Caught in the Ropes- TNA Bound For Glory Series Ends with not a Bang, but a Whimper

Welcome back to Caught in the Ropes. Sigh. TNA’s No Surrender PPV occurred last night and marked the end of the company’s contentious Bound for Glory series with Bobby Roode earning a title shot at BFG. How did the BFG series work out? I’ll discuss that, along with a few other issues that have cropped up since No Surrender. Before we get into that, I should be making another appearance on Inside Pulse Wrestling Talk Radio this week, so check that out and call in if you have any questions for us.

Bound for Glory

So, Bobby Roode won the Bound for Glory series at No Surrender, beating out Bully Ray in his second match of the night. Of course Bobby’s victory should come with an asterisk since Matt Morgan left the competition due to an injury (though he was back in time for a match against Samoa Joe at No Surrender) as well as Crimson, who suffered an “injury” at the hands of Samoa Joe. Speaking of Samoa Joe, it’s also worth noting that he finished the BFG series with a whopping -10 points while AJ Styles crossed the finish line with a meager 24 points, or less than half of the points possessed by final series leader Bully Ray. Don’t forget that Joe and AJ competed in 10 and 11 BFG matches respectively, whereas Gunner appeared in 19, Bully Ray in 14, and Bobby Roode in 15.

Was the BFG experiment a failure or a success? Well, it has given TNA an outlet to push Roode as a singles competitor, something the company has wanted to do for quite some time now. It also gave the mid-card something to fight for rather than, say, nothing. But I’m going to have to call this one a bust. The problem was that Crimson’s last minute withdrawal from the competition and the wide berth between the series’ leaders and the rest of the pack made this series a mess. TNA shouldn’t have even bothered including Crimson if they weren’t willing to end his undefeated streak before the series began, and they certainly shouldn’t have pulled the “injury” card so late in the game. When Crimson stepped in the ring for a BFG match, everyone knew that he was going to win, so it removed any suspense the series might have had. Plus, there was also the removal of Brother Devon from the competition, though he wasn’t close to the leader-board.

If TNA really wants this gimmick to work and last, they need to scale it back to a month -and-a-half or two month long competition instead of the three month monster they’ve got now. There are too many opportunities for guys to get injured in that length of time, and if your top guy goes out early then you have to scramble to come up with something else. Aside from just limiting the window for guys to get injured, a shorter period of time will also allow for a more chaotic scramble with guys doing whatever is necessary to get points.

There’s also the questionable inclusion of guys like Joe, AJ, and RVD. All of these guys are former TNA champions and including them in this competition and not even letting one of them get to the final four hurts them. Hell, AJ and RVD didn’t even make it on the PPV in any capacity. What purpose did their inclusion serve exactly? I see something like the BFG series as a means to elevate mid-card guys into the main-event, so guys with the kind of pedigree of AJ, Joe, or RVD shouldn’t have to go through a series like this to get into main-event matches. Bully Ray and Brother Devon are a little different, seeing as how neither of them have a history of singles success (except for Ray’s Hardcore Championship title reigns), so I can accept the inclusion of those two.

I suppose TNA could tweak the tournament to try and make it more effective, which would be a good idea, but we all know how TNA feels about good ideas. It’s not a bad concept on paper, is what I’m saying. But this inaugural series had too many problems and too many wonky booking decisions to make it a success. The real test will come at Bound for Glory when Roode takes on the champion, most likely Kurt Angle, for the belt. If Roode’s main-event push meets with real blow-out-the-walls success, then we can expect to see the BFG series come back. If not, then…

Angle Retains…Sobriety

Man, it must be nice working for a company with such lax substance abuse policies. Yeah, yeah, yeah, innocent until proven guilty and all that, but a professional athlete in almost any other field would be hung out to dry for a fourth arrest. Kurt claims he’s going to fight the charges, and he may just win, but Kurt obviously has problems that he needs to deal with and TNA doesn’t appear to be helping him. A professional football player facing his fourth arrest would be staring down the barrel of a lengthy suspension, most likely before his case even made its way through the court system. Kurt Angle is allowed to keep his spot as top guy in his company, getting over Mr. Anderson and Sting at No Surrender.

At this point it seems like Kurt is the lesser of three evils, which is a sad bit of commentary on TNA’s main-event roster. Would I rather see the bland, Stone Cold-lite stylings of Mr. Anderson or the depressing comic book caricature that is Sting? Would I rather gouge out my own eyeball with a grapefruit-spoon? There’s nowhere for TNA to turn right now. Well, nowhere that’s stable when you consider the recent return of Jeff Hardy. I would bring up AJ or Joe again, but that’s a futile argument since TNA seems to no longer have any interest in either of them. Kurt is their go-to guy for now, despite the mountain of problems he has in front of him.

Assorted Thoughts

  •  Does TNA even have a tag division at this point when the best team they can assemble to challenge Mexican America is Brother Devon and D’Angelo Dinero?
  • Austin Aries as X-Division champ is a big step up.  I’ve never liked Kendrick, and his B.S. New-Age gimmick as of late has been beyond insufferable.
  • Why paint Joe as a monster reborn only to have him lose to Matt Morgan at the very next PPV?  Does anyone at TNA know what the hell they’re doing?
  • Winter retains as Knockouts champ?  I give up.  This whole Winter/Angelina Love storyline will continue long after I’m dead, buried, and rotting in the cold ground.

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