This past Impact Wrestling revealed the status of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: An 8-Man tournament will decide who will be the next TNA champion. Not only was the state of the title addressed, but other developments carried the broadcast and will be carried over to next week’s episode. Where Booking Impact! leaves us with the in-ring action, Making An Impact! continues with the drama which unfolds.
ABYSS’ FAVORITE HOLIDAY
The Halloween edition of Impact Wrestling brought out “The Monster” Abyss as he took out Bad Influence to help Eric Young. Throughout the course of the night, Bad Influence -both dressed as Sherlock Holmes- announced that they’ve solved the mystery of Abyss and would reveal him later in the night. When the time came, they mocked Abyss by comparing him to a pumpkin ringside until Eric Young interrupted. A fight ensued and Abyss cleared the ring. Helping Young to his feet, the duo stood in acknowledgement of one another.
Impact: What should be the end of the Joseph Park character, this looks like some kind of acknowledgement that Abyss and Joseph Park are the same person. If so, this could evolve into Joseph Park and Abyss switching places when needed. If Joseph Park sees his own blood, EY puts the mask on and Abyss is now here to destroy. Though it’s preferable that the Joseph Park character is removed permanently, if he is to stay, this is a good route to take and further the storyline. What may actually take place is the continuation of Joseph seeing his blood, destroying whoever is in front of him and then snapping out of it but with more emphasis on getting Abyss on the screen.
A TOURNAMENT TO CROWN A NEW CHAMPION
Dixie Carter has made it official: An 8-man tournament will decide the new champion. On top of the announcement of the tournament, Dixie revealed “The Wheel of Dixie”, in which each tournament match will be given a stipulation based on where the wheel stops. Last night, Jeff Hardy and Chris Sabin learned that their tournament bout will be contested under Full Metal Mayhem. The fate of the remaining bouts will be revealed possibly next week, but full brackets can be viewed by clicking here. Because of the tournament, there are three programs directly linked:
- Bully Ray’s world title aspirations sidelined by Mr. Anderson.
- Sting and Magnus continuing to have issues with one another.
- AJ Styles’ claim of being the TNA Champion.
Impact: Bully Ray/ Mr. Anderson - In the opening segment to Impact Wrestling, Bully questioned Dixie Carter’s decision of not having him in the tournament until Mr. Anderson stormed in the ring to attack Bully. Bully Ray is currently not a TNA Championship contender and is booked to feud with Mr. Anderson. This was a long time coming since the first rift between the two as Aces & 8′s members. With the title scene taking shape outside of Bully Ray, the Ray/ Anderson program could be their time to further build on their respective characters leading into a future title shot in 2014, most likely. Bully Ray is established, so this is more in line to favor Mr. Anderson’s cause. He is making waves and a high level program with the former champion should certainly elevate him into an eventual title journey.
Sting/ Magnus - Magnus tossed Sting and Kazarian over the top rope to win a gauntlet match and became the 8th man in the title tournament. If these two buried the hatchet after Bound for Glory, it looks like the hatchet has been slightly dug up. There is clearly still some business left unfinished for “The Icon” after his loss to Magnus and his reaction last night further fueled speculation. On Magnus’ end, he is still on the world title journey and taking any measures to ensure a spot. Last night was not a tease at a heel turn, as everyone knows that it’s every man for himself in these types of situations. Magnus could very well make it to the finals of the tournament but the more logical approach would be to continue his feud with Sting. Maybe even have Sting cost Magnus his shot at the title to teach him a lesson in respect.
AJ Styles/ Dixie Carter - Officially, AJ Styles is not the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. The title was vacated by Dixie Carter and the tournament set. AJ Styles will surely make a return to the company and have words for Dixie Carter regarding the title. The question is, what will AJ say or do to the winner of the tournament? When a champion is crowned, AJ Styles will return to challenge not only Dixie’s decision, but the winner of the tournament to decide who the undisputed champion truly is. There could be a stipulation added where if AJ wins, he is the undisputed champion and contracted to TNA. If he loses, he is gone from the company. It all depends on real life negotiations and this is only speculation and wrestling fan opinion/ idea. One fact is this title tournament will lead to interesting developments for the competitors involved and TNA Wrestling programming.
As Austin Aries stated in a conference call, the company is taking a step back but will be stepping forward in a new direction. With Hulk Hogan gone from TNA, it’s back to getting business to a comfortable place and then heading in the right direction. TNA programming is already reflecting this with a focus in new talent and consistency. Dixie Carter is more involved as a character and adds a new element, surely adding to her stepping up in the back as well.
There are two weeks left until the return to Universal Studios and the new TNA Wrestling is in full effect.