TNA World Title
A.J. Styles vs. Kurt Angle
Raffi Shamir: Here’s how I want this to play out. styles wins and goes on to defend the championship throughout 2010, holding it until Genesis 2011. There are plenty of people that Styles can have good title matches during 2010. Only then, in January 2011, Angle would get another shot at Styles and finally beat him. A year like that can cement Styles as one of the greatest in the world and make next year’s title match an instant classic. Sadly, this will not happen.
Winner and new champion: Kurt Angle
Mark Allen: There is no way Angle goes through 2010 without being in the TNA World Title picture. While Samoa Joe does have a Title shot waiting in the wings he can have great main events with either AJ or Angle. But Bobby Lashley also has a Title shot as well, and a bout with Angle is a much bigger draw than one against AJ. Plus in this new Hogan era Angle will look like a better face for the company than the virtually unknown AJ.
Winner (new Champion) â€“ Angle
Andrew Wheeler: Yep, Iâ€™m doing the TNA Roundtable. I know. I know. However, before that select few of you who seem to revel in flooding the comments section with blindly positive TNA diatribes, I will let you know that I am going to try be positive. Okay, not positive, butâ€¦not entirely negative. With that said, please pause while I bury this match. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I am ALL for seeing Styles and Angle tear the house down againâ€¦but why the hell do I wanna pay for it? Seriously, TNA giving away their Genesis PPV main event for free in an unadvertised main event with a clean finish was not the brightest move on the planet. Sure, it got them some â€œbuzzâ€. Hell, it was, as Jim Cornette said, a diamond in the middle of a cowpie. Unfortunately, they showed me pretty much everything I would wanna see out of Styles and Angle; Kurt got the Angle Lock, AJ hit the Styles Clash (a lot), Kurt took some sick bumps and Styles pulled out his wicked arsenal. What more can these two really do to one another? My guess is ruin what goodwill they have already cultivated. See, we saw a straight up man-to-man match with a crystal clear pin (ignoring the illogical mystery man run-inâ€¦thanks Tomko) already, so chances are TNA isnâ€™t going to be generous and do it again. First, thereâ€™s the already stated fact that TNA gave us a great match and they probably wonâ€™t give wrestling fans an actual wrestling match twice in two weeks. It doesnâ€™t advance any storylines and it doesnâ€™t make people want to tune in on Thursday (you know, unless youâ€™re that sick fan out there who actually watches wrestling for the competition). Second, thereâ€™s the giant gaping hole at the top of the card with regards to heels. Seriously, TNA does not have a major heel on their roster at this point. Yes, they turned Kurt face so that everyone could make nice-nice, but that leaves a massive blank at the top of the bad guy list. Who the hell is going to be the evil incarnate heel that everyone can rally around? In short, where is TNAâ€™s mid-00â€™s Triple H? It canâ€™t be Lashley because he still isnâ€™t sure past April if heâ€™s sticking around. It canâ€™t be Daniels because he already had his shots and given his size and Hoganâ€™s lack of faith in people his size, heâ€™ll be trapped feuding with Val Venis for years to come. It canâ€™t be Joe because Samoa Joe is more or less a rebel and doesnâ€™t fit that â€œcorporateâ€ mold. As sad as it is, right now TNAâ€™s biggest heels very well might be the n.W.o., Bischoff and Hogan. Since they probably donâ€™t wanna go that direction, they are going to do something knee-jerk and stupid. My guess is that Ric Flair is going to subtly turn Styles from face to heel, and itâ€™ll start at Genesis. It would explain the stipulation that Kurt wonâ€™t get a shot in 2010. It would also explain why they built up the mystery man angle only to squash it in one night, tying up that loose end. AJ Styles is TNAâ€™s answer at the top of the heel roster it seems, which makes no sense. Yes, people like AJ as a heel, but heâ€™s a great face because everything he says is genuine. Also, his arsenal of high flying moves lends itself to a great babyface. Unfortunately, there is a glut of faces in TNA and no great challenge for them. Matt Morgan could turn and become Hoganâ€™s Blueprint, but does TNA have enough faith in him to give him the mantle. Hernandez seems to be TNAâ€™s Latino Goldberg, so I doubt theyâ€™ll turn him. Jeff Hardy is pretty much the most over guy they could have ever brought in, so why turn him heel? If they turn Styles, or just let him dance on the tweener line, they can put him against Jeff and itâ€™ll make sense. But do you really think TNA is good at subtlety? Even worse, if AJ is in fact going to be heelish, he would have to side with Hogan and Co. and get dragged down in the Foley/Jarrett nonsense. Look, I more than anyone would love to see a guy like Desmond Wolfe get a shot at being top heel, but with Bischoff and Hogan at the top, experimentation wonâ€™t work. Since Kurt just turned face, my guess is AJ is heading towards the land of evil, so heâ€™ll probably win here with some dubious action and play the role of CM Punk for a few weeks. Or in TNAâ€™s case, a segment or two on Thursday.
