That Being Said: TNA Bound For Glory 2016

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So, I’ve been solicited to recap the TNA PPV. I don’t do these very often anymore, and since TNA coverage and news is hard to come by, I like to recap everything that’s happened since the last time I did. Turns out, that was a year ago and it would be impossible to recap everything that’s happened since then.

Off the top of my head:

  • TNA got kicked off another network and is now on one I’ve never heard of.
  • They needed Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins to lend them enough money to put on their last PPV.
  • Damien Sandow showed up and is calling himself Aron Rex.
  • EC3 “invaded” an EVOLVE show and made a failed attempt to be edgy by claiming his wrestling skills doesn’t matter to his wrestling company.
  • TNA abandoned the title Jeff Jarrett brought in to promote his competing wrestling company and turned it into an MMA-knockoff with rounds and points.
  • Cody Rhodes has signed with TNA and is debuting tonight.
  • The Hardys started doing bath salts again.
  • Last week it was reported that TNA needed funds to be able to pull off this PPV tonight, but Billy Corgan wouldn’t do it without majority control of the company. Without a lot of options, apparently Dixie was weighing the possibility of selling to either him or WWE or Sinclair, who owns ROH. Who knows how true the reporting this week was. Honestly, it’s par the course for TNA, so who can really keep up.

Since people are probably going to call me a WWE mark if this show happens to be terrible, let’s clear up a few things.

  • I don’t watch RAW or SmackDown because I consider them a waste of time since they’re basically advertisements for the WWE Network(I watched one RAW all year), I watch clips when I read what was on the show. I do the same with TNA. I do watch all WWE and NXT PPV’s, and watched the entire WWE CWC.
  • No one has made more fun than me of WWE in the past, but the PPV’s have been increasing in quality slowly since 2013 and are still really quite good, particularly in-ring. There are exceptions to this of course (HHH / Roman comes to mind from this year) but even the storyline stuff that’s terrible still delivers quite well in-ring.
  • I don’t really do traditional play-by-play other than highlights.
  • This shit they’re doing with the Hardys is a cry for help.
  • Moose is a better wrestler than most people give him credit for.
  • Mike Bennett is awesome.
  • Matt Hardy now has a son who is getting a lot of airtime on this Hardys “yes we’re in our 40’s and still goth, get over it” saga, which I’m not sure is fair to his poor son. It’s bad enough he used to beat the shit out of Reby, but they created another human for Matt to beat up psychologically?
  • The Hurricane apparently started booking the X-Division, and has “slowed it down”, to put it politely.
  • Lashley is one of the only wrestlers that has “improved” over the years, and is actually not bad to watch compared to his WWE time.
  • EC3 still sucks.
  • DJZ is a lot of fun.
  • I watch TNA Mecca a lot, and I’ve come to feel sorry for them. I have no idea why they continue to hang around this company, but they have the kind of loyalty usually reserved for cults involving poison kool-aid, so I have to hope they get something that makes them happy. But they like EC3 and giving create control to the Hardys on meth, so I’m not really sure how hard that is.
  • I honestly just don’t care enough to follow TNA’s funding / ownership problems at this point. It’s not like TNA has a particularly strong identity due to Dixie Carter owning it.
  • If it does continue, it’s never too late to turn something around, regardless of what happens with TNA’s ownership. Let’s not forget that WCW had Giant and Yeti in monster trucks, The Man With No Face, and the exuming of Glacier before they became bigger than WWE.
  • TNA’s remaining fanbase appear enraged that “WWE fanboys” seem to want WWE to buy TNA. I don’t know how many of those people actually exist, but for anyone that may want that, even if you’re a fan of the current WWE product (which I am outside of the weekly TV), let’s remember that WWE has improved, I believe, at least as a partial result of having a lot of other wrestling companies out there, competition or not.
  • WWE has a horrible track record with acquisitions.

I think that’s it. LET’S CROSS THE LINE!

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TNA Bound For Glory 2016

Oh God, this is in the Impact Zone? HAHAHA. Anyway, Josh Matthews and The Pope are commentating.

X-Division Championship Match
DJZ .vs. Trevor Lee

They started hyping up the X-Division, mentioning AJ, Daniels, Aries, Sabin and Rob Van Dam. This was pretty slow – not terrible, but certainly not up to par with the X-Division that put TNA on the map. There was one spot where they just took turns diving on each other on the outside and kept getting up and diving. DJ Z does some really cool stuff, and while I’ve not seen a ton of Trevor Lee, he seems okay. It picked up at the end, but certainly not up to your average NXT or WWE PPV match for ring-quality. Not a horrible start though. DJ Z took it with a cool swinging DDT.

