12/8 Wrestlezone Recap: WWE PPV Buyrates Are In, Matt Hardy Hits the “Finish Line” in Pro Wrestling, PWG Matt Rushmore Review Plus New Features, WWE/Impact Wrestling Discussion & We Answer Your Questions
The big story going into this week's Impact Wrestling is determining who will face off for the currently vacant TNA World Championship. To open the show, Jeff Hardy beat Bobby Roode in a Tables Match that went two segments with a commercial break, and had a false finish where both guys went through a table at the same time. It was a nice spot that took us into the break with some uncertainly. The actual finish saw Hardy mule kick Roode off the apron and through a table.
Kurt Angle and Magnus had the main event with a Last Man Standing match, which saw Roode return after a referee bump, handing The Brit a win and his shot to the finals. Last Man Standing matches are generally no disqualification; who did the bump actually protect? Brian Hebner, maybe? Angle and Magnus could have fought a great match, as they're both more than capable, but when your average bump sends you to the mat for an 8 or 9-count, it kills the momentum. Last Man Standing is notorious for being a crowd killer. At least the match wasn't that long.
So we have two stories going on here, which crossed over nicely and could lead to the obligatory tag team match next week. Magnus is the obvious choice here to become world champion, as TNA has been building him up for success since the Bound for Glory Series. On the road to the top he's gone over all three of his former Main Event Mafia partners, and the company's top draw (Hardy) is the next logical step. Plus, there's the 2014 UK Tour to consider. If they really want to get heat on Magnus and turn him into TNA's #1 heel – and they definitely should – bringing him before a hometown crowd alongside Dixie Carter and fellow Brit Rockstar Spud seems a great way to do it.
Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode have had some great matches for TNA in the past, both together and individually, and I expect nothing short of stellar when they go 2-out-of-3 Falls at the Final Resolution special later this month. Unfortunately, commercials will probably take it down half a star or so. One of my only issues with this program so far is that they've had too many matches to keep it going all the way to Genesis in January. They're going to need some serious story-driven material if the feud doesn't end in two weeks.
I can very clearly see TNA starting to copy WWE's current Authority story, and it's only going to become more obvious in the coming weeks. I've had to post a few weeks worth of spoilers for Wrestlezone, but in general I try to avoid them. Let me just say that the first struggle they will face, from a storytelling point, is that Dixie Carter is not Stephanie McMahon. She is most certainly not Triple H, either. From the fans perspective, if WWE's story isn't compelling enough to keep the buyrates from drowning, why pick this idea to incorporate into your broadcast?