By John Moore
Dot Net Members are listening to Jason Powell’s 46-minute audio review of Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership today via the Dot Net Members’ Signup Page.
Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory Hits
LAX vs. OVE in a 5150 street fight for the Impact Wrestling Tag Titles: This was the match of the night as far as quality was concerned. When you take out the closing seconds and post-match, both teams showed up with the great match that we know they’re capable of. Santana and Ortiz might be the two best new arrivals of Anthem’s version of TNA. OVE may not be over since they come off as dorks, but they are really fun to watch in the ring. We got huge dives from high structures and the usual innovation that we see from these teams. I think we ended up with LAX properly cast as the babyfaces of this feud given how cool they’ve been since their debut.
Trevor Lee vs. Matt Sydal vs. Garza Jr. vs. Petey Williams vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Dezmond Xavier for the X Division Title: This match caught me a bit off guard and it was a bit goofy that they made it “Lucha Rules” last minute. I’m not even sure what makes a match “Lucha Rules” since “Lucha Rules” meant something completely different two weeks ago on Impact. That said, the rules of this match actually enhanced it since the one-on-one format kept it from reverting to the forgettable spot-fests that the X Division became known for. Every person in this match got to shine. Xavier and Sydal provided the acrobatics. Garza did well wrestling with one arm (even if he should not have been in there). Dutt is always good in-ring and was no different here. The best two were Williams and Lee. It was cheap pop vs. cheap heat but the story was told really well. That part of this match made me think this should have been the TV match that we got on Impact, which could have led to Trevor Lee vs. Petey Williams in a singles match on this show. That said, the X Division guys came to play and the “Lucha Rules” made the wrestlers stand out rather than be homogeneous.
Taiji Ishimori vs. Tyson Dux: This was a completely random X Division match, but at least it was good and no-nonsense. Actually, there was some nonsense on the outside that the camera decided to spend time on Laurel Van Ness in the crowd, but more on that in the Miss section. X Division singles matches are always Hits given TNA’s decade long homogenization of their cruiserweights.
Rosemary: The lone bright spot in the Grado vs. Abyss match. This was the best part of the show as far as attention to detail given Abyss’s history in Decay. Not to mention, it made me remember when Abyss was actually cool. Rosemary was great here and she took one hell of a thumbtack bump. There’s a little sadness there though given how I was predicting that Rosemary vs. Taya Valkyrie would have been the dark horse match of the night before Valkyrie had to pull out of the show and this week’s television tapings.
Overall effort (by the wrestlers): The dullness of BFG is no slight against the talent. I feel like everyone (except Pagano for some reason) put in a good enough effort. The problem was a combination of a terrible build and terrible booking. The women’s match was underwhelming, but Gail, Allie, and Sienna did well with a bad situation. LAX vs. OVE was a great match, but the ending was a head scratcher.
Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory Misses
Overall Show: Not a great investment. They are giving viewers three months of Global Wrestling Network if they ordered through the FITE TV app, but even the GWN streaming service isn’t worth it at this point given how there’s nothing of value to watch there (Impact’s Pluto TV channel is actually a way better and free service and I definitely recommend that you get download it instead). This was all of the bad we’ve gotten from TNA over the past 15 years on display from ref bumps, overbooking, underutilization of talent, and disappointment. What was a trend in this show is that what little good there was, there was always a head scratching moment in that good. Why should wrestling fans have to try to decipher and dig through crap to get some enjoyment from their entertainment? I’ve mentioned it in the past, you can spend $40 for 4 months of Netflix to see AAA and Crash wrestlers in a way better light via Lucha Underground. You get the WWE Network for NXT. You can get New Japan World and get hyped for Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega. Another thing that disappoints me is that around this time a year ago, I would have defended TNA Impact as the best professional wrestling weekly show on television given how 2016 was the greatest creative year they had in company history. Last year’s Slammiversary and BFG were huge recommendations. 2017 Anthem-TNA? It’s been a lame ass dud. Where’s Reby Hardy? I want to give her a high five now.
Eli Drake vs. Johnny Impact for the Impact Wrestling Title: Only in TNA? This was so TNA. On Thursday’s member exclusive Dot Net Weekly audio show, Jason Powell and I called this match finish exactly and not as a prediction, but as something we know in our hearts shouldn’t happen but would given this company’s jaded history. There was a ref bump followed by classic TNA overbooking with the run in of Alberto El Patron. The referee in this match made matters worse by just standing there while Drake and Impact were holding weapons, yet he couldn’t bother to do anything logical. Impact is great in the ring, but I feel he’ll just end up being the Dolph Zigger of this company if he’s put in situations like this in that he’ll be, as Eli Drake puts it, all style and no substance.
Alberto El Patron: Something seemed way off with Alberto and he’s been off for a while. His promo was extremely awkward and all over the place. I’ve been a huge proponent of his promos because he (like Drew Galloway) can be one of the best pandering babyface promos in wrestling. As a heel, he plays the entitled rich guy really well. Instead, we got him cutting his anti-WWE promo, only he replaced WWE with Impact Wrestling. He randomly went after Jeremy Borash for no good reason and what made that worse is that he pulled back on the attack, so there was zero heat coming out of his promo.
