“I Quit” Match
I really could have done without all the grunts and groans throughout this match. More importantly the match could have benefited without the overly dramatic “I'm going to kill you” theme that developed throughout. We're talking about two of the greatest wrestlers to ever step foot in a TNA ring, the two men who took the X-Division to the mountain top, attacking each other with a screwdriver? What's worse, AJ actually won the match with it… This was still one of the better athletic matches of the entire card, but when you're AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels good just doesn't cut it. I hate to say I was dissapointed, because the match had some great back and forth, but it just didn't live up to my expectations of a “match of the year” candidate. I'm glad to see that the feud seems to be carrying into a grudge match in the future, because they owe it to the fans to go out there and put on a classic. Next time, hopefully they won't stab the ring with tools… B
Before Hogan and Sting we had Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy's brawl. I'm not sure why this was necessary, except that TNA wanted to have both of these top stars appearing at their biggest event of the year. Again, I applaud how they have handled Hardy's return to the company, but this ten minutes could have been added to the main event which was cut way too short for such a built-up match.
TNA Ownership On the Line
On paper, this looked like the worst idea in the history of professional wrestling. We knew about Hogan's desired return to the ring months prior, and the hate that has poured down on him since joining up with TNA only added fuel to the fire. When the video package started to roll, the first thing I did was thank God that Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode would get the chance to finish off the show. After that I held my breath and waited for the impending train wreck… And for fifteen minutes out of the last decade, Hulkamania ran wild! It wasn't a technical masterpiece, but the old man went out there and gave the Philadelphia crowd and all the Hulkamaniacs around the world everything he had left. With or without mobility Hulk Hogan and Sting electrified Bound for Glory, and I couldn't think of a better way for all the Immortal shenanigans to come to an end. Everything from Ric Flair's entrance to the expression on Dixie Carter's face as Hogan took out Bischoof was perfect. By Thursday's episode of Impact I'm sure most fans will be back to not caring, and the Hogan hate will continue on. But for the next few days we should all remember that even when every single fan out there said they'd crash and burn, Hogan and Sting brought us one of the best moments in TNA history. You could feel the magic when Sting crawled up to Hogan and begged him for help. You could feel it when he tore his shirt and “Hulked up”. And the crowd responded like it was 1987 and Hulk Hogan was about to win the WWF Championship at WrestleMania. No matter how small the crowd, how insignificant the promotion, or how much doubt the fans had, this was a magical moment. This was the match that took Bound for Glory from a great wrestling PPV to a piece of professional wrestling history. The ONE thing that could have perfect the moment was a vintage Leg Drop to the perfectly positioned Eric Bischoff. I'm sure if Hogan could have done it, he would have… A+
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
The reactions on Twitter following the end of this match were PRICELESS. Bobby Roode was primed to win this match for the last several months, and everyone knew it. Maybe that's exactly why they decided to go the opposite direction and shock the world with Angle picking up the win. People were debating whether it was part of a story that maybe Roode will get another shot because he was “screwed” out of the win. His arm was definitely under rope and Angle definitely cheated to gain momentum, but I actually question if the match was supposed to end when it did. The safe bet is that it's all part of the script and that Angle was supposed to retain the title. But go back and watch the final pinfall one more time. Bobby gets his arm under the ropes just in time, Angle uses them for leverage, and…the referee hesitates! He counts one…two…and he stops like Roode was supposed to kick out. From the alternate view you can see him pull his hand back at the last minute, notice that Roode hadn't kicked out, and quickly slapped the mat for the three count. Again, there's a good chance it's all in my head, but I have to wonder if that's how things were supposed to go down. Roode got his arm where it needed to be, so if anybody screwed up it would have to be the referee. Angle looked happy, but slightly surprised, and Bobby looked legitimately upset after the match… All fuel for speculation.
The match itself was fantastic, although I probably could have done with less crossface and a few more varied submission maneuvers. Whatever happened to his signature Armbar? I guess I just don't get it… I've spent a great deal of time analyzing matches to understand the psychology and flow of a wrestling contest, and that was definitely set up for Roode to win. You had the dominant, established champion who threw everything at the challenger, and he kept coming back and locking him into a submission. This was built extremely similar to Benoit winning the title at WrestleMania 20, and I can't help but think Roode somehow missed his moment because of a flaw in the system… I'm probably reading too far into it, but I'm telling you the flow of that match was perfect, but made zero sense when you add the finish. On paper many will see it as a bad decision that will cost Bobby Roode the win of his entire career, but I'm telling you there's more to this than we will probably ever know for sure. B+
Bound for Glory was by far the best PPV TNA has put out in years. It could have been perfect save for a few minor flaws that added together to just frustrate the hell out of me. Styles/Daniels could have been booked smarter, the logic of the KO's match made no sense, Hogan never did hit the Leg Drop, and of course the big finish made me actual wish Hogan and Sting had closed out the night. Of course then we'd never hear the end of it from the internet crowd… Five fantastic matches, a decent triple threat, a change in women's champion, and a memory that will go down in the history books. If this isn't exactly what people have been asking for, I will never understand what they want. Tonight TNA showed me for the very first time that with enough planning, a show outside of the Impact Zone, and a focus on real professional wrestling, they have all the tools necessary to be a threat to the WWE. Bound for Glory was more entertaining as a whole than any WWE PPV of the last few years, the wrestling rivaled that of a Ring of Honor event, and and TNA truly shined as its own unique product.
Bound for Glory final rating: A
AJ StylesAustin Ariesbobby roodeHulk HoganJeff HardyJeff JarrettKurt AngleppvRic FlairStingTNA Bound for GloryHave a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?