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TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Great match, bad crowd for it though. I don't think TNA expected the fans to be 50/50, and at times in favor of Aries. But that's what you get when you're incredibly ambiguous about your World Champion's character going into a show like Bound for Glory. It's a live crowd, and TNA doesn't travel outside of the Impact Zone enough to really know how this was going to turn out. This could have been a match of the year candidate, if the crowd wasn't so far behind the bad guy...
I love the in-ring dynamic between Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries. As I've mentioned, in a more traditional crowd setting, they worked a pronominal contest. We saw a lot more than the standard Jeff Hardy move set; even Aries, who is almost always "on", stepped up his game for the biggest match of the year. I still think this main event suffered with Aries as the Champion though. Had it been Jeff Hardy against Bobby Roode, the crowd would have been more like 90% in favor of the good guy. And of course, Hardy winning the title would have meant a lot more from a guy like Roode, who is not only a great wrestler, but looks like a "proper" World Champion.
You can't fault these two for that though, and they put on a fantastic match with what they were given to work with. Several times throughout the match I thought it was over, particularly following the Brainbuster from the (former) Champion. The finish was great. I couldn't ask for more from this match, but after being slightly burnt out from the rest of the card, and disappointed with how TNA handled the previous angle, I just didn't get into the match until it was at least half over.
TNA Bound for Glory was a good wrestling pay-per-view. At least two matches were 4-star contests, or better, and several others helped to produce a solid show. Certain matches like Joe vs. Magnus were set up to be high class filler, and so I have nothing to complain about involving them. I like Magnus, and win or loss I'm glad to see him getting some positive exposure, particularly in such a good match.
The biggest problem Bound for Glory had, was that it just didn't offer anything better. TNA has had a really good year for pay-per-view, and I think every match on the BFG card was outdone by something prior this year. James Storm and Bobby Roode were great, but their cage match from earlier in the year was arguably better. The tag match was fine, but are two others in recent months that tore the house down and are certifiable match of the year candidates. Aces & Eights did have a reveal, which is something be grateful for, but I don't care about Devon as a wrestler and I want to see him involved in this segment even less. Tara's reveal was lame, Morgan's return was overshadowed by basically the entire card, etc.
On the whole, it all comes down to the Aces & Eights tag match. There was so much potential in that to make Bound for Glory a truly remarkable show. As previously mentioned, Abyss, The Pope, Ken Anderson...all could have played roles in what happened. They had one small reveal that was a big twist; could have been supplemented with an even bigger reveal like Bully, Jeff Jarrett, etc. The whole angle just didn't feel like Bound for Glory material. I won't say I was disappointed by the whole card, because I lot of people did just fine. My hat is off to the Impact roster, and I think TNA is still in a very good position moving forward. They gave enough title changes and smaller reveals to make the show noteworthy, but I left with hunger in my stomach. I needed TNA to "feed me more" at Bound for Glory, and they basically managed to serve really expensive appetizers.
To be fair, my high expectations are only there because TNA has burdened itself with high quality in the last 5-6 months. And it's for that reason my final verdict comes down to this: they could have done more.
FINAL RATING: 7/10