TNA Bound For Glory 2016 (10/2/2016)- Orlando, FL
OPENING VIDEO PACKAGE- I will give them credit for originality and using an available (and popular) resource to capitalize on a chance to do something different for this sort of thing when presented with it, but at the same time, I thought there was WAY too much focus on the Hardys vs. Decay, and nowhere near enough on the world title match.
TNA X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH: DJ Zema Ion(c) vs. Trevor Lee- 6.75/10
Lee is getting this title shot for absolutely no reason. In fact, he just lost clean to DJZ in three minutes a week and a half ago. Meanwhile, Braxton Sutter won his big blow-off against Rockstar Spud on TV a few weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since. Why not just give Sutter a title shot instead of giving us a match with no hype or justification whatsoever that we also happen to have seen about a million times already this year?
This match definitely exceeded expectations based on what we’ve gotten from the X-Division this year, but neither the wrestlers nor the company gave me much of a reason to care about the outcome, and I know they probably would have had a much better match in pretty much any other company other than maybe main roster WWE.
Josh Mathews claimed they were “standing room only” at the Impact Zone. Props to Josh for the positive spin, but this just reveals how dire the situations really is for TNA, as Josh’s statement confirms those rumors that there wasn’t enough money left to pay for the chairs (editor’s note: those rumors were started just now by me for the purposes of that joke… but admit it: for a moment there, you completely ready to believe that such rumors were making their way around the internet).
DREW GALLOWAY PROMO- decent. It was probably too much of a babyface promo, though.
BOUND FOR GOLD GAUNTLET MATCH: Jesse Godderz vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Barxton Sutter vs. Eli Drake vs. Robbie E. vs. Baron Dax vs. Grado vs. Basile Baraka vs. Tyrus vs. Mahabali Shera- 2.5/10
The winner of this match will get a world title shot at the time of his choosing… except he has to give one week’s notice (so basically it’s the Gift of the Gods Championship from Lucha Underground).
I was absolutely dreading this match because… well… it’s a Royal Rumble with ten guys, the top one of two of whom could perhaps be called “midcarders” without it being generous, with the winner getting a WWE gimmick rip-off title shot that he has no chance of winning. It would have been much better for this show if this match wasn’t on the card because it eats up a good fifteen or twenty minutes that should go to other things, while only succeeding in dragging down the match quality and devaluing the concept of a title shot. And also… none of these guys needed to be on the PPV, so if you are in the financial straits that TNA is, maybe you should book them for this show so that you don’t have to pay them or pay to fly them in?
Apparently the Spud vs. Sutter feud is still going on, despite having already had a big blow-off match with a gimmick that played uniquely into their angle.
Grado’s entire appearance in this match was Bushwhacker Luke Royale Rumble gimmick. The difference between here and there is that that was a thirty-man match with a quick comedic interlude. This is only a ten person match, and they wasted one of them on comedy, making XXXXX’s victory seem even less impressive. Grado just danced his way to the back, not caring about having lost this chance at a title shot. The fans chanted “bullsh*t.”
The match was, as expected, a boring jobber Rumble. At least the right guy won.
JB INTERVIEWS ROBERT IRIVINE TO PUT OVER GAIL KIM- Good. Bennett and Maria showed up to have a confrontation with him. It was fine. Irvine left, and then the heels each cut promos to hype up their own matches. Maria was fine, and Bennett was pretty good.
MIKE BENNETT vs. MOOSE- 6.5/10
They tried to give Moose a WrestleMania-style entrance, so they got a local high school football team to come out with him. It looked pretty pathetic. The match was fine, and was getting quite good towards the end, but really could have benefitted from another five or ten minutes.
ARON REX PROMO very good, aside from the bullsh*t about how this title is “revolutionizing the way our sport is viewed.” Is there anyone that really believes that?
TNA GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT FINALS WITH “SPECIAL EVENT RULES”: Aron Rex vs. Eddie Edwards- 6.5/10
The “Special Event Rules” mean that the rounds are five minutes instead of three, so at least someone came to something resembling their senses. If only they could have found a name for this that didn’t feel quite so much like a placeholder before they could come up with a better name (how about calling it “Championship Rules” and stipulating that all Grand Championship matches will have five minute rounds instead of three?”
In the middle of round two, the lights went off. Time for a TNA financial situation joke… but which one to use? Hmm… “PAY YOUR LIGHT BILL!” *clap!* *clap!* *clap*clap*clap* “PAY YOUR LIGHT BILL!” *clap!* *clap!* *clap*clap*clap* “PAY YOUR LIGHT BILL!” *clap!* *clap!* *clap*clap*clap*.
