Monday, October 17, 2011

Bound for Glory or Bound for Mediocrity?

By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter


I checked out the theater screening of Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory pay per view. I would easily go again to another screening of this type. Fifteen dollars really isn’t a bad value for a three and a half hour show. The video and audio were crystal clear and unlike going to a sport bar to watch a PPV, you could actually hear the commentary. Granted, in today’s wrestling, being able to hear the commentary isn’t necessarily a plus. Hopefully TNA will offer more shows in this manner.  I’d also like to see WWE start to offer theater screenings. So while the viewing experience was fine, how was the show itself?

I don’t get the reasoning behind putting the Tag Team Title match on the preshow, but whatever.  The match was fine for what it was. Nothing special and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a rematch either on Impact or at next month’s PPV.

In typical TNA fashion, the X-Division title match kicked off the show. I’m not sure how many times Austin Aries and Brian Kendrick have fought each other in the last two months, but I’m ready for a new X-Division challenger for A Double. I felt this match was decent but felt very staged. There were several sequences that seemed like guys were going through the motions.  Aries retained the title and as I said, it’s time to move someone else into the title hunt.

RVD vs Jerry Lynn (From Impactwrestling.com)
Speaking of going through the motions, watching Rob Van Dam fight Jerry Lynn was like watching a past their prime rock band that is still touring clinging on to the fans singing along to their one or two hits. There was a scary moment during the match where Lynn went to sunset flip RVD off the apron onto a ladder. When Lynn flipped over RVD, he inadvertently kicked the ladder out of the way and Van Dam seemed to crack the back of his head on the guardrail. My biggest complaint with this match though was the build up had Lynn feeling slighted because RVD was the bigger star even though they were both in the matches from ECW.  This complaint completely overlooked Lynn’s history of helping establishing the X-Division during TNA’s first couple of years. Then after the match was over, Lynn and RVD were hugging and high-fiving like the friends they are in reality. What happened to the big feud? 

Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan vs. Crimson was about as good as could be expected. Still don’t understand why Joe is a jobber to the stars, or why Crimson is undefeated.  This was a solid three-way up until the ending. Morgan went for the Carbon Footprint on Joe but wound up hung up in the ropes allowing Crimson to hit a weak looking spear on Joe for the win.

Philly Street Fight (From Impactwrestling.com)
Mr. Anderson is probably the one wrestler who has fallen the furthest in my eyes. I used to think he was good and entertaining. Now I find him borderline unbearable. Bully Ray has stepped up his game and has gone from someone I was hoping would retire to someone I actually enjoy watching. Put the two of them together in a street fight and you have a match that while enjoyable felt like an ECW tribute match. At one point Anderson grabbed a sign from a fan at ringside, hit Bully Ray with it, then peeled away the poster board to reveal a Dead End road sign. Towards the end of the match, Anderson had Ray on a table on the floor. Anderson went to the top rope and tried for a swanton bomb but overshot Ray, only glancing him on his way down.  Perfectly fine match.

Victorious Velvet (from Impactwrestling.com)
Stevie Wonder saw the ending of the Knockouts title match before the bell rang. With Karen Jarrett refusing to count any pin falls by Mickie James or Velvet Sky, and telling Traci Brooks to stay away from ringside unless Karen was in trouble, it was only a matter of time until Karen got “injured’ and Traci would come into to make the three count.  That’s exactly what happened to help Velvet Sky capture the Knockout Title. I’m expecting either Karen stripping Velvet of the title on Impact or stacking the odds against Velvet in a return match against Winter.

Last year AJ Styles had an I Quit match against Tommy Dreamer. This year he gets one against Christopher Daniels. The theme of the night continued with another solid match whose ending would seem to lead to a rematch next month.

He's back... (from Impactwrestling.com)
In a “only in wrestling” segment, Jeff Jarrett who had told Jeff Hardy on Impact to not show up in Philadelphia, waited two hours to call Hardy out to the ring instead of having him removed from the building when Hardy showed up. I am in the apparent minority who doesn’t want to see Jeff Hardy in a wrestling ring. Seeing how he has not made any public apology to the fans for his Victory Road performance, nor seen fit to try to clean up his act, I feel Hardy should straighten out his personal life before getting back to full time wrestling. But that’s just me. Also, it appeared as if Jeff Hardy was wearing a shirt that had his mug shot on it. Or at least it was a picture that was very similar to a mug shot. So if that’s the case, to me, it’s another example of how Hardy and TNA doesn’t see Hardy’s offense as a serious matter.

Hulkamania returns... (from Impactwrestling.com)
Going into the show, I was curious to see how bad Sting vs. Hulk Hogan would end. The match was far from good. It was basically Sting bumping for Hogan and then both being busted open because in today’s wrestling world bleeding equals great. Before the match it was revealed referee Jackson James was Eric Bischoff’s son and was in on a fix to make sure Hogan won. Sting got Hogan in the Scorpion Death Lock and Jackson called for the bell. Immortal came down and started beating up Sting. Then came something I don’t understand. Sting called out to Hogan for help, Hogan looked to the fans, fans cheered, and Hogan and Sting cleaned the ring. So 22 months of Hogan screwing TNA is forgotten in 10 seconds. Why do the fans cheer Hogan? I may write a more in depth blog on that in the future.

Bobby's rude awakening (from Impactwrestling.com)
I saw the main event as a turning point for TNA. Unfortunately TNA thinks Turning Point is next month and thus this month is stats quo month. The build up to the Kurt Angle/Robert Roode match was done near perfectly to set up Roode winning the title and TNA to start down a road of pushing fresh homegrown talent. I don’t know if it was because of a time constraint or what, but the match felt like it skipped the first act.  Instead of building to near falls, the match fell into a pattern of Angle Slam, Cross Face, Angle Slam, Spinebuster, Angle Slam, Fisherman Suplex, Angle Slam.  Then the finish was Angle pinning Roode after an Angle Slam. Roode’s arm was under the rope, and Angle was holding onto the second rope. The referee didn’t see either arm and made the three count. So Roode didn’t win the title but his loss would seem to dictate a rematch is necessary.  The problem is Roode’s momentum is gone. So what if he wins the title next month, TNA blew it by not capitalizing on build up to the biggest show of the year.

Overall Bound for Glory was a perfect example of the pros and cons of TNA. Solid action and lousy booking.  As I said in my last blog, instead of focusing on new shows, TNA needs to look at their current programming and fix the problems. We’ll see what happens at the next round of Impact tapings.

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