There is just one episode of TNA’s Impact Wrestling before the Hardcore Justice edition of the show on Aug. 15, and the build for the pay-per-view style event will be finalized this Thursday.
Not only will the TNA Universe be treated to MMA legend Tito Ortiz making another appearance on Impact, but the fans in attendance and at home will also be treated to plenty of hype leading up to the championship match between Chris Sabin and Bully Ray.
Add in even more Bound for Glory build and preparation, and this Thursday’s edition of Impact Wrestling should lead to some very interesting storylines moving forward.
Where: Kay Yeager Coliseum, Wichita Falls, Texas
When: Thursday, Aug. 8, at 9 p.m. ET (pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
Tito Ortiz in the Impact Zone
After building up the #August1Warning character over the week leading into last Thursday’s Impact Wrestling—the vignettes never actually made it to television—the company finally revealed the mystery man as former UFC champion Tito Ortiz. With TNA’s involvement with Bellator MMA, the move was a natural next step for both companies.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Will Tito Ortiz Do in TNA?
Rampage Jackson has been in TNA for a few weeks now and has even joined the Main Event Mafia. With Ortiz and Jackson fighting in the main event of the first Bellator PPV, per MMA Weekly, there is little doubt that Impact Wrestling will be used as an avenue to tease that fight by building tension and even having the two men come to blows before the actual event.
Hype Meter: 3 out of 5 TNMMA Rebirths
While there may be a large contingent of wrestling fans that like MMA as well as wrestling, WWE has proven over the years that the mixture typically doesn’t work. Brock Lesnar is the exception to the rule.
As great as a main event between Ortiz and Jackson could be, it is 10 years too late and not something that casual wrestling fans care about. Unless TNA has a long-term plan to add an MMA division to its company, this is cheap publicity that will last only a fleeting moment.
Impact Reportedly Cutting Major Segment from TV, per PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.
Chris Sabin and Bully Ray
This week’s episode of Impact will be focused heavily on TNA world heavyweight champion Chris Sabin and the No. 1 contender Bully Ray. Next week’s Hardcore Justice is the championship match between these two men, and Thursday will feature both a contract signing and a tag team match between Sabin and a partner from Main Event Mafia against Team 3D.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Bully Ray Win the Title Back at Hardcore Justice?
Despite just giving the world title to Sabin and billing him as a main event star, TNA has proven in his short time as champion that it is not sold on his selling power.
From having a champion vs. champion match before the halfway mark of the show to not featuring him in the main event, it is clear that the table was set for Sabin to get the rub from a title win and then drop it back immediately to Bully Ray to restore the order of the main booking in the company.
Hype Meter: 1 out of 5 Chris Sabin Promos
Sabin is one of the TNA mainstays and has been a fan favorite for years. As much as he is loved by the hardcore Impact Wrestling followers, there is no question that his run with the championship has been an utter failure.
The title is not enough to make people care about the wrestler, and not properly booking his run with the championship is only hurting his chances of making this work. With Bound for Glory approaching fast, TNA would be smart to put the title back on Bully Ray heading into the most important period in the company’s history.
Bully Ray’s Role in TNA Changing? Per PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.
Bound for Glory Standings
- Magnus, 49 points
- Samoa Joe, 26 points
- AJ Styles, 22 points
- Christopher Daniels, 21 points
- Austin Aries, 21 points
- Mr. Anderson, 21 points
- Jeff Hardy, 17 points
- Bobby Roode, 7 points
- Hernandez, 7 points
- Jay Bradley, 0 points
- Frankie Kazarian, 0 points
- Joseph Park, -3 points
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW.)