The move to Wednesday nights for Impact Wrestling was an abrupt change, but TNA pulled out all the stops for the first episode in the new time slot by putting on an unforgettable edition of Hardcore Justice.
The key for TNA this week will be keeping the hype for its product as high as possible to ensure that hardcore and casual Impact Wrestling fans remember that the show is now a night earlier and either watch it live or set their DVR.
With the first chapter in a tag team championship series between The Wolves, The Hardys and Team 3D in the main event, the ruling from Kurt Angle on who the new No. 1 contender will be and a match featuring the world heavyweight champion Bobby Lashley, this week’s edition of Impact will be must-watch television.
Here is all the vital viewing information for Wednesday’s show and a full preview.
Where: Manhattan Center, New York City
When: Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 9 p.m. ET (pre-taped)
Watch: Spike TV
Tag Team Wrestling is Reborn
The tag team division in the WWE is lackluster at best (sans Luke Harper and Erick Rowan), but TNA is almost single-handedly reminding fans why tag team wrestling is one of the most important parts of a great company.
The Hardys and Team 3D battled each other in a dream match two weeks ago, but the two teams came together last Wednesday to call out The Wolves for a unique series of matches for the TNA Tag Team Championship.
The first match of the series takes place this week.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Which Team Will Get the Win?
The rules of this series are simple: The team that gets two victories first wins the tag team title. The winner of each match gets to name the stipulation for the following bout. As great as The Hardys and Team 3D have been over their legendary careers, this should be about putting The Wolves over and giving them the series win.
After watching Team 3D come together and beat The Hardys in their return match, the smart booking would have The Hardys beat either Bully Ray or Devon in order to make the team look strong without forcing one of The Wolves to take the pin.
Hype Meter: 5 out of 5; History-Making Moments
If The Hardys take the win on Wednesday, the stage will be set for a ladder match. Team 3D should then win the second bout and pick a table-match stipulation. After those two memorable bouts and with the series all tied at one win apiece, The Wolves should pick a Full Metal Mayhem match for the final chapter.
Full Metal Mayhem is TNA’s equivalent of a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
No matter who wins each of the battles, it’s clear that this will be a four-match series featuring three of the best tag teams in the world. Whether you’re a TNA fan or not, this would be the perfect opportunity to invest some time into the product.
TNA Rumors: Latest talk surrounding new TV deal, per F4WOnline (via WrestlingInc.com).
New No. 1 Contender, Bobby Lashley, Ethan Carter III and More
After an interesting Six Sides of Steel match to crown the No. 1 contender for Lashley’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship, it was Bobby Roode and Eric Young who touched the floor at the exact same time (ah, the miracle of editing.)
According to ImpactWrestling.com, Kurt Angle will determine the No. 1 contender on Wednesday. While the report doesn’t say how he will name the rightful challenger, what better way to determine the better man than a one-on-one match?
The No. 1 contender should be Roode, and all signs have pointed in that direction.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Will Challenge Lashley Wednesday?
Lashley has been built as a top star since winning the company’s title and should be fed a random face this week to keep him busy until the new No. 1 contender is named. A quick win over a fan favorite will build more heat against him and make the champion look strong moving forward.
There aren’t many faces on the roster that can fill this role without looking weak, but there are more than enough part-time wrestlers who would be perfect. Tommy Dreamer was at this set of tapings and would be a feasible option in New York City, but TNA could go in a more comedic direction with a wrestler like Shark Boy or Knux from The Menagerie.
Lashley should pick up the convincing win regardless of his opponent.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5; ECIII vs. Rhino Programs
Carter has been one of the brightest stars in TNA over the last year. While the WWE dropped the ball with the talented performer, he has been given the stage to perform at his best and has shined under the bright lights of Impact Wrestling.
Now TNA must continue to build his credibility by having him work an extended program with a former ECW champion like Rhino and eventually walk away with the win. Just as he beat Sting and Kurt Angle before, Carter must show an aggressive side and eventually force Rhino out of the company.
That process starts this week during Impact Wrestling.
TNA News: First TV rating for Wednesday night, per Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com.
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