There is just one week until TNA’s Genesis pay-per-view is brought to the fans live and free on Spike TV, and the January 9 edition of Impact Wrestling will be the go-home show needed to get everyone excited about the event.
While the goal of this week’s episode will be building to next Thursday’s free-per-view, the main focus for wrestling fans is the title unification match between the two current champions, AJ Styles and Magnus.
There are legitimate questions about Styles’ status with the company, and the outcome of this week’s match could depict whether the face of TNA will be signing a long-term deal in the future or if he really is walking away from Impact Wrestling.
Add in the rest of the build for Genesis, including Kurt Angle’s open challenge and the tag team champions The BroMans in action, and this is shaping up to be an exciting episode of the company’s flagship show.
Here is all the vital viewing information for this Thursday and a full preview.
Where: Universal Studios, Orlando, Fla.
When: Thursday, Jan. 9, 9 p.m. ET (Pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
AJ Styles vs. Magnus for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Thursday’s edition of Impact Wrestling will feature a title unification match between Styles and Magnus. After Styles initially won the title, a contract dispute sent the veteran away from the company with the belt as his hostage.
While Styles was defending the strap around the world, TNA president Dixie Carter held a tournament that crowned Magnus the new champion. Styles returned last Thursday to challenge Magnus in a bout that would guarantee only one true champion.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: Which Superstar Will Win the Unified Title?
As much as the casual fans (and most of the hardcore fans as well) want to see Styles capture both titles and take Carter and Magnus down a peg, there is little doubt that Dixie’s hand-chosen face of the company will walk away with the undisputed championship.
A loss for Styles now will make him eventually winning the title back even more impactful.
Magnus has been built as an arrogant champion that will do anything to win, and screwing Styles out of the title Thursday would be the perfect next step in his progression as a top heel. As long as Styles eventually returns and avenges this possible loss, this storyline has been executed to perfection.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Well-Executed Programs
There are many wrestling fans that look at this angle and immediately compare it to the CM Punk contract dispute in the WWE from 2011, but TNA handled this better than the WWE. Instead of rushing Styles back, the company has built legitimate concern amongst wrestling fans that the face champion will not be back on Impact Wrestling.
Styles has been booked as the hero of the company for months. Even with some questionable backstage calls in the past, there is no way that TNA would build this entire storyline around a long-time employee only to have him jump ship and become a star again in another company.
Whether it’s next week or next month, there is little doubt that Styles will be back with Impact Wrestling.
TNA Rumors: Styles Reportedly Working Lockdown PPV, per PWInsider Elite via Wrestling Inc.
Kurt Angle, Bro Mans and the Go-Home Show for Genesis
While the main focus is on the title unification bout—as it should be—this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling is also the go-home show for the two-week long free-per-view known as Genesis.
TNA will be looking to further several key storylines Thursday in order to set the stage for the big events, and that includes building toward the match between Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle, teasing tension between Gunner and James Storm and more.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: Which Superstar will Answer Angle’s Open Challenge?
Angle has issued an open challenge inside a steel cage this week. With a match against Roode at Genesis approaching fast, the former Olympic gold medalist is looking to warm up by going to war inside the structure Thursday.
With Angle possibly losing at Genesis to further a possible heel turn, look for Angle to beat a random heel that doesn’t mind taking the loss. There are several options for this match, but if the decision were mine to make, an underutilized star like Kenny King would be the perfect addition to this week's Impact.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Air Horn Sound Effects
As if the excitement surrounding Thursday’s Impact wasn’t already enough to get even the most casual fans interested, the battle between the tag team champions The BroMans and the unique tandem of Joseph Park and Eric Young will be another must-watch segment.
Who wouldn’t love to see Park and Young as No. 1 contenders?
Add in the continued tension between Sting and Ethan Carter III that will lead to an eventual match at Genesis, and there is no question that this Thursday’s episode will be one of the best the company has built in a long time.
TNA News: Latest Impact Wrestling Ratings, per Wrestling Inc.
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