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TNA Impact preview (September 17, 2014): Is retreating out of the question, too?

Previously on Impact Wrestling

The "USA" chants feel a little more appropriate directed at Chris Melendez than they the ones Jack Swagger gets.  "Sarge" made his television debut in New York City in front of his father and girlfriend.  DJ Z doubted the veteran, and paid the price.  Not sure a Samoan Drop finisher is going to work on anyone other than the Bro-Man lackey, but this was a nice debut and good open to the show.

Bobby Roode has won the right to challenge for Bobby Lashley's TNA World title, and he's sounding a bit like another long-reigning champ who's been feuding with a guy that has dabbled in mixed martial arts.  Like Brock Lesnar, the champ lets a more skilled orator do the talking for him, and Montel Vontavious Porter did his best to run down the It Factor and his fighting spirit.  When that didn't work, Kenny King, Lashley and he put the boots to Roode.

It wasn't long before the cavalry arrived in the form of Samoa Joe and Eric Young, and the tag match followed.  Roode earned the victory, but it was with a pin on MVP, so it's unclear if he got any real momentum on his next opponent, who TNA reminded us is also 1 - 0 in his Bellator MMA career.

Brittany is interested in dating Samuel Shaw, and Gunner is going to help make that happen, because he thinks his friend who was institutionalized for stalking Christy Hemme would totally make a cute couple with the Knockout who stalked Madison Rayne.  That was the best news Brittany got last week, though.  She isn't the cover of the 2015 calendar - that would be Velvet Sky, who helped push Brittany into an attack by the rampaging HAVOK.

Velvet had a nice week, picking up a win in her mixed tag match with Robbie E and Jessie Godderz against the Menagerie.  She did seem to have a falling out with fellow Beautiful Person Angelina Love over the whole cover thing.  But, again, didn't get destroyed by that's good.  The newest female roster member stole Gail Kim's belt, leading to a backstage pursuit and brawl.  In the end, the champ and a couple of members of security were laid out by the masked warrior woman.

Executive Director Kurt Angle had enough of Ethan Carter III's whining about his poor Aunt Dixie and her broken back, so he threatened to send him home.  EC3 went on and on about getting vigilante justice for Dixie Carter, so Angle booked him in a street fight against his rival Rhino.  A pinfall victory there hopefully means it's time for young Ethan to feud with someone from this generation.

There's a lot of torture involved in James Storm "Awakening" dudes.  Manik is tied up in a barn somewhere, because he's not ready yet.  The Great Sanada is, and with the help of a little Beer Mist from his sensei, the two picked up a big win over Austin Aries and Tajiri.

Finally, it was tables match time, with Team 3D looking to put a quick end to the three team series for the TNA Tag titles.  But after a quarter hour of madness, Jeff Hardy hit a Swanton Bomb onto Eddie Edwards, sending him through a table and onto the floor, earning the Hardy Boys a series tying win.  Only the current holders of the belts, Edwards and Davey Richards, are without a win thus far.


This show is packaged from the matches put on for the last night of taping during TNA's early August visit to the Manhattan Center.  We'll try to stay spoiler-free, but results from that evening a month back can be found here.

This is one of those shows that would be a pay-per-view (PPV) if TNA could get enough of us to buy those any more.  But they can't, so we get loaded Wednesday night shows like tonight's No Surrender!

Two titles are on the line, as Samoa Joe will defend his X-Division strap against the Master of the 1-8-7, Homicide!  And Roode gets his chance to take down the man MVP calls Destroyer and reclaim the title he held for longer than anyone else in TNA history.

A new contended for Gail Kim's crown will be chosen in a Knockout's Battle Royal...given how HAVOK has been booked in the two weeks since her debut, you can probably guess how that's gonna go.  Melendez gets a step up in competition as he'll face Kenny King, and Bram vs. Gunner should provide a brutal mid-card match-up.

Plus, the Hardys have chosen their signature match type as they and Bully Ray & Devon look to close out the tag title series with a win, as the Wolves just try to stay alive to fight another day.

Expect to pop for:

Champions. TNA has set itself up with four very strong champions.

The World and X-Division kings even seem to be running the same storyline - indestructible legit badass who's mowing his way through an all-star line-up of contenders.  The Wolves are in the process of being definitively put over by two of the best tag teams of all-time.  And Gail Kim is just padding her resume as possibly the best woman to ever wrestle for a nationally televised promotion.

It's nice, because it makes them all feel legitimate in a way that they haven't always or recently been presented.  The main belt was a "please sign with or don't leave our company" prize for too long.  The X-Division was for cruiserweights who wrestled in triple threats where you couldn't remember who the champ was.  The tag champs just wouldn't get booked for months at a time.  The Knockouts belt...well, that's pretty much been Kim or whoever she's chasing for a few years now, but you get the point.

Establishing stability and prestige for the championships is great.  But...

The heat is on:

Challengers. With the exception of the women's division, where HAVOK is there to dethrone Kim and then either make Taryn Terrell or give Gail a real dragon to slay, they're not doing much to set up a compelling story for whatever comes next.  Lashley and Joe are on their way to having put down every previous champ in their respective divisions.  The tag roster is largely represented in the current championship series (other than novelty acts like Bro-Mans and the Menagerie.  And, former champs or not, Robbie and Jessie are a comedy tag team).

Bound for Glory is next month, and would be the perfect time to have one of these bad ass champs get taken down by someone with a real beef against them.  But with all challengers taken care of, and no long-term stories being crafted with only one taping left before the PPV in Japan, they seem to have booked themselves out of options.

I don't think there's a bunch of cash laying around to sign a big name.  Lashley already beat Joe on Spike TV.  I hope they have a plan, or they just might ride into the sunset with the champions they have now.

Will you surrender to TNA and tune in tonight?

Let us know, and tell us how you would book the title scenes for the rest of the year.  And watch the show (it's been pretty good lately - honest) along with your fellow Cagesiders in the live blog!

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