Thanks, Impact Zone crowd!
In all seriousness, though, TNA’s production crew did a great job handling the situation, getting spotlights on the ring very quickly so we didn’t miss anything, and major credit to Eddie and Rex for not letting this unexpected situation phase them in the slightest.
So we got a pretty darn good match with two different stories going (Rex working Eddie’s leg, and both guys trying to control the action to win the rounds)… and then, at the end of the time limit, there was nothing resembling a clear winner. The wrestlers kept throwing punches until they were separated, so they clearly wanted to fight it out. The fans chanted for the promotion to “LET THEM FIGHT!”… and instead of that, we got a title belt being handed to Aron Rex because of the arbitrary decision of some ringside judge. That’s bullsh*t. Rex in no way feels like a deserving champion, just like Drew didn’t feel like he deserved his place in the finals that he got for winning his semifinal match because he didn’t really beat Eddie. And now I’ve got to sit here and listen to Josh Mathews tell me how great this format is. F*ck this stupid belt and its stupid rules.
(And, to make matters worse, they put up the judges’ scorecard graphic way too early, before JB had even started reading the scores, killing any suspense that should have been there, and to make things even worse, they couldn’t even get the damn numbers right, as the graphic showed Rex winning unanimously while JB said it was a split decision.)
ARON REX PROMO- decent babyface stuff.
GAIL KIM TNA HALL OF FAME INDUCTION- First they had Christy Hemme give a nice speech about Gail’s contributions and then said that there were other women who “had to be here today.” The first woman to come out was Taryn Terrell, who, when we last saw her, was engaged in a feud with Gail in which she was trying to not only prevent Gail from becoming champion, but also ruin her marriage. Taryn also gave speech. It was a nice speech, but like I said… grrrr breaking kayfabe grrrr.
Then they brought AWESOME KONG out (another woman who disappeared without a trace on TNA TV after feuding with Gail). Well… they claimed it was Awesome Kong, but she was talking and her hair wasn’t braided, so I refuse to believe them. Kong does not cut promos. Kong kicks asses.
Then Dixie came out to give her speech, and finally Gail gave hers. It was all very nice and it was a great moment… but I just have a lot of trouble with a giant kayfabe-breaking segment in the middle of an otherwise entirely kayfabe show.
THE GREAT WAR (FOR THE TNA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES): Decay(c) (w/Rosemary) vs. The Broken Hardy Boyz (w/Reby Hardy)- 6.25/10
Even after watching the video package, I still have no idea if this “Great War” is a gimmick match or just a tagline.
We got a live musical entrance for the Hardys, with Reby on the piano and Jeff singing. Once both teams were already in the ring, in the middle of a bunch of bullsh*t about how the Hardy’s wackiness has “transcended pro wrestling,” Josh finally got around to letting us know that The Great War is a No DQ’s match.
The first spot in the match was all three members of Decay turning in unison and all spitting mist into Reby’s eyes simultaneously… and it was REALLY hard not to laugh at her. They brawled to the back and transitioned into what I assume was a pre-taped brawl (not criticizing, just mentioning it) all over the backstage area and out into the street. A big bin full of water from the Lake of Reincarnation made an appearance, but apparently Jeff Hardy has magical teleporting powers all on his own. Jeff used his heretofore unknown magic to teleport to a higher level of the backstage area, where he started throwing large fruits down at Crazzy Steve. I know that stuff is heavy and it hurts if you get hit by it, but it was just too goofy. Also, are we to assume that there was just a giant pile of fruit up there, or did Jeff use his newfound magic to conjure it? Jeff appeared on the lower level later on in a wacky new get-up, so maybe it was the water from the Lake or Reincarnation that did the teleporting (although every other instance of the water’s usage has not resulted in teleportation, so that’s still not a good explanation). Also, Jeff managed to slip a naughty word in there without them bleeping it. Rosemary eventually showed up to punch Fruit-Bombing Fast-Talking Wacky Purple Aviator Jeff Hardy in the face, so Jeff responded by putting a jack-o-lantern on her head. She responded by spitting mist in his face, which he sold by babbling, which is all he has been doing since this new incarnation show up, so it was pretty much like he no-sold it. This Jeff Hardy is just WAY too goofy, and it’s totally killing this for me.
