Written by: Colin Rinehart
October 16th, 2011
Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Welcome everyone once again to another edition of 411’s live coverage of a TNA Impact Wrestling PPV event. This time we’ve got the biggest show of the year for the company, Bound For Glory, and for once the card legitimately looks fairly stacked and like an actual “supercard”. We’ve got all sorts of good stuff booked for tonight, including a Full Metal Mayhem match between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn, an I Quit match between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, a World title match between Kurt Angle and Robert Roode, and of course the much maligned purported “final showdown” between the legends Hulk Hogan and Sting as well as a rock-solid undercard to tie it all up neatly. I’ve been a vocal critic of TNA in the past, but the build for this show has been done quite well and I am legitimately extremely excited for a TNA PPV for the first time in quite a while, so enough preambling, let’s hop right into this bad boy!
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
We’re broadcasting live from the home of the prototypical smark and former ECW stronghold, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the usual pre-hype show with Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme as our hosts. Not sure if the Mexican American/Ink Inc match is going to be on this preshow or just on Facebook, so not sure if I’ll be covering it, sorry folks. Wait, no, I guess I will.
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Mexican America (Hernandez/Anarquia) © vs. Ink Inc (Shannon Moore/Jesse Neal)
Ink Inc is accompanied by the former Christina Von Eerie, now known as “Toxine” or “Moxine” or something along those lines in TNA since debuting on the last episode of Impact. As a longtime PWG fan, I love Von Eerie, so the more of her we see, the better. Shannon Moore is all hot and bothered to start with Anarquia, opening with some basic wristlock and hold exchanges before quickly tagging out to Neal. They trade quick tags in their corner, using some of their usual spunky semi-high flyin’ offense on the chicano heels. Super Mex tags in to break up the good times though and works Shannon over with a variation on the Argentine backbreaker before resorting to the usual heel doube-team isolation tactics, trading quick tags in and out with Anarquia and using Sarita and Rosita at ringside to throw in cheap shots behind the ref’s back every so often. Moore fires off a quebrada to break up the double-teaming and is able to get the hot tag to Jesse, who fires off a spinebuster and a huge spear on the Mexicans for a close two count. Tag rules go out the window again as Shannon Moore takes out Anarquia outside the ring with an Asai moonsault. Not to be outdone, Super Mex flashes back to the year 2002 or 2003 and hits a huge tope out after them, taking out everyone at ringside! The ladies jump in for some fun as well but Toxine fends them both off, rips the protective mask off of Sarita, and then gives her a sick facebreaker before literally pantsing Anarquia. Christina Von Eerie, how I love thee. Half of the participants spill to the floor in a wild brawl and in the chaos Super Mex is able to roll up Jesse for the pin to retain the titles at 8:00. Well for a free match to get you excited for the PPV, this was a rousing success I’d say. These four guys definitely put in an above average effort from their normal work, and the results was a fun little quick formula tag match with some sports entertainment-y goodness to get you interested in buying the show. One of those matches that you probably won’t remember in 20 minutes, but it did it’s job well so no complaints here. **1/2
TNA X-Division Title Match
Austin Aries © vs. Brian Kendrick
Perfect choice for the opening match here, and the smark faithful are out strong tonight in Philly, with huge “Austin Aries!” chants from the moment he enters the building. Nice wristlock exchange to start between the two men with some frenetic head and leg-scissor counter exchanges that start the match off hot and heavy. Crowd actually seems to be booing Kendrick a bit much to my shock, I guess Philly hates hippies? Slingshot pescado from Kendrick takes out Aries on the floor, and the crowd vocally boos Kendrick this time. I’d say the old double-turn should be in the future for these two. Back in the ring Aries breaks up a few monkey flip attempts with a stiff lariat. Kendrick tries to wear Aries down with a side-headlock, but Aries breaks it up with an STO takedown and then teases the pendulum elbow to roaring cheers from the crowd. He takes a bit too long teasing though, and Kendrick fends him off with a trio of pesky dropkicks instead. Kendrick snaps off a quick tornado DDT for a near fall, but