Pro Wrestling

TNA Impact Precap: June 27, 2013

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Action. Total Nonstop Action.

Courtesy of TNA Impact Wrestling Official YouTube Channel

TNA Impact Wrestling returns to form tonight on Spike TV from the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois.

And as much as you hate the promotion, you know damn well you aren't able to stay away.

Kurt Angle was revealed to be a member of Sting's Main Event Mafia, putting TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray in an Ankle Lock to close last week's (June 20) show. Who else will be joining up with the MEM? And how will the new stable fare against the awesome might of the Aces & 8s?

I will give you a minute to compose yourself from the uncontrollable laughter at the last question.

The Bound For Glory series is underway. Magnus has taken an early lead, but it's still anyones tournament to win. Tonight, the top dog Magnus will face 2011's BFG Series winner Bobby Roode, and Mr. Anderson will go one-on-one with Samoa Joe.

Those are sure to be some fun and exciting matchups.

We will bare witness to an X Division Championship Triple Threat Match when Chris Sabin puts the title on the line against Kenny King and Suicide. It's always a pleasure to see the X Division get a chance to shine, and hopefully tonight will not disappoint.

Tonight marks the return of Gut Check. Although the segment is usually filled with unknowns, I'm sure you will recognize one of tonight's contestants.

Finally, Mickie James will put her Knockouts Championship on the line against Velvet Sky. Will the pigeons take to the air tonight? Or can "Hardcore Country" ground the flying rats?

With so many questions surrounding TNA, how will you ever know what will happen?

You will just have to read on to find out.

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Sting! Angle! Main! Event! Mafia! Aces & 8s! Same! Old! TNA!

Courtesy of TNA Impact Wrestling Official YouTube Channel

Of course the first reveal of the Main Event Mafia was Kurt Angle.

Anyone who has ever watched TNA feared for the worst when Sting announced the return of the MEM. It was a nostalgia trip the first time around in 2008 with the likes of Booker T, Kevin Nash, and Scott Steiner filling out the stable. For a promotion that should be focusing on the talented youth in its roster, this was the exact opposite of a good idea.

No matter how much things change, you can count of TNA to stay the same.

Now Sting and Angle -- ages 54 and 44, respectfully -- are back in control of Main Event Mafia to do battle against Aces & 8s. Because this makes far more sense than allowing AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, or Christopher Daniels a chance to be in control of a storyline.

It's time like this when I regret ever saying anything nice about the promotion.

So what is next for the renewed group? Samoa Joe seems the most likely to join, having been in the original stable. After that? I wouldn't be shocked if Eric Young gets the nod if he's not too busy taping his Animal Planet show, Off The Hook: Extreme Fishing. Maybe Joseph Park asks to be included in the festivities. Or perhaps his brother Abyss will want an invite.

Isn't it weird no one has ever seen the two in the same place at the same time?

I'm just going to sit here and cross my fingers, hoping and praying to the pro wrestling gods we don't see any over-the-hill hacks in the middle of the ring.

Well, any more over-the-hill hacks. Shame Rob Van Dam up and bounced for that other promotion. He would have fit right in.

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Magnus! Joe! Styles! Kickoff! Bound For Glory Series!

Courtesy of TNA Impact Wrestling Official YouTube Channel

The Bound For Glory Series has officially kicked off, and we already have one "That's So TNA" moment. But first, the standings!

  • Magnus - 10 points
  • Jeff Hardy - 7 points
  • Christopher Daniels - 7 points
  • Mr. Anderson - 7 points
  • Austin Aries - 7 points
  • Samoa Joe - 2 points
  • AJ Styles - 2 points
  • Bobby Roode - 0 points
  • Hernandez - 0 points
  • Jay Bradley - 0 points
  • Kazarian - 0 points
  • Joseph Park - 0 points
  • Magnus stands on top of the list with a submission victory over Kazarian. Hardy, Daniels, Anderson, and Aries all picked up traditional pinball victories, leaving them tied for second. There's a logjam of wrestlers who have yet to get off the ground.

    And then we have Joe and Styles.

    All BFG Series matches have a 15-minute time limit attached. It should be noted that is counted in pro wrestling time, so it could be anywhere from five to 20 minutes.

