Impact Wrestling is back tonight with their Bound for Glory pay-per-view (PPV). It emanates from the Melrose Ballroom in New York City, New York. It airs tonight at 8 EST on PPV and the Fite TV app.
To get you all ready for it, we’re going to give you the quick rundown of the matches, our anticipation for each bout, and then our predictions. The anticipation will be a simple 1 to 5 with 1 being “not into at all” and 5 being “REALLY PUMPED”
I’ll be joined by occasional Impact reviewer and co-host of the Not Your Demographic podcast “Stunning” Stella Cheeks for the predictions and anticipation levels.
Let’s jump right into it!
Austin Aries (c) vs. Johnny Impact for the Impact world title
This match was announced when Johnny Impact told Austin Aries it was going to happen. There was no build between the two prior to the announcement as Johnny was finishing up a feud with Kongo Kong, which ended when Kongo Kong fell into a pool. Seriously.
The night that Johnny dropped the news on the champ, Aries and his goons Moose (more on that in a bit) and Killer Kross attacked him, knocking him out of action for a little bit.
A couple weeks ago, a face to face promo segment added the extra layer to the match. Aries made the (possibly truthful) claim that Johnny is all flash but can’t get it done. Austin is substance. In this segment, Aries promised to leave Moose and Killer Kross in the back, but he’s a heel so feel free not to believe him.
Kyle: 4 - The build wasn’t much, but I expect the match to be good. When it comes to inside the ring, Austin Aries is one of my favorites.
Stella: 4- While the build for this match mostly happened in twitter spats, I’m still excited for this match. Despite his terrible irl opinions I still love watching Aries wrestle and Johnny Impact is the perfect foil for AA.
Kyle: Austin Aries - I think Aries will be champion for awhile and don’t see any major improvement in putting the championship on Johnny Survivor. Aries has his relatively new heel stable and will probably have a strangle hold on the top until Brian Cage decides he wants it.
Stella: Austin Aries - This is Aries’ first real championship defense since the debut of his heel faction. While Johnny might be looking to finally solidify himself as an Impact main event-er Austin is playing the numbers game. A win for Aries establishes his heel faction as a force to be reckoned with and it gives Johnny great baby face fodder ultimately making any future championship win satisfying.
Tessa Blanchard (c) vs. Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts championship
There’s really no build to this match.
After Tessa Blanchard defeated Faby Apache in Mexico, Taya Valkyrie appeared on the video tron and issued the challenge for this match. Taya wasn’t at these tapings so that was her only part in it.
Kyle: 5 - This is the match I’m most looking forward to, despite the lack of any real build. Tessa Blanchard is just great and Taya is very talented. They should mix it up really well.
Stella: 5 - At this point I watching Impact 90% for Tessa Blanchard alone. That plus Taya’s epic ring entrance? Yeah, this is my match of the night and it hasn’t even happened.
Kyle: Tessa Blanchard - Much like Aries, I see a long run for Tessa. Taya would make a good champ, but she’s had “part time” status in Impact, and there’s been no real build to make the change feel special. Honestly, I think Tessa will hold the gold until Rosemary is ready to challenge her for it.
Stella: Tessa Blanchard - While I am very excited to see Taya back in Impact, Tessa’s championship reign is undeniable. Tessa hasn’t been champ for very long and needs to establish her dominance. Taya is great, but she’s been gone for too long and handing her the belt would undercut all the great work they have done with Tessa these past few months. I would be very satisfied with this turning into a full blown feud post BFG.
oVe (Sami Callihan, Jake Crist, & Dave Crist) vs. Pentagon Jr., Fenix, & Brian Cage in an “oVe rules match”
At Slammiversary, Pentagon Jr. defeated Sami Callihan in a brutal match and shaved his head as was the stipulation. This left Sami more unhinged than ever and his obsession with Callihan did not wane.
This led to a couple months of oVe and the Lucha Brothers matching up in various different matches. Honestly, it got a bit repetitive, but there was that time Callihan urinated on someone.
When oVe decided to gang up on Fenix after he lost to Cage, the X Division champion decided to help. This put him in the crosshairs of oVe, which set up this six man tag.
I’m not entirely sure what an oVe rules match is but assume it’s just a no rules match.
Kyle: 3 - Despite the talent being there in spades, the lack of compelling story leaves this as an exhibition match. Extending the Callihan/Penta feud by turning it into oVe/Lucha Bros and adding Cage wasn’t enough to make the journey between July’s Slammiversary and tonight’s Bound for Glory exciting. Plus, I’d prefer Cage defend his title, which he has only done twice since winning it three months back.
Stella: 2 - I have seen these six men wrestle too many times. I feel very oversaturated watching with these wrestlers.
Kyle: Brian Cage & the Lucha Bros- I don’t really have a confident guess on this one given the lack of story beats to help me decide. Since Cage is undefeated, best guess is they keep him that way even in tag form.
Stella: Brian Cage & The Lucha Bros- Cage is the “it factor” in this match. Not only is he being brought in as the pinch hitter, but he’s undefeated. Plus, like Dave Crist said, Lucha bros got magic. THEY HAVE MAGIC Sami!
LAX (Santana, Ortiz, & Konnan) vs. LAX OG (Hernandez, Homicide, & King) in a Concrete Jungle Death Match
At Slammiversary, LAX defended their titles successfully against the OGz. But the war was far far far from over.
Their continued feud led to a street fight (that actually took place on the street) that LAX won. The OGz, still not accepting defeat, attempted a drive by on the LAX celebration and ran over a child. Seriously.
That action forced the top bosses of LAX to put a ceasefire in place until these factions could settle their difference in a Concrete Jungle Death Match. I’m not sure if that’s another street fight outside (meaning parts of the match pre-taped) or just another fancy name for a street fight.
Kyle: 1 - Sorry, I’m done here. Even the talent of Santana and Ortiz can’t sell me on this story any more. I pointed to this story at Slammiversary as an example of the long form storytelling I praised from the promotion. Now I’m pointing to it as an example of drawing a story out way too long instead of ending it months ago when they should have.
Stella: 0 - Nope. I’m done. Santana and Ortiz are very talented wrestlers, but they need to wrestle literally anyone else. The OGz are trash and I am over it.
Kyle: LAX - If the OGz win, it’ll lead to more matches since in the end, the good guys will win. And I can’t even bring myself to think of this story going even longer than it already has.
Stella: LAX - They HAVE to win and then they have to NEVER wrestle the OGz again. Frankly, they should run Eddie Kingston over with a car and be done with this.
Eddie Edwards vs. Moose
At Slammiverary, Moose unsuccessfully challenged Austin Aries for the world championship. In that match, he sustained a concussion. He returned about a month later and reunited with his buddy Eddie Edwards. But it was brief.
Moose teamed with Eddie to take on Austin Aries and his heavy Killer Kross. But at the end of the match, Moose speared his former best friend and then Aries, Kross, and Moose beat Edwards down.
The explanation Moose gave for the turn is he felt Eddie wasn’t there for him when Moose was in the hospital. In fact, the only person who came to visit Moose was apparently Austin Aries. Because of that, he decided to align with the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.
Making this even more personal, Moose abducted Eddie’s wife Alisha and used her to lure Eddie into a trap. The Edwards were able to escape but that took Eddie from almost sympathetic towards his old friend to angry.
Kyle: 3 - This is another feud that I haven’t been able to get that into. The excuses Moose gave for turning on Eddie was flimsy and the entire abducting his wife bit didn’t feel in character with the flashy heel character Moose is playing. Because I’m not into the build, I’m not looking to the match too much, though it should be entertaining once the bell rings.
Stella: 3 - This is only getting a 3 because Eddie is a delightful weirdo and I love him. Moose has been the most unconvincing heel and probably should have just stuck to being a mediocre good guy. I don’t hate Moose because he’s a heel, I hate him because he’s boring.
Kyle: Moose - Moose needs a win pretty badly and no way should lose his first legit match as a heel.
Stella: Moose - I want Eddie Edwards to win because I love the weird maniacal man he has become, but honestly, if Moose doesn’t win this match he should quit because it’s clear that Impact management hates him.
Matt Sydal & Ethan Page vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack
Matt Sydal continues to channel his spiritualism and wants to teach it to those around him.
Enter Rich Swann, the new X Division athlete in the promotion. Sydal tried over and over to get Swann to listen to his teachings but Rich would have none of it. So Matt found someone who would.
