Powell's TNA Bound For Glory Hitlist: Jeff Hardy beats Austin Aries to win the TNA Title and why it won't be remembered as a true moment, Devon revealed as an Aces & 8s member, James Storm vs. Bobby Roode, Matt Morgan returns, Jessie Godderz debut
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the 80-minute audio review of TNA Bound For Glory that Chris Shore and I recorded last night, and the 70-minute interview with former WWE creative team member Court Bauer regarding the WWE creative shakeup. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
TNA Bound For Glory Hits
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries for the TNA Title: A strong main event. It won't make my short list of match of the year candidates, but they created the big match feel while in the ring despite not getting much help creatively in the weeks leading into their match. I didn't care for the title change because they just didn't build up anticipation for Hardy winning the title they way they should have. They also failed to cement the big show feel by not having a bigger celebration moment for Hardy at the end of the show. The split crowd dynamic felt too much like John Cena vs. C.M. Punk regardless of whether that was the vibe that TNA was going for or not.
James Storm vs. Bobby Roode : An intense brawl that generated the big show feel. Storm went overboard with the blood and I didn't think the thumbtacks were necessary. Speaking of unnecessary, I'm not sure what King Mo was supposed to add to the match, but the live crowd didn't seem to care about him and his involvement in the match was forgettable. I'm not a big fan of hardcore style matches these days, but Storm and Roode worked really hard and had the crowd from start to finish. I'd rather watch these two wrestle and I still feel strongly that this should have been the main event with Storm challenging Roode for the title as was originally planned, but this was a great feud ending brawl.
Rob Van Dam vs. Zema Ion: It's a shame that this match wasn't on the BFG preview show because it would have sold the pay-per-view so much better than the replay of the Destination X main event that included lifeless live commentary from Mike Tenay and Taz. The crowd loved RVD, and Ion made the crowd dislike him more as the match went on. I'm not crazy about RVD wearing the X Division Title and it annoys me that they never addressed the fact that they added a weight limit last year that RVD's character wouldn't meet. The match itself was a strong opener that worked up the live crowd and got the show off to an energetic start.
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus for the TV Title: The live crowd was hot for Joe who gave them an inspired performance. It was another good showing for Magnus and I'd like to see more from the former tag partners. I really liked the long submission hold that Joe applied. Just as Magnus was about to reach the ropes, Joe hooked that arm and it looked like the match would end at that point, but Magnus countered in a believable manner by repositioning his body to reach the ropes with his leg. There was really good drama throughout that long submission attempt and it was also nice to see a clean and decisive finish on the big show even though it feels like they're just getting started with this feud.
Sting and Bully Ray vs. Aces & 8s: The actual match was entertaining early on and I loved the touch of Ray wearing the old school Sting face paint. There were certainly better matches and a better brawl on the show, but Sting and Ray were really over with the live crowd and brought some energy back that was missing in the three matches that led up to it. Unfortunately, there were also some really hokey aspects, which will be addressed in the Misses section.
Overall show: A minor Hit. The positives were that the show looked professional and the live crowd was hot when they were given reasons to be. There was good wrestling during the first hour of the show and in the main event. I was entertained by BFG, but I still enjoyed the Slammiversary event more. The big problem with Bound For Glory is that it didn't leave me excited about the creative direction going forward. Devon wasn't a hot reveal, Jessie Godderz meant nothing, and most of the title changes felt like they occurred because it was a big event rather than because they built up the storylines to a point where it was logical to make those moves.
Hardy winning the title with a sloppy buildup is yet another example of why TNA's history doesn't feel important. When TNA aired their historical Bound For Glory videos on Impact leading up to the show, they never register with me as a pro wrestling "moment." I may remember whatever they are showcasing as a good match or a fun angle, but they just don't hit home as truly historical TNA moments. For years, the problem was the creative struggles under the old regime. Now that there's a new creative team in place, I hoped they would be able to build up matches and feuds to the point that when they culminated at an event such as BFG the end result would feel important and special. Yet when the footage of Hardy winning the title at this year's BFG is shown on Impact in future years, I won't look back on it as a special moment but rather as a good match because the journey to him capturing the title was flat.
TNA Bound For Glory Misses
Devon revealed as Aces & 8s: I'm cool with Devon being part of Aces & 8s and even though I don't believe he's the leader of the group, this was not a big event reveal. The live crowd seemed bored by it and the "this is awkward" chants were comical and fitting. Future reveals might be better, but TNA has to know that their fans were expecting more from them on their biggest show of the year. Meanwhile, creative has to eliminate the campiness if they want this faction to work. Watching the Aces run down one by one and take punches from Hulk Hogan on the ramp made them look like anything but a group of rebel outlaws, and the corniness of Joseph Park being kidnapped for weeks and then breaking the handcuffs was downright sappy. That type of schtick might connect with fans who like Hogan and Park, but that's the type of campiness will ruin Aces & 8s if it continues.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian for the TNA Tag Titles: This was the biggest letdown match of the night. The effort was there from the talent and it's not like it was a bad match. Rather, the issue was that the live crowd was never engaged. Taz stated early on that Chavo and Hernandez had the home field advantage because the show was in the Southwest. That comment leaves me wondering if TNA went with the title change because they expected a big Hispanic turnout and thought those fans would rally behind Chavo and Herandez. Nothing could be further from the truth, as there were more boos than cheers when they won the belts. The crowd didn't seem to like Chavo and Hernandez until Chavo mentioned his late uncle Eddie in the post match promo. The match was crowded with three teams and the title change just didn't click.
Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher for the TNA Knockouts Title: The match just felt flat with Tara controlling most of it. It was good to see a clean finish, which was common throughout the show. The effort was there from both women, but the crowd didn't seem to have any connection with Tessmacher. In fact, it seemed like the fans that cared about the match preferred Tara. The post-match reveal of Jessie Godderz as Tara's Hollywood boyfriend made the company look low budget. Granted, Tara is a heel and she was the only one building the guy up as a big deal, but it was still embarrassing that no one in the crowd seemed to recognize him let along care about him. Godderz has been working in OVW for over a year now. I assume this means we will eventually see a Jessie and Tara vs. Eric Young and ODB feud.
Al Snow vs. Joey Ryan: This felt like something that belonged on the Impact Wrestling television show rather than the company's biggest pay-per-view event of the year. The only thing that felt big time about it was Matt Morgan returning and hitting Snow with the Carbon Footprint. Oddly enough, the match had a better storyline build than the TNA Title match. They set it up nicely on television, yet it still didn't feel like it belonged on a major event.
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