Wrestling fans have become spoiled with the constant stream of wrestling the WWE Network has provided, but there is a portion of the audience that yearns for an alternative that can give them something else to watch.
TNA fills that void with its Sacrifice pay-per-view on Sunday, April 27.
After weeks of building since the Lockdown PPV, each week of Impact Wrestling added more intrigue to the storylines leading into Sacrifice, and fans of the sport will be treated to an excellent show on Sunday.
With several marquee matches featuring the top talent in the business, this year’s Sacrifice PPV will be an instant classic. Here is all the vital viewing information, the entire match card, rumors and predictions for Sunday’s big main event.
Where: Universal Studios, Orlando, Fla.
When: Sunday, April 27 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)
|2014 TNA Sacrifice PPV Card and Predictions|
|Eric Young (c) vs. Magnus||N/A||World Heavyweight Championship||Magnus|
|Kurt Angle and Willow vs. EC3 and Spud||Tag Team Match||N/A||Angle and Willow|
|Bobby Roode vs. Bully Ray||Tables Match||N/A||Bobby Roode|
|James Storm vs. Gunner||'I Quit' Match||N/A||James Storm|
|Sanada (c) vs. Tigre Uno||Match 3 in Best of 3 Series||X Division Championship||Sanada|
|Madison Rayne (c) vs. Angelina Love||N/A||Knockouts Championship||Angelina Love|
|Mr. Anderson vs Samuel Shaw||Committed Match||N/A||Samuel Shaw|
Main Event Preview and Prediction
The main event of the 2014 Sacrifice PPV is the TNA World Heavyweight Championship bout between defending champion Eric Young and former champion Magnus.
Young beat Magnus for the world title on the April 10 episode of Impact Wrestling after defeating nine other men in a Gauntlet match to earn a shot at the title. Despite suffering an arm injury during the match, Young asked for a shot at Magnus’ belt that night and was granted his wish.
One piledriver later, and Young is your new world champion.
As the first-time TNA Heavyweight champion prepares for his first career title defense, Young told Ring Rust Radio about the pressure of being the man everyone is chasing and how he has handled it:
The old saying says you have a target on your back. That’s how it works in sports and that’s how it works in pro wrestling. Having that target on your back is a huge compliment too. Now everyone is looking to come after me. As crazy as that sounds, it sounds like fun. I want to create as many memories and amazing moments for myself and wrestling fans as I can. That’s what pro wrestling is to me.
As interesting as Young’s rise to the top has been, a huge drop in television ratings during his first night as champion, according to Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc., is undeniable and should be a major issue for the company.
With the company’s deal with Spike TV reportedly expiring later this year, per PWInsider (via Wrestling Inc.), the need to draw big ratings at this moment is imperative. If the experiment of putting the title around Young’s waist isn’t working, TNA must abort the mission and put the title right back on Magnus now that he has used his rematch clause.
Although Magnus hadn't been drawing huge television ratings, he is a despicable heel who can force emotion from the fans when the faces finally get their hands on him. During Magnus’ reign as champion, the numbers weren't overly impressive, but they were consistently better than last week’s .83 rating.
Magnus understands the business side of the sport, but he told Ring Rust Radio about being the challenger this time around and his success as the company’s top star:
It’s a different story once you’ve tasted the success of being champion. It doesn’t make you want it any less; if anything, it just makes you want it even more. I’m looking forward to locking up with EY again. I know a lot of people were surprised at the outcome, but it’s nice to be able to surprise people sometimes.
I think that the viewing figures all through my reign as champion can kind of point to the fact that people are just interested in what we’re doing now and that it’s fresh and exciting. If I can be a small part in that as the champion, then great.
Young is a talented performer, a great personality and a loyal employee of TNA, but the fans aren’t buying him as world champion after little build to the ultimate payoff.
All is not lost for Impact Wrestling, though. If Magnus gets the championship back on Sunday, the company could use the title change to further shake up the heavyweight scene by incorporating a King of the Ring-style tournament.
Not only could TNA crown a fan favorite like Samoa Joe or Austin Aries as the new No. 1 contender, but the company could also hit the reset button on many tired feuds by starting new rivalries in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the tournament.
Sacrifice must be looked at by TNA as the chance to reset moving forward. There is no question that the talent is there and the commitment to telling stories and building characters is perfect, but Impact Wrestling has to play to the audience more.
If Magnus wins on Sunday, the company has the unique opportunity to take a bona fide star like Kurt Angle and start a feud for the world title that would instantly give the company and the belt credibility.
On the other hand, if Young successfully retains the title on Sunday, the company will have to find a heel over enough with the crowd to carry a main event feud. While Aries and Bobby Roode are good enough to do it, fans would want them to eventually win the title.
With the idea of getting the biggest ratings each week, having a title change Sunday and building a huge main event storyline leading into Slammiversary is the smartest plan of action.
It should come down to the question of who does TNA want holding the company’s flagship title heading into one of the biggest shows of the year: Magnus or Eric Young?
The answer should be Magnus.
Predicted Winner: Magnus
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW).