Like every other wrestling company, TNA creates a weekly preview of its flagship show, Impact Wrestling (even the ones they’re pretending are pseudo-pay per view supercards like this week’s Final Resolution). And, like every other wrestling company, they don’t always tell the truth when hyping their product. Thankfully, Dave is here to try to figure what TNA is trying to say, and tell you what he thinks, so you don’t have to do either.
Thursday’s huge event will feature the FINALS of the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, as “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy battles Magnus to crown a new champion! Who will emerge from Final Resolution as the new World Champion? Will Hardy reclaim the gold to become a multi-time World Heavyweight Champion? Will Magnus become the first British World Heavyweight Champion? A NEW CHAMPION will be crowned on Thursday night!
What This Probably Should Mean: A long, pay per view quality during that pits a super-face Jeff Hardy against a decisively heel Magnus. Both men take turns displaying their signature offenses while the other bumps and sells big for them. Eventually, Hardy crashes and burns on a Swanton and Magnus snaps on the Cloverleaf, leading to the submission victory.
What This Probably Shouldn’t Mean: A match that’s anything less than 20 minutes. Magnus and Hardy both portray babyfaces, diminishing the crowd reaction that either one can get. The match ends with some kind of B.S. double-down or third-party interference spot, leading to TNA still not having a champion at the end of their tournament.
Dave Thinks: This tournament has actually been booked very effectively. TNA put the right wrestlers in the mix, then whittled things down to an established top star with WWE credentials and a homegrown, rising talent. If these two put together a strong, main event quality match with a good, clean finish, it could give TNA a nice sense of momentum headed into 2014.
Plus, the “Feast Or Fired” briefcases will be revealed on Thursday at Final Resolution! Which lucky superstars will earn World Title shots – and which UNLUCKY superstar will be FIRED from TNA? The following superstar claimed the briefcases in the Feast or Fired match – their contents will be revealed at Final Resolution:
Ethan Carter III
DJ Zema Ion
What This Should Mean: Gunner gets the Tag Team Title shot, putting him and James Storm (who he betrayed last week) in an intriguing situation that will help build their eventual feud. Zema Ion wins the X Division Title shot, giving him a chance to get back in the ring and have a good match with Austin Aries. EC3 gets the World Title shot, planting the seed for his first main event moment after the A.J. Styles storyline is resolved. Chavo gets fired.
What This Shouldn’t Mean: Anything good happens to Chavo… Gunner gets fired.
Dave Thinks: I largely covered this in last week’s preview, but Feast or Fired is kind of like the first fifteen minutes of the Royal Rumble: it gives you a good sense of what midcard performers will be filling out each week’s episodes of Impact. With that said, this Final Resolution episode of Impact is all about the World Title, and as such it would be a real shame for Feast or Fired to eat up too much time.
Also this Thursday at Final Resolution on SpikeTV, the war between Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode continues in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match!
What This Should Mean: A strong, fifteen-plus minute match featuring the “old school” pace that these two have become known for working together. Roode bumps big when Angle is on the attack, but keeps his own offense grounded to prevent Angle from taking his now-signature cringe-inducing bumps. Roode wins the first fall with The Payoff, Angle wins the second with an Angle Slam, and Roode wins the final fall with his Crossface for the big win.
What This Shouldn’t Mean: A strangely-paced match with three falls squeezed into ten minutes. The whole story of the match is built around Angle taking scary bumps to sell the drama of his nagging neck injuries. Angle wins with the anklelock, getting a victory he doesn’t need one bit.
Dave Thinks: On one hand, I’m a little anxious that these two will hold back in the name of not eclipsing the main event. On the other, I totally understand why it’s important not to eclipse the main event on a show built around crowning a new champion. This feels like a match that deserves better than being put in such an awkward position.
Final Resolution will also feature the Knockouts in action, with Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa battling the team of ODB and the returning Madison Rayne!
What This Should Mean: ODB does a long sell for Kim and Tapa, building great heat for Madison Rayne’s in-ring return. Rayne looks strong against Kim, getting a clean pinfall over her when ODB holds off Lei’D Tapa, taking her off her feet and building a singles match between the two of them.
What This Shouldn’t Mean: ODB turns on Rayne, joining the heels she was feuding with just one week ago and undoing any good TNA did by bringing in a fresh babyface.
Dave Thinks: Hurray! There are four real Knockouts!
This episode of Impact (Final Resolution, if you will) we be remembered for one match: the World Title Tournament final. The two participants in that match have a doubly-challenging task at hand: first, they need to have a match worthy of redefining a title; then, whoever wins needs to have a title reign worthy of redefining a wrestling company. The two-out-of-three falls match between Angle and Roode should be strong, but honestly, this is a one match card.