WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH Bobby Roode (champion) vs Jeff Hardy vs James Storm vs Bully Ray This should be a pretty good match but the build hasn’t dropped in quality the last few weeks. Hardy wasn’t on TV the last few weeks and has largely been forgotten. Storm hasn’t cut a promo in a few weeks and having Roode and Storm wrestle each other a few weeks ago was really stupid as they continue to water down that match. Storm came off as a bit player in this match after this weeks Impact. Sting being named the enforcer and going over Roode on the go home show made Roode look weak and put the attention on a guy that isn’t even in the match. They do continue to book Bully Ray strong as he and Roode are having issues and Ray could have saved Roode in the tag match on Impact but decided not to so Roode comes into the world title match banged up. I suspect we’ll have a ref bump in the match and Roode will snake a pin on Bully Ray or Hardy and Sting is forced to make the count. I’m guessing we’ll get Sting Vs Roode at Victory Road and Hardy, Storm and Ray face off in a number one contenders match.
Gunner (w/ Eric Bischoff) vs. Garrett Bischoff (w/ Hulk Hogan) If you haven’t heard, Garrett Bischoff is the future of the business according to Hulk Hogan. You know much like Abyss is TNA’s version of John Cena and The Renegade was supposed to be the next big star fifteen years ago. This match being thrown in the semi Main Event slot is a disgrace. Garrett is pretty much another Erik Watts p without a good dropkick. The fans shit all over Garrett in the UK but his dad edited that out and threw in piped in cheers. Before it was announced that Hogan would be in Garrett’s corner I figured Gunner would go over thanks to Eric to set up a tag match at Lockdown, but with Hogan in Garrett’s corner I’ll go with Garrett to win. Poor Gunner was built up but taking out RVD and others just so Garrett could beat him yet again. If this PPV was held in any other arena the fans would shit all over it, but with it in the Impact Zone we’ll get either dueling chants or total silence.
“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels) If given fifteen minutes this could be a show stealer. I may be one of the few into this storyline because I think Daniels has done a great job as the smarmy heel and Kazarian for once is showing some personality in playing the reluctant heel. Daniels and Styles had a great match on Impact and I’m expecting this one to be really good. I’ll go with Kaz winning this one thanks to Daniels. I’m looking forward to the eventual payoff to this storyline. I am assuming there is one.
TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH Matt Morgan & Crimson (champions) vs. Samoa Joe & Magnus Magnus cut the promo of his career in promoting this match on Impact. Morgan and Crimson have no chemistry and really are a very boring tag team. Magnus and Joe on the other hand have good chemistry work well together and are far more capable of having good matches than Morgan and Crimson are. They are a very intriguing tag team IMO. Hogan has done some interviews where he’s praised Magnus and said that he’s stepped up. With that I’ll say TNA does the right thing and puts the belts on Magnus and Joe.
X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH Austin Aries (champion) vs Alex Shelley This could be the best X division match since the excellent Shelley Vs Sabin match at Genesis back in ’09. If these guys are given 15-20 minutes we’ve got a very early contender for match of the year. These guys are two of the best all round wrestlers in the business and should be getting the push that stiff Garrett Bischoff is getting. I feel like the feud has cooled off after a really hot start due to neither guy getting mic time after their great promo exchange a few weeks ago. I hope this feud continues and gets more shine no matter who wins. Since Shelley went over Aries on Impact ‘ll predict Aries goes over by cheating.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH Gail Kim (champion) vs Tara They had a really good match on Impact and besides for Sarita these two are the best workers in the knockouts division. Gail has only jobbed once since returning to TNA and that was to Tara a few weeks ago and that was due to Madison Rayne screwing up. I’ll predict that Gail loses thanks to Madison screwing up yet again and Gail will end up turning face which makes sense since Mickie James is turning heel.
#1 CONTENDER’S MATCH – X DIVISION Jesse Sorensen vs Zema Ion
This should be a really good match. I really think both guys have tons of potential but neither have gotten any airtime in the past month besides for Zema jobbing to Shelley two weeks ago. Not real sure what either guy has done to warrant a shot to be the #1 contender. I’ll predict Jesse win this one to set up another Aries-Sorensen match.
Bobby Roode wins the four way, stealing the pin on Bully Ray after Storm hits his finishing move. Garrett Bischoff over Gunner Kaz over AJ after Daniels-ference Crimson and Morgan over Joe and Magnus Alex Shelley wins the X title, beating Aries Gail over Tara Sorenson over Ion
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It's probably because I'm a bit drunk, but I feel the need to predict this PPV even though I have no idea of what is happening in TNA. Here we go:
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH My first reaction was incredulity that Jeff Hardy was being booked in a world title match. My tip is Bully Ray wins because that is the exactly the last thing I would do if booking the match.
Gunner (w/ Eric Bischoff) vs. Garrett Bischoff (w/ Hulk Hogan) I've long held the belief that once a wrestler is no longer a serious competitor, ie they can no longer become the next Hulk Hogan, they should focus on becoming the next Bobby Heenan. Hulk Hogan could always be entertaining out of the ring, and much like "the Heenan Family" the "Hulk Hogan Personal Seal of Approval" could become a valid storyline device and stable. For whatever reason(s) it has never happened. Bischoff the younger wins the match.
“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles vs Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels) Tipping AJ to win.
TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH Joe will not win a match of any importance it appears. Crimson + Morgan win.
