TNA Wrestling put on its biggest show of the year tonight, though you wouldn’t have guessed it by the dead Charlotte, NC crowd. Indeed, the audience was noticeably silent for much of the night, not really coming alive until the ending of the main event, when homegrown hero Matt Hardy beat Drew Galloway and “EC3” Ethan Carter III to capture his first ever World Heavyweight Championship.
The match wasn’t without controversy, though, as Matt’s brother Jeff, who was acting as the special referee, gave him a couple of huge assists, first at the beginning of the match, and again at the end. Right after the opening bell, Matt stomped on the ring on the side where EC3’s partner in crime Tyrus was standing and accused Tyrus of trying to interfere from the outside, even though he didn’t. Still, this was enough to have Jeff send the big man to the back, freaking out Carter. Once he was gone, the three opponents told the standard three-way match story, with two opponents fighting it out while the third recovered on the outside. Galloway impressed with a huge flying bomb, and then took EC3 dowm by dropping him hard onto the ring steps. Later, Hardy stacked up his downed opponents, and hit a moonsault onto both of them. Right after this, there was a collision between the Hardys, and EC3 was able to capitalize. With both opponents stunned, he took over, setting up a table beside the ring and putting Galloway on it, then suplexing Matt Hardy off the apron and through both Drew and the table. The battle raged on, with all three men trading chops in the centre of the ring, before EC3 hit the One-Percenter on both opponents simultaneously. He wasn’t able to get the pin, though, and in his frustration, he shoved Jeff. Thinking a DQ would save his title, EC3 then tried to provoke Jeff to disqualify him, first deliberately low-blowing Drew, and then teasing a chair shot onto Matt. This irked Jeff enough that he grabbed the chair from EC3 and then hit him with it, breaking it over EC3’s back. Drew tried to capitalize, push-kicking EC3 out of the ring. But this left him prone to a Twist of Fate, and a three count quickly followed. After the match, Matt’s father, wife, and kid joined him to celebrate. Meanwhile, EC3 went to the back, shoved TNA executive John Gaburick, and then screamed at his aunt Dixie out of frustration. The Hardy family celebrated Matt’s first ever heavyweight championship to end the show.
Bound For Glory – Full Results
Match One: Tigre Uno (c) vs DJZ vs Manik vs Andrew Everett – Ultimate X match for the TNA X Division Championship
The match started off quickly, and the first few minutes were a blur, though no really crazy spots. Just as I typed this, the high-flying aerobatics started, with DJZ and Tigre Uno going over the top, followed by a beautiful slingshot shooting star press by Everett onto all three opponents on the floor. Funny moment with The Pope name-dropping “Elijah Burke” after a nifty suplex move. Later, Tigre Uno hit DJZ with a 450 off the top turnbuckle, landing on DJZ on the floor – insane. Everett with a bold strategy, holding onto the rigging to climb on top of the Ultimate X cables, only to get thrown down hard by Tigre Uno, who then plucked the belt off of the cables to keep his title. A fun match with some insane bumps. After the match, Gregory Helms (formerly WWE’s “Hurricane”) came to the ring and teased a confrontation with Tigre Uno, staring at the belt before raising Tigre Uno’s hand.
Winner and still X-Division Champion: Tigre Uno
Match Rating: 8/10
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III came out and told both his opponents that he will remain champion after their match and retain his 2-year undefeated streak.
Match Two: Mr. Anderson vs Jessie Godderz vs Eli Drake vs Al Snow (w/ Head) vs Aiden O’Shea vs Robbie E vs Mahabali Shera vs Tyrus vs Chris Melendez vs Tommy Dreamer vs Abyss vs “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero vs – Bound For Gold gauntlet match to earn a shot at any TNA championship
This match is like a Royal Rumble until there are only two people left, at which point the win can be by pinfall, submission, or throwing the opponent over the top rope. A bit of a botch to start this one, as Mr. Anderson’s mic didn’t drop from the ceiling. This one took what felt like forever, with very few standout moments. Funny moment with Godderz showing off his strength, but Anderson foiling that with a simple eye-poke. Al Snow and Tommy Dreamer received some good nostalgia pops, with Snow using Head to eliminate Drake, and Dreamer paying tribute to the legendary Dusty Rhodes with polka dot pants and hitting someone with the Bionic Elbow. After Shera’s entrance, he got everyone in the ring to do the Shera Shake, which wasn’t particularly entertaining. With everyone down, Abyss and Tyrus were standing nose-to-nose, at which point The Pope left the commentary desk to enter the ring, then immediately eliminated himself when they turned around to stare at him menacingly. This was also a bad attempt at humour and done far better by Jerry Lawler back in the day. Anderson and Tyrus were the last two left. Anderson impressed with a rolling slam on the giant, and then hit a flying somersault senton. The mammoth recovered and hit the ICU to Anderson to get the pin. After the match, Tyrus’ partner in crime, Ethan Carter III came out to congratulate him. Carter said that this was great, because now the two of them could challenge for the Tag Team titles. But Tyrus squashed that plan, declaring that he would be going after the World Heavyweight Championship, to Carter’s dismay. Despite the fun appearances by Dreamer and Snow, and the interesting build to a Carter-Tyrus split, this one dragged.
