As a result of several technical difficulties, this reviewer had to watch Saturday night’s Bound For Glory pay-per-view twice. Luckily, the show – and especially the main event, that saw Rich Swann defeat Eric Young to win the Impact World Championship – was good enough that it was worth the time investment.
The main event was the culmination of the intense feud between Swann and Young that started at Slammiversary earlier this year, when Young attacked Swann and put him on the shelf with an ankle injury. The bad blood would continue over the next few months, with Young attacking Swann and trying to re-injure him repeatedly, and threatening to end his career for good in this match.
Swann proved his ankle was 100% during the first few moments of the match, which saw Eric diving down to attack Rich’s ankle and Rich taking a huge diving leap to escape. Nice, simple storytelling. Then, if there was any further doubt about his leg, Swann did a complete front flip over Eric, which looked great. Young tried to take the fight to the floor, but Swann was fired up and made him pay for it at all levels, including with a nice somersault bomb off the apron.
Young capitalized on another flying attack, though, as Swann charged at him on the floor, and Eric back body dropped him, and Swann landed hard on his head on the apron. That looked great. Back in the ring, Young hit a huge Flipping Neckbreaker off the top rope, further hurting Swann’s head and neck area.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 25, 2020
He continued targeting the body part for several minutes with more big moves and neck submissions. Young trash-talked Swann throughout, and Swann seemed helpless.
That is, until he found an inner strength and Swann Hulked Up. He fired up and pounded Young, whipping him into the corner, and then when Eric ran over to the other corner for a top rope move, Swann scampered up the corner and whipped Eric down. That was beautiful. Swann was bleeding from the mouth after this, and that seemed to fuel him more, as he hit Young with some huge kicks, and nearly got the win after a huge Frog Splash.
Swann was going for a superplex, but Young bit him on the forehead to stop him, then pushed Swann down, and followed that up with a Flying Elbow. Swann kicked out of the pin, so Young squeezed on a neck crank that Swann was lucky to break with a rope grab. They slugged it out in the middle of the ring, and Swann looked like he was going to end it with a flippy-doo kick, but Young caught him and hit him with the Burning Hammer. Young locked on an ankle submission that had Swann screaming in pain, but Swann got to the ropes yet again.
Young tried to finish things with a Piledriver, but Swann escaped it and flattened Young with a big Thrust Kick. He followed that up with the Air Raid, but Young kicked out! Rich went back up top, but Young caught him and trapped him in the Tree of Woe. He went back to the ankle attack, but Swann escaped and hit a pair of Cutters to drop Young. Swann went up top, hit the Phoenix Splash, and covered Young for the 1-2-3.
After the match, Swann hugged the referee, and all the babyfaces came out of the locker room to celebrate with the new champ.
This was a heck of a good match. The story-telling was excellent. Swann is great at making you feel his pain, and Young is stellar at being a cunning and sadistic villain. The unfortunate thing is that this match wasn’t in front of a live crowd, as this would have been even more killer with their reactions, especially with the happy ending to the story, which felt right and felt well-earned with this one.
Overall, it was a stellar ending to a show that started off good, and – with one big exception – got stronger throughout.
Bound For Glory – Full Results
Countdown to Glory
Madison Rayne, D-Lo Brown, and Jon Burton were the hosts for the Countdown to Glory pre-show.
Bret Hart, Mick Foley, and MMA personalities Ariel Helwani, Bas Rutten, and Chael Sonnen all gave video greetings to Ken Shamrock, congratulating him on being inducted in the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame. Hart told the story that Shamrock offered to quit WWE after the Montreal Screwjob in support of Hart, but Hart persuaded him to stay. Foley spoke fondly about the Triple Threat match he and Shamrock had with The Rock, and Shamrock’s penchant for footraces.
Matt Striker was back to do commentary for the pre-show and to introduce Shamrock for his induction.
They aired a video from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for Ken Shamrock. Johnson noted how he owed a great deal of gratitude to Shamrock for being the hero that he needed when Johnson was learning how to play a villain. He thanked Shamrock for agreeing to work with him when Johnson was a relative newcomer, and said that he really helped Johnson learn the business.
In his remarks, Shamrock thanked everyone who sent video greetings. He thanked his trainer Nelson Royal, Vince McMahon for taking the risk on signing an MMA fighter and giving him the opportunity to succeed as a pro wrestler, and Bret Hart on teaching him how to establish a character. He thanked Johnson, his family, and the fans. This was pretty classy, and not having fans in the building for these kinds of things is the best way to do it, since it actually lets the stars have their moment.
Countdown Show Match 1: The Rascalz (Dez and Wentz) vs. The Deaners (Cody and Cousin Jake)
Early on, the Rascalz used their speed and aerial tactics to great effect. The Deaners’ strength advantage allowed Jake to pluck both the Rascalz off the top rope and bomb them both hard onto the mat. The match pretty much became a Texas Tornado brawl, with Don Callis even noting how the referee wasn’t enforcing any counts. Cody got his knees up in a Treehouse Slam attempt, hurting one of the Rascalz. They finished off the other with the Trailer Park Trashing and it was all over. This was pretty basic, and fairly short, but was a good opener.
Winners: The Deaners
Josh Matthews replaced Matt Striker at commentary for the main show.
Match 1: Chris Bey vs. TJP vs. Willie Mack vs. Trey Miguel vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Rohit Raju (c) – Six-Way Scramble for the X-Division Championship
The overarching story here was that Rohit would try to pick his spots and only attack when someone was vulnerable, while the others were more competitive. A big moment came early when Grace and Mack collided hard, with Willie surprisingly being the one that hit the mat. A neat moment saw TJP tie up Bey, Trey, and Willie in simultaneous submissions. With his arms tied up, Grace came up behind TJP and locked on a sleeper hold. But then Rohit ran in and just teed off on everyone as they were immobilized. Later on, Rohit was beating up Jordynne and would punctuate every move by yelling “Equality!” which was pretty.
Lots of big moves in this one. Willie impressed with a huge roundhouse kick on Bey, and later flattened everyone with a flying somersault press to the floor. In a neat spot, Trey was kicked right off of TJP’s shoulders and that sent him flying into a backwards flip onto everyone else on the floor. Later, Grace did a Tower of Doom spot on Bey, Trey, and TJP from the Tree of Woe position.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 25, 2020
Rohit then hit her with the Double Stomp, but Willie Mack made the save before she was pinned.
In the end, Grace was looking to end things with a move off the top onto Trey. Raju threw her off to the floor onto Willie and Bey. TJP hit a Mother Splash on Trey who was still down, but then Raju scrambled in, threw TJP off Trey and stole the pin.
This was a fun opener with several good moments. While it wasn’t an X-Division classic, if there had been a live crowd, the reactions would have been really strong.
Winner, and still X-Division Champion: Rohit Raju
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, John E. Bravo yelled at Fallah Bahh for screwing up renting a hall for his wedding to Rosemary (Bahh, of course, never even tried, having pocketed the money that he’d stolen from Hernandez that was supposed to be used for the rental). Bravo then told Rosemary that they would have to get married in the ring, and she was fine with that. Bravo had a sweet Two-Face tribute going on with his wardrobe and make-up. Jimmy Jacobs called everyone who was in the Gauntlet Match to get ready.
In an apparent miscue, Rhino and Heath started and then had to restart their backstage promo where they got hyped up for the Gauntlet Match.
Match 2: Call Your Shot Gauntlet
The winner of this match gets a shot for the championship of their choosing. And if neither Heath nor Rhino win, Heath will not get a contract and Rhino will lose his. In this match, it’s Royal Rumble rules until there are only two people left, at which point it becomes a 1-on-1 match.
Rhino was out as entrant number 1, and Shawn Daivari – looking shredded – returned to the company as number 2. They exchanged hard shots and fought around the ringside area. Larry D was number 3, and Crazzy Steve was 4. Acey Romero, Larry D’s partner in XXXL was next, and they teamed up to squash Steve in the Karachi Krunch. Tenille Dashwood came in as #7, but sent Kaleb into the ring instead. She was still outside when Havok and Neveah came to the ring, since Havok was entrant #8. She took down a few of the guys, and threw Kaleb out of the ring, but as he wasn’t an official entrant, it didn’t matter. Brian Myers made his way down as #9, and got the first elimination of the night in the form of Crazzy Steve. Swoggle was the next surprise entrant, and he helped Myers eliminate Daivari, but then got backstabbed by Myers and thrown over himself. Tommy Dreamer, paying homage to the recently-departed Road Warrior Animal with his haircut and makeup, was next.
He brought Swoggle back in the ring to help exact revenge on Myers with a mini-Doomsday-Device. Alisha Edwards came in next as #11, but didn’t last long as she followed Tommy Dreamer over the top, both courtesy of Myers. Kiera Hogan, accompanied to the ring by Tasha Steelz, was next. Meanwhile, Myers eliminated Tenille Dashwood – so far, he’s had all of the eliminations in the match.
Taya Valkyrie, accompanied by Rosemary and Bravo, was next at #13. She avoided a Karachi Krunch, and put the boots and butts to XXXL. Fallah Bahh was next, still clutching his stolen wad of cash. While he made his way down, Steelz and Neveah fought at ringside. In an ugly moment, Havok deposited Hogan over the rope and onto the apron, and then shoved her off. Hogan fell backwards onto Steelz, whose head hit a steel garbage can that was on the ground, making a sick thud. Gross. Taya then eliminated Havok, but when she celebrated, Acey threw her out.
The next surprise entrant was the returning “Cowboy” James Storm – awesome to see him back. He had some help from Bravo to eliminate Larry D. Reno Scum’s Adam Thornstowe was in next, followed by his partner Luster the Legend at #16, and together they went after everyone. Heath came in next, and made an impact by eliminating Acey and then Myers. Sami Callihan came in at #19, followed by Hernandez, bringing up the rear at #20. Hernandez immediately went after Bahh to grab the money, but Bahh sacrificed himself, throwing the cash over the top, then diving over the top to get it, knowing Hernandez wouldn’t eliminate himself to follow him. On the other side of the ring, Rhino eliminated both of Reno Scum one after the other.
The final four came down to Callihan, Storm, Rhino, and Heath. Instead of teaming up with Storm, Sami turned on him and threw him over the top, and then threw out Heath, telling him “I don’t care about your kids!” Sami and Rhino started off their 1-on-1 encounter with a slugfest in the middle of the ring. Then Sami hit a Piledriver, but Rhino kicked out. Sami went outside and grabbed a steel chair. He got into an argument with the ref about it, and after the ref confiscated it, Sami turned around only to get hit with the GORE! GORE! GORE! and be put down for three.
This was decent, though there were some weak points: One, the ending was a cheap – Sami just came across as being ineffective and stupid, which goes against his devious mind character. Two, the women being in there wasn’t particularly needed. But, that said, the surprises were neat (hopefully Storm and Daivari weren’t just making one-off appearances), and the feel-good ending was a good way to end the saga of Heath’s unemployment.
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed The North. They’re hell-bent on being Tag Team Champions again.
Moose and EC3 Fight in an Undisclosed Location
Moose drove to a warehouse gym where EC3 was beating up somebody in a ring. It looked like they were in the now-abandoned RAW Underground location. There were even a bunch of black-hoodied people surrounding the ring pounding on the apron. They stopped when Moose barged in, and they blocked Moose’s path. But EC3 was no longer visible. Moose got in the ring and called out EC3. He rose from the stands and slowly walked to the ring. This, by the way, was a cinematic match, with spooky music and sound effects playing in the background.
They started exchanging fists, and then Moose hit a Uranage, while gothic techno music played in the background. EC3 blocked another move and hit Moose with an Overhead Suplex. EC3 hit him with a number of Short-Arm Kneeblocks, but Moose stopped that noise with a blatant low blow kick. Moose smashed EC3’s head into one of the exposed metal turnbuckles, busting EC3’s head open. Moose grabbed a chair, but EC3 went into full Berzerker mode and went ballistic on Moose. When he stopped momentarily to scream like a maniac, Moose kicked him in the head. The fight spilled to the floor, and EC3 threw Moose onto a metal ringside barrier bridge, and then rammed him face-first into the ringpost a few times, and then both of them were wearing crimson masks.
