A scene that should play out on pay-per-view, not free TV. Photo via ImpactWrestling.com.
Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling is officially in hype mode for its biggest pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory (BFG), which is scheduled to take place on Sun., Oct. 14, 2012, at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Considering this, one would think the promotion would be at the top of its game in preparation for the biggest show of the year.
One would be wrong.
Actually, last night's episode of Impact saw the company take a few steps back in the build to BFG. The main event of the PPV, presumably the big showcase that will sell the entire thing, features Jeff Hardy challenging Austin Aries for the TNA heavyweight championship. Naturally, Aries was jobbing to Bully Ray on the main event of Impact.
Even on a smoz finish with a ref bump, which happens far too often in TNA, Aries should absolutely not be losing to anyone as the heavyweight champion heading into a major title defense. If the expectation is to do so to make it appear Hardy will be strong enough to win only to see him lose, that would be even worse and I think we all know why (because TNA would then screw the babyface out of another title win on the largest stage possibly, not paying off months long storylines).
About the only thing they did right was tease an Aries heel turn.
The problems didn't end there.
Earlier in the night, James Storm called out Bobby Roode for a match on Open Fight Night. This was both good and bad but the short term gains will almost assuredly be offset by the long term losses. I'm a big fan of logic in my pro wrestling, so Storm calling out Roode for a brawl on Open Fight Night makes sense to get the gimmick show over and it makes sense that Storm would want to get to him as soon as possible, biggest show of the year be damned. It was also downright logical that Roode would back out but Hulk Hogan, the babyface General Manager, would rightfully put Roode in his place. Hogan's angle was that while he couldn't force Roode to take the match, he could take away any opportunity at regaining the heavyweight championship Roode is so lost without. Faced with a difficult decision, Roode answered the call and went out for the match.
Again, this was good. Really good, actually, but it led to a brawl between the two that we've now seen far too many times before their actual match at the PPV. So I ask you ... if you've seen this now multiple times on free TV, what reason do you have to pay for the actual match at BFG? I love logic in my wrestling but I also love eager anticipation. I would have far preferred they kept the two separated until the big event, where Storm would finally get his hands on his former partner and exact his revenge after getting screwed over by him so many times.
Giving away free brawls kills the anticipation and it makes the later brawls boring.
BFG should be a fine show but TNA took a few steps back building to it last night on Impact.