Winner: AJ Styles
Steven Gepp: Iâ€™m going to go with keeping the title on AJ. This way he can lose it to Desmond Wolfe, and then Wolfy can face Angle for the title. So long as certain bright orange men donâ€™t interject themselves in the coming months.
Winner: (and still champ) AJ Styles
David Brashear: Iâ€™m going to go out on a limb and predict some sort of schmozz here. AJ will win, but it wonâ€™t be clean. Thereâ€™ll be some sort of interference (possibly by Flair) that will allow Kurt to be granted a rematch. Notice I didnâ€™t say â€œlogically give Kurt a rematch.â€ This is still TNA. If it was me, Iâ€™d let Kurt lose to move him out of the title picture, turn AJ, and have him feud with Jeff Hardy for a few months. But thatâ€™s just me.
TNA World Tag Team Titles
Winner: AJ Styles
British Invasion vs. Matt Morgan & Hernandez
Mark Allen: Considering the Brits haven’t been on TV in two weeks and Morgan & Hernandez have already gotten the rub from new management on TV this looks to be a no brainer.
Winner (new Champions) – Hernandez & Morgan
Andrew Wheeler: Morgan and Hernandez are considered the future of TNA. They have the size and the look to be bigtime players in the industry, so this currently teaming is a short-term way to give them the spotlight much like the WWE did with Jericho and Edge. British Invasion apparently donâ€™t rank too highly in TNAâ€™s eyes since they were nowhere to be seen in three hours of television for the big Monday Night Spectacular. It seemed like TNA was building up a Beer Money/British Invasion match in which Beer Money would finally get the titles, but my guess is the â€œnewâ€ TNA will let that fall by the wayside and give the belts to Morgan and Hernandez to give them a spotlight. It really isnâ€™t a terrible idea. On the other hand, if they lose via miscommunication, we could get a Morgan/Hernandez feud where Matt could potentially begin his heel turn. That could work too, but my gut is telling me that these two youngsters have a date with the Outsiders.
Winner: Morgan and Hernandez
Steven Gepp: Ooh, tough call, but I think theyâ€™ll stick with the Brits and let Morgan and Hernandez go after other titles.
Winners: (and still champs) British Invasion
David Brashear: Morgan and Hernendez win and we can move on from there. Iâ€™ve never thought that the British Invasion were ready for the belts, but accepted that they could get them as part of the World Elite thing thatâ€™s apparently been killed by the power of Hulkamania, brother.
Winners â€“ Morgan and Hernandez
Raffi Shamir: This will be a good match. Both Morgan and Hernandez looked like they were heading to big things just two months ago but now they are lost in the shuffle. A tag-team reign can keep them busy and in the spotlight for a while. The British Invasion was hardly even seen in the last two weeks, so I think it’s obvious.
Winners and new champions: Morgan and Hernandez
Amazing Red vs. a mystery opponent
Andrew Wheeler: Ooh, Amazing Red versus Mr. X. And no, I donâ€™t mean Jerry Lynn. Or do I? Is this a clue? No, of course it isnâ€™t. Jesus. Red is a great spot worker and people really like what he does in the ring, but my guess is that TNA will tease this so that we think itâ€™s RVD or maybe Paul London or Kendrick, but watch it be X-Pac. Seriously, do you think Hogan is above putting over his boys at the expense of talented Cruiserweights? Itâ€™s not like he did it in WCWâ€¦oh wait. So yeah, TNA could bust out a big new star, or they could just put the strap on Waltman. Their other option is giving it to Homicide so that Jeff Hardy could beat him for the #2 title in the #2 promotion. Remind me again why Jeff didnâ€™t go back to WWE? Oh yeah, the drugs. My bad. I forgot. I hope heâ€™s sharing them with Creatnaive.
