This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling attempts to pick up the pieces following the largely-nonsensical fallout from last week’s worked-shoot confrontation and Aces & Eight’s sudden implosion. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:
What will be the fallout from the heated confrontation between TNA President Dixie Carter and “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles? The wrestling world is buzzing over what happened – and no one knows exactly what the aftermath will be! Are AJ’s days numbered in TNA after what he said to the President of the company? How will IMPACT General Manager Hulk Hogan react? We’ll hear from The Hulkster on Thursday! Don’t miss it!
Best Case Scenario: Hulk Hogan hobbles to the ring, bringing with him a time machine. He climbs into the time machine, bringing all of the Maniacs along for the ride, and sets the dial to September of 2010. Suddenly, the entire Impact viewing audience is transported back before Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff came to TNA. Hogan then risks the Butterfly Effect in order to tell his former self not to sign the contract. The rest of us resume our lives and TNA blissfully rolls on without the events of 10/10/10 having ever happened.
Worst Case Scenario: The very existence of this segment is such an archetypical Worst Case Scenario that cleverness fails me.
Dave Says: It’s almost admirable how TNA is un-self-aware enough to try and spin a universally-panned segment into something the “wrestling world is buzzing over.” If it were tongue in cheek, it would actually be funny.
In a bout just added, it will be The Main Event Mafia vs. The Aces and Eights in six-man action as “The Icon” Sting, Samoa Joe and Magnus battle Knux, Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco! Can the Mafia keep the momentum in their war against The Aces and beat the gang on Thursday? With dissention in the ranks of the Aces, the Mafia is going all-out to eliminate the faction from TNA!
Best Case Scenario: All three babyfaces get their turn looking good in the ring before the motorcycle enthusiasts get in their inevitable long beatdown on Magnus. Magnus finally gets the hot tag to Joe, who knocks all three members of Aces & Eights so silly that they don’t even have time to blow the spots. The Mafia pick up the victory when Garett Bischoff taps out to the Scorpion Deathlock.
Worst Case Scenario: Bischoff and Brisco do that one trick where they sell so awkwardly that the crowd can’t get behind the babyface’s offense whatsoever. Garett Bischoff gets the pin on Sting after hitting whatever the heck his finisher is to begin his run as “The Legend Killer.”
Dave Says: There were a lot of cracks shown in the foundation of Aces & Eights last week, but all of them involved Bully Ray. Ostensibly, Knux, Bischoff, and Brisco are still all super best buddies with each other’s backs, so it would make zero sense for TNA to tell the story that stresses within Aces & Eights affected the outcome of this match.
With ‘Bound For Glory” less than a month away, World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray is preparing for his biggest match of the year against AJ Styles! However, will friction within the ranks of the Aces and Eights work against Bully Ray? Can the gang’s leader rule with an iron fist and re-establish order – or are we witnessing the implosion of the group, along with Bully Ray’s dominance in TNA?
Best Case Scenario: Ray throws his weight around, using bribes, threats, and mind games to keep the core of his gang together for the time being. However, A.J. Styles responds by going on a mission to take out each man one at a time until Bully Ray stands alone at Bound For Glory.
Worst Case Scenario: In spite of Ray’s bribes and threats, the remaining members of his gang walk out on him, leading the World’s Champion to seek support from the only person left willing to help him: Dixie Carter (NOTE: This is the Worst Case Scenario, but there’s a 92% something of the ilk happens between now and BFG.)
Dave Says: Bully Ray suddenly feels less like Clay from Sons of Anarchy and more like Walter White from Breaking Bad. As champion, he is still an important man in the company, but from both a storyline and real-life perspective, the ground that he’s standing on seems to be slipping out from under him with increasing speed.
Also on IMPACT, the X Division Championship will be on the line as Manik defends against Chris Sabin! Sabin shocked the wrestling world this past week when he attacked Manik, leading to the match between the two X Division superstars. Will Sabin regret his attitude change, or is he set to once again reclaim the gold and dominate the X Division?
Best Case Scenario: These two have a long, athletic match in which Sabin establishes his new heel attitude and Manik sells big to gain sympathy from the crowd. Just as Manik looks poised to retain, Sabin takes a quick shortcut, hits his finisher, and captures the X Division Title.
Worst Case Scenario: The match contains a quadruple-turn in which Sabin becomes a babyface again and gets within a hair’s breadth of winning the X Division Title before Manik takes a quick shortcut, hits his finisher, and retains the X Division Title. Then, Sabin snaps again, turns back heel, and attacks Manik with the ring bell, which Manik sells like he’s being beaten to death in order to regain the crowd’s sympathy. At some point in all this, Velvet Sky’s head explodes.
Dave Says: This is confusing. Booking 101 says Sabin wins this title and makes it “his” World Heavyweight Title following his nervous breakdown/heel turn. With that said, TNA have been pouring a lot of love into their presentation of Manik in their own hamfisted way recently. This is a situation where neither man can lose without severely damaging his push.
It will [sic] six-person action on Thursday as Eric Young, new Knockouts champion ODB and Joseph Park team up to take on The Bro Mans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz). BUT – the Bro Mans need a Knockout to join them in the match with ODB involved! Who will Robbie and Jessie recruit to team up with them on Thursday night? Tune in and find out!
Best Case Scenario: The Bro Mans mystery partner is a new, fresh heel who injects some much-needed energy into a suddenly-Mickieless Knockouts division. The babyfaces win when Eric Young piledrives Robbie E, rupturing a vertebra in his blowout and necessitating a stretcher job in which he’s taken to Brutus Beefcake’s Urgent Care Barbershop.
Worst Case Scenario: The Bro Mans mystery partner is Gail Kim, who, great as she is, represents the opposite of a fresh Knockouts Title feud. Joseph Park sees his own blood and blah blah blah…
Dave Says: Try to think of something lower-card than this. I dare you. I double dog dare you.