After another wild edition of the annual Lockdown pay-per-view, TNA’s latest episode of Impact Wrestling live from Universal Studios should be an exciting start to a new chapter in the company’s history.
With Team MVP winning the Lethal Lockdown main event due in part to interference from Bully Ray, new investor MVP has won control of wrestling operations in TNA and looks to change the direction of Impact Wrestling.
Add in the aftermath of Magnus retaining the title in one of the oddest matches in history, the return of former world champion Bobby Lashley and the debut of Willow, and there are plenty of questions that must be answered on Thursday’s live broadcast.
Here is all the vital viewing information for this week’s show and what to expect from this episode.
Where: Universal Studios, Orlando, Fla.
When: Thursday, March 13 at 9 p.m. ET
Watch: Spike TV
MVP Takes Control of Wrestling Operations
The Lethal Lockdown match between Team Dixie and Team MVP had been built to perfection over the weeks prior to the main event, and the culmination of the feud was the outcome the company needed.
While Bully Ray’s involvement and face turn were unexpected, MVP taking control will allow for Impact Wrestling to be booked properly each week moving forward.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: What’s Next for Impact Wrestling?
There are so many questions coming out of Lockdown surrounding the main event, but none more important than how MVP’s control of wrestling operations will change how the weekly episodes of Impact Wrestling will be operated. The verbal battle between Dixie Carter and MVP should be gold.
This week’s episode is about so much more than Dixie vs. MVP, though.
Not only did you get one of the most sadistic heels in the company’s history, Bully Ray, turning face and costing Carter the victory, but the fans were also treated to the epic debut of Jeff Hardy’s new character Willow. With an open slate for many of the top stars after the PPV, this Thursday’s broadcast will lead TNA into a new and improved era.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Legitimate Changes of Direction
It is clear from the way the company has handled the contracts of guys like Hulk Hogan, Sting and AJ Styles that Impact Wrestling is heading in a new direction. MVP winning the match is part of a storyline, but the real fundamental changes he is representing on screen are actually coming to fruition behind the scenes.
TNA is getting back to its core of being a company built on elite in-ring work by infusing new talent like The Wolves, Tigre Uno and Sanada into the mix, but it is supplementing those by signing with big-name free agents like MVP and Bobby Lashley.
TNA is making smart business decisions and will continue to do so moving forward.
TNA Rumors: Attendance Numbers for Lockdown in Miami, per PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.
Magnus Retains, Bobby Lashley Returns and More Lockdown Fallout
For a moment during the TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Magnus and Samoa Joe, I believed that the company was finally going to give the defending champion a clean victory for his resume.
After a solid in-ring battle between two stars familiar with each other, my hopes were shattered when Magnus was once again victorious due to outside interference. Wrestling fans can be sold on a dirty finish, but to have Abyss come through the ring during a good match and ruin the ending was a perfect example of how overbooking a character can convolute a storyline.
Where this Abyss and Magnus angle goes from here and how Samoa Joe is booked coming out of this match will be very important to the success of Impact Wrestling moving forward.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: What’s Next for Bobby Lashley?
The main event and co-main event are stealing most of the headlines, but the return of former WWE Superstar Bobby Lashley is a huge boost to the roster. Whether you like Lashley or not, he has name recognition as a two-time world champion in WWE (held the ECW title twice) and is a legitimate tough guy after fighting in MMA over the last five years.
The injury to Kurt Angle's knee will keep him out of commission for an extended period of time, and filling that void with a top name like Lashley is a smart move for the company. While he still needs a storyline and a reason for being there, this was a wise move by the people calling the shots.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Open Slates
The best part of TNA’s Lockdown PPV was that it filled two needs well. Not only did the company produce new and interesting storyline twists (like Abyss’s interference and Lashley’s return), but it also managed to wipe the slate clean for many of the biggest names in the sport to start new storylines.
With Willow running wild in the Impact Zone, James Storm and Roode free to make an eventual return to tag team wrestling as the duo teased previously, Austin Aries looking to get his X Division Championship back and a wide-open tag team division, Lockdown has cleared the path for a revamped midcard on Impact Wrestling.
Let’s hope TNA makes the most of its opportunity and continues to improve each week.
TNA Rumors: More on Bobby Lashley’s Signing, per PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.
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