Precap runs a bit long today, so no fancy introductions which traditionally accompany the Pay-Per-Views (PPVs). We're jumping right into the action. And, as always, we're going bottoms up.
DOC! Park! Aces & 8s! Abyss! Hidden Identities!
On first glance, this is an utterly useless match that only serves to further the pointless Aces & 8s storyline. It will be lousy, end in some type of brawl, and, by the end of it, we will be no better off than before it began. If we look a bit closer, though...
Well, it is still all of those things. But there is something here that you can think about while this garbage is on.
In one corner, we have Joseph Park, Esq., formerly known as the monster Abyss. Abyss hasn't been seen since Genesis (Jan. 8), when Bully Ray defeated him in a Monster's Ball match. Instead, Mr. Park began showing up in the Impact Zone. He claimed to be Abyss's "brother" and entered into a drawn out feud with Bully. This being TNA, it was never actually resolved, so the parties just ended up going their separate directions. Ever since, Park has simply been wandering around backstage, that and getting tortured by Aces & 8s.
In the other corner, we have the Director of Chaos of the Aces & 8s, formerly known as 'Festus' and 'Luke Gallows' in WWE. He currently has no real name within TNA. Instead, he simply goes by 'DOC'. The Orlando promotion is in an odd situation here. It is not allowed to use the name that made the character
famous well known. Calling him by a different name, however, defeats the purpose of bringing him in with Aces & 8s. He's supposed to be the same person, but he's stretched too thin across universes.
There is something quite beautiful about this match. It is a story of identity. Abyss wore a mask to hide that he was a monster. When he shed it, he became a scared and helpless lawyer. DOC wore a mask to hide his identity and show brotherhood to his fellow comrades. When Park tore it off, he simply became another washed up wrestler who found his way to central Florida.
Is identity formed by the mask, or what lies underneath? Who are these characters, and what do they say about ourselves? In a day and age where we all hide behind screen names and anonymity, should we fear what happens when our masks are taken away? Can we hope to achieve the same level of success when everyone knows who we truly are?
Or, this could just be a stupid, thrown together match and I'm reading WAY to much into it. Either, or.
Angle! Devon! Aces & 8s! Revenge!
Devon ordered Aces & 8s to beat the crap out of Kurt Angle. They did. Now the Olympic gold-medalist is out for revenge. I do not care about this AT ALL, but I'm contractually obligated to write something. So, here are some fun facts:
- Sergeant-at-Arms -- sometimes spelled Serjeant-at-Arms -- is a position that originated in medieval England to serve as a bodyguard to King Richard I (around 1189 AD).
- The role has evolved to keep order during legislative meetings and, if necessary, forcibly remove any members who are overly rowdy or disruptive.
- James Mathers was the first Sergeant-at-Arms for the United State Senate -- the position was originally called Doorkeeper of the Senate -- and Joseph Wheaton was the first Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Representatives.
- Terrance W. Gainer and Paul D. Irving hold the respective positions today.
Don't say the Precap never taught you anything.
ODB! Young! Tara! Jessie! Knockout Tag Team Championship!
There is something very progressive about TNA having men and women fighting over a tag team championship title. Yes, it's technically the "women's" tag team titles, with the joke being a man wouldn't traditionally compete in such a division.
I choose to look on the bright side and will say this is right up there with Title IX in having women being treated as equals.
ODB and Eric Young had a great run as champions. Their marriage has been comedy gold, and it's always been fun to see them on the screen. With Young too busy with his fishing show to ever appear on Impact Wrestling, though, it is finally time for the couple to drop the titles.
And TNA has just the team to pick them up.
Tara and Jessie Godderz have become the greatest pro wrestling couple in recent memory, and have a chance of becoming the greatest of all time. The chemistry between them is undeniable. They are competent in the ring, amazing on the mic, and both have the look.
Forget Aces & 8s. TNA has a pair of Tens right here.
Ryan! RVD! Morgan! Banned From Ringside! X Division Championship
Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan have come roaring back into TNA with a vengeance. Ryan gained his contract at Bound For Glory when Morgan interfered and helped him defeat Al Snow. Not content with simply having a roster spot, Ryan is looking for some gold around his waist. He wants the X Division Championship.
But he has to go through Rob Van Dam to do it.
At first it seemed wicked odd that RVD would defeat Zema Ion at BFG for the title. Ion had a solid run as a heel champion and was getting better with each passing week. To stunt that growth seemed foolish, idiotic, and, quite frankly, very TNA.
If Van Dam is being used as a way to jump the title from heel Ion to heel Ryan, though, I wholeheartedly support this.
