The time has come the new owners said, to talk of many things, of tapings being canceled and shows that aren’t great in the first place. We’re up to the biggest show of the year for TNA and, depending on which set of rumors you believe, it might be one of their very last shows. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just look at the show itself and the matches being offered.
Grand Championship: Eddie Edwards vs. Aron Rex
We’ll start with a match that had to be changed at the last minute as Eddie Edwards faces Aron Rex for the inaugural Grand Championship. This is that wacky tournament with the round system, a trio of judges and a nine minute time limit, assuming that isn’t extended for the title match. Edwards is a replacement for an injured Drew Galloway, who had been feuding with Rex for weeks leading up to this. That’s the best possible option as Edwards only lost to Galloway via decision so this is far from a stretch.
Assuming Galloway doesn’t interfere, there’s no reason for Edwards to win this. He’s very talented but there’s a good chance that Rex was going to win the title in the first place. This also sets up a match down the line against a healthy Galloway, so I see no logical reason to not go with Rex here. The wrestling should be strong as well and that’s something this card needs.
Bound For Gold
We’ll stick with the non-traditional matches as we look at Bound for Gold, which is basically a Royal Rumble for a future title match against an opponent of their choosing. Why this wouldn’t just be for a World Title match isn’t clear but TNA would probably have the winner challenge for the Tag Team Titles or the Grand Championship.
At the moment, the match consists of:
Tyrus, Robbie E., Jesse Godderz, Baron Dax, Grado, Mahabali Shera, Rockstar Spud, Braxton Sutter, Eli Drake, Basile Baraka
On paper, there is no logical option here other than Drake. He’s been sniffing around the World Title scene for a few weeks now and is the kind of guy you could put out there as a new top heel in a promotion needing some fresh talent on top. That being said, Tyrus was a big surprise winner last year so you can’t count out the possibility of a swerve with a tag wrestler or X-Division wrestler winning and cashing in on the same night, assuming that’s allowed. I’ll play it safe and go with Drake though while really hoping I’m right.
Moose vs. Mike Bennett
In one of the two traditional singles matches on the card, we have Moose vs. Mike Bennett. These two were split up way too soon and could have been a dominant pairing for a long time. You could make a good case for either guy winning here and there really isn’t a wrong choice either way.
That being said, I think I’ll go with Moose. Bennett has lost some steam in recent weeks after the feud with Carter ended and he’s just not as entertaining as he’s been leading up to that. Moose vs. Lashley has the potential to be a big hoss fight with two guys beating the heck out of each other and there’s really not much of a reason to have Moose lose his first big match in the promotion. Bennett is the kind of guy that can talk his way back into top form so we’ll go with Moose, who needs his first big win.
Knockouts Title: Maria Kanellis-Bennett vs. Gail Kim
Back to the regular matches with Maria Kanellis-Bennett defending the Knockouts Title against Gail Kim. Now this is an interesting case as Kim is going into the Hall of Fame on this show (it’s deserved but TNA has hammered it in so hard that it’s gotten tiresome) but also might pick up another Knockouts Title on the same show. However, the character that the fans have gotten behind is the champ’s apprentice Allie, who won the title for a week and then laid down so Kanellis-Bennett could win the title.
That’s where this story has fallen apart: TNA has built up everyone other than Kim, who is a complete wrestler while the champ hasn’t really had a regular match yet because she’s much more of a character than a wrestler. In theory, Kim should squash her in about five minutes but there’s almost no way that happens.
I’ll go with Kim getting the title back while hoping TNA does the smart thing and finds a way to keep the title where it is before Allie gets it back later. There almost has to be a bunch of interference here or the match isn’t going to be entertaining. It’s not even a good story in the first place but Kim is important and NEEDS this extra focus far more than any other option because SHE IS A WRESTLER.
(Photo courtesy of impactwrestling.com)
Tag Team Titles: Decay vs. Hardys
Now we get to the two biggest matches on the card, starting with the Great War for the Tag Team Titles between Decay and the challenging Hardys. This has been a long feud, including Final Deletion II and all its insanity. The rules haven’t been clearly defined here but odds are it’s going to be a big hardcore match with a lot of stuff taking place outside of the arena, which I’m sure will thrill the live fans.
That being said, there’s almost no way to predict what we might see here and I’m sure it’s going to be pure insanity. I’ll take the Hardys to get the titles back here as there’s no reason for Decay to keep them any longer. Decay has held the belts for over six months already and the Hardys are already the most over act on the roster. Hopefully this signals the apex of their story though as I’m tired of hearing Matt being all insane and annoying with the voices and catchphrases so many times every week.
(Photo courtesy of impactwrestling.com)
TNA World Title: Ethan Carter III vs. Lashley
Finally, we have the main event of TNA World Champion Lashley defending against Ethan Carter III in a no holds barred match. These two have fought several times over the years with Lashley’s lone win coming by countout. Lashley has been champion since June and has basically dominated the main event scene since.
As illogical as it probably is, I’ll say Lashley retains the title here. Maybe they’ll have Moose take the title off Lashley eventually but I really don’t see the need to have Carter get the title back here as we’ve been there and done that. Unfortunately having Lashley keep the title isn’t exactly exciting either, which is the big problem with this show.
Bound For Glory really isn’t interesting. The big story is the potential sale of the company because nothing on the card is jumping off the page. Lashley vs. Carter has been done, Decay vs. Hardys has been done bigger in Final Deletion II, Moose vs. Bennett feels rushed, Kanellis-Bennett vs. Kim sounds like a mess waiting to happen, Bound For Gold is nothing worth seeing in the first place and Rex vs. Edwards is a replacement. There are two traditional matches out of six on the card, though you can almost guarantee that we’ll see an X-Division Title match added because it’s not important enough to announce in advance.
The show is probably going to be entertaining enough but I’m really not excited to watch it. TNA is in a very awkward place right now and right now having an entertaining show is really all that matters. It’s going to be interesting to see what big announcement might happen, but unfortunately that’s going to overshadow almost everything TNA has going on at their biggest show of the year.