After another solid episode of Impact Wrestling, TNA will shift the build to Lockdown as the pay-per-view approaches, and that starts with a great show on Thursday.
With TNA world heavyweight champion Magnus going head-to-head with No. 1 contender Gunner and the battle between Dixie Carter and MVP over control of the company, this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling will live up to fans’ lofty expectations.
Here is all the vital viewing information for Thursday’s episode and a full preview of the action.
Where: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
When: Thursday, Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. ET (pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
Magnus Takes on Gunner For the Title
There is no question that the booking of Magnus since winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship hasn’t been great—he has looked weak in victory against Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and Sting—but Thursday offers TNA the chance to redeem its sins.
As much as Gunner may be a star of the future in the minds of the creative team, this week’s Impact Wrestling should involve Magnus successfully retaining his title via a clean pin in the middle of the ring.
Knowing Impact Wrestling, though, that’s not going to happen.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: Who Will Interfere With This Match?
Magnus has leaned on the support of Dixie Carter and her cadre of goons to keep the title around his waist, but the booking of Gunner has been strong. He has put his briefcase on the line several times and has successfully retained on each occasion.
With that being said, there is no question that the inexperienced Gunner will take the loss on Thursday. The superstar may have a very bright future, but he is not ready to carry TNA’s most prestigious title.
That’s where James Storm likely comes into play.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Potential Heel Turns
There is no doubt that MVP will have a vested interest in this match and will keep The Bro Mans and Rockstar Spud from playing a role in the outcome. That can mean only one of two possible outcomes: a clean Magnus win or interference by one of Gunner's friends, costing him the match.
Gunner responded to Magnus' calling him out on Twitter:
Storm and Gunner have teased tension for months. After Gunner cost his former partner the chance to hold the No. 1 contender’s briefcase, what better way to turn heel and avenge the injustices than by having Storm superkick Gunner and giving Magnus the surprise win?
That would allow Magnus to retain the title, continue the storyline between Gunner and Storm and give the Cowboy a new and interesting character for the first time in a long time.
TNA Rumors: Kurt Angle reportedly recovering from surgery, per Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc.
Dixie and MVP’s Power Struggle
For those that question the idea of a hostile takeover in a privately owned company, take a big step back and realize that, as a wrestling fan, you must suspend disbelief. This main storyline featuring the power struggle between Dixie Carter and new investor MVP has the potential to be very interesting.
The match that has been teased at Lockdown for the power of the company between Team Dixie and Team MVP could be the fundamental change TNA needs, and that fact alone should be a source of excitement for Impact Wrestling fans.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: Who Will Be on Each Team?
The most exciting part of a potential match for control of the company is the multi-man bout it will spawn and the wrestlers that will side with each team. Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling should feature subtle teases and full reveals about the combatants in the match.
With Magnus defending his title against Samoa Joe at the Lockdown PPV, that leaves plenty of question marks for both teams. The hope is that fans will find out the members each week until the final wrestler is revealed during the go-home episode.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Battles for Power
This week’s Impact Wrestling should feature Dixie accepting MVP’s offer for the match at Lockdown and three members of her team being named. It is a lock that The Bro Mans and Rockstar Spud will be in her corner, but there are major questions about who will be the fourth and possibly even fifth participants.
Dixie has been teasing tension with her nephew Ethan Carter III, and this would be the perfect opportunity to leave him off the team and further the divide. It would also give her the chance to name a surprise—possibly a newly turned James Storm—member of her team.
MVP will undoubtedly look to The Wolves as the first two participants for his team, and it would be no surprise if the team leader named himself to the roster after showing that he is also a wrestler by beating Spud.
The surprise for MVP’s team should be Bobby Roode. Roode has teased a face turn for weeks and Dixie’s treatment of him despite the assistance he gave her would make this a great way to add another top face to the roster.
TNA News: Former star Jay Lethal comments on his run with Impact Wrestling, via Ring Rust Radio.
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