TNA Impact returns tonight with the second round of the World Title Series, which is in essence, the Elite Eight. You can find the entire results from last week's round of 16 right here.
And here is the updated bracket thus far via ImpactWrestling.com.
When it comes to previewing tonight's show, I've come across an issue that I haven't had prior. And that's the fact half of the show's agenda is unaccounted for. The round of 8 only has four matches and two hours to kill. Those four matches, even if they were all 20 minute matches (they won't be), there would still be the better part of an hour to fill. Last week they ran 8 matches in the two hours.
Here are the four matches that are announced for tonight:
1) Ethan Carter vs. Davey Richards
This is the match that appears to have the most potential for the night. Even though Ethan Carter is pretty much a lock to go on, the match itself should deliver the goods. Davey matches up well with everyone and Carter is enjoyable every time he is on TV. As long as it's not an overbooked affair with too much Tyrus interference on the outside, and that is always a risk, it should be match of the night.
Time wise, this is one match that could actually eat a good amount of time. Davey can go forever and EC3 has already had some long matches in TNA. I still can't imagine it's a 20 minute match, but they could give this two segments.
2) Tigre Uno vs. Eric Young
This is likely the other match that can eat some time. Tigre Uno hasn't had much time to shine as a character, but it's clear he has the stamina for the longer matches. This match likely won't hold my personal interest compared to the first one because Tigre Uno has been whatever as a character. Eric Young has been really good as his psychotic heel, but I don't find him as exciting as either Carter and Richards.
I would be quite surprised if Tigre Uno moves on. However if they want to score a big upset to make it feel like a college basketball type tournament, this would be the match to do it in.
3) Bobby Lashley vs. Mahabali Shera
When it comes to taking up time on a show, this is not a match that will likely contribute much. Any match getting to the 10 minute mark is going to expose how green Shera was this last summer when this was taped. Lashley is a good worker and he can lead Shera for a little bit, but this is not going to be some 20 minute classic. I don't think this will be a bad match because as the tournament matches progressed, Shera has as well. But it's going to leave a lot of time left to fill.
This will likely be a chance for Mahabali Shera to show that he can hang with a former world champion, sneak in some power moves, and then take a spear from Lashley. Then Lashley can shake Shera's hand and hold up his arm as an endorsement for a Shera push down the toad.
4) Matt Hardy vs. Jessie Godderz
After Jessie got a sweet heel win last over Awesome Kong, he'll have the honors of losing to Matt Hardy tonight. In retrospect, Matt Hardy dispensing of the scummy Godderz is better for his babyface climb back to the title than being the one to defeat Awesome Kong, who would have surely been the fan favorite in that match.
I can't imagine this will be a long match either. At least it shouldn't.
And that leaves a lot of show. Possibly an hour of show. So let's speculate how they will fill that time.
1) Numerous taped backstage segments
TNA can double down on the Pope and Josh Matthews previewing and analyzing each match and add in a bunch of back stage interviews with each person competing tonight. In fact they recently announced that Dixie Carter will be doing a sit down interview with Josh Matthews tomorrow. However, unless this turns into a Frost/Nixon epic, that's only going to fill 5 minutes.
2) Play other pre-taped matches.
It's definitely possible TNA had this in mind and taped a couple title matches with secondary titles to show during these next two Impact. (Yes, TNA has other titles.) Gail Kim can defend her Knockout's Title or Bobby Roode can defend his King of the Mountain title. Or they can have some a non-title matches. They have plenty of X-Plosion matches on tap I'm sure.
3) Replay a Bound for Glory match
This is a TNA classic. When there's time to kill, whether it be having to edit out Hernandez for weeks or just killing some time, showing old Pay Per View matches is a thing that they do. While they already showed us the main event from Bound for Glory last October, there's plenty of other matches to choose from. TNA has also been hyping their early "Asylum Years" on their website. So it could be a really old match too. You're not going to hear me complaining if they opt to replay Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Daniels from Unbreakable 2005, though all three men are currently active in other promotions.
So for the first time ever, we're going to do a TNA Preview Poll! So vote below on how you think TNA will use their extra time tonight and don't forget TNA Impact airs tonight on Destination America at 9 EST.