After a wild edition of TNA’s Impact Wrestling dubbed "Hardcore Justice," the company will follow it up with another episode of the pay-per-view-esque show which features several high-profile matches and major storyline development.
Not only did Bully Ray win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship last week, but the fact that Tito Ortiz also turned on the Main Event Mafia proved that this Aces & Eights angle was only going to get crazier before it got better.
Thursday will feature one of the members of the opposing stables getting fired, and the hope is that this is the beginning of the end for the company’s main storyline.
Where: Constant Convocation Center, Norfolk, Va.
When: Thursday, Aug. 22, 9 p.m. ET (Pre-Taped)
Watch: Spike TV
Fallout From Bully Ray’s Championship Win
On last week’s episode of Impact, Bully Ray defeated champion Chris Sabin to recapture the company’s premier title. After just a month, the experiment to crown an unproven talent like Sabin had been an utter failure, and TNA saw the error of its ways.
Now Sabin must be moved away from the title scene immediately.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Why Did Sabin Win the Title?
If TNA were going all in on Sabin as the next big star for the company, giving the belt back to Bully Ray wouldn’t have been an option.
Now that Bully Ray has the championship again, the company must spend the next two months rebuilding his credibility as the strongest star.
If TNA wants the main event of Bound for Glory to matter, Bully Ray must be built as an unbeatable heel.
Hype Meter: 3 out of 5 Lackluster Main Events
Whether the fans have liked the Aces & Eights storyline thus far or not, Bully Ray was the strongest man in TNA and was on a collision course with the star that eventually wins the Bound for Glory Series. That would have culminated in a great moment for TNA, but it's not going to happen.
Now that Bully lost the title to Sabin in the middle of his reign, the credibility of the BFG main event will not help sell the show unless the booking of the title scene is done to perfection on Impact every week until October.
The odds of that happening aren't very good.
More details on Brooke Hogan’s Departure, per Dave Scherer of PWInsider.com
Survivor Series Lite
Hardcore wrestling fans remember when WWE’s Survivor Series was one of the must-watch events of the year because of the five-on-five matches that highlighted the event.
TNA is using the same concept on Thursday night in the battle between Aces & Eights and Main Event Mafia but has added the caveat that the man taking the pin will be forced to leave TNA.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Which Star Is Going Home?
While the speculation on which superstar may be fired has run rampant throughout the week, the more interesting angle of the week will be whom Main Event Mafia gets to join its gang.
Aces & Eights will likely take the loss Thursday, and the fans will have Knux ripped away from them prematurely, but the hope is that the face stable finds another star that has the clout to take over for Kurt Angle.
Hype Meter: 5 out of 5 JOB Squad Job Openings
This five-on-five match will undoubtedly be exciting, with a career hanging in the balance, but there is no way that TNA would cut ties with a major star right now. That limits how many people could take the pin fall and eliminates anyone from Main Event Mafia.
The real hope is that this is the beginning of the end for the Aces & Eights storyline and that Thursday’s firing will set the stage for a change of general direction for TNA after Bound for Glory.
Last Week’s TV Ratings for Hardcore Impact, per Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc.
Bound for Glory Standings
- Magnus, 39 points
- Bobby Roode, 34 points
- Austin Aries, 28 points
- Samoa Joe, 26 points
- Jeff Hardy, 24 points
- Mr. Anderson, 24 points
- Christopher Daniels, 23 points
- AJ Styles, 22 points
- Frankie Kazarian, 22 points
- Hernandez, 7 points
- Jay Bradley, 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).