Sienna vs. Gail Kim vs. Allie for the Knockouts Title: I’m a bit torn on putting this in the Miss section because the women tried hard, but the problem here is they were put in a tough situation via the Taryn Terrell extraction. Allie’s positioning in the match was odd. If Taryn was in the match, Allie’s involvement would have made a lot of sense, but having two babyface Canadians in the match made for awkward crowd moments in that the fans didn’t seem to know who to react to once Gail and Allie stopped double teaming Sienna. Where was KM? At least he would have helped make Sienna look less sympathetic.
OVE and Sami Callihan: Like a lot of this show, this was confusing. I think they’re heels based on their antics at the end of the match. You had Sami running in and making LAX look sympathetic. You also had Dave Crist mock the crowd after the match. I’m disappointed a bit that Sami Callihan’s debut didn’t get a hot response negative or positive. I say that after seeing Callihan do so well in Lucha Underground as Jeremiah Crane and have seen those same hot reactions when he’s appeared in Los Angeles. I also feel bad for him here since it looks like he’s accepting the tag team name that sounds like the women’s reproductive parts that Konnan mentions in his promos. At least they’re seemingly heels so the dumb name might work better in that context.
Abyss vs. Grado in a Monster’s Ball: This was your typical boring Abyss Monster’s Ball match that seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace. The GWN/Pluto TV thing actually makes this match worse since watching old Abyss matches makes you remember how slow and formulaic these matches actually are. His matches are carbon copies with the same set pieces. We even got the nail bat named after Dixie Carter’s mom that always hits a turnbuckle. Didn’t Matt Hardy blow that thing up last year?
EC3, James Storm, and Eddie Edwards vs. El Hijo Del Fantasma, Pagano, and El Texano Jr.: The build to this has been a mess so my expectations weren’t high to begin with, but given all the talent in this match it was disappointing to see a pointless trios match with no stakes. The best worker of this match was Storm, so credit for him for looking good. It’s not like Eddie Edwards or EC3 looked bad but they were just lost in the shuffle. We didn’t get Fantasma’s signature suicide dive, which I would argue is the best in the business (and Edwards has a damn good tope too). We did get to see a Fantasma “Thrill of the Kill” on the apron at least. Speaking of that, it would have made more sense to have Storm vs. Texano over the battle of cowboys or a Texas bullrope match since that would have made sense. Fantasma and Edwards have similar wrestling styles and a mach between them would have been amazing. EC3’s character seemed like he would rather be anywhere else. To be honest, I sympathize with him given how the Anthem regime has neglected his strong character. What the hell was wrong with Pagano? It seemed like his mind was somewhere else. He was clumsy and was out of position in noticeable situations. Jeremy Borash told us Pagano is supposed to be a main eventer, but we have no reason to think that based on what we’ve actually seen on Impact.
Moose and Stephan Bonnar vs. King Mo and Lashley in a cage match: This was Impact’s big build feud. This feud was never hot to begin with. The highlight of the feud was Moose’s wrestlecrap moments. Dan Lambert cuts a decent promo but he lacks any sort of charisma. He’s just a regular guy with some money. The match wasn’t standout. Bonnar did some pseudo-MMA, but even that was underwhelming. I’m a fan of Bonnar, but I don’t think he appeals to the casual crowd. Josh Barnett would have been better for this situation. King Mo was the only person here who looked good, and I don’t think it was the intention. He looked badass with the blood and his character is that of a nice guy that’s fighting for honor. I feel bad for Lashley the same way I feel bad for five of the guys in the AAA vs. TNA six-man tag (excluding Pagano) in that they could have put together several fun upper card matches with bonafide main eventers, and instead they’ve been relegated to throwaway undercard matches.
Championship belts: It made sense, but I’m just not a huge fan of what is the equivalent of slapping a sticker to cover up the logo of Jeff Jarrett’s phantom company.
Live Crowd: In defense of the fans, there wasn’t much to cheer about. However, part of what made me excited to watch this show was Impact getting a fresh crowd away from the Impact Zone. Instead we got a crowd acting like the Impact Zone in an arena that was made to look a lot like the Impact Zone.
Jimmy Jacobs: This was a bit odd and it seems like Impact is just trying to get a piece of that Bullet Club pie. The problem here is Jacobs means nothing to most of the Impact audience. Why is he here? Ring of Honor makes way more sense given that he has spent years in that company and his WWE firing appeals way more to the hardcore fanbase.
Laurel Van Ness: So a good X Division match is happening in the ring and they decide to cut the camera to focus on drunk Laurel in the crowd. Only in TNA, folks.
Unprotected chair shots to the head: We got one in the OVE vs. LAX match and another in the main event. Alberto even hit Morrison with a protected one right before which made things more awkward. These chair shots don’t make me think “Oh, that was violent!” or “Oh, that heel was dastardly!”. It only makes me think “Ugh, I really hope he doesn’t suffer long term damage”. Really? Unprotected chair shots in 2017?