TNA AJBully

Published on October 4th, 2013 | by Bryan Staebell

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While You Weren’t Watching for 10/5

Impact Recap for 10/3

Largely forgettable show aside from writing Hulk Hogan out of the promotion.  He quit on Dixie who begged him to stay.  On one hand the fact that he wouldn’t let his character get fired by the heel owner is crap.  On the other hand, who cares.  It will be a while until I believe he’s not coming back.  Where else is he supposed to go?

Magnus beat Daniels and Kaz (both by submission) in a gauntlet match before falling to Bobby Roode (also by submission).  Post match they did a weird promo with Sting where Magnus was hard on himself for not getting the job done as he tries to make himself a main event player.  Sting then challenged him for Bound For Glory…presumably to try and “make” Magnus on the show.  It’s the right match but there were better ways to get there.

Manik and Jeff Hardy defeated Chris Sabin and Kenny King in a tag match.  Post match Austin Aries challenged everyone not named Kenny King to a 4 way at BFG.  Hardy said they should make it an Ultimate X match.  Manik said nothing and from that they inferred he agreed to put the X title on the line.  The match will be really good but with the lack of depth on the roster right now I feel like having Aries, Hardy and Sabin all in here is a mistake.  Also…poor Kenny King.  He was busted open 2 weeks in a row and then was left out of the fun.

Samoa Joe beat Bully Ray by DQ in a slow plodding match.

Lei’D Tapa debuted.  She destroyed Velvet Sky before the latter had the chance to face Brooke Tessmacher for the Knockout’s #1 contender slot.  I think they dropped Brooke’s last name.  That’s the most interesting thing that happened here.

EGO announced that they’ll be inducting Bobby Roode into the EGO hall of fame next week.  This was a clear shot at Kurt Angle.  Roode even used the ankle lock to beat Magnus in their match.  If Kurt Angle, who is returning BFG weekend, is going to wrestle Roode on the show (which it sure looks like they’re building to) we will find out next week.  If he’s not I assume Roode wrestles Joe.  Either would be a good match…but this is a strange way to build Joe/Roode if it’s how they go.

 

Impact Preview for 10/10

They’ve announced zero matches for the show.  They’ll be finalizing the BFG card…but how they get there is a mystery.  Possibly even to them.

 

Bound For Glory IX

Bully Ray vs. AJ Styles for the TNA title

Sting vs. Magnus

Manik vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin in an Ultimate X for the X title

James Storm and Gunner defend the TNA Tag Titles against the winner of a pre show 4 way

 

Pre show 4 way for the TNA Tag Title match spot:  Bad Influence vs. Chavo and Hernandez vs. Eric Young and Joseph Park vs. Bro Mans

 

The pre show match will air live on Spike TV on an hour long special countdown show.  Only Bad Influence and Chavo/Hernandez have a shot at winning.  Bad Influence are the bigger stars and should be the team to move on…and they’d also provide the best match.  They did spend some TV time building to a Storm/Gunner vs. Chavo/Hernandez match, however.  Despite the fact that Chavo and Hernandez are in the process of turning heel…they’re still kind of babyface enough that they’ll probably get the spot and then turn fully in the title match.  The fact that they are in San Diego (where there is a large Latino population) will probably make them book their win.  The funny thing is every time they think this is going to work…the crowd ends up booing Chavo and Hernandez anyway.  Happened in Phoenix at the last BFG, happened in San Antonio at Lockdown this year…will happen again in San Diego.  I can’t stress enough how much better Bad Influence getting the tag title match would be.

There will be a Knockouts title match of some kind.  Still no clue what they’ll end up with.  ODB/Tapa sounds like a trainwreck.  Maybe they’ll do a 4 way with Velvet and Brooke since they were supposed to be having a #1 contender match before Tapa destroyed Velvet.  The only other woman on the roster right now is Gail Kim…who has wrestled ODB a million times lately.

