Hall of Fame Showdown:
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode
One man is simultaneously returning from the nadir and being given the company's greatest honor. Another has continuously been delivering on whatever the promotion has asked him to do for almost a decade. On Sunday, October 20th in San Diego, their paths will cross.
The Road to Bound for Glory
In 2011, Bobby Roode was a member of the babyface faction Fortune. He fought his way through the Bound for Glory series and came out as the #1 contender to the then heel Kurt Angle's World title. Angle forced the Canadian to face each of his stablemates on the way to that year's Bound for Glory pay-per-view (PPV). That show should have marked Roode's ascendance to the top of the company he had toiled for from its outset. Instead, the Olympian snuck out of town with his belt, having used the ropes for leverage during his pin AND the referee having missed Bobby's arm being under the ropes.
Oh, TNA. Why screw a guy with one tainted finish when you can use two?
Roode did end up winning the World championship, and holding on to it for longer than anyone else in the history of TNA. But that of course happened on free television, and turned him heel, and gave away the break-up with his long-time Beer Money, Inc. tag team partner in the process. That potentially money making feud was never really paid off, either.
Oh, TNA. Why piss away one big moment when you can give two away in the span of a month?
Angle, for his part, continued to play the big name utility man for the company, delivering in the ring and on the microphone. But all the while, the troubles that allegedly chased him from WWE caught up to him time and time again. Finally, not long after being announced as the second inductee in their nascent Hall of Fame and being given a central role in the Main Event Mafia story (itself designed to end thelong-running Aces and Eights storyline and utilize the mixed martial arts talent on loan from fellow Spike partner Bellator), the Gold Medalist was again popped for driving under the influence and immediately announced he would head to rehab.
In an angle that was played for laughs on TV but probably has more than a germ of truth to it for Roode, he and his current stable-mates, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian of the Extraordinary Gentleman's Organization (EGO) decided that the It Factor was more deserving of a Hall of Fame slot than Angle. The first induction ceremony for the EGO Hall of Fame was interrupted by the Pittsburgh native. A couple of strong promos from each man, and a Bound for Glory rematch two years in the making was booked.
What's at stake?
For a match made in the last two weeks and with no titles on the line, a lot.
It's a chance for the company to right a wrong from two Octobers ago. No matter who wins, a clean finish to a good match would save face with hardcore fans who are already expecting to role their eyes when Hulk Hogan makes a "dramatic" return in San Diego.
This match, along with Ultimate X, are the two matches that HAVE TO deliver on the card. With 50-something Sting and 40-something Bully Ray primed to punch their way through the other main events, the show the company touts as their biggest of the year could be a laughingstock if Roode and Angle don't deliver.
Bobby Roode is one of the best all around pro wrestlers in the world today. You would say the same about Kurt Angle for most of his career.
Will they be able to come together tonight when TNA needs them most?
Find out what goes down tonight, and stay with Cageside Seats for opinion and analysis following this and all the action at Bound for Glory.