28 October 2014

TNA Tuesday Randomania - Oct 28, 2014

- This week, I'd like to begin with the infamous January 7th episode of Impact that everyone seems to be talking about without any sort of confirmation.  The closest to it is a report from a couple of months ago, in which the rumor was that Dixie Carter had a meeting with the talent during the last Impact tapings in New York City and shared with them her belief that Impact will be on TV on January 7th.  Since then, we seem to constantly mention the date as if it's set in stone.  We've also been anticipating an announcement for a TV deal by TNA and the longer we wait, the more anxious we become.  I think it's important to realize that an announcement can come at any time, even right before Thanksgiving or during the early days of December.  As long as a deal has been agreed to with a new network, it then becomes a matter of what TNA can or can not announce and when.  So the announcement of the TV deal is not a true indicator of whether or not TNA will return from hiatus on January 7th.  The true indicator, however, will be another announcement.  TNA will need to announce another set of Impact tapings soon in order to begin the process of promoting the shows and selling tickets for early January.  Typically, TNA announces tapings approximately six weeks in advance so if January 7th is the target date then an announcement should come by the third week of November.  TNA will most likely go live (or tape delayed) on January 7th and tape more episodes on the days following.  Of course, TNA could be planning to announce the TV deal and the Impact tapings at the same time.  Whichever the case may be, the next month or so will be telling.  If an announcement for Impact tapings does not come by Thanksgiving, then it's safe to assume that TNA will not return on January 7th.

- The saga of Kurt Angle's contract situation continues and I thought I'd look at this from another perspective: the kayfabe one. From a storyline perspective, have the writers given us any indication of whether or not Angle will be leaving TNA soon.  Firstly, I'd like to make it clear that the tapings for the current shows were all taped between September 16th and the 19th, which is a couple of days prior to Angle's contract expiring.  So it stands to reason that his character would be written off by the November 19th episode of Impact if the two sides did not come to an agreement. This is why it's very important to monitor Kurt Angle's progress as a character in the coming weeks.  Thus far, he has remained the Director of Wrestling Operations with no hint of being removed.  This week, however, he will appear on Impact in a capacity other than his regular duties and that's to be the special guest referee for the Lashley vs Bobby Roode world title match.  This could mean nothing but if we were for a moment to consider that Angle has clashed with MVP and Lashley recently, could it possibly lead to a feud down the line.  It's something to take into account obviously because Angle has already gone on record as to say that he likely won't wrestle again until January.  If the writers begin to develop a feud between Kurt Angle and MVP and/or Lashley during the Bethlehem shows, it'd be a good indication, to me, that Angle has re-signed with TNA and will be in the company's plans going forward. So look for any teases during this week's Lashley vs Roode match.

- Speaking of the Lashley vs Bobby Roode world title match, it'll be very interesting to see which of the two will essentially be the first world heavyweight champion going into the new year as TNA begins a new era on a new network.  I say that because I believe that the winner of this week's match will be TNA's last champion in 2014 and hence, the first champion in 2015.  With that in mind, I don't think TNA can go wrong with either wrestler, both of whom have shown to be reliable main event stars. But only one can be the face of the company, the man who will lead TNA in the coming months as they begin to rebuild their brand, their identity, and their following.  And that's Bobby Roode. The reality is, right now, Roode is TNA's best overall performer.  He exudes the sort of traits that one looks for in a pro wrestling superstar.  Roode is the ultimate pro wrestling/sports entertainment hybrid that promotions dream of creating.  He's the total package. And if TNA are smart, they will put the world title belt on him on Wednesday night and promote him as their top star for the next several months, and promote him as their top babyface.  Some might scoff at this but I believe that TNA needs to elevate someone with the credentials to represent them as a company, their version of John Cena if you will.  The only difference being that Bobby Roode is a better wrestler, a better talker, a better actor, and more importantly, he's what Cena could never be, genuine.

- And lastly, the tag team division situation is currently as interesting as it's been in years.  A tournament is currently taking place in order to determine the #1 contenders for the tag team championships and in the semi-finals, it will be the Hardys vs Ethan Carter III & Tyrus and Samoa Joe & Low Ki vs MVP & Kenny King.  I have to hand it to TNA for coming up with what are essentially two highly anticipated matches that are as unpredictable as they are interesting. Any one of the potential combinations could face each other in the finals, presumably next week but I'm personally looking forward to a finals match between the Hardys and Samoa Joe and Low Ki.  I realize that they're both face teams but keep in mind that the tag title series which concluded recently involved three face teams.  While that is happening, the current tag team champions, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, might be at risk of making an even bigger enemy in James Storm and his revolution. Last week, we witnessed as Storm set his sights on Richards and if my memory serves me right, anyone who's done so in the past has befallen the same fate, they've become a member of his group.  Will Davey Richards (and possibly Eddie Edwards) be next or could we see Storm's recruitment of a member of the Wolves backfire, triggering a volatile situation? It should be interesting to see how the writers proceed but one thing I should point out is the fact that James Storm technically still has the Feast or Fired briefcase for a tag title shot in his possession.  Gunner gave it to him in the UK earlier this year as a sign of their friendship and the stipulation is in effect until December or through the end of the year.  If the company hasn't discarded it, I have to think that it could come into play here.  Very interesting indeed.

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