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Impact Bound for Glory 2020 recap & reactions: Surprise returns, title changes, and happy endings

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Impact’s biggest night of the year was a success. Bound for Glory featured two big returns, three title changes, and a climatic close worth celebrating.

Let’s break it all down from main event to opener. Get the Bound for Glory live results here.

Rich Swann won the Impact World Championship. (Full details here.) Part of the fun of watching wrestling is feeling satisfaction when a happy ending is delivered to a long story. Swann winning the top title from Eric Young in the main event did just that. In real life, Swann overcame a long journey recovering from a serious ankle injury. In story, Swann overcame a psychotic maniac out to inflict pain.

Young focused his attack on Swann’s ankle and neck. Swann dug deep to stay alive. In the end, he popped off two cutters and a Phoenix Splash to win.

The story of the match did well to build strong drama, but I thought Young lost the plot a little by talking too much when in control. His message coming in was that he would not be responsible for his actions since he gave Swann a chance to take the easy way out. That’s why Young telling Swann to quit during the fight didn’t quite jive right. Young shouldn’t have cared about that and instead kept on the pressure to injure Swann permanently.

Young’s attacks looked brutal and set the stage correct. When it was time for Swann’s spurts of offense, it was pure flash. Swann’s victory was a rewarding pay-off to the story. It is too bad there was no crowd. A loud reaction to his big moment would have made it even more memorable.

Su Yung won the Knockouts Championship. (Full details here.) Deonna Purrazzo was supposed to wrestle Kylie Rae. The challenger never showed up, and it was never explained why. Su Yung came in as a replacement. This was Su’s first time back since transitioning to the Susie character. She used a mandible claw to escape a double armbar. Su hit her Panic Switch finisher to put down Purrazzo for the three count.

The elephant in the room was the bait and switch feeling by not having Purrazzo vs Rae. That was one of the top matches for selling PPV purchases, and it didn’t happen. The backstage timeline leading up to the switch is unknown, so we can’t really say if Impact did this intentionally.

Given the situation, Impact delivered the best alternative as a backup. Purrazzo had beef by breaking Susie’s arm, so it makes sense that Su Yung was unleashed to get revenge. The match was exciting with plenty of cool moments. I’ll always pop for spitting mist to the face.

Su as champ opens up the women’s division to interesting possibilities. She is more a mysterious entity than good or bad, so she can matchup up against anyone for an intriguing story.

Impact also announced that the women’s tag titles will return at the Hard to Kill PPV on January 16, 2021.

The North won the tag team championship. Ethan Page and Josh Alexander have gold in their hands once again after winning a four-way against the Motor City Machine Guns, Good Brothers, and Ace Austin & Madman Fulton. The North came in with a devious game plan. They attacked MCMG before the opening bell. Chris Sabin ate a big boot from Page, while Alexander crushed Alex Shelley on the entrance stage with a double underhook piledriver.

Shelley was taken to the back and did not return. Sabin decided to go it alone. It’s not like he had much of a chose though. The tag titles were already on the line, so it was better to go out fighting than to not fight at all. Sabin suffered early as The North focused on keeping him in the ring and cutting off any chance for a tag to a different duo. Fulton tagged himself in after Alexander missed a moonsault. Fulton and Ace then took their turn beating on Sabin. The underdog managed to execute a fancy DDT and crawl to tag in Karl Anderson. A short while later, Sabin was refreshed and ran wild on all three teams.

In the end, Alexander escaped a Magic Killer from the Good Brothers. Anderson rolled up Alexander, but Alexander powered out to push Anderson into the ropes. That’s where Page clocked the Good Brother with the tag belt. Alexander picked up the easy pin to win the prize.

The North are back on top of the mountain. Credit to them for finding a way to steal the win. The dynamic of Sabin rolling solo made for an interesting story within the match. It protected the Motor City Machine Guns, but I’m not sure why they needed protecting. They wouldn’t have lost any luster if the same finish had occurred with Shelley still in the match. In fact, nothing was really advanced outside of the title change. This four-way feud still has room to rage. The North will probably have to defend in regular bouts against all three teams.

Ken Shamrock defeated Eddie Edwards. Shamrock controlled Edwards early with smothering MMA skills. Edwards weathered the storm and had Shamrock in serious trouble on a single-leg crab. That’s when Sami Callihan used his hacker phone to turn the lights out. He appeared with a bat when the lights came back. Edwards had a surprise kendo stick to counter Callihan. Shamrock made use of the distraction for a belly-to-belly suplex then an ankle lock to win.

This was my favorite bout of the evening, notwithstanding the finish. I enjoyed Shamrock’s style of positional control and clinch game with brutal knees. Even when Edwards had his comeback, Shamrock was still ready to pounce with a submission. On a pin from a Tiger Driver, Shamrock snatched Edwards’ arm. On a backpack stunner, Shamrock grabbed Edwards’ neck for a choke. I’d like to see Shamrock on loan to ROH to compete for the Pure Championship.

The finish was too cute for my taste. I wanted to see Shamrock build up one last run toward championship glory. Instead, the focus was shifted to Shamrock feeling like a pawn in Callihan’s feud with Edwards.

Moose controlled his narrative. EC3 invited Moose into his cinematic world as they battled in a ring inside a warehouse. The focus was about controlling the narrative. EC3 wanted a worthy adversary so it would be earned to destroy the TNA Heavyweight Championship and his past. When EC3 had control to finish it, he experienced flashbacks.

