Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Wednesday, September 30
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
This was the Bound For Glory go home show and EC3 commenced proceedings. EC3 called out Dixie Carter. Dixie said EC3’s behaviour has been deplorable and basically said she was rooting for Drew Galloway at Bound For Glory because EC3 didn’t want to fight for TNA against GFW. EC3 said Galloway will never be able to beat him, which naturally prompted Galloway’s entrance. Drew said EC3 was self-entitled and that he turned his back on TNA. Galloway said he’s going to tear EC3 apart at Bound For Glory and that at Bound For Glory he will become TNA World Heavyweight champion. Both EC3 and Galloway were solid here but it all feels a little too little too late when it comes to trying to present EC3/Galloway as a big match. It hasn’t had enough time to organically build up.
No Disqualifications – James Storm vs. Khoya
They brawled for a while before Storm got the better of Shera with a low blow. Shera made a comeback punctuated by a fall away slam. Shera went for a Sky High but Storm countered with a lungblower. Storm set up two chairs in the ring and slammed Shera off the top through them. Storm made the cover but Shera kicked out. Storm set up a table and grabbed a beer bottle. Storm inadvertently spat beer in Earl Herber’s eyes allowing Shera to hit a spear but the ref wasn’t there to count the pin. Storm clocked Shera with a cowbell and hit the Eye of the Storm through the table but Shera kicked out. Storm smashed a bottle off the ringpost and sought to maim Shera with the jagged remains. Abyss and Manik stopped him. Abyss hit Storm with a Black Hole Slam followed by a Manik frog splash allowing Shera to hit the Sky High for the win. Storm did his damnedest to carry Shera here and largely succeeded. **1/4
It would appear this was James Storm’s last appearance for TNA for now, and he’ll be a big loss. If you asked people to name the standout wrestlers in TNA history they’d probably go for Styles, Daniels, Joe, Angle and maybe Roode and Aries – they would get to Storm eventually but for most he’d be down the list and he deserves more than that. For the last 13 years he’s quietly gone about his business having great matches up and down the card. From AMW where he played a relatively, bland clichéd cowboy who delivered stellar tag team performances he went on to discover his personality (most notably during the Team 3D Funeral after AMW turned heel). He used that personality to form a more complete tag team with Bobby Roode before having a successful singles run of his own. While he never quite got the real TNA title run he deserved (outside of his two week run), and I’ll still insist he should have beaten Bobby Roode in 2012, he was one of the best promos in TNA and he was a part of two of the four matches in TNA history I’d give *****. He has consistently delivered for TNA over and over again. For the last 13 years he’s been TNA’s unsung hero.
Bobby Roode came to the ring. He promised to defend the King of the Mountain (KotM) title with honour, dignity and respect. He then issued an open challenge for the KotM title and went to leave before Bobby Lashley made his entrance. The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Bobby’s!”. Lashley said he came to TNA to compete with the best wrestlers in the world and to collect as many titles as possible. Lashley asked for a title match with Roode and Roode agreed. Roode vs. Lashley for the KotM title is set for Bound For Glory, that should be a really good match.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Trevor Lee vs. Zema Ion
Ciampa suplexed Ion on the apron before Trevor Lee leaped over the ringpost to the floor onto Ciampa. Trevor Lee is insane. Lee went for a springboard moonsault but Ciampa hit him with a boot. Ion hit a dropkick followed by a tornado DDT on both Ciampa and Lee but got caught with a roaring forearm by Ciampa. Lee hit a deadlift German on Ciampa but Ion broke it up. Ciampa turned Lee inside out with a clothesline and followed with the Project Ciampa but Ion made the save. Lee hit his moonsault crossbody on Ion to pick up the win. This was loads of fun. Both Ciampa and particularly Lee looked great and Ion was as solid as he always is. I’m not sure how willing Ciampa is to work TNA in the future considering there’s currently an NXT carrot dangling above his head but TNA should look to book Lee and Ciampa full time going forward. ***
The Dollhouse (Jade, Marti Bell and Rebel) vs. The Beautiful People (Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky)
This was a handicap match due to an injury to Angelina Love. The Beautiful People dominated before Velvet got isolated in the wrong corner. Velvet eventually made the tag to Madison, who ran wild. Rayne hit the Rayne Drop but The Dollhouse broke up the pin. Rebel threw powder in Madison’s eyes allowing Marti Bell to roll Rayne up to pick up the win. This was fine, nothing particularly interesting though Madison has developed into a damn solid wrestler over the last few years. *1/2
They aired an interview with Gail Kim set to highlights of the old Gail Kim/Awesome Kong matches. Thankfully Kim went into hyperbolic overdrive trying to push their match on Sunday. TNA should have been pushing the renewal of this iconic rivalry for weeks – they only got around to it this week. Kim talked about the effect those old matches had on her body and how their match at Bound For Glory would pick up where those matches left off and their match will go down in history. Thankfully they at least tried to sell it.
