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Precap to the Jan. 3, 2013 episode of TNA 'Impact Wrestling', or may the Impact be with you

Previewing the Jan. 3, 2013 episode of TNA "Impact Wrestling"; featuring the return of Sting, the continuing love affair between Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan, and the ongoing shenanigans of Aces & 8s!

Hardy! Aries! Roode! Devils Threesome! Heeling Ain't Easy! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!

We are sitting two weeks away from Genesis, which goes down on Jan. 13, and all signs are pointing to one thing...

Triple Threat Match. Jeff Hardy. Austin Aries. Bobby Roode. TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

Everything has lined up pretty well so far. Hardy had won the strap from Aries at Bound For Glory (Oct. 14, 2012). Aries is still pissed about it. Roode faced Hardy for the title at Final Resolution (Dec. 9) and was relying on Aces & 8s to have his back. However, Aries had secretly paid the masked group to let the match play out and to attack Roode after the bell had rung. Roode is still pissed about that. Hardy sees the championship as his redemption, and losing it would be a huge blow to his psyche. So he is going to defend it against any and all challengers.

Simple booking is simple, yet effective.

Whether TNA chooses to stay the course, remains to be seen. As it stands now, though, the championship picture looks to be a little bit crowded to begin the new year. I, for one, see no problem with it. Hardy has been chosen to be TNA's biggest star. He receives a lot of legitimate criticism from fans, but a quick glance at the roster shows that there are not too many wrestlers who have the pull he does. The Impact Zone loves him, and he usually is good for a few thousand more buys when he main events a pay-per-view (PPV).

When you are a promotion that struggles to break the 10K mark, you need all the help you can get.

So with Hardy as TNA's less-than-white knight, it is up to Aries and Roode to keep the non-Impact marks entertained. And boy do they deliver in spades. Last week's (Dec. 27, 2012) main event was just pro wrestling perfection. It wasn't any type of five-star classic, but it wasn't supposed to be. It was simply an entertaining match to close out the final Impact Wrestling of the year. Even though Hardy would get the better of them as the show faded to black, Aries and Roode will probably trade victories in the coming weeks.

For the first time in a long time, the PPV's have begun to actually be the place for closure.

The next month of storytelling is already set out, and I truly hope TNA doesn't get in its own way. I know I am one of the few TNA marks this side of the Asylum, but this can be a truly entertaining feud, if everything goes right.

It should be noted that for all the problems TNA has been having, the championship picture has been strong for months.

Aces & 8s! Sting! Angle! Joe! Returns! Cages!

The big news for tonight, is Sting will be making his return to the Impact Zone. He was put out of commission when DOC took a ball-peen hammer to his hand on the Nov. 8 edition of Impact Wrestling. The Stinger is looking for revenge and his trusty bat, which was last seen in the hands of Devon.

If there is one thing you should never do, dear Cagesiders, it's mess with another man's bat without permission.

Sting coming back to repel Aces & 8s would feel like a much bigger deal, if the group didn't openly suck so hard. They have been booked to look like complete buffoons. Devon is the Television Champion, but that is a completely meaningless title. Things have gotten so bad for the card-based aficionados, that they have taken to begging Mr. Anderson to join their club.

That's never a good sign.

In related news, Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe will be facing Aces & 8s in a Steel Cage Match. This means no one can leave, and no one can enter...

So, expect people to walk freely in-and-out of the steel cage.

I know this is a weekly shout into the abyss -- see what I did there? -- but this whole thing needs to end. No one is enjoying it, there have been no surprising reveals, and the sooner they stop eating screen time means the sooner we can get more Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez Christopher Daniels & Kazarian AJ Styles & James Storm Tara & Jessie.

You know, the stars that the fans really want to see.

Bully! Hulk! Brooke! Love! Hate! Twists! Turns! Respect!

This is usually the part of the Precap where I talk about how interesting the Bully Ray/Brook Hogan/Hulk Hogan love triangle is, and how it is a Shakespearian tragedy, and how the entire storyline just needs to be given a chance, before being brushed aside as garbage.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe all those things.

It is just that absolutely nothing happened last week to advance this story, so we are left in the same place as we have been. Bully wants Hulk's respect. He is definitely hooking up with Brooke, but we don't know how serious the two are. Hulk is pissed off at this relationship, that may or may not exist. And the whole thing is playing out in front of an Impact Zone crowd that couldn't care less.

Again, that sounds really dumb on your computer screen. But I promise, it's not that bad!

Hopefully, we start marching towards some type of conclusion to this whole thing. As much as I love this type of angle, this isn't the sort of thing that holds up well the longer it goes.

Some may argue that it isn't holding up well now, but I will just ignore those people.

Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join Geno, myself, and the entire CSS Thursday night gang in the live blog right here!

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