Posted by Ric Santos
TNA Wrestling’s Bound for Glory 2013 is said and done with shocking wins and controversy. With the pay-per-view only several minutes removed from ending, welcome to The Ric Says, where my thoughts will be shared raw and directly to you. Let’s begin.
Ultimate X Match For The TNA X-Divison Championship: Manik(c) Vs. Austin Aries Vs. Samoa Joe Vs. Jeff Hardy Vs. Chris Sabin
The Ultimate X Match was heavily regarded as the show stealer of the night by myself and others in the IWC. How could you go wrong with five top tier talents in one match of this kind? Not only was it regarded as the show stealer, it opened Bound for Glory in order to get the crowd red hot. It didn’t live up to the hype.There were no “crazy” spots and the finale of the match (Chris Sabin forcing Velvet Sky to distract long enough for Sabin to grab the title after a short tug of war with Jeff Hardy) was sudden and lackluster. Clocking in at just above 10 minutes, what could have been an excellent bout of five superstars tearing the house down was just a good opening contest to start the show. I was actually disappointed that Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries weren’t as aggressive as they could have been. Sabin takes the gold while Velvet apologizes to the other competitors as the two walk towards the back. Could have been better but it is what it is.
TNA Tag Team Championship Match: Gunner & James Storm(c) Vs. Bro Mans
In the shocker win of the night, Bro Mans defeat Gunner & James Storm to become the new TNA Tag Team Champions. This contest was actually better than the Ultimate X Match and the Bro Mans stepped up their game immensely. Some on Twitter were already bashing TNA for the lackluster Ultimate X Match and were getting on TNA again with having Bro Mans over. Bro Mans proved something tonight that I touched on in a previous article: they can be a viable tag team threat if they were given the opportunity. They were given the opportunity tonight and scored. I like this scenario because the tag team division can start to get the gears in motion again by having an actual tag team represent it, and not two singles competitors who are thrown together. Say what you will about their past, but Bro Mans surprised me and really shined tonight. Now, we have to see how TNA and Bro Mans handle the ball going forward.
TNA Knockouts Championship Match: ODB(c) Vs. Gail Kim Vs. Brooke
Gail Kim is our new TNA Knockouts Champion with the unexpected help of Lei’D Tapa when the referee was laid out during the match. The TNA Knockouts are far ahead of the WWE Divas in regards to in-ring work. Gail and Taryn Terrell proved it numerous times this year and tonight proved it again. The match itself had some pretty hard hitting moments and organically brought the excitement factor to the pay-per-view. Lei’D Tapa’s arrival was eminent, but the alliance between herself and Gail Kim was surprising. Touting that she is the Queen of Rings, Lei’D Tapa looked to be the dominating lone wolf in the division but is now associate’s with the champion. This is a good thing, even a great thing. Gail Kim is obviously established and giving Tapa the rub. Marketing for Tapa by someone the level of Gail Kim is a great business move. I don’t believe the association will last as Lei’D Tapa is gunning for that Knockouts Championship though. Build up to a one on one looks to be the main objective here.
Bobby Roode Vs. Kurt Angle
Along with the main event, this match was the shared match of the night. This was a wrestling match that I hope everyone in the back was watching. When these two are given the spotlight, they use and take in all of it. You could not have gone wrong with this one. The only way this match could have gotten better is if Daniel Bryan inserted himself into this match to make it a Three Way Dance. In a perfect wrestling world of course, but in TNA Wrestling, these two made their statement. More so Bobby Roode who commands the moment and just adapts to the situation infront of him. This is the kind of action and the kind of investment we give when two ring generals take over. You don’t need death defying spots all of the time or gimmicks to carry a match. Just let two world class performers put on a show that we will appreciate for years to come and these two did that tonight. Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle in a very controversial way when Angle hit the Angle Slam on Roode from the top rope but it was Roode who got up first and pinned Angle for the victory. In what looked to be part of the show, Angle was motionless and just did not move after the Angle Slam, paramedics even coming down to stretcher him out of the ring. Angle eventually stood and walked to the back on his own in pure warrior fashion. If you have never seen two technical wrestlers go at each other with wrestling moves and wrestling technique, revisit this bout and then trace the history of Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle to gain that much more appreciation.
Ethan Carter III Vs. Norv Fernum
There really is not much to discuss here as this match was the traditional debuting superstar defeating a local jobber in order for the fans to see what this new talent has to offer. My gripe with this match was that it was too long for what it was and for hyping up EC3 the way TNA has, he looked very vulnerable. This should have been a squash match from the start. You can’t hype EC3, who has the look and build of a future world champion in this business, and then give a local jobber multiple advantages against him. Bring Carter in, show off his move set, finish his opponent and then gloat about the squash win in true heel fashion. Aside from making EC3 look weak too soon, this match was what it was: a display of Ethan Carter III’s potential that could have been better booked in favor of a dominating EC3.
Sting Vs. Magnus
Magnus defeats Sting via submission victory in another shocker win, but also another lackluster finale. Don’t confuse what I mean when I say lackluster. The bout itself was solid and the two told enough of a story for the fans to invest in the ongoing action in the ring. The issue is that Sting looked too weak throughout moments in the match. As Taz said, there’s no shame in tapping, but history has shown Sting escaping other dangerous situations in the ring and coming out looking strong even in defeat. This was not Sting’s best Bound for Glory showing. Regarding Magnus, brushing off Sting the way he did was a clear sign of an impending turn by Magnus. It looks like his ego is getting the better of him and we could see a new Magnus making his way into the ring very soon. Magnus certainly should have won the match, but the finale was anticlimactic to the story between the two.
TNA Heavyweight Championship Match: Bully Ray(c) Vs. AJ Styles
In the second match of the night (in no particular order from the Kurt Angle/ Bobby Roode bout), AJ Styles defeated Bully Ray to become the new TNA Heavyweight Champion. The beauty of this match, outside of the tremendous work put on by both superstars, was a story was told to perfection. While Kurt and Bobby was a study in technical wrestling, Ray and Styles was a study in how to properly entertain a professional wrestling viewership with engaging story telling through actions. Every move done was without wasted motion, from the introductions to Dixie’s involvement to AJ’s celebration in the crowd. Even the hard chops from Bully and the crazy crash and burn by AJ Styles to the outside on a table. What needs to be looked at is how this will play into this Thursday’s Impact Wrestling broadcast. AJ Styles is still “without a contract”, so how will Dixie handle a non-contracted performer being the heavyweight champion? Again, this was a shared match of the night with two professionals who know what they’re doing in the ring. This was a main event.
Bound For Glory Final Thoughts
All TNA titles changed hands tonight. New champions equate to new directions TNA Wrestling can take. Financials, contract negotiations and internet rumors took away from the excitement of Bound for Glory. That’s a truth that has been addressed by fans and my peers in this world of wrestling analysis. While watching BFG, and seeing each win and moment play out, I realized that this is a chance for TNA to start on a fresh path with new champions and growing feuds that can be told. Through the product on display, TNA can move forward and get business back to a stable place. This is TNA’s chance to begin the healing process and truly focus on the product and where it can go with the right decision making. Let Bound for Glory 2013 be the starting point.
Follow me on Twitter: @RealRicSantos
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