Total Nonstop Action Proudly Presents...
TNA BOUND FOR GLORY 2012
Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the review blog that will absolutely agree to be a reference on your job application, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight, for you see, every October as the temperatures grow cold and the trees begin to die, a day approaches associated with the very worst sort of horror, tricks and even the occasional treat. But this is no Halloween, oh no, this is TNA's Bound For Glory 2012, and not only is it much scarier on occasion, but there's way less candy involved. But yes, tonight is TNA's biggest show of the year, their Wrestlemania, their Super Bowl, their night of utter extravagance, and their time to prove that in the past year the positive changes they've made have really paid off big time. Remember, this is the first Bound For Glory under the new booking team, and this is the night all of their plots and devices have been leading to. So will we discover who is behind Aces and Eights? With 5 titles on the line, will we see a changing of the guard? And will TNA finally convert me back into a believer? There's only one way to find out.
So without any further ado, let's do a motherfucking review!
Segment 1 - OPENING VIDEO FEVER!
Cewsh: I should hit you with a full disclosure before we begin. If you've been a long time reader of Cewsh Reviews, you will know that my relationship with TNA over the years has been rocky to say the least. I have long held that when TNA is at its best and firing on all cylinders, it is the best wrestling promotion in the world, but good fucking god do they make you take an agonizing trip through the depths of incredulity to get there. And for every time that I've sworn off TNA, saying that I can't deal with the roller coaster of having my hopes dashed time after time after time as they appear to get their act together and then fall apart when it comes to the payoff, I have always eventually come back on my hands and knees begging for more. TNA is basically the jerk boyfriend who tells me he'll change and then sleeps with all my friends. And this has gone on for about 8 years now. So finally this year, Cewsh Reviews stopped covering TNA on a regular basis until they got their act together, and we gave them until Bound for Glory to fix things up and potentially get another chance. And wouldn't you know it? Things have gotten pretty goddamn good. Aces and Eights has been fascinating, the champions are all young, exciting and fresh and a real focus has been put on building the talent of tomorrow and introducing new formats to make TNA seem lively again.
It's hard to not be impressed by what the new booking team has accomplished in a single year, changing the very identity of TNA from a scatterbrained mess of hit or miss pieces into a solid and cohesive show that really seems to be working. So now comes the ultimate test. If they can pull it off and have a great show tonight, all will be forgiven and you will once again hear us trumpeting the good name of TNA all over these fair internets. All they have to do is keep things together for one night and I'm sold. But can the new TNA succeed where the old TNA perpetually failed?
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's get to the opening video. I guess people are bound for something? Possibly glory? It's a little unclear if this is a wrestling show or just an inspirational porno from the name. But since we have once again come around to TNA's biggest show, it's time once again for TNA to roll out their clip library to show us lots of examples of times before when TNA was super cool and awesome. It's good to look back at this stuff and really see how far TNA has come over the years. Already I'm with it, and ready for TNA to rock my world. LET'S DO THIS.
Segment 2 - TNA X Division Championship - Zema Ion (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
Cewsh: This match really encapsulates the unofficial theme of the night, "Legends of the Past vs. The Stars of Today." It makes for a really interesting dynamic for the entire show, and is so blatantly obvious, that you would imagine that they would bring this up as a selling point for the show extensively. They don't off course, but hey, nobody's perfect. This specific match doesn't really have much of a backstory beyond Rob Van Dam getting a title shot, and Zema Ion being the amazing little dickhead that he is to everyone. This is really going to be the biggest test of Ion's career as he goes up against a big star on the biggest show that he's ever competed on, and for Van Dam...well I'm sure he could use the money to buy some Doritos for the drive home.
Ion Needs The Money So He Can Afford A Full Pair Of Pants.
Right away, Ion takes over this match, much to the surprise of the announcers, the crowd and even me. He constantly stays ahead of Van Dam in the opening minutes, busting out tremendously athletic moves all over the place and playing to the crowd at every opportunity to a resounding chorus of boos. Van Dam, to his credit, does a tremendous job of selling Ion as a real threat to him here, and his facial expressions convey total surprise that this hairsprayed douchebox is ahead of him at every turn. After a few minutes, Van Dam fights his way back into the match, and the two go back and forth for a good long while, trading tremendous moves and stealing the show in the greatest traditions of the X Division, as Van Dam puts Ion over as a tremendous star of tomorrow and Zema Ion gets to truly make a name for himself here on the biggest stage of his career, as I dance around the room doing flips and making out with Salma Hayek.
Z Is For Zealotry.
Wait, what's that?
