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Impact Wrestling preview (Sept. 20, 2018): Down Mexico Way

Impact Wrestling returns tonight (Sept. 20) from Frontón México in Mexico City, Mexico. It is the first episode from the most recent set of tapings.

Here’s what’s on tap for tonight:

  • Austin Aries (c) vs. Texano for the Impact world title
  • Impact announces their next Impact Hall of Fame inductee
  • Will Rich Swann finally get his hands on Matt Sydal?
  • Grado & Joe Hendry debut a new video
  • oVe vs. Aerostar, Laredo Kid, & El Hijo de Vikingo
  • Faby Apache vs. Alisha Edwards

As per usual, here are our five questions about Impact tonight:

1) Will the new Impact Hall of Famer come from WWE?

Impact will be announcing their next Hall of Fame inductee tonight. Most of the people who fit the bill are in WWE.

AJ Styles is probably their biggest star of all time and the current WWE champion. Bobby Roode of Beer Money is in WWE. Samoa Joe is in WWE. Eric Young is in WWE. And there’s only so long they can keep these guys out of the Hall of Fame before it looks too meaningless.

They could induct Awesome Kong, who most definitely deserves to be honored for her work in the promotion. (And with GLOW continuing to be a hit, it certainly would be a good time for it.) But there’s another thing that has me thinking the next member may come from WWE, and that’s the WWE/Impact meeting from the other week.

Why would Impact officials and WWE officials meet? We know it wasn’t for a big purchase like the tape library. Yes, maybe it’s to get a good relationship to continue to use Impact footage on the WWE Network specials. But working out a one time appearance for someone in WWE to accept this Impact honor is a possibility.

Can you imagine WWE Champion AJ Styles showing up to accept the Impact Hall of Fame induction? That’d be wild. And an Impact HOF wouldn’t be complete without him.

2) What will be the reasoning behind the title match?

Austin Aries will be defending his title against Texano, a Triple A and Lucha Underground star, tonight.

I’m sure the booking reason is to showcase a big match with a current champion of one promotion against a former champion of another to sell tickets and give the audience something to get excited over.

But how will they explain it in the story? Why Texano and why does Aries agree to it?

Aries isn’t a big time coward. He offered to defend his title against the larger Fallah Bahh last week and was victorious with no help from his goons Moose & Killer Kross. Perhaps that same hubris is all it will take tonight. This time he may need help from Moose & Kross, but that’s something he’s never had an issue with. He defeated Eddie Edwards that way.

Hopefully they give us the “why” tonight instead of just telling it’s going to happen though. Matches for the top title should all have a reason.

3) Are Grado & Joe Hendry going to be an official tag team?

It was a bit of a shock when Joe Hendry spurned the advances from Grado’s girlfriend Katarina to maintain his loyalty to his friend. That story looked to be going in the direction of a Hendry heel turn and instead he ended up doing the right thing.

For now of course.

They can always be playing a longer game to get us there. And that’s fine. The story already has taken a bit of a turn that we weren’t expecting. Perhaps that was just to draw us off the scent.

If they don’t; however, they should throw their hats into the tag team division. Impact still has to grow the ranks of their tag scene. They did a good job getting us to this spot with Hendry and Grado on the same side. If they’re not going to break them up, may as well use them to freshen up the tag division.

Either way, I’m excited for their new video tonight.

4) How rowdy will the Mexican audience be?

When Impact went to Canada from Orlando, their crowds massively improved. Suddenly these were people showing up to see wrestling instead of to get out of the heat during a day at Universal Studios. And when the crowds improve, the overall presentation improves.

Now they’re headed south of the border to an entirely new wrestling audience. I’m not someone who watches much Mexican wrestling. I’ve seen a couple TripleManias and noted that the AAA style was something I wasn’t really used to. So I wonder how the crowd will respond to a different style.

Given there are plenty of talent on these shows who wrestle in Mexico, it will probably go well. Each match they announced tonight so far features talent the audience will know. And it’s not like the Mexican crowds don’t love wrestling.

5) Is Sydal vs. Swann the Bound for Glory plan?

With Bound for Glory just a month away, they’ve still got to fill up the card. And a match that makes perfect sense is Rich Swann vs. Matt Sydal.

Sydal has been trying to get Swann to become his student of the spiritual ways. Swann wants none of that. Now they have to figure out how to extend the feud and keep it interesting for a month until they actually meet up at the pay-per-view. (That is unless they decide to have a match prior that has a non-finish setting up the PPV match.)

Impact Wrestling airs tonight at 8 ET on Pop TV. Who’s watching?