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TNA Impact Preview (Aug. 11, 2016): A Savior Enters

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TNA Impact is back and live(ish) tonight (Aug. 11, 2016) with a big title vs. title match. Here are our five questions regarding tonight’s show.

1) How will Damien Sandow debut? Will he be the only one?

TNA released a video teasing the former Damien Sandow debuting on Impact tomorrow. (Pro Wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin later confirmed it.) I had a feeling that we’d get a surprise debut. In fact, I had written some of this preview prior to the announcement and the original question was “Will there be a surprise debut?” Looks like TNA answered yes.

The timing really set up for this. WWE’s Black Friday was May 6, 2016 when Damien Sandow, Alex Riley, Hornswoggle, Zeb Colter, Santino Marella, Cameron, and El Toritio were released. On the same day, Wade Barrett negotiated for his early released. Ryback’s contract finally played out the other day as well. (I don’t think the 3-month non-compete applies to a contract that isn’t terminated but I do not know.)

That’s a lot of names and if you were to ask me, who do you want to see in TNA the most, I wouldn’t hesitate saying Damien Sandow. (Barrett would be up there, but looking at his Twitter, he’s been filming a movie.) This man had multiple different times in WWE where he connected with the crowd. The first was as a heel when he was the Intellectual Savior of the Masses. Then he teamed with Cody Rhodes, another face we could see in Impact sooner than later. And then he was a white hot fan favorite when he was Damien Mizdow, stunt double for the Miz.

His release reminded people of another former WWE release of an underutilized talent: Drew Galloway. Drew Galloway has become a big star in TNA (and around the globe) and is already a former TNA champion.

Curious to see what role Sandow will fill and if we’ll get any hint of his first feud or if it’ll just be him addressing the crowd. I’m also wondering if a lesser name like Alex Riley will be showing up soon as well.

2) How badly will James Storm get his ass kicked?

James Storm is putting his newly won King of the Mountain title up against Bobby Lashley’s TNA title tonight in a title vs. title main event. And he’s going to lose. In no world does James Storm derail Lashley’s hot run by beating him tonight. It would make zero sense.

The question is, how badly does he get beat. Of course, this isn’t going to be any 5 minute squash match. James Storm is way too established for that. It could be a close battle where either guy can win and it’s Lashley who takes it. But Storm is set enough that if TNA wants to do something closer to the 2014 SummerSlam match between Brock Lesnar and John Cena, they could. Storm wouldn’t really lose credibility and that would continue to build Lashley up as a truly unstoppable force.

Both outcomes would be fine honestly. As long as it’s a clean, decisive win for Lashley. There’s no reason for him to win by shenanigans or cheating.

3) How long did the Decay keep Bram in the trunk?

Last week, when Bram spurned Rosemary, making light of her story about her beau Johnny just being only interested in sex and not the love she thought, she and the Decay attacked him. It’s unclear if the attack was always the plan or if Bram showed some compassion he would have been spared. But he didn’t show any compassion and ended up in the Decay’s BMW. (The Ferrari was being detailed.)

With the Decay, we never know what they have up their sleeve. Are they still going to try to break him down to join the group or just physically punish him for his transgressions? Either way, I’m just glad the band is back together.

4) Is Eddie Edwards the first real program for Moose?

That’s certainly what it’s looking like. They will be across the ring from each other tonight in a tag team match. It will be Eddie Edwards and Ethan Carter vs. Mike Bennett and Moose.

Last week, Moose tried to interfere in the main event Bound for Glory playoff final between EC3 and Mike Bennett on behalf of the Miracle. Before he could make any impact, Eddie Edwards ran down and brawled with Moose through the crowd.

This was retribution for Moose messing with Eddie’s business for two weeks in a row. Three weeks ago, Moose interrupted Eddie’s title vs. title match with Lashley. His attack left the bout as a no contest. The week after that, Moose waited for Eddie to lose to Lashley to kick the crap out of him.

It certainly looks like this will be a program going forward. It probably won’t stretch out until Bound for Glory in October but it will serve as a good feud to kill some time before they get there.

5) What’s next for the X Division?

it’s no secret that the X Division has been the forgotten child of TNA lately. Through 2015, it was almost nonexistent, holding matches on occasion just to say this division still existed. Earlier this year, they made strides to give it more care. They brought in Trevor Lee, paired him with Shane Helms, and put the X Division title on him. They soon brought in Andrew Everett to team with him. Eddie Edwards had a good feud for the title against Lee and eventually won it.

But then Eddie Edwards lost the title to Lashley. And now the division doesn’t have anything to fight for. We haven’t even seen Trevor Lee for over a month. Just because they don’t have a title doesn’t mean they can’t run some feuds between X Division athletes.

Hopefully they refocus on the division, perhaps banding together somewhat to try to get their title back. The worst they could do is forget about them again.

TNA Impact airs tonight at 8 EST on Pop TV. Who’s watching?

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