TNA's Sacrifice pay-per-view is scheduled for Sunday, April 27. With just four episodes of Impact Wrestling until the big show, the company will be shifting the build into overdrive, starting with a great episode this week.
With TNA world heavyweight champion Magnus forced to defend his title in a four-way match against Samoa Joe, Eric Young and Abyss in the main event, fans will be treated to a PPV-worthy main event.
Add the tag team bout pitting Bully Ray and Willow against Bobby Roode and Ethan Carter III, and the excitement surrounding Thursday’s episode will build legitimate anticipation for Impact Wrestling moving forward.
Here is all the vital viewing information for this week’s show and a full preview.
Where: Universal Studios, Orlando, Fla.
When: Thursday, April 3 at 9 p.m. ET (pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
Magnus Defends His Gold Once Again
Magnus defending the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on free television is exciting enough, but the fact that he will be forced to square off against No. 1 contender Samoa Joe, Abyss and Eric Young in a four-way match has the odds stacked against him.
Judging from his previous title defenses, though, Magnus will have something up his sleeve.
In his new role as the authority figure in TNA, MVP has put several roadblocks in the way of the champion and his bid to successfully defend his title, but Magnus has cheated his way to victory in each defense.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: Which Star Walks Out on Thursday with the Title?
MVP has done his best to give wrestlers such as Samoa Joe an opportunity to win the world title, but interferences and distractions have resulted in Magnus successfully retaining his championship time after time.
That will be the case once again Thursday.
With Sacrifice less than a month away, there is no reason to strip Magnus of the title right now, but this four-way match could easily set up the top of the card for the PPV. Samoa Joe deserves a one-on-one rematch, and the feud between Eric Young and Abyss is heating up. Thursday's main event will build two matches for the Sacrifice card.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Premature Submissions
While the booking of this main event should be a non-finish as the company builds toward the PPV later this month, TNA has given fans so many tainted endings to title matches that it continues to discount the credibility of the company’s champion.
Fans wouldn’t be surprised to see Magnus tap out to a submission from Young on Thursday. That’s not good.
Now is as good a time as any for the writing staff at TNA to change the way the booking has gone for the champion. With three viable stars in the business squaring off against Magnus, what better way to make him look strong than by beating down both Samoa Joe and EY without the help of Abyss?
As much as fans would love to see a clean victory, the odds are stacked against that as well.
TNA Rumors: Top World Title Contender Dealing with Injuries, according to PWInsider, via Wrestling Inc.
Bully Ray and Willow vs. Bobby Roode and ECIII, Straight Jacket Match and More
The excitement surrounding Sacrifice continues to grow, as the company has booked an exciting tag team match that will undoubtedly spawn two matches at the PPV. Not only will fans see Bully Ray and Bobby Roode get their hands on each other, but Willow will also get his chance to beat down ECIII in the middle of the ring.
It is a smart booking decision to tease the two eventual bouts, but how it plays out is just as important. While it is important to build Bully Ray as a top face and Willow as a viable star, TNA must also make Roode and ECIII look strong to get fans to buy both singles matches.
Frankly, I just can’t wait to see more Willow.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: What Is a Straight Jacket Match?
Mr. Anderson has been involved in an extended feud with Sam Shaw, and the battle will now culminate in a Straight Jacket match. Shaw has stalked and harassed Anderson’s friend Christy Hemme, and Thursday’s fight will be the perfect chance to give Shaw the victory.
This feud is far from over.
With TNA likely building toward a blowoff match at Sacrifice, it is important that Shaw looks strong heading into the PPV if he will eventually take the loss. Shaw has a solid character with a storyline, but he has to look like a viable threat this week on Impact Wrestling.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 X Division Championship Matches
The X Division has been an absolute afterthought over the last three months, but it returns with a force on Thursday night as defending champion Sanada squares off against Tigre Uno in the first installment of their best-of-three series for the title.
Just as many wrestling fans remember the epic seven-match series between Chris Benoit and Booker T, this has the potential to be the most interesting bout on Thursday’s card and each of the next three weeks.
Now if only we could get Austin Aries back on TV soon...
TNA News: Last Week’s Impact Wrestling Rating, via Wrestling Inc.
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