By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory Hits
Eric Young vs. Rich Swann for the Impact World Championship: I know fans who haven’t been watching the weekly Impact television show who mocked this being the main event of Bound For Glory. For those who have been watching, Impact did a very nice job of telling a good story that led to a heated main event. The actual match lived up to expectations and the finish with Swann capturing the title gave the show a feel good ending.
Ken Shamrock in the Hall of Fame: Impact had more star power on their pre-show than they did on their actual pay-per-view due to some of the legends who sent in videos for Shamrock. It was a nice surprise to see Bret Hart and Mick Foley, and Shamrock’s peers from the MMA world were also represented. But it was a true shocker to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appear even in just video form on a non-WWE pro wrestling show. Shamrock’s induction speech was classy and well delivered.
“The Motor City Machine Guns” Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. “The Good Brothers” Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. “The North” Josh Alexander and Ethan Page vs. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton in a four-way for the Impact Wrestling Tag Titles: This match lived up to expectations and they went with a surprising, yet wise tag title change. More than any team in this match, The North need the Impact Tag Titles. The Guns are basically royalty in Impact, the Good Brothers are very popular, and Austin and Fulton feel more like two singles wrestlers who happen to be teaming temporarily. Meanwhile, The North lost a lot of momentum when they dropped the tag belts. Alexander and Page are at their best when they hold the gold and other teams are chasing them.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Su Yung for the Knockouts Title: A Hit for match quality even if the outcome didn’t do much for me. Impact had a good thing going with Purrazzo as champion. I have no idea why they felt the need to move the strap to Yung. Was this just a case of them feeling like they needed to move the title to make up for Kylie Rae’s absence? If nothing else, the broadcast team did their best to soften the blow for Purrazzo by pointing out that she never had a chance to prepare for Yung.
Rohit Raju vs. Chris Bey vs. Trey Miguel vs. Willie Mack vs. Jordynne Grace vs. TJP in a six-way scramble match for the X Division Championship: For years, there was nothing more TNA than a cheap finish after a ref bump. The name change to Impact Wrestling coincided with a reduction in those bad finishes. But one holdover from the TNA years is the pay-per-view opening multi-person X Division spot-fest. I’d prefer to see an actual program that peaks with a champion and a challenger fighting for the title in a more meaningful spot on the show. Putting that aside, the match was well worked, and Raju was the most entertaining personality involved, so I was happy to see him retain the title.
Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory Misses
Overall show: WrestleMania didn’t feel like WrestleMania without fans in attendance. It was understandable then and it’s understandable now. And while I applaud Impact for not bringing fans into a venue during a pandemic, it doesn’t change the fact that Bound For Glory just didn’t feel like a major event. We see other companies run shows with virtual fans and, right or wrong, even with some fans in attendance on regular television. As a viewer, you can’t help but compare the atmosphere of those shows to the empty studio approach of the $40 Bound For Glory pay-per-view. I’m used to Impact running the same empty venue for weekly television and it doesn’t bother me. But this was their biggest show of the year and it just didn’t feel like it. There’s no one to point the finger of blame at. It’s not a booking issue. It’s not a problem with the wrestlers not delivering. It’s no one’s fault and yet it was still a glaring issue. If that isn’t as much of a factor to you, then it’s a solid show that built nicely to the last three matches.
Cody Deaner and Cousin Jake vs. Dez and Wentz: Why are the Rascalz losing to the mid-card comedy duo? The Deaners are fine in their role and this isn’t meant to be a jab against them. Heck, I’ve openly begged for Jake to be repackaged so that he can be more than a mid-card tag wrestler. But the Rascalz duo has far more upside. It feels like I’ve been wondering for a year whether Dez and Wentz’s deals are coming up while trying to come up with something to explain why they seem stuck in mid-card purgatory.
Eddie Edwards vs. Ken Shamrock: I’m still not really sure why Shamrock turned heel shortly before he was inducted into the company’s Hall of Fame. Then again, I’m not sure why Sami Callihan brought back his hacker gimmick and seemed to turn babyface, only to keep the terrible gimmick as he transitioned back into being a heel. The body of the match was entertaining. The finish was more hacker nonsense.
Call Your Shot gauntlet battle royal: There were a few solid surprises. But the silly comedy spots and even the intergender aspects just didn’t work for me. I wish Impact would take itself more seriously than it does at times.
EC3 vs. Moose in an unsanctioned match: A cinematic fight between two wrestlers who could have headlined this pay-per-view and instead fought over a defunct title belt. I have enjoyed some of EC3’s promos and respect the way he’s tried to reinvent himself when he easily could have slid right back into his old persona in Impact. But I really don’t get the hooded creepers or EC3 druids or whatever the hell he has going on with his followers. EC3 is telling everyone who will listen to control their own narrative, so unless he’s a heel, it seems contradictory for him to have a bunch of followers. That said, it will all be worth it if Moose stops carrying around the TNA Title belt.