Previewing the Jan. 10, 2013 episode of TNA "Impact Wrestling", the go-home show to "Genesis", featuring the final confrontation between Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, and Bobby Roode, the continuing love affair between Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan, the ongoing shenanigans of Aces & 8s, and the return of Gut Check!
Hardy! Aries! Roode! Elimination Threesome! The Badest Boys in the Game! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
It's official, folks: Jeff Hardy will defend his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against both Austin Aries and Bobby Roode in a Triple Threat Elimination Match at Genesis, in just three days time.
I don't know about you, Cagesiders, but I am very excited!
Last week (Jan. 3) Hardy accepted the TNA "Wrestler of the Year" award, as voted by the fans. His celebration was quickly interrupted, though, when Aries and Roode made their way to the ring. It is true that they are both heels, but they differ greatly on the type of bad guy they play.
Aries is the smug, cocky, suave jerk who calls himself "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived." He wouldn't be quite so damn infuriating if he didn't manage to back up his words, constantly proving himself to be the best performer in the business.
Roode's arrogance is a bit more blunt. Quick to temper and swift to fight, he's a man that uses pure strength and devious tactics to get ahead. He is the longest reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion in the promotion's history, and still refers to the belt as "my title."
Then, of course, there's Hardy; the fan favorite. He is riding high, not on drugs, but from cheers and admiration. While his mic work has been garbage, he is still the same exciting Hardy he always has been in the ring.
These three look amazing playing off of each other. They can play to each other's strengths and cover up each other's weaknesses. Throwing the trio into a match together makes so much sense, it is almost shocking that TNA actually went through with it.
Tonight will feature Aries and Roode teaming up against Hardy and James Storm. It is unfortunate that Storm has become the odd man out since beating Roode at Bound For Glory, but he's simply not as good as the rest of them. Maybe down the road things will be different. As of right now, though, TNA has chosen the right people to fight over the strap.
I have -- nay, I want to -- give TNA credit here. This is how you book a feud. This is how you get out of your own way.
This is how you set up a pay-per-view (PPV).
Aces & 8s! Sting! Revenge! Garbage! Best Laid Plans of Sting and Man!
Sting returned to Impact Wrestling last week to save Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe from a typical Aces & 8s beat down. Putting aside the fact that the return was absolutely botched -- how are you going to have Sting stroll down to the ring and not play his intro, or even have the cameras on him? -- the great reveal was that WWE's Mike Knox is a member of the masked group. Who is Mike Knox, you may ask?
That is exactly the problem.
No one knows who Knox is, and no one really cares. I can't even bring myself to Wikipedia him to find out exactly what he has done in the industry. Sting is an icon in the business. Why he is messing around with nobodies, is beyond me. Why Aces & 8s exists, is beyond me; but at least it made sense when they were fighting with Bully Ray and Joseph Park.
Now, it's just a cluster of fudge.
I really hope that the end is near for this whole angle. Sting needs to feel important every time he resigns, so in some ways I'll take this over another title run for the 53-year old star. But enough is enough.
Please, TNA. Everything else is going so great. Stop closing the show with Devon, DOC, and "Prospect" getting tossed out of the Impact Zone.
Bully! Brooke! Hulk! Unpaid Suspension! A Love Denied!
The plot has thickened in this modern Greek tragedy.
Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan had finally come clean to Daddy Hulk about their loving relationship. Hulk, being an ethical and moral man, could not stand this disrespect. Bully had broken The Code of the Business by not informing Hulk what was going down. So Hulk did the only thing he could.
He banished the couple from the Impact Zone.
Okay, it was less of a banishment than a suspension without pay. But the principal is the same. Hulk has overreacted and is punishing the man who has encroached on his daughter. Not content with disciplining Bully, The Hulkster turned his wrath on his own flesh and blood. A man's pride has caused him to abuse the power invested in him by his subjects. This is a story as old as the kings. It is the basis of great theatre.
I would make an Oedipus joke, but I fear I might be too on the nose.
Tonight we shall see Bully and Brooke's reaction to Hulk's punishment. Will they abide by the suspension, or will we see a revolt from the couple?
I don't know about you, my Cagesiders, but I am excited to see what happens. And if you refuse to admit to your own excitement, you are nothing but a hater.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- Kenny King and Zema Ion will face off to Christian York for the #1 Contendership to the X Division Championship. I pray this is a sign that TNA is trying to bring the X Division back to prominence.
- Tonight features the return of Gut Check, but with a new twist! There will be two contestants competing head-to-head for a chance at earning a contract. Those crazy guys in TNA. What will they think of next?
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join Geno, myself, and the entire CSS Thursday night gang in the live blog right here.