We currently stand less than 24 hours away from the biggest PPV of the year. For months I've been super excited by the prospects of Ray/Lashley, EC3/Angle, Revolution/Team Muta, Havok/Kim, Shaw/Gunner, Bram/Abyss, and the rest of the starstudded card that TNA has done a fantastic job building up to.
But the final card was only officially announced on Impact this week, so lets see if they have made any last minute changes since the ancient Impact tapings so long ago:
ANDY WU & HIJO DEL PANTERA v. KUROSHIO IKEMEN JIRO & YUSUKE KODAMA Um. Winners: Kuroshio Ikemen Jiro & Yusuke Kodama
X-Division Championship KAZ HAYASHI v. LOW KI v. SAMOA JOE(c) Kaz was a former member of WCW's Jung Dragons. We already had a recent X-title reign by a Japanese wrestler though, so I think its too soon for a repeat. Joe's title reign feels like it needs more time. Winner: Samoa Joe
RYOTO HAMA v. ETHAN CARTER III w/out Rockstar Spud RYOTO looks like Rikishi, and since I assume EC3 could overcome Mr. Phatu, I will say that EC3 continues his undefeated streak. It will be sad seeing him without Spud though.
Wait, he's not fighting Angle? Weird. Winner: Ethan Carter III
MVP w/Kenny King? v. KAZMA SAKAMOTO Kazma was the former servant of Lord A-Train. Presumably via some occult ritual he will be channeling the spirit of the god of trains, thus presenting MVP with one of the most difficult challenges of his career. MVP has spent a great deal of time training in Japan, so I'm sure he's had enough foresight to know how to defeat a possessed wrestler. Winner: MVP
MANIK v. MINORU TANAKA Manik gets his own PPV match? At Bound for Glory? I guess Manik wins, lest he dishonor Storm's Revolution. Winner: Manik
Knockouts' Championship: VELVET SKY w/Angelina Love(?) v. HAVOK(c) With Kim injured, and Angelina bitchy about Velvet getting the calendar cover position, I suppose its prime time for this match. Also, Sky and Love cowering in fear of Havok on Impact this week properly sets the stage for wonderful Havok mayhem. Winner: Havok
HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CELEBRATORY MATCH: TEAM 3-D (Bully Ray and Devon) v. ABYSS & TOMMY DREAMER Curious. Ray isn't pursuing the world title. I fear that he's forgotten about his promise to put team MVP through tables. I guess he got too exhausted by how long it took to table Dixie. Anyway, I trust that Team 3-D remembers how to beat Dreamer. Winner: Team 3-D
MAIN EVENT: REVOLUTION (James Storm and The Great Sanada) v. TAJIRI & THE GREAT MUTA Wait. No Lashley title defense? No Lashley/Roode, Lashley/Aries, Lashley/someone? Man, Austin Aries really did screw with Angle's Bound for Glory booking when he challenged for the wrong title on the wrong night.
At least we are getting ONE of the matches that they spent months building up to.
On the one hand we have James Storm who has been feeling down on himself since Gunner surpassed him in the world title chase. He has chosen to cope with his failings by becoming a cult leader who rescues people from the shadows of others. Storm has rescued Manik from those bad influences who he had been following, and Sanada from feeling as if he needed to be subservient to Muta. By doing this Storm hopes that he will be remembered as more than Gunner/Roode/Harris' tag team partner.
Unfortunately for Storm, while he is a powerful symbol, as a wrestler he is not on Muta's level. I expect Muta to defeat Storm, thus James will be left wondering if he is now also in the shadows of Manik and The Great Sanada. Winners: Tajiri & The Great Muta
This gives me hope that there are smart people still in the creative/booking crews in the WWE. That makes total sense to me. Hopefully we'll see a little more subtlety in the booking these days, even if it is just little things like that.