The big mystery left to be solved is who Bobby Roode will wrestle on the show.  Everything on TV leads you to believe he’ll be facing the returning Kurt Angle.  Dave Meltzer reported this week that the plan wasn’t for Angle to wrestle on the show…but then I’ll be damned why they’re clearly booking towards Roode/Angle.  One would assume that Roode would face Samoa Joe if Angle isn’t wrestling…but again…Roode is talking about belonging in the Hall of Fame (where Kurt will be inducted that weekend) and used Angle’s finisher to beat Magnus on Impact.  So let’s say during this week’s EGO Hall of Fame ceremony Samoa Joe comes out to defend Kurt’s honor and they make that match…cool…good fresh match…but doing a Joe/Roode match to build to an Angle/Roode match is weird.  When would they do this Angle/Roode match?  They don’t have another PPV until January.  On Impact?  Doing a match on your biggest PPV to build to a bigger match on TV?  …  Actually that sounds like them.  Yes.

Whoever ODB and Roode are wrestling…the PPV is still a match short by my count.  (Roode/? and ODB/? leaves us at 6 matches).  The roster is so thin right now that I don’t see a lot of options.  If Angle works with Roode that leaves Joe…which is half way to a good match.  If Joe works Roode…I don’t even know where to start.  Here’s what would be left:  Kenny King, Ethan, Knux, Garrett Bischoff, Jay Bradley.  That’s it.  Zema Ion returned at a house show so I guess you can have him too if you want.  Worst case scenario…they decide to do a second knockouts match.  Best case?  I don’t know.  Anderson comes back and he destroys what’s left of the Aces and 8′s?  At least that could be fun.

 

Bound For Glory Retrospective Part 1

The concept of Bound For Glory actually came about all the way back in 2003.  TNA shot an angle with Hulk Hogan in October of that year that was meant to lead to a Jeff Jarrett vs. Hulk Hogan match for the NWA title as the main event of the company’s first 3 hour pay per view…called Bound For Glory.  Hogan never came in (well…maybe not never) so that was scrapped.  TNA would start running monthly 3 hour PPVs in November of the next year, and when they got to the end of the 12 show calendar…they named the October show Bound For Glory and pushed it as their WrestleMania.

Bound For Glory – October 23, 2005 – Orlando, Florida

This is the only BFG that didn’t take place outside of the Impact Zone.

In many ways the first BFG is a perfect representation of TNA as a whole.  The scheduled main event was going to be Jeff Jarrett defending the NWA title against Kevin Nash…but Nash was hospitalized with chest pains the day before the event.  We had the only other Ultimate X (aside from the first one) where stuff fell off of the cables.  We had matches that were made solely to get people on the card despite this being the BIGGEST of big shows.  Surefire good matches got shortchanged on time (to be fair they had to add a whole match to find Nash’s replacement and were saddled with having dedicated 30 minutes to an advertised Iron Man match).  On the plus side the booking was actually really good on this show.

One of the fun anecdotes of the first BFG is that one of the best matches on it…was on the pre show:

 

The pay per view opened with Samoa Joe vs. Jushin Liger (who they flew in just to put Joe over.  Watch most of the last 5 years of how they treat Joe and imagine that shit).  The match was surprisingly short.  I remember reading that there was a communication problem so they went to the finish before they were supposed to…but the show was so short on time that I don’t know where they were going to get extra time from.

 

Following that we had the random throw away get everyone on the card matches that plagued TNA throughout the Russo era.  Any cool factor you get from saying the first match in BFG history was Samoa Joe vs. Jushin Liger immediately vanishes when you learn the next three were Simon Diamond, David Young and Elix Skipper vs. Apolo, Shark Boy and Sonny Siaki, Monty Brown vs. Lance Hoyt and Bobby Roode, Eric Young and A1 vs. 3 Live Kru.  Yuck.

That was all followed by the Ultimate X debacle where the giant red X you had to pull down to win the match fell off the ropes twice.  I honestly couldn’t tell you if the match that Petey Williams, Chris Sabin and Matt Bentley had was any good because all I can remember is the X falling into Williams’s hands and him storming out pissed off…at winning the match and becoming #1 contender to the X title.  TNA did a make good on this on their first prime time special on Spike and had a clean rematch…which I do remember was very good.  Williams was happier when he won that one.