Winner & X-Division Champion: DJ Z

Earlier today… Lashley and EC3 entered the arena.Then Drew Galloway enters in full a full brooding hoodie… apparently he’s injured and is out for a year. Apparently he wants to fight even though he’s hurt, he’s upset because he’s worked hard for TNA. He says “what would Billy Corgan do if his doctor said he couldn’t play guitar?!” Uh… fucking seriously? Drew then says the only reason Billy Corgan is buying TNA is because he “gets Drew Galloway”.

Josh Matthews: Strong words from Drew Galloway.

Seriously? If there’s one thing we should know by now, it’s that TNA’s work-shoots suck to watch, and they suck at putting them on. Could they not even have learned that right now? I picture the poor guys at Mecca creaming themselves over that one.

10-Man Bound For Gold Guantlet Match

Okay, so this is like a Royal Rumble. The match is basically a bunch of really shitty wrestlers except for Eli Drake, so I won’t waste too much of your time on this. A battle royal with a bunch of mid and low-carders, particularly mostly lame ones, was only ever going to be so good. Eli did some fun stuff as he’s got a fun personality and is quite good in-ring. TNA still hasn’t learned their lesson with Grado, turns out, but he was eliminated right away which got a “bullshit” chant. Tyrus (Brodus Clay) is still a thing, and he still sucks too. Shera is still around – words elude me at this point. Lame spot where Godderz thinks he’s eliminated Drake, even though a blind man in a coma can see his feet hanging on the ropes. Godderz and Tyrus remain in the ring. Eli sneaks back in and eliminates both. Predictable and lame.

Basically, this was like a “who’s who” of “what the fuck”, featuring Eli Drake with a lame predictable finish. But at least the right guy won.

Winner: Eli Drake

Jeremy Borash is backstage… and he introduces Robert Irvine, who is apparently Gail Kim’s husband. He has some show on the Food Network or something. Gail is getting inducted into the TNA Hall Of Fame tonight and is figthing Maria for the Women’s title. Then Maria and the Miracle come in and tell him to “shoo” and then the Food show host threatens them and walk off. Maria cuts a promo on Gail and Bennett on Moose. Decent promo.

Mike Bennett .vs. Moose

So a couple lame matches, but this has potential at least. Moose’s entrance featured football players in full uniform doing a lame chant to start, which… wasn’t needed. Crowd is really into Moose overall though. Honestly, though? The match was not bad, but it still wasn’t great – but I really, honestly don’t mean this one as a shot at TNA though, because I know these guys have better in them, particularly Bennett. There was one really fun spot where Bennett countered Moose’s top rope dive (which is awesome) into a Cutter. Moose finished off Bennett with a powerbomb.

Winner: Moose

Jeremy Borash is backstage, and they’re about to crown the first ever “Grand Champion”. This is the MMA-knockoff division. Aron Rex (Damien Sandow) comes in and cuts an incredibly generic promo about how he “came here because of an opportunity” (it helped he was released from his former employer beforehand.) He was supposed to fight Galloway, but now he’s fighting Eddie Edwards.

TNA Grand Championship Match
Eddie Edwards .vs. Aron Rex (Damien Sandow)

This “Grand Championship” idea is horrible. Eddie Edwards is awesome, but Rex is the newest WWE castoff, so if nothing has changed in TNA, I fully expect him to go over. Josh is talking about how Rex is always “only one knockout blow away”, so I guess they’re marketing him as an shoot-fight-style guy now?

They do three 5-minute rounds. It’s judged. Semi-decent action in the 1st round, which went to Edwards mostly due to Edwards. It’s not like Damien Sandow had a bunch of great matches in his past, so that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but he hung in okay I guess?

Partway through the 2nd round, the lights go out… then a spotlight goes on… Josh Matthews say they have “electrical issues”. The crowd chants “pay the light bill”, so at least they haven’t lost their sense of humour. They lights are flickering on and off, eventually they go on and Rex goes for a submission near the end of the round. Eddie doesn’t tap, so Rex beats on him for the last 20-or so seconds. 2nd round goes to Rex.

3rd round fell flat, they tried to pick it up but couldn’t make it happen. They fight after the bell and as predictable, they announce one round for Rex… one for Edwards… last one for Rex. They hug after (because it’s UFC) and then Borash goes to the ring to interview him (because it’s UFC.) Rex tries to amp up the crowd… yeah… I’m guessing TNA fans are starting to realize what a lot of WWE fans realized about Sandow when he left. There’s a reason there was no clamouring for his return.

Winner & New TNA Grand Champion: Aron Rex

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This was probably match of the night so far, the match rules for this belt is just weird. It’s not “King Of The Mountain” or “Reverse Battle Royal” bad, but it just makes for a clunky match. The fact that it’s obvious they’re doing a blatant MMA ripoff doesn’t help. It’s one thing when Brock does a more MMA-style fight, but he’s an actual MMA fighter. Anyway, Eddie did try his best, and I’m not saying it was bad, but it had a stipulation and a subpar worker like Sandow that hurt it. Shows how good Eddie is, I guess.

Gail Kim Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony

I know what you’re thinking: “TNA has a Hall Of Fame?” Yes they do, and Gail Kim is going in.

Christy Hemme is announcing Gail into the HOF. She gives a very nice speech. Terryn Terrell comes out to make a speech as well. Oh shit, Awesome Kong is here! That’s really cool. Awesome Kong and Gail Kim had the best matches TNA’s Knockout’s Division ever had. And… ugh, now Dixie Carter is here. She talks Gail up, introduces her, and then talks some more. Crowd chants “You Deserve It” and they play a video. A lot of people really nicely talk her up, and she tears up in the ring. They really highlight the Kim feud with Kong, which was one amazing thing that TNA did better than WWE before WWE evolved it these last couple years.

Gail says she’s “not really known for her speaking”, and acknowledging her promo issues is part of what makes her a class act. It never hinders her. She makes a really nice speech. She thanks a ton of people.

TNA World Tag-Team Championship Match
Broken Matt Hardy & Brother Nero .vs. The Decay

In case you’re not familiar with what the Hardys look like at this point.

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I’m not even attempting to recap the buildup. Reby plays the piano on the ramp, and Matt comes out. He just stands there for a while talking about how beautiful the music is. This is stupid. Now Jeff comes out and OH FUCK HE’S NOT GOING TO SING IS HE OH FUCK HE’S SINGING FUCK MY LIFE FUCK IT HARD. They go to the ring and the TNA crowd chants “delete”. I’m guessing Mecca will consider this a stroke of genius and compare it to Nakamura’s NXT entrance. Here comes Decay. Decay, if you didn’t know, is Abyss, Crazzy Steve, and someone named Rosemary.

Decay mists Matt’s wife early on, and then a brawl. A fairly good brawl does ensue, with Rosemary apparently in the match, so the Hardys are outnumbered as Matt’s wife got taken to the back. Also, it’s Falls Count Anywhere. Abyss stableguns Jeff Hardy at one point. They go to some pretaped backstage brawling at one point. At some point I think Jeff Hardy went invisible and was throwing fruit at Crazzy Steve. Then Jeff Hardy shows up pretending NOT to be Jeff Hardy, wearing goggles, and talks about “I can’t even see shit man” before beating Steve some more. This is… like, what?

Jeff puts a pumpkin on Rosemary’s head, then she mists him through the pumpkin and he screams out in… like, joy? I don’t know. This is embarrassing to watch. If someone saw me watching this, it would be less embarrassing to admit I was watching snuff porn. Abyss then says he’s going to kill Matt Hardy with his nailed up bat, but then some redneck loser drives up and starts shit-talking Abyss. No idea who this is, but Rosemary kicks him in the balls and throws him into bushes. What the shit was the point of that?

Jeff Hardy still has goggles on and he’s talking about how he can’t see, then he lifts up an umbrella and…

… fuck. He’s Willow now.

Matt Hardy can apparently throw fireballs, and he lights Abyss’ bat on fire. Now they’re fighting on the back of a moving truck driving down the highway, until they run into… the fucking drone. The drone, like… hits Rosemary with something, and “Boo Yeah” comes up on the subtitles. Willow is fighting Steve, and the ref is still counting pins so… it’s a realistic, down-to-earth show… that’s completely off the wall and swarming with magic robots.

Willow is back in the arena with Steve now and has a ladder. Fuck. I’m recapping a fucking Willow match. Where did I go wrong? I know the card says “subject to change” but anything involving Willow needs to come with a disclaimer and some really good drugs so I can keep up with what the fuck acid trip shit they’re throwing at me here.

I guess Abyss and Matt drove back to the arena to finish the match? That was kind of them. Anyway, now everyone is back in the arena. They’re getting away from drones, fireballs and goggles and starting to wrestle again now. Hardys get some nostalgia spots in… some much slower nostalgia spots… but Abyss kicks out of a Swanton bomb from Jeff. Reby comes back and puts Rosemary through the table.

