It’s been nearly a month since I reviewed a wrestling show, so what better time to step back into the ring with TNA’s biggest show of the year, Bound for Glory, shown this past Wednesday night on Challenge here in Britain.
The show began with the first title match of the evening as Rob Van Dam challenged Zema Ion for the X Division title. I guess the weight limit has been scrapped then.
This was pretty good, a nice way to open the show. RVD’s style is well suited to the X Division, and if I’m honest I’m surprised he wasn’t put into that particular mix before.
As for the match itself their styles complimented each other perfectly. Ion continued to look decent on pay-per-view, and he was more than able to keep up with his more illustrious opponent. As for RVD, all of the old tools were on display.
My only critique of this match is that it was perhaps a little too short. Perhaps if they’re given a pay-per-view re-match they’ll be given more time to show their full arsenals. Imagine what these two could do in a ladder match.
The result, a new champion, as RVD came off the top rope to take Ion down with a good old fashioned frog splash.
It was a battle of the former partners next as Magnus challenged Samoa Joe for the TV title. Moving on….
Then it was on to the big grudge match as Bobby Roode faced James Storm in a street fight, with MMA star “King” Mo Lawal as the special enforcer.
How best to describe this one? Well, this was one big fight, and an entertaining one at that.
These two tore the house down as they knocked seven sorts of you know what out of each other. As well as a few well executed wrestling moves they clobbered each other with anything they could get their hands on.
As expected the claret flowed quite freely, especially from Storm’s head after Roode catapulted him into the ring post. It was just one of the many brutal moves outside the ring.
But despite all of this the one disappointing aspect was King Mo. He didn’t actually do much. There were a couple of staredowns, most notably when Roode threatened the referee, but that was it. No physical interaction whatsoever.
Back to the matter at hand. After both men survived the big moves Storm took the win with his Last Call super kick, taking the winning pin after Roode fell onto a pile of thumb tacks for the second time.
Normal action resumed with Joey Ryan taking on one of my old favourites in Al Snow.
This certainly brought back some memories. Snow showed that he’s still got it by taking Ryan to school early on, but the guy on the one night contract soon got his licks in, although he had trouble putting the old man away.
We then saw the welcome return of Snow’s old buddy Head, but just when it looked like Head would get a few shots in Ryan pushed Snow into the referee so the official could take a short nap.
Then we got the unexpected moment when Matt Morgan appeared out of nowhere and took Snow down with the Carbon Footprint, just as he was about to clobber Ryan with Head. Morgan then pushed Snow back into the ring as the referee’s nap finished in time for him to count Ryan’s pin, earning the newcomer a full-time contract and ending a decent match.
By the way, is it me or does Ryan look like an extra from Boogie Nights?
It was back to title action for the next match as Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, and Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles, challenged Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian for the Tag Team titles.
Now this is what tag team wrestling is all about, three teams putting in great performances from bell to bell.
All six men put in good stints here. From the champions playing the cowardly heels early on to the power moves of big Super Mex and the high flying moves from almost everyone this match delivered big time.
There’s really too many high points in this one to name them all, but needless to say that this match will probably be remembered when fans make their match of the year nominations.
After all of the great action new champions were crowned. Hernandez took Daniels down with the Border Toss so Guerrero could seal the deal with a top rope frog splash, with the big guy taking the title winning pin.
The title action continued with Tara challenging Miss Tessmacher for the Knockouts title.
I couldn’t help but feel that we’ve seen this all before. Don’t get me wrong, this was a good match, but the only differences from their previous encounters was that Tara was a heel and the match was a little longer.
The end was different was well. This time Tara came out on top when she took Tessmacher down with the Widow’s Peak for the title winning pin.
Tara then celebrated in the ring as she introduced her new boyfriend to the world, some guy from the American version of Big Brother. Yep, it’s one of those guys who’ll probably go back to his old day job in a couple of years, having failed to get any more work as a “celebrity”.
Then it was back to tag team action as Sting and Bully Ray, who wore old school war paint for the occasion, took on two of the Aces & Eights guys in a no disqualification match, with A&E getting access to TNA if they won.
Before the match began the bad guys brought their hostage Joseph Park to the ring with them, handcuffing him to the guardrail.
This reminded me of a certain WCW match just over 15 years ago, considering what was on the line. It was a pretty heated encounter, and a very enjoyable one as well.
Sting and the Bully looked good as a team as they took it to the masked men, while the hoods played their part to perfection in what was part brawl part wrestling encounter, with a few trusty old weapons shots thrown in for good measure.
The No DQ stipulation meant that the other members of the gang could come and go as well, so it came as no surprise when another masked man appeared on the scene, spitting at the handcuffed Park before he attacked the good guys. This action enraged the big lawyer. He managed to break his shackles so he could storm into the ring and send the new guy running for the hills.
A few moments later Sting and Bully brought out the old Dudley routine and brought a table into the equation, but the bad guys regained their senses just as they were about to get wood. Another bad guy then came down and put the Bully through the table, sealing the fate of the good guys as A&E took the winning pin.
This was the signal for the rest of the bad guys to attack, and for our esteemed General Manager to make an appearance. Hogan dropped the various hoods with a single punch each as he made his way to the ring before doing his usual routine to take the final guy down with the big boot.
Then came the dramatic moment. Sting held the mystery man while Hogan unmasked him, and the big bad guy turned out to be none other than ex-Dudley Boy Devon. The sight left our good guys in a state of shock.
The main event saw Jeff Hardy challenging Austin Aries for the World title.
This was the match I was looking forward to the most, especially given the pedigree of those involved.
It certainly didn’t disappoint. From the opening exchanges to the final bell these two put on a tremendous contest. Although they had different distinct styles they complimented each other perfectly.
With the crowd roaring their approval throughout they pulled off some great sequences. All of the big moves were there as they attempted to put each other away, and when they brought out the big guns neither man could get the job done.
This was one of those matches you knew would take a huge effort to get the pin, especially when Aries kicked out after the Twist of Fate and Hardy kicked out after the Brain Buster.
It was when Aries couldn’t put his man away with his signature move that Hardy took his chance, and a few moments later Hardy took him down with a second Twist of Fate before finishing Aries off with the vaunted Swanton for the title winning pin.
In conclusion - as I said at the beginning of this piece this was the first wrestling show I’d watched in nearly a month, and what a show it was.
Apart from the we’ve seen it all before Knockouts title match Bound for Glory delivered, and then some. It’s another example of how TNA are finally showing some consistency.
Most of the matches delivered in their own way, from the X Division opener right through to the World title match.
It’s shows like these that give me a problem though, because it’s kind of hard to pick a match of the night.
So out of all the possible candidates this time around the no-prize goes to the Aries/Hardy main event. Here’s hoping that we’ll get a pay-per-view re-match from those two.
With all of that out of the way it’s time to close this piece by giving this year’s Bound for Glory the big thumbs up.