Tonight (Sun., Sept. 9, 2012), one storyline comes to a close for Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling, just as a new one finally starts to take off.
The 'Bound For Glory Series', a three-month long, round robin style tournament to determine the number one contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, wraps up with its final three matches. James Storm vs. Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe are the semifinals, with the winners advancing to face off against each other. It has been a crazy, fun ride these past 13 weeks, but all good things must come to an end.
However, TNA has a new angle to help pick up the slack. Aces and Eights have been running with free reign for a few months now, but the time has finally come to advance the story beyond "come in, mess stuff up, leave." Now's the time for them to put up or shut up. Any more stalling will simply take away from the entire thing.
Tonight is TNA's time to shine. The actual wrestling on the show has been great. They've struck the perfect balance between WWE castoffs and younger, homegrown talent. The old guards of Hulk Hogan and Sting have kept their presence to a minimum. All told, things have been good in the Impact Wrestling Zone.
TNA is putting a lot of emphasis on Aces and Eights, though, and it could make or break the entire show. If the reveal is not played just right, all the goodwill that has been acquired will be lost. If they do manage to hit the right note, then perhaps the average fan will start tuning-in to see what the fuss is all about.
Tonight is the night we find out which road TNA will go down. As always, lets hope they can do right by their fans.
The entire card after the jump.
RVD! Magnus! Interrupting! Respect!
On Thursday's (Sept. 6) episode of Impact Wrestling, Magnus berated and attacked both Samoa Joe and Rob Van Dam (RVD) during separate interviews with Christy Hemme. "The Mag Daddy" was able to get the jump on Joe, with a well-placed elbow to the back of the head, knocking him down. Van Dam was a bit more on his toes, and the two brawled in the back until they were pulled apart. This is an odd match that doesn't really fit with anything else that is going on. Perhaps TNA is looking to push Magnus. Or they just want to give RVD a spot on the card. We just have to wait and see.
Tessmacher! Tara! Mentor! Protégé! Knockout Championship!
The big story of this match is that Tara is Miss Tessmacher's mentor and close friend. The Knockout Champion called out her former manager on 'Open Fight Night' in a non-title match to prove herself, yet found her shoulders pinned to the mat for the three count. This earned Tara a championship match tonight against Tessmacher. Expect a solid match, lots of hugging afterwards, and whoever wins to drop the title to Gail Kim sooner rather than later.
Daniels! Kazarian! Styles! Angle! TNA World Tag Team Championship!
It seems Claire Lynch, aka Crackhead Claire, has been replaced by Kurt Angle in the ongoing feud between AJ Styles and the TNA World Tag Team Champions of the World, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. I'm still undecided as to whether or not that is a fair trade. With Angle suffering yet another injury while working a house show, his mat work may actually be on par with Claire's. While there is always the chance that the Olympic Gold Medalist will be pulled from the match and be replaced with someone else, (my guess would be Mr. Anderson) I sincerely doubt that will occur. The guy is just too damn stubborn for his own good.
On top of that, AJ Styles has been saying that he could take on both Daniels and Kazarian all by himself. Angle not being able to help him out might actually work out, storyline wise. I wouldn't be too surprised if the match gets booked for a lot of two-on-one fighting, in order to protect Angle.
Zema! Sonjay! X Division Championship!
While the X Division may not be at the level it used to be, the potential is surely there. Zema Ion has been the perfect amount of cockiness and raw ability. Sonjay Dutt is a tough SOB, separating his shoulder during the 'Ultimate X' match at the Destination X Pay-Per-View (PPV) on July 8, before getting it popped back in place and returning to the match. There hasn't been much in the way of story line, but sometimes it's unnecessary. This should be a great match, and hopefully with the BFG Series ending soon, the entire division will get some more screen time.
Aries! Armbreaker! Aces and Eights! A Fight! Big Reveal?
Austin Aries was attacked two weeks ago (Aug. 30) when a member of the television crew put on a mask and took a slapjack to the TNA World Heavyweight Champion's dome. In retaliation, Aries and Hulk Hogan did what any rational men would do; they tracked down, captured, and tortured the man to make him reveal the who was behind Aces and Eights. You want a TNA Championship curse? How about "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" siding with "The Hulkster" and attempting his best Jack Bauer impersonation.
Someone from Aces and Eights managed to call Hogan before Aries could rip the captured member's tongue out with a pair of pliers though, and a fight was set up between Aries and the big guy who tried to break his arm. This is not a match, mind you, but a fight.
I cannot imagine that it will be all that good, but it is simply a tool to further the entire Aces and Eights storyline. As stated at the opening, now is the time for TNA to finally pull the trigger. Maybe the leader of the group won't be revealed tonight, or even the entire scope of their plans. Something has to happen though, and I expect that it will.
Whether we will be happy with it or not is an entirely different matter.
Storm! Bully! Hardy! Joe! Bound For Glory Series!
We are down to the final three matches of the 'Bound For Glory Series'. James Storm, the points leader for the entire tournament, chose Bully Ray--who has just re-signed with TNA--for his semifinal match; which left Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe to battle it out on the other side of the bracket. The two winners will match up in the finals, with a championship match at the Bound For Glory PPV (Oct. 14) on the line.
The assumption has to be that Storm will run through and take the whole thing, thus completing the circle that began last year, when Bobby Roode took a beer bottle to "The Cowboys" head and screwed him out of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. In fact, there should be no other option. There can be no other option.
Maybe there's a way for Storm to lose, for Hardy, Joe or Bully to defeat him, and still have him avenge his loss. But Storm has already had three separate shots at the title (the Impact following Roode defeating him for the title, Against All Odds (Feb. 12) in a Four Way match, and Lockdown (April 15) in a steel cage match) and lost all three. Failing to put him in the title picture now is simply stalling the inevitable payoff; it's a swerve just for the sake of a swerve. It is something that TNA should not be doing anymore.