Powell's TNA Bound For Glory preview and predictions: Will Bully Ray or A.J. Styles end the night as TNA Champion? Which team will earn the right to challenge for the TNA Tag Titles? Will Sting make Magnus?
Check back tonight Jason Powell's live coverage reviews of the TNA Bound For Glory event beginning with the Spike TV special at 6:00 p.m. CT. Dot Net Members can look forward to an exclusive audio review with Jason, Zack Zimmerman, and Will Pruett after the show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
Bully Ray vs. A.J. Styles in a No DQ match for the TNA Title: The question is whether Styles and TNA have worked out a new deal. If so, then I suspect we're in for a feel good pay-per-view ending. If not, then we likely see some sort of cheap finish with Bully Ray retaining. If Styles is leaving, then they should have Ray pin him clean. However, I don't really believe Styles is going anywhere. Thus, I expect Styles to win the championship. He'll then have storyline leverage over Dixie Carter, which frankly does nothing for me. I really wonder if they would have sold more pay-per-views had they made this an all or nothing moment for Styles in that he either wins the title or it's his final match with the company.
A.J. Styles wins the TNA Championship.
Sting vs. Magnus: The match is built around Sting stepping up to make Magnus. That's not exactly the most compelling build to a match. Sadly, I don't think Sting is capable of truly making anyone at this point in his career. I hope he proves me wrong, but I suspect we will see the usual Sting shortcuts, which is normally acceptable considering his age and ability, but not so much in this case. Here's hoping he can prove me wrong on this one and deliver the big match dramatic near falls and somehow the match tells a story that makes viewers suddenly see Magnus in a new light. I like Magnus, but I question whether he will click as a heel. I would not be surprised if he did something heelish to go over here to set up rematches between the two, and thus he could claim he made himself.
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode: It's one of those matches that doesn't sell regular viewers on the pay-per-view simply because they've seen it so many times before, yet has the potential to be the show stealing match. These are TNA's most consistent performers and I have no doubt that they will deliver a strong pay-per-view match. The presentation leaves a lot to be desired. Roode mocked Angle's TNA Hall of Fame induction by being inducted into the EGO Hall of Fame, then vented that Angle dared to ruin his induction into a mock Hall of Fame. Really? Why not give this match a little something extra by making it for a TNA Title shot at Genesis or even the first shot at the winner of the Ray vs. Styles match? I don't know what it would have sold additional pay-per-views, but the match feels a bit random without some type of extra hook. Still, I plan on sitting back and enjoying the hard work of two excellent performers. Because nothing is really on the line I don't feel overly confident about picking the winner, so this is just a shot in the dark.
Angle follows up the Hall of Fame induction with a win.
Manik vs. Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe in an Ultimate X match for the X Division Title: I've seen Manik and Sabin with the X Division Title enough that I don't care if they win the title, yet I don't want to see Aries, Hardy, or Joe win the match because the title feels beneath them. Aries could be an exception because he's good enough on the mic that he could probably sell me on the idea of him as X Champion with a single promo. Hardy winning strikes me as a disaster. Remember how Rob Van Dam's title run was supposed to give a spark to the division? It led to RVD beating everyone in the division and making the usual X Division wrestlers look inferior. As for the match, I hope this is the great Ultimate X match that we've been waiting a long time for. We've seen good Ultimate X matches and a lot of throwaway Ultimate X matches in recent years. Here's hoping these guys can set the bar high and that the company won't ruin it by booking too many Ultimate X matches in the future. I don't need to see it become an annual pay-per-view theme like Hell in a Cell, but I would like to see creative show discipline by only using it once per year and making it seem like the special gimmick match that it once was. Creative seems to be behind Sabin's new heel character, so he gets the nod.
Chris Sabin wins the X Division Title.
ODB vs. Gail Kim vs. Brooke Tessmacher for the Knockouts Title: The real question here is whether Lei'D Tapa attacks the trio before, during, or after the match. I hope the long term plan is to turn Gail babyface to chase the new monster heel. The formula worked well when Gail worked against Awesome Kong back in the day, and the green Tapa would certainly benefit from being in the ring with a veteran such as Gail. Somehow, I see ODB coming out of this match with the championship to set up the powerhouse babyface with a match against the monster heel. I just hope they don't make the mistake of putting the title on Gail and having Tapa chase her because it would work much better the other way around.
ODB retains the Knockouts Title.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Joseph Park and Eric Young vs. Robbie E and Jessie vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez in a pre-show gauntlet match for a shot at the TNA Tag Titles: This match will air on the Spike TV special that kicks off the show at 6:00 p.m. CT and will be included in my pay-per-view live coverage review. In other words, you watch the NFL games, and I'll take one for the team and cover the pre-show while you follow along with my live coverage. It's Bad Influence or bust as far as I'm concerned. I'm not all that interested in Chavo's apparently slow burning heel turn, and while the comedy teams serve their purpose, I don't want to see them challenge for the tag titles on the company's biggest night of the year. Daniels and Kazarian winning gives the pay-per-view another strong match and could be a nice final nudge for viewers who are on the fence when it comes to whether to order the show. Forget the idea of giving a feel good moment on the free preview to make everyone happy going into the pay-per-view. Frankly, none of the babyface alternatives will make anyone feel good enough to order the show.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian win.
James Storm and Gunner vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian for the TNA Tag Titles: It's obvious that TNA creative has high hopes for Gunner, who has shown charisma as a babyface. Having said that, I would love to see him turn on Storm and join EGO as the enforcer of a four-man faction. There haven't been any hints of that happening, so I doubt that's the finish, but I can dream. I'll settle for Bad Influence getting the tag titles and holding the straps for more than a month. They've had two title reigns. One lasted less than a month, the other lasted roughly 3.5 months. Daniels and Kazarian are consistently among the most entertaining acts on Impact. They are also the best TNA tag team in the ring. Put the straps on these two and keep them there.
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