Viva La Resolution

With TNA’s Final Resolution PPV fast approaching, I thought I’d look back at 2011 and consider what could be improved upon for the coming year.


Admittedly, who “deserves” a push is entirely subjective. But at times, Impact Wrestling can be rife with random monster pushes and blatant nepotism. Whether its Eric Bischoff’s son, Garret, spontaneously taking the main event slot for no good reason, Crimson’s Goldberg imitation or Jeff Hardy’s unchecked drug addiction still resulting in huge paydays and World Title reigns. Sometimes they back the wrong horse and bet the farm.

I don’t want to be entirely negative though, as in rare cases, TNA rewards those that genuinely deserve it. Bobby Roode and James Storm being the two most notable instances from the past year. As Beer Money, they were the backbone of the Tag Team division and have quickly proved themselves cornerstones of Singles competition. In all of wrestling, the only person who’s had a better push this year is CM Punk. The fact I can mention both Roode and Storm in the same breath as Punk says it all.

The lesson that should be learned from this is that TNA should take advantage of their loyal mainstays and not forget them in favour of WWE rejects, family loyalties or pet projects. I’m sure Kazarian wouldn’t mind the attention!


I hate to generalise, but most Championship divisions in TNA are operating with minimal contenders, causing frequent repeats of combinations we’ve already seen. Frankly, everything except the Heavyweight division has grown stagnant.

The X Division has been plagued by endless recycling of matchups featuring some variation of Brian Kendrick, Jesse Sorensen and Kid Kash. I absolutely love Austin Aries as the X Division Champion, but he’s blown through feuds with all three men and the only other X Division competitor I’ve seen in the past six months was a random appearance from Zema Ion (where did all those Destination X guys go?!?!?). Similarly, the Television Title landscape is as barren as Kurt Angle’s hairline. Beyond Eric Young and Robbie E bickering over it, I can’t even remember the last person who showed an interest (who can blame them, that belt looks filthy). As for the Tag Team divisions, both male and female can barely even muster Champions, let alone contenders.

I’m not saying there have to be ten or more people per division, all angling for a title shot, but there should be a palpable sense of competition. Maybe speed up the turnover between contenders a little, so where one wrestler fails, there’s a discernible pecking order and someone else takes their place. Make it so a Champion can legitimately say “I’ve beaten the best”, instead of “I beat whoever could be bothered”.


As much as I like to see beautiful women in lingerie and bikinis, we’re a little beyond that now, aren’t we? TNA have a solid foundation for a Knockouts division, even rivalling its own heyday. With the masterful Gail Kim back in the division where she belongs, and a killer rival in Mickie James, we should strap ourselves in for a series of epic matches. I’m not forgetting the rest of the division either, as it’s so much more than just two women. Velvet Sky really stepped up her game this year and was happily rewarded with a Knockouts Title reign for all her hard work. She could still use a little polishing on her in-ring work, but the basics are sound and you’d struggle to find a better character out there. Other viable contenders for the Championship are Tara, Angelina, ODB, Madison Rayne, Sarita, etc. So many of these women are showing up to work, only to be used in backstage segments or as valets. When in reality, they should be out in the ring, kicking each other’s asses just like the men. Give them another chance, they won’t disappoint. These aren’t Divas, they’re Knockouts!


If Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff ever did one good thing for TNA, it’s pushing them to go out on the road and tape Impact at proper arenas. I wouldn’t dismiss the Impact Zone entirely, as it’s an important part of their heritage and always handy to fall back on. Regardless, the recent live tapings of Impact have looked fantastic and really upped the stakes going forward. The real question is when they should break out this party favour. I’d prefer them taping Impact at Universal Studios, with PPVs on the road, to take advantage of the larger crowd (for the climax of feuds). Unfortunately, TNA’s business model has always been back to front, with TV making them more money than PPV, putting them in the strange position of wanting the free product to look better and the paid product to look worse. Either way, more live tapings please. They work wonders for all involved.


In the past six months, TNA have rightly been in the process of expanding their repertoire. They’ve grown closer than ever before with the Mexican promotion AAA (so much so, Jeff Jarrett has been their Heavyweight Champion for the better part of the year), struck a developmental deal with OVW (notorious for producing some of WWE’s biggest stars), filmed a pilot for an experimental new concept called All Wheels Wrestling and finally, they are on the verge of tapings for a new Indian brand. TNA’s reach has grown by leaps and bounds, putting them squarely on a global scale few others can compete with.

While continuing such monumental moves, I’d encourage them to also consolidate their existing output, namely the International-only show, Xplosion. In its current format, it typically features one exclusive match (of a lower card nature), Jeremy Borash’s Spin Cycle, Impact Wrestling recaps and a classic match from the archives. While an effective way to put out an hour of television with maximum gain and minimal effort, I’ve always looked upon the show as a missed opportunity. TNA should seriously petition their American network, Spike TV, to air the show and as a result, make it more relevant. The often packed card of Impact Wrestling can be eased as certain talents are moved over to Xplosion and everyone on both shows gets more airtime than they typically would otherwise. It doesn’t need to be stretched to two hours or even be a brand to itself, it merely has to be a legitimate show with its own unique content. Think about it.



Playing in the Impact Zone: Part Two

With WWE '12 hitting the stores this week, and none of us purchasing it due to having no favourite wrestlers to play as (see part one), we continue to look at what we want from a new TNA game!

From Jobber to Champ

Erm... Salty Biscuits 
Unless your name is Crimson, a wrestler is very unlikely you will make your debut and get a title shot within the same year, but the common season mode of wrestling games tends to be that way these day. A continuous career for around five years would be a good option, as it allows you to work your way up the card and through the titles. It could even include the BFG series, which would set a pace that doesn't seem rushed and puts the season in a similar game length to those that would be played in other sports games such as FIFA or NHL. 

As interesting as the story mode was in the original Impact, I would prefer a move away from this very scripted mode, as it left little room to manoeuvre. The biggest pain was that you had to win every single match; again putting you on par with Crimson! You moved through the roster, gaining championship belts as you went and had no say in the direction of your character. Now, for a new game, I don't expect the mass details Yuke's have infused into the WWE's career mode over time, but I do expect some choices, such as which title to go for first, who to have as my tag team partner, who to feud with, etc. These are all choices that were available during the PS2 iterations of the WWE games, so it's not too much to ask for, as I don't want to be in another tag team with EY called the Salty Biscuits! 

Full Metal Mayhem 

The other area of the game I would like to see expanded are the match types. The first game had Ultimate X, but compare that to the multiple match types on offer in WWE '12, in which a number of competitors can compete in various match types including ladders, cages, last man standing, first blood, etc. Building on the types of matches would spin out the length of game play and with the inclusion of ladder matches, would bring in more weapons, compared to the odd chair that was scattered around the ring side area in an unrealistic fashion. 

Making some improvements to Ultimate X and creating matches such as Full Metal Mayhem and King of the Mountain would give gamers new match types that they will not have played before, such as the excitement of when HIAC was first introduced into the Smackdown series.

Yukes have done well ironing out issues with their games, which TNA should learn from. If they follow the annual release structure of typical sports games, they would be in a position whereby we would be debating between picking up TNA or WWE, just like football fans do with FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer every year. Hopefully, we will get our hands on a new game within the next year and it could have the same impact Smackdown had when it replaced Attitude, with TNA growing as a brand. The next logical step is to try and grow into this lucrative gaming market. 



Drafting In New Faces

After picking up the latest Fighting Spirit Magazine (FSM - http://www.fightingspiritmagazine.co.uk/), the article 'Trading Places' set my thoughts alight. Having been a big EWR player, among other management simulations, I couldn't stop thinking about which athletes I would draft into TNA to improve the product. The article in FSM looks at those in TNA and WWE who are being used improperly, require a fresh gimmick and those who would just fit better within the other company. They list a number of people to bring into TNA, including the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Rey Mysterio, Beth Phoenix and Jack Swagger. Whilst I agree with the trades and reasons given, I have been thinking of others who would (not necessarily for personal reasons) better TNA.

Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team - Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin - ROH

File:19a.-TWGTT-Haas-&-Benjamin-Postmatch-crop,-RLA-Melb-10.11.2007.jpgWith Beer Money going their separate ways and the World Heavyweight Title coming between Storm and Roode, there are now only a handful of recognisable teams left in what was once an exciting cornerstone of the company. WGGT would fill the hole that Beer Money have vacated and unlike other teams, fans will recognise the pair from their time with WWE, either as singles or as a team; depending on how far back people can remember as TWGTT or Team Angle. As such, they would not have to be built up as other new teams coming into the company would be.
WGTT could enter the division and immediately mix it up with the current teams on the roster, provide entertaining matches and elevate the division back to the point where Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns were prominent parts of TV and PPV shows. 
Haas and Benjamin have proved themselves a top team and would fit perfectly into the TNA tag division. Both are also accomplished in their own right, should they ever wish to pursue a single's career. They would bring a much needed stability and excitement to the division,  providing entertaining match ups with a number of the current teams on the roster. 

Jack Evans - AAA

File:Jack Evans handstand.jpgA face and name known to TNA fans after his exceptional performances in the build up to and the contract match at Destination X, where he lost out to Austin Aries. Although, despite losing out, he was the one name on all the fans lips and even trended on twitter after his first appearance on Impact Wrestling.
Evans would fit right into the X Division and would put on show-stealing matches with a number of the talent already in the division, whether it be a title match against Austin Aries or rivalries with Jesse Sorenson or Zema Ion. He is the athlete that every fan wanted  on the roster when the X Division was relaunched and would be a welcome addition to the roster.

CM Punk - WWE

File:CM Punk WWE Champion.jpgNot that TNA needs any more top tier talent, but who wouldn't want CM Punk in the main event of a TNA PPV? I was excited when his contract was up in WWE and the slight possibility this move could happen, but more fool me. 
WWE, historically, prefer the big man in their main event, which makes Punk the odd one out. However, his size and in-ring style would fit perfectly into TNA. For instance, he could have a number of high profile matches with his old ROH rivals in A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels and  Samoa Joe. All of which, in my view, have potential to be match of the year.
There is little else that needs to be said about Punk, as his jumping ship would be as massive as Bret Hart moving to WCW in 1997. 

Chris Jericho 

File:Chris Jericho Milwaukee WI 031008.jpgThe legend who would be great in TNA. Like Punk, his size and in ring style are perfect to mix it up with the talent currently on the TNA roster and I personally would love to see one last Jericho / Angle match up.
Despite being the first Undisputed Champion in WWE, I have always felt that Jericho has been mistreated by not being utilised in a position he deserves.

Not only being a top draw, he would also be able to boost the stock of some younger athletes by being paired with them in singles match ups. His credibility and draw would boost TNA and bring along a number of viewers who wouldn't normally bother converting from WWE. Which, in turn, would generate a lot of media attention. 

Sadly, this is all fantasy trading, some are more likely to happen than others, but if TNA want to overturn WWE as the biggest wrestling promotion in the world, then these are the sort of acquisitions that would help. I have nothing against building up your own talent and hell, TNA have a lot of talented guys already on their roster, but one or two additions in the right places (especially in the tag team division), would freshen things up and hopefully bring in more viewers.   

Robbie G


Playing in the Impact Zone: Part One

The time of year has come around where Christmas shopping kicks into gear and the computer games market pumps out some of the biggest releases of the year. With that barrage comes the only wrestling game, WWE's annual release. The Smackdown games have been a staple of the games industry for a decade, building from the first release on the PSX, through a few name changes and now WWE '12 is only weeks a way from release. Can TNA re-enter this market and break WWE's chokehold?
TNA Impact! Screenshot
The only chance so far to be Styles
It has been 3 years since the release of TNA Impact! and to date is the company's only release on home console. If most viewers are like me, then we are screaming out for a new release, so we can play as our favourite superstars once again. 

I Want To Mic Check Daniels Through A Table!

WWE '12 looks like it will be a good game and Yuke's have perfected the look and style of the games over each release. But what good is the style when there are no wrestlers that you actually want to take control of? Looking through the roster, CM Punk is about the only current wrestler I would want to play as! It shows this year with the over reliance in big names from the past such as Stone Cold, Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar and the centrepiece of all the advertising so far, The Rock!  
Hardy vs. Angle in a ladder match!
(WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role)
TNA have a wealth of likeable wrestlers that fans will want to take control of in either single bouts or a fully fledged career mode, which is where the first game was lacking. Only a handful of names were available to play as before unlocking the rest in a season mode, which you had to partake in as a created wrestler. 
Many of the current roster were either not included or not in TNA for the first game, leaving a wealth of talent including the likes of Jeff Hardy, Mr Anderson, Kazarian, RVD and Austin Aries that  fans are missing to create their dream matches.  

How Do I Kick Out?

As enjoyable as playing as your favourite wrestlers can be, it can be very annoying when the control systems let you down. The first Impact! game has a basic control system, which is great, as you can learn how to enact moves quickly, but it was let down by a few controls inparticular. The biggest, in my view, was that you had to vigorously waggle the analogue stick to fill up a bar to be able to kick out of a pin. This often had me losing matches I had been dominating and only been hit by a few moves. 
TNA Impact! Screenshot
Not the thrills Ultimate X usualy provides
It was also difficult to pin point areas in which to attack, as heads and torsos were the only areas to get injured, meaning getting anybody to tap out for a submission was very unlikely. Ultimate X was fun up until the point of trying to get down the X, which took six or more attempts to fill your meter and having to just kick your opponent down, which in turn made it boring and repetitive.
Tagging in your partner was also a pain due to the same button controlling multiple other tasks. Many times when you would want to tag you ended up climbing the turn-buckle to the top rope or exiting the ring, which is just a pain, especially when there are other buttons on the controller going to waste. 