Ah, i'm being informed that that last bit did not happen, (especially not the Salma Hayek bit. Mrs. Cewsh is quite clear on this.) Apparently, Rob Van Dam's comeback lasted all of 40 seconds before he had thoroughly squashed Ion and beaten him abruptly with the Frog Splash. Hmm.
Okay. Now this is only the first match, so I don't want to get too mad here, but I want to make my thoughts on this clear. In the opening match of their biggest show of the year, they took a promising young talent who was really getting over with the crowds as a heel, (something that like 15 people have ever managed with the Impact audience,) and had a 41 year old man beat him decisively to take his title.
"When This Guy Was My Age, Hanson Was At The Top Of The Charts!" (That Is Totally True)
That makes me unhappy, but if there were really a clear purpose behind it, then I would let it go, because sometimes you need the title on an older, bigger star to do things with it that an up and comer just couldn't. But the thing about this match that instantly caused a visceral reaction of rage from me was how senseless it really was.
Rob Van Dam doesn't need to be the X-Division champion. In 2007 this might have been great, pitting Van Dam against Styles and Daniels and Hardy and the whole crew in a series of high flying dream matches, but those matches have already happened and now the X-Division consists of Zema Ion and NOBODY. Instead of building this wasteland of a division around someone who actually belongs within it, they've turned tail and retreated to the safe comforting arms of nostalgia.
I'm Increasingly Certain That TNA Lets Drug Sniffing Dogs Choose Their Champions.
And it is fucking ridiculous. To put the title now on a aging star that has lost a step, and to restrict the progress of a burgeoning star like Ion for no apparent reason at all isn't just a mistake, it's a goddamn catastrophe. Where does the title even go from here? Around Ion's waist it could have had meaning in a clearly upcoming feud with the rapidly recovering Jesse Sorenson that has a ton of heat on it, and could result in a tremendous title reign victory for the sympathetic Sorenson. Around Van Dam's waist, it appears to be going into a feud with Joey Ryan, WHO IS NOT AN X-DIVISION STYLE WRESTLER.
The more I type about this, the more stunned I really am that it occurred at all. After all the praise I JUST handed out about TNA building the next generation of stars, they lead off the night by doing exactly the opposite. And just like that, my confidence in this show is sinking like a brick. But let's not write the whole thing off just yet. Let's just...deep breaths Cewsh. Deep breaths.
70 out of 100
Rob Van Dam Over Zema Ion Following The Five Star Frog Splash.
Segment 3 - Movie Pitch #1
Cewsh: Magic Mike knock off starring Magnus, AJ Styles, Zema Ion, and Kevin Nash, (he needs the paycheck.) Call it Mage Magnus. Add in a surly midget club owner. Guaranteed millions.
"I Think We've Got A Lot Of Law Breakers In Here Tonight."
Oh, and Magnus cut a promo here about how he was going to beat up Joe because something, something their old team. Even he doesn't seem able to pretend like this feud has any actual meaning to it, but he does get points for trying.
Cewsh: This is the second match on this card that revolves around the breakup of a tag team and a feud between those two people. Unfortunately, unlike the Beer Money feud, Samoa Joe and Magnus may as well be feuding over a Japanese shampoo commercial for all it actually matters. Their team lasted a few months, was hardly featured on the shows, and then was unceremoniously separated for no reason, and then followed up with a haphazard feud a few months later. I mean, its as if the entire storyline was written by a fat, depressed guy just fitfully copying and pasting from other feuds whenever he remembered that these two guys still worked here.
Which is a really a shame, because these guys had a strange kind of chemistry as a team that really made them better than the sum of their parts, (especially Joe at this point in his career,) and they continue to have that chemistry here, as they turn in a good match involving way more effort than they really had to put into it. Two lesser guys would have accepted their dreary role on this card and just lazied it up until quittin' time, but Joe and Magnus have a perfectly entertaining match to keep the crowd hot for the main events, and they did it without any help or fanfare of any kind.
It's just a shame that it all means nothing.
74 out of 100
Samoa Joe Over Magnus Following The Koquina Clutch.
Segment 5 - Movie Pitch #2
Cewsh: A remake of Wall Street, starring Bobby Roode in the Michael Douglas role and Eric Young in the Charlie Sheen role. Shoot the entire movie with the actors thinking it's dead serious, and then change it into a slapstick family comedy in post production. Call it Greed and Goofs. Prepare for your Oscar.
Backstage, Bobby Roode is vehement about the fact that he is going to beat James Storm no matter what he or King Mo do to try to stop him. He's so absolutely certain of this happening that it breaks your heart. He's a heel in a blow off match. I'm hoping he didn't bet his beer money on it.
Also, Jeremy Borash Giving People Side Eye Is Delightful.
Segment 6- Street Fight - James Storm vs. Bobby Roode w/ Special Enforcer King Mo
Cewsh: A year ago, Beer Money Inc was perhaps the greatest tag team in professional wrestling. A team of two men of utterly differing personalities, that nevertheless came together to form something truly special together. In the spirit of competition, they entered the Bound For Glory series together, and when Bobby Roode managed to win it in the biggest moment of his young career, his partner James Storm couldn't have been more happy for him. Roode went to Bound For Glory against the great Kurt Angle to claim his destiny, and despite putting on the performance of his career, he fell short in the end and wasn't able to take the title and the spot at the top of the card that he wanted so badly. Storm consoled him on the loss and when Angle came around trash talking, Storm stood up for his friend, and wound up getting his own title match out of it. And when James Storm shockingly pinned Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, it was perhaps the greatest moment in the man's already storied career. And then, one broken bottle and betrayed friendship later, the whole world went sideways.
Fueled by jealousy and frustration, the old Beer Money Bobby Roode transformed into something totally new. Calling himself "The It Factor" and carrying the title he wrenched out of his friend's hands, Roode ruled TNA for most of the year, viciously taunting and antagonizing Storm at every turn. When Storm finally got his title shot at Lockdown, it seemed like he would finally have his revenge, but instead cruel fortune caused him to kick Roode out of the cage and cost himself the title that he burned for all the more after having held it so briefly.
Ever since, this feud has been simmering close to the surface, and when Roode lost the title to Austin Aries at Destination X, he took out his frustrations on his most hated foe, costing Storm his own Bound For Glory Series win, and setting up for the match that would finally decide things between them. With MMA star King Mo in attendance to see that Roode would have to stay and see this through to the end, one way or another, only one of these men is going to walk out victorious.
This is, without a doubt, the defining feud of the new TNA. The ascension of Roode from tag team wrestler to the best heel in professional wrestling is the foundation that they built everything else they accomplished this year on top of, and the growth of James Storm into a beloved babyface hero has been a delight to see as well. They grew to the top together as their feud grew and grew, and now they're finally meeting in a match a year in the making, governed over by an MMA star, with the whole world watching.
So why doesn't this match seem like a bigger deal?
Don't get me wrong, it's a very good match. Roode and Storm have great chemistry, and they turn this into the kind of bloody Memphis-style brawl that you rarely see in wrestling anymore. Roode makes for a vicious and relentless heel and Storm is really carving out an identity for himself as an underdog babyface that may not be as skilled as everyone else, but that just will not stay down. The combination makes for great drama, and these two go all out to make this match special. And these two beat the unholy fuck out of one another. Storm, for his part, gets as bloody as it is possible to get before you're officially considered to be a blood monster.
Um, James? You've Got Something On Your Face There. Its...Um...Nevermind. You Got It.
And not to be outdone, Roode finds himself on the wrong end of thumbtacks so many times, you might think that he was trying to get some free piercings out of the deal.
I Think This Joke Pretty Much Tells Itself.
It's a really good match, and the crowd is really hot for all of this from start to finish. So when James Storm finally vanquishes his hated foe and gets his arm raised, it's a great moment, and the crowd go nuts for it.
And then we throw to the back for a promo.
Ultimately, I think the biggest issue with this match, and perhaps this show as a whole, is that this is the main event that this show should have had. Storm vs. Roode in a fight for the title. The title was the impetus for the entire feud, and winning that title has been the driving force behind Storm's incredible growth as a character. So to have this be the third match on the card, on a show main evented by a match that hardly has any reason to take place in the first place, is just really incredibly deflating. They spent a full year building to this point, and I can't help feeling that it's like putting Austin vs. Rock in the midcard of Wrestlemania 15 and letting Big Show and Mankind fight for the title. It's a missed opportunity, and one that deflates not just the moment, but the momentum of both of these guys who have worked so hard this year. It's a shame it had to come to this, but if nothing else, they absolutely did the best they could with what they were given.
Cewsh's Seal of Approval
James Storm Over Bobby Roode Following The Last Call.
Segment 7 - Movie Pitch #3
Cewsh: A group of clowns kidnap Joey Ryan and force him to act as the field goal posts for a marathon session of paper football. The paper cuts prove fatal, and the best friend gumshoe team of Shark Boy and Curry Man are brought in to solve the case of his tragic death. The title? Chums.
Shown Here Searching For Clues.
Meanwhile, Joey Ryan is backstage with Jeremy Borash and has some choice words for Al Snow and everyone else that chose not to hand him a contract on a platter. Which is everyone. So he's basically feuding with everyone who draws breath on this Earth, and even a few people who were alive when he was rejected, but have died in the intervening time. He's going to be a busy man.
