By Jason Powell
TNA Bound For Glory 2016
Aired live on pay-per-view
Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
The Bound For Glory pay-per-view did not have a pre-show on DirecTV. The actual event opened with Matt Hardy reading a “Great War” fairytale to his son about House Hardy’s battle with Decay and questioning who would be deleted… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary and checked in from ringside…
1. DJ Z vs. Trevor Lee for the X Division Championship. Lee was not accompanied to ringside by Gregory Shane Helms. Lee bit the face of Z around 4:50. Broken Matt Hardy did not run out and scream gimmick infringement. Z came back and was setting up for his finisher, but Lee rolled to ringside. Z performed a dive on Lee on the floor. Lee recovered quickly and performed a suicide dive of his own. Z followed up with his own spingboard dive off the middle rope and onto Lee on the floor.
At 8:50, Z performed great reverse huracanrana. Z went for his finisher, but Lee shoved him off. Lee performed a German suplex into a bridge for two. At 10:15, Lee performed a great double stomp from the standing position onto a charging Z, which led to another two count. Z performed another reverse Frankensteiner and followed up with the ZDT for the win…
DJ Z defeated Trevor Lee in 11:10 to retain the X Division Title.
Powell’s POV: It was no surprise to see a TNA pay-per-view open with an X Division Title match, but it was refreshing to see that it was a singles match rather than a big “get all the little guys on the show” spot fest. It’s still disappointing to see Lee featured as just another guy and without an actual character. However, this was a very good match and a step in the right direction for the division.
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Lashley arriving at the building, and then footage aired of EC3 arriving separately…
Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell interviewed Drew Galloway and noted that he wasn’t even supposed to be at the building due to an injury. He said he wasn’t feeling very good. He said he got hurt before the biggest show of the year and TNA management said he was a liability. He said he asked the company to push back the TNA Grand Championship, but they refused. He said the only reason Billy (Corgan) is buying the company is because of him. Galloway said the winner won’t be recognized as a champion by him…
2. Bound For Glory gauntlet match for a future TNA Title shot. It’s Royal Rumble style. Jessie Godderz was the first entrant, and Mathews noted that he received tweet of support from William Shatner. Rockstar Spud was the second entrant. Mathews noted that the winner of the match has to declare when he challenges for the title. In other words, it doesn’t work like Money in the Bank.
Braxton Sutter was the third entrant. Babyfaces Godderz and Sutter tried to eliminate Spud, but the raked their eyes. Spud ran at both of them with a clothesline attempt. They did not budge, and Spud sold it by falling down. Cute. Eli Drake with the fourth entrant. Drake shot Sutter over the ropes and slammed his head off the turnbuckle before Sutter fell to ringside, becoming the first person eliminated from the match. The fifth entrant was Robbie E. He tried to eliminate his own partner, but Godderz skinned the cat.
Powell’s POV: Please let this be the end of BroMans.
The sixth entrant was Baron Dax (a/k/a Marcus Louis from NXT). Grado was the seventh entrant. The crowd wasn’t very excited about the last couple of entrances, but there was a pop for Grado. They recreated the Bushwhacker Luke exit from the Royal Rumble. In Grado’s case, he danced into the ring and was eliminated by Spud as he danced, then he simply danced his way to the back.
Powell’s POV: Some fans chuckled, but nothing screams second rate quite like paying homage to a rival company’s comedy spots while ripping off one of said company’s signature matches.
Basil Baracka was the eighth entrant. Dax was eliminated. Robbie E was eliminated. The production crew missed a bunch of eliminations because they were focussed on the entrance of Tyrus. They did replay the eliminations. Spud was happy to see Tyrus, who eliminated him. The tenth entrant was Mahabali Shera, who got a couple power moments with Tyrus before being eliminated by Drake.
Godderz nearly eliminated Drake a couple times, but in a clever spot he got his legs caught under the bottom rope and stayed alive. Godderz had Tyrus on the top rope and tried to push him over. Drake recovered and shoved both men over the top rope to win the match…
Eli Drake won the Bound For Gold match in 14:50.
Powell’s POV: The right guy went over. I’m curious to see what TNA does with Drake, as it sounded like he was developing a following within the Impact Zone. Drake has been an obnoxious heel thus far, but I could see him eventually clicking as a babyface. I wouldn’t rush it, as he still seems to be finding himself and it should be easier to do that as a heel.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed celebrity chef and Gail Kim’s husband Robert Irvine. He said he is Mr. Gail Kim tonight since his wife is entering the TNA Hall of Fame. Maria and Mike Bennett crashed the interview set and shooed him away. Irvine said he had a premonition and it’s going to be a very bad night for both of them. After Irvine walked off, Bennett told Maria to take care of Kim, while he would take care of Moose by himself…
Powell’s POV: Did they give away two match finishes just to make the celebrity husband look good?
A video package set up the Moose vs. Bennett match…
3. Moose vs. Mike Bennett. The West Orange high school football team came out and did a rally cry on the stage as part of Moose’s entrance. Bennett slammed Moose’s head off a chair at ringside, then leapt at Moose, who caught him and threw him into the ring post. Bennett targeted the knee of Moose once they were inside the ring.
Moose came back with a powerbomb and got a two count. Moose also tossed Bennett into the air and hit him with a clothesline. Bennett regained control and scored a two count off a piledriver. They traded punches in mid-ring. Bennett threw one that was incredibly soft. Moose got the better of the punches and did his Moose routine, which the crowd chanted along with. Bennett went for a cutter. Moose blocked it. Bennett caught Moose with a superkick. Moose kicked Bennett, who then caught him with a cutter for a two count. Moose caught Bennett with a big clothesline and pinned him…
Moose defeated Mike Bennett in 10:10.
Powell’s POV: Mathews played it up as if it was back and forth and could have gone either way. The effort was there, but it was just a match. Robert Irvine is one for one in his picks thus far.
Backstage, Borash interviewed Aron Rex, who said they were going to make history regardless of who became the first TNA Grand Champion. He said it’s a chance to prove to himself to prove he belongs in TNA. He said he and Eddie Edwards were trained by the same guy. He said they have two different styles, and he said may the best man win…
4. Aron Rex vs. Eddie Edwards to become the first TNA Grand Championship. Pope noted that Killer Kowalski trained both men. Mathews mentioned Billy Corgan is TNA President while talking about how the tournament came together. Mathews noted that Eddie’s ring gear was inspired by the New England Patriots. Edwards was on the offensive when Rex rolled to ringside. Mathews questioned the logic in that it may tell the judges that he’s not being aggressive. Later, Edwards went for a suicide dive, but Rex moved and he crashed into the guardrail. Edwards won the first round unanimously 10-9.
Rex targeted the knee of Edwards and applied an Indian death lock. The lights in the building went out. It wasn’t by design, as they put a spotlight on the wrestlers as the match continued and no one showed up. There was a “Pay Your Light Bill” chant. Funny. Rex continued to dominate the round until the bell and won 10-9. I guess this means there are no 10-8 rounds?
Rex controlled the first half of the round as Edwards continued to sell his injured knee. Edwards started to come back, but Rex cut him off with a neckbreaker for a two count. Edwards slammed Rex for two. Edwards caught Rex with a clothesline with 30 seconds left. Edwards followed up with a shining wizard. They traded punches to close the match. They continued to got at it and had to be separated by the referee. There was a brief “Let Them Fight” chant.
Aron Rex defeated Eddie Edwards via split decision to win the TNA Grand Championship.
They botched the graphic at the end, as it was a split decision, yet the graphic showed that all three judges picked Rex. To his credit, Mathews pointed out the flaw. Borash interviewed Rex and asked if he thinks he won decisively. Rex asked the fans. He said some said yes and other said no. He said he’s been in the ring with the best in the industry. Rex said Edwards is a warrior and a star, and he will give him a rematch whenever he wants it. Rex said they made history and it’s only the first part. “Stay tuned,” Rex said to close…
Powell’s POV: The rounds format hasn’t done much for me yet. In fairness, they had an eight-man tournament with some undercard names included, and their finals were scrapped due to Drew Galloway’s injury. In other words, I’m giving this more time. In this case, I think the idea was what Mathews tried to sell it as, which is that Rex started the third round strong and Edwards came back at the end, but there wasn’t enough to Eddie’s comeback to really tell that story. The finish was flat and the crowning of the first champion was pretty soft.
The broadcast team set up the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and said they had a special ring announcer. Christy Hemme made her entrance to serve as the special ring announcer. Hemme thanked Kim for her tireless efforts with the Knockouts Division. Hemme also introduced former TNA Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell, who labeled Kim a “career maker.” Terrell said Kim is the greatest female wrestler who has ever lived. She called Kim a peer, role model, and a friend.
