TNA Impact made its return last week and re-crowned Ethan Carter III champion after a long, drawn out pre-taped World Title Series to kill some time between October and January. Now, the second reign of Carter starts tonight on Impact.
His match last week against Matt Hardy may have been rushed, which wasn't helped by a comically long advertisement for PopTV show Schitt's Creek, and of the three matches the men had, this was the worst of them. But the result was the correct one. The story being told in this World Title Series actually served better to end with Matt Hardy winning the world title after being screwed by EC3 and being forced to relinquish it. By not going that way, TNA was pretty much admitting that the World Title Series really was just to buy time to get them back to where they left off. But that's OK. Because it's much better to start their run on a new TV station with their hot young heel champion than it is a Matt Hardy who is past his prime.
Ethan Carter is back as champion. And that's a really good thing for TNA.
This Preview will continue after this:
I've decided to cover all the possible title feuds as I cover what is on tap tonight. The announced events for tonight are going to be in bold.
They have announced Drew Galloway vs. Kurt Angle as part of Angle's farewell tour. This is interesting because we don't know if they are going to use this time to have Kurt put over a bunch of young stars (he absolutely should put over Drew here) or allow the fans to watch the Olympic Gold Medalist
Oh they also announced that Mr. Anderson is going to have a talk show called "Huh?" that debuts tonight but we're not going to get into that.
1) TNA Heavyweight Championship
This direction is one that is not clear. For those who may have forgotten, the only man with a title shot coming to him is Tyrus, who is EC3's body guard, which he won at Bound for Glory. Last Impact, he was fine with not staying at ringside for the Carter's finals match when Jeff Hardy suggested both men head to the back, which could be a hint of a coming rift. Though, I sure wouldn't be looking forward to face Tyrus.
Matt Hardy doesn't have a match coming to him, but they certainly try to go to that well yet again. However, they should move past it, but it's possible that they do it one more time. The only other big face star, asides from a soon to be retiring Kurt Angle, is Drew Galloway. That will likely be a feud in the future, but that's one that should saved for a big event.
2) Knock Outs Championship
At the One Night Only show on Friday, Awesome Kong won a gauntlet match to become the number one contender to Gail Kim's title. This is a match that we've seen a bunch but now there's a new wrinkle: Awesome Kong is a member of the Doll House.
Yes, you read that correctly. Instead of disbanding the Doll House, which would have made sense since their leader Taryn Terrell has left TNA, they instead added the person who least fits into the Doll House. Tonight the Doll House will once again face off against the Beautiful People.
More after this:
3) Tag Team Championship
The Wolves are the current champs in a division so paltry, they had to make up three teams just for the PPV alone. However, last week, James Storm returned and reformed Beer Money with Bobby Roode. The Wolves vs. Beer Money can be a big time program, and it would make sense that's where they go.
As for teams they made up for Friday's PPV, there's no indication they will remain teams going forward. Cleary, Kurt Angle/Drew Galloway was a one time thing, especially given Angle's impending retirement and their match tonight. The other two teams actually seem to fit personality wise and if they wanted to, they could get some mileage out of them.
Eric Young and Bram are both ruthless/unstable characters and fit together in that regard. They could be entertaining as that psycho tag team you don't know what they're going to do. I don't think they will because both men have mileage as singles competitors.
The team of Jessie Godderz and Eli Drake is also one with potential. Both are young, self absorbed, and completely arrogant. Plus they have that fun "We don't actually like each other" chemistry. If there's nothing for them planned in singles competition, keep them together.
Tonight, the Wolves will team with Tigre Uno to face unknown opponents. (I am going to guess the Drake/Godderz team with a random X Division star... let's say Mandrews.) It won't be Beer Money. They're going to be too busy having a Beer Money Beer Bash.
4) King of the Mountain Championship
The problem with Bobby Roode competing with James Storm in a reunited Beer Money is it keeps his King of the Mountain title out of play. Honestly, I was hoping Bram would win the title last Impact because Roode is a world champion caliber wrestler and holding the King of the Mountain title muddles the tiers of the championships.
Honestly, TNA doesn't have large enough of a roster to have a World Title, KOTM title, and X Division title.
There's no one hinted to be coming for the KOTM title. It's possible the title takes a major back seat as Beer Money works in the tag team, which they've been advertised for even in their upcoming UK tour, which could cover months of television.
5) X Division Championship
TNA has not had any semblance of a direction for this division for the last year. Expect a bunch of random, multi-man matches that have no story at all. Be pleasantly surprised if we get anything else.
I still don't get PopTV, but it looks like they put the episodes up on-line pretty soon after the show. So my reviews will post a bit later than the used to, but ideally within 24 hours of the episode.
Impact airs tonight at 9 PM on PopTV. Who's watching?