Moose shot back with a spear then rained down furious violence. EC3’s stooges began chanting Moose’s name. Moose finally understood and thanked EC3 by blasting him with the TNA title belt. I think the message was that Moose unleashed his full potential. Goons took EC3’s body away at the end.

The bloody fight itself was interesting but felt incomplete. EC3’s return has not been a traditional wrestling angle, so it is hard to judge the work until the entire story has unfolded. Maybe this fight was the end? I’m not really sure. If the result is bringing a badass Moose to the Impact Zone, then I’d call it a success.

Rhino won the Call Your Shot Gauntlet. (Details here.) Rhino entered #1 and outlasted the other 19 participants. He gored Sami Callihan in the end to make good to his buddy, Heath, and also got a sweet prize for himself. Heath finally has an Impact contract due to Rhino’s success. Rhino will get a title shot of his choosing. The question being whether he challenges for the world title or tag titles with Heath.

I’m happy that Heath will be signed and also that Rhino got the call for victory. He deserved the win more than Heath, since he put his job on the line for a friend. It felt like an example of positive karma paying back.

The match itself was a fun time, as Royal Rumbles tend to be. Brian Myers (fka Curt Hawkins) was the standout with six eliminations. He took care of business and raised his profile as the most professional wrestler. Daivari, Swoggle, and James Storm were surprises. I hope Storm sticks around. He would be a great addition to the main event scene. Tommy Dreamer changed his look to honor Road Warrior Animal.

The full order of eliminations was as follows:

Unofficial: Kaleb Konley by Havok
1. Crazzy Steve by Brian Myers
2. Daivari by Myers & Swoggle
3. Swoggle by Myers
4. Tommy Dreamer by Myers
5. Alisha Edwards by Meyers
6. Tenille Dashwwod by Myers
7. Kiera Hogan by Havok
8. Havok by Taya
9. Taya by Larry D & Acey Romero
10. Larry D by James Storm
11. Acey Romero by Heath
12. Brian Myers by Heath
13. Fallah Bahh by Hernandez
14. Hernandez self-elimination to get his money back from Bahh
15. Adam Thornstowe by Rhino
16. Luster the Legend by Rhino
17. James Storm by Sami Callihan
18. Heath by Callihan
Winner: Rhino pinned Sami Callihan

Rohit Raju retained the X-Division Championship. The champ faced Jordynne Grace, Willie Mack, TJP, Chris Bey, and Trey Miguel in a 6-pack scramble in the opener. It was as fast-paced and chaotic as you would expect. There were plenty of cool moves with my favorite being TJP working three submissions at the same time then Grace jumping on his back for a choke hold.

Speaking of Grace, she was fully embraced in intergender action. It was smoothly executed. Impact didn’t go crazy giving her super powers. Grace fit right in as just another competitor trying to win the title. Her biggest spot was hanging in a Tree of Woe then pulling down TJP, Bey, and Trey in a Tower of Doom.

Rohit was the star of the match. He tried to be a weasel by running away and picking his spots, but the rest of the participants cornered him for a beatdown. Rohit stayed the course though and capitalized on the work of others to win. In the end, he pushed Grace off the turnbuckles down onto Mack and Bey. TJP hit a Mamba Splash on Trey, but Rohit blasted TJP with a knee strike. The champ stole the pin on Trey.

This was a good step for Rohit’s story. I like that it wasn’t a flimsy win. He performed well enough to deserve the title with cool moves and heel comedy. It makes me want to see him get comeuppance eventually while also knowing that the match will be entertaining. I’m curious who will get the call to put Rohit down. As far as I’m concerned, the five losing wrestlers have had their shots, and it is time to move on to a fresh feud for Rohit.

Goth wedding. John E. Bravo and Rosemary will by tying the knot this Tuesday (Oct. 27) on Impact Wrestling. The were a few scenes of interactions on the PPV. The biggest thing to note was John E. Bravo becoming a bossy man who plans to control Rosemary once they exchange nuptials.

Deaners defeated Rascalz. High-energy action on the pre-show to get in the mood for the big event. Cody got his knees up to block Hot Fire Flame. The Deaners focused on Dez to win with a teamwork modified assisted side slam. Important win for the Deaners to kick-start momentum up the ladder in the tag team division.

Ken Shamrock inducted into the Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame. Given the pandemic circumstances, this wasn’t a big bash. It was still cool to hear personal stories from Bret Hart, Mick Foley, and The Rock in video messages to hype Shamrock’s career. The ceremony on the Countdown to Glory pre-show can be viewed for free on Fite TV.

Last note, Don Callis returned for commentary alongside Josh Mathews. Madison Rayne had been doing a great job filling in weekly on TV. She joined the crew for the Knockouts Championship bout. Matt Striker was on the play-by-play for the pre-show match. I think he was there working for Fite TV and not necessarily a new member of the Impact broadcast team.

Grade: B+

A very good show for fans of Impact Wrestling. Bound for Glory provided surprises, cool moments, and happy endings. I wouldn’t go so far as to say people who don’t watch Impact should check it out, but I imagine the Impact fan base enjoyed the evening very much. None of the matches reached epic levels, however, all were entertaining.

Share your thoughts at Bound for Glory. Which match stole the show? What was the biggest surprise for you? Do you agree with the title match outcomes?

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