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TNA Impact Preview (Apr. 20, 2017): Second go around


Impact Wrestling is back tonight (Apr. 20) with a live episode and a world title match. Here are our five questions about Impact tonight.

1) Will there be changes from the last set of tapings?

The last set of tapings from the new creative team was not good, at least from this writer’s perspective. There was an announcer feud that active ruined many segments, way too many authority figures, and the storylines were all over the place. Though while it was six weeks, it was really their first stab at it.

Now, after those six weeks, they can review and change as they see fit. It’s entirely possible that they shared our concerns after seeing how the product came across on television. However, it’s also possible that they were really happy with the product they put out. If that’s the case, it’ll be more of the same. For those who have enjoyed the last six weeks, that’s a good thing. For the rest of us, it’s surely not.

2) What’s next for the TNA title scene?

Tonight, James Storm will face champion Bobby Lashley in a title match. He earned the match by winning a fan vote that no one actually participated in.

But the title scene is jumbled. Six week’s ago, Alberto El Patron won the title but then was forced to relinquish it. He never got a rematch, despite defeating EC3 in a #1 contenders match. Even though he lost the contenders match, Ethan Carter is still trying to get another title match, though that’s likely part of a heel turn. With all of that going on, it’s James Storm who has a title opportunity tonight.

What’s the plan here? Is Patron vs. Lashley the end game? It would make sense since word has it Alberto officially signed with TNA.

Tonight’s title match may give a hint of what’s next. But it’s entirely possible it just confuses things more.

3) Will anyone new show up?

Tonight is a live episode, which means it’s a prime time to debut new stars. The ones we already heard were coming have already showed up. (More about that in a bit.) But is there anyone else? Jack Swagger is a free agent, but needs to wait 3 months until he can show on TV due to WWE’s standard non-compete. I honestly can’t think of a free agent name outside Ryback that would be of note.

They can bring in new guys and gals from the indie scene, which is good. It’s not impactful, but could be for the better. That is (or at least should be) the strength of Impact anyway. Not bringing in old stars but showcasing new ones.

4) What’s the plan for all those new guys who just showed up?

Matt Morgan, Magnus, and Chris Adonis (Masters) made their TNA return two weeks ago as part of Jeremy Borash’s team. Now, it’s time to find something for them all to do. Perhaps one of them will find themselves included in the busy title scene. Maybe there’s a grudge feud to be built. There’s also the Grand Championship scene that perhaps someone like Masters would fit into.

It’s no secret that I’ve always been a big fan of Matt Morgan and hopefully he has an entertaining story for him. Adonis and Magnus don’t excite me as much, but hopefully they find a good fit for both men.

5) Will any titles change hands?

The TNA title is not the only title that’s on the line tonight. Rosemary will have to defend her Knockouts title against ODB and Trevor Lee will defend his X Division title in a multi-man match.

If I were to guess, I don’t think the TNA title will change hands. My bet is they will build up to Lashley/El Patron II first. It would be really disappointing if they do another title change with no build.

The Knockouts title is a definite possibility, though not one that I care for. Not that I dislike ODB, but Rosemary is so good and the idea of her dropping it to an TNA old guard doesn’t feel right.

As for the X Division title match, that’s a bit tougher. It’s a multi-man match, an X Division classic, and we don’t know how many men are even in this match. We do know that Andrew Everett and Suicide are both participants. Everett is Trevor Lee’s current main foil. However, it was looking like they were building to a one on one match between the former Helms’ Dynasty brethren. It’s possible Everett captures it tonight, but they could wait for a singles match.

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

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