Pruett's Pause: TNA No Surrender - Jeff Hardy wins the Bound for Glory Series, Bobby Roode returns, Aces and Eights attack momentarily, Austin Aries fights "Arm Breaker" Styles and Angle vs. Daniels and Kazarian, and more
By Will Pruett
- Maybe it is my disillusionment with TNA's creative direction at this moment (especially the Aces and Eights story), but this pay-per-view was disappointing to me. From beginning to end, it didn't feel special. I know TNA tried with the Bound for Glory Series, but even that seems to have gone out with a whimper on this night.
- Opening the show with the Bound for Glory semi finals made for an exciting start to the show. I wasn't a big fan of the video package played before them, but that is mainly due to the similarity to the ones on Impact.
- Kudos to Jason Powell for the awesome Cats joke regarding Jeff Hardy in his live coverage. I'd hope that he was playing Munkustrap, the leader/protector cat.
- I liked this Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe match more than I liked their Impact encounter on Thursday, but I didn't love it. This match still seemed to be missing a little something. I don't know what it is exactly, but it didn't feel as important as I had hoped.
- My original predictions for the Bound for Glory Series (in June, when it began) had Samoa Joe making it to the finals with James Storm. I'm going to pat myself on the back for getting as close as I did, although I didn't pick Bully Ray or Jeff Hardy to be in the final four.
- I really didn't enjoy Bully Ray vs. James Storm. These two are capable of having a great match without the story-telling crutches of referee bumps and interference.
- Bobby Roode's return actually disappointed me. It could be because the suit wearing heel was suddenly rocking jeans and a sleeveless t-shirt. It could be because Roode gave us a sample of a finish we've seen too much of in TNA.
- Why does every TNA referee count pinfalls on broken glass and not notice it? You'd think they would review the film of themselves doing so and be disappointed and determined not to do so again. Sadly, that would require a level of internal logic that wrestling often misses.
- I'm enjoying the story of Tara and Miss Tessmacher surrounding the Knockout's Championship. Tara is playing her part as a teacher almost getting the better of their student really well. Miss Tessmacher continues to impress me in the ring and as a character. TNA found something very fun and special with her here.
- As we see the odd situation the James Storm character is now in, I cannot help but say that TNA should have taken their opportunity to make a moment with him at Lockdown. The setup was perfect going into that match and I still cannot believe how poorly his story has been told since then.
- Austin Aries did really well on the mic and in the ring for his fight with Arm Breaker. I actually liked how this played out, although the closing brawl was more of the same from this feud.
- Mike Tenay was a mixed bag of announcing on this show. He called the Aries and Arm Breaker brawl with great fire, but almost every finish on this show was missing something. He could call a brawl and even 95% of a match, but when it was time to accentuate a finish, he was distracted. Taz doesn't help by being completely unengaged.
- One of the weakest commentary moments of the night was the lack of an original call on the Jeff Hardy injury. They had to go back to replays to see it and that moment really needed to feel important.
- I couldn't help but not enjoy the Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt match. Where was the build up for this? Where was the drama? Where was the impassioned babyface promo from Dutt (as we saw going into Destination X)? We saw none of that and this match needed all of it.
- The in-ring action between Ion and Dutt was solid, but even that was interrupted in favor of police cars arriving. I can accept things like this a little more on TV when you're trying to hook viewers into the show, but on pay-per-view no one is flipping the channel. They've already paid.
- I would have loved a comedy skit with a fan trying to leave the Impact Zone and go home when the place was on Hogan-ordered lockdown.
- Frequent readers know that I like Magnus an awful lot. It puzzles me when I see him losing to Rob Van Dam when it seems like Magnus is in line for a major push. I don't see what Van Dam really brings to TNA anymore, where I see a ton of potential for Magnus to follow Storm, Roode, and Aries as a homegrown star.
- Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Kurt Angle and A.J. Styles was definitely the best match on this show. All four men were out there to work hard. Angle worked through his injury well, but I don't see why this show needed him in the ring at all.
- As much as I enjoyed the tag match, it was about four minutes longer than it needed to be. The final "finisher... kick out!" segment of the match went on forever and a day. Especially with the screwy appletini finish, it should have ended earlier.
- Why was every cop seemingly sporting a different patch on their shirts? Shouldn't they all be Orlando Police Officers?
- Apparently Hulk Hogan has authority over cops. So knew that being GM of TNA meant that you also because the Chief of the Orlando police. No wonder Dixie Carter has to delegate that job. It's a ton of work.
- Bully Ray and Hulk Hogan's pre-main event promos seemed to be meandering to a point, but they never got there. Was Hulk Hogan waiting for Hardy to give him the "Bret Hart at WrestleMania IX" wave so he could become number one contender?
- I couldn't get into the Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy match. With all the cops at ringside, it felt like I was waiting for something to happen with Aces and Eights instead of watching a great match. When nothing happened, I wondered what the point of the cops actually was. Again, this show did not feature compelling story-telling.
- How obnoxious was the Impact Zone crowd during this match? Constant chants of "Devon's better" were somehow more important to them than paying attention to the match. I can't wait until TNA is out of that building next month.
- I do like the idea of Jeff Hardy winning the Bound for Glory Series. As much as I wanted a main event of Bound for Glory with two wrestlers that never main evented in WCW or WWE, I'll take Hardy. Austin Aries has a ton of fresh matchups left in TNA and this uses one of the biggest for a major pay-per-view.
When I look at this pay-per-view, I see uneven and lackluster story-telling overwhelming the matches. So much of what happened on this show was unnecessary or nonsensical in the long run. I've loved TNA's product lately, but I really disliked this show.
If I had to grade it, this show would be a D+ from me. I hate to go so low, but nothing on this show clicked. As I said before, the Bound for Glory Series went out with a whimper, even though it was pretty great leading into this.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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