Winner: A Mystery Opponent
Steven Gepp: The mystery opponent is who? Who ever it is, they win. Either Jeff Hardy, RVD, Shannon Moore or some other WWE cast-off.
Winner: (and new champ) Mystery Opponent
David Brashear: So it looks like weâ€™re bringing some former WWE guy in to take the belt. Sorry, Red. Looks like youâ€™re the latest to fall victim to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Monty Brown says hello.
Winner â€“ The Mystery Opponent
Raffi Shamir: Let’s do the math. Jeff Hardy made his debut during an X-Division match on January 4. Jeff Hardy wasn’t on the January 14 show. Now Red is facing a mystery opponent. Gee, I wonder who that mystery guy can be?
Winner and new champion: Jeff Hardy
Mark Allen: Mystery opponent is Jeff Hardy and he soundly defeats Red to win the belt.
2 out of 3 Falls
Winner (new Champion) – Jeff Hardy
ODB vs. Tara
Steven Gepp: The matches in this feud have disappointed me a little. Theyâ€™re not as shocking as what passes for womenâ€™s wrestling in the WWE, but I prefer Hamada to either of these two. Having said that, ODB is now the only 3-time TNA womenâ€™s champ, so a short reign could be on the cards.
Winner: (and new champ) Tara
David Brashear â€“ This match has some potential to it, but I donâ€™t know that theyâ€™d move the belt off ODB so quickly. Still, Tara injects some new blood into the womenâ€™s division soâ€¦
Winner â€“ Tara
Raffi Shamir: This will be the only title match where the champion will retain. I think so simply because the title already changed hands twice in the past month and that’s enough.
Mark Allen: Eh, who cares at this point? These two have battled back-and-forth with neither gaining a real advantage. Just get some stability in the belt and move onto something better.
Winner â€“ ODB
Andrew Wheeler: I never watch TNA and yet every time I see it, itâ€™s these two wrestling with the title switching hands. TNA needs a little stability on their program, so why not make it the Knockouts Title? We know Tara is more than capable in the ring and ODB isâ€¦uhâ€¦unique, so this thing will not be truly awful and we know (hope?) itâ€™ll be short, even at three falls. In the end, keep the strap on ODB.
Beer Money vs. Kevin Nash & Scott Hall
David Brashear: Dear Beer Money. Remember what I said above regarding the X-title match? Red and Monty Brown say hello.
Winners â€“ Hall and Nash
Raffi Shamir: for one thing, at least we now know how Nash/Hall/Waltman are called, and I think that “The Band” isn’t the worst choice they could come up with. Scott Hall made it to the last two Impacts, so I guess this is his time to perform his famous disappearing act. But if by some miracle he actually shows up in condition to perform, I’m afraid we’re going to see the old “band” tricks, where good wrestlers (meaning Storm and Roode) will carry the oldies during the match, do all the work and then, lay down. I will be shocked if Beer Money would actually pick up a clean win.
Winners: Nash and Hall
Mark Allen: Beer Money NEED to win this to retain credibility and become superstars under the new regime. That being said, expect Hernandez & Morgan to win the Tag belts, thus Hall & Nash win this so that they can be fed to the new Champions and make them the new superstars.
Winner – Hall & Nash
Andrew Wheeler: One team is an incredibly hot duo featuring two bright Superstars who individually could be major stars. And the other team is Beer Money. Get it? Itâ€™s ironic. Itâ€™s funny. Speaking of funny, itâ€™s funny to think that Beer Money is going to go over the Outsiders. Seriously, who books this crap? Oh, rightâ€¦Hall and Nashâ€™s buddy. Look, odds are Hall will be too drunk and bloated to work, so heâ€™ll probably no-show. However, if he does stumble out there, he and Nash will probably win. How? Stun gun? Blow dart? Finger poke of doom? Who cares? Look, it would be wonderful if Beer Money went over and they took their rightful place as the best tag team in TNA, but would Hogan go out of his way to bring in his â€œguysâ€ just to job them out? Unless heâ€™s planning on super-swerving us by having all of his pals go out there and lay down to show us that heâ€™s super cereal about this new direction, it ainâ€™t gonna happen. And even if it does, how long do you think itâ€™ll last? Beer Money are two talented guys who could really thrive on Smackdown or RAW.
