Impact is known for sprinkling in surprises at the Bound For Glory event. There’s no better match than the Call Your Shot Gauntlet to usher in a buffet of popping delights. Impact brought in Sonny Kiss, Matt Cardona, and Juventud Guerrera on the list of surprises for the PPV (Oct. 21, 2023).
Call Your Shot Gauntlet rules are similar to the Royal Rumble with sixty seconds between entrants, except the final elimination is determined by pinfall or submission. The winner earns a future title shot of their choosing.
The field was 20 deep, and 13 participants were previously advertised. The list included Jake Something at #1, Bully Ray, Brian Myers, Eric Young, Jordynne Grace, Joe Hendry, Frankie Kazarian, KiLynn King, Kenny King, Jody Threat, Gisele Shaw, Eddie Edwards, and Dango at #20. That left 7 spots open for mischief.
The first surprise was Juventud Guerrera at #4. The Juvi Juice was loose!
Guerrera flashed his shifty lucha libre skills for a whirling headscissors to eliminate Kenny King. The luchador was ousted when being knocked off the apron by Eddie Edwards. That sour moment transitioned into the high of the next surprise.
Sonny Kiss entered at #9 in an Impact debut. The crowd was hot for the arrival with a huge reaction.
Kiss flashed sizzle on a spinning kick and a flipping kick to Gisele Shaw. Kiss lifted the Quintessential Diva for a military press to toss over the ropes down onto the Shawntourage.
Kiss found an unlikely ally in Bully Ray. Kiss tried to make a friend with a few dance moves. Bully responded with old school shuffle popping and locking. Kiss jumped into Bully’s arms, but that was a step too far.
The duo shared a moment later in the match when Matt Cardona entered as a surprise at #11. Cardona ran right into the arms of his old rival. Bully Ray slammed Cardona then called to Kiss for the flying headbutt to Cardona’s groin. Whassup!?! Bully and Kiss primed the crowd for a thunderous chant of, “Get the tables!” Unfortunately, KiLynn King and Eddie Edwards broke up the fun before any tables were presented.
Cardona survived that onslaught to find a friend in Brian Myers. Cardona looked like he was plotting to eliminate Myers from behind, but he hugged his pal when caught creeping. The Major Players worked together to eliminate Kiss. Cardona was always ready to turn on Myers, and he dumped his friend over the ropes in an act of treachery.
The other mystery spots went to Johnny Swinger, Heath, Rich Swann, and Jonathan Gresham. The husband and wife duo of Gresham and Grace worked together in a subtle manner, but nothing memorable happened. Swinger was back from a storyline injury, and Crazzy Steve ran out to attack him. Tommy Dreamer returned as well to save Swinger from being forked by Steve. Dreamer and Steve brawled into the crowd as current rivals.
Dango earned the right to enter at #20, and he made the most of opportunity by getting eliminated in under three seconds by Jake Something. Oleg Prudius (aka Vladimir Kozlov) was acting as Dango’s bodyguard, and he erupted with rage to clear the ring until security restored order.
The Call Your Shot Gauntlet final four came down to Jordynne Grace, Bully Ray, KiLynn King, and Matt Cardona. Grace clotheslined Cardona out of the ring, and Bully did the same to King. Down to the final two.
The crowd was hyped for this showdown. Bully disrespectfully pie-faced the diminutive powerhouse. The bigger man was in control until missing a flying senton. Grace unleashed three consecutive spinning backfists, but Bully was still standing. He grabbed Grace’s hair to pull her down to the mat. Bully gloated to the crowd, then he missed a standing elbow drop. Grace was a tornado of fury spinning non-stop for five more backfists. The Juggernaut ducked a chop then lifted Bully for a pumphandle driver to win the match via pinfall.
Upon success, Grace grabbed the microphone to call her shot for the Knockouts Championship at Hard to Kill on January 13. Trinity is the current titleholder.
The Call Your Shot Gauntlet was so much fun. The Royal Rumble format sells itself on excitement, so there is already a high baseline of entertainment built in. Impact upped the ante with the handful of surprises. Bully Ray was the glue to satisfaction. Palling with Sonny Kiss was a hoot, then being an asshole to Grace set up an amazing feat of strength. Grace’s moment of victory was badass. Bully worked the crowd like the expert he is for both instances to feel special.
What were your favorite moments from the Call Your Shot Gauntlet?
The Impact Bound For Glory PPV replay is available for viewing through Fite TV.