Bound for Glory 2021
October 23, 2021
Sam’s Town Live
Sunrise Manor, Nevada
Impact Wrestling will emanate from a location other than Nashville, Tennessee for this first time in over 18 months this coming Saturday (23rd), when they present Bound for Glory live from Sam’s Town Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The final card is ultimately not as strong as I’d hoped it be for their biggest night of the year; a singles match between Christopher Daniels and Ace Austin is the biggest thing I’d hoped we’d see and aren’t currently. That said, it is still solid top to bottom and the main event, Josh Alexander cashing in Option C to challenge Christian Cage for the World title, is a Match of the Year contender on paper.
Prior to the PPV proper, a new champion will be crowned when John Skyler, Crazzy Steve, Fallah Bahh, Jordynne Grace, Chelsea Green and Madison Rayne square off for the Digital Media Championship, and Awesome Kong becomes the 10th inductee into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Countdown for Glory Pre-Show
Six-Way Scramble to determine the inaugural Impact Wrestling Digital Media Champion
John Skyler vs Crazzy Steve vs Fallah Bahh vs Jordynne Grace vs Chelsea Green vs Madison Rayne
I had reservations about the addition of a new championship when the Digital Media title was first announced and the six qualifying matches, premiered on Impact Plus and for the promotion’s Youtube Insiders (read: paid subscribers), did nothing to change that. While the intergender focus of the title and the opportunity for it to be something digital-specific does open a few new doors, the qualifiers were all brief and struggled to shake off the idea that it’s a bottom of the card title that they ultimately don’t need.
When they announced the belt, I thought the obvious candidate to be inaugural champion was Matt Cardona and… he’s not even in the match. Crazzy Steve is very over with the Impact audience but is not a likely winner, and neither are Bahh, Skyler or Rayne, who lost her qualifier but comes in as a late replacement for tag partner Tenille Dashwood. That means it’s a choice between Jordynne Grace and Chelsea Green and it seems fairly obvious where they’ll go with it. Prediction: Chelsea Green
Call Your Shot Gauntlet
2021 marks the third running of the Call Your Shot Gauntlet, a 20-person battle royal that grants the winner a trophy and any title shot of their choosing within the next 365 days. The first two winners were Eddie Edwards and Rhino.
I questioned the logic of having a battle royal two weeks before Bound for Glory to determine placings for this battle royal but that has set the story for this match, Chris Sabin taking the traditional babyface workhorse slot at #1 and W. Morrissey coming in as the monster at #20. The other three current confirmed participants for the match are Rich Swann, Brian Myers and Moose.
These battle royals are at their best when they’re worked at a sensible pace, you set up a few future matches and you get some nice surprises. Given that he’s appearing at their TV tapings over the following two days, it’d be lovely to see Minoru Suzuki there. Another possible surprise could be Adam Scherr (fka Braun Strowman), and if he debuts in this match he’d be a strong contender to win.
Beyond Scherr and unlike last year, there’s no obvious picks to win, at least as I see it. Moose seems like a favourite and would be a logical choice, while I wouldn’t be shocked to see them go with Christopher Daniels. In an ideal world I’d love them to go for Jake Something but I doubt they will. Prediction: Scherr or Moose
Heath & ??? vs Violent By Design (Joe Doering & Deaner w/Eric Young)
Impact’s take on the ‘I got kids’ storyline with Heath and Rhino was supposed to come to an end at last year’s Bound for Glory. Alas, it never worked out that way. Heath suffered a serious injury during the match and has been out of action ever since. While Rhino won the Call Your Shot trophy, he ended up joining Eric Young’s villainous Violent By Design stable and cashed in the shot to win the tag titles earlier this year.
After VBD dropped the titles to The Good Brothers and lost in their attempts to regain them, Young repeatedly blamed Rhino and ultimately kicked him out of the faction. Heath returned a few weeks ago to save Rhino from a further beat down and subsequently requested a tag match against VBD for Bound for Glory, assuming Rhino would be his partner. Rhino has yet to speak since leaving VBD, but did attempt to stop Heath from getting attacked on the go-home show.
The story here is very simple, obvious and surely impossible to mess up. Rhino comes out to partner Heath and the babyfaces go over, delivering the pay-off we should have had last year but this time with a sold-out crowd to do it in front of. Prediction: Heath & Rhino
Impact Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Championships
Decay (Rosemary & Havok) (C) vs The IInspiration (Cassie Lee & Jessica McKay)
Madison Rayne announced at Bound for Glory 2020 that the Knockouts Tag Team titles were returning after a seven-year absence. In the year since they’ve been back, they’ve never really caught fire. The matches have been solid, and the feud between Fire ‘N Flava and Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering was solid, but the absence of any real depth has meant that it often feels like an afterthought.
The debut of Cassie Lee & Jessica McKay potentially promises to change that. Lee & McKay aren’t top end in-ring workers but their arrival promises to give the belts a shot in the arm and bring far more eyeballs to them moving forward. Likewise, having never really worked with the rest of the roster before, bringing them in and giving them the titles opens the doors to a series of fresh matchups. Decay are massively popular with the Impact crowd but there’s only one sensible outcome here as the newcomers win the titles in their first match in the promotion. Prediction: The IInspiration (Cassie Lee & Jessica McKay)
Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championships
The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) (C) vs FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) vs Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo)
I really hate how we got to this match. Like, legitimately hate it. FinJuice against Bey & Hikuleo was turning into a very solid number one contender’s match when we got a dreadful ref bump and then a double pin finish that made no sense whatsoever. Bey wasn’t the legal man, so FinJuice should have just advanced but Scott D’Amore made this a three-way. Why couldn’t they have a) just booked the three-way in the first place or b) done a rubbish-but-slightly-less-rubbish-than-we-got double countout/DQ finish?