X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH This should be a great match. Defining even. Austin Aries wins this one.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH Tara used to be Victoria, right? I liked Victoria. One of my favourite Divas. Many unclean thoughts. Anyway, Tara wins!
#1 CONTENDER’S MATCH – X DIVISION I don't know who these people are. I tip Ion. Because Ion. It's just a cool word. Hmm, Stewie, ion penis. I like it!
Bobby Kaz Shelly Joe and Magnus Gail Garrett X-Divison non-finsih.
Hopefully TNA decides to hire back Jay Lethal or Creed or someone that is not as bland as these two. I see a very heel PPV with Shelly getting the big face win even though the company will stupidly think Garrett is the big face win. I do think they will turn Garrett just for the "Shock" value, but it will not be tonight.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.
Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Aries/Shelley should be great, AJ/Kazarian should be good and the main event has potential, but most of the rest looks ho hum or bad, some stuff feels more like Impact matches than PPV matches, and the show feels of little importance. The hype was poor too--I don't recall them ever running down the full card on TV. I'll probably skip the show, but Aries vs. Shelley on PPV is something I've wanted to see for months so I'll likely watch that and AJ vs. Kazarian online somewhere the next day.
Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm vs. Bully Ray - I'm not a fan of 4-ways but this could be entertaining, though "four-way w/ guest enforcer TNA PPV main event" looks like code for "finish will be an overbooked clusterfuck." I still say it's a mistake for Roode & Storm to wrestle each other so much before their inevitable singles PPV match. I see no reason to switch the title here.
Gunner vs. Garett Bischoff - This getting 2nd billing is absurd. Not only doesn't this need to be on PPV, it doesn't need to be done again anywhere but maybe a house show. I wonder if Eric realizes they don't sweeten the crowd and cut to stock footage of cheering fans on PPV so the 8,000 people who buy the show might find out his son isn't over. Garett wins, continuing his unwarranted push. This better not get more than 5 minutes. I'll laugh if this actually ends up being the semi-main.
AJ Styles vs. Kazarian - Should be good, provided they don't overbook it, it isn't mostly staling, and it gets time, which I expect it will. Daniels helps Kazarian win unbeknownst to Kazarian; gloats about him & Kazarian beating AJ in the same week; feud continues.
Matt Morgan & Crimson vs. Samoa Joe & Magnus - I don't expect much in the way of a good match here--Morgan & Crimson are involved. This should probably be kept short to minimize the amount of bad selling the faces have to do. I would like to think creative finally realizes the Crimson experiment has been a flop and this team isn't working, but I'm not going to get my hopes up too much since the Morgan big man tag team experiment keeps happening.
Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley - I'm disappointed at how little TV time this feud got, but this should be great. I hope it gets at least 15 minutes. I see no reason why it shouldn't. Looking at the line up with its mere 7 matches, which include a Garett singles match, a Crimson/Morgan tag and no Angle 15 minute match, I see no reason why it shouldn't go 15+ minutes. I figure Aries will and should retain. There's still a lot you can do with him as champ, and TNA is better served with the Guns as a team when Sabin returns, which should be soon, and putting a singles belt on Shelley would complicate that. Hopefully Shelley doesn't go back to the bench for a few months after this PPV.
Gail Kim vs. Tara - Could be decent but my interest level is low.
Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion - I'm happy to see the X Division get 2 PPV matches, but this got no build (Ion's 4 minute loss to Shelley was the only appearance this month for either guy and they never mentioned this match on TV which means no, not ever match was "well built") and this likely means Aries/Shelley, which is the best X feud they can do right now, may be an one month deal. Unless Sabin is returning this month, I'll be bummed if they drop Aries/Shelley this quickly to go back to the much weaker Aries/Sorensen feud or a weaker 3 or 4-way feud. Match itself could be fine or could be Indyriffic in a bad way. Sorensen wins because it's been a while since he's had a lackluster X title match, and if an Aries/Kash heel/heel match/program didn't work, I don't expect an Aries/Ion one will.
TNA has been putting out 1/2 decent Impacts lately so I fully expect them to totally screw up yet again.
4-way : I hope Roode will retain but I know that this will end with some kind of janky booking ruining what could on paper be a solid match.
Gunner vs Bischoff: SMH prime example of bad management decisions getting in the way of creating a good product. the one match that kills the entire PPV
Styles vs Kaz. this has all the potential in the world to be excellent. Daniels must involve himself & I'm crossing fingers that the attention being given to GB keeps booking's hands off this match.
Tag Team Championship. Joe & Magnus have been on a roll & deserve the Titles so I expect the completely bland Crimson & Morgan to retain.
Knockouts Championship: Gail is awesome & Tara still has it. if given time and allowed to work this will be great. I'm sure Madison will interfere but I can live with that. I feel that Gail needs to hold on to the Title for a while more to establish meaning to it after the summer of hot potato changes that devalued it.
X-Championship. another potentially stellar match up. #TGMTEL A Double vs Alex Shelly should be off the charts. again given time and minimal interference from booking a true show stealer.
X-contenders match. Ion is good for a young guy, Sorenson is fairly generic. still they can put on a decent opener that if they both work hard could establish a pace for the card that kicks both their careers into gear.
Our hosts tonight are Mike Tenay and...TAZ?!? Yes, Don West has been promoted and is now in charge of "merchandise development and sales initiatives," so Taz is our new color commentator. (I'm of two minds here.