It was time for TNA to step out of the Impact Zone this past Sunday night as Bobby Roode challenged Kurt Angle for the World title in the main event of Bound for Glory, shown this past Wednesday on Challenge here in Britain.
The broadcast began with Brian Kendrick challenging Austin Aries for the X Division title.
Now this was an impressive opener. Both guys put in tremendous performances in this enthralling back and forth encounter, putting on a match that had the fans eating out of their hands.
I really can’t speak too highly about this one, but it showed just what can be done if the X Division guys are given the chance to show what they can do.
Toward the end Kendrick looked like he was going to get the win after taking Aries down with sliced bread from the top rope. But after Aries used the ropes to escape the pin Kendrick went to the well again, this time going for sliced bread on the ring apron, which Aries countered by shoving Kendrick off the apron onto the floor.
Moments later it was all over when Aries took Kendrick out with the brain buster for the title retaining pin. Nice stuff.
An old rivalry was renewed once again next as Jerry Lynn faced Rob Van Dam in a full metal mayhem match.
This was one of the matches I was really looking forward to, given the history between these two, and even though it took a while to get going it certainly got into high gear when the weapons came into play.
As the crowd chanted three certain initials these two unleashed their full arsenal against each other, using ladders and chairs to great effect, putting their bodies on the line each and every time.
After so many big bumps Lynn slumped in a corner. RVD then put a ladder in front of him and, with chair in hand, went to the opposite turnbuckle and came down with the Van Terminator.
RVD then pulled Lynn and the ladder out of the corner and pinned Lynn for the win. Lynn then raised RVD’s arm in a show of respect. Again, nice stuff.
Three way action followed between Samoa Joe, Matt Morgan and Crimson.
This was a pretty enjoyable match. Early on Crimson and Morgan doubled up on Joe, and although they had some success it wasn’t long before the big Samoan came back into the match, putting on the kind of intense performance we rarely see these days.
Inevitably the relationship between Crimson and Morgan broke down, with Joe taking advantage in this breakdown until Crimson came out on top after taking Joe down with a spear for the winning pin, keeping his unbeaten streak in tact.
The gimmick match action continued as Bully Ray faced Mr. Anderson in a Philadelphia falls count anywhere match.
This was a brawl, plain and simple. They fought in the ring, around ringside, up the ramp and on the stage, backstage, and through the crowd, using various weapons along the way such as road signs, chairs, tables and even a guard rail, and even then they couldn’t put each other away.
Then, after Anderson clobbered Ray with a metal rubbish bin he put his foe on a table at ringside, intending to put him through with a splash from the top rope. One problem though, the table didn’t break.
So a few seconds later Anderson put Ray through the table with the mike check, taking the pin three seconds later. Nice work all round.
After the revelation that referee Jackson James is actually the son of Eric Bischoff it was the turn of the ladies to take centre stage as Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Mickie James challenged Winter, accompanied by Angelina Love, for the Knockouts title, with Karen Jarrett as special referee.
On paper this looked like it could be a pretty good match, but the storyline surrounding Jarrett’s insertion as special referee ruined this one for me.
The wrestling was okay and can’t be faulted, but when Jarrett refused to count pins for James or Sky it made sense at first but got really boring and annoying as it continued.
But in the end Jarrett was taken out when Winter once again tried to invoke the spirit of the Great Muta and accidentally sprayed red mist into the special referee’s eyes.
It was then that Traci Brooks came down to the ring and assumed control, counting the pin after Sky took Rayne down with her DDT variation for the win.
Normal programming resumed with the battle of the old friends/rivals/enemies (depending on what week it is) as Christopher Daniels faced A.J. Styles in an I quit match.
This one was pretty good. The chemistry these two have was apparent for all to see throughout this match.
They came out with all their big moves, but when Daniels grabbed a monkey wrench from under the ring and threw it at Styles and missed the intensity factor was turned up a notch.
Moments later Daniels brought a chair into the ring, placing it on Styles, launching a verbal tirade against him. Once the Fallen Angel was done and removed the chair from his man’s throat Styles came to life.
What followed was vintage stuff from these two as they put together some great sequences, culminating in Styles taking Daniels down with the styles clash.
The Phenomenal One wasn’t finished though. At first he picked up the chair, but then saw the screwdriver that Daniels had tried to stab him with earlier in the match stuck in one of the corner pads. He grabbed it and walked over to Daniels, who by this time was backing up into one of the corners. Daniels then grabbed the microphone and promptly said the magic words, saying that he didn’t want to get hurt anymore before running out of the ring, giving Styles the win.
But that wasn’t the end of things though. As Styles was making his way back up to the stage Daniels returned and took him out with an angels wings on the stage, claiming that he hadn’t been beaten.
After Jeff Hardy returned from his prison sentence and brawled with Jeff Jarrett it was on to the battle of the old guys as Hulk Hogan faced Sting for the control of TNA. Oh, and Mr. Bischoff’s baby boy was the referee.
This one began with a stoppage, as Hogan halted the action by calling out to Ric Flair the Nature Boy joining him at ringside.
You know, this was better than I thought it would be. Okay, it won’t go down in history as a classic, but it certainly served it’s purpose.
Basically this was a brawl as the two veterans beat the hell out of each other, with both men invoking the spirit of Abdullah the Butcher by stabbing each other with a spike that Flair had introduced into the match, and while all of this was happening referee James did nothing.
Moments later it was all over as Sting applied the scorpion death lock. Hogan was soon tapping, but at first the referee didn’t acknowledge this, only calling for the bell when the Hulkster tapped for the third time.
Then Immortal, minus Abyss who was hiding backstage, hit the ring and attacked Sting en masse, but when referee James tried to stop the assault Eric Bischoff clobbered his own son a chair.
As the assault continued the Stinger crawled over to Hogan, asking for his help. Seconds later Hogan saw red (and possibly yellow), ripped off his shirt and came to his former foe’s rescue, helping him clear Immortal out of the ring, completing his return to babyfacedom.
The main event saw Bobby Roode challenging Kurt Angle for the World title.
Despite suffering from a groin injury that would later put him on the shelf Angle put in another great performance.
From the opening bell Roode and Angle put on a match worthy of it’s main event status. Roode looked extremely comfortable in the main event slot and was more than capable of keeping up with his illustrious opponent.
It was a top notch match, with both men exchanging move for move and hold for hold, with their exchange of submission holds one of the highlights of the night.
But in the end there could only be one winner, with Angle finally putting his man away after an umpteenth Angle slam. One slight problem though. The referee didn’t see the champion holding on to the ropes as he counted the pin. He also didn’t see Roode’s arm under the ropes, which would have nullified the pin attempt.
So with the trainers helping the injured champion to the back a dejected Roode sat in the ring, bringing this year’s Bound for Glory to a close.
In conclusion - despite the rather ludicrous Knockouts title match Bound for Glory was a pretty good show.
The majority of the matches were enjoyable in their own way, although it did seem that the Roode/Angle match was slightly overshadowed by the Hogan/Sting match in terms of crowd reaction.
That gripe aside, Bound for Glory 2011 gets the thumbs up from this writer. I liked, for the most part, what I saw, and for me that’s the most important thing.