This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling is the go-home show leading into TNA’s biggest event of the year, Bound For Glory. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:
IMPACT will feature the official contract signing between World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray and challenger AJ Styles for their main event match at Bound For Glory! However, what is AJ’s physical condition after the brutal attack by Bully Ray with a steel chain this past Thursday night? AJ claims nothing will prevent him from competing in the main event at BFG. However, sources say that TNA President Dixie Carter has a plan to to [sic] truly test AJ’s determination and resolve! What does Dixie have planned for Styles on Thursday night? Don’t miss it!
Best Case Scenario: Just as A.J. and Ray are about to sign the contract for their match, Dixie comes out on stage and tells A.J. that if he loses this match, he will never work in TNA ever again. Styles tells her he is confident, and even if he did lose, he wouldn’t want to work in a company run by her and Bully Ray anyway. After the contract is signed, A.J. lunges at Bully Ray to try and get his revenge, but security steps in and pulls the red-hot Styles off the World’s Champion before he can do any damage.
Worst Case Scenario: A.J. and Ray senselessly brawl all over the arena. Ray powerbombs A.J. through a table and leaves him a bloody mess headed into Bound For Glory.
Dave Says: I know getting whipped with a chain hurts and all, but it kind of defies logic that A.J.’s “physical condition” would be an issue a week later. Maybe his spleen could be ruptured, or something, but if that was the case we would have heard about it through a major news outlet when they reported: “Wrestler dies of ruptured spleen after being beaten with a chain.” If they just admitted the taping took place immediately after last Thursday’s show, it would make the “Oh my gosh, I hope A.J. is okay” angle a little more convincing.
Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle made his surprise return this past week, ruining EGO’s “Hall Of Fame” mockery! On Thursday, we will hear from Kurt Angle for the first time! What will he have to say about his return match at Bound For Glory against Bobby Roode, as well as his upcoming Hall Of Fame introduction at BFG?
Best Case Scenario: Kurt Angle apologizes to the crowd for his real-life transgressions and states that he will win back their respect through honor and perseverance both inside and outside the ring. He says that he hand-picked Bobby Roode to be his BFG opponent not just because he mocked the Hall of Fame, but more importantly because he is a great wrestler and a worthy challenger.
Worst Case Scenario: Angle basks in the glory of his return pop, showing absolutely no remorse for the circumstances that took him off TV for months. He then does that thing you’re not supposed to do by no-selling any fear in Bobby Roode and reminding the crowd that he beat Roode cleanly two years ago at the same event.
Dave Says: This is a perfect example of how TNA often puts their fans in uncomfortable moral positions. Kurt Angle’s rap sheet is amongst the longest of any active wrestler in a major promotion, and his crimes are of the sort that threaten the lives of innocent people. That said, we’re all supposed to go, “Yay! Kurt Angle! Face pop!”
Also scheduled for Thursday: A preview of the Ultimate X Match at “Bound For Glory” as Chris Sabin battles “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe in singles action!
Best Case Scenario: Joe and Sabin have an athletic back-and-forth match that showcases Joe’s tremendous strength but also includes a spot or two that shows off why he belongs in the X Division. Joe goes over clean with the Musclebuster.
Worst Case Scenario: Joe and Sabin have a sub-five minute match filled with goofy hijinks involving Velvet Sky. Sabin wins when Sky distracts referee Early Hebner with her breasts and/or butt, leading to a low blow and a roll-up.
Dave Says: I want to have faith in this being a good, long match with a real finish, but I just can’t.
In addition, in a preview of the BFG Preshow Tag Team Gauntlet, this Thursday it will be Eric Young vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Hernandez vs. Robbie E! Whoever gets the first pinball or submission earns the advantage in the Preshow Gauntlet match, with the winners getting a shot at the Tag Team Championship later that night!
Best Case Scenario: Hernandez dominates the match with his power game, looking strong against all three other men before he gets overconfident and is cut off by Daniels. Eric Young eventually wins clean, providing fans with a glimmer of hope that goofy babyfaces EY and Joseph Park might earn a tag team title shot.
Worst Case Scenario: This is the typical four-man match in which one guy is constantly on the outside of the ring resting. Eventually, the match breaks down when each man’s partner comes to the ring, turning the entire affair into an eight-man no-finish brawl.
Dave Says: The only one of those teams vaguely deserving of being on the BFG card is Bad Influence. However, TNA management clearly possesses awkward boners for Park/Young, Chavo/Hernandez, and The BroMans, so anything could happen. Also, since when was there this much build for a preshow match not involving The Miz?
One-half of the World Tag Team Champions – Gunner – will battle Knux from the Aces and Eights!
Best Case Scenario: These two have a solid big-man match that helps highlight Gunner’s strength and makes him look good heading into the biggest show of his career. Knux ultimately loses clean, but has his moments of looking good along the way, setting the stage for some kind of fresh push after BFG.
Worst Case Scenario: Knux gets the victory over Gunner with an assist from Bisch. In the heat of the moment, the Tag Champs announce that they will take on the winner of the pre-show Tag Team Gauntlet and Knux/Bischoff, making them the new dumbest babyfaces ever in addition to the worst champions ever. They’re going for the triple crown!
Dave Says: GunStorm may be the worst TNA champions ever, and that’s including the Legends/TV Title. I’m not saying they’re bad wrestlers or bad characters, but they’ve been presented in such a scattered, inconsistent manner that in spite of being champions, they have zero percent more credibility than the other teams they allegedly reign over. In fact, they seem multiple rungs down the ladder from Bad Influence, who are featured on TV every single week, and GunStorm still have the belts!