still the crowd clamors for Aries. Man, I knew Philly was a smark strong-hold but even I’m shocked by how vocal this crowd is for Aries. And just to bring it up another notch as soon as I type that, here’s Aries flying out of the ring to wipe out Kendrick at ringside with the flying tope suicida! Back in the ring Aries has Kendrick on the top rope, playing to the crowd again, and he takes too long and leaves himself open for the Sliced Bread from Kendrick off the top, but somehow Aries gets his foot on the bottom rope before the 3 count! Aries is able to recover fortunately enough and gets in a quick cheap shot before hitting Kendrick with the sick brainbuster, which is enough to put Kendrick away and have Aries retain the title at 10:27. Just about everything you’d want in an opening match here, a vocally hot crowd to go along with two relatively young, athletic performers busting out some signature X-Division action to get the show started off on a good note. Solid opener. ***
Backstage Karen Angle is with her kids and Tracy Brooks. I can’t tell who look more uncomfortable, the children, or Brooks. Who knows
Full Metal Mayhem Match
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
Fuck. Yes. This, quite simply, is one of the main reasons I bought this show. As a longtime mark for the rivalry between these two men back in the ECW days, I don’t care if they’re 60 and crippled, you throw them out there with some tables, ladders, and chairs and I’m going to tune in, simple as that. Lots of “ECW!” chants to start as you’d expect. They start off with their usual opening sequence of rapid-fire strike and takedown exchanges, and even in their middle age these guys can still fire ’em off with the best of ’em. Both men trade a tornado DDT/reverse DDT combo from the top rope but neither man is able to fully deliver the move, each man countering the other’s every move. Both men collide in mid-air in a sketchy moment, and RVD follows up with a legdrop onto Lynn, sending both men tumbling to the mats at ringside. Rob goes for a springboard moonsault off of the steel guardrail at ringside, but Lynn moves at the last second and he crashes & burns. Lynn pulls out a huge ladder from underneath the ring and tosses it into the ring just as RVD recovers and subsequently tosses Lynn in after it. RVD takes too long lollygagging at ringside though and Lynn dropkicks the ladder into his face. Never lollygag around ladders. RVD counters Lynn with a jumping cross-body from the second rope onto a steel chair, and that nets him a quick two count. Lynn looks to recover in the corner, but of course that gives Rob the perfect opportunity to give him the Van Daminator in the corner. Rob launches Lynn into the ladder and then delivers Rolling Thunder to him with the ladder on top of Jerry for good measure. RVD tries for another Van Daminator when Lynn is able to counter with a ladder shot. He sets RVD on the ladder against the second rope and tries for a dropkick off the top rope, but RVD moves at the last second and Lynn eats ladder again. Ouch. Again Rob goes for the Van Daminator, and Lynn sees it coming and slaps the chair into Rob’s face before giving him a big German suplex for a close two count. Rob comes back with a lionsault onto Lynn with the ladder on top of him again. In a neat spot RVD goes for the Rolling Thunder and Lynn jumps off the second rope and slams him to the mat from mid-air. Lynn sets a ladder up between the ring and apron. RVD tries for a suplex off the apron, but Lynn counters with a sunset flip power bomb that’s meant to launch RVD on the ladder, but instead Rob winds up with the back of his head nailing the floor and a chunk of the guard rail! Sick bump there, if slightly accidental, but back in the ring it only gets Lynn a measly two count. Lynn grabs a chair but RVD kicks it back into his face of course. Lynn has got a nasty mouse under his eye now, I’m not sure what from, but damn, these guys are seriously killing each other for the fan’s amusement. Gotta love that. Lynn is set up in the corner with a ladder in his face, and Van Dam goes COAST TO COAST with the missile Van Terminator in the corner! Crowd goes apeshit for that one and I don’t blame ’em. Rob pins him and somewhat surprisingly that’s enough to give him the win at 13:13. That was certainly a chaotic, spotty trainwreck of a match but I mean that in the best way possible, as these two made up for the step or two they’ve lost in old age with the quick countering by simply killing themselves out there with huge bumps that made sense and set the crowd wild. Both men shake hands and high five afterwards in a sign of mutual respect, and that was the perfect way to end this. One hell of a fun match while it lasted. ***3/4
Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan vs. Crimson