With a progression of the control system and a more simulation feel, rather than beat em up style, TNA could give the WWE series a run for it's money on the console front. Looking at what was included on the handheld only TNA Impact!: Cross the Line and the subsequent mobile game, the ideas are there, we are just waiting for the end product!  

In part two, we will be looking at how the career mode can be improved upon and which match types should be included!

Robbie G 


Impact Wrestling Musings 06/11/2011

- James Storm opened the show with a brilliantly Southern promo, which has become a running theme in the past few weeks. This puts me in a hell of a weird situation, in that a few weeks back when they initially put the World Title on Storm, I was distinctly of the opinion "They've put it on the wrong tag partner! Storm isn't World Champion material!" and I'm happy to say he's completely changed my mind. Only now, just as I'm getting my head around Storm as Champion, they go and put the Title on Roode, which I would've loved three weeks ago, but am seriously questioning now. I hate the lame swerves, but at least Beer Money are opening and closing the show, right. I don't know whether the location of the arena has anything to do with it, but the fans ate up everything Storm had to say and barely responded to Bobby Roode, which is unfortunate.

- On a sidenote, I'm becoming more and more accustomed to seeing Impact inside of a live arena, instead of the Impact Zone. It hasn't produced any noticable ratings bump, but it makes the product look so much more professional. I would advise Spike TV to keep footing the bill for further live tapings, because it'll do wonders in the long term.

- I'm absolutely loving the build for Gail Kim since she returned a couple of weeks ago. Whether it be promos or matches, Gail is on a phenomenal roll. Whatever shackles the WWE had her chained down with, are well and truly gone. I can't believe such talent has been on the sidelines doing nothing for so long. I don't even particularly care that she's been paired with Karen Jarrett and Madison Rayne, as she outshines them both to such a degree that they're largely just background objects. I think it could benefit Gail even further if she left Karen's "protection" and struck out on her own as a loner heel with a vindictive streak. As for the Knockouts Tag Title match itself, it was a solid affair, with Brooke Tessmacher (how long until they drop the Tessmacher completely) coming along in leaps and bounds, even Tara getting back some of the heat she lost in last week's squash against Gail. I don't think the Titles neccessarily had to change hands though, as Tara and Tessmacher had just started gelling as a tag team and even had their own moniker of TNT. Also, Gail's focus is almost exclusively on the singles title, so why drag her into the tag team division for no reason? Still, it does continue her dominance of the Knockouts and I'll be interested to see if she makes it a double, winning the Knockouts Title at Turning Point as well.

- Garrett Bischoff continues to take up valuable airtime and I'm not entirely sure why, other than blatant nepotism. Sure, he got to beatdown Easy E, which I'm sure everyone has fantasised about over the years, but that doesn't make him a wrestler or even a person we should be watching every week on Impact! I'd be interested to hear from anyone in the world who is actually entertained by these Bischoff segments. You can't even call them proper promos, as Garrett mumbles through every single line, never quite making sense and even steps on other people's cues. I've seen soap opera actors better than this kid! The sooner he's off my television, the better! Even worse, this feud exposed a giant gapping plot hole that I've been wondering about ever since Bound for Glory. Namely, how the hell do Immortal continue to have jobs after their administration fell apart and the company reverted to Dixie's control?!?! Eric made some vague comments about ironclad contracts, but what the hell is that contract even for? Because he sure as hell isn't in any position of authority anymore! But you know the real victim of this piece - Ric Flair. I know he can't wrestle anymore, but being Eric's flunky and whaling on referees? This is what it's come to? Oh Ric...

- I took immense enjoyment from the backstage scene between Samoa Joe and Sting. For far too long, Joe has been missing in action. He's had some feuds with Jarrett, Crimson and Morgan in the past year, but those have been so snoozeworthy, they may as well have not been on my television, I paid that much attention. However, with him headlining the show last week and making it known he's still a major player this week, it feels like there's a renewed momentum behind the Samoan Submission Machine. TNA could go forward any number of ways, but this has been a promising start!

- While I haven't really cared for Christopher Daniels delusional rantings about AJ Styles "cheating" at Bound for Glory, what I have cared for is this new pairing with RVD. I believe these two could produce a fascinating feud with any number of quality matches. I find it hilarious every time that Daniels calls him Bob Van Dam. Even funnier was RVD's reaction after their little scuffle "RUN DANIELS, RUN!!!". Somehow my mind didn't interpret that as a threat, but as a Forrest Gump joke. Intended comedy or stoner humour? We'll never know...

- I was pleasantly surprised by the Austin Aries vs Jesse Sorensen match. Not that A Dub doesn't already entertain me week in, week out. However, I would say that Sorensen is in need of serious development in multiple respects. He's been on the roster for about four months now and I don't really know anything about him. He plays up the football jock gimmick, but that doesn't strike me as being as likable as he needs to be. If there's one benefit to having him around, it's Kid Kash's spectacularly offensive rants on commentary! I was already chuckling at his crack about "why would you jump out of a perfectly good wrestling ring UNLESS it were on fire...", but at the end of the match, he let loose with "I'm gonna get my knife and cut that b*tch!". Whoah Kash, where the hell did that come from?!?! Has he been hanging out with Christopher Daniels and his screwdriver again?

- Don't ask me why TNA continue to indulge a Jersey Shore fetish because I'm as puzzled as you. Once was understandable, twice was a little silly, but now we're onto the third damn cast member of that show, I still don't know any of their names and have never watched a single episode in my life! Maybe there's some fabled Jersey Shore/Impact Wrestling crossover audience that I'm not aware of, but at this point, it's wasting more airtime than Garrett Bischoff's mumbling! The segment even started off on the wrong foot by having Eric Young hand the former World Heavyweight Title belt to Ronnie to carry to the ring. That belt had enough problems being carried around by Grizzly Adams, let alone a Z list reality "star". The most gauling thing is that I actually LIKE that belt. It was a wonderful World Title belt to have your top guy carry around. It used to evoke memories of the WWF winged title from the 90s. It was so classy...until Eric Young happened. As you would expect, the segment quickly descended into a brawl between Eric Young & Ronnie vs The Two Robbies and guess what....that's exactly the match we'll be seeing next week, who'd have thunk it! I wasn't even particularly happy with the brawl, with Ronnie recovering from his beating far too quickly and happily for my tastes. Although, if I was forced to compliment one single thing about the segment, it'd be Eric Young's line about "did you just whip him with your belt? That's weird!", which I found a little funny.

