Happy Fourth of July, ladies and gentlemen! Tonight’s edition of Impact Wrestling promises to build on TNA’s three major storylines: the build towards Destination X, the slow reveal of the new Main Event Mafia, and the ongoing Bound For Glory Series. Below is the full rundown of advertised segments:
The countdown is on to the July 18 “Destination X” IMPACT special on SpikeTV, featuring TNA’s high-flying X Division Superstars! How will Hulk Hogan last week’s controversy involving Austin Aries hijacking the Suicide persona and capturing the X Division Championship? Will Aries cash in the title for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship? Or, does The Hulkster have other plans after what Aries did? Hogan will address Aries and his actions at the top of the broadcast!
Best Case Scenario: Aries has to prove himself honestly, facing T.J. Perkins and Chris Sabin in a triple threat match. Sabin looks strong, but Aries ultimately hits his Brainbuster on Perkins for the win. The Suicide character is put out to pasture once and for all.
Worst Case Scenario: These segments become all about Hogan playing middle school principal to the X Division roster. The storyline becomes another excuse to hype the drama between Hogan and Buly Ray rather than actually focusing on the X Division.
Dave Says: One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this angle is that it’s tangentially related to Aces & Eights (in that Ray is highly concerned about who might cash in against him), but it’s successfully floating on its own. Some might not like a title being swapped around through what could be called “over-booked shenanigans,” but the fact of the matter is that the events of last week elevated the X Division Title to seem more important than it has all year.
Who is next to join Sting’s “Main Event Mafia” to battle The Aces and Eights? Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe have joined the alliance – and a new member will be revealed on Thursday in Las Vegas!
Best Case Scenario: The new member of the Main Event Mafia is a young wrestler who can actually get a meaningful rub from the association. This segment is less than 7 minutes.
Worst Case Scenario: Kevin Nash redebuts and joins the rebooted Mafia. This segment is more than 7 minutes.
Dave Says: In spite of the Destination X build being TNA’s advertized lead, the Main Event Mafia get top billing with the only picture in the press release. This is a classic example of TNA “taking care of” Kurt Angle and Sting while claiming to promote younger, more athletic wrestlers.
Who will get the shot at the World Heavyweight Championship? The “Bound For Glory Series” continues on Thursday night – featuring two HUGE matches with points up for grabs: “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy faces Joseph Park in a BFG Series bout, as well as AJ Styles taking on Kazarian in a BFG Series Match!
Best Case Scenario: Hardy wins clean with the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb in three minutes. A.J. and Kaz wrestle close to the 10 minute time limit, but the match has a decisive finish in which A.J. wins with his Calf Killer for a big ten-point submission win.
Worst Case Scenario: Hardy takes more than two bumps for Joseph Park. Park wins, slips on a banana peel, and Abyss’ mask falls out of his tracksuit. A.J. and Kaz have a clunky match that never finds its rhythm (which both, in spite of their talents, are very capable of having).
Dave Says: You know, I would have told you that Jeff Hardy vs. anybody would be compelling, but TNA called my bluff with Joseph Park. Eek. Hopefully A.J. versus Kazarian will make up for the Park silliness and set the tone for BFG series matches this summer.
Plus, what will be the fate of last week’s “Gut Check” competitors as they chase their dream of earning a TNA contract? The hopefuls face the judges on Thursday night and will learn their fate!
Best Case Scenario: Big O and “rocker guy whose name I can’t (and shouldn’t) remember” both get sent packing. This is the last Gut Check segment ever.
Worst Case Scenario: TNA signs the Big O, puts him in a tag team with Rob Terry, has the two of them wear Road Warrior makeup, and makes them the most dominant force in professional wrestling.
Dave Says: This should be interesting, given the releases of a large number of former Gut Check winners this week… Gut Check has been an obvious and colossal failure, so hopefully they just fade to black in the quietest way possible.