This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling is built around the resumption of the Bully Ray vs. Hulk Hogan storyline. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:
Thursday’s major IMPACT will feature the return of “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan, who no doubt plans to deal with new World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray and the Aces and Eights! After what Bully Ray did involving Hulk’s daughter Brooke Hogan this past week, will all hell break loose when Hogan and Bully Ray come face to face? Don’t miss it on IMPACT!
Dave Says: For those of you who think there has been too much air in the room lately, here comes Hulk Hogan…
Best Case Scenario: Hogan’s car breaks down on the way to the show, forcing the TNA World Heavyweight Champion to feud with an actual wrestler rather than a half-crippled old man.
Worst Case Scenario: Hogan cuts a nonsensical promo acting like the whole angle is a shoot while ignoring that (1) Ray and Brooke were never really married, (2) most fans know Brooke is engaged to somebody else, and (3) chances are slim that Brooke appears on Impact anytime soon. When Bully Ray comes to the ring to respond, he is suddenly attacked by Ed Leslie, Zeus, and Dino Bravo’s ghost, who along with Hogan form the Assisted Living Community of Doom.
The Main Event Mafia will also be on IMPACT! This past week they scored a major victory over The Aces and Eights, and also eliminated Aces member Devon from TNA! With the Aces on the defensive, will The Mafia continue their assault on Thursday as the war for power continues between the two groups?
Dave Says: The Mafia has a victory to celebrate, but a prolonged gloating session will only hurt their babyface cred and send viewers flocking to the remote. This is a sensitive moment for the booking of this angle, as Aces & Eights need to sell the loss of Devon as a blow that hurts, but stay credible until the feud is finally blown off (at Bound For Glory, let us pray).
Best Case Scenario: The Mafia celebrates briefly, but reinforce that their ultimate mission of knocking Bully Ray off the top and disbanding Aces & Eights forever is still far from completed. Aces & Eights respond by picking their spot later in the show and jumping a member of the Mafia (perhaps Sting) backstage to at least temporarily even the numbers game.
Worst Case Scenario: The Main Event Mafia plays up banishing Devon as the coup of the century while the members of Aces & Eights laugh it off like it was no big deal. The Mafia cuts a ten-minute promo followed by a seven-minute promo by Aces & Eights, followed by a five-minute poorly-worked brawl.
Plus, will we hear from AJ Styles, who surprised everyone by stepping up and siding with the Mafia this past week to battle The Aces? What changed AJ’s attitude? After months of walking his own path, will AJ explain his actions? Don’t miss it!
Dave Says: A.J. Styles isn’t the best promo, but his babyface turn last week got over like crazy, so this should be interesting.
Best Case Scenario: A.J. cuts a zero percent worked-shoot promo about pondering the difference between right and wrong and making the conscious decision to do the right thing. The other Main Event Mafiosi come to the ring and each take a quick turn putting him over.
Worst Case Scenario: A.J. cuts a Hulk Hogan promo about what a great company TNA is and how much he loves it. Hogan himself comes down to the ring to congratulate A.J. for taking things to a whole ‘nother level and standing up to the Aces & Eights, brother. Hogan decides that he likes A.J. so much that sets him up with Brooke, causing TNA to fold into oblivion like the house from Poltergeist.
Three HUGE “Bound For Glory Series” bouts are scheduled for Thursday as the road to the final four begins! Thursday’s broadcast will be the final singles matches in the series – and the last chance for several superstars to break into the top standings! Who will ultimately win a shot at the World Title at October’s “Bound For Glory” epic event? BFG Series matches on Thursday are:
- AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode
- Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels
- Hernandez vs. Kazarian
Dave Says: These are some extra interesting (read: kind of scary) matchups because of the developing Extraordinary Gentlemen’s Organization storyline. Will the new faction sweep these matches, or will Styles and Aries continue to be portrayed as strong babyfaces? Aries and Daniels could be a nuclear-level barnburner if they want it to be.
Best Case Scenario:The writers stay out of the way of great wrestlers and let Styles, Roode, Aries, and Daniels work long matches that tell binary heel-face stories. A.J. defeats Bobby Roode with the Styles Clash (maybe even fighting off interference) to continue his push as a top-level babyface. Daniels and Aries have the (North American) Junior Heavyweight match of 2013, making the finish nearly irrelevant with their great work. Finally, Kazarian gets a dirty win over Hernandez when his EGO teammates interfere.
Worst Case Scenario: EGO sweeps the matches with blatant cheating coming into play in all three finishes. Hernandez and Kazarian blow more spots than Dusty Rhodes’ polka dot singlet.