It’s Thursday again, and that means a new episode of TNA Impact Wrestling!
This week’s episode will be the final stop before the Genesis pay-per-view this Sunday, and TNA is no doubt looking to end the build with a bang. The company has confirmed at least two matches that will be taking place this week while also mentioning a few situations that will no doubt be segments.
So let’s see what TNA Wrestling has in store for the fans this week...
The Winds of Change: Gut Check Returns with a New Format
When Gut Check debuted on Impact Wrestling last year, it featured an independent talent going one-on-one against a member of the TNA roster. The independent wrestler would then be judged on their skill by Taz, Al Snow and Bruce Pritchard.
So far five wrestlers, including the likes of Christian York and Taeler Hendrix, have impressed the judges enough to sign them to a TNA contract. That was before, but now a new format will be introduced for Gut Check.
Instead of one independent wrestlers facing off against a member of the TNA roster, Gut Check will now see two independent wrestlers going one-on-one with each other. Both wrestlers will then be evaluated by Taz, Snow and Pritchard. The judges will make their decision the following week, though they don’t specify whether or not it’s possible for both wrestlers to receive contracts.
Who will be competing in the new Gut Check? Will they be able to impress the judges?
A Suspended Bully: Will Bully Ray Defy the Orders of Hulk Hogan?
For the past couple of weeks, general manager Hulk Hogan had suspicions that Bully Ray was dating his beloved daughter Brooke. His suspicions rang true when he caught them making out by a car while he was leaving the Impact Zone.
The situation troubled the wrestling legend enough to not show up the following week, but the Hulkster returned last week to confront his daughter and the Bully. Hogan declared to Bully Ray that he had broken the “Guy Code” by dating his daughter, who’s 17 years younger than him. Bully Ray was suspended for breaking the code, but Hogan wasn’t done, though, as he also kicked his daughter out of the ring as well.
Bully Ray was never one to listen to authority, so could fans see him on Impact Wrestling this week? If so, will he try to explain the situation to Hogan or revert back to his Bully persona?
What about Brooke? Was her father kicking her out a sign that she is no longer in charge of the Knockouts division?
Kenny King vs. Zema Ion: No. 1 Contenders X-Division Tournament
Rob Van Dam has held the TNA X-Division Championship since Bound for Glory, which is 87 days as of this writing. The ECW legend has been on a role since winning the title, but now he’ll get an opponent he can’t properly prepare for.
Last week, TNA set up a short X-Division tournament to decide the No. 1 contender for Van Dam’s title with the winner being decided at Genesis. The reason the champion can’t properly prepare for his match is due to the fact that he won’t have much time to prepare since he’ll be facing the winner that very same night.
The tournament began last week and it saw Christian York defeat Kid Kash to advance, and this week, the final match will occur before Genesis between Kenny King and former champion Zema Ion.
Who will come out victorious in the match? Will they be able to defeat Christian York and then defeat Rob Van Dam in the same night to win the X-Division Championship?
Wrath of the Scorpion: What Does Sting Have in Store for His Genesis Opponent DOC?
In November, Aces and 8s member DOC, formally Luke Gallows, beat Sting with a hammer. The attack took the Icon out of action, but the Stinger returned last week on the first Impact Wrestling of 2013.
As eight members of the renegade group were beating down Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle inside of a steel cage, Sting surprised the Aces and 8s when he just walked into the ring with zero notice. He took out seven of those members with his baseball bat and the group ran off leaving one member inside the cage.
Thanks to Sting’s return, Angle unmasked Mike Knox as a member of the group, but that’s not what the wrestling legend wanted. He wanted the man that took him out, DOC. He’ll be getting exactly that at Genesis, though Sting will no doubt have something planned for him tonight.
What could that plan possibly be? Will it affect the other members of the Aces and 8s? Will Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle back him up like he backed them up last week?
Jeff Hardy and James Storm vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries
At Bound for Glory, Austin Aries’ 98-day reign as TNA World Heavyweight champion came to an end at the hands of Jeff Hardy. Aries would lose his rematch in a Ladder match at Turning Point, and while Hardy would move on, Aries was adamant that he could defeat Hardy.
At Final Resolution last month, Hardy defended his title against former champion Bobby Roode. Roode had a plan, which was hiring the Aces and 8s to ensure that he won the title. It backfired when Aries gave them more money to not help Roode. That led to the two heels fighting, but at the same time forming an odd friendship.
Last week, Hardy would be awarded the TNA Wrestler of the Year award and that saw both Roode and Aries argue with each other and Hardy. The champion then announced a Triple Threat match between them at Genesis, and Hogan would later make it an Elimination match and ended up booking this match as well.
Hardy had his choice of partner and it seems like he has chosen James Storm as his partner.
Who will come out victorious three days before Genesis? James Storm has been having some trouble with Christopher Daniels, who he’s facing at Genesis, and Kazarian lately, so could Bad Influence get involved at all?
Expect the Tag Team Championship match at Genesis between champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez and their challengers Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan to get some time as well. With six matches booked for the event so far, at least two more are likely to be added.
If I were to guess, I’d say a Knockouts Championship match and another match featuring the Aces and 8s. Either way, expect the final two matches to come to fruition tonight.
What will happen on the final stop before TNA’s annual January PPV? Tune in to fine out!
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