Monday Morning Backlash with TNA Bound for Glory Report Card (Jeff Hardy Heel Turn, Hulk Hogan’s Return, Kurt Angle’s Retirement)

TNA had their “Wrestlemania” last night, Bound for Glory and, like any Pay Per View, it’s time to grade out the talent, rate the matches and discuss show as a whole. TNA Bound for Glory Report Card Time!

Generation Me – B. Generation Me really work as heels, in my modest opinion, and they helped get the show off to a very good start by getting good crowd response.

Motor City Machine Guns – A-. They are so on right now that they can clearly steal the show pretty much whenever they please. Shelley is among the more all-around talented wrestlers on the planet and it looks like he may reach his potential, while Sabin might be Shelley’s superior in in-ring storytelling and crispness. If only they bothered to sell, but then the Rockers often spent a ton of their matches getting babyface shine and no one complains.

Motor City Machine Guns defeat Generation Me (*** ½) – These two teams should have faced off in Jay Lethal vs. Doug Williams spot, as then they could go all out and steal the show. Major shows like this can have multiple major moments and TNA messed up in not giving these guys time and a place on the show to create that.

Madison Rayne – D. Rayne isn’t a very good worker and is not as good a heel as Sky or Love. I’m entirely unsure what she offers besides an extra body for feuds. Apparently, she now gets to put over Mickie James in a feud no one demanded. Still, better her than…

Tara – C. She’s a good worker, but she’s clearly the glue woman who holds things together and isn’t meant to star. TNA continually confuses this and thus books her into situations she isn’t at her best.

Velvet Sky – C. I’m unsure of her as a worker or face but she works so hard at both, it’s easy to root for her.

Angelina Love – A-. She’s really grown on me as a worker and is one of the more versatile women in the world, able to work as a heel or face, underdog or dominant. She may be more Tara than Trish, but she’s doing an admirable job filling in the top role since Kong is gone.

Tara defeats Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love (**). So Rayne can move on to James, while Tara defends against the Beautiful People. It wasn’t much of a match, but it gave everyone something logical to do from here on out.

Ink, Inc – C-. I don’t like these guys and think they’re both weak wrestlers, but they were handed absolute crap by the bookers with a story and match that had no business being on television, let alone PPV, let alone the biggest PPV in the company and they handled it reasonably well and quite professionally… so, you know… kudos.

Eric Young and Orlando Jordan – F. Neither man’s character works at all. They aren’t nearly believable in their characters enough to make this any more than annoying and, really, even calling it annoying is being charitable. These guys need a change of direction immediately and, honestly, I don’t find either to be anything positive within the company in the ring or with their characters.

Ink, Inc defeat Eric Young and Orlando Jordan (dud). Young helped Ink Inc for much of the match, if you can even call it that.

Jay Lethal – F. The disappointment of any card but this would be Jay Lethal. Lethal’s greatest strengths are selling, getting sympathy and making well-timed comebacks. He, in this match, took an extremely long babyface shine and made constant comebacks without building any heat before a flash pin with no build. There was a story here in Lethal using high risk moves until frustrated Williams into a mistake, but the psychology and structure were practically non-existent.

Doug Williams – F. I assume Williams, the heel and veteran, called this match, which makes most of the issues within it his fault and, at the very least, he should have slowed Lethal down a ton. Honestly, before singing in TNA, I wondered how much Williams had left and, if this is all that’s there, it’s less than I’d feared.

Jay Lethal defeats Doug Williams (*). At least they told a story, and this should blow off Williams anti-X-Division storyline, allowing him to team with Brutus Magnus again since Desmond Wolf has disappeared. Lethal, meanwhile, will try and get The Shore over, as he was attacked by them post-match. So it goes Flair, living legend, gives the rub to Lethal, a top up and comer, who then transfers the heat from that to the pop-culture gimmick. Ugh.

Rob Van Dam – F – RVD gave Abyss next to nothing in this stunt-fest with no selling, no real heat segment, and a dominant win. This undid a ton of the work put into Abyss lately to look like a dominant monster and showed just how much of a WWE creation RVD’s good hardcore matches were.

