After one of the wildest editions of the Slammiversary pay-per-view in TNA’s history on Sunday, the Impact Wrestling cameras will travel to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a live edition of the company’s flagship show.
Bethlehem sits an hour outside Philadelphia, and the excitement over what should be a rowdy crowd has TNA fans genuinely pumped up. Add in the fact that Dixie Carter invited ECW legend Tommy Dreamer to the show, and hardcore wrestling enthusiasts will flock to the Impact tapings.
With Eric Young successfully defending the title at Slammiversary and top stars like Austin Aries, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode all looking for new storylines, this Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling will be must-watch television.
This show looks so exciting that I'll also be making the trip to watch the live episode:
Here is all the vital viewing information for this week’s Impact Wrestling.
Where: Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
When: Thursday, June 19, at 9 p.m. ET
Watch: Spike TV
The Saga of Eric Young and MVP Continues
The injury to MVP was a devastating blow to TNA just days before one of the biggest PPVs in the company’s history, but to the credit of those in charge, the way the situation was handled added even more intrigue to the show overall and the main event in particular.
While I will argue all day that giving Samoa Joe a loss in the second match of the night was not the proper way to handle his character, the three-way battle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was a very well-executed match.
Young retaining indicates that the company delayed the eventual title change with MVP due to the injury, but using this Cage match as a holdover was acceptable. Austin Aries carried the match, but both Young and Bobby Lashley looked strong at points as well.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: How Long is MVP Out?
After reports surfaced several weeks ago about MVP being hurt overseas, ImpactWrestling.com confirmed the injury just a few days before Sunday’s PPV. With the director of wrestling operations clearly a main cog in this story, how long he will be out of action is important.
The hope is that the company knows something the fans don’t. If this is a short-term injury, keeping the belt on Young for now so that he can lose it to MVP later on will keep all of the company’s top storylines on track.
If MVP is out for an extended period, though, TNA may have been buying itself some time at the PPV and should begin the new main event angle starting this Thursday.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Bound for Glory Main Events
The focus for many wrestling fans has already turned to the next PPV, Bound for Glory, which takes place in October. That also means the Bound for Glory series is almost upon us and that anything could happen with the world title.
The best possible option is that MVP eventually wins the belt from Young and carries it into the October PPV. With the heel authority figure holding the company’s most important championship, the momentum a face could create by winning the tournament would build an organic moment in the Bound for Glory main event.
Whether it’s Samoa Joe, Roode or Aries who challenges for the title, the next several months are guaranteed to be an exciting stretch.
TNA News: Matt Hardy Returns to Impact Wrestling in NYC, per ImpactWrestling.com
Bully Ray, Tommy Dreamer and Destination X
After speaking to Bully Ray before the PPV, it was clear that his biggest focus was getting his hands on Ethan Carter III at Slammiversary and eventually putting TNA president Dixie Carter through a table.
Fans should expect the always entertaining Bully Ray to come out to a huge ovation from the hardcore fans who flock to the Sands Casino on Thursday (especially after Team 3D was announced as the 2014 TNA Hall of Fame inductees), but he will only be there for revenge.
Whether it’s ECIII, Rockstar Spud or any of the members of MVP’s group, Bully Ray will be looking for blood after being screwed out of the victory Sunday.
Question on Everybody’s Mind: What Will Tommy Dreamer Say?
For those who missed it, Bully Ray was pulled from Dreamer’s House of Hardcore event by Dixie Carter, and the ECW legend took to social media to run Carter down. Now, Carter is allowing Dreamer to return to TNA to tell the whole world exactly how he feels.
With a large crowd of hardcore wrestling fans from both Philadelphia and New York likely in attendance, those watching at home should expect an old-school shoot promo that rivals what fans saw in the original ECW.
This has the potential to be the best segment of the night.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Destination X Episodes of Impact Wrestling
While much of the hype coming into this week’s show is focused on Young and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship or Bully Ray and his war against the Carter Family, there should be a serious focus on the X Division.
Not only did the X Division match at Slammiversary start the show off with a bang, but the Destination X edition of Impact Wrestling is also approaching fast. The wrestler who holds the X Division title at Destination X will be allowed to cash the belt in and fight for the world heavyweight championship.
Sanada has been an intriguing champion since winning the title in Japan, but this could be TNA’s chance to shake up the main event scene if MVP is out long term. If MVP can’t return soon enough, it should be Austin Aries that sneaks into the X Division title chase, wins the belt and cashes it in to become the new world champion.
That build would start Thursday.
TNA Rumors: Reported Slammiversary Attendance Numbers, per PWInsider via WrestlingInc.
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