World Heavyweight Championship match
Matt Morgan vs Jeff Hardy (c)
Given that earlier in the year he made a habit of cracking skulls between his foot and the turnbuckle post, it's somewhat surprising that Matt Morgan would emerge as a spokesman for head injury safety. Then again, maybe a man with intimate knowledge about dishing out such injuries is the perfect person to stand up for Ken Anderson, who apparently sustained an unintentional legit head wound and concussion after a Jeff Hardy chair shot.
As shocking as it is for Jeff Hardy to be pushed into a heel spot at the top of TNA, it's turning out reasonably well. Given Hardy's ability to be a draw as a face, I don't know if the show will represent a Turning Point for Hardy's cash value as a heel, but his heartless promos have been something to enjoy. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the Charismatic Enigma unleash a Twist of Hate in this match, which will presumably go his way. Matt Morgan has always struck me as a decent enough satellite contender, but his abrupt insertion into the match, intriguing as it's been, is no reason to put the belt on him. Hardy retains, but I wouldn't be surprised if the straight rules of the match produce a convoluted result, with cameo appearances by members of Morgan's former Fortune partners, or perhaps Mr. Anderson himself.
Prediction: Jeff Hardy
Pink Slip Tag Team match
EV2.0 vs Fortune
As far as I can tell, the specific line-up for teams in this match hasn't been clarified. AJ Styles, Frankie Kazarian, Beer Money (Robert Roode & James Storm), and Douglas Williams are the available options, with various ECW originals free to compete in a team bout. I would probably think the Fortune members are too important to discard in any fashion per the stipulation that the winning team can fire a member of the losing team, so it's safe to assume they will walk away with the victory. (Although; when does Ric Flair's contract end...?) Which means Raven(!), Sabu, Stevie Richards, Rhino, or Brian Kendrick is headed for the chopping block.
Tag Team Championship match
Team 3D vs Motor City Machine Guns (c)
I have mixed feelings about the way Team 3D inserted themselves into a tag title shot at the Bound for Glory PPV. Claims of an impending retirement is a little tough to believe, particularly with reports flagging their contract renewal. One almost has the sense they might spring a heel admission into one of the various factions floating around, and put one over on Machine Guns, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin. You couldn't argue that Brother Ray and Brother Devon aren't assured a place in tag team wrestling history, but for the good of the present and future, I'd like to assume the belts stay with the Machine Guns, with a big rub coming their way. I'd like to, but I'm not sure I should...
Prediction: Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (MCMG)
"The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero vs Abyss
I don't really know what to make of this match. This seems like the dregs of the faction-oriented storytelling going on in TNA right now, which really makes me long for unrelated singles competition, the kind of sports-referencing entertainment that was going on last year when the ring still had six sides. I haven't clarified the role of the lumberjacks. It'd be nice if some of the Xplosion relegated wrestlers, like Brutus Magnus, were getting some face time in the mix. It would probably make more sense for members of Fortune, Immortal, or some other nonsense to fill the void, but whatever. How many times can one man get screwed? Good luck, Pope.
Tommy Dreamer vs Rob Van Dam
A statistical note -- RVD held only one loss to his name prior to his return after losing the TNA World Heavyweight Championship (which was stripped without another loss added to his record). He's had to do the job lately. Even so, I wouldn't expect Tommy Dreamer to get the better of him. In-fighting within the ECW ranks is probably more variety than we could rightly expect of the current faction focus. I'm not real thrilled about wrestlers like Kurt Angle going absent, however, while Tommy Dreamer occupies a spot on the card. It's wearing a bit thin. Roll on RVD's title rematch against Jeff Hardy -- a combo with more chemistry than the main event.
Prediction: Rob Van Dam
Samoa Joe vs Jeff Jarrett
Speaking of wrestlers in the wrong position; I'm not especially convinced by Jarrett's rising significance. Samoa Joe has been nigh irrelevant for most of the year, and I'd very much like to see him scale the ranks again as a competitive singles wrestler with an eye for the top prize. He has been perhaps the biggest victim of the increasing dismissal of the sport of wrestling. Here's hoping he picks up a much needed win against a tired opponent.
Prediction: Samoa Joe
Mickie James vs Tara
I've never been a big fan of Mickie James, and I'm not likely to start any time soon. That damned "hardcore country" song has been haunting my dreams at night! It would make sense to keep her hot with a win here, leading to a title match with reigning Knockouts Champion, Madison Rayne. Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom that once made TNA's womens division a feature of the company has since gone by the wayside.
Prediction: Mickie James
X-Division Championship match
Robbie E vs Jay Lethal (c)
So convincing is his Jersey Shore-inspired gimmick, and so foreign is he to me, that I didn't realise Robbie E was actually a wrestler. His challenging for the X-Division title feels like a good idea taken in the wrong direction. It's a contemporary gimmick, but it's not fitting of what should be a prized title, I believe. I hope Jay Lethal cleans the clown's clock and gets back to fighting the likes of Amazing Red -- on Pay-Per-View and US TV, instead of house shows and Xplosion.
Prediction: Jay Lethal
The Kayfabe Countdown: TNA Top Ten
Cumulative tally based on the win/loss records of televised matches.
#1 AJ Styles [--] (Television Champion)
#2 Rob Van Dam [--]
#3 Kurt Angle [--]
#4 Jeff Hardy [--] (World Heavyweight Champion)
#5 Robert Roode [+1]
#6 James Storm [+3]
#7 D'Angelo Dinero [+3]
#8 Abyss [-3]
#9 Ken Anderson [-2]
#10 Velvet Sky [-2]
#1 Robert Roode & James Storm [--]
#2 Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin [--] (Tag Team Champions)
#3 Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal [+2]
#4 Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne [-1]
#5 Hernandez & Matt Morgan [-1]