TNA really wants to establish Bound for Glory as its answer to WrestleMania, the one night that gives people who aren’t regular fans a reason to tune in. To reinforce that perception, the promotion threw just about every kind of match it could think of onto Sunday night’s card from Irvine, California.
There was an Ultimate X Match, a Full Metal Mayhem Match and a Monster’s Ball. Seven titles were on the line, including two different sets of tag team belts in a bout that featured four competing teams.
That kind of ambition earned TNA an ‘A’ for effort, but the execution didn’t quite measure up. Everything seemed a half-step off on a show that had plenty of partially missed spots and confusing finishes.
Somewhat ironically, two of the most satisfying matches involved the least amount of gimmicks and hijinks. The first saw Matt Morgan continue his rise to stardom even in a loss to Kurt Angle, still a stellar in-ring performer despite the chaos that has swirled around him over the past few months.
The main event also mostly delivered, though neither participant will likely point to it as his best match ever. A.J. Styles defended his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Sting in front of The Icon’s home fans in what was teased as potentially the final performance of his illustrious career.
A handshake was exchanged before the action began as a sign of mutual respect. Styles delivered a hip toss before getting one right back, and a nice sequence saw the champ and the challenger exchange counters and dodge moves on the mat.
Sting suffered the first near fall after a scoop slam and a knee drop, but he responded by using several Irish whips and a clothesline to send Styles out to the floor. Instead of pressing his advantage, he held the ropes to allow A.J. to climb back in the ring.
That generosity was repaid after the battle moved out to the floor. Styles moved out of the way when Sting tried a running shoulder into the guardrail, and the champ allowed the challenger to return to the ring unscathed.
After exchanging blows, Sting delivered a Tombstone piledriver to get a two count. Styles fired back with two near falls of his own, the first after a springboard forearm shot and the second following a backbreaker.
A dizzying series of reversals and escapes ended with Sting hitting the Scorpion Death Drop, which he followed with a Stinger Splash and another Scorpion Death Drop. Styles managed to kick out, and the match continued.
The champ soon found himself in the Scorpion Deathlock and had to scramble to get back to his feet. Sting shook off Styles’ punches and chops and used a running clothesline to earn yet another two-count.
Both men climbed the turnbuckle only to have Styles headbutt Sting to the canvas, and he quickly hit a Pele kick from the apron. A springboard splash allowed Styles to score the pinfall and retain his title, catching the crowd a bit off-guard in its abrupt nature.
The combatants shook hands again and Sting headed up the ramp, but Styles called him back (once he found a working microphone) to get some love from the California fans. With chants of “Please don’t go!” and “One more year!” ringing out, Sting stated that while he was indeed thinking about the end of his career, the reaction he got from the TNA faithful was making him want to stay forever.
The next TNA pay-per-view is Turning Point on November 15.
Full Results and Commentary
Mike Tenay and Taz welcome us to the broadcast. Zakk Wylde, founder of Black Label Society and former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, handles the national anthem.
Daniels and Suicide atop the Ultimate X structure.
Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Suicide vs. Homicide vs. Daniels vs. Amazing Red – X Division Championship Ultimate X Match
D’Angelo Dinero was originally supposed to be in this match, but Tenay informs us that he had to leave the arena earlier for personal reasons. Thus, Sabin and Shelley earned their way in by defeating Lethal Consequences in a tag team match before the televised portion of the card. Having the Motor City Machineguns involved is actually good, because they do some cool double-team moves to help break up what could easily become a cluster. Eventually, Suicide and Daniels decide it would be a good idea to climb on top of the metal scaffolding that supports the ‘X’ above the ring. Daniels actually drops through the scaffolding to go for the belt, but Suicide dumps him to the canvas with a scary bump that looks like it could have really hurt his neck. Red, who had followed the two men up there, is able to scurry out and grab the gold to remain X Division champ. It’s a bit of a spotfest and not the best Ultimate X ever by any means, but still a fine opener.
Winner… and still X Division Champion… Amazing Red at 15 minutes and 16 seconds.