I’m not sure how I feel about Crimson being shoehorned into the mix here as a way to just get him on the show, but at the same time I can understand their desire to save some time for other matches by throwing him into this one here. Crimson and Morgan team up on Joe in the early going, and I’m literally having trouble telling the two apart in their matching white trunks, dueling hair cuts, and lame tattoos. Joe eats a beating from both men for a few minutes before he’s able to outsmart them, sending Crimson to the floor and taking Morgan’s legs out from under him in an effort to ground the Blueprint. Sidewalk slam from Morgan and Crimson tries to steal the pin, but Joe kicks out. He sends Morgan to the floor, tosses Crimson out on top of him, and then takes Crimson out moments later with the elbow tope suicida in an impressive display of power and agility from the big man. Morgan goes to the top rope in a rare move and takes out Crimson with a nice little cross-body moments later. Well shucks, you don’t see that very often. Back in the ring babyface Crimson takes it to Joe with a cravat neckbreaker and the crowd boos him to hell and back in support of the veteran Joe. Crimson and Morgan inevitably fall into the stereotypical praftall of psychology here as they each start fighting over the pin attempts on Joe and eventually implode in an exchange of huge right hands, the alliance broken. Joe isolates Crimson in the ring by himself and takes it to him with a running elbow and spin-kick before looking for the Muscle Buster, but Morgan jumps in and breaks it up. Morgan (sort of) hits a running knee that looked alot like a botched Carbon Footprint attempt on Joe, and Crimson spears the hell out of Joe to get the cheap pin on the Samoan Submission Machine to keep his undefeated streak alive at 7:11. I’m impressed tonight with the seemingly above-average efforts from everyone involved in the show so far, Joe looked motivated for once, Morgan busted out a few new moves, and Crimson was adequate enough. Solid little triple threat until the anti-climactic finish. **3/4
Backstage JB is with Bully Ray, who cuts an absolutely awesome heel promo on the Philly crowd, espouting his New York roots and turning his back on the Philly faithful, telling them that he’s spent his entire career exploiting them and milking them out of all of their money since day one. Great way to get heat for a guy who otherwise might have gotten cheered because of his ECW roots in this town.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
These two managed to have a surprisingly good match at last month’s show, so I’m actually kind of looking forward to this match with the added benefit of the gimmick. Dear God, I’m looking forward to a match involving Bubba Ray Dudley in the year 2011, may the wrestling Jesus have mercy on my soul. Anderson, who cut one of the absolute lamest most pandering, cheesy promos I’ve ever heard on the pre-show about how much he loves Philly, runs right out to the ring as the bell rings and we’re off hot and heavy with these two trading right hands until Anderson scores a neckbreaker for the first quick near fall. Ray fires off a big boot and lays in some stiff chops on Kenny. Anderson grabs a sign from ringside that says “Welcome to Philly asshole” and waffles Ray over the head with it, revealing a steel Dead End road sign underneath the paper wrapping. Cute. The action spills to the floor where Anderson smashes a cup of beer over Ray’s head before sending his face into the concrete. Ray fights back with a whip into the steel ring steps and gets a two count outside of the ring from it. Ray grabs a table and sets it up, but Anderson brawls with him up the ramp before they can use it. Anderson tries a suplex at the top of the ramp, but Ray counters with a suplex of his own for another two count and then signals for Anderson’s trademark mic to come down. Ray does his own little mocking introduction emphasising his hometown of New York but of course Anderson knocks him down before he can finish and adds in the witty line of “This ain’t New York, welcome to Philly BITCH” before smashing Ray over the head with the mic to a rousing ovation from the crowd. That was one of the few legitimately funny things I’ve ever seen Mr. Anderson do, seriously. The action spills into the backstage area now where Ray delivers a sick little piledriver to Anderson right on the concrete floor, but somehow Anderson still kicks out of it. Both men brawl back to the ringside area and eventually back into the ring itself, but not before Anderson drags one of the steel guardrails into the ring itself. Ray grabs another table from under the ring and sets it up in the corner in the ring. Anderson back-drops Ray right onto the steel guard-rail, which bends the steel in a nasty manner. Anderson tries for the swanton bomb off the top, but Ray moves and he eats nothing but steel instead. Ray gives him the Bubba Bomb through the table set up in the corner for good measure, and STILL Anderson manages to kick out at two! The crowd is as surprised as I am, and a loose “Anderson” chant starts up briefly. Ray sets up Anderson on the steel guard rail and goes for the Dick Togo-like back senton splash, but Anderson moves this time and Ray eats the steel again. Anderson plants Ray’s face into the steel guard-rail with the Mic Check, and now it’s Ray’s turn to shockingly kick out at the two count! This got violent and nasty real quick, didn’t it? Anderson grabs a garbage can from under the ring and nails Ray with it, who sets himself up on the table at ringside for Anderson to deliver the Swanton from the top rope, but Anderson overshoots him and the table doesn’t even slightly break, garnering huge boos from the crowd. Anderson does the only thing he can and scrambles to make up for it by giving Ray another Mic Check, this time through the table, and that’s enough for Anderson to get the win at 14:34. And you thought the Full Metal Mayhem was going to be violent? This was a nasty, fun and intensely heated brawl that surprisingly went over really well with the fans, atleast until the shaky finish. Still, Anderson recovered quickly and it wasn’t a complete momentum-killer, so you can’t dock too many points from them for it. Another match far better than it had any right being between these two, who seem to have some odd kind of chemistry together that just seems to work. ***1/4
Backstage Eric Bischoff is speaking to one of the referees, Jackson James, who is apparently Bischoff’s son? This is just being revealed now you see. It would appear Bischoff is enacting an insurance policy with having the ref in his back pocket for the Hogan/Sting match. Or something. Do you really care? Just do the pose, the Hulk Up, the leg drop and go home Hulk. I don’t really care about the extra-marital shenanigans.
TNA Knockouts Title Match.
Winter © vs. Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James
Karen Jarrett is our Special Guest Referee here, to add to the squadron of harping she-devils all in the ring at the same time. Traditional four-corner tag rules in this one and Mickie and Winter start us off with some basic hold trades. Rayne tags in and Mickie fires off a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and then lays in some closed fists on Madison, garnering Karen Jarrett’s ire in the process. Velvet tags in and has Madison down for the count, but Karen is busy tying her shoe and won’t count the pin. Mickie tags in and Karen won’t count her pin attempts either. Mickie and Velvet trade right hands and try to do the fiesty babyface thing, but this crowd is getting restless and the “Boring” chants are getting louder by the minute. Tag rules go out the window of courrse as all four women brawl listlessly in the ring with no real sense of direction or purpose at all. Man, this is BAD. Mickie squares off with Winter in the ring while Velvet and Madison brawl at ringside, and Angelina hands a blood capsule to Winter, who pops it in her mouth and then tries to spew the questionable red mist right into Mickie’s face, but Mickie moves and Karen gets the mist instead. Mickie gives Winter the jumping DDT and has her down for the count, but we don’t have a ref, so Tracy Brooks makes her way out to take over for the apparently blinded Karen Jarrett. Velvet delivers a double-underhook sitout facebuster (X-Factor) to Madison and Tracy counts the three count, giving Velvet her first KO title at 8:40. This was the usual clusterfuck off meandering, directionless nonsense but Velvet winning the title is supposed to be a “feel good” moment or something. Whatever, the fans shit all over this match (justifiably so) and only gave Velvet the polite golf-clap for the title win anyways, so whatever this was trying to accomplish, it didn’t do a very good job of it. *1/4
I Quit Match
AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
As if this match didn’t already sell itself based on name value alone, the pre-match hype video package is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen TNA put together. Kudos to the production crew. AJ is pissed to start and lays in closed shots on Daniels at the opening bell. Both men seem to be wearing slightly Sting-inspired tights tonight with Daniels rocking a Crow-ish pair of black trunks and AJ rocking a brightly colored pair of vintage Sting-like tights with touches of pink and blue. AJ grabs the mic and tries to get Daniels to quit early, but Daniels tells him off with a loving invite for fellatio. AJ doesn’t swing both ways though, so he bashes the mic over Daniel’s head and goes to work on an armbar, giving the mic to referee Earl Hebner