Next Monday night, TNA Wrestling will go head-to-head with WWE RAW for the first time with a 3-hour live edition of iMPACT! Both shows are bringing out the big guns, with iMPACT! headlined by the TNA debut of Hulk Hogan and RAW featuring the long-awaited never-thought-you’d-see-it WWE return of Bret “Hit Man” Hart.
Monday night will give wrestling fans a taste of the excitement we haven’t seen in almost a decade – two competing wrestling shows going head-to-head on a Monday night and the feeling that you’ve gotta keep an eye on both shows so you don’t miss a blockbuster event. It might turn out to be a 1-night event and a throwback to better time, like those first two ECW PPVs. It could also be the first battle in a long, bloody war. Either way, it is shaping up to be an exciting night of wrestling for wrestling fans past and present. Here’s a full rundown of what to expect next Monday night:
WWE RAW with Guest Host Bret Hart
The big story of Monday night is undoubtedly Bret Hartâ€™s confirmed appearance as guest host. The Hit Man hasn’t been a part of WWE storylines since 1997 and Bret entering that ring one more time will be an unforgettable moment for longtime fans who never thought this disaster of a situation would ever get proper closure. Bret will be on WWE television until after WrestleMania and he’s rumored to be working with Vince McMahon, DX and the Hart Dynasty. There has been talk of Bret’s return angle culminating with some sort of match at WrestleMania.
Also confirmed for RAW:
â€“ Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston
Also, it’s worth noting that John Cena will not on the show. Cena will be at the college football Fiesta Bowl game next Monday night in Arizona. The Bowl game starts at 8:00 p.m. EST, so heâ€™d be unable to make it to RAW in Dayton, Ohio in time.
While this is all that we know at this point, expct WWE to cut the midget comedy crap for at least a week and start 2010 will a memorable show.
LIVE! 3-Hour Monday iMPACT!
The show will feature the TNA debut of Hulk Hogan and is being designed as a launching point for a new era in TNA history. Major changes are expected on television and behind the scenes, with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff‘s team assuming “total control” of the company’s direction. Here are some things we can expect next Monday night:
* Hulk Hogan‘s Debut: Hogan has made it clear that he’s coming to TNA to play the “Vince McMahon role,” calling the shots and putting the company in a new path that will ultimately lead to a war with WWE.
* iMPACT! Zone Changes: TNA iMAPCT! will have a new look next Monday night. TNA has been working on several big upgrades to the iMPACT! Zone set. Also, the 6-sided ring won’t be around much longer and will be replaced with a traditional 4-sided ring as soon as next week.
* New & Familiar Faces: Former nWo members Scott Hall and Sean Waltman are TNA bound and there’s a strong chance we’ll see at least Hall next Monday night. TNA recently signed the Young Bucks tag team and they are expected to appear next week. Additionally, there are several big name free agents that could also be at next week’s show – including Rob Van Dam, Ken Anderson and Ric Flair. Names like Jeff Hardy and Bill Goldberg are currently free agents but should be considered long shots at best. Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman are also available to appear as on-air talent, with many TNA employees and fans hoping that Paul Heyman is brought in as head booker.
* Other Changes: Bischoff’s team has already been working behind the scenes on a number of new projects for TNA. His experience as the president of WCW during its peak run and knowledge of running the top wrestling promotion in the world will make him an invaluable asset to TNA during this time of transition and growth. Whether it’s television and merchandising deals or global expansion, Bischoff can spot the holes in TNA’s game and knows how to fill in the gaps.
Hulk Hogan has been very outspoken about today’s wrestling being over-scripted and wants to bring back part of what made wrestling of previous generations so good – which was focusing on in-ring action and letting the wrestlers speak for themselves.
From what we’ve heard, there are several major surprises being worked on that would send serious shockwaves throughout the entire wrestling industry. There is talk among some TNA wrestlers that a “top secret” bombshell will be dropped next Monday night.
A new era in TNA is upon us .. We’ll see next Monday night how many of the new elements are put into effect immediately and which are rolled out in the coming weeks. With TNA kicking it into high gear and Bret Hart returning to WWE next week, the early months of 2010 are shaping up to have a ton of potential for wrestling fans everywhere.