TNA Announces First Set of Tapings for Impact on Destination America

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TNA will begin taping episodes of Impact Wrestling for broadcast on Destination America in January, according to the company. The Manhattan Center will host three consecutive nights of television tapings on January 7th through the 9th.

TNA has found a nice home away from home in the Manhattan Center, where the crowds are undoubtedly better than those at the Impact Zone. According to Dixie Carter, it was a no-brainer to return to New York City for TNA’s debut episodes with new television partner Destination America. “With the explosive sold-out crowds in New York City this past summer, returning to the Manhattan Center for three huge events as IMPACT WRESTLING debuts on Destination America was an easy decision,” she said in the company’s press release announcing the news.

TNA Releases Details on Final Episodes of Impact on Spike

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The final first-run episode of Impact Wrestling aired on Spike TV last Wednesday. Ahead of the company’s move to Destination America in 2015, TNA has released details on the final four episodes of Impact, which will be compilation specials airing on the usual night and time of Wednesdays at 9pm ET.

“Best of Impact Wrestling 2014″ will air on December 3rd and 10th and “Countdown to the All-Time Best TNA Moment” will air on December 17th and 24th.

Tomorrow’s episode of Impact, “Thanksgiving Throwdown,” will air exclusively on TNA’s YouTube channel and will also be available on-demand through Black Friday. According to the company, the special will feature “the best Turkey Bowl matches in TNA history and offers viewers ShopTNA Black Friday deals, including a free replica TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt for one lucky shopper.”

MVP Revealed as TNA’s Mystery Investor on Impact Wrestling

This week’s Impact Wrestling closed with an enraged Dixie Carter demanding to know who the mystery investor was. After the lights dimmed, MVP revealed himself to be the man behind it all.

While MVP isn’t a gigantic star, his arrival in TNA is a welcome one and feels fresh. He’s been off of American television for quite some time and he carries himself in a way that makes him feel important. Everyone knows who he is but he doesn’t feel like a WWE castoff or has-been. While I always make sure to temper my excitement over TNA because they have a strong track record of messing things like this up, I’m interested to see what happens next.

TNA holding 8-man tournament to crown new World Heavyweight Champion

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Dixie Carter announced on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling (taped the previous Thursday) that there will be an eight man tournament to crown a new World Heavyweight Champion, since AJ Styles “left the company” with the belt.

The participants are Kurt Angle, James Storm, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Chris Sabin and Magnus. The first seven were announced by Carter and Magnus won a gauntlet match to earn the eighth spot. All of the participants are former World Champions except for Magnus.

The title tournament begins on next Thursday’s live edition of Impact, when Jeff Hardy squares off with Chris Sabin in a Full Metal Mayhem match.

TNA Champ AJ Styles turns down contract, says he’ll leave the company with the belt. Sound familiar?

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, TNA is flattering the shit out of WWE.

Aside from Dixie Carter suddenly becoming a heel owner and basically doing everything to AJ Styles that Triple H is doing to Daniel Bryan, the company has copied the 2011 CM Punk “quitting with the belt” angle, almost verbatim.

AJ Styles won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory, despite Carter’s efforts to keep the belt out of his hands. On last night’s Impact Wrestling, Styles successfully retained the title in another match with Bully Ray. After the final bell, Carter came to the ring and offered Styles a handsome contract in order to stay. Styles admitted it was more than fair.

However, he crumpled up the contract and pantomimed wiping his butt with it as your average 4th grader would, and then said he’s taking the belt and leaving the company.

The differences between this and CM Punk’s pipebomb-fueled summer of 2011 are many. First, CM Punk and Vince McMahon are leaps and bounds ahead of AJ Styles and Dixie Carter on the microphone. Also, it worked so well in 2011 because we hadn’t really seen anything like that in a long time. The closest thing was maybe Madusa throwing the WWF Women’s Championship in the trash on Nitro, but that wasn’t teased ahead of time.

The whole angle – like many of them throughout TNA’s history – has a lot of people scratching their heads. It lacks believability and logic. If the plan is to do what WWE did but do it the right way – instead of having the champion return the following week – then hopefully it works. But if AJ Styles is gone for two months, can TNA be sure the fans will stick around that long to see how it plays out?

