TNA had yet another solid episode of Impact Wrestling last week and will follow it up with one final broadcast from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, before taking the journey to New York City for the summer.
With Kurt Angle as the new authority figure and Eric Young unsuccessful last week during his rematch for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Bobby Lashley, the focus on Thursday will be on who becomes the new No. 1 contender.
Here is all the vital viewing information and a full preview of Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling.
Where: Sands Bethlehem Event Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
When: Thursday, July 10, at 9 p.m. ET (pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
Austin Aries Looks to Take Back Option C
One of the most underrated, underutilized superstars in all of wrestling is former Ring of Honor and TNA world heavyweight champion Austin Aries. While there was a time he was ruling the roost with the company, he has fallen out of favor in recent months.
Regardless of why he was not receiving a proper push—the company was on the right track with A-Double as champion—TNA has the opportunity to right its wrongs by giving him the X Division championship on Thursday, when he faces current champion Sanada.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Aries Win the Title?
TNA announced that Destination X would be taking place at the tapings in New York City, and that means whoever is the current champion at that time will be able to cash in the belt for a shot at the world heavyweight championship.
While Sanada has been stellar in his role, Aries deserves to shine more.
Aries is not only one of the best technical wrestlers on the roster, but he also knows how to work a crowd by telling a story in the ring. Add in his ability to cut a promo, and he should always be around the world title scene.
Hype Meter: 5 out 5 New Champions
If Aries wins the title on Thursday, he will undoubtedly cash it in for a chance at Lashley in New York City. As he proved at Slammiversary, Aries can get a solid match out of the current champion, and it will be more of the same in their bout at Destination X.
All signs point to a victory for Aries, but fans should enjoy the road getting there. Sanada is one of the brightest Japanese stars, and the resulting match should be an instant classic. Let’s just hope TNA sees the opportunity and gives the men the proper time.
TNA News: Impact Wrestling Ratings Climb, per Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc.
Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Bully Ray and More
Now that Angle is in charge, it is time for him to crown a new No. 1 contender. Young was unable to recapture the title, so Angle will be desperate to find a star worthy of fighting and defeating Lashley.
I have avoided spoilers to the best of my ability, but ImpactWrestling.com posted an article talking about a Battle Royal for the No. 1 contendership. It was removed after the NYC tapings, but it is clear that tonight will feature something huge to determine the next challenger.
Wrestling fans won’t want to miss this.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Bobby Roode be the New No. 1 Contender?
Over the past several weeks, TNA has built up Roode as one of the toughest stars in the company and a serious threat to MVP, Kenny King and Lashley. One way to capitalize on his success is giving him a shot at the title.
Roode holds the record as the longest-reigning TNA champion in the company’s history and has been built up as a viable challenger. Whether he goes on to win the title or not, Roode should be the next No. 1 contender—if not Roode, then Samoa Joe.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Table Spots
After getting gored by Rhino last week and put through a table by Ethan Carter III, Bully Ray will get the opportunity to avenge himself on Thursday. Whether it’s Rhino or any member of Dixie Carter’s posse, Bully Ray will be destroying someone this week.
Add in the forgotten vendetta from Tommy Dreamer, and the possibility of a hardcore reunion in the ring this week is likely. For the fans who remember the days of ECW, the opportunity to see Rhino, Bully Ray and Dreamer in the same ring would be amazing.
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