AMW kept their NWA tag titles against the Naturals in the next match.  These two teams had some great matches in the past (the first 6 sides of steel and Candido’s last wrestling appearance as the Natural’s manager) but only got 10 minutes on this day.

From there the show went into a much higher gear.  Jeff Hardy, Rhino, Abyss and Sabu had a wild Monsters Ball match.  The Monsters Ball was a staple of BFG, appearing at every one until 2011 which oddly didn’t have one despite having not one but two matches that could have easily just been called that (Bully Ray vs. Anderson in a street fight and RVD vs. Jerry Lynn in a Full Metal Mayhem) and nothing would have had to change.

Anyway…this match was fun:

 

Next up was Iron Man II between X champion AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels.  These two had torn the house down in an Iron Man match earlier in the year at Against All Odds and while this rematch isn’t the classic that one was…it’s still very good:

 

Immediately after this match we had the gauntlet match to determine who would face Jarrett for the NWA title in the main event.  What made this work was seeing the guys who had just gone through hell in the Monsters Ball (and AJ Styles who had just wrestled for a half hour) limp down to the ring to try and earn the shot.  It quietly put over the title better than almost any way they’ve ever tried to do it.  It was also the first time that people got to see Samoa Joe face off with non X division guys which the crowd really dug.  In the end Rhino won and Jeff Jarrett came down to pick the bones in the main event.

But of course this is wrestling so the heel got his and Rhino hit a gore out of nowhere to take Jarrett’s NWA title.  Oh…and Tito Ortiz was the special guest referee for some reason.  He had done it once before and I’d guess they had a bigger role for him before they had to scrap all their plans when Nash got sick.

 

This was a well done moment for Rhino.  He won Monsters Ball, the Gauntlet against 9 other guys and pinned the Champion clean.  He was still new enough into the company (and had just turned babyface) that this could have been seen as a hell of an elevation attempt.  But the truth was he only got the title because they didn’t want people to feel ripped off with an unworthy challenger when they had to scrap the main event.

He lost the title back to Jarrett 2 days later.  Yes…after all of that.

Best Matches:
3.  The pre show X division match
2.  Iron Man II
1.  Monsters Ball

Best Moments:
3.  Joe’s entrance
2.  An exhausted AJ Styles limping down the aisle for a chance to get a title shot
1.  Jeff Hardy’s ridiculous swanton over the entrance platform onto Abyss.

 

 

Bound For Glory II – October 22, 2006 – Plymouth, Michigan

 

This wasn’t just the first BFG to be held out of the Impact Zone…but the first TNA ppv ever to head on the road.  Kurt Angle had joined the company (and had his famous debut headbutting Joe) just weeks earlier.  Karen went into labor and had one of their children the day before BFG causing Angle to miss the Fan Fest.  But because he’s awesome he had a private meet and greet/signing at the arena the day of the show for people who bought a ticket to the fan fest.  I only remember this because this I was there.

BFG fun fact:  The official song for this show was “Enemy” by Fozzy.  Yes, that Fozzy.  So the pump up video was Chris Jericho singing with clips of TNA action cut in.  Jericho was on his long hiatus which is how this came together.  Still pretty hilarious.

On the pre show Bobby Roode (debuting his new Robert Roode gimmick) defeated Lance Hoyt.  The deal here was that he was unveiling Traci Brooks as his new manager despite vignettes where he met with Sherri Martel, Col. Parker and Bobby freaking Heenan.  Needless to say this never got over and Roode wouldn’t recover until Beer Money years later.
The event began with a Kevin Nash open invitational X division battle royal that was won by Austin Aries.  It wasn’t memorable at all.  Some of the talent wasted in this nothing match:  Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, Petey Williams and Kazarian.

Speaking of wasting talent…next we had a 7 minute 4 team tag match with Team 3D, AMW, the New Age Outlaws and the Naturals.  This combined with the later in the show Eric Young vs. Larry Zbyszko match (remember “Don’t fire Eric”?) would conclude our “Why are these on this show” matches for the evening.

Despite the fact that Samoa Joe was about to begin his big feud with Kurt Angle…they didn’t have much for him on this show.  He was stuck in this year’s Monsters Ball with Spike Dudley, Raven and Abyss.  Jake the Snake Roberts was the special enforcer, again for no reason.  At least Joe won.