Hemme introduced Awesome Kong, who walked out to a good reaction. Kong said there are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe how good Kim is. She called Kim the yin to her yang. She said Kim deserves it and she loves her.
Hemme introduced Dixie Carter, who received some scattered boos. Mathews said it’s a special night for Carter because of the Hall of Fame. She said BFG is the biggest night of the year for TNA and she is proud to honor the woman who established and defined the Knockouts Division. Carter called Kim the perfect combination of beauty, brains, and athleticism.
Gail Kim was introduced by Carter. Kim entered wearing a nice dress and kissed her husband, who was in the front row taking photos on his phone. Kim hugged her former rivals Kong and Terrell along with Hemme. The fans chanted “Thank You Gail.” Carter said Kim built the Knockouts Division into the greatest women’s division of all-time. The fans chanted “you deserve it.”
A Kim video aired and featured comments from Borash, Madison Rayne, Hemme, Mathews, producer Pat Kenney (a/k/a Simon Diamond), Jade, Al Snow, Billy Corgan, and David Lagana (creative team member who was listed as a producer).
Kim said thanks and noted that she’s not known for her speeches, which is why she brought notes with her. The fans chanted “you deserve it” again. She said wrestling exposed every insecurity, but it also taught her creativity, self confidence, strength, independence, fearlessness, and true passion.
Kim read from her notes to thank a long list of people that included Finlay, Scott D’Amore, Kenny, the crew, production, etc. She said they make her job not a job, and she said she loves her life. She also thanked Carter, Dutch Matnell, and Jeff Jarrett. She thanked her step daughters, her husband, Molly Holly, Victoria, and others she worked with in WWE. She gave a special shoutout to Molly, saying she’s the reason she is in the business, and the person who taught her to be a good person. She closed by thanking the company and said without it she wouldn’t be a Hall of Famer. Carter presented Kim with her watch while Kim’s entrance music played…
Powell’s POV: A very classy ceremony for a very deserving entrant. It was cool to see Kong and Terrell return for this. Corgan was spot on as he spoke about the greatness of the Kim vs. Kong program. Those are some of my favorite TNA matches to date.
A video package set up The Great War…
Reby Hardy walked onto the stage wearing a long red dress and played the piano. Broken Matt Hardy walked out next to her, then Brother Nero (a/k/a Jeff Hardy) came out and sang “I’ll fade away and classify myself as obsolete” while Reby played the piano. The Hardys entered the ring and led the crowd in chanting “Delete” by moving their arms sideways. The camera showed fans holding up “Broken Section” signs. Reby joined the brothers in the ring, then Decay made their entrance…
5. Abyss and Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) vs. Broken Matt and Brother Nero for the TNA Tag Titles. House Hardy surrounded Decay. Rosemary pulled her men in front of her and they spat mist into the face of Reby, who screamed and rolled to ringside. Rosemary performed a Van Terminator on Matt while Steve held a trash can in front of his face. Cool spot. Pins are legal at ringside, as the referee made a count on the floor.
Abyss pulled out a staple gun and tried to use it on Jeff, who fought him off initially, only to have Abyss remain on his feet and staple his forehead. Broken Matt and Abyss fought into the backstage area on the interview set. Abyss put Matt in the trash, then punched a referee. Matt regrouped and then he and Matt fought away from the camera.
Cameras cut to Jeff and Steve fighting in another part of the backstage area while a referee followed them. Steve knocked Jeff down. Jeff reached out to a bucket that read “Lake of Reincarnation” on it. They cut to Matt and Abyss fighting in front of the Universal Studios resort somewhere on the property. Back to Steve, who spat in the lake water before throwing it onto Jeff, who was behind a crate. However, Jeff wasn’t there when Steve walked around the crate to get him.
They cut back and forth between the brawls. Jeff threw pumpkins at Steve, who ordered him to show himself. Jeff returned wearing goggles and a jester’s hat and said he was Jeff Hardy’s friend. On the lot, Matt and Abyss fought in front of a vehicle that honked its horn at them. Backstage, Rosemary attacked Jeff, who put a pumpkin on her head. She spat mist in his face.
In the lot, Jeff threw punches at Abyss while yelling “delete” repeatedly. Abyss came back and ran him into the side of a big hauling truck. Abyss said that if Matt wants to be deleted so much then he can help him. Rosemary showed up with Janice and gave it to Abyss. A truck pulled up and the guy said delete a few times and was attacked by Rosemary.
Backstage, Willow showed up and was cheered. Matt threw a fireball at Janice, which went up in flames (hopefully to never be seen again). Matt and Abyss fought on the back of the guy’s truck as it drove off. Vanguard 1 sprayed mist at Rosemary and then his graphic read, “Money shot. Boo-yah.” Funny.
Back inside the building, Willow dragged Steve to ringside. The patient live crowd was happy and chanted TNA. With Steve getting the better of Willow, the truck returned to the lot and Matt and Abyss fought back into the building. Abyss suplexed Matt onto the entrance ramp.
Eventually, all four wrestlers returned to the ring. Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Abyss. Jeff followed up with a Swanton and covered Abyss for two. Abyss chokeslammed his own partner onto Matt. Abyss reached under the ring and pulled out two boards covered in barbwire and threw them inside the ring. Matt kicked Abyss low.
Matt picked up a bag of thumbtacks and and poured them onto one of the barbwire boards, then performed a Side Effect on Abyss onto the board. Matt placed the other board onto Abyss, then performed an elbow drop. Matt covered Abyss. Rosemary was late to break it up, but the referee stopped anyway. Mathews tried to cover for it by saying Rosemary distracted the official.
Reby showed up and powerbombed Rosemary off the apron and through a table on the floor. Matt led the crowd in another round of “delete” chants. Jeff wrapped Steve’s head in a chair and ran him into the post at 20:30. Back in the ring, Matt wrapped Steve in the chair and gave him the Twist of Fate. The fans chanted “this is awesome.”
Matt set up a table, then placed another one beside it. Jeff pulled out a giant ladder. Matt toook the mic and told Jeff to indulge in his tables, ladders, and chairs addiction for one night only. Jeff climbed up the tall ladder and performed a Swanton on Steve while Matt chanted delete. Jeff covered Steve and pinned him to win the match. Reby and King Maxel joined in the post-match celebration…
Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero defeated Decay in The Great War in 22:20 to win the TNA Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: It says a lot about the popularity of the Broken Matt and Brother Nero act that the wrestlers were able to leave the building for as long as they did and the fans were still right there with them once they returned. I wasn’t sure how they would pull off the madness we’ve seen from Cameron, North Carolina, but they did a good of incorporating some of the staples. This is the match that people will remember from tonight. Fun stuff.
The broadcast team set up footage of Lashley announcing the No Holds Barred stipulation for the main event after winning the Lethal Lockdown match on Impact…
Backstage, Borash asked Lashley if the stipulation really helps him. Lashley asked if he wanted him to say he’s scared. He said EC3 has been chasing the title for an entire year and now he’s going to get what he’s been looking for. Lashley said he’s the most real man in the business and all he does is win “no matter what”…
At ringside, the broadcast team spoke about the main event and then set up the women’s championship match…
6. Maria Kanellis-Bennett (w/Allie) vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Christy Hemme was the guest ring announcer. Christy Hemme was the guest ring announcer. Allie came out with Maria, who announced that she had bad news. Maria said the doctor told her that her hand is still broken and she can’t compete tonight. Allie took the mic and said Maria misunderstood the doctor, who said she was cleared. Maria called Allie stupid and said she wasn’t getting in the ring.
Gail went to ringside. Maria slapped her across the face. The bell rang to start the match with both women on the floor. Maria had the brace on her left hand initially. After working over Kim early, Maria removed the brace. Later, Maria called for Allie to throw her the brace, but Gail caught it and worked over Maria. Mike Bennett came out. In the end, Kim hit Eat Defeat on Maria and pinned her…
Gail Kim defeated Maria in 5:10 to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
Powell’s POV: A fun match. It won’t bring back and memories of the Kim vs. Kong classics, but Maria and Allie played their parts well, and this was a good overall night for Kim. They noted that she became the first woman to hold the championship six times.
After the match, Bennett entered the ring and asked Maria if she was okay. Bennett said this isn’t supposed to be how this night was supposed to go down. He asked the fans if they liked it, then said they are all sick freaks. Bennett said the company has been trying to screw him since he arrived, and now he is turning the tables. Bennett said he was shutting down the company and Bound For Glory. Bennett said there’s not a damn person who could stop him.
