With 2019’s instalment just around the corner Matthew Roberts sets the TWM Time Travel machine to 2012 and takes a look back at that year’s Bound For Glory.
For all the hype that the WWE whips up for WrestleMania each year it has to be said that hype alone cannot make a show THE event of a company. Simply by saying that Bound for Glory is “TNA’s biggest event of the year” in the opening video package doesn’t necessarily mean that it is anything special. That said, with a hot crowd on hand from the very moment that we are sent ringside to Mike Tenay and Taz, you could certainly agree that the company’s fanbase had bought into the hype.
That the very popular Rob Van Dam is in the opener certainly kicks things off on a high note as he challenges champion Zema Ion for the X-Division title. In reality it’s little more than the X-Division formula matched with the usual Van Dam routine (which was passé for this viewer even back then) with some awkward moments that suggested, at the very least, a lack of chemistry between the two. That said, as Van Dam is SO over and the fans get the match result they want (an RVD title victory) this is perhaps everything that a PPV opener needs to be. A hot crowd are given what they want which makes them enthused for what is to come.
Jeremy Borash is backstage shilling TNA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts before quizzing Magnus on his imminent crack at Samoa Joe’s World Television Title. It would be churlish to be too critical about Magnus claiming “millions” around the world were tuning in; after all Pro Wrestling is all about the hype. The match itself is a little slow to get going; if you were being kind you would say that the deliberate pace is an attempt to build up the tension and drama. This kind of works in the later stages of the match as the action picks up and the match both cements the fact that Joe was always someone TNA should have been building their product around and that Magnus had a ton of potential that could only be helped by time in the ring with the likes of Joe. Of course at this stage of his career, just hanging with Joe was enough for the challenger and Joe going over was the right decision.
After an interview with the dastardly Bobby Roode we get a very effective video package for the “year in the making” match between The IT Factor and Cowboy James Storm in a Street Fight that saw King Mo as the special enforcer. What I like about this one is that this is a match where the two men involved have an intense hatred of each other… so they get straight into it, holding nothing back from the first moments. There’s nothing worse than a grudge match starting with a standard lock up. It’s an immense effort from both men and both suffer for their art here. The thumbtack and beer bottle spots (and indeed all the weapon shots) don’t seem as incongruous as usual as a result. You want to suspend disbelief and truly believe two men hate each other? It doesn’t take much effort to do that here. It’s an excellent match that still stands up seven years later.
A Joey Ryan promo seems, well, pointless after what we’ve just seen. Of course these were the days before his crotch became THE prominent focus of his act; here he was battling for a TNA contract that he said he should have been given anyway. The only amusing point of the interview is Ryan suggesting it’s “disgusting” that his opponent Al Snow was best known for carrying a mannequin head around. It doesn’t help that the subsequent match is, well, dull. Ryan doesn’t look like a “future star” who TNA need on their roster and Snow looks every inch a man who had been out of action for years before this. That a Matt Morgan run-in is the difference maker in Ryan’s win just caps things off.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian once again remind everyone that this is the “biggest night of the year” ahead of their TNA Tag Team Title defence against the teams of AJ Styles & Kurt Angle and Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez. It’s as great as you might expect given that line-up. It’s chock full of big moves, high impact moments and lashings of drama. It also picks the crowd up after the disaster that was the previous match. It’s perhaps not quite up there with the outright classics that the TNA Tag Team division has given us over the years but it’s still very good. Perhaps the only thing you can be picky about is that the winners; Chavo and Hernandez are the team that do the least in the match. The muted reaction from the fans suggest that some of them feel the same way.
A video package tries to get us engaged in the match between “teacher” Tara and “student” Miss Tessmacher for the TNA Knockout’s title. At least there’s a storyline here, but the pity is that it’s followed by a pretty poor match. Tara tries her best but it’s up for debate whether the match is worse than the introduction of her “new boyfriend” Jesse (from Big Brother apparently) post-match.
Just to show that this is the biggest PPV of the year we get footage from Sting’s induction into the TNA Hall Of Fame. It’s heart-wrenching stuff until Dixie Carter pops up. This segues into a video package for Sting & Bully Ray’s No DQ match against Aces & Eights. We don’t know who Aces & Eights are as they are masked which hurts what is supposed to be a grudge match where it’s all on the line. Unlike the previous gimmick match in the evening this doesn’t have quite enough “fight” given the animosity and what is at stake but Sting and Bully do enough to keep things going and whilst it’s overbooked to excess (including more Aces and Eights members and a Joseph Parks run-in) that does at mean that at least when it gets going it could never be described as dull. Hulk Hogan tries to make the save in a post-match run-in (well, walk-in) but the big reveal is that Devon is the brains behind Aces & Eights. Well at least for now.
An Austin Aries promo precedes the now traditional video package for our TNA World Heavyweight Title main event between Aries and Jeff Hardy. Hardy’s “issues” have been well documented in the past (and continue to some degree to this day) and this was seen as his chance for redemption after some unsavoury incidents the year previous. Hardy had won the BFG series to get this shot and the storyline was one of those worked-shoot ones that when done correctly can be so effective. It’s storyline redemption on the one hand, but on the other it was very real. The crowd were somewhat split between the two but the sheer willpower of Hardy saw fans rally behind him as the match went on (not to mention that Aries’ ego seems designed to be a top heel). It was back and forth action all the way with a number of close falls and the true feeling that either man could ultimately pick up the win. In the end Hardy did get his storyline redemption AND his real life one, by lifting the belt in a great match that ended a good show on a very high note indeed.
This being TNA, of course there were moments when you really wondered what on earth the point was and who would have given them the green light. That said though, they were minor problems from what was a very good wrestling show. Aries/Hardy and Roode/Storm provide the greatest thrills, with more than adequate back up from the Tag Team title match and it’s only really the Joey Ryan/Al Snow stuff that is really unwatchable. A little uneven in places as a card, but on the whole a very entertaining night of action.
Photos courtesy of Impact Wrestling
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