Powell's TNA Bound For Glory Hit List: A.J. Styles wins the TNA Title, Kurt Angle passes on the TNA Hall of Fame and loses to Bobby Roode, BroMans wins the TNA Tag Titles, Sting vs. Magnus, Ultimate X
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the 96-minute audio review of TNA Bound For Glory that Will Pruett, Zack Zimmerman, and I recorded after the pay-per-view. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
TNA Bound For Glory Hits
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode: An excellent match with a clunky stretcher job finish. Angle and Roode managed to bring the crowd into the match even though the buildup was poor and there was nothing at stake. Angle not getting up after he performed the Angle Slam off the top rope would have been a bit deflating yet acceptable, but the stretcher scene afterward was a total buzz kill. I think the idea was that Angle standing up and refusing to be stretchered to the back would fire up the crowd, but the whole thing was a downer, which is a real shame because these two worked the match of the night. Taz was very good on color commentary. He ditched the intentional cornball jokes in favor of helping tell the story and creating a sports-like vibe. I wish we got that version of Taz all the time.
A.J. Styles vs. Bully Ray: An overbooked match with unnecessary appearances by Garett Bischoff, Knux, and even Dixie Carter. TNA played on its past cheap finishes by teasing the possibility that this would be yet another. Why put people through that? Why tease the television audience with the possibility of another bad Aces & 8's finish when they could have simply announced that absolutely no one would be allowed at ringside and viewers would simply find out who the better man was? That said, Styles and Ray worked hard to deliver a memorable main event and the happy ending to the pay-per-view with Styles going over helped them succeed. Styles celebrating in the crowd with excited fans was a great way to close the show.
TNA Bound For Glory Misses
Spike TV Special: TNA had an hour of Spike TV television time to sell viewers on purchasing the BFG pay-per-view. During that hour, they gave viewers a gauntlet match that resulted in the BroMans tag team earning the right to challenge for the TNA Tag Titles, a Bully Ray promo teasing Aces & 8's interference, and Dixie Carter. Did they really think any of those things would entice viewers to order this show? At the very least, they should have concluded the free preview with their most popular wrestler, Jeff Hardy, making his entrance for the Ultimate X match. Rather, TNA somehow managed to lessen my enthusiasm for the show via their one-hour special.
Kurt Angle declines the TNA Hall of Fame induction: TNA actually managed to over-book a Hall of Fame ceremony. Let me get this straight. Angle returned to television, went through the entire TNA Hall of Fame banquet, and then waited until the pay-per-view to announce that he was declining the honor? I realize Angle was arrested and went through rehab recently, but it's not like the masses were buzzing about the idea that Angle didn't belong in the Hall of Fame as a result of these issues. If this was Angle's legitimate choice, then they should have simply made the announcement on television and scrapped the banquet. As I mentioned last night in audio, forget about getting refunds for pay-per-view events that conclude with cheap finishes, I'd want a refund if I attended a Hall of Fame banquet only to find out the next day that the honoree didn't even want the honor. Many fans already scoff at the notion of TNA having a Hall of Fame after being in business for 11 years. It doesn't bother me a bit that they choose to honor people who have worked for them, but having Angle decline in what looked like an angle doesn't help the legitimacy as Angle or someone must have thought it would. Rather, it makes the Hall of Fame look like fodder for a pro wrestling angle. The live crowd was looking for a feel good moment and instead they were treated to a flat and awkward moment.
BroMans win the TNA Tag Titles: This may elevate the team or at the very least they will come across as vulnerable heel champions who could lose at any time. They also worked very hard in the tag title match, which had more dramatic near falls than anyone expected. Still, the idea of BroMans winning the tag titles at the biggest show of the year is going to cause more eye rolling than eyebrow raising. It also frustrates viewers who see Bad Influence as the best team in TNA. I also go back to the idea that the team that viewers were trained to see as scrubs won this match on the free preview show. Worse yet, I'm left wondering whether they booked the title change because someone thought the muscle milk celebration would be hilarious.
Sting vs. Magnus: Everything about the match was awkward from the moment that Sting declared that he would make Magnus. That drew attention to the match quality and the obvious question of whether Sting is capable of making anyone in the ring at this point in his career. The question was answered on Sunday night and it wasn't good. The in-ring action was mostly forgettable and the finish was downright awful. I don't think anyone believed that Sting, who has performed countless Superman comebacks in TNA, was even close to tapping at that point in the match. I do like the idea of Magnus turning heel, as his quick handshake seemed to indicate. I like Magnus and he's a decent mid-card babyface, but he can be more than that right now if he turns heel.
Ultimate X: Another forgettable Ultimate X match. TNA's once great concept match has been overexposed to the point that it doesn't feel special. This version of the match was more of a ladder match than an Ultimate X match. All five wrestlers were given moments to shine offensively, yet none of it was memorable. This was yet another flat and overbooked finish. The one positive of the match is that Sabin did a good job of playing to the crowd and getting strong heel reactions. Overall, though, it was just a giant waste of talent. Save the Ultimate X matches for true X Division wrestlers. You can't tell me this would not have been a better overall show if Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and especially Austin Aries were in actual matches rather than a throwaway stunt match for a title that feels beneath them.
Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Brooke Tessmacher: The in-ring action was a little better than expected. The issue that stands out is pairing Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa. I'm not saying they stole the idea from WWE's recent pairing of A.J. Lee and Tamina Snuka. However, I am saying that the company currently drawing criticism for featuring Dixie Carter in a storyline role similar to the way WWE is slotting Triple H and Stephanie McMahon should be more aware of their competition and realize how it's going to be perceived.
Ethan Carter III vs. Norv Fernum: Fernum had the perfect look for a guy handpicked by Dixie Carter to serve as her storyline nephew's first TNA match. And I still think there are some fun storyline possibilities for the EC3 character, which actually does more for me than his storyline aunt's character. I just didn't think this was the right place or slot on the card to debut the character. The match was short enough that it could have appeared on the Spike TV special. Had this gone on first, the live crowd presumably would have been much more responsive. Instead, the crowd was apathetic toward TNA's new character. The match was essentially slotted to be a buffer match. While buffer matches serve their purpose, I strongly question the idea of putting the a highly promoted new character in a position to get such a flat reaction from the live crowd.
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