to ask Daniels again if he quits.AJ gives Daniels a nice delayed vertical suplex and then applies the Muta Lock, but Daniels quickly breaks it up. Styles tries for the juji-gatame armbar, but again Daniels wriggles his way out. AJ feeds him a dropkick that sends him out of the ring to the floor, and Styles takes him out moments later with a beautiful somersault senton over the top rope to the floor on the Fallen Angel. Daniels grabs a tool box from under the ring and tosses a wrench at AJ, but misses fortunately. Never fear, Daniels grabs a freakin’ screwdriver and tries to goug AJ’s face with it back in the ring. Daniels lunges at AJ with the screwdriver but misses and stabs the turnbuckle instead. They semi-botch a counter sequence on the ring apron but nothing too noticeable to the average eye. Back in the ring Daniels asks AJ if he quits, but he won’t. Daniels hits him with the Best Moonsault Ever, but that won’t make AJ quit either so he applies a deep half Boston Crab on him instead. Back on their feet both men trade knife-edge chops until Daniels delivers a back-suplex to AJ. He grabs a steel chair from outside the ring and sets it up with the bottom rung over AJ’s throat while he sits backwards on it, pressing the chair into his chest. Daniels trash talks him while AJ is choking and wheezing and it provides a great image and back-drop for the heel Daniels to get some more heat out of the crowd and get them solidly behind AJ for the finish. Daniels makes it personal by bringing AJ’s wife into it, and that seems to spark the fire in AJ enough for the comeback as he launches Daniels off of him and destroys him with a trio of spin kicks, followed by his patented backflip into reverse DDT spot. He hits a jumping enziguri on Daniels and follows it with a springboard flying forearm. He tries for the Styles Clash, but Daniels counters a side-slam and goes for the BME again. He misses though and AJ hits him with the pele kick, followed by the Styles Clash! AJ grabs the chair to set up for some more punishment, but he sees the screwdriver stabbed into the turnbuckle and grabs it instead. AJ advances on Daniels to use it, and like a cowardly heel Daniel’s screams “Okay okay I quit AJ, just don’t hurt me!” and then runs off backstage, giving AJ the win at 13:50. Well that was an unexpected finish, but I suppose it sets up another rematch down the line and hey, I can’t claim I saw that coming. I figured we’d atleast get AJ getting his vengeance with a post-match beatdown, but no dice there either. The match itself was the usual solid stuff you’ve come to expect from these two, but because of the finish the whole thing came off as just the bare minimum you’d come to expect from these two in order to save the special stuff or the real blow-off match down the line, whenever that is. Still good stuff, even if I honestly liked their Impact match about a month back a bit better. ***
After the match AJ goes up the ramp to leave, when Daniels pops up from behind him out of nowhere and delivers the Angel’s Wings to AJ on the stage to the crowd’s shock and dismay! Smart move there to try and give Daniels some heat back after a rather humiliating loss there to AJ. Yeah, there’s definitely another match between these two down the line.
Before we can cut to the next segment or match, Jeff Jarrett’s music hits and the founder of TNA makes his way out to the ring to some nice heat and snatches a mic from Christy Hemme’s hands. God bless Jeff Jarrett’s heel routine, as he actually manages to irk this crowd enough to begin chanting for Jeff Hardy. A predominantly smark audience in Phila-freakin’-delphia is cheering Jeff Hardy’s name right now, that’s either a testament to Jarrett’s heat-garnering ability or this crowd’s excitement from what’s been a very good show so far. He calls out Jeffrey “Nero” Hardy, who comes out with new music and a titan tron to complete the babyface comeback. Jeff grabs a mic and says he only has one thing to say to Jeff….before promptly dropping the mic and laying in big right hands on Jeff instead. You sly fox Jeffrey. The shirts get ripped, both men brawl, and here comes the black-shirt security to separate both men. Jeff is a REBEL WHO CANNOT BE CONTAINED however, didn’t you know, and he manages to escape security and get some big shots in on Jeff before the road agents rush the ring to help security separate them and drag Jeff Jarrett off to the back while Hardy remains in the ring. Right behind him is a humorous sign, “Drinking Matters!”. Don’t know why I added that, but I chuckled. Jeff does some posing for the crowd and takes off. Hey, you know you’re putting on a pretty decent show when a smark-filled Philadelphia crowd is cheering Jeff Hardy, a man so reviled by the smark fanbase that you’d think he was a convicted necrophiliac or something.