Meanwhile, in Serious Town, Abyss was trying to choke Matt Hardy to death. Rosemary showed up with Janice and said suggested that Abyss kill Matt with Janice instead. Just then, a pick-up truck drove up, and it turned out to be the guy Decay stole the pick-up truck from in Delete Or Decay. He said “ain’t nobody gonna sodomize me and get away with it!” so we now know that in addition to murder and carjacking, Decay have also committed rape. He acted like a buffoon until Rosemary had had enough and, apparently channeling me, she kicked him in the nuts and then dumped him off to the side. This was a completely obnoxious comedic distraction in what should have been a serious setting.
Speaking of… Fruit-Bombing Fast-Talking Wacky Purple Aviator Jeff Hardy (that’s the” comedy that should have been serious” part) randomly pulled out an umbrella and transformed into Willow (that’s the “completely obnoxious” part).
Back in the other fight, Rosemary and Abyss were in and on the pick-up truck respectively. Matt Hardy used pyrokinesis to summon fireballs to his hands like he’s Johnny Storm (the Human Torch, not the British wrestler) and threw one at Janice, setting it on fire. They fought in the moving pick-up truck, with Matt throwing the flaming Janice out of the truck and onto the grass, where we were shown a close-up of it still burning. Yeah… I’m sure Universal is going to be happy about TNA’s employees burning their park down. They drove for a while until Vanguard 1 showed up, and, for some reason, Rosemary decided to get out of the truck to have a stare-down with the little drone. It sprayed mist in her face and then said “money shot,” to indicate to all of us watching at home that we were supposed to say “LOL! The flying robot jizzed on her face,” and I cannot believe I just typed that in my review of a professional wrestling show. Anyway, this was a nice artistic contrast to that Gail Kim segment we just saw which was all about respecting women. Yeah. I’ll pretend this was done for the sake of “art” instead of stupid comedy.
Willow and Steve brawled back to the ringside area, and soon we saw the pick-up truck pull up to the building. I guess Rosemary cleaned her face off… but then Vanguard 1’s involvement in this was completely inconsequential. From that point on we got about five or six minutes of a standard Abyss hardcore match, including a big spot for the women. The Hardys eventually won when Broken Matt gave Brother Nero (and it was just now that I noticed that he was no longer Willow) permission to do a highspot for one night so he gave Crazzy Steve a Swanton Bomb off of a very high ladder through a table. This was an otherwise good brawl that was marred by the inclusion of random comedy.
BJ INTERVIEWS LASHLEY- fine, I guess, although Lashley totally ignoring JB’s question about the stipulation makes it feel even more pointless and random.
TNA KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: Maria Kanellis Bennett(c) (w/Allie) vs. Gail Kim- 4/10
Just like at the last PPV, Maria tries to claim that she can’t wrestle because of a hand injury. This time, though, she made the mistake of bringing dumbf*ck Allie out to ringside with her, who spoiled the plan with her stupidity.
This was the expected dog and pony show stuff with Mike Bennett trying to interfere and Maria hitting Gail with her brace for a nearfall. Allie, of course, screwed up in trying to throw Maria the brace for a second time, resulting in Gail getting it and throwing it away, then getting the win. This was fine for what it was, but when you only do two live PPVs a year, you shouldn’t be wasting any of your matches (especially a title match) on something that is really more of a segment than a match (which is also why I decided to rate this as a match instead of a segment).
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- forced and lame
Mike Bennett is pissed off that both he and his wife lost and says the company is biased against him, so he is going to “shut Bound For Glory” down. He declares there is no one who can stop him, which leads to the debut of Cody Rhodes. This was both anti-climactic (because the only thing left was the main event and Cody hadn’t made his advertised appearance yet, so everyone knew he would be showing up here) and disappointing because their advertising made it seem like he would be wrestling on this show, and he didn’t. Cody and Brandi showed up, Maria told them to go back to WWE and then started a fight and the heels were quickly laid out. If this was all they were going to do, they should have just saved this for the first post-PPV Impact.
NO HOLDS BARRED MATCH FOR THE TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Bobby Lashley(c) vs. Ethan Carter III- 7/10
Some people might disagree, but I thought that thing they did that I don’t want to spoil to start this match off was F*CKING AWESOME! Unfortunately they didn’t capitalize on the potential it set up, instead just having a regular match after that instead of playing up the story of Ethan the valiant babyface with badly injured ribs fighting from behind for most of the match, which wound up feeling like nothing special… which was a major issue on this show. This was supposed to be TNA’s biggest PPV of the year, but aside from The Great War and Gail’s HOF induction it felt like a bottom of the barrel ROH house show or New Japan “Road To…” show. It was a decently enjoyable few hours of wrestling, but that’s not enough for your biggest PPV of the year, especially when you rarely do storyline-relevant PPVs anymore. It felt more like I was watching a three-hour wrestling-focused Impact than it did like a special event.