- Relating back to a former point, Immortal continue to exist somehow. I could totally understand the talent continue in the company beyond Bound for Glory, as they're still marketable names you'd want on the card. However, what I don't understand is why they're all still a huge faction. Their leader Hulk Hogan (and reason for the faction being called Immortal) has turned his back on them, they don't have any stroke with the administration and I don't even think they like each other personally. Post BFG, they all should've gone their seperate ways, or at the very least changed their faction name so they aren't representing a man who just beat them up. Now they're putting their faith in...Eric Bischoff? This faction should be dead, but it's not.

- Crimson and Matt Morgan have never been my favourite wrestlers. They're stereotypical lumbering giants who have the same slow moveset that they break out on a weekly basis. However, they had a truly ludicrous promo on Impact this week that provided entertainment value just through knowing they believe what they're saying. Apparently, their Twitter accounts have been blowing up! Their fans are desperate to know who would beat who in a fight between the pair! It's a self-billed DREAM MATCH! Reality check guys - who in the hell is asking this question? I'm sure as hell not salivating at the thought of you two locking up. The moment Matt uttered the words dream match, I actually burst out laughing! If anyone is buying the Turning Point PPV for this match, may God have mercy on their souls.

- To close the show, we had a truly wonderful TV mainevent between James Storm and Bobby Roode for the World Heavyweight Championship. Both men knew each other's moves like the back of their hand and as such, we had more than a few reversal sequences, adding to the tension with every failed attempt. In any other promotion, this would've easily headlined a PPV and it should've in this one too. By showcasing this match early, TNA have blown through what could've been six months of captivating television. Hell, I probably would've dragged it out to last a full year with the inevitable heel turn occuring at next year's Bound for Glory. Unfortunately, what we got was the rushed shortsighted version of events, with Bobby Roode turning heel by smashing a beer bottle over James Storm head and winning the World Title in tainted fashion with little to no buildup. I can't argue with the fact that these ARE the right guys you want headlining your show. TNA are lucky to have Storm and Roode, whether it be tag teaming or in singles. But they could've held off on this moment for months and really made us anticipate it. For what it's worth, I did enjoy the moment for what it was. I loved the one camera shot positioned behind the beer bottle, showing the apprehension and temptation on Bobby Roode's face. It added much needed layers to the moment, as if Roode knew it was wrong, but couldn't let the title slip through his hands on a technicality once again. I'm not entirely sure the post-match spitting on Storm's broken body was necessary though. Whatever pathos Roode had brought to the moment of the turn, made no sense with his outright heel persona. Like most things in TNA, it's horribly rushed, but I'll take a win where I can.


Impact Wrestling Musings 30/10/2011

- James Storm gave a strong opening promo, saying all the right things a new World Champion should. The first segment was also noteworthy for the main event resurgence of Samoa Joe, if only for one night. I know Joe has been featured week in, week out during his feud with Crimson and Matt Morgan, but I'll be damned if that compares to interrupting the World Champion and angling for a title shot. To his credit, he did a phenomenal job. He made a really rather interesting point when he compared Fortune to Immortal. Whether they're heels or faces, they're still trying to keep the title within their ranks by passing opportunities amongst them. I'd hope this would prove to management that Joe can hang in the main event scene, something that all we fans have known for the past six years, but something tells me he'll be back to midcard jobbing inside of a week. He was never going to be a serious contender, just an obstacle for Bobby Roode before he could get his hands on James Storm next week at the live arena tapings.

- I've noticed in the past two weeks that Sting has stopped wearing his "Insane Icon" makeup. I know he's transitioned into the authority role, but that shouldn't mean he can't have fun with it. The insane Sting gimmick was the best work he'd done in years and it's a shame to see it go. Although, he did raise a smirk with his "ta ta for now" closing line. Such an obvious tie-in to their cross promotion, I'm surprised no one else came out with it already.

- Christopher Daniels got some much appreciated airtime this week. His initial backstage promo was a little crazy, what with him accusing AJ Styles of rigging the audio at Bound for Glory in their I Quit match. I know he's playing the cowardly heel, but delusional too? Also, was it just me or did he call RVD, Bob Van Dam? I'd love for that to become a thing. As for the match itself, it made for a really interesting pairing that you don't see everyday and they both made the best of it. I would've been rather happy with the match had they not gone for the old screwdriver ending that blighted Daniels' BFG match. A screwdriver is a terrible weapon to use in professional wrestling as there's simply no way to utilise it. If Daniels ever used it, his opponent would be legitimately stabbed and lying in a pool of their own blood, which is never going to happen!

- Before I move on to my next point, I just want to highlight how directionless Rob Van Dam seems to be at the moment. 2010 was damn near the year of RVD. He had his shocking debut, pinning Sting in seconds, followed in short order by his triumphant World Heavyweight Title win, a nostaglia brimmed Hardcore Justice PPV, the formation of EV2 and a major injury angle that was the focus of Impact for months. He'd never had so much focus in his entire career! Yet 2011 seems to have swung the other way, taking so much focus off him, it's a surprise he's still on the roster. Sure he revived his old rivalry with Jerry Lynn for a few months, but it always felt like more of an afterthought than a centre piece feud. Get him back in the hunt for a title!

- Gail Kim cut a wonderful return promo to highlight her motivations as to why she returned and why she sided with Karen Jarrett. Although, I'll always snigger whenever someone mentions "another company". I know they'd probably get sued if they mentioned WWE, but it's hilarious to see them dance around the word that's on the tip of their tongue. Following up the brilliant promo, Gail reestablished her credibility with a devastating squash match against Tara. The only criticism I'd have is that Tara is typically such a dominant woman in the ring, she pretty much just stood there and took a beating, without any real attempt to fight back. Maybe someone like Miss Tessmacher would've been better for putting Gail over. That way she's still beating a champion, but beating someone so green would be realistic. I'm really looking forward to see what Gail and Velvet Sky have in store for us at Turning Point.

- The Television Title still exists! I saw it! There's video evidence and everything! Eric Young made a rare appearance on Impact this week to defend his title against Robbie E yet again. The match was short, pointless and only there to set up the future appearances of another cast member from Jersey Shore (although points to Eric Young for the very funny "you kicked me in the gut....who does that?!?!"). I don't have a clue why TNA are so obsessed by trying to draw in the Jersey Shore crowd as there's sod all crossover potential. Even if, by some fluke, new viewers do tune in to see this no talent hack reality "star" on Impact, what will they find? Eric Young, Robbie E and Rob Terry? Seriously? Those are the guys you want in your big media initiative? Viewers sure as hell aren't going to tune in and think "those three guys...those are the stars...i must see them again!". Bringing in cast members from Jersey Shore didn't work the previous two times they tried and it won't work again now. Notice how I'm not even bothering to learn the guy's name, as he'll be gone in a couple of weeks anyway.

