It looks we’ve seen the last of Dustin Rhodes, 39, as a full-time performer on national television. TNA removed the profile of his alter ego, Black Reign, from the roster section on the company website earlier in the week, which should confirm his departure from the organization. When you visit his former profile page, for some reason it re-directs to the profile page of TNA Knockout Angelina Love.
Black Reign had been off television for three months and counting, his last appearance taking place on the 4/24 Impact during a tag team title tournament. Rhodes debuted at last year’s Victory Road pay-per-view to start a program with “Wildcat” Chris Harris. He debuted his “Black Reign” persona at last August’s Hard Justice pay-per-view, losing to Harris via disqualification. Later he was involved with the likes of Abyss and Rellik, participating in a “Monster’s Ball” match, a “Shop of Horrors” match, as well as a “Match of 10,000 Tacks” match in subsequent pay-per-views. Reign then entered a program with Frankie “Kaz” Kazarian as well as Eric Young. Reign and Rellik lost to Kaz and Young at the Destination X pay-per-view. He worked a few more shows through April before disappearing.
Around the time of his disappearance, TNA started devoting more television time to the Knockouts, giving them at least two segments per show instead of one because they often scored the highest-rated segments for Impact. Due to the additional Knockouts segment(s), that basically squeezed out fringe characters such as Black Reign and Rellik from getting any television time.
Rhodes was believed to be on a pay-per-appearance deal.