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Lauren is backstage with her favorite interview subjects (please note sarcasm), The Beautiful People. Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne taunt Lauren while coining the term “deskankification.” Lacey Von Erich adds that even though they’ve lost their Love, she’s going to show that a little lace makes everything okay. I’d like to add that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the names Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne used by employees at gentlemen’s clubs. Or I mean I’ve heard that. Yeah.
Jeremy Borash talks to The Beautiful People’s opponents, Taylor Wilde and Sarita. No one understands the Spanish part of the promo that Sarita cuts.
The Beautiful People vs. Taylor Wilde and Sarita (champions) – TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
Lacey gives the ref some sugar to ensure she can remain ringside. He even sets up a chair for her. Von Erich tries the same thing with Earl Hebner – and really seems to enjoy it – but he decides to send her backstage anyway. Oh yeah, the match. Well, it’s short, with the champs hitting a dropkick into a suplex to retain.
Winners… and still TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions… Taylor Wilde and Sarita at three minutes.
Match Rating: 3/10
A video package shows the somewhat convoluted history between World Elite, the Main Event Mafia and Hernandez. Lauren speaks with Eric Young and Kevin Nash, who apparently will be cooperating in their match thanks to $60,000 that Big Sexy says you can call protection money or a bribe. Either way, he thinks it’s a win-win, as he’ll keep his belt and Young can get some revenge on Hernandez.
Hernandez vs. Eric Young vs. Kevin Nash (champion) – TNA Legends Championship Match
Except for SuperMex’s Big Man Dive to the floor, the action in this one isn’t all that exciting. Young and Nash eventually wear Hernandez down, setting him up for a Jackknife Powerbomb. But Young merely rams Hernandez’s head into Nash’s crotch, then pins Big Sexy to steal his belt. Sneaky.
Winner… and new TNA Legends Champion at eight minutes and 44 seconds… Eric Young.
Match Rating: 5/10
Three of the four tag teams in tonight’s title match scuffle in the back until Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams manage to calm everyone down. The Brits make a convincing argument that taking out Team 3D would be in everyone’s interest.
Rob Terry and The British Invasion with the TNA tag team titles.
Beer Money, Inc. vs. Team 3D vs. Booker T and Scott Steiner (TNA champions) vs. The British Invasion (IWGP champs) – TNA Tag Team and IWGP Tag Team Championship Full Metal Mayhem Match
This one involves tables, ladder and chairs (oh my!), with one belt from each set of titles hanging above the ring. Again, this isn’t the most innovative match of its kind, but still probably the best of the night so far in this reviewer’s opinion. Steiner goes on a suplexing rampage at one point, tossing everyone around and even hitting a Frankensteiner, a move I wasn’t sure he could still do. Booker sells an injury of some sort and is taken to the back on a stretcher. The Brits mock Devon and Ray by doing most of their signature moves, but Team 3D manages to turn the tables – literally. Around the 13-minute mark, Rob Terry runs in and starts bashing Devon with chair shots, but he’s already secured the IWGP titles by then. That leaves Beer Money and The British Invasion to battle it out, and after several cool moves off two ladders, the faces seem to have the upper hand. But Big Rob manages to turn the tide, tossing Robert Roode from the ring to the floor and through a table. The Brits grab the TNA belt, effectively swapping one set of championships for the other.
Winners… and new IWGP Tag Team Champions… Team 3D, and new TNA Tag Team Champions… The British Invasion at 17 minutes and 12 seconds.
Match Rating: 8/10
A video package takes us through the rivalry between the three women vying for the Knockouts title, useful for those of us who have no idea what’s going on in TNA’s women’s division.
Awesome Kong vs. Tara vs. ODB (champion) – TNA Women’s Knockout Championship Match
Geez, even this match has more than two sides. Tara and ODB do plenty of double-teaming on Kong, which is a wise move. A “fan” grabs Tara out on the floor at one point, killing the crowd who was actually into this match for the first few minutes. Tara rejoins the match later, but by then the air has already been sucked out of the arena. ODB kicks out of the Implant Buster, causing Raisha Saeed to try to slide a chair into the ring to help Kong. She refuses to use it, but ODB has no such qualms, slamming Kong’s face into the chair to keep her title.
