This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling continues the road toward Bound For Glory and is largely built around revealing Hulk Hogan’s reaction to Dixie Carter heelishly denying him the chance to “sign A.J. Styles to a new contract.” Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:
TNA President Dixie Carter wants to know who is on #TEAMDIXIE and IMPACT General Manager Hulk Hogan has a major decision to make! This past week Hulk offered AJ Styles a new contract – but Carter shocked everyone and tore it up! Carter then verbally shredded Hogan, telling him he’s either on board with #TEAMDIXIE or ELSE! Carter wants an answer from Hogan this Thursday night – and if she doesn’t like what she hears, will it be the end of Hulkamania in TNA? How will Hulk Hogan react to the ultimatum? Don’t miss this huge face to face between the TNA President and the IMPACT General Manager on Thursday on SpikeTV!
Best Case Scenario: Hulk Hogan comes to the ring and rattles off his now-signature laundry list of platitudes and cheap pops. He tells the fans that he’s all about giving them what they want, but the evil boss lady won’t let him do it. Dixie Carter promptly struts down the ramp and fires him on the spot for insubordination. Atlas Security drags Hulk out of the building kicking and screaming a la Chris Jericho.
Worst Case Scenario: Hogan decides that since the “ball’s in Dixie’s court, brother,” he’s better off siding with her and turns heel. They form nWo version 652, recruiting the likes of a heel-turned Eric Young, a returning Disco Inferno, and the condom Jeff Jarrett used the first time he slept with Karen Angle.
Dave Says: I know it’s 2013 and all, but trying to start a hashtag trend on the your show’s text preview is pretty weak, especially when the hashtag is all about glorifying the person who suddenly became your promotion’s biggest heel. Obviously from a kayfabe perspective, Dixie has control over what’s printed on the website and, as such, would make it all about herself, but this whole #TEAMDIXIE (ALL CAPS! RAWR!) thing is moronic. How many people do they think actually read this thing anyway (he asked, sheepishly)?
Speaking of “The Phenomenal One”, we’ll hear from AJ Styles on Thursday’s broadcast! How will he react to what Carter did? How will it effect his shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at “Bound For Glory” against Bully Ray? Both champion and challenger will be on Thursday’s broadcast as the countdown continues to “Bound For Glory”.
Best Case Scenario: A.J. comes to the ring and says he’s all about titles, not contracts. He reminds everybody that he earned his title shot by winning the BFG Series and says that there’s no way anyone can take it away from him. He puts Bully Ray on notice, telling him that while it’s personal with Dixie, it’s 100% professional with Bully – and he’s a professional wrestler and a professional winner.
Worst Case Scenario: Blah blah Claire Lynch. Blah blah made a fool of blah blah. Dixie Blah. Five-Star blah blah. Putting this blah blah on my back.
Dave Says: Given how Dixie-Hogan intensive this show promises to be, this is the perfect time for A.J. to cut an actual wrestling promo. Obviously TNA has pushed too many of its chips into the pot with this whole worked-shoot angle to pull back now, but A.J. could really salvage things and build some genuine excitement heading into Bound for Glory by successfully telling the story of his quest to become the World Heavyweight Champion – not his quest to show his boss who’s boss.
In tag team action on Thursday night, it will be “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy teaming with X Division Champion Manik to battle Chris Sabin and Kenny King!
Best Case Scenario: These four have a long, athletic match that anchors the rest of the show and helps viewers forget the silliness that is TNA booking for fifteen or so minutes. The heroes get a feel good win when Hardy hits his Swanton Bomb on Sabin for a clean pin. Kenny King, who showed some great fire and ability on last week’s Impact jumps Hardy out of frustration after the bell, igniting a new feud.
Worst Case Scenario: The talents and strengths of all four of these wrestlers are completely negated when TNA presents a five-minute match. The babyfaces win when babyface Austin Aries comes to the ring and cheap shots heel Chris Sabin, leading to Hardy and Manik picking up a win almost as tainted as Sabin’s own World Heavyweight Title victory.
Dave Says: Hey, look! A wrestling match! A wrestling match with good wrestlers in it, even.
Thursday’s IMPACT will also feature a Gauntlet Match as Magnus has challenged all three members of E.G.O. (Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian). Magnus is determined to step up and prove himself against the faction, but can he defeat all three in one night?
Best Case Scenario: Kazarian and Christopher Daniels bump and fly for Magnus, making him look like a million dollars. He dispatches Kaz with relative ease using his strength, Daniels in a somewhat longer match using his wits, and then comes within a hair’s breadth of beating former and longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode before Roode pulls a fast one on the worn-down Magnus and salvages a victory for EGO.
Worst Case Scenario: Magnus rolls over all three guys with ease. This might sound like a good tactic to put Magnus over strong, but the fact of the matter is that there isn’t much to be won by obliterating three guys so fast that they just look like jobbers. As much as he deserves a push to the top, Magnus beating all three members of EGO would just be Crimson booking. What he really needs is to get into a serious, prolonged feud with a great heel (Roode) who has can use his lackeys to stack the odds against Magnus until he becomes sufficiently heroic, intelligent, and resourceful enough to overcome them.
Dave Says: All four wrestlers involved in this match are great, but it’s hard to see this as anything other than a cheap imitation of Daniel Bryan’s gauntlet match against The Shield back in late August. With that said, if the match delivers, tells a good story, and elevates Magnus effectively, the stunning unoriginality can be forgiven.