- I know Jeff Jarrett has been cutting the same promo on Jeff Hardy's flaws for the past three weeks, but I find myself empathising with Jarrett somewhat. Hardy totally screwed the pooch at Victory Road. He showed up high as a kite to the company's PPV main event and ruined the whole show. Stuff like that shouldn't be allowed to slide and I've yet to hear a reason out of Hardy's mouth that justifies a second chance. He burnt his bridges, how the hell did he get back across to the land of fan favourites?!?! Whenever someone calls him out on his bad behaviour, he comes up with the same generic excuses about "sorry I'm not as perfect as you" or "everyone deserves a second chance" and nobody ever questions it. Jeff Jarrett was right to remind people this wasn't the first time either, as Hardy no showed the Turning Point main event years earlier. I used to really enjoy Jeff Hardy's work, but as he's gotten older, slower and more beaten up, the talent doesn't make up for his sins like it used to. The fact Hardy gets to go straight into a feud with the founder is even a little too good for him. He should have to work his way up from the very bottom. Help out the X division, reinvigorate the Television Title, partner with an up and comer for the Tag division, anything but a legitimate heavyweight feud that puts him in sight of the World Title picture.

- Bobby Roode vs Samoa Joe was a terrific main event match, more of which we should see from Impact Wrestling on a regular basis. Two young guys at the height of their talents, duking it out for the right to be number one contender, as it should be. I'd even go so far as to say I wouldn't have minded had Samoa Joe picked up the victory and gone on to Turning Point to face James Storm in the main event. It would've been a rather nice layer to the buildup to the inevitable Roode/Storm feud. Instead, the booking is on full steam ahead and as quick as Storm won the World Title, they're positioning Roode to take it from him just as fast. What could've been a tremendous year long program between two modern greats, will instead be blown off in under a month. TNA must be more careful with their storytelling, as sometimes they burn through material so fast, viewers could get whiplash!

- I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the blatant nepotism going on at Impact Wrestling right now. For some unknown reason, TNA management have it in their heads that Garrett Bischoff aka referee Jackson James aka Eric Bischoff's son, has what it takes to be the next big thing in professional wrestling and they'll sabotage however many weeks worth of television to put that point across. Well I'm here to say, categorically, it won't work. This guy has been on our screens for over a year now and nobody even knew he was there! Does that say megastar to you? Before you say "but he was a referee, nobody pays attention to the referee", I'd point out out that exemplifies my point right there - he's never wrestled a single match in TNA, on Impact Wrestling, at a house show, hell, I'm not even sure if he IS trained. If that's not evidence enough to convince you he shouldn't be taking up valuable airtime that could be going to any number of neglected wrestlers in the back, how about looking at his all important final segment. His father carried the whole promo, never let him speak once and he spent so much time looking back and forth at the crowd for encouragement, I thought he'd developed a tick! Garrett Bischoff had the look of a deer in headlights! As such, our episode cliffhanger devolved into two old men beating up an apparently untrained referee. Hearing rumblings that this angle is meant to be drawn out for the next six months until the Lockdown PPV, fills me with pure unfiltered dread and makes me want to stop watching, period. In what bizarro world should Eric Bischoff and his son take the main event slot of Impact to air their family squabbles in public?!?! Eric may be doing his son a favour, but he's certainly not doing the viewing public one. As far as I'm concerned, Impact ended when James Storm came out and placed a beer on the stage for the victorious Bobby Roode. Now THAT, was an ending.


Bound For Glory: The Review

A week ago was TNA's biggest PPV of the year Bound For Glory, a lot has happened since then as you may or may not know (there may be some spoilers here) and having watched the event a few days ago and letting my thoughts sink in I am finally ready to unleash my views on the Canned Heat public.

First off watching it on UK TV on Challenge I didn't get to see the Tag Team match but I have been informed it wasn't a great tag match in which Mexican American retained the titles in a result that isn't surprising anyone although I hope Ink Inc get their shot again on a platform for all to see in hopefully a better match than what has been described to me.

X Division Championship:
Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick

I wasn't expecting this match to be the first on the card but something had to fill the spot and what I start to the evening it was. Aries had the crowd on side as soon as he hit the stage and thankfully Taz acknowledged this reaction and credited it to Aries history in Philadelphia which is a pleasant change of pace for a wrestling promotion to actually pay attention to the past, especially one outside of their own company.The action was back and forth and both raised their game to the big stage with a mix of high risk and crowd pleasing moments with Aries playing to the chants with a cocky swagger and picking up the clean victory.I was worried that being first was a sign that the X Division has become an after thought for the TNA management but these two put my mind to rest with a solid showing and a good start to the PPV with the crowd adding to the excitement.

Full Metal Mayhem: 
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn 

The all ECW match in the ECW home town, this match was always going to be brutal with some crazy bumps and it delivered with 'ECW' and 'Holy Shit' chants ringing out around the arena. The match was a throwback to the previous decade and as a one off was acceptable but I wouldn't want to see these guys risking themselves week in week out with some of the dangerous bumps they took in this bout.
The two delivered exactly what I expected and again Lynn brought the best out of RVD who felt like he was back to his best, the match should signal the end of their mini feud and I would like RVD to move on to bigger and better things and Lynn to focus on either the X Division or try for the TV title.

Triple Threat:
Samoa Joe vs. Crimson vs. Matt Morgan

From my preview you all knew this was the contest I had the least interest in and sadly they didn't prove me wrong as Crimson retained his undefeated streak with a pin fall over Joe in what I felt was a typical triple threat match in which the face's double teamed Joe and then eventually turned against one another.

The result concluded the story of Crimson getting revenge on Joe for putting him on the shelf during the BFG series but in all honesty I couldn't care, Crimson doesn't excite me one bit and should be being built up knocking over jobbers if management want to run with his undefeated streak, he was clearly pulled from the BFG series as he isn't ready for the main event and watching the two together I thought Morgan and Crimson could be paired together to make a giant tag team as both are entertaining in parts but fail to carry that throughout a whole match.

Falls Count Anywhere: 
Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray 

Before this match Bully Ray cut a promo laying into the crowd in a promo 101 to draw heat and it was much needed as the crowd were ready the cheer him during this Philadelphia Street Fight. 
Like the Full Metal Mayhem match this match was booked purely for the location (the clue is in the name) and provided the hard hitting harder spot fest we expected from these two, although one or two had me worrying about the welfare of the two looking at the piledriver on the floor backstage. 
Sadly the botched ending of the match took away from the overall impact as Anderson; who had done well to win over the crowd; missed a flying senton off the top rope which made the finish flat as the following Mic Check through said table just didn't have the same impact. 
The result should allow both to move on from this storyline as Anderson proved himself to Bully Ray although I have no idea which direction either will go in.

TNA Knockout Championship: 
Winter vs. Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne

Once Karen Jarrett had named herself as guest referee the result of this match and even the finish were pretty predictable which is a shame as it took away from Velvet Sky winning her first championship. 
The match itself wasn't great and was a combination of moves we had seen in the build up to the event, annoyingly I found Madison Rayne screeching to be the most entertaining aspect of this match but the fact I could hear her just showed how dead the crowd was for this bout.
Although Velvet has started this reign with a cheap victory I hope she goes on to better bouts and can hold the title proudly.

