This is it, folks. The card has been pretty much finalized and all that's left is to have a look and see what kinds of options are open to negotiation. So as I've said many times before, let's get to it......
ODB and Eric Young vs. Jesse and Tara
A battle of the power couples of TNA. I only have ONE problem with Eric Young and ODB......they only show up as Young may be on his way out. The worst part of it is that I think it's a hilarious coupling and TNA had comedic gold in their backyard and somehow they've allowed it to slip through their fingers. Since this is NOT about what is wrong with the match, I shall simply say the obvious. I can see no other outcome but Tara and Jesse taking the win UNLESS TNA management resigns Eric Young.
Kurt Angle vs. Devon
I like this match for a number of reasons. First, Angle isn't going to have to put on a clinic. He's been working through injury for a while now and that's why he was put into a tag match last month. I believe Ray is going to be the interruption followed by the faction. My short answer is NO CONTEST.
Joseph Park vs. DOC
This could be something interesting. Why? Because of the X Factor.....Abyss. We've been waiting to see some movement on the Joseph Park front and his kidnapping and torture just MIGHT give us the development of story worthy of such a match. Do I believe we'll see a transformation? I don't know. I DO, however, believe we'll see SOMETHING, though whether it's another Aces and Eights revelation or the return of the monster.
Kazarian/Daniels vs. Chavo/Hernandez for the Tag Team Titles
With this feud, we've seen enough to keep the championship relevant, which is refreshing because it's a sign of life for the division. Is it enough to say it's thriving? Not quite, but it IS enough to say there's more to be had with the rivalry. SO I'm going to side with the champions retaining. There's going to be more added to the fire here than we're seeing right now and Final Resolution just seems like too important a card for more build to NOT happen towards it here. I look for another tag team or two to be added to the mix between Turning Point and the coming PPV.
Joey Ryan vs. RVD for the X Division Title
I think we all know that Matt Morgan/Diesel is the X Factor here UNLESS he's booked in some kind of match ahead of time. To tell the truth, I could see it, provided he goes over quickly and moves decisively up the card for the next PPV. Mark my words, Matt Morgan will be the World Champion AT LEAST once BEFORE this time next year. But as for here? I'm going to go with RVD retaining just because I don't think the feud is over with Ryan.
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus in a No Disqualification Match for the TV Title
I truly wish I'd have seen Joe defend his title more often as this match would have meant more to me, but it is what it is and I get the suspicion that, like a bulk of the other feuds on the card, this isn't over and the best way to communicate that, at least here, is to put the belt on Magnus.
AJ Styles vs. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode in a Number 1 Contender's Match
What makes this match so unique is the stipulation on the winner's circle. Winner takes a shot. The one who gets pinned waits until Bound for Glory next year. Do you know what crossed my mind when I heard that? Triple Threat Match at next year's Bound for Glory. With the kind of roster TNA has now, that would be an amazing match no matter who ends up getting pinned here. It COULD be considered a guarantee that all three will end up challenging by this time next year. I like it. SO...who wins? Flip a coin. I'm going with James Storm just to keep him in the main event picture and I'll go with Styles getting pinned just so he can challenge on the biggest stage in TNA. Seeing him capture the gold there would make the wait worth it to me.
Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy in a Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Title
This is the match I most look forward to because it could end up winning the PWI Match of the Year honor that has evaded TNA since TNA's inception. AND, I believe the reason behind the match could also win the Feud of the Year honor as well, provided things continue after the PPV. As for my pick? I could make a case for either one, but in this case, I'd like to see Aries win the title back. I said that I believe Hardy winning the title at Bound for Glory was a good way to show faith in Hardy's transformation. I don't, however, feel it does any good to have a lengthy title reign UNLESS someone else gets involved. I would love to see a Bobby Roode continuation added into the mix and I get this feeling that it'll come in the coming months. That being said, I'm going with Aries as the victor.
SO that's my analysis and I realize that some might come off as conditional, but that's just how the card looks to me.....filled with possibilities and ways that TNA Creative can have some fun with picking up the story and running with it. Either way, we win in the end. TNA is on a roll for PPV this year and I have to give them all the credit in the world for that. They've worked VERY hard at putting a more logical spin on the product and making the "smarks" happy, but also keeping the critics at bay.
On a separate note....I want to congratulate Christian York for getting the contract and, in his case, I see a quick turn around back into the mix because of the performance he put on. His first opponent? THAT, my friends, is the subject for the next column.