Bully! Hardy! Aces & 8s! Hulk! Brooke! Tables! Ladders! Chairs! Full! Metal! Mayhem! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
Tonight, dear Cagesiders, is the night where everything is on the line. When we will find out how far TNA has come. If the promotion has finally shaken free of it's past and will give the fans everything they want.
Or it could be another "TNA Moment' and we all turn our heads in disgust.
TNA has been building this up as a pay-per-view (PPV) quality card, hoping to draw more fans into the product. It's a risky strategy, as PPV's -- even TNA PPV's -- are simply an excuse to print money. If last Friday's (April 5) One Night Only: X-Travangaza bombed, the company may be in serious trouble.
But that is not something we have to worry about right now. Right now it's all about the main event.
Bully Ray won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Hardy via ball peen hammer to the dome at Lockdown (March 10) while revealing himself to be the leader of Aces & 8s. In subsequent weeks, Bully would reveal it had all been a part of his nine-month plan to be champion, including rigging the Bound For Glory Series, wooing Bro0ke Hogan, getting Sting on his side, earning Hulk Hogan's trust, and finally, earning a shot at the title.
It was, to put it simply, the most brilliant bit of reverse booking I have ever seen.
Aces & 8s had been the bane of my existence for months, yet now it is what I look forward to seeing every week. The angle has finally found traction and is moving in the right direction.
It may have been a few -- or eight or nine -- months late, but potius sero quam numquam and such.
Now Hardy will have his rematch against the President of Aces & 8s. And not just any rematch! No, this will have tables! This will have ladders! It will have chairs!
But you can't say those three words in a row, because the other promotion has that trademarked. Because of course they do.
In this promotion, my friends, we have our own name for this type of match.
It's called Full Metal Mayhem.
No disqualification. Anything goes. The belt on the line. This is the chance for TNA to advance the storyline. To dispatch Hardy and move onto the next
victim opponent. Aces & 8s will work if it is actually mowing down the entire roster.
But this is where TNA tends to screw the pooch, isn't it?
A dusty finish. A random and unnecessary swerve. An ending that makes fans want to claw their eyeballs out with a screwdriver and then forget the show with a screwdriver. This is when we see the paid show booked to set up the following Impact.
Except...this is happening on Impact. So maybe this will all work out in the end?
Don't be surprised if we see the entire Aces & 8s gang come flying into the ring to screw things up. And don't be shocked if we see the TNA roster coming down to retaliate. This can be an overbooked mess and still work. In fact, I'm almost hoping for everything to go off the rails. I will almost always prefer a clean win over a dirty one.
But why not have some fun with this?
This is not going to be the end of Aces & 8s. All signs point to them sticking around till Bound For Glory (Oct. 13). That is six more months of programming to book. Jeff Hardy means too much to the promotion to be dropped out of the championship picture completely.
What I'm saying is I want TNA to gives us a real ending, but not one that closes off any avenues. I think that is perfectly fair to ask, no?
There is a way for TNA to make this work. It needs to rotate talent in and out of the main event to face Bully Ray and Aces & 8s. Hardy may be bounced now, but I fully expect -- and almost want -- him to come back later. This could be really, really good.
On top of all that, Brooke Hogan will be sitting in the front row to watch her husband. If we don't get a heel turn, I'm going to start flipping tables.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
Dirty Heels -- Austin Aries & Bobby Roode -- will put the Tag Team Championship on the line against Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez in a two-out-of-three falls match, with the added stipulation if Chavo and Hernandez lose they will never be able to tag again. I think that in and of itself tells you who will win. I'll let you decide who you think it favors.
AJ Styles continues to make his choice unknown between Aces & 8s and TNA Wrestling. Hulk Hogan will demand an answer tonight. Will he get it? Probably not!
Taryn Terrell makes her in ring debut against Gail Kim. Which, yay women's wrestling! But -- more importantly -- hopefully we will see Tara and Jessie interfere. Because we can never have too much Tara and Jessie.
Gut Check contestants Adam Pearce and Magno find out their fates tonight. Will either gain a TNA contract? Both? Neither? You have to watch to find out! Or just come back here for the reactions tomorrow!
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Thursday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT!