After the stellar match that Josh Alexander had against Christian Cage to win the Impact World Championship, thereby concluding one of the best wrestling storylines of the year, there’s no way that they really were going to have him lose the title minutes later to Moose, right? Right?


That’s exactly what happened on Saturday night at Impact’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year, Bound For Glory.

Alexander’s win wasn’t only supposed to be the perfect way to bring the title back to Impact after being held for much of the year by AEW contracted talent. But it was also supposed to be Alexander’s breakout moment, proving that he really does belong in the Wrestler of the Year conversation. And up until Moose crashed Alexander’s victory party and cashed in his title opportunity – which he won earlier in the night by winning the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match – it was.

Alexander and Cage started their match with some solid mat wrestling, with both men trying to jockey for position. Christian tried to go after Alexander’s ear-guard, while Alexander had his eyes on Christian’s right shoulder, which was heavily taped up in a tensor bandage.

After a while, Alexander was able to get the edge when he shoved Christian off the top and sending the champ tumbling to the floor. He then used his power advantage, hitting Cage with a big Backbreaker and a Northern Lights Suplex for a pin attempt. He set up for a C-4 Spike, but Christian reversed it and Back Body Dropped Josh over the top and to the floor. Outside, Josh tried for an Ankle Lock, but Christian sent Josh hard into the ringside barrier head-first.

In the ring, Christian smelled blood, and worked over Josh’s weakened head and neck. But Josh wouldn’t quit. After an exchange of loud and hard chops, Alexander bought some time for himself by German Suplexing Christian hard into the corner.

The momentum went back and forth, as each man hit the other with potential finishers. Christian went for a top rope attack but Josh caught him and hit a Death Valley Driver, and followed that up with a Flying Knee for a two-count. Christian hit a Tornado for a two-count of his own.

Alexander avoided a running charge, and hit a Chaos Theory for 2-and-a-half.

He then locked on a Crossface Submission, but Christian bit his way out of it. Alexander went for an Ankle Lock, but when Christian kicked his way out of it, Alexander converted it into a Sharpshooter, forcing Christian to get to the ropes to force the break.

The two battled up top, and Josh threw Christian to the mat. He missed the Moonsault, though, and Christian hit him with a Spear, but Josh kicked out. Josh blocked a Killswitch, and then they went back up top. Christian threw him down and hit a Frog Splash, but again Josh would not stay down.

Josh escaped another Killswitch attempt, so Christian tried for a running attack, but Josh moved and Christian rammed his injured shoulder into the ring post. That must have caused significant damage, because when Christian went for another Killswitch, his arm seized on him and he had to abandon the attempt. Josh took advantage and clamped on an Ankle Lock. Christian actually touched the rope and got his arm out of the ring, but for some reason the ref didn’t force the break – the announcers tried to explain that he didn’t have control of the rope, but this was odd considering how earlier rope breaks were handled).

Christian tried to push his way out of it, but his arm wouldn’t let him get any leverage, and then Josh upped the game by pushing down on Christian so his injured shoulder was bearing the weight of both men. Trapped and in intense pain, Christian had no choice but to tap out – and we have a new World Champion!

After the match, Josh’s wife and son – who were shown sitting at ringside during the match – came into the ring to congratulate him. Commentator Matt Striker got emotional about the win, his voice cracking several times when talking about Alexander’s feat.

As Josh celebrated with his family, Moose ran into the ring and told the ref he was cashing in his title opportunity. Josh scrambled to make sure his wife and son were safely out of the way. They weren’t even fully out of the ring when the bell rang. Alexander turned around only to get run over by Moose who hit him with a Spear and pinned him to become the new World Champion. The show ended with Moose celebrating in the middle of the ring.

The Christian-Alexander match was tremendous, from the physicality to the psychology, and was the perfect way to bring the title back into the company. And then there was the ending, that even the most ardent of Moose’s fans would have to say was a questionable decision at best. We’ll see where this goes, of course, and this could eventually play out to be something really good. But on this night, at least, it feels like a bit of a moosetake.


Preview Show

Awesome Kong induction into the Impact Hall of Fame

A video package aired for the newest inductee into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame, Awesome Kong. The video included comments from various Knockouts from the past and present. Gail Kim came to the podium at the top of the entrance ramp, referring to Kong by her real name Kia Stevens. Gail talked about the magic moments that she and Kong created together, noting how unique it was for two women of colour to be given that opportunity to revolutionize women’s wrestling. She credited the company’s management at the time: Scott D’Amore, Jeff Jarrett, Dixie Carter, and Dutch Mantel. She then shared some memories of working with Kong, before introducing her to the crowd.

Kong thanked Impact management, and the Impact fans for keeping the company alive all these years. She thanked God, Gail, D’Amore, and Mantel, and noted the latter two were instrumental in giving her and Kim the opportunity to compete

She thanked her husband for his support. She thanked Dave Prazak and SHIMMER Wrestling for inspiring TNA’s Knockouts Division. She thanked Lexy Fyfe for employing women. Finally, she said that if you are at home and have a dream that you want to achieve, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible.

When she was done, the entire Knockouts Division came out to applaud and congratulate her, including Raisha Saeed.

A video aired for the Tag Me In campaign to normalize discussions around mental health. #TagMeInUnited

Preshow match: Jordynne Grace (w/ Rachael Ellering) vs. John Skyler vs. Madison Rayne (w/ Kaleb) vs. Fallah Bahh vs. Crazzy Steve (w/ Black Taurus) vs. Chelsea Green – for the Digital Media Championship

Rayne was replacing Tenille Dashwood, her Influence partner. Skyler tried to direct traffic early on, but everyone joined together to chuck him out of the ring. The commentators explained this one would be contested under Tornado Rules, meaning that anyone could be in the ring at any time. Everyone got a chance to shine during this one, with Grace in particular getting a lot of power moves. At one point, Bahh put everyone in a corner and then pancaked them all with an Avalanche. In the end, after everyone else had been cleared out of the ring, Grace hit Skyler with a Grace Driver to get the pin and become the inaugural Digital Media Champion. She and Ellering celebrated her victory as the pre-show came to a close.

Winner, and new Digital Media Champion: Jordynne Grace

Match rating: 6/10

Main Show

A video aired to kick off the show focusing on the competitors in the main event, World Champion Christian Cage and his challenger Josh Alexander. They showed a lot of clips of Alexander’s family, really driving home how significant this match is to him and his career.

Match 1: The Iinspiration (Jessie McKay and Cassie Lee) vs. Decay (Havok and Rosemary) (c) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

Haley Cameron came out “singing” the Iinspiration’s theme song. The Iinspiration got a good reaction for their Impact debut, and they seemed really happy to be back in front of an appreciative wrestling crowd. They cut a short promo, complete with their iconic pose.

Decay seemed to be the fan favourites in this one, and that’s the way the dynamic played out in the match. The story of this one is that the Iinspiration would double-team and get the advantage by isolating Rosemary, but whenever they were in there with Havok, she would take over and lay a beating on them. At one point, she hit Lee with a Backbreaker and converted that into a huge Clothesline, which looked great. The Iinspiration were finally able to overcome Havok’s size advantage with a series of Roundhouse Kicks to her head, and then throwing her hard into the ring post. Then, they used a blind tag as an opportunity to level Rosemary with a big knee to the head. They then dropped her with a double-team Elevated Assisted Backslam, and Rosemary couldn’t kick out. And with that, the Iinspiration captured the titles.

This was an okay opener. There were some awkward moments, and the pacing felt weird at times, though.

Winner, and new Knockouts Tag Team Champions: The Iinspiration

Match rating: 7/10

Gia Miller interviewed Deonna Purrazzo, who was there with Matthew Rehwoldt, who Gia reminded everyone will be banned from being ringside for Purrazzo’s Knockouts title defence against Mickie James later tonight. Purrazzo said that even if he’s not there, Purrazzo would still break Mickie’s arms and retain the title.

Match 2: Steve Maclin vs. El Phantasmo vs. Trey Miguel – Triple Threat match for the X-Division Championship

These three all won previous triple-threat matches for the right to compete for the X-Division Championship, which was vacated when Josh Alexander exercised “Option C” by surrendering the title to cash in for the right to face Christian Cage for the World title.

Not surprisingly, this one started off at a blistering pace, especially by Miguel. But after a bit, Maclin and El Phantasmo got on the same page, and decided to put the boots to Trey. But Phantasmo broke the truce, by clamping on a Double Purple Nerple on Maclin. But Maclin was impervious to the pain, and clocked El Phantasmo. El Phantasmo impressed with a neat move: he was doing the Top Rope Walk, and Trey charged at him, so El Phantasmo jumped up and avoided it, and El Phantasmo landed back on the top rope perfectly, then springboarded himself to hit Maclin with a Hurancarana.

Maclin slowed things down by hitting some powerful striking blows on both opponents, just methodically beating them up. At one point, Miguel and El Phantasmo were both tied up in the Tree of Woe. Maclin hit El Phantasmo with the Crosshairs, but Miguel dodged one. Then Maclin dazzled with some crazy dives and flying attacks. The match picked up speed after that, with El Phantasmo hitting an Asai Moonsault on the floor, and then Miguel hitting a Springboard Cutter on the floor.

Later, El Phantasmo hit a Hurancarana on Miguel, sending Miguel flying onto Maclin who had just himself been thrown off the top. El Phantasmo followed that up with a Superfly Splash, but that wasn’t enough.

A fired up Maclin dropped an F-Bomb (not a move, but rather the word), but as angry as he was, it didn’t help him, as he got dispatched and thrown to the floor.

In the end, El Phantasmo hit a Crotch Punch on Miguel, but instead of dropping Miguel, Phantasmo hurt his hand. Miguel pulled out a protective cup that thwarted the move, and then hit El Phantasmo with a Superkick. He followed that up with a Meteora and rolled up El Phantasmo for the pin.

This was great – a real throwback to the X-Division matches of yore.

Winner, and new X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel

Match rating: 9/10

Gia Miller interviewed Mickie James who said that she did have doubts about whether she would be able to come back after so long and perform at a championship level. She said that she is, and she will prove it tonight by beating Deonna Purrazzo.

Match 3: Violent By Design (Deaner and Joe Doering) (w/ Eric Young) vs. Heath and ???

During the introductions, the commentators speculated whether Rhino would finally leave VBD and reunite with Heath. But Heath came out alone and no partner was announced for him.

Heath looked to the back to check if anyone was going to join him, and as he did, VBD attacked him from behind. The ref made sure he was able to compete and then called for the opening bell. Heath was scrappy and took the fight to VBD, but the numbers game was too much, and after a short flurry, he was brought down. VBD battered Heath, including Doering hitting an awesome-looking Running Cross Body – dang, Doering is awesome. Heath rolled away when Deaner went for a Flying Head Butt and Deaner crashed hard. This let Heath mount a bit of a comeback and after a Double Clothesline, they were both down.

Rhino’s music then hit and he marched to the ring, and climbed onto the apron. Any question about his loyalties were put to rest when he told Heath to tag him in, and when he did, Rhino ran through VBD like a hot knife through butter. He hit Deaner with a GORE GORE GORE! to get the pin. After the match, he and Heath celebrated the renewal of their friendship.

This was a fun little match and a good way to put a ribbon on the Heath-Rhino storyline.

Winners: Heath and Rhino

Match rating: 8/10

Gia Miller interviewed Jordynne Grace who was there with Rachael Ellering. Grace said that she was thrilled to win the Digital Impact Championship, and said that her friend and partner Ellering will continue their momentum by winning the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match.  Moose and W. Morrissey came up to them and said that it will be one of them who will win the Gauntlet match, and not Ellering.

Match 4: Call Your Shot Gauntlet match

This is a complex Russo-style rules match: it’s like a Royal Rumble in that participants come in every minute and get eliminated by going over the top rope to the floor. But when all participants have entered, once it comes down to the last two, it becomes a standard match with winner by pinfall or submission. The winner gets a future opportunity at any title they want to compete for.

Rocky Romero was the first surprise of the night as he came out as the second entrant of the match after Chris Sabin, who lost an earlier match against W. Morrissey to determine who would be the first and the last entrant. They had an old-fashioned ECW standoff which the crowd really liked, and they showed each other some mutual respect with a handshake. Mad Man Fulton was in next, and then it was Rohit Raju. Raju and Fulton joined forces and put the boots to Sabin and Romero, and then they got Tasha Steelz, the next entrant, to side with them as well. Their strategy worked as they eliminated Romero.

