TNA Wrestling
TNA Bound For Glory 2015
October 4, 2015
Cabarrus Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina

TNA X-Division Championship
Andrew Everett vs. Manik vs. DJ Zema Ion vs. Tigre Uno©

This was basically exactly what you would have expected it to be, just shorter than it should have been. Everett looked tremendous in his debut, including hitting a Shooting Star to the floor and a springboard 630 Splash. As I said in an Impact review a while back, the more ambitious Tigre Uno is the less reliable he becomes so naturally he separated his shoulder doing a 450 Splash from the top to the floor. In fairness to Uno though he soldiered through and finished the match in spite of being injured. There were flips, there were dives, there were cool moves, the crowd was into it — the only thing you could’ve asked for from this was more of it. Uno picked up the win after kicking Everett off the cables. This was a really fun opener. After the match Shane Helms, who towered over Tigre Uno, came out and shook Uno’s hand suggesting a future programme between the two. ***1/4

Bound For Gold Gauntlet Match
Abyss vs. Aiden O’ Shea vs. Chris Melendez vs. Jessie Godderz vs. Mr Anderson vs. Mahabali Shera vs. Tyrus vs. Eli Drake vs. Robbie E vs. Al Snow vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. D’Angelo Dinero

Of all the matches to throw time at on this show, this was the one which least required it. This match was three times as long as the X-Division opener and as it turned out the longest match on the show. Literally five out of the other six matches on the show would have been better to throw time at (the only other being Kong/Kim who were always better off in 8-12 minute condensed intense matches). As a result of it being so needlessly long, it was extremely boring. Al Snow and Tommy Dreamer were surprises and they were more over than anybody else in the match. At one point the whole match stopped for everybody, including Aiden O’ Shea doing a tough guy brawler gimmick which is now DOA, to do Shera’s dance. Also at one point Pope decided to enter before eliminating himself at the sight of Abyss and Tyrus. The crowd, who were good for the opener, died a death after this match and never got back into the show. In the end this match pretty much single-handedly tanked the whole show. DUD

TNA World Tag Team Championships
Trevor Lee and Brian Myers vs. The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards)©

While the gauntlet didn’t help, this match suffered from the crowd having little reason to care about Lee and Myers, and also they didn’t appear to believe The Wolves were going to lose. That was a reoccurring theme on this show — the lack of any build didn’t help any of these matches in terms of giving the audience a built in reason to care about what was happening. The work was really good though and TNA need to book Everett and Lee going forward. They’d actually bring some desperately needed energy to Impact every week (a responsibility usually left solely by The Wolves). The Wolves retained after hitting a modified Chasing the Dragon. This was the best match on the show. ***1/2

TNA King of the Mountain Championship
Bobby Lashley vs. Bobby Roode©

This match suffered most from an utterly dead crowd (who after being in stonily silent for fifteen minute had the temerity to chant this is awesome after some near falls) because this match had all the beats of a great match. In terms of how the match built and the near falls and the pacing and the execution there was very little technically wrong with this match. In another building it would’ve been far and away the match of the night. You could also make a case that the crowd didn’t have any real reason to invest in either man in this face vs. face match that was only booked on Wednesday too (again like much on this show). Roode won after reversing a Kimura into the Roode Bomb. ***1/4

TNA Knockouts Championship
Awesome Kong vs. Gail Kim©

The way this match was wrestled was bizarre. Awesome Kong is a great monster and Gail Kim is a tremendous underdog. That was the dynamic between the two. That’s why their matches clicked so well because it played to their respective strengths. For some reason they just totally abandoned that dynamic for this match. Instead they had a bland back and forth match that didn’t really play to eithers strengths. Kong was exposed and unless Kim wrestles a particular kind of match against Kong a lot of her stuff just doesn’t work. It’s really disappointing because with the right story support and the right match structure I still think these two could deliver in 2015. In the end a poor layout coupled with a middling crowd resulted in a mediocre match that didn’t do their original matches justice. Kim won after hitting Eat Defeat. *1/2

No Disqualification
Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young

TNA have been trying so hard all year to get Eric Young over as a heel. He turned on Bobby Roode, he piledrove Angle seemingly every week and he stole a war hero’s leg and paraded around with it for a few weeks but it just isn’t working. His madman shouting act is grating and his work just isn’t very interesting as a heel. He’s trying but some people are just natural babyfaces and there’s nothing wrong with that. Eric Young is a much more interesting wrestler to watch as a face and he’s an inherently likable character. The layout of this match wasn’t particularly interesting either. Young hit a Piledriver pretty early and the doctors said Angle couldn’t continue but Young continued beating on him. It resulted in a relatively disjointed stop/start match which was the worst of their four televised singles matches this year. **1/4

TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Special Referee: Jeff Hardy
Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III©

I don’t have an inherent objection to Matt Hardy winning the World Title. He’s been a really solid hand for a really long time and he deserved a big moment in his home state in front of all his friends and family. I do object however to how they executed it because the story that built to Matt winning was severely lacking. Hardy wasn’t a part of the title picture for weeks right up until the final segment of the go home Impact when he was added to the main event, literally at the very last minute. Matt did a backstage promo earlier in the show where he essentially laid out the story the last four weeks should have told – he and his brother wanted nothing more than to hold the tag titles together. They did that multiple times over so they set singles goals, singles goals which Jeff Hardy achieved but which Matt Hardy was still plugging away toward. So in front of his wife, brother, father and new born baby boy he wanted to prove he could finally reach the top and become World Heavyweight champion. That’s an extremely simple, relatable, effective story. But that’s not the story they told – in truth they didn’t really tell any story. That’s the reason this match, not to mention this show in general, felt so cold. They had plenty of time and you can’t fault their effort because they worked really hard but the story support wasn’t there to help people get invested in what was happening. The nonsense, while still there (including an utterly pointless ref bump), was kept to a relative minimum but the match never clicked. The emotional stakes were never properly established. ***1/4

Final Thoughts: This show should be another in a long list of alarm bells for TNA lately. Not so much for the booking of this show in particular, it was largely a straightforward show aside from the baffling booking of the gauntlet match (I’d take umbrage with a few agenting decisions too) but rather the whole environment surrounding it.

This past year has felt less like a company on the verge of a revival with a plan to turn things around and more like a company on the slow inevitable crawl toward extinction. In many ways this show was the physical manifestation of that. Despite good wrestlers trying hard to have good matches the whole show felt cold and lifeless. It felt like a worse show than it actually was because of that. When that’s the case there are clearly significant structural problems in play.

TNA needs to take stock of how the last two years have gone. For the last two years the company has been in freefall and everything they’ve tried to do to reverse their fortunes has categorically failed. They need a new approach. Burying their heads in the sand will achieve absolutely nothing. They need to take a step back and analyse exactly where things are going wrong when it comes to their presentation of television, how they treat PPV’s, and their overall business strategy. Things need to change. They’ve needed to change things since they came off the road in 2013 but they didn’t. They needed to change things when they got booted off Spike and landed on Destination America but they didn’t. They need to change things now and they’re fast running out of chances to do it. A new approach is badly, desperately needed.