Abyss – C – I will not blame Abyss for this match, as he’s had more than enough well-put together hardcore mess matches at this point for me to know who the issue was here. His grade comes from a willingness to put his body on the line to make his opponent look good, while getting nothing in return.

RVD defeats Abyss (*). TNA fans chanted “This is Wrestling” during a spot-fest stunt-show. That just about says it all.

Sting, Kevin Nash, and the Pope – C. They sure were on the card.

Samoa Joe – D. The bad grade isn’t Joe’s fault, he was just booked to look like an utter moron again. Only his in-ring skill saved this from an F.

Jeff Jarrett – F. Jarrett is clearly in a position of power so he takes full blame for this. Someone, anyone, explain within the comments how Jarrett’s plan as it pertains to Samoa Joe makes the slightest bit of sense.

Kevin Nash, Sting and Pope defeat Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett (Dud). Jarrett abandoned Joe who was outnumbered and defeated. Because making Joe an enemy made sense after recruiting him for this spot.

Fortune – A. These guys worked their asses off in a gimmick match and really took some great bumps, making EV2.0 look like gold throughout the match. The gimmick is that they’re the future of wrestling, but that’s absurd, as everyone in this stable except maybe Kaz is ready to be a top guy right now. It’s a shame they’re now the number two heel faction in the company… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

EV2.0 – B-. These guys looked great (especially Sabu), worked hard, and had some intelligent spots planned out, but their grade takes a huge hit for not jobbing at the end of this feud. Why would the old, done guys get the big win over the “future of the company?” Dreamer apparently booked most of this, so his group takes the grade hit for his hubris.

EV2.0 defeats Fortune in Lethal Lockdown (****). Besides the result, this match did everything right. First, the heels had the advantage like they should. Second, the good workers were in early to keep things structured. Next, thee faces dominated when it was even, but lost out when the heels had the advantage. The spots were well-executed and the double teams kept the pace up. Matt Morgan, the biggest heel, was the last one in. Brian Kendrick, logically, showed up and helped cost Fortune, who he’s made enemies of. This was very, very good.

Kurt Angle – A. He pretty clearly structured this to be fast paced and interesting, as this felt like an Angle match with three guys. I’m usually the first to complain about the pace he cuts and how little he structures things, but with three guys, it all managed to come together, as the lack of resting was a good change of pace from the usual WWE style three-way. Kurt can now not retire since he needs revenge for Hardy screwing him. That is literally the only logical thing that came out of this absurd, horrible mess.

Ken Anderson – B-. In what seemed to be Anderson’s story, he was something of an afterthought. In the match itself, he kept up, which I guess is all you can ask since Angle and then the overbooked storyline took center stage.

Jeff Hardy – F. Jeff was an afterthought in the build, had little to do with the story, then showed he’s a moron as a businessman by turning heel after all the WWE did to build him as a huge draw as a face.

Jeff Hardy defeats Kurt Angle and Ken Anderson (**). The match was good until the ridiculous angle that finished it.

Hardy is the top TNA merchandise guy by a great amount and is the only man in TNA to boost house shows a significant amount. These are the things that make a company money. So, now he’s a heel to waste that and, in tiny TNA has wasted all the great build WWE put into him for a poorly thought out story. There’s no reason for him to cheat to win, when he’s already shown that even Angle can’t pin him. Hogan and Bischoff had no reason to turn with him, since they already run the company and have nothing to gain. Jarrett? He lost control of the company to those he’s working with and has historically been their enemy. He also pissed off Samoa Joe for no readily apparent reason. Sting and Nash and Pope knew this was coming, but didn’t bother to tell anyone for no storyline appropriate reason, just deciding it was better to be mysterious heels instead. The only one that makes a modicum of sense being involved in Abyss… and that’s because he’s an idiot. Even RVD running out to confront Hardy was ridiculous. He seriously couldn’t figure out what was going on? Hardy was hugging the guy who tried to kill RVD.

Which bring us to the Show Rating: F. The match to steal the show went on first and wasn’t given enough time. There were at least three matches that based on quality had no business being on either television or Pay Per View, and the booking up and down the card favored shock value and nostalgia over anything approaching logic. Bound for Glory 2010 was an absolute failure.

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