Prowrestling.netreports that this week's show was the most watched episode of Impact since last January, with a 1.21 rating (up from 1.11 last week) and 1.555 million viewers. I've been excited by the TNA product since Bound for Glory, so I'm pleased that they've been able to win back viewers that they lost with the stale Aces and Eights saga.
The main plotline this week dealt with Sting putting his contract renewal option on the line for a shot at Magnus's unified world title.
Dixie's lawyer explained that the Mysterious Investor had called a board meeting during Impact. Amusingly, this meeting wasn't scheduled during Impact so it could be televised, but rather scheduled so that Dixie had to choose between attending the meeting or attending the Impact taping. Carter reminded us what a strategic mastermind she is, by choosing to hang out on Impact fretting about the world title match rather than fighting for control of her company. Her lawyer told her that the new investor wanted her to play fair this week, and to let Sting have one of his allies at ringside to block interference from the Dixieland contingent.
Ultimately Sting was aided by Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle, but the former Main Event Mafia good fellas were unable to overcome the combined interference of Ego, the Bro-Mans Trio, and ECIII.
If this is the end of Sting, then I commend them for giving him a very respectful final battle, and a heartfelt promo in his honor by Kurt.
We got some character building segments in Dixieland with ECIII encouraging Rockstar Spud to feel confident about his match with Samoa Joe, similar to how Magnus 'encouraged' Ethan before ECIII's match with Sting on a previous episode of Impact. Dixie tried to pump up Spud as well, though she didn't seem entirely convinced of the Rockstar's chances. "Please don't get killed."
The Mysterious Investor's identity will be revealed next week, according to the Wolves in a hype video for them. The Wolves were badass this week as they mocked Dixie for acting as if they were minor enough to be willing to dance through a try-out match. The Bro-Mans better be careful, I'm guessing the Wolves have caught scent of the belts.
Speaking of the Bro-Mans it looks like their title match next week might not be against EY and Park, but rather EY and Abyss! Regarding Abyss, I am always disappointed by the TNA fans not starting "drop the title" chants whenever he shows up. The TV title has too much potential for it to be forgotten about all of the time.
1. Gunner(c) defeated James Storm in a Feast or Fired briefcase on a pole match 2. Austin Aries defeated Chris Sabin (c) for the X Division Championship in a match with Velvet Sky locked in a sharktank-type cage 3. Kurt Angle defeated Bobby Roode in a regular cage match, thus he will remain eligible for the TNA Hall of Fame 4. Samoa Joe made Rockstar Spud submit 5. Magnus (c) defeated Sting (w/Samoa Joe) in a no disqualification, no countout match for the TNA Championship, and thus tore up Sting's new contract (edited by Dionysus on 24.1.14 2243)
Edited to add: Actually, according to The Torch, it turns out that this was the highest rated episode since November 2011!
Because the dates of the broadcast depend on the local station schedules, I can't slap a hard number on the thread title. But I can identify this as the first show in the new Sinclair distribution deal. I was not a fan of the HDNet show.