Winner: Hall and Nash (seriously, how the hell am I writing their names at all for a Roundtable in 2010?!)
Steven Gepp: Beer Money Inc is my favourite current tag team. What a shame they are put against this over-the-hill team of has-beens. Waltman will interfere, things will break-down, and weâ€™ll have WCW all over again.
Winners: (and I donâ€™t believe Iâ€™m typing this) The previous Outsiders
Pope Dâ€™Angelo Dinero vs. Desmond Wolfe
Raffi Shamir: These two have the potential to steal the show. I think Wolfe is a good example to the problematic nature of “too good” debuts. He had an amazing start at TNA, feuding with Kurt Angle and blowing the roof in their PPV matches, but where does he go from there? to a potentially excellent PPV match the Pope, but it has to feel like a demotion of some sorts. But you know what/ He’s still in a better position than Samoa Joe, who seems to come up on the losing side every time something major happens in TNA.
Winner: Desmond Wolfe
Mark Allen: It’s a pure toss up between these two young guns. They both have unlimited potential in the new TNA. Both can challenge for both the X-Division Championship and Wolfe has a ready made challenge for the World Title. This is actually a fun match in that regard in that it’s the rare match that can go either way legitimately. That being said I’ve got to go with Wolfe here. He should get the win back from the loss on 1/4 and position himself as a challenger for new Champion Kurt Angle. Pope can rebound overnight with a good promo.
Winner â€“ Wolfe
Andrew Wheeler: If Desmond doesnâ€™t kill him dead in a matter of minutes, Iâ€™ll be worried for the company. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I liked Elijah Burke in the WWE. He was great as Sylvester Terkayâ€™s mouthpiece, as the New Breedâ€™s mouthpiece and as a nice foil for CM Punk. I couldnâ€™t believe that the WWE couldnâ€™t find a place for him. On the other hand, Desmond is a game changing talent that can produce main event classics if given the chance. Putting Dâ€™Angelo Dinero over Desmond on the Monday Spectacular was spectacularly stupid because THAT was the time they should have let Wolfe show the fans what he can do. Instead, they have to pay to watch the man do what he does. On the plus side, at least Wolfe is getting a slot on a PPV. By the way, Samoa Joe better do something on this damn show because heâ€™s too big of a name to be riding the pine. TNA has the tools to succeed, but they just donâ€™t use them.
Winner: Desmond Wolfe
Steven Gepp: Wolfe needs to get his win back in order to feud with AJ / Kurt.
Winner: Desmond Wolfe
David Brashear: Iâ€™ll say that Wolfe wins this one, but I really hope that this isnâ€™t the end of the series between these two. In my opinion, they easily put on one of the best matches on the Monday night Impact, and they could fight each other all the way up the ladder.
Winner â€“ Desmond Wolfe
Bobby Lashley vs. Abyss
Mark Allen: Lashley runs through Abyss to continue his pissed off guy who wants out storyline. Speaking of which, why isn’t Samoa Joe on this card? Just wondering….
Winner â€“ Lashley
Andrew Wheeler: Lashleyâ€™s character is a guy who wants to leave TNA for MMA glory. Lashley is a guy who wants to leave TNA for MMA glory. He has pretty much said that MMA is his love and that TNA pays the bills. Why the hell does this man have a damn job and a push? At least when The Rock decided to go Hollywood, he left the WWE rather than bury it by making them look like his fallback position. Abyss has been a team player for TNA for so long that itâ€™s hard to really be critical of him. Heâ€™ll be the loyal employee and heâ€™ll do his job, and by that I mean heâ€™ll do THE job. Lashley may abandon TNA for MMA, but in the meantime, his neutered character could generate the kind of heat that heels in TNA desperately need. What would make it even better is if he backs it up by beating the best and baddest. Unfortunately, he might beat everyone and then turn tail and leave. But what are the odds heâ€™ll do it again? Hell, itâ€™s Against All Odâ€¦oh wait, this is Genesis. My bad.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Steven Gepp: Oh Christ, who cares? Okay, Foley gets involved, maybe Raven or Dr Stevie, probably Kristal, clusterf**K all round.
