08 May 2015

TNA Friday Randomania - May 8, 2015

- It's the much-anticipated live episode of Impact tonight, the first since January 7th, a night in which we saw the return of Awesome Kong and the reveal of the Beat Down Clan. So you're not alone if you're expecting some surprises on tonight's show. What those are, I don't know. But we do know that a former TNA world champion will return to be the special guest referee for the world title match between Kurt Angle and Eric Young. Initially, I thought of Lashley, who would technically be returning from injury at the hands of Young, but TNA just yesterday tweeted that the mystery guest is not on the current roster. This indicates that the former world champion will be one of the following: AJ Styles, Bully Ray, Chris Sabin, Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam, Samoa Joe, or Sting. Looking at that list, and taking into account factors such as availability and other commitments, I'd say that Joe returning to TNA tonight is a strong possibility. So is Bully Ray or Rob Van Dam. I truly believe that it will ultimately be one of the three but my gut tells me that Samoa Joe will be coming home tonight.

- I think it's interesting that both Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan on two separate podcasts within days of each other mentioned the need for TNA to start their own developmental system. This leads me to believe that it's certainly being discussed by those in charge. How far have those discussions gone, I'm not sure. But they've gone far enough to where Carter and Corgan were quite comfortable bringing it up during their interviews this week. This is an indication that TNA strongly feels there's a need for a developmental system and by listening to Corgan, it appears that it's part of a bigger plan to finally give TNA its own identity that includes creating "TNA only" stars who work a "TNA style". And you do that by developing and training your own talent. I said last week that Dixie Carter did not bring Corgan in to be just another writer. I suspect he's been tasked with the job of making systemic changes, albeit gradual, in order to transform the company in a way that it's never been before. And unlike regimes of the past, Billy Corgan seems to understand that it will take a systemic overhaul and not simply changing the ring or ripping up the show format. Part of that process could  include the inauguration of a developmental program so it's definitely something to look for in the coming months.

- I'm curious to see how TNA handles the tag titles situation tonight due to Jeff Hardy's injury, an injury that will keep him out of action for about 6 to 8 weeks. Unfortunately, TNA are coming off a similar situation recently in which an injury to Eddie Edwards forced the Wolves to relinquish their titles, forcing the company to book a tag titles tournament. I don't think they will go down this route again so soon but rather opt for a simple tag title match between two teams, predetermined by the writers. If this is the case, the Wolves (if Edwards is ready) would most likely be one of the teams. The other, however, isn't as clear a choice. I suppose TNA could book the three losing teams from Ultimate X in Tag Team Gold (the Dirty Heels, the BDC, and EC3/Bram) in a #1 contenders match, with the winners advancing to face the Wolves. It would make sense and it'd probably be the most fair way to go. TNA has a few options so it'll be very interesting to see how they proceed.

- And lastly, I'd like to talk about two wrestlers, in particular, as we approach tonight's live show, the first of a new set of tapings. I'm talking about Bobby Roode and Bram, both of whom seem to have lacked any direction since their feuds with Eric Young and Magnus respectively. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to give wrestlers some time off television after long feuds, especially as brutal as both of theirs were, but I wish the writers did a better job of explaining their absences. Both simply disappeared after Tag Team Gold, which was three weeks ago. In any case, I am especially interested to see if and how Roode and Bram are booked tonight. Some have speculated that Bram could be involved in the James Storm/Magnus drama while others seem to believe that he will be booked to feud with either a returning Gunner or Tyrus. Personally, I'd be very interested in a feud between Gunner and Bram, which I imagine will be as intense as any feud we've seen recently. But what about Bobby Roode, whose path seems less clear.  Unless he's booked to team with Austin Aries in the Tag Team Division, I don't see an obvious feud for him. This is part of the reason why tonight's show is so exciting because there are so many moving parts right now, and we haven't even touched on the Knockouts drama and the X Division stuff.  It's going to be a very interesting night so get your snacks ready and prepare yourself for what promises to be a newsworthy show.

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