The Battle for TNA and/or Hulk’s 401k
Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Oh boy, and now we arrive at our co-main event of the evening, a match of much controversy online and one that certainly intrigues on sheer name value between the legendary Hulk Hogan and the iconic Sting. Yes, it’s 2011 and these guys are a combined 110 years old together, but you really can’t blame TNA for booking this match. Like it or not odds are this match did draw in a few buys from the older crowd sheerly for the nostalgia, much like last year’s Hardcore Justice was able to capitalize on that same nostalgia for one of the best buyrates in company history. Okay, enough preambling, let’s prepare for the match itself, which you can be rest assured is going to be absolutely atrocious from a workrate perspective. Dixie Carter is in the front row to add to the “drama”, as if anyone on the planet even cares one iota about the purported “power struggle” in this angle. This crowd probably wouldn’t piss on Dixie if she was on fire. Surprisingly enough Sting out-pops Hogan here, though not by much. The bell sounds and both men prepare for battle, but Hogan calls for someone to come from backstage, and suddenly Ric Flair’s music hits and the Nature Boy himself is out to join us for this big-time match up to add to the drama. With Flair at ringside both men finally lock up and Sting grabs a side-headlock on the Hulkster, but he pushes him off and rips off his bandanna as the crowd explodes for Hulk randomly enough. Sting removes his shirt as wll, and things have gotten alot uglier now if you’re watching this in HD. Hogan works a loose chinlock briefly until Sting bails out of the ring to try and regroup. Back in the ring Hogan trips him and delivers the devastating BACK RAKE OF DOOM! If there’s an award for the most ironically entertaining move in the business, that might just be it. Sting bails again and Hogan distracts the ref while Flair gets in some cheap shots on the Stinger right in full view of Dixie Carter at ringside. Tenay actually raises his voice for a moment as if this was a WCW Saturday Night taping in 1997 while Hogan bites Sting’s head at ringside. For those keeping count, total bumps by Hogan so far in this match: 0. Hogan nails Sting with some kind of foreign object in his hand and lets Flair get some more cheap shots on him and the ref, being in Bischoff’s pocket, does nothing to stop any of these hijinks. Back in the ring Sting manages to get a few right hands in and the momentum shifts in his favor for the present. Sting has a hold of the foreign object now and he nails Hogan with it as both men are busted open and bleeding now. Sting hits a pair of Stinger Splashes onto Hulk’s surgically repaired back in the corner and then he sinks in the Scorpion deathlock on Hogan, who taps out almost immediately right in front of the ref, who doesn’t want to call for the bell initially but eventually does, apparently giving Sting the win at 9:43. I’ll get to the post-match stuff in a moment, as for the match here itself, this was about what you’d expect—a sloppy, messy, dirty brawl that while not “technically sound” by any means, was certainly entertaining in a perverse kind of way. This is the part where I’m supposed to rate the match, so I’ll go with *1/2 since I’m being generous and enjoyed the surrounding melodrama of the entire segment.
After the match Flair jumps in the ring and jumps Sting while Bischoff, Bully Ray, Scott Steiner, and Gunner emerge from backstage with steel chairs and all begin beating down Sting with them. Backstage we see Abyss looking on from the Gorilla position as the heeltastic beatdown continues. The ref, Bischoff’s apparent son, has seen enough though and stops his father…who then promptly smashes the steel chair over his son’s back. Well that’s just bad parenting. The beatdown continues on Sting when suddenly…what’s that? My god…Hulk feels the POWER of Hulkamania in him! It’s surging through his veins! Hogan beats his chest and Hulks Up and the crowd goes absolutely wild as the old man Hulks up and fights off his former allies, saving Sting from a prolonged beatdown and giving the fans and Hogan one more chance to do the old hulk-up in front of a red-hot crowd. You see, that’s really what this whole thing was about. The match was irrelevant, all they wanted to accomplish here was a nice little send-off for Hogan’s in career in TNA’s own kind of way, and they accomplished their goal in that regard quite well. Was the match technically “good”? No, it wasn’t. In fact it was rather bad. But as an entire segment of “sports entertainment” (and I know how some fans hate those words), this did a great job and the crowd ate it up like cotton candy. And really, that’s about all you could ask for from these guys at their ages. Hogan and Sting finish clearing the ring and posing for the crowd, who are really going out of their minds for both Hogan and Sting at this point. Both men shake hands and embrace to cap the entire segment off..