Winner… and still TNA Women’s Knockout Champion… ODB at seven minutes and 33 seconds.
Match Rating: 5.5/10
Matt Morgan cuts a very entertaining promo with Borash where he discusses how he’s the rare big man who’s also intelligent. For the first time ever, he feels like Kurt Angle is the underdog in a wrestling match.
Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley – Submission Match
This bout is billed as “MMA vs. TNA” and does showcase more shoot-style grappling moves than a normal match. Lashley has his ribs taped up to sell injuries from the build-up to the PPV. The fans are split but seem to be mostly supporting Joe. In sort of a strange finish, Lashley has some sort of side choke applied and the ref calls for the bell. Joe didn’t look like he tapped, but the announcers say that he must have passed out. Not bad until the finish.
Winner… Bobby Lashley at eight minutes and two seconds.
Match Rating: 6.5/10
Borash catches up with Mick Foley, who promises there won’t be any laughs tonight. His promo addresses the possibility of Abyss overshadowing him, though he scoffs at the idea that it might happen based off of just one match. A video package gets us up to speed on the issues between the two men. And “issues” is a very relevant word here.
Daffney is trapped in the board wrapped in barbed wire on the floor.
Abyss vs. Mick Foley w/ special referee Dr. Stevie – Monster’s Ball
Mick doesn’t even wait until he’s introduced to get started, attacking Abyss on the ramp with a barbed wire baseball bat. Both men climb the scaffolding near the entranceway, and Foley sends Abyss through the ramp in a heap. The Monster manages to shake that off and get the battle inside the six-sided ring, where various weapons come into play. Daffney slides a taser into the ring for Mick to use on Abyss, and even though the ref seems to count to three, the action continues. Even Tenay and Taz aren’t really sure how to cover that up. In one of the more violent spots involving a woman I’ve ever seen in a mainstream promotion, Abyss slams Daffney from the ring through a board wrapped in barbed wire on the floor. Ouch. Dr. Stevie gets slammed onto some tacks and Mick eats more barbed wire. Abyss drags Stevie’s unconscious body over and uses his arm to count the pinfall.
Winner… Abyss at 11 minutes and four seconds.
Match Rating: 7/10
Angle tells JB that he once had use for Morgan but now sees him as a disrespectful punk. He says he warned The Blueprint what would happen if he crossed The Godfather. A video montage shows both men training and discussing their big match.
Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle
|WHAT YOU THINK|
What did you think of TNA Bound For Glory?
It was great – 25%
It was okay – 15%
It sucked – 7%
Didn’t see it – 53%
The fans are really divided now, chanting for both men. Angle plays some early head games, refusing to lock up with The Blueprint. Morgan’s power takes over once he does, but Angle rallies by working over the big man’s legs. Plenty of signature moves are on display, including Kurt’s triple German suplexes and Matt’s Carbon Footprint. An Angle Slam only gets two. Angle gets the ankle lock applied, but Morgan is able to kick his way out and score a near fall with the Hellevator. A series of reversals leads once again to an ankle lock; Morgan escapes again and uses a spinning lariat for a two count. They go up top and Angle knocks Morgan to the mat, then follows with a Frog Splash for two. Morgan manages to get Angle on his shoulders, but Kurt pulls off a victory roll and gets the pin. To the surprise of Tenay, Angle shakes Morgan’s hand after the bell.
Winner… Kurt Angle at 14 minutes and 45 seconds.
Match Rating: 8/10
Sting vs. A.J. Styles (champion) – TNA Heavyweight Championship Match
Winner… and still TNA Heavyweight Champion… A.J. Styles at 13 minutes and 53 seconds.
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Total Event Time: 2 hours 57 minutes
Event Rating: 7/10
- Bound For Glory Photo Gallery
- Countdown to TNA Bound For GloryNick Tylwalk has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 1998 and enjoys all combat sports whether scripted (pro wrestling, obviously) or legit (boxing and MMA). Offer your opinion on what this means about his psyche by emailing him at [email protected] or following him on Twitter at @Nick_Tylwalk.
A.J. Styles flies at Sting. Photo courtesy TNA.