Impact Wrestling is making the move to Wednesday nights on Spike TV, and the first show since the transition will be the free edition of TNA’s Hardcore Justice on Aug. 20.
TNA has been a staple of Thursday nights for years, but the move could be smart for both the company and the network. With the 2014 NFL season beginning and Thursday Night Football taking center stage again, the decision to move to a new night was wise.
With little competition, Impact Wrestling should thrive on Wednesdays.
Here is all the vital viewing information for this week’s show and a full Hardcore Justice preview.
Where: Manhattan Center, New York City
When: Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 9 p.m. ET (pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
TNA Crowns a New No. 1 Contender
The biggest event of the night will be a six-man No. 1 Contender's match for Bobby Lashley’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship. For the first time in over four years, TNA will bring back the Six Sides of Steel to help determine which star gets his shot at Lashley first.
With a title shot hanging in the balance, six of the top stars in the company (Magnus, Gunner, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, James Storm and Austin Aries) will put on an excellent match and ensure that the company has a clear future moving forward.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Becomes the New No. 1 Contender?
The two best wrestlers and performers in this match are Roode and Aries. Each of these elite challengers deserves the honor of walking away as the new No. 1 contender, but it can be only one man. Since Aries lost to Lashley in a title match recently, the stage has been set for a Roode victory.
Roode was one of the most successful champions in TNA history. Few men in the business have the mic skills and promo ability Roode possesses, but he is also one of the best in-ring technicians in the wrestling industry.
TNA is looking for a strong future moving forward, and Roode is the man for the job.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Bound for Glory Precursors
There is less than two months before TNA’s biggest show of the year, Bound for Glory, and the company must find a challenger who can triumphantly take the championship from Lashley and lead Impact Wrestling into the next chapter of its existence.
The hope from many fans is that Roode is the man who can carry TNA moving forward, but it’s hard to imagine a two-month build in a feud between Lashley and Roode. Just like Aries, Roode will likely be fed to Lashley as another successful defense before the champion ultimately drops the belt at Bound for Glory.
Most of the top stars have already fought Lashley and lost, so there are two possible answers for a BFG opponent. The most feasible option is Samoa Joe cashing in his championship with Option D, as Aries teased earlier this summer, but another intriguing possibility is MVP turning on his friend and taking the title.
Either way, it’s going to be a fun build to the October pay-per-view.
TNA Rumors: Latest Chatter Surrounding TV Deal, per F4WOnline, via WrestlingInc.com
Stairway to Janice, Last Knockout Standing and More
After a brutal Monster's Ball match last week, Abyss and Bram will go one-on-one in a Ladder match. Instead of a championship being on the line, Abyss’ favorite weapon (a board with nails, which he calls "Janice") will be hanging above the ring. The first to pull Janice from the rafters will be allowed to use it on his opponent.
There were low expectations for the feud between Bram and Abyss, but it has been much better than anticipated. Abyss has helped Bram look like a legitimate maniac since his arrival, and another hardcore-style match will further drive the point home. Abyss felt the wrath of Janice last week, so fans should expect Bram to lose this match and take a shot to the gut.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Which Knockout Walks Away with the Title?
The feud between defending Knockouts champion Gail Kim and Angelina Love has been building for weeks, but it exploded last Thursday when the two women battled in the backstage area. Kim is looking to settle the war once and for all, and she has challenged Love to a Last Knockout Standing match.
Kim is arguably the most talented female wrestler in the industry today. While Love lacks the same in-ring skills, she is a serviceable worker who has built legitimate heat with the fans as part of the Beautiful People. During this week’s Impact, the two women should put on a PPV-quality match.
Hype Meter: 5 out of 5 X-Division Championship Matches
While there has been nowhere near enough build for this match, TNA is advertising new X Division champion Samoa Joe defending the title for the first time against No. 1 contender Low Ki.
There is an extensive history between these two men, and the resulting in-ring performance should be nothing short of amazing. Joe provides raw power and ring psychology, and Low Ki provides the sheer speed and athleticism he has become known for.
Together, Joe and Low Ki will steal the show with the best match of the night.
TNA News: Impact Wrestling Ratings for Last Week, via Marc Middleton of WrestingInc.com
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).