The lights went out and Cody and Brandi Rhodes made their entrance dressed in ring gear. The fans chanted Cody, as he and his wife entered the ring. Cody got in Bennett’s face. Maria got in Cody’s face. Brandi got in Maria’s face. Maria took a shot at Brandi, who slapped her. Brandi caught Maria with a knee. Cody and Bennett exchanged punches. Cody hit a Beautiful Disaster kick. Cody and Brandi stood tall and soaked up the cheers. Cody picked up his wife and put her on his shoulders…
Powell’s POV: A solid debut for Cody and Brandi. The mixed tag feud should be fun, but I hope Cody enters the main event picture if he’s going to be around for the long haul. Well, assuming there is a long haul. There hasn’t been any official update on what’s happening with the company tonight, and there’s only 27 minutes left until the top of the hour, so it’s looking unlikely that there will be any clarity provided.
A video package set up the main event. Ring entrances for the main event took place with EC3 entering first. Mathews called EC3 a locker room leader and one of the hardest working men on the planet. The fans swayed along with EC3’s music. Lashley was out second wearing the TNA Championship. Mathews touted that Lashley entered the career of Kurt Angle. Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the championship match. EC3 was introduced first. Lashley speared him, then Borash introduced Lashley…
7. Lashley vs. Ethan Carter III in a No Holds Barred match for the TNA Championship. Referee Brian Hebner checked on EC3, who sold a rib injury and then barked at him to ring the bell. Lashley controlled the opening moments. EC3 knocked him to ringside and dove onto his back, then worked him over with chops at ringside. They fought to the stage where Lashley took him down.
Lashley brought EC3 back to the ring and worked him over. EC3 caught Lashley with a dropkick, then performed a suplex. HD is not a friend to EC3’s back. Lashley came with a spear and got a two count at 6:40. Lashley picked up EC3 in torture rack position, but EC3 countered into a submission hold. Lashley powered his way out of it and dumped EC3 over his back at 7:30.
At 8:15, Mathews noted that one of the wrestlers was bleeding, but they didn’t know where it was coming from. Lashley performed a powerslam for a two count. Lashley went to ringside and grabbed the TNA Title belt and swung it at EC3, who ducked and then performed a TKO.
At 10:10, EC3 caught Lashley with a spear for a two count. Mathews said Lashley appeared to be having trouble seeing out of one of his eyes because of something EC3 did. EC3 performed a looking TKO (they call it the TK3) on the ring steps. EC3 performed a top rope splash and covered Lashley for two at 11:45.
Lashley caught EC3 with another spear and covered him for two at 12:10. Lashley went to the floor and grabbed a chair and then returned to the ring with it. Lashley slammed the chair over the back of EC3 several times. At 13:50, Lashley slammed EC3 and caught him in a submission hold. EC3 fought back to his feet and escaped the hold with elbows to the head.
EC3 threw a couple of clotheslines and then performed three German suplexes in Angle style. EC3 followed up with a One Percenter and covered Lashley for a near fall at 15:10. EC3 struck Lashley with the chair. They ended up on the ropes. EC3 wanted to hit his finisher from there, but Lashley shoved him off, speared him from the second rope, and pinned him clean. Lashley celebrated on the stage and the broadcast team closed the show…
Lashley defeated EC3 in 16:10 to retain the TNA Championship.
Powell’s POV: A solid main event, though not particularly memorable. I love the finish. It just didn’t feel like the fans were invested in EC3 winning the championship, so keeping the title on Lashley was the right call over any desire to end the company’s biggest show of the year with the babyface going over strong. This keeps EC3 in chase mode and perhaps they can get it to the point where fans will fully invested in his title chase. Lashley is a great champion and it has to be huge when someone beats him for the title.
There was no official update on the status of the company or who is in charge. For what it’s worth, Dixie appeared, yet we only saw Billy Corgan in the Gail Kim video package. I believe Corgan was backstage, so I don’t read too much into that. One would think that they would have wanted to announce a sale on this show if one had occurred. I guess the wait continues.
Overall, Bound For Glory was a quality pay-per-view. The matches had satisfying finishes. This was not a show where TNA creative stepped on their own feet by booking a bunch of crappy ref bumps or run-in finishes. So even if you’re disappointed by the lack of news regarding ownership, you can’t let that stand in the way of assessing the actual show, which was entertaining. I will have more to say in my audio review for members later tonight, and in my TNA BFG Hit List on Monday. Thanks for watching along with me.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Frank Zarrillo discussing his film "The Wrestler: A QT Marshall Story", which includes appearances by Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, Gerald Brisco, Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and many more, the involvement of Marshall's wife and mother, and much more. Stick around after the interview for Powell's audio review of Wednesday's AEW Dynamite television show...