TNA’s Lockdown pay-per-view is less than a month away (scheduled for March 10), and the real build to that show begins on Thursday’s edition of Impact Wrestling coming to the fans from London, England.
There is still no Jeff Hardy anywhere to be found—that makes three straight episodes of the broadcast the world champion has missed—but the good news is that the company will finally crown the No. 1 contender for the title by having a tournament.
Well, it's sort of a tournament.
There will be four huge matches Thursday to determine the final-four men to contend for the No.1 contendership, but instead of those wrestlers fighting for the privilege, Hogan will pick the next challenger to Hardy’s title.
Where: London, England
When: Thursday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: Spike TV
New No. 1 Contender To Be Crowned
General manager Hulk Hogan has scheduled four main-event caliber matches for Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling, with each winner getting the chance to be the No. 1 contender for TNA World Championship.
The matches are as follows: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, Magnus vs. Christopher Daniels, Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode and James Storm vs. Rob Van Dam.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How’s the No. 1 Contender Selected?
There is so much talent in these four matches, but only one of the four winners will walk out of London as the No. 1 contender.
Instead of there being a four-man elimination match or three more matches in a tournament format—two semifinals bouts and one final match to crown winner—the No. 1 contender will be chosen at random by Hogan.
Hype Meter: 3 out of 5 Random No. 1 Contender Selection Segments
TNA has so many talented workers that when things like a random No. 1 contender selection meeting happen, it’s frustrating to wrestling fans. It is illogical that Hogan would get to pick the man that gets to fight for the title when a match could and should easily determine that.
Not to mention that Hogan obviously lets his emotions dictate his business decisions (i.e. Bully Ray’s suspension.)
TNA Rumors: Major Changes to Lethal Lockdown Pay-Per-View (PWInsider h/t TNA Wrestling News)
Bully Ray, Hulk Hogan and the Aces and Eights
After beating the two main characters in Aces and Eights in a match that should have been the culmination of this stable, Bully Ray and Sting won the bout and nothing at all will change from last week. With both Hogans—Brooke and Hulk—on Bully’s side, the first family of Impact Wrestling is intact, brother.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Someone Turn Heel?
There was so much emphasis on trust and getting Hogan to believe Bully Ray that he was a changed man—that the stage has been set for an epic heel turn. It’s unclear if TNA will follow through with this angle, but having Brooke, Bully or even Hulk Hogan himself join Aces and Eights would at least be an interesting direction.
Hype Meter: 2 out of 5 Epic Swerves
Aces and Eights as a storyline has been awful from its inception. The complete lack of storyline direction and the descending impact of each reveal has only added to the lackluster impact of the heel stable.
The only idea that can save this storyline now is an epic swerve that the fans love, but at best, the TNA Universe should expect to see Hulk Hogan fighting one more time; possibly against the unknown leader of the gang.
TNA News: Bully Ray Possibly Dealing with a Serious Injury (Twitter)
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