The X division had recently been made into a joke again as they did some cross promotion with the Jackass 2 movie (this was some of the worst stuff ever…and then the actual stars of Jackass appeared…on Raw).  Seemingly setting out to show how fucking great the X division can be when they just let them wrestle…Chris Sabin beat Low Ki to win the X title in a really great match.  The entire finishing sequences are a somber reminder of how great this thing used to be:

 

Christian had recently turned heel and was in the middle of his ridiculously long undefeated streak (it would go another full year!) when he and Rhino had a really fun street fight.  You may have realized by now that BFG has a lot of street fight/monsters ball/falls count anywhere/I quit/weapons matches.  Anyway…here’s this one:

 

The best feud in TNA leading into BFG was between the Latin American Xchange and the “now they’re friends now they’re not” team of AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels.  The teams had traded the NWA tag titles and were set to have an honest to God blowoff to their feud inside of the Six Sides of Steel at BFG.  They didn’t disappoint:

 

Finally that brought us to the main event of the evening, Sting putting his career on the line against Jeff Jarrett for the NWA title.  Kurt Angle was the Special enforcer this time (seriously there have been SOOOO many of these at BFG)  The match was…alright.  But the payoff was well really done.  Sting captured the title for the feel good happy ending title change (only 2 BFGs haven’t seen the title change hands…and only one was actually booked that way before the day of).  I’ll post the match but you can really just skip to the 20:00 match for the cool ending.

 

Sting too would suffer a short reign of only 28 days.  Why…it’s like they only book these title changes just to have the happy ending or something.  This would plague the first 3 BFGs but they’d get their shit together after that.

Best Matches:
3.  Christian vs. Rhino 8 Mile Street Fight
2.  Chris Sabin vs. Low Ki
1.  LAX vs. Styles and Daniels Six Sides of Steel

Best Moments:
3.  Chris Sabin dropkicking Low Ki in the head as he was in mid cartwheel
2.  Homicide kills AJ Styles with a Gringo Killer to end their feud
1.  Sting no selling the guitar shot and immediately making Jarrett tap

 

 

Bound For Glory III – October 14, 2007 – Duluth, Georgia

 

You may have noticed by now that some of these shows are taking place in weird places like Plymouth and Duluth.  Well…they billed those as Detroit and Atlanta…but they were in suburbs.  Coming up we have “Hoffman Estates” (Chicago) and Irvine (…I’m not sure what they billed this as.  Somewhere in California), and then we get some real cities after that.

This show was really well put together.  It had a legit “Biggest event” main event in Sting vs. Kurt Angle, it had some great matches (Ultimate X, Joe/Christian, Lethal/Daniels, Sting/Angle), it had cool nostalgia (3D vs. Steiners) and a bit of TNA history (First Knockouts title).  There was a little bad in there too…it’s still TNA.

The show started with the team who stole the last show (LAX) in an insane Ultimate X against Triple X (Low Ki and Elix Skipper).  If you are a fan of the breakneck style that TNA used to push…this was like…one of the last gasps of it before it became far less frequent.

 

Next we had the one real shit thing on the show…a reverse battle royal to determine the seeding for the fight for the right tournament.  …  Yep, Russo.  People wasted in this match:  Chris Sabin, James Storm, Robert Roode, Alex Shelley, Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt.  Rikishi was in their too.  Not that he was wasted…just thought it was interesting.

Then we had a bit of a strange ordeal.  This was the end of the Pac Man Jones abortion.  Since he couldn’t wrestle he was replaced by a kid who probably never appeared on a live show before who they named Consequences Creed.  He teamed with Truth and was shockingly good.  He ended up earning himself a contract and worked in TNA for a good run while going to college.  He’s currently signed to WWE…but looks to never get out of development even though he’s good (Note:  I wrote this a year ago.  Still true).  Anyway they lost the Tag Titles to Tomko and AJ Styles (who’s from Georgia and was having the time of his life out there.  Seriously…I’ve seen every televised AJ Styles match in TNA.  He’s never been half this happy out there).

