I decided to review this show because of the BFG finals matches. I avoided all previous recaps as well as I could… and then I get a FaceBook message from some-one who should have known better telling me that the best free-to-air match of the year from anyone was on this show, and asking if I was reviewing it. I said yes, switched off FaceBook, and now am writing (typing) this. Got that? Good.
Let’s get this started. (Today’s recap is brought to you by Popcorn Prawns and Fried Rice. Because nothing says athlete like battered and fried food!)
1) Cool opening video package about the Bound For Glory series. And then… A not as cool follow-up video package for the Bully Ray – Mr Anderson confrontation.
2) Bully Ray with Miss Tessmacher out and delivers a good, intense (should I say Bully-Ray-esque?) promo on ‘Ken’ and Hulk Hogan. Crowd goes to town on him and that is the right sort of heat. I will say this – his work on the mic has been pretty damn impressive. Hogan comes out and shows he can still deliver a good promo as well. Surprises me.
3) Anderson comes out, Bully Ray keeps delivering on the mic, Anderson talks and the whole thing drops. His whole delivery was crap. Hogan saves it by calling the match between the two a last man standing match… brother!
4) BFG Semi-Final 1: Austin Aries v AJ Styles. Duelling chants and this match is hot from the word go. This is a damn intense way to start the show, and considering one of them has to wrestle again later on tonight, they are really letting it all hang out.
5) How in the hell is AJ still conscious after belting his head on the ring apron like that?! He’s out of it for a little, his timing off for example. Nasty.
6) It picks up again, but it does so by them hitting one another even harder! Wow! And that Last Chancery by Aries is a niiice move.
7) Aries on the second rope gets hit by a Pele kick, then an inward Styles Clash from the second rope wins it for Styles in about 12 minutes shown. Wow. I mean… wow. 7.5/10
8) Backstage Sting pumps up Magnus and, I’ll say it again, TNA do this so much better than WWE.
9) BFG Semi-Final 2: Bobby Roode v Magnus. Roode jump-starts the match and it’s as intense and fast as the first semi-final. These two matches have suddenly made this whole series looks like it means something to the competitors. I did not get that before tonight; now, it looks like it’s what they all want. This show is already a good one.
10) Magnus caught a cross-body attempt by Roode, held him there, and then suplexed him without Roode touching the floor. How freakin’ strong is Magnus?!
11) Roode crossface turned into a cloverleaf and the crowd explodes! They love Magnus. Wow. I think that’s great, don’t get me wrong – I’ve always thought Magnus was a great wrestler. But the crowd loves him. And as I type that Magnus gets a double leg takedown and rolls over to a bridge pin for the win. 7/10
12) Daniels and Kazarian calm down an angry Roode backstage and the Extraordinary Gentlemen’s Organisation says that no-one is going to win the final tonight. Short, sharp, shiny and intense… and believable. See that, WWE? Believable without belabouring the point.
13) Hogan with X-Division champ Manik… who is not wearing the mask. He wants Hardy? Dixie Carter comes in, sends Manik out, and tells Hogan Rampage and Tito are being pulled by Bellator because of the November 2 PPV. Hang on. Tito and Rampage are part of the big MEM v A&8s angle, and they’re gone, just like that? How in the hell does this help TNA? Time to rethink these deals, guys.
14) Still backstage and Bully Ray challenges the rest of the Aces and 8s and… look, I’m not going to recap this. It’s the sledgehammer of plot. Are they going to stand up for or turn on Bully Ray? Oooh… smell the mystery! Pass me a Scooby Snack there, Shaggy!
15) Nice recap of the two BFG matches so far by Tenay and Taz.
16) Another Bully Ray – Anderson video promo? Okay, we get it, things aren’t good in A&8s world.
17) Last Man Standing Match for the TNA world title: Mr Anderson v Bully Ray. Anderson gets a pop. Not huge, but a pop. Match starts fast and furious with Anderson in control, but, dear God, someone teach him how to throw a realistic looking punch!
18) This match is going on for a while and is involving chairs and tables, and is actually watchable, but it feels like it’s dragging.
19) Brooke Tessmacher is a much better partner for Bully Ray. She can do facial expressions, realistic emotions and we know she can go in the ring. Good swap.
20) How does Anderson’s mic check not hurt the giver as much as the receiver?
21) Ref bump, run-in by A&8s members, weapons, lots of laying around while we count to 9 – everything to protect the limitations of the wrestlers in the ring. Well, one wrestler. Bully Ray isn’t doing that badly, to be honest. As&8s tease helping Anderson, but a Tessmacher low blow stops them and they hit a Shield special triple powerbomb which, to be honest, looks like crap compared to the Shield’s version.
22) Chain shot puts Anderson down for 9 and busts him open. Nasty spear through a table in the corner finally gets the 10 and Bully Ray retains. 6.5/10, and the best one-on-one match I’ve seen Anderson in. Stretcher called for Anderson, neck brace on, and if you don’t know what happens next, you haven’t been watching wrestling that long. But Bully Ray’s taunts before he did the deed were a nice touch. And the piledriver on the stage was an excellent exclamation mark. Even Taz didn’t want him to do it. I like Bully Ray as a heel champ. He’s grown on me.
23) Nice short promo by ODB hyping her Knockouts (“Knocked-up” She said “Knocked-up”?) Title match against Mickie James next week.
24) James Storm and Gunner place an open challenge, answered by Hernandez and Chavo. Long bit that achieved little, but Chavo cut a nice promo. They fight next week, and if Chavo & Hernandez win they get a tag team title shot at Bound For Glory.
25) BFG Grand Final: Magnus v AJ Styles. Two of the best wrestlers in TNA – a worthy final. The crowd loves both of them. And they deserve the adulation.
26) Considering the intensity of the matches already tonight from these two, this is one hell of a match. And are the crowd hot! This show has definitely been worthy of the moniker PPV. And Taz and Tenay are actually good on commentary.
27) EGO run in and take out both guys. Well, that’s a way to kill the match and the crowd.
28) Back from commercial, and they are slow getting up and then start to wrestle again at the same 200mph as before. Well, that makes the EGO run-in the most worthless and useless run-in ever in the history of professional wrestling.
29) This is another great match. These two just do not know when to stop or how to give up. They are pulling out some stiff moves and applying some great submission holds.
30) Styles hits the Spiral Tap for the win! Great match, even with the stupid run-in. 8/10
31) Styles finishes with another mic spot, this time thanking the fans and calling out Dixie Carter next week, to tell her the mistakes she’s made. Oh, goody. Way to deflate the crowd. He celebrates again, show ends.
4 matches, at an average of 7.25/10 makes this definitely one of the best free-to-air wrestling shows of the year. Not a single bad match there, and even a watchable Anderson match! Mostly good promos and back-stage stuff, storylines kept buzzing and some of the best wrestling outside of PPVs.
Now, I’ve just got word from my mate. He thought Anderson-Bully Ray was the best free-to-air wrestling match of the year. He’s deluding himself. It was a surprisingly good match, true, but it was the worst match of the night. Oh well, horses for courses. However, the opening and closing matches are really worth catching. Do so. You won’t regret it.
Tags: Aces and 8s, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, bound for glory, Bully Ray, Hulk Hogan, impact, magnus, mr anderson, No Surrender, TNA