Hakim Zane (Rohit Raju) explains decision to depart IMPACT Wrestling, recaps AEW Dark appearance

Hakim Zane a.k.a. Rohit Raju wrapped up with IMPACT Wrestling after a five-year run with the company and he explains why he decided to leave

Photo Courtesy: IMPACT Wrestling

Hakim Zane looks back on his time with IMPACT and explains why he decided to leave.

Former IMPACT X Division Champion Hakim Zane a.k.a. Rohit Raju started with IMPACT in 2017. In October of 2020, he signed a multi-year agreement with the company and on January 2nd of this year, he took to social media and shared his contract expired and he’s now a free agent.

When it comes to the negotiations between himself and IMPACT, he was offered a certain number which he felt was low and he believes that he’s worth more than that. He told the powers that be that he was not going to re-sign for anything less than what he presented to them and then they mutually agreed to part ways. Zane recapped the negotiations with IMPACT while appearing on the ‘Putting You Over’ Twitch channel.

Yeah, and that’s why, you know, I’m not at IMPACT right now because I knew my worth and I love IMPACT. I would never talk ill of them. I know people were hitting me up afterwards, I said I was a free agent. They’re like, ‘What happened? What happened?’ And I don’t wanna anything to be clickbait or anything like that because I know the door is always open for me to go back but, my contract was up, I felt like I was worth this, they said no. What they offered me, I felt was very low and I felt like I had proven myself and doubled my value there and I said, ‘I’m not gonna do it for anything less than this.’ They said no, we went separate ways and now I’m betting on myself and we’ll see what happens.

He looks back fondly on his time with IMPACT and stated that he misses and loves the people that work there. He just felt he was worth more than what was being offered to him. Zane adds that he feels he was valuable to the company, but he can’t make other people see that value.

I loved my time at IMPACT. I love everybody there, I miss those guys and it was just something, like you were saying, I bet on myself and I just felt I was worth more than what they were trying to offer me and I feel like — wrestling doesn’t owe you anything, they don’t owe me anything but I did feel like I earned what I wanted because anything they ever put me in, I made it work and I made it something, you know what I mean? I made it more entertaining than probably what it could have been if they put somebody else in that role and I felt like I was valuable there but, you can’t make other people see your value so, you can only step away, walk away, try to, you know, get your value elsewhere.

Hakim was a part of the AEW Dark tapings at Universal Studios on January 15th and wrestled Shawn Dean. He felt welcomed and was told by those in the company that they are aware of who he is, what he can do and they wanted to get a closer look at him.

It was really cool. AEW hit me up. I mean the secret’s — cat’s out of the bag. I was on Dark. They treated me very well there. They made me feel very welcome and they told me, ‘Hey, we know who you are, we know what you can do. We just wanted to get a closer look at you’ so, I thought it was really good and I don’t know when the match is gonna air so, as soon as I — you’ll see it on my social media but, I’m hoping I have more opportunities with them. I think I will because from what I heard, it went well and we’ll see what happens but, yeah.

Zane is a regular for the AAW promotion in Illinois and at their 2/4 event, he’ll be teaming with Karam to take on ACH and Jah-C.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit ‘Putting You Over’ with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 4228 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.