(August 6, 2007) Nashville, Tenn. – Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling has signed an exclusive contract with one of pro footballâ<80><99>s most gifted, yet controversial athletes.
Adam â<80><9c>Pacmanâ<80> Jones joins the pro wrestling company that features U.S. Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle and such wrestling stars as Sting, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett and Christian Cage.
Jones will make his first in-ring appearance on Thursday, August 9, on iMPACT!, which airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV. He is scheduled to appear on TNAâ<80><99>s â<80><9c>Hard Justiceâ<80> pay-per-view on Sunday, August 12, from Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., to reveal his plans for the season.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
TNA also has been the wrestling home to such sporting greats as Brian Urlacher, David Eckstein, A.J. Pierzynski, Johnny Damon, Frank Wycheck, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Andre Rison, among others. Jones, a cornerback and return specialist for the Tennessee Titans, was the 6th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft out of West Virginia University. He has been suspended for the 2007 NFL season for off-the-field personal conduct matters.
â<80><9c>I am a big fan of wrestling, so I wanted to give it a try,â<80> Jones said. â<80><9c>I respect wrestling and Iâ<80><99>m not coming in like itâ<80><99>s just a show. I want to prove that I am the greatest team-sport athlete.â<80>
â<80><9c>Pacman is a gifted athlete and though he has had some serious off-the-field issues, he has a chance to take his suspension and turn it into a positive, something good,â<80> said TNA President Dixie Carter. â<80><9c>We met with him numerous times before signing the contract, and each time we were thoroughly impressed with his desire to change his image, train hard and his commitment to take this opportunity to show a different side of himself.â<80>
Jones initially appealed the NFL suspension, however, on June 12, he withdrew his appeal.
â<80><9c>We are well aware of the controversy that might surround this signing, but it is our goal to help Pacman during his time away from football,â<80> Carter said. â<80><9c>Pacman wants to change his life, so we will do everything in our power to surround him with a positive work environment and people who will help him achieve his goal.â<80>
Jones will be the second active member of the Tennessee Titans to step into the TNA ring. In June, Pro Bowl defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was in the the corner of former Titansâ<80><99> Pro Bowl tight end Frank Wycheck for a tag-team match. Wycheck and Jerry Lynn teamed up against James Storm and Ron Killings, and, with Vanden Boschâ<80><99>s assistance, Wycheck and Lynn scored the victory.
â<80><9c>Everything I saw from my experience with TNA is, it is a great company. The organization does things the right way,â<80> Vanden Bosch said. â<80><9c>This could be an opportunity for Pacman to show what kind of person he is, not the way heâ<80><99>s been portrayed.â<80>
Jones joins an illustrious list of NFL players who have made the jump from the football field to the wrestling ring, including Bill Goldberg, Steve McMichael, Wahoo McDaniel and Ernie â<80>~The Catâ<80><99> Ladd.
Pacman will be trained at his suburban Nashville home by several TNA pros. TNA co-founder and former World Champion Jeff Jarrett is among those who have already helped train Jones in the ring.
â<80><9c>Over the next couple of months, I think the world is going to see a different side of Pacman, one it hasnâ<80><99>t seen before,â<80> Jarrett said. â<80><9c>You will really see his personality come out, not just his athletic ability. Heâ<80><99>s very coachable in the ring and his athletic talent is amazing. He can watch something one time and pick it up. Heâ<80><99>s just gifted. Heâ<80><99>s the best all-around athlete I have ever seen.â<80>
TNA Wrestling delivers a distinct brand of high-risk, athletic entertainment. TNAâ<80><99>s roster includes the biggest names in wrestling, such as Kurt Angle, Sting, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Christian Cage, Jeff Jarrett, Rhino and Team 3D, as well as the hottest new talent in the business, such as A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and The Latin American Exchange (LAX). TNA features the innovative six-sided ring and the high-flying â<80><9c>X Division,â<80> as well as concept matches such as â<80><9c>Ultimate X,â<80> â<80><9c>King of the Mountain,â<80> and â<80><9c>Six Sides of Steel.â<80>
TNA celebrated its 5-year anniversary in June. TNA films its weekly cable television show, â<80><9c>iMPACT!â<80> at Universal Studios Orlando. â<80><9c>TNA Thursday Night iMPACT!â<80> airs every Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV. Spike TV is available in 91.6 million homes and is a division of Viacom International Inc.