Previously on Impact Wrestling
Magnus was the picture of a babyface, putting over his disappointment over coming up short in the Bound for Glory series while selling the toll taken out on him by the winner, AJ Styles. The Brit's real issue was with the Extraordinary Gentlemen's Organization (EGO), who's run-in...didn't really seem to have any impact on the outcome, but let's just go with it.
Frankie Kazarian came out to confront the Main Event Mafia (MEM) member, but when Magnus got the upper hand, Christopher Daniels and Bobby Roode were there to join their comrade in the fight. Mafia Godfather Sting arrived to even the odds and demand a six-man tag (with Samoa Joe also on the side of the non-fallen angels).
Jeff Hardy defeated X-Division champion Manik, because he has to do something to earn his keep. He raised his opponent's hand, but when former World champ Chris Sabin did the same (why the rush to prop up the loser?), it was a set-up for an attack and a heel turn.
ODB defeated the departing Mickie James to earn her third "knocked up" championship. Her celebration with hubby Eric Young and family lawyer Joseph Park was cut short by Bro-Mans, and led to Robbie E getting two losses and Park Abyssing out at the sight of his own blood. Yes, that's still going on and no, no one on the TNA roster has any clue what the connection could possibly be.
Bully Ray hurt his motorcycle gang's feelings because he's been blinded by Brooke Tessmacher's ass-less chaps (and who can blame him?). EGO defeated MEM with heelish trickery when the noble Magnus protected the elderly Sting from a baseball bat shot.
Finally, #1 contender AJ Styles said things that were true about how bad Dixie Carter is at managing a wrestling company. Then Dixie said things that were true about AJ not being a breakout star. Most of the audience then cringed.
Live from Little Rock, Arkansas!
I don't know if he's the General Manager anymore, but he is going to bring glory to the internet, er, that...AND address the issues between Styles and Carter tonight. I'm sure he'll be able to smooth everything right on over.
The Mafia will move from a heel faction on the way up to one on the way out when they collide with what's left of Aces and Eights in something called a Lights Out match. You can tell that Knux is the badass of the club, because he's the only one of the six men in this match without a Twitter account..
Can Bully Ray prepare for his upcoming pay-per-view (PPV) title defense while the men who helped him gain the belt drift away from him one at a time? Is picking a fight with the owner of the company a smart thing for AJ to be doing heading in to one of the biggest matches of his career?
Sabin and Manik will have the X-Division strap on the line on as the masked TJ Perkins seeks revenge against the man who cheap shotted him last week.
And, for some reason, last week's time killer with EY, Park, Robbie and Jessie Godderz is leading to another time killer this week. ODB will be tagging with her fella - who will join The Bro Mans to round out their three person mixed tag team? Who's left on the Knockouts roster?
Expect to pop for:
Velvet Sky. She can't wrestle. She probably doesn't have a future in WWE because to work there - you can look like a stripper or have fake breasts, but not both. So why is she worth cheering tonight?
VelVel is a reminder of the glory days of the Knockouts Division. But her role in those days was not to carry anybody in the ring. Sky excels at being vicious eye candy. She and Angelina Love aren't as synonymous with the schtick as WWE's LayCool, but they did it first and the did it better.
Last week, Velvet seemed shocked at her man Chris Sabin's rude behavior. But hopefully that's just adding some tension to her eventual turn. The opportunity to return to that kind of role - mean-spirited, vain valet - is exactly what TNA should use her for. She has name recognition and an established fan base. She can't be too expensive, and pairing her with another not too expensive guy who can go in the ring but who isn't Mr. Personality regardless of alignment just might get you a strong heel and manager at less than the cost of one Mr. Anderson.
If TNA can leverage their names to affordable build storytelling pieces, well, it would be a heck of a lot better than what they've been doing for the last several years.
The heat is on:
ODB. Congrats, you're the champ again. But even the way she refers to the title sort of gives me the heebie jeebies. Who finds the boob-grabbing, crotch-slapping stuff entertaining or attractive? I'm not trying to make fun, I'm legitimately curious. I don't think this is a sexist double standard either, because I'm generally not a huge fan of things like crotch chops or gyrating taunts either. But at least Dolph Ziggler isn't pinching his nipples and smacking his taint (although, I know there are Cagesiders out there who would LOVE that).
I don't really think she's that great of a wrestler, but that might be because I'm usually annoyed by the 75 times she grabs her tits every match. And, if she could stop using one of the apparently several bras she wears to the ring as a weapon, that would be great.
So, I'm hoping Gail Kim is The Bro-Mans mystery third tonight, and that she can take the Knockouts title from Ole Dirty soon. Maybe get some Shimmer talent in on affordable or per-appearance deals, and start rebuilding the women's division.
Who knows? EY's better half might not even bother me that much is she wasn't one of less than five women on the roster.
We're less than a month away from their biggest show of the year - can TNA keep the reality show drama on the back burner and build to Bound for Glory?
We'll start to find out tonight. Let us know what you're looking forward to/dreading, and come on back for the open thread tonight - right here at CSS!