I Quit Match: 
AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels 

The pre match video for this match was awesome showing the history between the two right from the early days of TNA right up to now, it's just a shame and a disappointment that the bout didn't match that awesomeness. What could have stole the show ended up as a promo disguised as a match and proved a point against me when I said that I Quit matches don't stick in the memory, but this will only for the fact Daniels said he was going to murder AJ in cold blood which instantly took me away from the match as it made me feel uncomfortable. 
The wrestling that was interwoven between microphones being shoved in each others faces was actually exciting stuff but there was not a lot on show especially for what is the biggest night of the TNA calendar and the end of the match deflated me even more as Daniels quit while running away.
This feud looks like it is far from over but please leave the screwdrivers and talk of murder out of the next bouts and just let two talented guys go at each other with what they do best. 

Jeff Jarrett vs. Jeff Hardy 

Not a match but a promo / brawl which had no place on this event, it would have worked on the pre show or on Impact but not taking up PPV time, this was obviously the reason the tag match was bumped and I can't really complain as I didn't pay for the event but for all those that did... they paid for wrestling and not a promo!They did the brawl / keep apart thing very well but it shouldn't have been here and my highlight was when the crowd started a D'Lo chant when D'Lo Brown hit the ring to help break the two up. 

Sting vs. Hulk Hogan

The 'match' for the company was all stacked in Hogan's favour with the referee being the son of Bischoff (as found out earlier in a off vignette), and Ric Flair coming down to be in his corner but despite all this Jackson James eventually declared Sting the winner after Hogan tapped out. 
The match was actually acceptable from the two and wasn't the giant mess I was expecting but it was the post match that grabbed all the headlines as Immortal beat down on Sting until Hogan Hulked Up and helped clear the ring of every one else. 
This was pure nostalgia with Hulkamania running wild, hopefully it will be Hogan's last run as a face and allow him to retire as a fan favourite as him using up screen time over younger athletes is starting the wear thin on me, especially with his comments aimed at Roode and Styles. At least Dixie Carter has control back and Immortal's choke hold on Impact has been loosened.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode

What should have been the crowning event of the evening ended flat and in usual TNA manner with a screw-job ending with Angle cheating to win by holding onto the ropes while Bobby was in a ring position which would be usually classed as a rope break although he wasn't touching them.
The ending of the match was not the only problem with the match, it was over in 15 minutes and Bobby Roode seemed to only be allowed to apply the crossface from his arsenal of moves. The crowd was split for the two athletes and I have no doubt these two could have put on a 30 minute plus epic match, of course I don't know how much of the timing was down to Angle's injuries that he seems to be carrying but the title should have changed hands here to give the event some prestige and allowing the event to finish with Roode celebrating with James Storm in the middle of the ring.
Fans have been invested in Bobby Roode since he won the BFG series and that feels like it was all for nothing, yes he gained a massive push and was put over as credible threat by kicking out of three angle slams and controlling some of the match but the moment has been missed, not only does this deflate Roode but also the BFG series, the WWE did not build up the Royal Rumble by having the winner nearly win the title at Wrestlemania.
The result seems to be a direct effect of Hogan saying in the media days before the event that Roode isn't ready for the big time, not the next guy and backing Hardy and Roode's team mate James Storm (who as you all know by now is currently TNA World Heavyweight Champion.. but that's for another day) over him which is quite damning going into the biggest match of your career so far. 

I have to say kudos to the crowd in Philadelphia for giving this event character and the feeling of a big event, it was good to see TNA outside of the Impact Zone as PPV events tend to look less important in the same setting as Impact Wrestling every week.
Bound For Glory started of really strongly with the first half providing entertaining matches but the latter letting the event down which again in true TNA style is completely opposite to the industry standard, a promo which was pretty much repeated on the following Impact and two matches that could have been match of the year candidates being wasted.
The event may as well have been called Bound For Hulkamania as nothing was outshining Hogan's face turn, as news worthy as it is and a draw for those who do not usually follow or only have an interest in TNA he has buried a few names to do so and those names are athletes who can actually wrestle, logical booking has been thrown out of the window, if the BFG Series is ever used again it offers little hope of the eventual winner gaining the title and once again TNA have left me frustrated and let down!

Robbie G


Impact Wrestling Musings 15/10/2011

- This week's show started off with a fairly by the numbers promo from our World Heavyweight Champion, Kurt Angle. Absolutely everything that you would expect from a go-home show leading into a PPV. Bobby Roode did much the same, while putting over all his virtues to win fan support this one last time.

- Having a "dominant" heel like Samoa Joe go on a year long losing streak just flat out doesn't make sense to me. Fans still want to chant "Joe's gonna kill you!" in every single match of his, yet TNA continue to book him looking weak and ineffective, completely defeating the point. I know they want Crimson and Matt Morgan to become bankable stars, but it shouldn't come at the cost of Joe's credibility.

- While I was somewhat interested in the addition of a female component to Ink Inc, TNA just devoted a fair amount of airtime to a feud that got bumped from the Bound for Glory card. Admittedly, they filmed this episode weeks ago and had yet to make the final decision, but someone must've had an inkling (pun intended *snigger*).

- Is it just me or has the recently flourishing X Division grown stagnant again? Everything always seems to come down to the same four men of Austin Aries, Brian Kendrick, Kid Kash and Jesse Sorensen. While all talented, it's the same combinations week in, week out and I'm quickly losing interest. In my opinion, they need to keep the X Division Title on Aries and move on to a fresh opponent that can bring something new to the table, because the Wizard of Odd ain't cutting it.

- The Knockouts promo was hilarious for two reasons - Karen Jarrett trying to be clever through rhyming (what is she, Etrigan the Demon?) and Velvet Sky needing to stand on tippy toes to get into Karen's eyeline!

- AJ Styles cut a very cool backstage promo, which added much needed depth to his feud with Christopher Daniels. Before this, their interactions had been abit shallow, but I really liked the idea that the feud had spilled over into their family life and now the wives weren't talking or the kids playing. Also, on an unrelated sidenote, Hulk Hogan has been running his mouth in interviews, claiming AJ Styles is a lost cause. I would like to refute this vehemently! The only major angle Hogan has thrown Styles' way in the entire time he's been there was playing Ric Flair Junior, which was disasterously miscast for a fan favourite family man like AJ. He proves every week that he's a top guy and deserves a mainevent spot, but is constantly held back because Hogan isn't looking for a wrestler as his next big thing. What a douche...