As Moose crawled back in the ring, EC3 yelled at Moose, challenging him to be better than he had been. EC3 had Moose prone for the 1-percenter, but let him go. Moose then hit him with the Spear and EC3 went down. Moose grabbed the title and slammed it into EC3’s head a few times. Moose pounded EC3 relentlessly, pounding him nearly unconscious. He then asked EC3 if this is what he wanted, and EC3 yelled affirmatively, prompting the hoodie crew to start chanting Moose’s name until EC3 motioned at them to stop. He told Moose to control his narrative. Moose thanked him and decked him with the title, knocking him out. Moose left the ring and watched as the masked druids dragged EC3’s limp body away.
It looks like they’re trying to redirect Moose and turn him into a serious contender for the real world title. But this was a long, painful, and uninteresting path to go down in order to do it. This match was, as the saying goes, like pouring ketchup on stupid.
Loser: Everyone who watched this
Match Rating: Zero point zero
Match 3: Eddie Edwards vs. Ken Shamrock (w/ Sami Callihan)
The story in this one was Shamrock using all of his MMA expertise to try to break the ever-tough Eddie. Shamrock started off with a hard strike – a big knee to the face – that dropped Eddie, and Shamrock pounced on him for some ground and pound from back mount. The match spilled to the floor, and Shamrock continued the beating with kicks and knees. Eddie finally got some distance, caught Shamrock, and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb.
He then started working on Shamrock’s legs, and when Shamrock went to the floor to escape, Edwards flew over the top, landing on both he and Sami. Eddie hit a big Missile Dropkick off the top, but Ken kicked out. A neat spot saw Eddie hit a Double Underhook Powerbomb, but Shamrock locked on an armbar so Eddie had to break up the pin to save himself.
Eddie took off his elbow pad and hit Shamrock with a running elbow right under the chin. He hit a Backpack Stunner, but Shamrock sat up right after it and went for a submission, that Eddie could only escape from with a couple of big headbutts. Eddie looked to end things with the Boston Knee Party, and then locked on a Single Leg Boston Crab. But then Sami used his phone to turn off the power in the building, and when the lights turned back on, he was in the ring with a baseball bat. But Eddie had a Singapore cane! They had a brief duel that Eddie got the best of. But Eddie turned his back on Shamrock, and when he turned around, it was in a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Shamrock then locked on the Ankle Lock and Eddie had no choice but to tap out. This was a good clash of styles, with Shamrock looking really good. The ending with Sami’s phone hack is a bit of a cop-out, as they did something very similar this past week, but as part of the ongoing story, it’s fine.
Winner: Ken Shamrock
Match Rating: 7/10
Match 4: The North vs. Ace Austin and Mad Man Fulton vs. the Good Brothers vs. the Motor City Machine Guns (c) – for the Tag Team Championship
The North attacked the Guns as the champions were making their way to the ring, with Alexander hitting a nasty Piledriver on Shelley on the top of the entrance ramp. Shelley was out, and officials and medics had to run out to tend to Shelley and take him to the back. As the North celebrated, Chris Sabin had to decide whether to continue on with the match by himself or leave with his partner; he elected for the former, and he went after the North in a frenzy. The numbers game got to him, though, and he took a beating by them and then by Fulton and Austin. The story here was the North and Fulton/Austin each trying to tag themselves in, so they could beat up and potentially pin a weakened Sabin. After an extended beating, Sabin was finally able to get a tag to Anderson, and things began to pick up with all four teams picking up steam.
At one point, Sabin took out both the North and the Good Brothers with some fancy feets off the apron. Sabin nearly got the pin after a Hellevator, but Page made the save. Sabin tried to end things off the top, but got caught and he got double-teamed by the North in a fun sequence. Things got fast and furious with lots of double-team moves on everyone else by everyone else.
The ending saw Anderson roll up Alexander for a pin, but Alexander used his legs to push him off and towards the ropes. As he did, Alexander blocked the ref from seeing Page clock Anderson in the head with the title from the floor. Anderson was knocked silly, and Alexander easily held him down for the pin.
This was a good match, though it’s unfortunate that Shelley wasn’t in it, because he and Sabin together are always good to see, and they could have elevated the match to even higher heights. Hopefully it’s not an injury of some sort that kept him out. Either way, strong outing by all teams, and this sets things up for an even better potential feud between The North and the Good Brothers.
