So here we are at the end of the Thanksgiving week in the States and I think we can all agree that both of the top promotions in the land decided to play it pretty lax in terms of not really moving very much in the respective stories of each, which is just fine with me. The last "PPV" of the year is on the horizon, Final Resolution. This leads me to the subject of this column: the events leading into the PPV-style special AND the card itself. The only spoilers in this column will deal with the card itself and I WON'T go into ANY detail as to how TNA arrived to this end. SO, if you don't want to know what's coming, you know the drill.
The card, as far as I know it, consists of a couple of things: the World Heavyweight Title match between Magnus and Jeff Hardy AND the potential showdown between Madison Rayne and Gail Kim /w Lei'D Tapa. If things continue on their current track, I believe the card will go something like this:
Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim and Lei'd Tapa
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode
Jeff Hardy vs. Magnus
Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray
Bad Influence vs. Gunner/Storm vs. Bromans vs. Eric Young/Joseph Park
Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion vs. Chris Sabin vs. Manic
There's NO ONE who can say this isn't a decent card and considering that the return of AJ Styles is imminent, there's really only one of two ways this could go down.
1. Styles shows up AT Final Resolution to determine the face-off against the new World Title holder
2. Styles shows up in the weeks after the new champion is christened.
To my mind, there's really no sense in having AJ show up until well after the new champion is crowned as it would cheapen the reign of whoever finally takes their place as the new face of the company in the poster boy's absence.
Another thing to consider is that TNA is going to want to end this year off as strong as possible to try and render aid to their numbers, which have been slightly down to this point. To that end, it wouldn't surprise me if they put a specialty match for the X Division Title and even brought back Kenny King from the sidelines. Further, in the tag match, I would expect Joseph Park to finally either make his transformation OR for total separation of the two characters to take place WITHIN the confines of said match. What would be appropriate is if the rules allowed for a more physically demanding match type, for example a Ladder Match between all four teams.
I realize there are quite a few ideas and it might even seem as though I'm rambling, but the truth of the matter is that quite a few of these details will NEED to wrap before year's end in order to ramp into Genesis come the New Year. Genesis implies a change and a fresh start moving forward and without some of these storyline plot points coming to a punctuation, TNA runs the risk of alienating fans by running the story too long on precisely the points I've outlined here.
The pieces that don't seem to have a place as of yet are Sam Shaw, who has been resurfacing of recent with his interview segment with Christy Hemme just this past week; Samoa Joe, the remnants of the Aces and Eights, and Ethan Carter, who is still building towards one thing or another. I would chance that Sam Shaw and Ethan are being built to bring back the TV Title under different conditions, but that concept has yet to be fleshed out and there aren't even rumors to back that up. I'll go into THAT subject deeper in the next column and how I would arrange the battle for the TV Title. Until then....keep watching the patterns.....