STING vs. MAGNUS | ***
There's a lot of references to Sting's epic matches with Ric Flair back in the day, only with the roles reversed and Magnus obviously playing the up-and-comer. Magnus hits the Scorpion Death Drop and the Stinger Splash, plus a diving elbow and still couldn't pick up the win. Magnus locks in the King's Lynn Cloverleaf and The Icon has to tap out.
After the match, Sting tries to shake hands, but Magnus blows him off and leaves Sting alone in the ring.
There was a lot of really cool concepts going on in this match, and if it happened in front of a WWE crowd – or hell, any solid indie wrestling crowd – it could have been incredible. The story was great. I love Magnus, and I thought it was genius to relate this feud to Flair putting over Sting back in the day. An awesome passing of the torch. Unfortunately, like everything else at this pay-per-view, the crowd couldn't get off their hands long enough to be bothered.
Not sure I like TNA turning Magnus heel to put him over here. He's going to have to compete with the likes of Bully Ray, Bobby Roode, Daniels, Kazarian and now Chris Sabin for attention. But hey, at least Sting didn't knock himself out.
Bully Ray cuts a great promo on AJ Styles in the back, and the crowd chants "boring!" at him the whole time. Seriously, this crowd is worse than the Impact Zone. I just want to turn off the audio and put WWE YouTube clips on in the background. Unreal.
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
BULLY RAY (c) vs. AJ STYLES | ***1/2
Bully is definitely in the head of his opponent early on, verbally assaulting him and taking the advantage. This goes on for a few minutes, until Bully makes a crack about Styles' wife and kids, and AJ finally snaps. The match is brutal, with Styles have huge welts, probably something ruptured in his chest where Bully chopped him over and over again. His chest looks like a Rorschach test. AJ catches him in the Calf Killer, and Garrett Bischoff comes out and brings a hammer into play. Styles blocks a hammer shot, and goes to use it, but out comes Knux who chokeslams him. They fight to the outside, and AJ gets Bully on the timekeeper's table, only to springboard from the ring and 450 Splash himself through it. I kind of thought he was dead for a minute. Ouch. Bully gets a blade, takes apart the ring and calls Dixie Carter to the ring. Dixie gives him a steel chair, and he smashes it against Styles a few times, before hitting a senton splash from the top rope; somehow AJ kicks out. Bully tries for a piledriver to end it, but Styles reverses, hits the Pele kick, nails him with a steel chair to the head, and hits the Spiral Tap for the 1-2-3. NEW CHAMPION!
The first ten minutes, basically getting to the sick table spot, was fantastic. The story they were telling was great, and the emotion was all there. The crowd woke up enough to give Styles and Bully some decent momentum. Plus, like I said, AJ took some legitimate damage in this extremely physical match. Unfortunately, the second half, getting from the table spot to the finish, felt like took ten years and killed interest both at home, and with the crowd.
Dixie Carter didn't need to be there. Just like Dixie Carter didn't need to be involved in this story. Dixie Carter has never needed to be involved in ANY AJ Styles story, and in my opinion, has never made one of his feuds even remotely better. Remember Claire Lynch? What about that made anybody in TNA think putting these two together again was a great idea? If Bully had gotten the steel chair himself – like he is fully capable of doing – or had Brooke get it for him, they could have saved about two full minutes of Dixie coming out, and standing there with her hands clasped together; you know, the standard Dixie Carter pose.
I know, I'm laying it on a bit thick. But to me, involving yourself into this angle as the TNA President just shows how little faith you have in your top two draws to put on a show at Bound for Glory. Just one guy's perspective.
Everything after the table spot took FOREVER to get through. The flow was completely off. The fans would get bored between spots, of which there were few. I loved the first half of the match, and all its physicality, but for the last ten minutes I just sat there at my desk, pretty bored, waiting for something to happen. AJ gets the win, brings the title "home", and becomes only the second wrestler in the last two years to win a title, without a contract, and leave the crowd as their boss watches on from the ring.
I know how I must sound ranting and raving about all the things I dislike about this pay-per-view. Just like all the internet trolls that do nothing but sit on their computers and post things like "TNA SUX!" or "What is a TNA?" in the comments section of literally every article we post. But it's just not true. I'm the biggest TNA fan on this website. I'll be so bold to say that I'm probably one of the biggest TNA Wrestling fans of anybody currently working an internet wrestling site. There's a dozen TNA DVDs on my bookshelf, right night to my Sting, Kevin Nash, Shark Boy and Jay Lethal action figures, and across the room from my Kurt Angle and AJ Styles wall banners. I'm a TNA fan, and I've watched every PPV since the beginning.
I'm just frustrated.
There was some really, really solid stuff here at Bound for Glory this year. What they tried to do with Magnus and Sting was great, and well thought out. Quality story-telling. The main event, for about ten minutes, was amazing. Totally worth AJ Styles not getting a title shot for a year. They completely proved me wrong about Styles not being the right choice to go into BFG for the title. Angle and Roode had a classic match. The BroMans were awesome. I thought everything about the Knockouts program was well executed. There were just so many weird and "off" things that made this show fall so short of what it could have been.
I don't want to beat a dead horse, but one of the worst qualities about WCW was that they over-booked everything. They could never just let a wrestling card stand on its own two feet. Every match, every feud and every wrestler had to have more going on than what was necessary. TNA isn't normally like that. A lot of the time they just have great, enjoyable wrestling and that's why I've liked the company for so long. That just wasn't the case here, and it should have been.
I know it may sound "boring" or "predictable" to just have a night where AJ wins the title, Dixie doesn't get involved, Kurt actually goes into the Hall of Fame they've been promoting for three months, a match doesn't end with fake paralysis, a relationship isn't more important than the X-Division title and they don't have to turn a young up-and-comer heel just to put him over. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. All this stuff doesn't make the card more interesting to me, it just makes things cluttered. And it's worth noting that I didn't hate the way they booked the main event title match, save for Dixie being involved at all. I just thought it took way too long to get where they wanted to go, and I go bored along the way.
It's ok to let wrestling speak for itself sometimes. Wasn't that the reason TNA was making a big deal about how they're better than the competition? I have news for you guys: right now with Orton, Bryan, The Shield, Cody Rhodes, Ziggler, Punk, Sandow – and the list goes on – WWE is out-wrestling TNA by a pretty large margin.
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.