Some more brawling and everyone is down. Abyss brings in the Mick Foley barbwire boards into the ring, and Matt dumps thumbtacks onto the barbwire board – he Side Effects Abyss onto the board in a cool spot. He puts the other board on top of Abyss and does the second rope dive in another cool spot. “This Is Awesome” chant starts as Matt is stacking up tables. Matt has apparently put a ban on Jeff Hardy being a “spot monkey” and grabs a mic and tell Jeff he can give into his “addiction” which is jumping off ladders. Jeff Swantons Abyss through the tables and gets the pin.

Winners & New TNA Tag-Team Champions: The Hardy Boys

Some of this brawl was good, some of it was pretty generic, honestly. The parts that weren’t were certainly… uh, distracting? I don’t even know what to say about the “cinematic” and way overbooked stuff. Like, Matt can throw fireballs, but he’s doing that lame second-rope legdrop? Odd. This is probably why you don’t give final cut to over-the-hill goth meth addicts from North Carolina.

Oh God, they’re bringing the baby into the ring. I’m tapping out of this match.

TNA Knockouts Championship Match
Maria Kannellis (w/ Allie) .vs. Gail Kim

So like… Maria says her hand is still broken… but then this Allie girl says that Maria misunderstood her doctors, and that Maria’s doctors say her hand is actually healed.

Well, that’s just fucking absurd.

Then Maria jumps Gail anyway and the match starts. The Pope and Josh Matthews are talking about their fond memories of the Knockout Division with Kong and Terrell out here. Yes. Better matches than this for sure. Maria does like 4 moves to Gail and can’t get a pin and then starts overacting, yelling “WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO” but the crowd is pretty silent. Mike Bennett throws a brace to Maria, Gail kicks him but Maria lays Gail out with the brace, but Gail kicks out.

Maria then yells at Allie to give her the brace, which Allie doesn’t want to do. She does, but she throws it too far and Gail gets it. Gail then beats on Maria after some overacting from Maria. Kim beats Maria up some more and hits her finish for the pin.

Winner & New TNA Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim

That was terrible. Maria is horrendous.

Mike Bennett is mad, he says he’s doing what “should have been done a long time ago” and shut down Bound For Glory. And there’s no one who can stop him… cue… ugh, Cody Rhodes, who comes out with his wife. His music starts with “wrestling has more than one Royal Family.” That’s dumb.

TNA fans chant for Cody, because they never learned their lesson with Aron Rex, Drew McIntyre, EC3, Ken Anderson, Matt Morgan, and about 2 dozen other people. Cody and his wife beat up Bennett and Maria, then kiss in the ring.

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Seriously. Their upper card consists of Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and The Hardys. They may as well have called this Capital Punishment or Bragging Rights.

TNA World Heavyweight Title Match
Lashley .vs. EC3

TNA did an awesome job with the video package for this match. Unfortunately, that was the highlight, the rest of it was about what you’d get out of a Barrett / Sheamus match other than one cool spinebuster on the rmap. At one point Josh said “Lashley has taken every single EC3 fan out of this match” which was a polite way of saying the crowd was dead.

Spear off the turnbuckle finishes it for Lashley. At least the better guy won.

Winner & Still TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Bobby Lashley

So – fair is fair, this was a pretty boring PPV other than Gail’s induction and the Hardys match, which wasn’t boring for all the wrong reasons. But I do have to admit – the crowd was CRAZY into that stuff, and a lot of online feedback I’ve seen has been positive for some crazy reason, so I understand why they’re going with it. It was easily the most hyped the crowd was all night, so the Hardys thing is just my personal opinion.

Also, even though boring, it was still the best TNA PPV I’ve seen in a LONG time in terms of minimizing bullshit. They didn’t set anything on fire, they didn’t give the former owner a spotlight to promote his competing company so that he would be willing to sell his shares, and they didn’t do any overbooked nonsense. Who knows what the future holds for TNA, but this was definitely not their worst showing, and possibly their best PPV showing in the past couple years.

In terms of excitement, particularly with the in-ring product though… this show doesn’t touch WWE PPV’s from the past few years. It reminded me of a WWE PPV from a few years before that, say the 2006-2009 timeframe. Sorry, TNA fans. I know you hate to hear it. It has nothing to do with a TNA bias (no one was more high on TNA than I was during their heydey and no one was harder on WWE than me for over a decade), and it has nothing to do with cash or ownership situation TNA finds themselves in. It just is not as good a show. And that’s all there is to it. It doesn’t always come down to a bias. Sorry.

So, if what you enjoy syncs up to me pretty regularly, and you’re inclined at all to seek out this show, I’d advise you not to bother. Unless you’re interested in watching the Hardy thing – just make sure you cue up some snuff porn to turn on quickly in case someone walks in on you.

This has been “That Being Said”. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you when I see you.

BD

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