Match Rating: 6/10
Match Three: The Wolves (c) vs Brian Myers & Trevor Lee – TNA World Tag Team Championships
I don’t get it. The Wolves wear makeup on their shoulders designed like they were slashed by a wolf. But aren’t they wolves themselves? So did a fellow wolf in their pack turn on them? Confusing. Anyway, a pretty basic tag match, with Myers and Lee isolating one of the Wolves in their corner for the majority. Eddie finally escaped and got the hot tag to Davey, eventually leading to stereo dives from the Wolves through the ropes and onto their opponents on the floor. A top rope stomp nearly put away Lee, but Myers made the save. A beautiful German suplex by Lee nearly got the win. But it was a superplex-kick-suplex combo that earned the Wolves the win.
Winners and still Tag Team Champions: The Wolves
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Drew Galloway, who said that the last-minute insertion of Matt Hardy as a competitor and Jeff Hardy as the ref in the main event wasn’t going to stop him from capturing the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event.
Match Four: Bobby Roode (c) vs Lashley- TNA King of the Mountain Championship
This one was very deliberately-paced up front, as they exchanged advantages. Lashely drew first blood with a huge suplex that shook up Roode. Later, he drove Roode off of the apron and crashing into the ring barrier. Unfortunately, even that move wasn’t enough to wake up the surprisingly dead crowd. Still, the move hurt Roode’s arm enough that his offensive arsenal was affected, leading to a near-fall when Lashley caught him coming off the ropes, dropped him, and then hit the Spear. Roode kicked out, and hit a Roode Bomb, but the impact wasn’t enough to keep Lashley down. A nice sequence saw each man rolling out of submission attempts and locking on one of their own. Then, they tried using each other’s playbook, with Lashley hitting his own Roode Bomb, and Roode hitting a Spear. The ending sequence was well done, with Lashley going for the kimura again, but Roode picking him up and hitting the Roode Bomb to get the pin.
Winner and still King of the Mountain Champion: Bobby Roode
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, JB interviewed Matt Hardy, who said that he was going to win the title in his home state of North Carolina in front of his fans, his friends, and his family.
They show clips from last night’s house show where Earl Hebner got inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. Then, Billy Corgan came to the ring. He has an abnormally purple hand, which I couldn’t not stare at when he introduced the video package for Earl. Many wrestlers made comments in the video, and there were clips of many of his big matches and moments in the company. Seriously, it’s like he slammed his hand into a car door right before coming out. Earl came to the ring to cheers from the appreciative crowd.
Match Five: Gail Kim (c) vs Awesome Kong – TNA Knockouts Championship
Kong’s power gave her the early advantage, and she battered around the smaller champion. A flurry of kicks by Kim got her free momentarily, but not for long, as Kong locked on a deep armbar. Kim reversed it, and went for a standing submission of her own, but Kong tied her up and squished her with a big pancake drop. Kong then hit a big splash off the middle rope, but miraculously, Kim kicked out. Kong then took it to the floor. She was getting some chairs but got too close to Kim’s husband, celebrity chef Robert Irvine, who pulled a chair out of her hands. Hebner and Irvine got into an exchange, and while they argued, Kong hit Kim with an Implant Buster onto a couple of chairs. Back in the ring, Kong continued her dominance, connecting with a spinning backfist. Still, Gail kept fighting, using the ropes to hit a Super Eat Da Feat, then rolling up the stunned Kong to get the win. Okay match, but far from some of the classic fights they had in their series from a few years ago.
Winner and still Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, JB interviewed Jeff Hardy, who said he was going to make sure that Ethan Carter III had no unfair advantages in the main event.
Match Seven: Kurt Angle vs Eric Young
Before the match, Young proclaimed himself to be God and said that Kurt has no chance beating him. Angle then surprised Young by letting him know that Dixie Carter has changed this to a No Disqualification match. Angle frustrated Young early, but eventually, Young got the advantage, hitting Kurt with a piledriver. This brought out the medic who ran in to check on Kurt. As they were taking Kurt to the back, Young attacked and dropped the medic and trainers and continued his assault on Angle with the goal of ending his career. It looked like he was going to do it with a piledriver on the floor. But Kurt was able to escape and hit EY with a German suplex on the floor instead. Back in the ring, Eric suffered some more Germans and an Angle Slam, but Young kicked out. Then, Young went back to work, hurting Angle with some neck-based moves. Young tried for a piledriver off the turnbuckles, but Angle reversed it and locked on the Ankle Lock right in the centre of the ring. Grabbing the ropes couldn’t save EY because of the no-DQ stipulation, and with nowhere to go, EY was forced to tap out.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Match Rating: 8/10
Match Eight: Ethan Carter III (c) (w/ Tyrus) vs Drew Galloway vs Matt Hardy – TNA World Heavyweight Championship with Special Guest Referee Jeff Hardy
Winner and new TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Matt Hardy
Match Rating: 8/10
Overall show rating: 7/10
Bob Kapur once got a photo with Robert Irvine. Email him your favourite “brush with greatness” story at email@example.com.