There have been criticisms of TNA’s One Night Only pay-per-view series in the past, but the 2014 Outbreak event from Tokyo, Japan, will be one of the bright spots from the company this year.
Outbreak pits TNA against Wrestle-1—one of the top wrestling companies in Japan—in an international battle for supremacy of the sport. With several of Impact Wrestling’s major titles on the line (World, Tag Team and X Division), this was originally expected to be nothing more than a glorified overseas house show.
According to reports from TNA Insider via Robert Tilton of Wrestling Inc., though, two major champions changed hands.
There is no doubt that the unexpected results will add serious intrigue to Lockdown on Sunday, especially after TNA formally announced that wrestling legend The Great Muta would be in a match on the show.
Here is the entire match card and spoilers, as well as the analysis of what this means for Impact Wrestling as a weekly show and TNA as a company overall.
|Full Outbreak Match Card and Spoilers|
|Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Minoru Tanaka and Koji Kanemoto||Tag Team Match||Bad Influence|
|Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne||n/a||Gail Kim|
|Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Abyss||n/a||Double Count Out|
|Masakatsu Funaki vs. Bobby Roode||n/a||Masakatsu Funaki|
|The Great Muta, Rob Terry and Taiyo Kea vs. Samoa Joe, Masayuki Kono and Rene Dupree||Six Man Tag Team Match||The Great Muta, Rob Terry and Taiyo Kea|
|The Wolves (c) vs. Kaz Hayashi and Shuji Kondo vs. The BroMans||Three-Way Tag Team Championship Match||The BroMans|
|Austin Aries (c) vs. Seiya Sanada||X Division Championship Match||Seiya Sanada|
|Magnus (c) vs. KAI||World Heavyweight Championship Match||Magnus|
|Source: Wrestling Inc.|
What Outbreak Does for Impact Wrestling
TNA’s decision to work with Wrestle-1 was genius from a business point of view (as seen in the next section), but the results of the Outbreak show prove that it was booked without any rhyme or reason.
Magnus retaining the world title was the correct decision if he is going to continue being built as the long-term face of the company, but that’s one of the only match outcomes all night that made sense.
While there is a chance that the match-making on each Thursday’s Impact Wrestling over the next few months will help the Outbreak PPV results make complete sense, the odds of that coming to fruition are slim to none.
The booking of a few of the undercard matches were adequate, just as Gail Kim beating Madison Rayne furthered their feud, but overall it was full of odd decisions.
The issues start and end with the handling of the TNA X Division and Tag Team Championships. Not only did Austin Aries lose his title to a wrestler that is not even on the roster (Seiya Sanada), but the newly crowned tag team champions The Wolves dropped the belts to The BroMans just days after winning them at a house show in West Virginia.
Jason Solomon from LayfieldReport.com shared the first image of Sanada with the title:
This Thursday’s Impact Wrestling was pre-taped from London, England, and the major title changes at the Outbreak taping will not have major implications yet. The next televised show that will take place since the changes will be Lockdown.
Which stars will defend their titles and which members of the Wrestle-1 roster will be highlighted on the TNA PPV will be a focus for many hardcore wrestling fans as the event approaches.
What Outbreak Does for TNA
Working with companies from overseas was one of the reasons that the NWA/WCW was able to compete with the WWE in the 1990s, and TNA sees a potential to do the same now with Wrestle-1.
It is fitting that The Great Muta, one of the pioneers of Japanese wrestling in the United States, would help lead a new generation of stars into the mainstream as a part of the product TNA is producing now.
The wrestling market in Japan will help TNA build an even larger international fanbase, and the inclusion of top stars from Wrestle-1 on a card with the top wrestlers American fans see on Impact Wrestling each week will benefit both companies.
TNA Executive Vice President John Gaburick told the company’s website about the business relationship:
The Japanese have an incomparable respect and appreciation for professional wrestling. As TNA continues our global expansion, we are honored to partner with Mutoh and Wrestle-1 to give our fans an exceptional night of unparalleled entertainment. We envision a long and successful relationship with Wrestle-1, as we partner to deliver innovative live events and programming for our fans across the U.S., in Japan and around the world.
The implications of this deal with Wrestle-1 have already begun for TNA when Muta agreed to wrestle on the Lockdown card, and there is no doubt that some of the older wrestling fans may tune in to just see a rare appearance from one of the best Japanese wrestlers of all time.
While there is no questioning how porous some of the booking decisions were on this show (BroMans, really?), the decision to work with a company like Wrestle-1 is the smart long-term decision for the business.
The booking may be unexplainable, but the in-ring action will be amazing.
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