Before I hit the PPV, I just want to say that Impact has been the best televised wrestling show of recent months. The Bound For Glory series has given most matches importance, and has made it logical for matches between top stars (and Robbie E) to occur. And their long-term booking which resulted in matches at the last Impact to actually have a legitimate bearing on the result. Unlike last year when points seemed to appear at random, this year’s has been easier to follow.
I am looking forward to this PPV because, on paper, it looks strong. And TNA’s long-term booking is at the moment engaging. Even the Aces and 8s angle is not yet completely ruined. Of course, I am going to ignore everything about the Claire Lynch angle, and just pretend that horrid story simply never happened.
Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus
A thrown together match-up. Part of me expects Joe to interfere because of Magnus’ actions towards him, while another part of me thinks Joe is now above this. RVD is only motivated 50% of the time, but against some one who has some decent skills and isn’t afraid to take a bump (like Magnus), I think this could be RVD’s best match in quite a while. I expect to be thoroughly entertained.
Miss Tessmacher (c) vs. Tara: Knockouts Title
I like Tara as a wrestler. I think Tessmacher has improved. But after RCW’s awesome women’s matches two weeks ago, this is going to suffer in comparison. Oh well, I expect it to be more watchable than anything WWE has thrown at us in recent times. Not expecting a classic, but shouldn’t be too horrendous either.
Zema Ion (c) vs. Sonjay Dutt: X-Division Title
I’m not a fan of Ion. I don’t like his in-ring work, and I think his character is a hark-back to some of the worst of 1980s gimmicks. Sonjay Dutt, on the other hand, has sublime wrestling skills. And I think the fact they are really building for legitimacy with the X-Division again, I see Dutt going over, but with the help of Jesse Sorensen running interference, distraction or stealing the hair spray.
Winner: Sonjay Dutt
James Storm vs. Bully Ray: BFG Series Semi Final
I’m torn. On the one hand, having Storm there would be great, but on the other hand, Bully Ray’s apparently just re-signed with TNA and so would seem to be line for some sort of push. While his promos have been better than average, and his in-ring work has improved, I am still not a fan of Bully Ray as a performer. But I am going to go with this as an outcome: Storm has the upper hand, but Robert Roode comes out and costs Storm the match. Thus Bully Ray gets through, but we also have the perfect set-up for the blow-off to the Storm/Roode feud that’s been simmering for 12 months.
Winner: Bully Ray
Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy: BFG Series Semi Final
I don’t know if they’re ready to trust Jeff again yet. He’s being given a bit more, but I think they’re taking it carefully with him. On the other side, Joe has not looked this motivated in a long time. I enjoyed his tag team with Magnus, and think his work in the BFG series has shown that his character is not as one-dimensional as once he had appeared. I don’t expect a great match, but I do expect a good one.
Winner: Samoa Joe
This leads to the BFG Series final:
Bully Ray v Samoa Joe
As I said, Joe looks motivated, and Bully Ray is still a Dudley. So I’m going to look at this from the point of view of what I want to see at Bound For Glory PPV 2012. And that is Joe v Aries in an old-style, all-in, face v face, ROH-respect type deal. And I expect it to be a strong candidate for match of the year.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (c) vs. AJ Styles & Kurt Angle: Tag Team Title
This pairing had one of the best matches of the year at Slammiversary, but they also had the Clair Lynch debacle behind them. I think this match could be a good one, but Angle now appears injured which could well affect everything here. Let’s assume Angle is healthy and his death is downgraded to four days of rest, then this could well be one of the matches of the night. I think the result will be disputed – a pin on AJ at the same time as a tap-out to the Angle Lock – and so the titles are held up until the Bound For Glory PPV where they’ll fight it out in some sort of Ultimate-X tag-match. I’d mark out.
Winner: NR (no champions)
Austin Aries v some one from Aces & Eights
I’m a little confused by this match. Is the title on the line? Which member of Aces & 8s is actually fighting? Oh well, while Aries can undoubtedly carry whoever it is to a good match, I expect the BFG final to go on last, and this will be just a place-setter match to get ready for BFG.
Winner: Austin Aries
This looks, like I said, like a good one on paper. I hope they deliver. TNA has had the more compelling TV of late, and I am genuinely interested to see where story-lines and matches go. A few months ago I said it was a wait and see if getting rid of Russo would improve the product. Well, that and bringing in Pritchard, or something, whatever it was, has. TNA is giving us some good wrestling on a consistent basis. I only hope they can maintain it for the long run.
Tags: AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bound for Glory Series, Bully Ray, James Storm, Kurt Angle, No Surrender, Rob Van Dam, RVD, Sonjay Dutt, TNA