It is summer time and if you are one of the eight or so people that watches TNA Impact Wrestling on a regular basis you know that means one thing: The “Bound for Glory”(BFG for short) Series is about to start. For the rest of the world who has no idea what I am talking about, the “Bound for Glory” series is a twelve-man round robin format tournament where the winner goes on to challenge the TNA World Heavyweight Champion at the “Bound for Glory” PPV event in October.
The 2013 BFG series marks the third year that TNA has done this tournament and it’s managed to be one of their more innovative and interesting events. In this series, each man is required to face everyone else in the field at least once whether it occurs on television or at a house show and points are awarded depending on the outcome. Now that everyone is caught up to speed on how the “Bound for Glory” series works, let’s talk about how it has shaped up here in 2013.
Over the past two weeks, dating back to Slammiversary XI we have seen a variety of qualifying matches in order to set the field of twelve competitors who will compete for that number one contender spot. Below I will list each of the wrestlers and my expected odds that they will win*.
Jay Bradley, the former Gut Check winner and another one of TNA’s many World Wrestling Entertainment washouts, managed to defeat fellow Gut Check winner Sam Shaw in a qualifying match at Slammiversary XI in the finals of a Gut Check tournament to see who would get into the BFG series. The word tournament can be used very loosely as only four wrestlers have managed to win Gut Check and of those four — there has been maybe a combined five matches on TNA television between them. I honestly feel Christian York is the most talented of the Gut Check winners but his future is obviously located in the X Division so Jay Bradley became the only viable candidate by default. Unless TNA decides to strap a rocket to his back with no real exposure, I can’t see his entry as being anything more than a weak attempt to provide some sort of meaning to TNA Gut Check.
Odds to Win: Better odds playing Powerball
Hernandez is one of those guys that you look at and wonder why he hasn’t been headlining pay per views over in the WWE. He is an incredibly athletic and moderately charismatic Latino wrestler who could generate truckloads of cash if utilized properly. However, TNA has never really given him a fair chance to prove himself as a singles wrestler as he has been paired in tag teams for virtually his entire run with the company. With that said, I can’t imagine that they have finally seen the light after all these years and his inclusion in this tournament may simply be a reward for all the hard work he’s put in over the past few years.
Odds to win: 100 to 1
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian
I list these two guys together because frankly, that’s how they belong. These guys have arguably been one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling over the past few years and have made for some of the few entertaining moments on TNA television. While both of these guys are incredibly talented wrestlers and deserve to be given more of a run as singles performers, they are just far too talented together to split up. Their inclusion in this series upsets me because it means for the next few months we likely will not be seeing much of Bad Influence in the ring.
Odds to win: 75 to 1
Samoa Joe is a guy who should have been doing big things in TNA but for some reason seemed to lose a ton of momentum over the past year or so. I don’t know if it’s declining skills or simply frustration on his part but the quality of his performances as of late have been terrible. I don’t think he has any real chance at winning this as his star has fallen quite a bit but the one redeeming thing about his inclusion is that hopefully we won’t have to see him in 6 man tag matches against the Aces & 8s B team every week from now on.
Odds to win: 50 to 1
The “Bound for Glory” series has been good at elevating at least one wrestler into the main event picture every year and if it were up to me, Magnus would be that guy in 2013. I have to give it to Magnus, as he seems to be fiercely loyal to TNA because there is no reason why this guy should not be making a ton of money and appearing on SmackDown every week. He has the total package, as he is young, athletic, charismatic and has a physique that would make Vince McMahon drool. I have been dying for TNA to give this guy a legitimate push and I hope this is when it happens, but I doubt it will.
Odds to win: 50 to 1 (but should be much higher)
Bobby Roode won the first ever “Bound for Glory” series and it was the turning point needed to elevate him into a main event singles wrestler. I love the guy but it’s somewhat hard for me to buy that he has a chance this year. We haven’t really seen him make any kind of noise as a singles competitor since late last year when he was trying to get his World Heavyweight Title make from Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy. He has however been incredibly solid since his alignment with former adversary Austin Aries and as I previously mentioned with Daniels and Kazarian, it’s a shame that we likely won’t see much of a tag team run from him this summer.
Odds to Win: 30 to 1
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Joseph Park gimmick and I think it is light years ahead of the Monster Abyss but I am getting sick and tired of TNA continuing to force the “I’m just a happy go lucky outsider” shtick on us. He’s been on TNA television for about a year now and they still try to run with the idea that he has no idea what he’s doing and no business being in the ring. Now that he’s the new Television Champion as Abyss, I wish they had given his spot to someone else on the roster rather than watch him pull double duty on a regular basis.
Odds to win: 20 to 1
Pretty much everything I said above in regards to Bobby Roode could easily be said for Austin Aries but the reason why he’s down here is that he just oozes charisma. Aries is far too talented in every aspect of his game not to get a serious run in the “Bound for Glory” Series. I cannot imagine that they would have him take losses over inferior opponents. With that said, he’ll likely be this year’s James Storm, a guy who gets a ton of points but falls up short at the very end.
Odds to Win: 10 to 1
I just don’t get what the appeal with Jeff Hardy is and why the TNA fans seem to get behind this guy so much. The guy is sloppy in the ring and has been incredibly painful to watch and listen to when he’s cutting promos. Unfortunately, he makes way too much money for TNA to keep him too far away from the main event picture and despite the fact that they have beaten the Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray feud into the dirt, you can never really rule out the possibility of Jeff winning it all and getting yet another shot at Bully Ray.
Odds to Win: 5 to 1
Ok, I know what you all are thinking. Mr. Anderson is the drizzling shits and exactly what is wrong with TNA today. However, I cannot imagine that they would make Aces & 8s continue to look weak by having him job out early and often in this series. I would not put it past TNA to have the new VP of the club manage to win the “Bound for Glory” series and cause a rift within the club when he gets to face Bully Ray for his World Heavyweight Championship. Why do I have this feeling? Because WCW already did it with the nWo.
Odds to win: 3 to 1
Ok, you’d have to be blind not to realize that TNA has been setting up AJ Styles to win the World Heavyweight Championship at “Bound for Glory” in 2013 since late last year when he was barred from contending for the title for one full year. It was just way to coincidental for his title restriction to end at “Bound for Glory”. Couple that with his very WCW Crow Sting like run over the last few months and it’s even more obvious. AJ Styles will continue to walk the line between Aces & 8s and TNA and work his way all the way to the finals where he will win the opportunity to put an end to Aces & 8s.
Odds to win: It’s a lock. Bet your first-born child on this.
So there you have it folks. I probably just saved you all 4 months of the painful task of having to watch TNA Impact. You all can thank me later.
*It is obvious that I am not a gambling man and all odds are likely horribly projected