James Storm vs Bully Ray
It warms my heart at how fresh TNA's main event scene has been since Bound for Glory. James Storm is proof of that – sure his World Championship reign didn't last, but it was the catalyst for Bobby Roode's rise to the top. Storm hasn't faltered since losing the belt, and has continued to better his craft as a singles star. The crowd is behind him, the company is behind him, and soon he'll have a second World title win behind him. But first he has to go through…
Bully Ray, one of the oldest veterans of pro wrestling still at it today. Somehow a guy who's been winning championship titles for 20+ years decided NOW was a good time for him to rise above mediocrity and cement himself as a legitimate World title threat. I don't understand it, but I sure as hell won't question it… Bully has been on a role, and his pairing with James Storm is a perfect match-up. Two great talkers on opposite, but similar ends of the spectrum. I'm anticipating this match likely more than any other, just because of how good both of these men have been in recent months.
Prediction: James Storm wins and continues on to Bobby Roode at Lockdown.
No Holds Barred — Bobby Roode vs Sting
Without a doubt the best story being told on Impact Wrestling is between Bobby Roode and Sting. The self-proclaimed "leader of the selfish generation" has been cheating his way out of matches since he won the title, almost always at the expense of Impact's Insane Icon. Sting has been doing a great job in his role as General Manager of Impact, becoming quite possibly the most intriguing any face has ever been in that role. Sting makes the rules, Roode breaks them. Sting punishes the champion, Roode finds his way out of it – EVERY TIME. Things got personal quick when Roode brutally attacked his boss and left him lying in the middle of the ring. It got crazy when Sting snapped and became obsessed with having this match. It's a simple, yet compelling story that will play out in the ring at Victory Road.
Prediction: Bobby Roode wins.
Victory Road, unless something truly shocking happens, will be a predictable card from top to bottom. Aries has to win, because Ion isn't good enough to beat him yet. Storm has to win, because he's got a World title match next month at TNA's all-cage PPV. Roode has to win because there's no sense in handing the Champion a loss right before he meets his old parter at Lockdown. It makes especially no sense for that loss to be to Sting… Stories have to continue, as is the fate of all filler PPV's, and that comes with a bit of predictablilty. But, that's not always a bad thing. Stories are still being told, and we're likely in for a good night of wrestling, if nothing else.
My biggest complaint, and it's probably REALLY obvious, is that TNA is once again not capitalizing on a huge amount of potential. The main event feuds are great, but everything from the neck down needs to go back to the drawing board. Angle/Hardy could have been a big match with the title on the line down the road, but instead they're doing it here and now with no meat to back it up. Styles/Kazarian has the same issue: lack of substance and refusal to follow through.
I'd say about half the card is solid, but the other half will still be full of good wrestling – on the whole it should be a good PPV. I'll give praise to the Knockout's division, and to the tag champions for doing what they can with an empty roster. Same goes to Aries and Ion. Ray/Storm is great, although could have benefited from a bit more focus, and the main event is definitely something to order for. Plus, no Garrett Bischoff or Hulk Hogan… For all my complaiining, TNA could be in really great shape with just a bit of fine-tuning to their product.
To Victory Road!
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?