TNA invaded the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California, with its Bound for Glory pay-per-view (PPV) last night (Sun., Oct. 20, 2013) featuring a main event of AJ Styles winning the heavyweight championship by pinning Bully Ray despite all the odds being stacked against him by company President Dixie Carter and the Aces and 8s.
To check out the live blog for the show click here. Let's jump right into reactions:
- Considering who was involved, the Ultimate X match should have torn the house down in the PPV opener. That didn't even come close to happening. It was a fine match, but this is the biggest show of the year during a time when the company is barely able to pay its talent on time and has cut back on finances so much it can't even tour bi-weekly. The finish was awful, with Chris Sabin winning using Velvet Sky as a distraction to Jeff Hardy and stealing the belt. Just dumb and it didn't work in front of the dead crowd.
- Abyss made his big return. If there was ever a time to end this ridiculous Joseph Park/Abyss angle that has gone on far too long it was here and that's not what happened. Instead, it was Park gets messed up leading to Abyss coming back and wrecking shit and everyone dies but Abyss. Joy.
- I don't understand Robbie E and Jesse Goddarz winning the Gauntlet match, let alone the tag team titles later in the night. The idea of pushing these two is mind boggling, though it isn't like James Storm and Gunner were doing much better. Really, Bad Influence is the only tag team worth paying any attention to and not only were they jobbed out on the pre-show, they were destroyed on the PPV for absolutely no reason.
- So Lei'D Tapa is Tamina Snuka and Gail Kim is AJ Lee, right?
- Kurt Angle refusing to accept his induction into the Hall of Fame may have been the dumbest thing this company has ever done considering the fact that he was ALREADY INDUCTED THE NIGHT BEFORE. He gave a speech and everything. I just don't get how TNA can consistently make such stupid decisions like this.
- I really enjoyed Angle vs. Bobby Roode, though, and I don't think there's much more to say about it. I still get terribly uncomfortable during Angle matches because he's so much more beat up than he ever appears on television, but he somehow always manages to do something special. Roode should have gone over a couple years ago to win the heavyweight title after the first Bound for Glory Series, so it was good to see him go over clean here.
- EC3! EC3! EC3! No, but really, this guy might be worth watching.
- Sting hasn't done many jobs in his career like the one he did for Magnus last night. The problem, as I see it, is that they telegraphed it too much. The idea was for these two to go out and have an epic match that would see the young gun, Magnus, show up the old wily veteran, Sting. He would do so through a combination of heart and natural talent. All this works fine provided you aren't told to expect it beforehand, which we were. So, really, this one never had a chance of being what it was supposed to be. For that reason, it was a failure. Plus, there was never a time where it felt like the fans were buying into Magnus more than they were Sting. It was more about a disbelief in Sting losing than exuberance in Magnus winning. That's not how you create a new star, it's how you kill an old one. Considering his contract status and the possibility that Sting is jumping ship for that one-off at WrestleMania next year, maybe that was kind of the point.
- Really can't say enough good things about Bully Ray. He's not a great wrestler in the sense that he's limited in how much he can do in any given match, especially with an opponent like AJ Styles, but he's definitely about as good as he can be in nearly every other aspect. His best attribute is that he can provide that big match feel. He's the perfect heel for it because he's such a good talker with such a believable menace about him. It's just too bad he can't do more with what TNA has to offer him. When the stage is this small, it doesn't matter how good you are.
- Also can't say enough about Styles and the work he put in. That man legitimately sold out his body to get this match over. And while no one is ever going to mistake it for a mat classic worthy of multiple viewings, Styles deserves all the credit in the world for putting it all on the line. I can't be the only one who thought he died on that springboard 360 through the table on the outside.
- Earl Hebner telegraphing near falls on his counts is still the most annoying thing. 1-2-full body jerk before 3. And he never does that when it's the straight 1-2-3. The little things matter, and I hate watching matches with him reffing because I always know the near falls before they're near falls because he'll flail his entire body on three if it's not the finish. Terrible.
- The main event would have been a lot more fun if Dixie Carter wasn't out there. Maybe it makes sense for the story, but she really grates on the nerves.
This was a bad show, if only because it was TNA's version of WrestleMania and wouldn't even qualify as a WWE "B" show.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show.