- Who the hell booked Ken Anderson vs Scott Steiner? I mean, I can just about tolerate Anderson in the ring, but Steiner is way past his prime and looks on the verge of keeling over in the ring with every passing match. Hell, I think it even inspired a few BORING chants from the live crowd. If TNA ever need to cut some fat and shore up their bottom line, let Steiner go and nobody would miss him, I guarantee it. I suppose the major moment from this segment was Abyss' screwup and subsequent beatdown from Immortal. I'm loathe to see anyone in Immortal, but with them losing yet another vital piece of the puzzle in Abyss, just who the hell is going to be left backing up Hogan and Bischoff.

- I really hope they don't have James Storm turn on Bobby Roode because Kurt Angle put doubt in his mind. Just because one guy is finding singles success, doesn't mean he immediately needs to feud with his former partner! Bound for Glory should end with Beer Money standing triumphant, hand in hand, ala Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania. But otherwise, Roode had an impressive display in his handicap match, even coming out the victor. The hero's journey of Booby Roode remains one of the best stories TNA has ever told. Just don't mess it up with the ending, okay?

- In an effort to get Jeff Hardy over with the fanbase again (not that he needed it), he saved Beer Money from a beatdown. A cliche move, but a neccessary one if they ever want Hardy to be useful again. Saying that, I'm utterly confused by his backstage confrontation with Jeff Jarrett. Neither of them are booked for the PPV, so frankly I don't even see the point of them being there, let alone making noise about them being in the building. What this says to me is that Hogan and Sting are going to make for such a piss poor showing, that interference from Hardy and Jarrett will most likely salvage the whole affair. Am I getting warm?

- The closing contract signing between Sting and Hogan was downright terrible. They both looked completely disinterested, lacked any intensity whatsoever and even when it came to the traditional upturning of the table, Hogan did it in such a lazy manner, I actually laughed. The man has absolutely nothing left to offer the company and he knows it. The fact he's just had a contract extension for another two years must be a vain cash grab because it's certainly not that he wants to be there. The ultimate insult being that we've probably seen every move Hulk has left in his repetoire. He'll smack Sting with a chair, "punch" him a few times, back him into a corner, choke him with his foot and that's pretty much all he'll be able to do. Thank god there's a worthwhile mainevent in Kurt Angle vs Bobby Roode, as if this PPV was being sold soley on the merit of Hogan and Sting, TNA would be in serious trouble.


Bound For Glory: The Preview

We are only days away from the biggest date in the TNA Impact Wrestling calendar, the marquee Pay Per View event for the company, Bound For Glory and the excitement is building up here at Canned Heat so what better time to have a look at the event on paper match by match and hopefully get everybody as excited as we are for this blockbuster event. 

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match: 
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode

Where better place to start than the main event of the evening, the match that has been building up since June when the BFG series was announced, 12 wrestlers had the opportunity for this shot but it was Beer Money's Booby Roode who came up trumps once the dust had settled. In very much a 'Rocky' way Roode has been billed as the underdog, going into the BFG series carrying a shoulder injury but overcoming all the odds and looking every bit the main eventer on the road to this match which if this were a movie he would end up with the gold around his waist come Sunday night but Kurt Angle is the best for a reason and wont be so easy to overcome, especially in his home state. 
This match has potential to be the match of the year, Roode has shown over the last few months that he can step up with the best in the business and Kurt being one of the all time greats always brings his A game and will want to show why he is the best and add another scalp to his collection as he looks to extend his title reign. 
With this match being yet another Immortal vs. Fortune battle it runs the potential to suffer from a run in which I hope management has decided to go against as far too many matches recently have suffered from multiple run in's and with this being the grandest scale would cheapen the result and the PPV as a whole as both of these guys have what it takes to put on a classic one on one match with no interruptions. 
The two should rise to the challenge and blood sweat and tears will be shed in the most unpredictable and exciting title match of the last year!

Sting vs. Hulk Hogan

10 years ago we would have been billing this battle as the biggest of the year but it is hard to be excited about this 'match'. Hogan said on Impact that he will be fighting Sting rather than wrestling him, but it has been months in the making and I can't help but feel it will be the biggest anticlimax the business has seen in a long time.
The only compelling thing about this match is the fact Hogan said the fate of the company will depend on the result, with him giving up control if Sting wins which would end Immortals vice like grip on television time, booking and revolving door champions.
I hope these two prove me wrong and provide an entertaining match worthy of the biggest PPV, don't get me wrong as both are legends of the business but with Sting being the only active athlete in the match and Hogan only a few months after a major back operation I can't help but think this match will be a massive Immortal beat down.  

Full Metal Mayhem: 
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn

This rivalry needs no introduction as it has so much history which was reignited at Destination X and what better place to hold this match than in the ECW home town of Philadelphia!
At Destination X the two provided a solid match which was arguably RVD's best in TNA in some time and I hope the two go all out to try and steal the show in what will be a homage to ECW. The atmosphere for this match should be electric with the crowd eating up the hardcore action and I can only imagine this match will involve a number of high risk bumps that will invoke a number of 'Holy Shit' chants.
It's difficult to predict who is going to walk out the victor in this match, that is if either of them are able to walk out afterwards, but either way the crowd will be the ultimate winners.  

Falls Count Anywhere: 
Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray

Again another match that is playing to the hardcore nature of Philadelphia and I expect these two to deliver a hard hitter all over the arena and possibly even further. The two have been at each others throats since Anderson joined Immortal and all things came to blows once Anderson dropped the title much to the displeasure of Bully Ray.
This brawl will be brutal and ones the live crowd should lap up if done correctly and should be another hit for the PPV, again it is yet another match where it is difficult to pick a winner and hopefully Bully Ray's pride will keep Immortal out of the action. Lets all start the chant now "we want tables"!

I Quit Match: 
AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels

The second match where the history can do it's own talking, mainly as we don't have enough room here to document it! This match has come about after the Fortune stable mates and best friends have fallen out with Daniels heel turn as he lost at Destination X and then won the rematch on Impact.
I'm not crazy about the stipulation, as I Quit matches are historically not matches that stick in the memory, mainly as they concentrate on submission moves by this may be different as AJ and Daniels are two of the best talents in TNA with a high flying approach.
AJ has never lost an I Quit match in TNA before but records are there to be broken, as both athletes bring the best out of each other so we can expect one hell of a contest and with it being the biggest stage to perform there will no doubt be some crazy bumps taken in this battle of one up man-ship and could be another show stealer.

X Division Championship:
Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick

A rematch from No Surrender with the roles reversed with the wizard of odd looking to regain the title he lost a month ago. Although it is unlikely that he will be successful as it very unusual for a title to be handed back and forth between athletes and I hope A Double has a lengthy spell with the belt around his waist.
Despite the outcome being pretty predictable the journey should be a good one as both have the ability to put on a great match, so expect some hard hits mixed with some high flying action.   

