Welcome back to Tuesdays at TNA, where we discuss the hottest topics straight outta Dixieland!
Well, the ECW reunion show has come and gone so it's time to get back to what TNA should do, and that's highlighting their stars of the present and future. This Thursday they will present on Impact a program called "The Whole F'n Show", which will feature PPV-caliber matches that will hopefully place their talented stars without too many references to nostalgia tributes. We'll break down each match and discuss what should happen on Thursday, with a follow up column on Friday regarding each ending.
(Note: I know that there are already spoilers revealing the results, but I haven't seen those yet. If you have please don't mention them in the comments section below.)
Jeff Hardy's Open Challenge—"The Charismatic Enigma" is hosting an open challenge to the TNA locker room, and it will be interesting to see who accepts his proposal. My instant thought was that it would be Samoa Joe, but due to his suspension that won't be the case. I think that it should be Desmond Wolfe, who has an opportunity to escape the TNA doghouse and put on what could be a fantastic matchup. However, regardless of who it is, my guess is that Hardy will win. I do think that Joe will return to take his revenge out on Hardy and set up their matchup for Bound for Glory.
Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne—This match is for the Knockouts Championship, and it's fitting that they may finally put an end to this summer long feud between these two former partners of The Beautiful People. Although Rayne has improved in the ring, Angelina should pick up the win and the title. TBP has lost a lot of steam since Love's earlier departure due to visa issues, and if the Knockouts division is to get back on track they need to find some way to put Love and Velvet Sky back together to place paper bags over their opponents' heads.
The Pope vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Matt Morgan—This matchup has the potential for some interesting storylines going forward. Anderson is playing the face with heel like tendencies which the fans eat up, Morgan is the arrogant heel, and the Pope is the huge fan favorite. It looks as if Morgan will be going after Anderson as they have traded barbs in the past few weeks. Look for the Pope to pick up the win and become the next challenger for the TNA TV Title, which leads us to.....
AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle—These guys could wrestle every week as far as I'm concerned and never will I get tired of it. They are the best of the best, and with the expectations of this episode, I expect them to bring it 110 percent.
While we're on the subject, I have to say that while I like the originality of the Kurt Angle storyline with him working his way up to the top 10, I just believe that it should've been saved for a TNA original like Styles or even an import like the Pope. Angle will always be considered a World Championship contender and if he gets to his top goal against the World Champion at what appears to be Bound for Glory, it will be another main event headlined by someone who is not a TNA homegrown going for the World Title. To me it just won't feel like something special if he pulls it off.
That being said, I do expect Angle to win and keep his quest going on what could be the TV match of the year!
Beer Money vs. MCMG (2 out of 3 falls)—If the Styles/Angle match doesn't get TV match of the year, then this certainly will! Anyone who thinks that tag team wrestling is dead is either a Vince McMahon lover or hasn't seen this best of five classic series between Beer Money and the TNA Tag Team Champions the Motor City Machine Guns. Whether it's a ladder match, cage match or Ultimate X these four competitors have given TNA it's best tag team feud since LAX vs. Styles/Daniels in 2006.
There aren't enough words to describe the greatness this series has been, and I expect nothing less on Thursday night. That said, I do believe that Beer Money needs to win. For starters, it will hurt the momentum of the Fortune stable if BM loses the title match so quickly. Also, this feud has legs and I see it continuing all the way to a final showdown at BFG in October, with MCMGs coming out in the end.
Rob Van Dam vs. Abyss—Forget the whole "Stairway to Janice" stipulation, that is just stupid beyond words. This has been an interesting battle that will culminate in a match for the TNA World Heavyweight championship. I was thinking that RVD would come out on top of this match, until I found out that Eric Bischoff was the special guest referee. Say it with me TNA fans: SWERVE!
Abyss has gained some serious momentum since ditching the ridiculous Hogan wannabe gimmick, and it would only make sense that he comes out on top here. Besides, if the rumors are true and that the ECW originals are still going to be around, then they should take the title off RVD and let Abyss run with the title until BFG when he faces Kurt Angle who would've battled his way to the top of the championship ranks.
This is a huge turning point for TNA as they are starting to get their audience back that they lost during their failed Monday Night run. Fans want great wrestling with little backstage talk that doesn't result in sensible storylines. I believe that Thursday night will be the first step in getting TNA to the next level.