Winners, and new Tag Team Champions: The North
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, Rosemary and Bravo apologized to Taya for not being there to help her during the Gauntlet Match. Taya forgave her, saying she knows they had bigger things on her mind with the wedding coming up on Tuesday. Havok came in, and Rosemary left with her, as they have to resurrect Father James Mitchell to officiate the ceremony. After she left, Taya asked Bravo if he had told Rosemary everything about the wedding, mentioning the penguins and unicorns (presumably, the decorations that Bravo has spent a ton of money on). He told her to stop yapping and said that Rosemary would accept whatever he said, because he was the man in the relationship and he had hand.
Madison Rayne joined Don and Josh at the commentary desk for the next match, which was for the Knockouts Championship.
Match 5: Deonna Purrazzo (c) (w/ Kimber Lee) vs. Kylie Rae
Kylie didn’t come out to her music, so Deonna grabbed the mic. She assumed Kylie was afraid to face her, and that she wasn’t surprised that Kylie bailed. She said that she wanted to defend her title, and would take on any woman or man alive who was in the locker room. The “alive” reference was a bit forced and made it obvious that Su Yung would make an appearance. Still, she was shocked when Su Yung did come out to accept the challenge, leading to:
Revised Match 5: Deonna Purrazzo (c) (w/ Kimber Lee) vs. Su Yung
Su immediately went on the offense, throwing Purrazzo all around the ring and battering her with big hits. The fight spilled to the apron and Su dropped her hard using the apron to deliver a Backbreaker. Ouch! Yung set up a steel chair on the floor, but before she could do anything with hit, Purrazzo stopped her and threw her back in the ring. Su beat on her some more, but a desperate Purrazzo was finally able to turn the tide, slow things down, and ground Su with her technical mastery.
Purrazzo grabbed an arm and started punishing Su, locking on some painful submission holds. With Su weakened, Purrazzo turned on the aggression, hitting a few stomps of her own between submission attempts. At one point, she hog-tied Su in the bottom rope in the Paradise Lock, and then hit a big running kick, and she followed that up with a trio of German Suplexes.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 25, 2020
Su reversed another Suplex attempt and dropped the champ with a big DDT, but both of them were too hurt to attempt a cover on the other. Su won a big slugfest and was all over Purrazzo with a big pummeling. Purrazzo tried to escape on the outside, but Su was relentless, finally using the chair, seating Purrazzo in it, and then hitting a somersault dive off the apron onto her. Su hit a Pedigree that nearly got her the win, but Purrazzo kicked out.
Su brought out her OJ Simpson special, a bloody glove, but Purrazzo got out of Dodge before it could be used. A series of sidesteps ended with the referee getting knocked down, and he missed a pin by Su. As Su tried to revive him, Kimber Lee came in and bashed Su with a chair. Lee and Purrazzo tried to Pillmanize Su’s arm, but Su escaped. She sprayed mist in Lee’s face, but before she could lock on the Mandible Claw, Purrazzo locked on Venus De Milo. Su broke that up with a Mandible Claw, and they were both up. Purrazzo hit a number of Pump Kicks, but Su powered up. Su picked her up and hit the Panic Switch, and the three-count was a mere formality after that.
This was really good. Purrazzo is very good in the ring, and Su is such a different performer than anyone else. It’s unfortunate that the story with Kylie had to be put on pause yet again. If her absence was only for storyline purposes, say, for example, that Su Yung’s emergence was the cause, then that’s kind of a lousy way to do it. But if it was out of their control, then hopefully Rae wasn’t injured and it was something else that caused the change.
Winner, and new Knockouts Champion: Su Yung
Match Rating: 8/10
After the match, it was announced that the Knockouts Tag Team Championship is being revived, and new champions will be crowned on January 16 at Hard To Kill.
Match 6: Rich Swann vs. Eric Young (c) – for the Impact World Championship
Winner, and new Impact World Champion: Rich Swann
Match Rating: 9/10
Bound For Glory - October 24, 2020
Impact Zone - Nashville, TN
The four title matches were all very good, with the Swann-Young match delivering in spades. Everything on the show made sense and felt like the right conclusion to the past few months of build-up on TV. The only real lowlight of the show was the dreadful EC3-Moose segment, but if this marks the end of that terrible angle, that’s somewhat positive. The lack of a crowd was noticeable, but given the hand they’ve been dealt, Impact could not have done better.