TNA Knockout Championship: 
Winter vs. Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne

The champion, two former champions and the fan favourite who is yet to become champion, Winter will have her hands full trying to keep hold of her title. 
In very much a similar angle to the Heavyweight Championship, all of the challengers have earned their spot in this match by winning one on one matches against selected other knockouts to stamp Karen Jarret's authority over the division. 
This match should be an interesting affair as a number of conflicting attributes come into play between all the dynamic personalities entering the ring, but whether Winter uses red mist to win or Velvet Sky rises to the top for the first time in her career we will be entertained by the ability and storytelling of all four knockouts and I can not call who will come out the victor.  

World Tag Team Championship: 
Mexican American vs. Ink Inc.

I was actually looking forward to a match between two actual teams with a bit of history between them rather than a team knocked up in one show but this match has been dropped from the card onto the pre-show which is a shame although does allow the other matches more time.
Although not actually on the PPV this match should still be solid and hopefully be exciting enough to entice people to buy the event and give a good account for what is left of a tag division in TNA, it will no doubt be won by Mexican American as title very rarely change hands on a pre-show.  

Triple Threat:
Samoa Joe vs. Crimson vs. Matt Morgan

The late addition to the card is no surprise as funnily enough in my first edit of this preview mentioned all three as missing from the card, so either TNA management have inside info to this blog or were just on the same wavelength. 
Although I'm sure this match will be interesting but I don't think it will add very much to the Bound For Glory card which is already stacked with what should be great matches, this could have been held back and given greater importance at Turning Point but is being showcased here most likely in an attempt for us to try and like Crimson as we all know he is going to win as that undefeated streak isn't going anywhere just yet. 
I'm glad Samoa Joe gets an outing on the biggest stage of the year but I would prefer it if he were matched with someone who would bring out the best in him, just as I am not a huge fan of 'big' guys.
The tension between all three could work out and if all three raise there game I may end up being pleasantly surprised. 

The event is solid throughout the evening and the outcomes of all the matches are unpredictable, providing run in's are kept to a minimum and clean finishes are implemented in the important matches we could be about to witness the best PPV of the year.
There are a few things missing from the card, the obvious one being the lack of a TV Title match, as TNA's second title seems to have just disappeared from the company in recent months. As we have mentioned here a few times this title needs building back up and this would have been the perfect opportunity to give someone else the belt and defend the gold week in week out. 
Besides the TV title there are a number of big names missing from the card including the likes of Gunner, James Storm and the King of the Mountain himself Jeff Jarrett to name but a few but I wouldn't be surprised if one or two showed up through out the event although hopefully not ruining any of the matches.
Jeff Hardy is also scheduled to make some sort of appearance but what capacity that will be in is anyone's guess. 
All that's left to say is roll on Sunday! (or Wednesday for us in the UK)


Those Truly Bound for Glory

With the recent Bound for Glory series and the subsequent push of Bobby Roode as number one contender, it's clear that TNA are looking to the future, in search of that one big breakout name that'll turn the business around. As such, I thought I would take a look at Impact Wrestling's roster and point out any I see as being stars in the making. This will vary wildly from those I think SHOULD be headlining shows, to the guys I know WILL end up headlining shows.

The Experiment - Bobby Roode

For all the while TNA have been active, this is probably their first true attempt at making their own genuine maineventer. No matter who they've inherited from WWE, no matter their vast array of internet darlings, this is the first time I've ever felt genuine momentum behind one of their talents. All the pieces seem to fall exactly into place to form the perfect hero's journey. He's part of a wildly successful tag team (one goes onto greatness and the other...you know how it goes), he overcame an injury, he clawed his way through the BFG series to victory, he defeated all the obstacles placed in his way by the villain and now, on the grandest stage (in TNA), he stands triumphant. That is the most coherent and compelling story I've ever witnessed on TNA programming. Sometimes it can be that simple, and given one last rub by defeating Kurt Angle, one of the best professional wrestlers in history, I honestly believe Bobby Roode will be a worthy TNA World Heavyweight Champion. I'm not saying they won't botch his run as champ, but that's for the next few months to tell. For now, it pays to be Roode.

The Cruiserweight - Austin Aries

For years, I heard whispers about the talent of one Austin Aries. But in all those years, he never truly emerged in either of the big promotions. Even when he first arrived in TNA, to much fanfare, it was an aborted venture and he quickly found his way back to the Independent scene. Now, a few years later, things are looking up for ol' Double A. He was the standout performer at the X Division themed PPV, Destination X, winning himself the contract on offer. This raised profile soon brought him into conflict with then X Division Champion, Brian Kendrick. A feud which would benefit him greatly, as he would eventually win the X Division Title for the very first time and establish himself as a force to be reckoned with. If I were TNA, this wouldn't be the end of his push either. Aries isn't just a standout of the X Division, he's a standout of the entire program. Remember how the likes of Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero worked their way up from the Cruiserweight division to full blown World Champions? Well, I see that same potential in Austin Aries. The X Division is a good introduction, now let's see about elevating him even further.

The Dead Cert - Crimson

Over the past year, Crimson has clearly been management's pet project. Even more so, they have delusions of Bill Goldberg. Where once WCW dared to tread, TNA blunder right in. They've picked a big hulking guy with a tough past, given him an undefeated streak, wins over some of the biggest names in the company and sat back to wait for the fans to pile in - only they haven't. I've come to believe even those who initially pushed him have regretted their decision and are slowly toning it down. For example, the way in which he dominated the Bound for Glory series, only to pull out suddenly at the end due to "injury". Basically, he didn't have nearly enough heat with the crowd and they couldn't risk having him mainevent their biggest PPV of the year. However, I don't think we've heard the last of Crimson. This faux injury was designed to keep him from winning the BFG series, yet retain his undefeated streak for use later. When management feels the time is right, I'll bet you anything Crimson finds himself at the top of the card, challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, whether we fans want him there or not. Ladies and Gentlemen, TNA's John Cena in waiting!

The TnA - Velvet Sky

While her time with the company has been extremely beneficial for both parties, I think Velvet still has alot to achieve. Ever since she cut that promo with Mickie James about wanting to become Knockouts Champion, I've pretty much taken it for granted that it''ll happen at Bound for Glory. She's the closest thing to a homegrown Knockout that the company has and given the right push at their biggest PPV, I think Velvet Sky could be the breakout star of the division. She's only a couple of steps from becoming TNA's version of Trish Stratus. Viewers come to let the pigeons loose and stay for the wrestling. Mission accomplished.

The Wildcard - James Storm

As I said earlier, typically when a tag team breaks up, one member goes on to greatness, while the other damn near disappears aka The Marty Janetty effect. However, Beer Money are no ordinary tag team and I don't think their breakup will be ordinary either. In the past few weeks, since No Surrender, Storm has put on a series of hugely entertaining matches and followed them up with promos to take notice of. While you could accuse him of riding Bobby Roode's coattails into the mainevent, would such an effect really be so bad? In seeing each other's performances, Roode and Storm are raising their games to keep up with one another, making for wonderful television in the process.