never in the world of pro wrestling.
While “The Virtuosa” is new to the landscape of IMPACT Wrestling, the former NXT Superstar has made quite an impression since her recent arrival, getting a shot at the IMPACT Knockouts title at Slammiversary against current champion Jordynne Grace. And while the thought of Purrazzo aligning herself with Aces & Eights may seem preposterous, Purrazzo herself seems very open to the idea…
— The Virtuosa (@DeonnaPurrazzo) June 29, 2020
Aces & Eights Prospects
While led by former WWE Superstars like Bully Ray, Devon Dudley, Mr. Anderson, D’Lo Brown, Luke Gallows, and Mike Knox, Aces & Eights also featured multiple young stars, or “prospects”, including Wes Brisco, Garrett Bischoff, and others. Aces & Eights has also shown that they will take in female members, as both Ivelisse and Leva Bates have appeared to help the unit as prospects. With a group of young talent currently on the IMPACT roster, it’s ripe for several to pledge allegiance to the Aces & Eights colors, with the group helping Chris Bey to win the X-Division title at Slammiversary, give a Desi Hit Squad-less Rohit Raju proper guidance, or channeling the fire of Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz into a more dominating unit.
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. We provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch IMPACT every Tuesday on AXS-TV at 8pm EST and see past episodes of IMPACT Wrestling on IMPACT+.