Tonight (Oct. 14) is the night, Cagesiders. The biggest show of the year for TNA. For one night, the Orlando based promotion is on top of the professional wrestling world. While that other promotion receives all the praise and prestige, this is when TNA gets the glory.
Yes, the ratings may be at an all time low. And yeah, the show hasn't been all that good recently. And I'll be the first to admit that TNA has managed to screw up more storylines and angles than a Houston DJ.
No matter, though! This is the time of year when TNA can act like the big dogs. When it puts its best foot forward and shows the world all it has to offer. Maybe things haven't been perfect in Orlando recently. Look at this card, though. We got pure talent, we got intriguing storylines, and we got excitement and thrills waiting to be unleashed.
Pay no attention to the fact that TNA has ruined everything it had going for it in less than a month. This is a new start, another chance to prove exactly what TNA can do when given the chance.
So buckle in, everyone. This isn't Leaping For Fame, nor is it Springing For Celebration.
This is Bound For Glory
Ryan! Snow! 87%! One Night Contract!
Joey Ryan made the mistake two weeks ago of signing a contract that he did not read. He thought he was getting a roster spot, but what he received was a match with Al Snow. A warning to all you Cagesiders; it doesn't matter how sick a mustache you are rocking, no judge will be distracted by it enough to declare a contract void. So Ryan is forced to go against Snow, a 49 year-old legend who has been known to rock a sweet 'stach himself, for a chance of a permanent TNA contract.
If Ryan wins, he's in. If he loses, he has to stop being a little gnat buzzing around the Impact Wrestling Zone.
This will be a really good chance to see what Ryan has. Snow hasn't wrestled in lord knows how long, so it will be up to Ryan to carry him to a great match. I'm interested to see how well he does
Joe! Magnus! Former Teammates! Now Enemies! TNA Television Championship!
There's not much to explain for this match, as it has only existed for around 72 hours. Samoa Joe and Magnus used to be Tag Team Champions in the beginning of the year. Magnus, for some strange reason, has started smacking his former friends in the back of the head. He faced Rob Van Dam at No Surrender (Sept. 9) in a losing effort, and has called out Joe for a shot at the TNA Television Championship.
There's not a whole lot of story here, but sometimes you don't need all that much. It should be a solid, if somewhat forgettable, match for the midcard title.
Ion! RVD! TNA X Division Championship!
TNA Writer's Room, Oct. 10:
Writer 1: Looks like Bound For Glory card is all set.
Writer 2: Yep.
W1: Oh, wait! It looks like we completely forgot to put Rob Van Dam on the card.
W1: Know what? Don't we have a division of guys who just jump around? And the champion is that guy who loves hairspray?
W1: We'll just put RVD in that match. Not like he'll care anyways.
W1: What the hell is wrong with you today, Bob?
W2: Sorry. Hulk Hogan left his painkillers around and I'm a little out of it.
W1: Well why didn't you say something? Let's do it up!
Tessmacher! Tara! Mentor! Protégé! TNA Knockout Championship!
The lovely Miss Tessmacher will defend her TNA Knockout Championship against former friend and mentor, Tara. There are plenty of pro wrestling fans that see women in spandex and immediately tune out. For the Knockouts, though, that really is a mistake. These women are able to put on pretty fun matches. No, they may not be "Five-Star Classics." But they are head and shoulders above anything that other promotion is doing.
Even the storylines are better told. Miss Tessmacher is a young star that has finally reached the summit of the Knockout Division. Tara, the woman who took Tessmacher under her wing, has become jealous of Knockout Champion's success. So Tara has been attacking the women of the Impact Wrestling roster and chatting up her famous, yet unnamed, Hollywood boyfriend in an effort to gain respect.
It's actually a pretty powerful story of women in modern society and how jealousy and envy ruins sisterhood. Instead of supporting each other, too often are women stabbing each other in the back, judging themselves against their peers, and using material things and the approval of men to make themselves happy. While someone tries to break the glass ceiling and pull herself up, there's always a "friend" pulling them down.
Plus the Knockouts are freaking gorgeous. That's never a bad thing.
Daniels & Kazarian! Styles and Angle! Chavo and Hernandez! Tag Team Championship!
As the regular readers of the Precaps know, I absolutely love tag teams. Pro wrestlers working together, the sum of the parts greater than each on their own, the natural conflict that is present when two potential champions must put aside their egos to achieve glory. This match has all of that in spades.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian are the greatest type of heel champions. Sneaky, devious, arrogant to a fault, "The World Tag Team Champions of the World" have had a great run so far. It could very well come to an end tonight, though, with both Kurt Angle & AJ Styles and Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez challenging for the belts.
