This week's Impact is the monthly Open Fight Night and the main focus is that Bobby Roode will be defending his title against one of either Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, A.J. Styles or Kurt Angle; with all gunning to be the one to break the hold of Roode on the Heavyweight Championship and stop him from breaking the record of the longest title holder in TNA's history.
|Roode clutching his title|
(picture by Impact Wrestling)
The reason for this title defence is due to Hogan demanding it apart of OFN, with seemingly everybody in the locker room wanting to be the one to ruin Roode's potential record breaking reign.
With the week's build up from the qualifying matches on the last episode of Impact and the promise of a PPV quality match-up should hopefully generate a ratings bump leading into the live shows which will start the following week.
I cant help but feel that despite providing entertaining television the emphasis is being taken away from building up the main event for Slammiversary which marks the 10 year anniversary of the company. In what should be one of the most hyped matches in the companies existence on this landmark show, we will instead be getting a match with two weeks of hype.
There are a few ways around this issue to make the main event at Slammiversary special, one of these would be to make it a rematch from OFN if Roode cheats to victory as he has done for most of his reign; the second would be if the 'Cowboy' James Storm returns at the climax of OFN or at the start of the first live Impact, the history is there between the two wrestlers and does not need to be built up as much as any other opponent would be, especially after the conclusion from Lockdown resulting in Storm taking a break from the company and despite only being away for a month his return would be generate a big buzz, especially if it was with the live crowd as was becoming the biggest baby face in the company. If Storm were to be Roode's challenger at Slammiversary the match would likely need a stipulation such as two out of three falls or no DQ due to the nature of the previous bouts between the two.
The final possibility is the least likely and that Roode will lose his title on OFN, I know many fans want to see him lose but I think this would be the biggest throw away since Roode actually won the title all those months ago and would require the biggest build up to the PPV.
It's a shame that the timing for this has come about as the idea of Roode losing his title on the day he could become the longest ever holder is excellent and will make exciting television but would have been better suited leading up to Destination X where the title probably won't be defended. I'm sure TNA management have thought about these issues and on the back of the strong Sacrifice event we have nothing to worry about... just yet anyway.