Full card for TNA’s “Hardcore Justice” episode of Impact Wrestling

TNA presents “Hardcore Justice” during tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling, billing it as a “free pay-per-view” since the company made wholesale changes to its PPV schedule. Dixie Carter announced that the previous main event matchup of Aces and Eights v. Main Event Mafia has been rescheduled and will air on the August 22nd edition of Impact Wrestling.

Below is the full card for tonight’s event:

World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match
Bully Ray v. Chris Sabin

Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match
Winner gets 20 points
AJ Styles v. Jeff Hardy v. Austin Aries v. Kazarian

Bound for Glory Series Tables Match
Winner gets 20 points
Magnus v. Samoa Joe v. Bobby Roode v. Ken Anderson

Knockouts Tornado Tag Team Match
Mickie James and Gail Kim v. Velvet Sky and ODB

Video: Preview tonight’s loaded episode of Impact Wrestling

TNA Impact Wrestling airs live tonight from Corpus Christi, Texas, featuring a heavy slate of action.

Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez challenge Bobby Roode and Austin Aries for the Tag Team Championships in a 2-out-of-3 falls match, and if Chavo and Hernandez lose they can never tag team in TNA again. Taryn Terrell will make her in-ring debut against Gail Kim, AJ Styles will pledge his allegiance to either Aces & Eights or TNA, and Jeff Hardy challenges Bully Ray for the TNA Heavyweight Championship in a Full Metal Mayhem match.

The live episodes of Impact from outside the Impact Zone have been great so far. The crowds are much more into the action and it’s created a whole new atmosphere for TNA. Tonight’s episode, at least on paper, looks to be a good one.

While it has its risks, TNA’s decision to take Impact Wrestling on the road is smart

Dixie Carter announced on TNA’s YouTube page Thursday that Impact Wrestling will be leaving the Impact Zone and go on the road beginning with the live Impact on March 14th, which will emanate from the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago.

While there definitely will be a financial risk involved with traveling around the country – and a risk of burning out some of the talent that enjoy the light travel that TNA offers – it will undoubtedly create a fresh television experience and expose a new audience to the Impact Wrestling product.

On its best day the Impact Zone couldn’t replicate the energy of the old ECW Arena and on most days it seemed like a crowd full of people who were either bored with seeing the same thing every week or got tickets for free while they were wandering through Universal Studios.

Ringside Reads: Vintage WWF Royal Rumble promos, Aces & Eights reveal, and more

– Brandon Stroud of With Leather and, more specifically, the Best and Worst of Raw column has today’s must click link of the day: A slew of vintage WWF Royal Rumble promos.

– Speaking of With Leather, Danielle Matheson has the Best and Worst of last night’s TNA Impact Wrestling program.

The Wrestling Blog has some instant feedback on last night’s TNA Impact Wrestling, including thoughts on the reveal of Mike Knox as one of the masked men in Aces & Eights.

Kayfabe Kickout explains why Shawn Michaels should be in an upper management role with the WWE.

– Don’t forget to check out the full content listing for WWE’s upcoming release, The Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2 at WWEDVDNews.

– In case you haven’t checked it out in a while, the Where’s Randy Savage? Tumblr blog still has some great stuff going.

Quick thoughts on Thursday’s TNA Impact

I’m a few days late so I’ll keep this brief. I meant to get the post up on Friday, but the long holiday weekend changed things.

I think the overall direction of TNA is improving from week to week. Thursday’s episode of TNA Impact was another example of that. The show as a whole was entertaining and there was some solid wrestling action. Compared to last week’s episode of Raw, Impact was leaps and bounds better.

– I’m interested to see where this whole thing is going with Eric Bischoff. He continually interjected himself during segments involving Sting and Abyss, and I’m curious if he’ll turn heel once again and be part of “They” that Abyss keeps referring to. At first I was certain that “They” were the group of former ECW wrestlers, but now I’m not so sure.

– D’Angelo Dinero’s promo was very good and Kurt Angle’s interaction with him made it even better. It was also announced that these two will wrestle at Victory Road next Sunday, which is a great contest. I wish they had announced this earlier to hype it more, but that’s a minor nitpick.

I really like what TNA is doing with Kurt Angle. By having him wrestle his way through the rankings, it gives it some meaning and also gives us some great matches.

– The ending of the show, with Mr. Anderson “accidentally” hitting Jeff Hardy with the chair was a nice touch, since we really haven’t been sure if Anderson’s face turn is for real. The whole thing has been done so well that if Anderson turns heel again it won’t feel like TNA is rushing the angle like they usually do.