IMPACT WRESTLING on Pop Tuesdays at 9/8c starting January 5, 2016

Bracing For IMPACT: We All Need a Gut Check

By James Guttman


Someone may want to check on Sam Shaw and Alex Silva.  This Thursday, these two compete in TNA's GutCheck Tournament.  The goal – to earn a spot in the upcoming Bound For Glory Series, and possibly, a shot at the World Heavyweight Title. The problem - never before has being a part of TNA required so much.

Ask AJ Styles.  Here's someone who ate, breathed, and slept Total Nonstop Action for nearly ten years. From the first moment of the first show, Styles has been a loyal member of the TNA Family.  But now, he's lost.  Bully Ray's promise to "patch in" AJ on Thursday's Impact shows how hard it is to stand by the side of good when faced with such odds.  With Aces and Eights running through the company on a regular basis, our concerns turn to worry and worry turns to despair.  We all feel it.  If the Phenomenal One turns his back on us, it could be the final psychological blow in a war that's been just as mental as physical.

Some people are blaming Kurt Angle for the AJ exodus.  Had it not been for Kurt's heated confrontation with Styles last week, AJ's loyalty might still be assured.  But the hot-headed Olympian doesn't have patience for waffling.  He's always been a firm believer in firm decisions.  He's been saying "ain't nobody got time for that" long before it was viral. But, at a time when diplomacy seems to the key to victory, Kurt's anger is raging.  Hopefully he can harness that and use it in his match with Mr. Anderson on Thursday.  If you think Angle is seething now, just imagine what he'll be like after another loss to Aces and Eights.

I'd hate to think that Hulk Hogan is blaming Kurt Angle for what happened, but who knows anymore?   All Hogan wants is for TNA - and all he believes it to be - to step up and vanquish the Aces and Eights threat.  It's pretty safe to assume that he wishes this problem would have been taken care of long ago. But with wrestlers being injured, vying for attention, or just running to the rafters, he doesn't know who to trust to finish the job anymore.

It all makes you thankful for Mickie James and Velvet Sky.  While so much seems to be "up in the air", one thing remains constant.  The Knockouts Division is on fire and these two women deserve nothing but praise.  On this week's Impact, it's time for the match we've been waiting for as Velvet defends her Knockouts Championship against former champ James.   Whichever side you're on, one thing is certain. This is a bout you'll want to see.  Sometimes mutual respect and admiration can bring out the best in someone far more than violence and aggression.  

…and sometimes it doesn't.  That's why Sting isn't taking any chances.  Our World Champion Bully Ray doesn't shake hands.  He breaks hands.  Heading towards his title defense against the Stinger on June 2nd's Slammiversary, Bully's match strategy is obvious.  He's looking to end things early.  How early?  About ten days.  Sting better watch his back.  I can't imagine a world where Aces and Eights let him get to Slammiversary without some sort of beating.

So please.  Call Alex Silva.  Call Sam Shaw.  Explain to them that a TNA GutCheck Challenge means more today than it ever has before.  Heck, call Suicide.  The masked star returns to Impact too, but it's not the Impact he may remember.  All I'm saying is that it's a different world now.  You're either TNA or you're not.  It's time we all stand up and take a real GutCheck.  Decide now if you can handle it.  We don't have any more time for maybes.