Gut Check Tournament Final:
Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw
From the hard roads of independent wrestling to a shot at the largest prize in TNA. After months of tryouts, panel reviews and time in developmental, one of these men will earn a spot in the Bound for Glory series with a win on pay-per-view (PPV) this weekend.
The Road to Slammiversary
Gut Check is a concept TNA instituted last Spring. Using a combination of an in-ring tryout, a microphone challenge and an interview with personnel and veterans, a TNA roster spot/developmental contract is awarded to "winners" of Gut Check.
In January, former WWE developmental talent and independent wrestler Jay Bradley got his shot at joining TNA in a Gut Check match against Brian Cage. He was victorious in the match, and impressed the judges enough to get a contract the following week.
Sam Shaw had appeared for the company under a different name in 2010, but got his second shot in 2012. Aces & Eights spoiled his first scheduled match, but he received a second chance. Despite a lose to veteran Doug Williams, the panel chose to award Shaw with a stint in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), TNA's developmental partner.
He got another chance at working on the main show in November and defeated another Gut Check winner, Alex Silva. Shaw has proven to be a real thorn in Silva's side - he defeated Alex on May 23rd to advance to his match at Slammiversary.
Bradley pulled of a small upset in his first match of this mini-tourney, beating former #1 contender to the X-Division belt, Christian York.
What's at stake?
Bound for Glory is the company's keystone PPV. Scheduled each October, TNA promotes it as their answer to WrestleMania.
The Bound for Glory series is a summer long round-robin tournament, historically consisting of 12 men. Points are accumulated throughout the run-up to the Bound for Glory show. In September, there is a match or mini-tournament bracket to determine the winner of the series.
That man becomes the #1 contender for the TNA World Championship at the October PPV.
Shaw and Bradley are competing for a spot in the 12 man field of the Bound for Glory series. A chance to live a Rocky-esque dream, going from the minors to the main event over the course of the next few months.
Expect an exciting match between competitors desperate for a chance at the limelight in the Gut Check finals at Slammiversary. Stick with Cageside Seats for the Sunday's outcome, and to follow their fate all the way to Bound for Glory!