During a one on one match between Swann and Sydal, Matt’s new student Ethan Page attacked Swann, leading to a Sydal victory. While Swann was resistant to Matt’s teaches, Ethan’s third eye was wide open to it.
They issued the challenge and Swann went and found a partner in Willie Mack. (That introduction was via video package so tonight will be Mack’s first appearance in Impact.)
Kyle: 4 - This should be fun. I’m a fan of all four guys and they’ll likely tear it up.
Stella: 4- WILLIE MAAAAAACK.
Kyle: Rich Swann & Willie Mack - New heel duo vs. debuting wrestler... New heel duo vs. debuting wrestler... Both make sense. I’m going to go with debuting wrestler, but fully expect these four to feud into the next set of tapings at least.
Stella: Rich Swann & Willie Mack - But can this feud just be Ethan Page vs Willie Mack next? I’m so happy Impact is getting new blood. They desperately need it.
Allie vs. Su Yung (in the Undead Realm?)
Many months ago, Su Yung closed Allie in her coffin. We recently learned that those closed in the Undead Bride’s casket are sent to undead realm. And the only reason Allie is back is because Father James Mitchell helped her do so. But she had to leave her soul behind.
Since returning, Allie’s mission has been to prevent Su Yung from taking any more victims. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been too successful.
Su Yung closed Madison Rayne in her coffin and more recently, Allie’s friend and protege Kiera Hogan.
Allie will be venturing back to the Undead Realm to look for Kiera Hogan, and I have no idea what that will entail when it comes to the match. Actually, I’m not entirely sure if this a match at all. They advertised it as such on Impact but are now just advertising that Allie is going into the Undead Realm so I don’t know.
Kyle: 4 - I’ve always been a mark for the weird, fantasy stories. Plus, this could lead to the return of Rosemary and I’ve ready for that for too long.
Stella: 4- Su Yung brings such a uniqueness to Impact that it’s hard not to cheer her on...even if she is covered in blood and has a weird gross glove. Allie has been doing fine in this feud, but Ugh I just need to see Su vs Rosemary!!
Kyle: Allie? - Again, I have no idea the format of that. But it seems like Allie has been on the losing end of this for way too long. I mean, she’s even lost her soul. She needs a victory over Su. Or this isn’t a match. If that’s the case, never mind.
Stella: Su Yung - Whatever this match is I anticipate Su winning. If Su keeps beating down Allie it gives Rosemary all the more reason to come back and out weird her/beat her up.
Eli Drake Open Challenge
The Namer of Dummies has been holding open challenges and will continue to do so tonight. This is only for people from New York.
Kyle: 3 - All the anticipation is in the reveal and then who knows? I am not holding out hope for anyone too exciting to take this challenge, but we’ll see.
Stella: 2- I love an open challenge and I love Eli Drake, but this seems like a time filler.
Kyle: Eli Drake - Going with the guy who I know is actually in the match.
Stella: Eli Drake - What other answer is there dummies?
Kyle: Honestly, I’ve been wholly underwhelmed with the build for Bound for Glory. The build to Slammiversary felt more crisp. The stories weren’t dragging like they are now. And their last month in Mexico completely derailed any momentum the weekly show had.
To their credit, the go home show was rather good and took me from “I’m not looking forward to this at all” to “This could be pretty good.”
Also, their Slammiversary pay-per-view was very good, even though I wasn’t too pumped coming into that show either. So there’s a strong chance they go all out in front of an excited New York crowd and put on another good show. I just wish I was looking forward to more of the stories.
Stella: I was so excited about Impact after Slammiversary. I felt particularly self righteous and I got to say “I told you so” a lot! it was great.
The future of Impact looked bright. Now it just looks meh. It’s not bad and frankly Impact is still better than some Monday Night Raw slogs, but it’s just not as exciting.
Hopefully Bound for Glory will reignite their fire and lead to some interesting post PPV tapings. I think the show will be really good and I’m looking forward to it, but right now I’m more curious to see what the Impact team does in the BFG fallout. They need new talent and please for the love of everything new storylines.
That’s how we see it Cagesiders. Let us know what you think of tonight’s card and if you’ll be tuning into Impact’s latest PPV tonight. And keep it here to CagesideSeats.com for all of the Bound for Glory coverage starting at 8 EST.