Jay Lethal retained the X title over Christopher Daniels in a good match.  It was around now that the X division was being slowed down to less of a dives and flips division into more of just a smaller guys who wrestle division…but when they had talent like Lethal and Daniels competing…that was a good thing.

 

The Steiners beat Team 3D in a tables match.  I think that people aren’t huge fans of this match…but I think it was pretty neat.  BFG fun fact:  They tried to get this match booked the year before in Michigan (where the Steiners are from) but it didn’t come together.  When they finally got it together for Slammiversary, Scott Steiner almost died from a botched Apolo superkick and was replaced by Road Warrior Animal.  They finally had their match at Hard Justice and then rematched it here.  Steiners won both.

Next up we had a Gauntlet for the first ever Knockouts Championship.  Gail Kim ended up winning and becoming the first champion.  The match was nothing special except for Awesome Kong destroying bitches.  Oh and her top came up when she was eliminated…so there was that.  Eventually the division would thrive with the Kong/Kim feud and the Beautiful People act (both Velvet and Love are in his match under different names btw) so it’s somewhat TNA historically relevant.

Next up we had Christian vs. Samoa Joe.  Christian had somehow not lost one match since coming into the company 2 years earlier.  He’d dropped two NWA titles without losing.  Joe had the more publicized undefeated streak that Kurt Angle snapped almost a year before.  They had a fantastic match.  Christian worked a lot different than he had in the past here and some of the new moves he was doing he kept and does all the time now.  But there are 2 or 3 things that he did here that were new at the time.  Joe made Christian tap to finally give him a loss.  Unfortunately the match has disappeared from youtube.

Goldust, Raven, Rhino and Abyss then had a Monsters Ball that was weak for a Monsters Ball but not actively bad or anything.  I think this might have been the match where Raven set up a guy for Goldust (or Black Reign here…whatever he was Goldust) to jump off the bleachers onto and he pussied out so Raven said “fuck it” and did it himself.  That may have been another match…but whatever.

And in the main event we had a truly worthy match for the top of the card.  Kurt Angle defended the TNA title against Sting.  I want to say Sting was 49 here…and holy shit does this guy get after it.  He came to put in WORK on this night.  Match was also notable for 2 bad things.  First Kurt Angle tried to do a 450 (I think) off the top rope and ended up coming down knees first on Sting.  Second, the finish was supposed to be Sting blocking a Kurt Angle bat shot and hitting him for the finish.  Well…Angle came down with the bat and it went straight through Sting’s hands and cracked him dead in the face.  Angle looked scared as shit like he’d killed this guy and Sting started bleeding and looked all fucking dazed…but he finished anyway winning the TNA title.

 

Sting lost the title 2 days later.  That actually interrupted what would have been a 300 day run for Angle had they not done the usual “happy ending and then back to normal” BFG finish.  This was the second of 3 straight times Sting would end the show as Champion…and the second of 4 straight where he’d be in the title match.

Best Matches:
3.  LAX vs. Triple X Ultimate X
2.  Sting vs. Kurt Angle
1.  Samoa Joe vs. Christian

Best Moments:
3.  Gail Kim winning the first KO’s title.  She seemed genuinely emotional because she wanted a womens division for a long time.
2.  Frankensteiner off the top on Bubba through a table.
1.  The 450 Knee drop of death

 

Bound For Glory IV – October 12, 2008 – Hoffman Estates, Illinois

 

This was the only Bound For Glory that actually used the WrestleMania/SuperBowl roman numeral system that I’ve been pretending is accurate throughout this article.

This was a tale of two shows.  The first half of the card was completely unmemorable with some of those “get everyone on the card” matches they loved to do so much.  The second half was actually quite good.

The opener was one of those steel asylum matches (the thing Homicide got stuck in on live TV of the most watched show in their history) with all the X division guys they could scrape up.  It wasn’t bad or anything…but (and this has been a theme) it wasted some good talent.  This time we had Jay Lethal (who won), Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Daniels (as Curry Man…so being double wasted) and Petey Williams all thrown in a multi person match despite all of them being able to have the kinds of matches the bottom of this card sorely needed.  Meanwhile Sheik Abdul Bashir was in the X title match against Consequences Creed.  So…yeah the X division.