David Brashear: This match is going to start off with Lashley not wanting to come out and TNA management forcing him to somehow. Heâ€™ll come out and weâ€™ll have the match and Abyss will be able to let them know if any lights are burned out above the ring.
Winner â€“ Bobby Lashley
Raffi Shamir: Damn it Bischoff, how many times does Lashley has to ask for his release before you grant him his wish and rid TNA of his completely useless and worthless presence? Just give it to him already!
Sean Morley vs. Daniels
Andrew Wheeler: One guy was wrestling for a world title while the other one was last seen jobbing to Snitsky on Heat. If Daniels wins here, what was the point of bringing in Morley in the first place? My guess is that Daniels wins with cheap heat in order to necessitate a rematch. Iâ€™m glad that Morley has a job and is on a PPV because heâ€™s a solid hand, but there are a lot of TNA guys who would kill for a slot like this and are watching from home. Hopefully they make the best of it and maybe steal the show. My guess is management will use this match to show the TNA loyalists that they wonâ€™t all be jobbed out to ex-WWE guys. Just most of them.
Steven Gepp: Seriously? Actually, after the Australian tour I think Morley still has â€˜itâ€™ and can bring it in the ring, but he cannot match Daniels. Still, wonâ€™t be as horrendous or anything. I hope.
David Brashear: Iâ€™ve got to admit that I always felt a little sorry for Morley in the WWE. He was a talented wrestler who was good on the mic and he was completely lost in the shuffle. Do I think he could be a title contender? Yes. Do I think he can do it while still trying to ride his Val Venis character? No. Do I think that heâ€™s going to defeat Daniels here tonight? No.
Winner â€“ Daniels
Raffi Shamir: I’ve heard many TNA apologists say that TNA brought all the old WWE and WCW faces to help put over their home grown talent. Bullshit. Who the hell is Sean Morley to put anyone over? He may have been a good underrated wrestler in WWE, but when it comes to position or status, he’s nothing. A victory on him would do nothing for Daniels’ career. He’s actually taking many steps down the ladder in this match, after appearing in last month’s main event. Fighting Morley is beneath Daniels. I hope this will be Morley’s first and last TNA match.
Mark Allen: I’m all for Morley getting another chance at the limelight as he was criminally underused for years. But I also ask why this match is getting the nod for the PPV as opposed to the inevitable Dudleyz-Nastys match or a potentially super hot Young Bucks-Machineguns opening match? That all being said, in regards to this match Daniels still has the far greater upside at this point despite both their ages and longevity.
Winner â€“ Daniels
Bonus: Who will the “mystery acquisition” turn out to be?
Raffi Shamir: I hate the way they hyped this “mystery acquisition”. It happened so much in the old WCW, where they would build a mystery person to be the biggest name in history and someone who can change everything, and we ended up with guys like Ric Steiner or Road Warrior Animal. Ken Anderson is not someone who can live up to the hype. Unless they can deliver someone like Edge (And they can’t), then it’s just another exaggerated hype that can’t come true. The closest free agent to that level of influence is RVD (And even that’s not close enough), so I’ll go with him – Rob Van Dam.
Mark Allen: Mystery acquisition will be Rob Van Dam. The person has been hyped as a potential “game changer” and a spoiler for the World Championship so it seems logical to be RVD. He’s already built up a contact with Hogan stemming from CCW and the four days a month workload should be easy for RVD to get on board with. I was originally going to say Ken Anderson, but I feel his appearance isn’t big enough to warrant this type of hype.
Andrew Wheeler: Thereâ€™s no reason not to bring in Mr. Andersonâ€¦Anderson. Heâ€™ll be a valuable asset to them immediately, not to mention he can work as a heel and be believable in the main event picture. Bringing in RVD doesnâ€™t make sense because they already have Jeff Hardy. Bringing in Goldberg doesnâ€™t make sense because HE DOESNâ€™T WANT TO WRESTLE. Short of that, I canâ€™t think of another free agent out there that TNA would bother bringing inâ€¦then again they already brought back Orlando Jordan.
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Tags: AJ Styles, genesis, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, roundtable, TNA