Precap to the Sept. 6, 2012 episode of TNA 'Impact Wrestling' or, the one before 'No Surrender'

Aces and Eights! Aries! Hogan! Flapjacks! Full Tilt Invasions!

Last week (Aug. 30), Austin Aries called out Aces and Eights for a one-on-one match, with Hulk Hogan, Sting and the rest of the TNA Wrestling roster standing behind him in support. The masked group was more than happy to comply and yet another brawl between the two factions broke out. Aries was left in the ring with one of the members and for a moment it seemed like the TNA World Heavyweight Champion would finally be able to unmask one of the invaders.

Then someone jumped the guardrail, put on a mask, and smacked Aries in the back of the head with a flapjack, also known as a slapjack, knocking the "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" the heck out.

TNA is on the cusp of finally exposing the powers behind Aces and Eights. They are walking the fine line between building anticipation for the reveal and simply running out the clock. The problem with the monthly pay-per-view (PPV) schedule, or really any extended episodic show, is that there is a beginning, a finale and plenty of filler in the middle. We have to wait until No Surrender for any real advancement to the story, which means a lot of awkwardly scripted brawls.

If the climax is good enough though, none of that will matter. Therein lies the biggest problem with Aces and Eights; how the hell can they end it?

There is no Kevin Nash or Scott Hall equivalent. Having the entire IMPACT roster face off against Luke Gallows, Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bishcoff just doesn't have that oomph that this angle needs. Imagine if Davey Richards or Eddie Kingston were revealed to be involved in Aces and Eights? Or, if they could get a talent deal with a well known indie promotion?

Does TNA have the ability to think outside the box? I just don't know.

Nevertheless, we are only four days away from No Surrender. The story line will be extended for just a little while longer, then we shall know if it was all worth it.

The rest of the show after the jump.

Storm! Joe! RVD! Bully! Styles! Hardy! Bound For Glory Series Conclusion!

The final six for the Bound For Glory Series is as follows:

  1. James Storm 73 points (7-2-2) 11 MATCHES *DONE
  2. Samoa Joe 68 points (8-2) 10 MATCHES
  3. Rob Van Dam 55 points (5-5) 10 MATCHES
  4. Bully Ray 55 points (5-5) 10 MATCHES
  5. AJ Styles 50 points (4-6-1) 11 MATCHES *DONE
  6. Jeff Hardy 49 points (7-3) 10 MATCHES

Jeff Hardy will face Samoa Joe and Rob Van Dam (RVD) goes one-on-one with Bully Ray later this evening. It's a simple matter of "win and you're in". James Storm is locked in the final four and AJ Styles will need someone ahead of him to be disqualified in order for him to sneak into the playoff at No Surrender. Whoever finishes the Series with the most points will get to select their opponent in the semifinals. What started as 12 wrestlers and a complicated point scheme is about to end in dramatic fashion.

Let's take this moment to fully recognize the greatness that was the 'Bound For Glory Series'. Too often random wrestlers are paired up during shows with no rhyme or reason. But this has given every match a purpose, every win a sense of importance. Joe and Angle can face off without trying to shoehorn it into some type of storyline.

The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys have a great rivalry and there is a very real sense of animosity between them. Every game can't be like that, of course. Sometimes they have to play the Arizona Cardinals simply because that's who is on the schedule. A win or a loss still has consequences in the standings, though. There is a reason for fans to care about the non-divisional games.

On top of it all, it makes the number one contendership mean something. You have to prove you are better and more deserving than 11 other guys. It wasn't given out on the whim of some authority figure or because it was demanded. The title shot was earned. Putting it at Bound For Glory, TNA's biggest show of the year, makes it all the more important.

Salute to you, TNA, for the amazing gimmick that was the 'Bound For Glory Series'. I look forward to its return.

Everything Else! Bullet Points!

  • TNA World Tag Team Champions (of the World) Christopher Daniels and Kazarian will face off against a pair of mystery opponents chosen by Hulk Hogan in the new "Championship Thursdays" gimmick. I've come to enjoy the backstage segments, even if it is made up of Hogan stroking his own ego. They're incredibly stupid and filled with insider lingo - Joeseph Park saying "kayfabe", for example, and pronouncing it wrong--but it's a dumb, campy sort of entertainment I can laugh at.
  • Eric Young has returned to the Impact Wrestling Zone to be reunited with his lovely wife ODB. This can only lead to good things.
  • Devon has left TNA while still the Television Champion. What are the chances they just let the belt disappear and never speak of it again?
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