What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: No Surrender Edition

This week TNA presents No Surrender live from St. Louis. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:

TNA Says:

The World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line on Thursday at “No Surrender” as The Aces and Eights will collide! World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray will defend against fellow Aces member Mr. Anderson! The Aces messed with Hulk Hogan’s family – so The Hulkster is attempting to fracture the gang from within! Will the Aces remain united – or will the World Title match cause chaos within their ranks? Is all hell about to break loose between Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson after what happened this past week? Is the gang falling apart? Don’t miss this huge main event!

Dave Says: Well, here it is: the culmination of the worst face turn that no one ever wanted to see. This title shot for Anderson doesn’t make a lick of sense. It feels like someone in TNA creative suddenly realized “If we’re promoting a big card, we need to have a title match on it.” This is one of the many ways in which No Surrender feels astronomically less well-planned than previous supershows Destination X and Harcore Justice. Also, Hulk Hogan can suddenly just give people title shots for the sole purpose of making allies hate each other? Doesn’t that make him the heelish one?

Best Case Scenario: These two have a passable match that ends with Bully Ray retaining his title by disqualification when he is caught by the referee hitting Anderson with his signature hammer. This spins Anderson out as a (relatively) undamaged babyface, but helps Ray keep the title and what’s left of his heat.

Worst Case Scenario: Here are two equally awful scenarios: (1) Ken Anderson wins the TNA World Heavyweight Title or (2) Ray gets a victory over Anderson when the referee misses him crowning someone with a hammer for the hundredth time, giving Anderson the worst start for a new babyface of all time.

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TNA Says:

The “No Surrender” IMPACT special will also feature the SEMI-FINALS and FINALS of the “Bound For Glory Series” – one superstar will advance to the main event at October’s “Bound For Glory” epic event for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship:

SEMI-FINAL 1: AJ STYLES VS. AUSTIN ARIES

SEMI-FINAL 2: MAGNUS VS. BOBBY ROODE

BFG SERIES FINAL: THE WINNER ADVANCES TO BOUND FOR GLORY

Dave Says: One of the (few) things to like about No Surrender is that TNA is using some very juicy matchups to fill time. Unfortunately, both of these matches are worthy of months of buildup that they just haven’t gotten. The match quality will definitely be there, but the part where the matches really mean something and are memorable… probably not so much.

Best Case Scenario: A.J. Styles defeats Austin Aries with the Styles Clash to move one step closer to his destiny of becoming “the guy” again in TNA. Styles and Aries have a highly athletic match where each of them show off why they are two of the best workers in the world not to be part of the WWE. Magnus goes over Roode in a star-making vehicle that sets the stage for him to become the company’s next top babyface. Each of these matches is at least fifteen minutes — they’re supposed to be for one of the highest honors in the company, after all.

Worst Case Scenario:The worst thing that could happen to these matches is for them to be short. All four of these men are supposedly inches from the richest prize in TNA, and as such deserve to have compelling, main event quality stories told in their matches. Austin Aries goes over A.J. Styles with his brainbuster to crush The Phenomenal One’s dreams for the seventeenth time and Roode makes Magnus tap out to a crossface in the middle of the ring.

Surprisingly, that’s all that TNA is advertising for No Surrender! There will most likely be some Knockouts or X Division action thrown into the mix, but for better or worse, TNA has built this show around the World Heavyweight Title at the expense of every wrestler outside of the title picture.