Rachael Ellering was in next, and she and Steelz went at it.

In a funny moment, Rohit was nearly thrown over the top, but from the apron, he grabbed onto Fulton’s hair to hold himself up, pulling Fulton right up against the ropes. Ellering clotheslined Fulton over the top, and Rohit was able to drop to the apron and slide back in while Fulton hit the floor.

As Johnny Swinger made his way to the ring, Evans and Ellering were both eliminated. Melina was the next surprise entrant for the night, and yet another one followed in the form of The Demon – yes, the KISS-themed wrestler originally from WCW. A star-struck Swinger thought it was actually Gene Simmons, so asked for an autograph. Which he got. But then also got eliminated.

Brian Myers was in next, flanked by his Learning Tree. And following him was his friend-turned-rival Matt Cardona, and they slugged it out. Laredo Kid was in next at #13, and at this point, the ring was pretty crowded. Bur it cleared out a bit when Melina splitsed her way underneath a Steelz clothesline and Steelz went over the top. But Melina couldn’t celebrate long as Myers came up behind her and chucked her over the top. Sam Beale came in next, and he tried to impress his former mentor Myers by going right after Cardona. Rich Swann was in next. Myers tried to get Beale to work over Swann – but instead Beale turned on Myers and defiantly threw Myers out to the delight of the crowd.

Ace Austin was in next and he used his quick skills to eliminate The Demon. Moose came in next and he made quick work of Beale, Powerbombing him out of the ring and onto the Learning Tree – that was sweet. Eddie Edwards ran down next and went right after Moose, hitting him with a Flying Dive to the floor (Eddie went between the ropes, not over), when Moose rolled out of the ring to escape Edwards. But after the dive, Moose picked up Eddie and Powerbombed him hard on the apron – ouch.

Laredo Kid was eliminated in the meantime. Alisha Edwards came in as #19 and she brought some Singapore canes with her. She gave one to Eddie and they battered Moose with the canes, which couldn’t have been pleasant.

Morrissey walked in as #20 and he got caned as well – but Morrissey pressed her over his head and sent her flying over the top and she also landed on the Learning Tree. Morrissey and Moose joined forces, and after a huge Boot to the Head on Eddie, they threw him over the top unceremoniously. Raju tried to make it a trio, but they weren’t having any of it and they dumped him over the top.

Sabin threw out Austin, and after he did, Fulton ran back to the ring and planted Sabin with a Spinning Slam, leaving him easy pickings for Morrissey and Moose who easily dumped him.

The last four in the ring were Morrissey, Moose, Matt Cardona, and Rich Swann. Morrissey had Swann on his shoulders and was going to dump him over the top. But Moose came up from behind and dumped both of them over, betraying his alliance with Morrissey, leaving Moose and Cardona as the final two.

Cardona gave it an effort, but Moose avoided being Radio Silenced (Flying Legdrop) and Cardona crashed hard. When he got up, he got Speared by Moose and that was all she wrote.

This was fine and didn’t really drag despite being a lengthy match. The surprises were pretty fun – Romero is a great talent so hopefully this isn’t just a one-off, and who would have expected to see The Demon ever again? People may not like that Moose won, since he had a title program recently. But with the Morrissey backstab, this does set up some interesting possibilities in that this has potential for either a feud with the two of them, or perhaps a tag team run for the two?

Winner: Moose

Match rating: 7/10

Gia Miller interviewed Heath and Rhino who were glad to be reunited.

Match 5: FinJuice (Juice Robinson and David Finlay) vs. The Bullet Club (Chris Bey and Hikuleo) vs. The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) (c) – Triple Threat match for the Tag Team Championship

This one started fast with a quick exchange between Finlay and Bey, and then a power battle between Hikuleo and Gallows. After a while, it seemed to find a steady rhythm, with the Bullet Club isolating Finlay for several minutes, slowing the match down to a more deliberate pace. Finlay finally got a tag to Juice, who took it to everyone, nearly getting the pin on Bey with a huge Codebreaker type move.