TNA World Title Match
Kurt Angle © vs. Robert Roode
We’re running pretty low on time with only about 20 minutes left in allotted time for this show, so don’t expect a long, drawn out technical classic or anything here. As strange of a choice as Roode might seem for the big push for the BFG main event this year, he was one of the better options they had and is still relatively young, so hey, no complaints here even if I’m not 100% sold on Roode as a long-term main event caliber performer yet. No lock-ups to start here, instead these two begin immediately brawling in and out of the ring at the bell. Back in the ring Roode eats a lariat and then falls victim to the trio of rolling German suplexes from Angle. Angle goes to the top for a moonsault, but Roode leaps up and gives him a huge inside-out back suplex off the top rope. Kurt Angle: Still the craziest fucking bump-taker in the business today, for better or worse. That was just unnecessarily dangerous, and I love carnage. Roode fires up and explodes with a big lariat on Angle followed by a leaping neckbreaker from the second rope for a quick two count on the champ. Angle counters with a big belly-to-belly suplex and then absolutely plants Roode’s head into the mat with a huge DDT. We’re working on a clock here, so Angle pulls down the straps and starts going into his intense finish sequence early. Roode counters an Angle Slam attempt into a spinebuster, but only for two. Roode applies the crossface submission to Angle and things are looking dark for the Gold Medalist, but Angle counters out of it into the Ankle Lock! Roode counters that right back into the crossface though and both men roll around, trading one counter after another into their respective submission finishers until Angle rolls all the way through and delivers the Angle Slam, but Roode kicks out at two. Angle tries again for the Angle Slam, but Roode counters into a bridging Fisherman’s suplex that nearly wins it for Bobby, but Angle kicks out at the last possible millisecond. A roll-up from Roode gets another near fall and Roode counters out of the Angle Slam yet again. Angle uses the ref as a shield and then low-blows Roode behind his back and delivers an Angle Slam, but still Roode kicks out again! Angle locks his hands around Roode’s waist or another trio of Rolling German’s, but Roode counters the third suplex into a Fujiwara armbar and then the crossface again. Angle barely gets the rope break, but not before the damage has been done. Angle somehow hits a big spear on Roode, pulling out energy from god know’s where at this point as these guys have been going at a frenetic pace since the bell. Angle tries for a cross-body off the top rope, but he flies right into the crossface submission from Roode again. He slips out for the 900th time and both men trade attempts at their finishers before Angle delivers the Angle slam to Roode, and rolls him up for the pin. The ref counts three even though Roode’s arm is underneath the rope and Angle has his hand on the second rope for the unfair advantage, and Angle apparently retains under dubious circumstances at 14:17. I’ll get to the “Wut?” factor of having Roode lose here in a minute, but as a pure wrestling match, this was probably the best technical match up of the entire show and was just the kind of heated, athletic contest you’d expect from these two. The finish really leaves a bad taste in my mouth though. ***1/2
After the match a dejected Robert Roode lays in the ring in total shock as Kurt Angle is helped to the back and we go off the air of TNA’s biggest show of the year with a defeated Robert Roode staring blankly in the ring as if he wanted to ask “What the fuck just happened to my 15 minutes of fame?” I don’t know Bobby, I really don’t. I have no clue what the logic is here of having Angle retain, I really don’t. Incredilby anti-climactic way to finish what was otherwise easily the best PPV that TNA has put on in 2011.
Bottom Line: Far and away TNA’s best PPV of the year so far, and I’d even go so far as to say this was probably the most consistently entertaining Bound For Glory yet in company history. This actually had the feeling of a “big” show, by TNA standards atleast, and the crowd was red hot and receptive to everything they did all night long here. They might have gone a bit overboard with the hardcore gimmick matches, but this show was in Philly after all and they paced them out nicely with a different style of wrestling in between them to space things out and give the fans a chance to catch their breath. There were no match of the year candidates to be found here and if you’re expecting Sting vs. Hogan to be anything other than perversely entertaining you’re out of luck, but if you’re genuinely looking for an entertaining wrestling show with a multitude of entertaining matches of various styles in front of a hot Philly crowd, you’ll probably dig this show as much as I did. I don’t often praise this company, so when they do something right, it feels good to be able to give them their due deligence. Will, pay the piper his due folks, because this was a damn good show. Maybe it’s because the Patriots beat the Cowboys or maybe it’s the beer talking, but I had a blast watching this and I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve been able to say that about a TNA PPV since late 2009. Easy and enthusiastic Thumbs Up from me tonight.