Last Sunday TNA presented Bound for Glory. This was supposed to be the pinnacle of TNA’s year, their crowning achievement and the event they have supposed to have used the last 3 months of television to build up to. Unfortunately for everyone it felt like another nail in the coffin of a company which seems to be grasping on to existence rather than aspiring to do better.
I stopped watching every episode of Impact a long time ago. I couldn’t take the poor booking, constant repeat of matches seen over and over and lack of consistent story telling. However, seeing as this was the ‘big one’ I thought I would check it out.
Even though I don’t watch it week to week I was aware of the basic storylines going in to the event and if you listen to my podcast I got a rundown of the card from one of my co-hosts and we made some predictions. So I was prepared.
The disappointment that followed shouldn’t really have been any surprise as TNA really did nothing to capture my imagination. The X Division stood out to be one to look forward too due to it having a lot of ‘bigger’ stars all put in one match. However, in reality this match felt sloppy and involved the ladder more than anything else. Moves were botched, transitions felt awkward and there was not one spot using the structure or ropes above the ring apart from just pulling someone down.
Also, Abyss got his 300th return to beat up Bad Influence which didn’t generate any reactions from the crowd and Kurt Angle turned down his Hall of Fame induction which shouldn’t really have been used to further a storyline in my eyes. Even if you do turn it in to a storyline I don’t think that the segment should have ended as flat as it did with a confused Sting and Kurt just left to wonder back up the ramp.
I also questioned having Kurt and Sting both make entrances earlier in the show for the Hall of Fame segment and then later come out again for their respective matches. It somehow felt a little overkill and highlighted the lack of people they have to use at the moment.
The direction of referees also frustrated me. During the pre-show, Eric Young was dropped on his head by Kazarian delivering the Fade to Black which left him convulsing in the ring only for the referees to come running to Joseph Park who had been thrown in to the ring post?
Later in the show Kurt Angle delivered a suplex from the top rope which was his downfall and Roode fell on top of him for the pin. The referee Brian Hebner then decided to leave Kurt motionless for a large amount of time and tended to Bobby Roode who was clearly not in any serious trouble. The lack of believability was really concerning from the referee not even acting in the basic principles of first aid to getting help from someone who does! It then got worse when the medics tried to awkwardly slide Kurt out of the ring without strapping him down and constantly moving his head when the whole point of this segment is to further the storyline with Kurt’s history with neck problems.
I have said it before and I’ll end up writing about it again but Brian Hebner tries too hard sometimes. He jumps in the air for every major bump; he throws his arms around with every punch thrown and is far too animated and distracting for you to concentrate on the match. It’s a shame because the match between Angle and Roode was clearly the best match of the night.
Ethan Carter III also made his debut. This is something that I would normally argue that WWE would never consider doing but we did in fact get Fandango debut at WrestleMania this year. That being said, at least Fandango faced Jericho and a solid wrestling match which put Fandango in the right spotlight. EC3 debuted against possibly one of the skinniest wrestlers TNA could have found. Yes I know people will argue it was designed to be like that to put him over as a heel but this is something you should be watching on Impact, not YOUR BIGGEST SHOW OF THE YEAR!
Magnus Gets a Big Win Over Sting
Magnus got a victory over Sting which felt really flat and also it was more entertaining at times to read signs that said Sting Vs Undertaker for WrestleMania 30. Also, the idea of turning Magnus heel looks to be poorly timed when TNA are about to go on a UK tour.
The main event was okay but the finish was dragged out far too long and Dixie looked more happy than upset when Styles gained the title.
Overall when you put this all together you have a poor show. I understand that TNA are going through some hard times but when you reach this event you should be pulling out all the stops to make something that people will have something positive to talk about. Something that if you missed it this year you would make sure that you would check it out next year. Can you imagine WrestleMania starting without even a pyro? Without any variation to superstars entrances? These are the small things that define a once a year event and unfortunately EVERYTHING TNA produces is identical to the last thing they did.
TNA should have created moments, given us surprises, and make me believe that this isn’t an episode of Impact. Imagine if Sting had made his entrance from the rafters, Bully Ray had come out on a motorbike, AJ Styles been given a big pyro, Kurt Angle had been given confetti when introduced to the Hall of Fame and instead we got sloppy ring work, poor production, technical problems and Mike Tenay’s ‘Taglines’ and ‘Tale of the Tape’. These all affect the overall product and for a company that has every opportunity to do something different than WWE, all it seems to do is take a step in the wrong direction EVERY opportunity they get. Nothing differentiates them from the competition and most of the time they try to just copy what is happening over in Stamford.
For far too long TNA has proven that its management leaves a lot to be desired. Leaving contracts until they run out before they attempt to get a new one arranged; Hogan, Anderson, Mickie and Roode all come to mind whether it is in the past or going through the process at this very moment in time.
I’m not writing an article to bitch about TNA because I enjoy doing so. I want competition for the WWE, I want the wrestling business to thrive and to give fans as many options to experience and enjoy this industry that we all love. TNA needs to take a long look at itself and not be happy with what they have achieved, think about how they can do better. Stop giving people like Hulk Hogan a big pay day to do nothing in the ring and focus on putting simple storylines together, invest that money in to your production, make yourself different in appearance than other promotions and put on a show that makes sense, is fun and grabs your attention.
Until TNA takes this kind of action then we are doomed to keep watching disappointing events like this and even worse, if things continue like they are at the moment, then this may be the last ‘Bound for Glory’ we ever see.
Do you think that TNA is in serious trouble? Is there a series of small ‘quick wins’ that TNA can do to turn the tide? Did you enjoy Bound for Glory? Do you think that TNA is already a good enough alternative to the WWE? Let me know your thoughts on email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @BeansOnToastUK or through the comments section below.
Follow me on Twitter to find my other ventures in the world of Professional Wrestling and let’s hope WWE’s Hell in a Cell will provide a bit of Wrestling joy in the month of October.
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