Multi-team matches, especially with odd numbers, never tend to move the needle for me and this is no different. What does intrigue me though is that a title change seems on the cards. On commentary during the go-home show they noted that Chris Bey’s Finesse Club tee is the top-seller on Shop Impact and that feels like a tell that Bey & Hikuleo are walking out with the tag titles. With David Finlay supposedly on his way to pastures new, him eating the pin makes sense and opens up Bullet Club vs The Good Brothers as the new direction. Prediction: Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo)
Vacant Impact Wrestling X-Division Championship
Trey Miguel vs Steve Maclin vs El Phantasmo
Josh Alexander’s decision to vacate the X-Division title led Impact to announce a tournament, consisting of three three-way matches, to crown a new champion. Trey Miguel, Steve Maclin and El Phantasmo progressed after victories over Laredo Kid and Alex Zayne, Petey Williams and Black Taurus, and Willie Mack and Rohit Raju respectively.
On the go-home show, Miguel got a singles win over Alex Zayne. He was then beaten down by Maclin, who in turn was left laying by Phantasmo and the rest of Bullet Club. If we follow conventional booking logic, that means Miguel is probably pinning Phantasmo to win his first title in Impact on Saturday night. To be honest, the timing feels right for that. Steve Maclin is yet to lose a match in Impact, coming closest in a double countout against Miguel, so having him not involved in the finish would set the table for Miguel’s first defence against him at Turning Point in November. Prediction: Trey Miguel
One thing to potentially watch here is the rumoured debut of Buddy Matthews. They may well bring him in at the end of the show after the World title match but they could also introduce him here.
Impact Wrestling Knockouts Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) vs Mickie James
Deonna Purrazzo has had the rocket push during her second Knockouts title run, being presented as one of the promotion’s outright biggest stars. Ironically enough that run was a product of Bound for Glory last year, when Kylie Rae no-showed the event and they did a quick switch with Su Yung. Indeed, while Impact isn’t a promotion that pushes win-loss records, she’s won her last 15 singles matches in Impact. But there’s a good chance she loses the belt on Saturday.
Masha Slamovich @DeonnaPurrazzo is undefeated in her last 15 singles matches in IMPACT with all those names left in her wake. #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/CEByHnlLgg
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
This feud has its origins in July’s Slammiversary show, when Mickie James hit the ring after Purrazzo’s successful title defence against Thunder Rosa to offer her a spot on the NWA’s all-female Empowerrr PPV in August. Purrazzo took umbrage to James ‘stealing her moment’ and they’ve been at loggerheads ever since. Purrazzo attacked James after her match with Kylie Rae at the 73rd Anniversary Show the night after Empowerrr, setting them up to carrying things over to Impact. They scrapped at James’ home, leading Scott D’Amore to introduce a no-contact clause for the last few weeks and a ‘Pick Your Poison’ gimmick, which saw Purrazzo face the newly signed Masha Slamovich and James take on Savannah Evans.
I’m still in two minds as to how this goes. On the one hand, the finish to the James/Evans match, the subsequent beatdown from Purrazzo’s sidekick Matthew Rehwoldt and his banning from ringside for this match makes James winning feel the most likely outcome. That said, they’ve mentioned Taya’s longest reign record a couple of times now and Purrazzo is only about 34 days away now. I’m leaning towards James but wouldn’t be shocked either way. Prediction: Mickie James
Impact Wrestling World Championship
Christian Cage (C) vs Josh Alexander
“As long as you’re cashing a check from a billionaire that owns a different company you will never be the face of Impact Wrestling.”
When Josh Alexander joined Impact, I was excited because I thought he’d get the chance to prove to a bigger audience why I thought he was one of the best in the world. When he went on a singles run this year, that excitement built. His X-Division title run was absolutely stellar and his excellent work in AAW has helped him to reach a wider audience. He’s peaking right now and with how Christian’s looked since he unretired, this is likely to be Impact’s match of the year and a genuine Match of the Year contender.
The build here has been pretty simple and wonderfully focused on Alexander. It began as Alexander pushing himself, chasing history and glory. The two men had nothing but mutual respect for one another; Cage being the compatriot and legend that Alexander had looked up to. When they played a video that showed Cage not knowing who Alexander was, Josh felt belittled. This week, when he felt Cage was trying to play more mind games, Alexander snapped, nailing his colours to the mast as Impact’s saviour.
For anyone who feels Alexander doesn’t have the charisma to be a World Champion, watch the video documentary Impact aired on him on the go-home show. A legitimately brilliant piece that told you so much about Josh as a wrestler and person, it was one of the best things Impact have produced in a long, long time.
A few months ago, I said Alexander was the right person to end the reign of Omega as Impact World Champion. The AEW wrestler holding the belt might have changed since I penned that, but the sentiment hasn’t. Alexander is having an all-time year in Impact and it’s time for him to seize that Triple Crown and bring the World title back home. I’m so hyped. Prediction: Josh Alexander
Pro wrestling saved @Walking_Weapon, now he has the biggest match of his career and the opportunity to become IMPACT World Champion THIS SATURDAY at #BoundForGlory. #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/70iQ1wNFQK
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021