There is a genuine excitement in the air surrounding TNA right now, and the July 3 episode of Impact Wrestling has wrestling fans from across the world ready to get back to action.
With Kurt Angle assuming power and hosting a Red, White and Blue Throwdown, Bobby Lashley defending the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Eric Young and Bobby Roode back on the scene, Thursday's Impact Wrestling is must-watch television.
Here is all the vital viewing information and a full preview of July 3's exciting edition of TNA's flagship show.
Where: Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
When: Thursday, July 3, at 9 p.m. ET (pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
Kurt Angle Is the New Man in Charge
For months, Impact Wrestling has been controlled by two different heel authority figures—Dixie Carter and MVP. The fans have grown wary of the constant shenanigans, and the company has mercifully bucked the trend by adding Kurt Angle as the new Executive Director of Wrestling Operations.
Angle is currently recovering from serious knee surgery. While he can't be an active wrestler right now, the company is hoping that his presence on TV each week will help ratings and build more interest in the product moving forward.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Angle Be Corrupted by Power?
The major concern most fans have is the possible corruption of Angle by MVP or Carter. With both former leaders of the company looking to regain power, the depths to which they will stop is likely unfathomable.
Add in Angle's history of working with heel stables—including his run with Immortal—and there is a reason for wrestling fans to be nervous about a possible swerve and yet another bad guy controlling the show.
TNA officials saw the lack of success the company was having with Dixie and MVP calling the shots, and the shift to Angle could be just a taste of the major changes the company is making. As seen with Angle giving Young his rematch this Thursday, the show will be run correctly from now on.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Chances at Redemption
Since the Aces and Eights storyline, the company has been struggling to find its rhythm. While there have been exciting shows and great moments since then, the program overall has not been what the fans had come to expect.
With Angle as the new boss and the company on the road, it feels like TNA has been reborn.
The hope is that the storyline with Angle as the face authority figure continues through until at least the Bound for Glory pay-per-view later this year. With Angle ensuring a quality show each week, the fans should be excited to see some legitimate progression with the top programs in the company.
TNA News: Last Week's Impact Wrestling Ratings, per PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.
Bobby Roode Returns, Bully Ray Gets Even and More
One of the best parts of the last two weeks has been the return of one of the top stars in the company, Bobby Roode. As a former world champion, one of the best talkers in the sport and a gifted in-ring technician, wrestling fans should be happy to have him back.
MVP is still recovering from a legitimate knee injury, but TNA is building to an eventual feud between Roode and the former Impact Wrestling boss. After the excitement that surrounded Roode's return, the likely match between the two men will be much anticipated.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Bully Ray Get His Revenge?
While Roode fights one former authority figure, Bully Ray has been on a mission to put Dixie Carter through a table for weeks. He has come close on several occasions but has been thwarted at every attempt.
After watching his friend, Tommy Dreamer, get involved in the madness, there should be little doubt that Bully Ray will be in rare form Thursday and looking for a fight. Angle has already scheduled a tables match between Bully and Ethan Carter III, and wrestling fans should be genuinely excited about the next chapter in this feud.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Unused Top Stars
One major concern that many TNA fans have is the lack of presence from top stars like Samoa Joe, Austin Aries and The Wolves. One of the best ways to turn the company around is by ensuring the in-ring product is top-notch, and that's exactly what the aforementioned stars bring.
The hope is that with Angle in charge of the company—and a genuine change of philosophy behind the scenes—Impact Wrestling will start to feature more of the top wrestlers as the company continues through the summer.
TNA fans will not be disappointed over the coming months.
TNA Rumors: Major Praise for Recent Tapings, per PWInsider via Wrestling Inc.
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