Sunday, 11 October 2015

TV Review: TNA Bound for Glory

It was TNA's biggest show of the year, but it deliver? That's what I'm hoping to find out by watching this year's Bound for Glory, shown this past Wednesday night on Challenge here in Britain.

The show began with the first title match of the evening, with DJ Z, Manik and Andrew Everett challenging Tigre Uno for the X Division title in an Ultimate X match.

This was a great way to start the show, a fast-paced, high-flying encounter that ticked all the boxes and showed that the X Division still has something to deliver. All four men put in great performances, and I was particularly impressed with this Everett fellow. It was the first time I'd seen this kid in action, and he looked pretty good, especially when he took out the rest of the combatants with a springboard shooting star down to ringside.

Everett was also involved in the finish with Tigre. Having done a spot of tightrope walking to get to the centre of the cables he found himself confronted by the champion, who had arrived there by more conventional means. Everett tried to kick Tigre down until the masked man sent him crashing to the mat so he could grab the belt and retain his title. Nice stuff.

It was then that the Hurricane himself, Greg Helms, appeared on the scene, and after a brief Rock/Hogan-like staredown Helms raised his arm in triumph.

After a somewhat lengthy promo from our esteemed World Champion (time to hit that fast forward button) it was on to the Bound for Gold Gauntlet match. You know how this one works, with the Royal Rumble rules until it gets down to two, then it becomes a regular match, although elimination over the top rope was still an option.

Beginning with Mr. Anderson and Jessie Godderz, this twelve man match featured a mixture of current stars, up and comers and a couple of long in the tooth veterans. We had appearances from Al Snow, who didn't look too bad in there, and Tommy Dreamer, a brief dance when new guy Mahabali Shera entered the ring, and the inevitable confrontation between monsters Abyss and Tyrus.

The last two were Anderson and Tyrus, and although Anderson managed to get the big guy down with his rolling senton the ending was a little uninspiring, with Tyrus stopping Anderson’s attempt to put him over the top rope before taking him down with a clothesline. He then fell onto Anderson to take the winning pin.

As he celebrated in the ring EC3 made another appearance when he came to the ring to congratulate his bodyguard. He got a big surprise though because even though Tyrus was now eligible to challenge for any title he announced that he wanted a shot at Carter's World title. Needless to say that this didn't sit too well with the champion.

It was back to title action for the next match as Trevor Lee and Bryan Meyers challenged the Wolves' Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards for the Tag Team titles.

I really liked this one. The Wolves once again proved that they're just as great as they were during their ROH days. They're team work was top notch throughout, although they do seem a little less intense than they were a few years ago.

But once again I was really impressed with someone I hadn't seen before, and in this case it was young Mr. Lee. The guy may look like a reject from Duck Dynasty but he looked pretty good in there against more illustrious opponents. He's definitely someone I'd like to see more from in the future.

As for the ending, it wasn't to be for the GFW invaders. After Richards took Lee down with a superplex he held on to his man, and after Edwards superkicked Lee in the back off his head Richards finished the move with a suplex before Edwards took the pin.

The title action continued with Bobby Lashley challenging Bobby Roode for the King of the Mountain title.

From what I understand these two had some classic matches a while back, and while I can't comment on those I can say that this was a quality encounter between two men who matched up perfectly with each other.

It may not have had the crowd screaming in their seats but it was paced extremely well and was filled with great back and forth action, including some nice touches where they used each other's finishers as they tried to put each other away, although I was a little disappointed when Roode didn't attempt a kimura.

Indeed, it was while Lashley tried to apply a kimura that Roode lifted him onto his shoulders, and one Roode bomb later and the champion had retained his title.

After Billy Corgan's tribute to new Hall of Famer Earl Hebner it was back to title action as Awesome Kong challenged Gail Kim for the Knockouts title.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with this one, but then again I'm comparing this match to their tremendous rivalry back in the day. The match was okay, but the spark of that previous rivalry just wasn't there, and the argument between old Earl and Gail's husband didn't really add anything to the proceedings.

In the end it was the champion who came out on top when she took Kong out with her eat defeat finisher and rolled her up for the three count.

The penultimate match saw Eric Young taking on Kurt Angle in a no disqualification match.

Angle has had some classics in his career, and although this wasn't one of them it will certainly go down as one of the interesting ones.

It began with a lot of jaw-jacking, with Angle revealing that the no DQ stipulation had been added, although our lovely ring announcer Christy Hemme had already announced that. When the match finally started they indulged in a spot of brawling which took them into the crowd for a few moments before they returned to the ring.

A couple of minutes later it looked like the match had ended. Young took Angle down with a piledriver, and the Olympic hero rolled out of the ring clutching his neck. Several officials and medical types came out to check on him, with the doctor waving the match off.

Young was having none of it though. As Angle was being helped to the back Young pounced, attacking a couple of the officials before dragging Angle back to the ring. The crazed one targeted Angle's neck, but no matter what Young did Angle never gave up and often gave back as good as he got.

At one point Young looked to put Angle away with a top rope piledriver. Angle managed to avoid this scare, and it wasn't long before he'd synched in his trusty old ankle lock. Young held on for as long as he could, even reaching the ropes at one point, forgetting that the no DQ stipulation meant that rope breaks were out of the equation.

Angle then dragged Young back into the centre of the ring, and it wasn't long before the inevitable happened and Young tapped out to give Angle the submission win.

The main event saw Drew Galloway and Matt Hardy challenge Ethan Carter III for the World title, with Jeff Hardy as special referee.

This is another of those matches that fits firmly into the interesting folder. It won't go down in history as a classic, and it will probably be remembered for what happened in the days after the show, but overall it wasn't too bad.

It began with Hardy fooling his brother into getting Tyrus sent back to the locker room. This meant that the big man and future title contender couldn't help the champion, which put everyone on a level playing field.

The action itself was okay. There were no real stand-out performances here, with each man being as good as the others, with the action getting taken up a notch or three when Carter suplexed Hardy onto Galloway as he laid on a table, sending both of the challengers crashing through the wood.

As the match progressed Carter began to get more and more frustrated at what he thought was the referee's bias towards his brother. The boiling point was reached when he took both of his challengers down with his one percenter finisher at the same time and failed to get the title-retaining pin.

Carter demanded that referee Hardy disqualify him when he kicked Galloway south of the border, forgetting that there are no DQs in a three-way match, and when Carter slapped referee Hardy after an argument over a chair all hell broke loose. Referee Hardy clobbered Carter with the chair before taking him down with a twist of fate. Galloway then took him out with a running boot before Hardy (the other one) took Galloway down with his own twist of fate. A three count from his brother later and Hardy had won his first World title, albeit in somewhat controversial circumstances.

In conclusion - so what did I think of TNA's biggest show of the year then? Well, it had it's good and it's bad points.

The show began really well. The Ultimate X match was very enjoyable, and I really like the Tag Team title match, as well as the battle of the Bobbies. As for the rest of the show I don't think I'd go out of my way to watch those matches again.

Kong and Kim will never have that spark they had a few years back, and the match between Angle and Young shows that our Olympic hero's career clearly has less days in front of it than it has behind it. The main event wasn't too bad I suppose, but then again I'm probably one of the few who wanted to see a Carter/Galloway singles match.

As for my prestigious match of the night no-prize I'm going for the aforementioned Ultimate X opener.

So with all of that out of the way there's just one more thing to do. This year's Bound for Glory get's the thumbs up, but with the added "could do better" note at the end.