As TNA Impact Wrestling heads toward its biggest pay-per-view of the year (Bound for Glory on Oct. 20), there are serious questions about the future of the company and what the overall direction of storylines should be moving forward.
Porous booking over the months leading into the final build for Bound for Glory has made the PPV event feel unimportant, and the way contracts have been handled recently should have fans genuinely concerned about the product.
True wrestling fans want TNA to succeed, but the obvious flaws with the booking and the way the company is run is starting to ruin the in-ring product. With just a few weeks until the biggest show of the year, the timing for the issues couldn’t be worse.
The hope is that Thursday marks the beginning of fundamental changes to the storytelling so TNA can be saved from imploding. Fans want an alternative to WWE, but Impact Wrestling needs to step its game up to be a viable competitor.
Where: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Ark.
When: Thursday, Sept. 26, 9 p.m. ET
Watch: Spike TV
Dixie Carter vs. AJ Styles
Last week’s Impact Wrestling featured AJ Styles cutting a promo on the dire straits of TNA but was interrupted by the owner of the company, Dixie Carter. The typically kind-hearted Carter cut a lackluster heel promo and stated that Styles was not the future of the company.
There is clear tension between the No. 1 contender and the owner of TNA, and how this storyline progresses with the inclusion of general manager Hulk Hogan this week will be imperative to the success of the Bound for Glory main event in October.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is This TNA’s Equivalent of WWE’s Corporation?
Just as the WWE has turned Daniel Bryan into a bona fide star by pitting him against the authoritative Triple H in the main event storyline, TNA looks to be following the same path with Styles and Carter.
While it’s hard to see this angle achieving the same success as its WWE parallel, the genuine hope is that this will help TNA head in a new general direction with its storytelling and that this will be the beginning of a more exciting (and properly booked) period in the company’s history.
Hype Meter: 3 out of 5 Mediocre Pipe Bomb Promos
There is no doubt that the combination of Carter and Styles shooting on each other in the ring—with the addition of Hogan to the mix this week—will result in lackluster promos at best, but it will be about what they’re saying, not how it is being said.
TNA’s only hope of long-term survival as a viable wrestling company with a television contract will be changing the way contracts are handled and the way the product is booked. As the feud between Carter and Styles heats up, fans should pay close attention to what is said in order to decipher what the future looks like for Impact Wrestling.
TNA Rumors: Backstage News about Carter’s Heel Turn, per PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.
Manik vs. Chris Sabin
As the main event scene remains as convoluted as ever, former TNA heavyweight champion Chris Sabin turned heel last week and attacked Manik from behind. There was a time a few weeks ago that he was heralded as the future of the company, but his relegation back to the X Division is the ultimate wave of the white flag; Sabin was not worthy of the main event push.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Chris Sabin Win the X Division Title Again?
This storyline is either going to make Manik look strong by beating a formal world champion or will make Sabin look strong winning the X Division title. Either result would be fundamentally bad for business. Not only would Manik beating Sabin further discredit TNA’s decision to give the world title to the superstar, but giving the belt back to the world champ would also prove he didn’t deserve to be featured in the heavyweight title scene. This feud will unquestionably feature great matches, but the storyline is broken.
Hype Meter: 1 out of 5 Total Divas Storylines
As if this angle wasn’t odd enough, the inclusion of Velvet Sky as Sabin’s girlfriend is going to make this even worse. TNA shoehorned their relationship into the storyline just a few weeks ago on Impact Wrestling, and it will clearly play a huge role.
There is no backstory between the two, and fans don’t care right now. The efforts to infuse Sky into this storyline feels like a knockoff of what WWE has going on with Total Divas, but it simply isn’t working. While Sabin and Manik are great in-ring competitors, this storyline could get very ugly on the mic.
TNA Rumors: Major Names Reportedly Leave TNA, per Wrestling Inc.
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