The Beautiful People and Kip James faced Rhino, ODB and Rhaka Khan.  At least according to the results page.  I don’t remember it…but I’m sure it was awful.

Taylor Wilde beat Kong and Roxxi to retain the Knockouts title in a decent match.  But again…look how many people they’ve crammed in to the undercard here.  3 in the Knockouts title match, a 6 person intergender tag, 10 people in the Asylum…

Things improved from there.  The Monsters Ball returned, this time with 4 tag teams (Beer Money, 3D, LAX and Abyss & Matt Morgan) competing for the TNA tag titles.  Steve McMichael was the ref and did a terrible job.  Anyway this match was nuts.  Abyss was put through a flaming table…and then the match kept going for a long time.  I remember watching this live with a friend and commenting near the end of the match as they were just beating the shit out of each other, “They lit a man on fire like 5 minutes ago”…but they just kept on going with no regard for when a match peaks.

 

The next match was three guys heading in completely different directions.  Christian was about to leave for WWE.  AJ Styles was about to go nowhere fast with the Frontline.  Booker T was about to go to the main event…mafia.  In a surprising moment of logic in TNA booking, Booker T beat Christian.  Match was pretty good…but another example of guys just getting crammed in.

Hey it’s yet another “Special enforcer” match.  05 had Tito Ortiz, 06 had Jake Roberts and Kurt Angle, 07 had Matt Morgan (in the Christian/Joe match he was there to keep Styles and Tomko from helping Christian), this year had Mongo and Mick Foley for this match, 09 had Stevie Richards in the Abyss/Foley match, 10 had Mickie James in the Knockouts title match, 11 had Karen Jarrett in the knockouts title match and 12 had King Mo.  They are nothing if not consistent.

Anyway Mick Foley came into TNA just before BFG and was used as the special enforcer for Jarrett vs. Angle.  This was a great match.  They’d have a better one soon after (and then a great feud in 2011) but this was also really good.

 

The main event was, once again, Sting winning the TNA title.  This time he beat Samoa Joe, who actually got a hell of a match out of Sting here.  Kevin Nash helped Sting win claiming revenge for Joe burying Scott Hall in a promo forever ago when Hall no showed.  The string would be pulled together a couple of weeks later when they formed the Mafia.  Match is worth seeing to watch Joe put a beating on Sting…who was game for it on this night.  This is the beginning of the closest we got to a full on heel Sting in TNA.  He didn’t want to take it all the way…but he was still more interesting and started cutting the best promos of his career in the Mafia era.  It was also the first reinvention of his character since he started doing the Crow gimmick…which might be why it played so well.  He’d reinvent it again 2 years later heading into BFG 2011 with the Joker Sting which started strong but ended up wearing  out its welcome.  Still…full marks for trying.

 

Best Matches:
3.  Monsters Ball
2.  Sting vs. Joe
1.  Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle

Best Moments:
3.  Hernandez Border Tossing Matt Morgan
2.  The idiotic running dropkick by Joe down the steps
1.  Abyss put through flaming table

 

Part 2 next week.

 

Random Leavings

Ken Anderson said in an interview that he expects to return to TNA.  They’ve set him up with a strong return program as a babyface if that does come to pass.

“Ethan” is former WWE developmental wrestler Michael Hutter (Derrick Bateman).  I don’t know much about him other than he’s 30, new and people seem to like him just fine.  That adds up to a step in the right direction.

AJ Styles has an autobiography coming out this month.  If he ends up leaving it’s a shame it’s not coming out next year.

 

The list of upcoming TV/PPV tapings is as follows:

10/10 – Tulsa, OK (the live 10/10 show and the taped 10/17 show.  Go home shows for BFG)

10/20- San Diego, CA – Bound For Glory

10/24 – Salt Lake City, UT (the live 10/24 show and the taped 10/31 show)

11/7 – Cincinnati, OH (the live 11/7 show and the taped 11/14 show)

11/21- Baltimore, MD (the live 11/21 show and the taped 11/28 show)

12/27 – Philadelphia, PA (taped for 1/2 and 1/9 I guess.  No idea why.  December 27 is more in the holidays than January 2…)

 

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