Eric Young made his way to the ring and moaned about what happened last week with Chris Melendez. EY ranted and raved as usual before he was interrupted by Robbie E. Robbie beat up Young for a while before Young hit a low blow and dumped Robbie out to the floor. Melendez came out but Young dropped him pretty quickly. Mr Anderson came out, did his schtick for a little while and brawled with Young. Anderson, Robbie and Melendez all took turns beating up Young. Backstage, after the match Dixie Carter told Eric Young he’ll be facing Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory. What a strange segment. Instead of putting some heat on Young in anticipation of announcing Angle as his opponent at Bound For Glory to bring him back down to earth, they just had a bunch of guys destroy Young and then still announced the Young/Angle match. Young already got his comeuppance, why would anybody want to see Angle beat him up again? They didn’t even do a great job hyping the fact that it was Young that took Angle out in the first place.
Ethan Carter III and Tyrus vs. Drew Galloway and Matt Hardy
It was announced earlier in the show that if Drew Galloway and Matt Hardy win then Matt will be added to the Bound For Glory main event. Talk about a last minute addition to the main event of your biggest show of the year. Drew was okay with this apparently in spite of the time honoured wrestling logic that his chances of winning the World title at Bound For Glory will be reduced from 50% to 33% (because naturally everybody always has an equal chance of winning every match). Josh Mathews actually cited those statistics after I wrote that – wrestling maths! I do like that their explanation for why Drew would want to win is that he is always driven by a need to win. This was a fairly bland, formulaic tag which Drew won after his flying boot (which desperately needs a name) on Tyrus. As a result Matt Hardy is added to the Galloway vs. EC3 Bound For Glory main event. After the match Dixie announced Jeff Hardy will be the special referee for the now three way Bound For Glory main event. *1/2
Final Thoughts: Let’s start with the good. On paper Bound For Glory looks like a very strong wrestling show. This would’ve been a really solid show, laying the basics for all the big Bound For Glory 2015 matches…if it happened four weeks ago. But this was the go home show and as a hard sell for the Bound For Glory card it failed on nearly every front.
None of the stories feel developed anywhere near fully and there were very little even resembling go home promos on this show. And it’s not like Bound For Glory doesn’t have a bunch of marketable matches, quite the opposite in fact. EC3 and Drew Galloway are two young wrestlers in their prime with a ton to prove while Matt is the hometown veteran yearning for his first World title win. Gail Kim and Awesome Kong are renewing the rivalry that defined the Knockouts division, Angle is returning to seek vengeance on Eric Young for what Young did to him and Chris Melendez, Roode and Lashley are two of the best wrestlers in the company seeking to put a cap on their rivalry once and for all, The Wolves are looking to fend off the dastardly Global Force Wrestling for good while the Ultimate X match promises excitement and thrills in equal measure.
There is bundles to promote and tonnes of stories to unwrap in there but they didn’t explore any of it. They threw together what is a strong card without doing any of the work to incentive people to actually want to see it. And that’s frustrating. Because it seems every time there’s a TNA PPV, it’s as if it snuck up on those that put this show together. And as a result what we get is a haphazardly promoted card thrown together at the last minute. They do this every single time and then they’ll wonder why people don’t buy the show. There’s that now clichéd definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That clearly applies here. Though I suppose I watch this show over and over expecting different results, who’s more insane – me or TNA?