Morgan has been banned from ringside, but that is no promise there won't be shenanigans. Hopefully, RVD will care enough to give Ryan a solid effort, and at the end of the night we see a new champion.
Samoa Joe! Magnus! No DQ! Television Championship!
There's not much to explain for this match, as it is exactly the same as Bound For Glory with the added stipulation of no disqualification. 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 friend around. The two faced each other at BFG, with Joe picking up the win. Magnus is upset with the decision, and wants an opportunity to right the perceived wrong. Joe has accepted, and wants the opportunity to "kill" Magnus.
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.
Chavo! Hernandez! Daniels! Kazarian! Tag Team Championship!
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez will defend the Tag Team Championship against Christopher Daniels and Kazarain in a Bound For Glory rematch (sans Kurt Angle and AJ Styles). Daniels and Kazarain are probably the best heel team in the business today. From harassing Styles with the Claire Lynch storyline to calling out the Spanish announcers Hector Guerrero and Willie Urbina, they know how to get the crowd to hate them.
Chavo and Hernandez, on the other hand, are just kind of there. They don't do anything really great, but they aren't terrible either.
It will be interesting to see what direction TNA wants to go. I believe the promotion is looking to push Chavo as hard as it can. Having him win the belt only to lose it a month later would seem quite silly. If he's not getting the reaction it expected, though, it is entirely possible that the belts go back to "The World Tag Team Champions of the World." Daniels and Kazarian don't necessarily need the titles, and would be free to harass other members of the roster.
Either way, this should be a fun match and a preview of TNA's future plans for the tag team division.
Roode! Storm! Styles! Triple Threat! #1 Contenders!
Bobby Roode, James Storm, and AJ Styles will go head-to-head-to-head to determine the #1 Contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. In what has to be one of the stranger stipulations, the person who is pinned will be ineligible to win the championship until Bound For Glory 2013.
Which means, of course, the most likely outcome is someone will tap out.
Roode had a long run with the strap, so it is very unlikely to see him get another opportunity. This leaves Storm and Styles as the most likely winners. Storm has been waiting patiently for the chance to reclaim his favorite belt buckle. "The Cowboy" was supposed to be champion by now by defeating Roode at Bound For Glory last month. But Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy entered the picture, and the feud was pushed down into the midcard. Now seems like the obvious time to insert him into the title picture.
That leaves poor AJ Styles on the outside looking in.
The man who is supposed to be the face of Impact Wrestling has received nothing for his tenure and loyalty. Check that. He's received plenty of garbage angles and disrespect from the guys in the back. Failure to win tonight would continue that trend. Being pinned would only add insult to injury.
On the surface, I have no issue with year long storylines; this, however, is the negation of an angle. Either someone is submitted and the entire stipulation is a waste, or someone is pinned and TNA has forced one of its top stars out of the main event for eleven months. It adds drama to the proceedings, of course.
I just don't know if TNA will be able to handle this without screwing something up.
It is entirely possible I could be proven wrong, though. I'm willing to watch and see how this turns out. Who knows, maybe TNA has a few surprises up its sleeve.
Hardy! Aries! Ladders! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
In what may turn out to be the most exciting match of the evening, Jeff Hardy will defend his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against the man he beat at Bound For Glory, Austin Aries, in a ladder match. This is Hardy's forte, the place where he can really shine. He may be a drug-addicted stuntman that has screwed up virtually every opportunity he has been given...
But the man sure as hell knows how to put on an exciting match when ladders are involved.
Tonight, we will see if TNA knows how to move forward with a storyline. The ultimate fear from any and every TNA fan is that we will see two championship belts hanging from the rafters: both the gold and purple varieties of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Hardy and Aries will climb the ladder simultaneously, reach out to grab a title, and we see both come tumbling down with a belt in hand.
Wouldn't it be so TNA if Aries had Hardy's title and Hardy had the legitimate one?
TNA needs a clean finish tonight. We demand a clean finish tonight. In all honesty, Hardy needs to go over without any shenanigans. I personally love Aries, but Jeff has been chosen as the top dog of the promotion. Anything besides a valid and final verdict would cripple his reign. I'm tired of being told to wait for the story to be played out. Aces & 8s has already been drawn out too long. There is no reason the entire main event should be stuck in a holding pattern. I want things to move forward.
I demand things to move forward.
I am excited about tonight. The entire card looks to be solid. But everything depends on the last match of the night. If TNA nails it, the show can be considered a success.
If TNA screws it up, as the promotion is prone to do, I don't want to hear a single Cagesider try to defend its actions.
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below telling us what you are excited about, and please join Nolan, myself, and the rest of the CSS Sunday night gang in the live blog, right here TONIGHT!