There are just two episodes of TNA’s Impact Wrestling left before the Destination X edition of the show, and this Thursday’s broadcast will feature plenty of storyline development heading into the July 18 spectacular.
While Destination X isn’t a pay-per-view this year, the fact that TNA is treating it like a special event despite it being just another episode is the right way to book for a company only putting on four major pay-per-views each year now.
With some exciting storylines already taking shape in TNA—Austin Aries winning the X Division title, Sting’s Main Event Mafia growing and the Bound for Glory Series kicking into gear—this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling is destined to be excellent.
Where: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
When: Thursday, July 4 at 9 p.m. ET (Pre-Taped Episode)
Watch: Spike TV
Austin Aries and the X Division Championship
While many fans have been critical of the way TNA has booked its programming over the last several months, the swerve featuring Austin Aries becoming Suicide and winning the X Division title just weeks before he will likely cash it in for a world title shot is flat-out amazing.
This was a well-written storyline that has many fans excited for what could be next, but this angle was a success because of the man under the mask. If it wasn’t for Aries’ ability to sell the fans on his title win and his reveal as Suicide, the Destination X edition of Impact wouldn’t have the aura surrounding it that it currently does.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Will Hulk Hogan React?
General Manager Hulk Hogan will have to make an executive decision this week in terms of whether he will allow Aries to cash in the title, but the way TNA has booked this angle thus far suggests he will be getting his title shot on July 18.
While there isn’t a great chance that Aries will be the one to dethrone Bully Ray, a win from the No. 1 contender would cement him as the company’s brightest star and turn him into a crowd favorite once again.
Hype Meter: 5 out of 5 More Deserving No. 1 Contenders
As well as Chris Sabin has been doing since returning to TNA from his knee injuries, there was little doubt that he would have cashed in the title and lost his match. Instead of feeding the talented star to Bully Ray and making him look weak, having him cheated out of the title will give him a chance to win it right back after Aries cashes it in.
The Aries win also gives Bully Ray a former champion to compete against at Destination X, and should mark the beginning of a much-needed face turn for Aries.
TNA Rumors: TNA Reportedly Facing Money Issues, per Wrestling Observer via Wrestling Inc.
Main Event Mafia Continues to Grow
After Sting was eliminated from contending for the title ever again, it was clear that he had a serious plan to stop the Aces and Eights. Not only did he re-form the Main Event Mafia, but he added Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe to strengthen the group in their efforts to stop the invading motorcycle gang.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Which Star Will Be Next?
The only problem with this edition of Main Event Mafia is that most of the top stars in TNA are currently wrapped up in major storylines. With several marquee possibilities—James Storm, Austin Aries or Bobby Roode—involved in feuds or still heels, Sting will have to go off the board with his next MEM selection.
Hype Meter: 3 out of 5 Non-Main Event Members
The roster in TNA is very talented, but Sting couldn’t have picked a worse time to reform a group of former world champions. Not only are major storylines taking up the biggest names in the company already, but the focus of others has shifted solely to the Bound for Glory Series.
Look for Sting to add Rampage Jackson this week because of his world titles in MMA.
TNA News: Last Week’s Impact Ratings, per PWTorch.
Bound for Glory Standings
Magnus: (3-0-0) 24 Points
Samoa Joe: (2-0-1) 19 Points
Jeff Hardy: (1-0-0) 7 Points
Ken Anderson: (1-1-0) 7 Points
Austin Aries: (1-0-0) 7 Points
Chris Daniels: (1-0-0) 7 Points
A.J. Styles: (0-0-1) 2 Points
Bobby Roode: (0-2-0) 0 Points
Kazarian: (0-1-0) 0 Points
Hernandez: (0-1-0) 0 Points
Jay Bradley: (0-1-0) 0 Points
Joseph Park: (0-1-0) 0 Points
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