This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling will have former champions. Okay, one former champion. Technically. Okay. It’s Adam “Pacman” Jones. We’re sorry. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:
NFL Cincinnati Bengals star and former TNA World Tag Team Champion, Adam “Pacman” Jones will return to make an appearance on Thursday’s IMPACT!
Best Case Scenario: Pacman cuts a babyface promo putting over TNA, only to be interrupted by Bully Ray. Pacman, however, stands up to Ray’s bullying and looks poised to fight him before Mr. Anderson runs to the ring and gets involved. Ray bumps for Anderson before Pacman hits some kind of “won’t-void-his-NFL-contract” move on a prone Ray (I dunno, maybe a stomp, or something?).
Worst Case Scenario: Pacman cuts a babyface promo putting over TNA, only to be interrupted by “Bully” Incognito, who berates him with racial slurs and threatens to *expletive deleted* in his mouth.
Dave Says: I’m trying to think of something harder to get excited about than this… but I can’t. This just seems like a cheap pop opportunity (a cheap popportunity: trademark it!) for the Cincinnati crowd/a desperate attempt for TNA to attract some mainstream sports media attention. (P.S. This is extra weird because both members of “Team Pacman” [R-Truth and Consequences Creed] are now in the WWE.)
The World Heavyweight Championship Tournament to crown a new titleholder starts on Thursday’s IMPACT, with “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy battling X Division Champion Chris Sabin! Based on TNA President Dixie Carter’s “Wheel Of Dixie” selection, this bout will be a Full Metal Mayhem Match where anything goes! Who will advance in the tournament – Hardy or Sabin? Don’t miss the huge IMPACT main event!
Best Case Scenario: A long, strong, athletic match that both elevates the profile of Sabin’s X Division Title and emphasizes the prestige of the World Heavyweight Title for which they are competing. In the end, Jeff Hardy gives Sabin his Twist of Fate off the ladder, nails a Swanton Bomb, and gets the win.
Worst Case Scenario: These two have a sub-fifteen-minute match that’s straight out of the year 2002. Ladder spots replace actual storytelling and each man takes ten thousand bumps, only to stand right up and set up the next spot. In the end, Jeff Hardy is distracted by the ample gazongas of Velvet Sky, allowing Sabin to pick up a sneaky victory.
Dave Says: TNA actually did a solid job building towards this match with the finish at Bound For Glory, but what are the odds they’ll show/explain that to people? 12:1.
Also on Thursday, “The Icon” Sting has announced a “State Of The Main Event Mafia” address with the other members of the alliance. The past, present and future of the Mafia will be on the agenda – including their war against the Aces and Eights and the recent battles between Sting and Magnus!
Best Case Scenario: Sting says that The Main Event Mafia is lost and offers an olive branch to Magnus, saying that his fiery young leadership is what The Mafia needs to destroy Aces & EIghts once and for all. Magnus spurns Sting, however, saying that The Mafia never did anything for him and officially resigns his place in the group to the shock of the other mafiosi (but not any fans who have actually been watching this unfold).
Worst Case Scenario: Sting dissolves The Mafia, stating that the group is a total failure because they can’t even keep their own young lion in check. He calls out Kurt Angle for not being a better mentor to Magnus. In his anger, Angle delivers an Olympic Slam to Sting, followed by another protracted period of laying on the ground, fingers wiggling, selling a spinal injury.
Dave Says: Somehow over the past two weeks I had blissfully forgotten these two stables existed. The faster TNA can resolve this without just hastily sweeping it under the rug, the better.
If the Main Event Mafia is going to continue existing, it needs to morph into a group of well-established babyfaces that Sting runs up against rising heel star Magnus. What’s that, you say? The babyface stable taking runs at the heel is the opposite of the classic wrestling formula? Well, I know, but that hasn’t stopped TNA before!
There will be a medical update on the condition of Kurt Angle after what happened this past week on IMPACT!
Best Case Scenario: Kurt Angle is fine and this whole stupid storyline ends.
Worst Case Scenario: In his solemnest fake solemn voice, Mike Tenay announces that Kurt Angle died in the hospital following his match with Bobby Roode. This leads to a storyline that sees Angle rise from the dead several months down the line, appear to The Main Event Mafia in a locked room, and eventually ascend into Heaven at the right hand of The Father.
Dave Says: This angle (ha, get it?) makes me queasy. As I touched on in my +/- review of last week’s Halloween show, TNA is setting themselves up to look really, really bad if something does happen to Kurt Angle in the near future.
In Knockouts action, there will be a #1 Contenders match on IMPACT with Brooke Tessmacher vs. ODB vs. Velvet Sky! Who will earn a Knockouts Championship shot against reigning titleholder Gail Kim?
Best Case Scenario: Before the match, Brooke Tessmacher breaks up with Bully Ray in a backstage segment because, go figure, she doesn’t appreciate being led around on a leash like a dog. The freshly-minted babyface then wins clean when she hits her finisher on Velvet Sky.
Worst Case Scenario: Lei’D Tapa interferes in the match, destroying everybody and leading to a non-finish. Even odds on this, unfortunately.
Dave Says: I think there has to be a face turn here for Tessmacher. TNA has invested too much in Chris Sabin’s heel turn to have his girlfriend play some bizarro-world Miss Elizabeth ripoff, and Impact has proven over the last few weeks that ODB has no shot at winning the title from Gail/Tapa.
Also on Thursday’s IMPACT: After being arrested twice, will Mr. Anderson again defy authority and continue his assault against The Aces and Eights?
Best Case Scenario: Mr. Anderson “again def[ies] authority and continue[s] his assault against The Aces and Eights.” See the best case scenario of the Pacman Jones segment above.
Worst Case Scenario: Mr. Anderson chooses not to “again defy authority and continue his assault against The Aces and Eights.” Instead, he sits at home and watches reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Dave Says: Can we please stop with the word “arrested?” He was removed from the building by security — that’s plenty rebellious.
Plus, after his return on Halloween, will “The Monster” Abyss continue his path of destruction? All this and much more on Thursday’s LIVE IMPACT from Cincinnati on SpikeTV at 9/8c!
Best Case Scenario: James Mitchell (or some other manager) redebuts, declaring himself to be the voice of Abyss’ mission against the heels within TNA. Mitchell clearly explains where Abyss has been, why he came back, and what his goals are.
Worst Case Scenario: Abyss is granted an official handicap match against Bad Influence, who he squashes in two minutes.
Dave Says: Every week TNA spends trying to make fans care about Abyss is a waste of time, energy, and money. Abyss has his hardcore following (pun intended), but too much damage has been done to his character over the last five years for him to ever be a marketable star.