    In any case, Joe and Styles ran out of time to the chagrin of the crowd last week, and each earned two points for the draw. It was a strong, entertaining, and evenly-matched contest.

    So of course it went to a no contest.

    This does set up nicely down the line, though. Both men were unable to gain an advantage. The two can run through the tournament neck and neck in points until they are the last remaining challengers. Then, one final match between them to determine who will ultimately challenge Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory (Oct. 20). An exciting conclusion like this is exactly what TNA should be aiming for.

    However, this is TNA. So it is very possible we got something completely out of left field.

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    Sabin! King! Suicide! Triple Threat! X Division Championship!

    Courtesy of TNA Impact Wrestling Official YouTube Channel

    Hey! TNA actually remembered the X Division exists. It's still being treated as a second-class citizen, but at least it will receive some airtime.

    Chris Sabin will put his X Division Championship on the line in a Triple Threat Match against Kenny King and Suicide.

    "But wait!" You may exclaim, "Isn't this the exact same match we saw at Slammiversary XI? Why is TNA giving it away for free just a few weeks later?"

    Yes it is, and because TNA hates you.

    Winning the X Division Championship is actually a big deal, because the holder is able to challenge Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the special Destination X edition of Impact on July 18.

    Yes, TNA has moved its storied pay-per-view to free television. And yes, there is no way that Bully drops the strap. So it is really an empty honor.

    But still! X Division! Feel the excitement!

    We will also find out who is the man behind Suicide's mask. I really hope no one in the promotion thinks this will attract any eyeballs, since a simple Google search will reveal the answer. I won't give anything away, but he isn't someone the casual fan will flip out over.

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    Big O! Yes! That Big O! Howe! Gut Check!

    Courtesy of TNA Impact Wrestling Official YouTube Channel

    The monthly(-ish) segment known as Gut Check returns to TNA tonight, where two sort of unknowns compete for the chance to earn a TNA contract. The contestants may range from indy darlings -- sup, Joey Ryan -- long time wrestlers who never got their big break -- looking at you, Christian York -- and perhaps the greatest talent the pro wrestling world has ever seen.

    I'm talking about my girl, Taeler Hendrix.

    Tonight is more of the same, albeit with a slight twist. In one corner we have Ryan Howe, a man I can find no information on except that he is signed to Ohio Valley Wrestling.

    In the other corner we have Adam Ohriner, also known as "The Big O," also known as "The Steroid Freak Who Appears in Z! True Long Island Story."

    Yep, Zack Ryder's best friend is going to get a shot in TNA.

    This is so wonderfully TNA that I'm a little amazed it took this long. Of course the promotion is going after Ryder's buddy. Why chase real talent when you can just pick up someone who has been in a bunch of YouTube videos?

    I only have two questions. One, when does Ryder himself make the jump? And two, what happens to Robbie E when he's not the only bro in TNA?

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    James! Sky! Injured Knees! Let The Pigeons Fly! Knockouts Championship!

    Courtesy of TNA Impact Wrestling Official YouTube Channel

    Velvet Sky will finally get her rematch against Mickie James for the Knockouts Championship tonight. Sky had suffered a knee injury at the hands of Gail Kim back in April, and would drop the strap to James on May 23. She had been deemed unable to compete until a few weeks ago.

    So last week Brooke Hogan set up the title fight. And here we are!

    James is a decent wrestler, and I certainly don't mind seeing her in action. Sky, on the other hand, is just painfully bad in the ring. It's possible my memory is being clouded by watching Sky work with a bum knee, but it's a shame to see someone as talent as Kim be told to wait for an opportunity while Sky is being pushed. The Knockout Division is supposed to be an area where TNA is head and shoulders above that other promotion.

    Like all things TNA, though, I just see wasted opportunity.

    Oh, and Eric Young & ODB literally gave away the Knockouts Tag Team Championship, because EY finally remembered he has testicles. Their reign lasted 478 days, a full 337 days longer than The Beautiful People's run. I swear to Zeus I honestly think TNA forgot the belts existed.

    C.J. Bradford is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @Li0nford, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google