After a while, the match broke down and after some collisions, all six men were flat in the middle of the ring, causing the match to effectively reboot.

But instead of rebooting, the match just kind of went to a quick finish. FinJuice were the first pair to recover, and they hit their double-team Superplex-Superfly combo on Bey. But before they could capitalize, Karl Anderson – who unbeknownst to FinJuice had blind-tagged himself in – came in, picked Juice off of Bey and threw him to the floor, and then covered Bey for the sneaky win.

This was fine. The Good Brothers continue to succeed by doing as little as possible, and it always seems like they’re just phoning it in until their contract ends. At least when FinJuice and the Bullet Club were in there, things were pretty exciting. More of that, please.

Winners, and still Tag Team Champions: The Good Brothers

Match rating: 7/10

Gia Miller interviewed Christian Cage who said that he wasn’t prepared to pass the torch to Josh Alexander, and even if he was, Josh wasn’t ready to carry the torch.

Match 6: Mickie James vs. Deonna Purrazzo (c) – for the Knockouts Championship

The two started fighting even before the opening bell, and they took their brawl to the floor, around the ring, and up the entrance ramp. Purrazzo was able to get the advantage out there, and she dragged a hurting Mickie back to the ring and threw her back in. The match officially underway, Purrazzo continued the assault, hitting Mickie with hard shots, including double chops to the sides of Mickie’s neck.

Mickie tried to fight back, but when she went for a defensive Hurancarana, Purrazzo blocked it and hit a Powerbomb. Mickie tried to rally and finally bought some distance when they simultaneously went for Running Cross Bodies and they collided hard in the middle of the ring.

They had a slugfest in the middle of the ring, working their ways from their knees to standing upright, and Mickie got the best of that exchange. Mickie fired up and landed a Flying Thesz Press for a near-fall. But then Purrazzo hit a huge kick that floored Mickie to try to turn the tide again.

Mickie countered a Queen’s Gambit attempt and then hit a DDT, but Purrazzo kicked out, which shocked Mickie. Desperate, she tried to smother Purrazzo in the corner, but Purrazzo was able to thwart it and take control again. Purrazzo locked on Venus De Milo, but Mickie was able to get her foot under the bottom rope to force the break. As she got back out from the ropes, Purrazzo used the position to get Mickie up for the Queen’s Gambit and hit it, and that was – no! Mickie kicked out!

Frustrated by Mickie’s perseverance, Purrazzo went outside and got a chair, but the ref took it away. This gave Mickie a chance to go up top and she went for another Flying Thesz Press. But Purrazzo pulled the referee into it and he got flattened. With him down, Purrazzo grabbed the chair, but Mickie Mick Kicked it into her face, but the ref was groggy on the count and the delay allowed Purrazzo to kick out.

The two jockeyed for position on the top, with Purrazzo wrenching Mickie’s arm and sending her crashing hard to the mat. But instead of going for a submission, Purrazzo decided to mock Mickie and teased a Tornado DDT of her own. But Mickie Mick Kicked her, and then hit a Tornado DDT of her own to get the pin and put an end to Purrazzo’s championship reign.

This one had some rough moments. It looked like they lost track of what they had planned a couple of times, and some of Mickie’s stuff didn’t look very crisp. The ending was a bit of a shocker, given how strongly Purrazzo has been booked this past year. It especially doesn’t seem to be a great idea to have her lose to a part-timer, and particularly one that works for another company entirely.

Winner, and new Knockouts Champion: Mickie James

Match rating: 7/10

Match 7: Josh Alexander vs. Christian Cage (c) – for the Impact World Championship

Winner, and new World Champion: Josh Alexander

Match rating: 9/10 (one point deducted for the bizarre rope break inconsistency)

Match 8: Moose vs. Josh Alexander (c) – for the Impact World Championship

Winner, and new Impact World Champion: Moose

Match rating: Not rated

Bound For Glory - Oct 23rd, 2021

Sam's Town - Las Vegas, NV

The Moose ending notwithstanding, this was a strong showing from Impact. The main event was one of the better matches you’ll see all year, and everything else was fairly solid, with particular kudos to the X-Division Championship match participants. There was some strong in-ring action, some fun surprises, and overall the show was strong.