Styles & Angle have been working pretty well together. However, the cracks are starting to show. Styles doesn't believe that Angle is committing himself 100% for the match, and there is a grain of truth in that belief. Angle wants to be facing Aces and 8s and/or challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, not simply fighting for the Tag Team Championship.
Chavo & Hernandez, on the other hand, are the best of friends. Ever since Chavo debuted on Impact Wrestling, the two have been fighting side-by-side. That is the type of teamwork that will may make them favorites to claim the gold.
This should be a good match with the amount of pure talent in the ring. It will be interesting to see how the triple threat psychology ends up working out.
Storm! Roode! King Mo! Street Fight! Special Guest Enforcer! Revenge!
James Storm and Bobby Roode have been going after each other for a year now. It started when Roode won the Bound For Glory Series last year, but was screwed up of the championship by Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory 2011. Storm was able to win the title on the very next Impact Wrestling, and the two members of Beer Money faced off for the strap. Instead of fighting with respect and dignity, though, Roode took a beer bottle to Storm's dome and began his run as a brilliant heel champion. Everything was supposed to come full circle tonight, with Storm finally able to enact his revenge. This was the moment that TNA was supposed to show that it could commit to an angle.
Of course, this is TNA.
What should have been the headliner for Bound For Glory has ended up buried down the card. Aries won the championship at Destination X and Storm lost the Bound For Glory Series Playoffs after Roode again knocked him out with a beer bottle at No Surrender. Aces and Eights has taken the focus of the show away from these two men and, without the title on the line, there just isn't that much weight to this match.
It is a shame to see this yearlong feud limp across the finish line.
Not only that, but TNA has felt the need to insert King Mo into the proceedings. I understand the business reasons for it, of course. Spike is trying to cross promote Bellator Fighting Championship, as they should. But why must it ruin such a perfect angle with shenanigans? It is insane to think that Mr. Mo will not be getting involved somehow.
The one-on-one matchup for revenge has turned into a circus act, and that is not a good thing.
Sting! Bully! Aces and 8s! Control of the Impact Wrestling Zone!
Tonight -- hopefully -- is the night when all becomes known. Aces and 8s have been running rampant throughout Impact Wrestling. The group has taken out Sting, Hulk Hogan, Austin Aries, Bully Ray, D'Angelo Dinero, and others that I'm sure I'm forgetting. Poor Joseph Park(s) has been kidnapped and is only surviving on Bertucci's take out. All hope seems to be lost in TNA.
Have faith, though! When TNA needed a hero, two brave
young men have stepped up to the plate. Sting has emerged as the leader of the resistance, willing to fight these unknown assailants equipped with only face paint and mittens that a 12 year-old would wear. By his side is Bully Ray, with his chain necklace and fire breathing Twittah Machine, ready to take on any challengers. These two men are all that stands between keeping the Impact Wrestling Zone free and having it fall into the hands of pure evil.
As tired and bad the Aces and 8s storyline has become -- and trust me, it's been bad -- there is still a little bit of intrigue left. It's basically a forgone conclusion that Aces and 8s will come out of the night victorious. What will be interesting to see is exactly how it all plays out. Who are the men behind the masks? Who is the spy on the roster? Why is the gang so determined to take over Impact Wrestling? There is still a chance for TNA to make this whole thing work.
I really hope TNA is able to make this whole thing work.
Aries! Hardy! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
Here it is, folks. What may be one of the more unlikely matchups for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Who would have thought that Austin Aries (a guy that seemed destined to be trapped within the Indies and X Division) and Jeff Hardy (the guy who many had assumed had smoke, drank, and snorted away any chance he had at a title shot) would come together at TNA's biggest show of the year for the promotion's top title. It's a story of accomplishment and redemption, of ultimate success and failure.
It is, to be trite, a story of rising and returning to glory.
It's a story that TNA should be telling. Just not at this time. And certainly not in this manner. There is too much going on in TNA for this to get the focus that it deserves. Hell, the only reason I'm excited for this match is that Aries "went off script" on the go home show. (And if you haven't watched it, go watch it. Now. Seriously.) This is a story that should have been told over the course of a month. It has a level of subtlety not commonly found in pro wrestling, and sure has hell not found in TNA. This could have been something great.
Yet it was rushed together, and everyone is worse off for it.
Aries was forced to act like a jealous pre-teen. Hardy wasn't given a chance to really prove he deserves the title shot. Aces and 8s has devoured screen time that should have been given to the main event. With everything else going on, I just don't think the championship has gotten the attention it deserves.
If done correctly, this does not have to end tonight. I think there is still a lot of mileage to be had between these two men. If this is the start of a new angle, then I truly look forward to what will come down the road.
Hopefully this has gotten you prepared for the night's festivities. Leave a comment about what you are excited about, and please join Nolan, myself, and the whole CSS Sunday Night gang in the live blog right here.