Previously on Impact Wrestling
Abyss defeated Eric Young in a fairly tame Monster's Ball match. But the mad scientist did manage to unmask The Monster, and there seemed to be flashes of recognition (FINALLY) on Joseph Park's face as he saw the carnage...and his mask.
Dixie Carter promised Bobby Roode a shot at Magnus' title for all of his help keeping the title...on Magnus. Well, those wins did get AJ Styles and Sting off of Impact, so I guess that makes sense. Regardless of the logic, Dixie can no longer honor her agreement because new investor Montel Vontavious Porter has made Samoa Joe the #1 contender. In an attempt to make good with The It Factor, she promised to "have his back" in a match for the title shot against The Samoan Submission Machine.
Magnus was not happy when MVP put him in a match with Kurt Angle. The belt wasn't on the line, but still! MVP also cut a promo about how Dixie was ruining the company, even though it occasionally sounded like he was talking about another owner of another wrestling company.
Austin Aries tried to sound more like a babyface and less like a sexist pig, and kicked off his latest X Division reign by dispatching with Zema Ion and his pesky Feast or Fired briefcase. Whoever helped Aries with his woman-hating ways may want to talk to Samuel Shaw and Chris Sabin. The former was given the brush off by Christy Hemme, but looked like we might be watching his story on Investigation Discovery before too long. The latter responded to being dumped by Velvet Sky in the most mature way possible: with an elaborate scheme to dump her back!
Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud ran in to break-up an Ankle Lock and cause a disqualification in the World champ's match against the Olympic Gold Medalist. They must have been tired when it came time to have Roode's back, though, as no one was there to stop Joe from making him tap. The Samoan declared a one-man war on Team Dixie, for what they did to his friend (who he's tried to kill several times in the past) Kurt.
Then, in a change of pace, Impact saved their big talking segment for the end of the show, and Dixie did a pretty entertaining job parodying what most fans think of her. But Porter is not going to be "the butler at a Paul Dean party". They're playing the blues in Dixie-land, because MVP is taking charge.
Stay calm, and tape in England! Manchester, to be specific.
THE TNA DEBUT OF THE WOLVES, Y'ALL! Sure, they'll probably face Dewey Barnes and Nerv Fernum...wait a minute, that would be awesome if they faced Members Only! Whatever happens, MVP is promising they'll wrestle.
While the new and existing investors try to get along while gaining the upper hand, Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson will try to end a feud that goes back many months, when the former President and Vice-President of Aces and Eights try to put each other in a casket!
Speaking of caskets, Magnus might need one when after he goes face-to-face with Joe tonight. And Chris Sabin will step into the ring with...Velvet Sky? The crazed Michigan native has challenged his ex to a match. Will pigeons be loosed, or will blood fly and tears drop?
Expect to pop for:
Part-timers. TNA took some flack from me and The General last week for the fact that MVP is not signed to a contract for his role on Impact. But the more I thought about it, the more I got to thinking that I liked the idea of TNA featuring bigger names on a limited basis.
Yes, they should put pen to paper in order to ensure that they can count on talent to tell complete stories. But if money's tight, why not bring in a guy with name recognition like Porter for a short-term stint? It provides fresh match-ups and allows you to tell complete stories without having a guy or an angle wear out its welcome.
If they can keep the length of the commitments somewhat under wraps, they can reintroduce a feel that nationally televised pro graps hasn't had in a long, long time...if ever. Loser leaves town matches and the like could be used - with a real sense of suspense that one of the players might be about to go work in the indies or abroad. Match-ups between guys like Sabin, Bully, Anderson, Angle, Aries...fans might get a lot more interesting if programs between veteran names like that could have real kayfabe stakes to them.
Most importantly, it leaves time and money available to focus on creating new stars. The goal could be to not need part-timers eventually.
But while you do, use them wisely.
The heat is on:
Chris Sabin. The high flier might need to take some time off himself after this program. Either he defeats a woman or he's just the misogynistic jerk who got served. Neither is a good look, and after transitional runs with the World and X-Division titles that did nothing for his in-ring reputation, some time away might be good for his in and out-of-ring reputations.
Does the presence of MVP and The Wolves have you feeling better about Impact? What about Joe as #1 contender?
Let us know where you're at, and join up with the gang in tonight's TNA open thread!