Cewsh: One of the concepts that were introduced by TNA management in the past year is called Gut Check, and the idea is to give fresh talent on the independent scene an opportunity to get a tryout on the main show and maybe even get signed to a contract. Numerous young men and women have come on Impact, and gotten their big shot against a TNA wrestler, and have been evaluated by the three judges of Bruce Pritchard, Al Snow and Tazz. Some have won contracts, some have failed, but all of them are grateful for what is clearly the biggest opportunity of their lives. All except for one.
When independent wrestler Joey Ryan had his Gut Check opportunity, he thought he had it in the bag. He was cocky, he was brash and he seemed to take it as a forgone conclusion that he'd be the next big TNA star, and that the judges would fawn over his skills. They didn't. Joey was turned down by the three judges, and seemed completely unable to process it. He cut a number of scathing promos on the three judges, and seemed to settle on Al Snow as the one who was most worthy of his scorn. He began hiding in the crowds to jump Al Snow at live events, and embarrassed Snow week after week. Finally, fed up with this, Snow flattened Ryan, but since Ryan wasn't a TNA wrestler, Ryan pressed charges, and made an agreement with TNA to get himself an apology from Snow, and a contract. Ah, but the wily veteran put one over on the little shithead, because when Ryan signed his contract, what he really signed was a match contract for Bound For Glory, where he would have to beat Al Snow to get his contract, and if he lost he'd be banned for good. Which leads us here, to the ass whooping we are about to receive.
The odd thing about this match, is that is really is an ass beating. Ryan really is never made to look as if he even has the most remote chance of beating the 40 something former JOB Squad member. Snow beats him blue all over the ring, until, much to the shock of all, Matt Morgan arrives on the scene and decimates Snow with a gigantic boot to the face.
SURPRISE FOOT INSPECTION.
This allows Ryan to get the win and his contract.
He Even Manages To Be Surprised In A Creepy Way.
As everyone, (Ryan included,) looks around surprised, Morgan makes it clear that he did this to piss off Hulk Hogan and that more like this will follow. He then says that he'll do the same to everyone on the roster, but then for some reason shakes Joey Ryan's hand and poses with him, despite Ryan being a member of said roster now.
I probably don't need to tell you that this didn't do wonders for any credibility they may want Ryan to have, (like say, if he was immediately going to get an X Division title shot at the next pay per view.) But moreover, this just wasn't all that interesting. The story itself didn't really have much heat on it, and Joey Ryan seems like such an odd choice to fill this particular role, and having Al Snow as an unstoppable badass is really stretching plausibility about as far as it can go.
FEAR THE 'STACHE
But, on the other hand, I think this is the first segment that Matt Morgan has improved in his entire career. So things are looking up there.
68 out of 100
Joey Ryan Over Al Snow Following Shenanigans.
Segment 9 - Movie Pitch #4
Cewsh: Daniels and Kazarian. Gay Poultry Farmers. Cock Gobblers.
These Guys Know What I'm Talking About.
Daniels and Kazarian are backstage, and are cutting a promo about how they're unhappy at the shabby treatment of them from management, that has resulted in a triple threat tag team match for their titles tonight. You may have noticed a trend here with all the non matches, in that they're all 30 second interviews conducted on the same set, by people who don't have anything to actually say. It's riveting stuff, let me tell you.
Segment 10 - TNA World Tag Team Championships - The Wave of Future's Past (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) (c) vs. Olympic Style (Kurt Angle and AJ Styles) vs. The Old Man and the C (Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero)
Cewsh: Here we have a tag team match between a team that identifies as an actual team and who have been crafting a great identity for themselves in recent months together, (Daniels and Kazarian,) a team of two of the greatest wrestlers in TNA history who are quickly growing to despise each other, (Angle and Styles,) and the only two Mexican guys on the roster, (Super Porky and and his twin brother Super Beefy). Now out of these three teams, which is the most likely to win here? The great team, the interesting team, or the thrown together nonsensical team with no future?
Don't pretend like you don't know the answer already.
The idea here is that Kazarian and Daniels are at a huge disadvantage, since neither of the other teams are ever going to willingly tag them in, since they are about the most hateable guys on the roster.
And Daniels Is Totally Ready To Fondle Himself While Doing Duckface If You Don't Believe Me.
So they have to find ways to get into the match and control it to stop themselves from getting squeezed out altogether. When this involves Daniels and Kazarian in the ring with Styles or Angle, this match absolutely shines, because all four of those guys are great in their own ways, and work great together. Then, when it involves Chavo or Hernandez, this match grinds to an unceremonious stop. It's not that they're bad as such, (Hernandez remains entertaining in short flashes, especially,) it's just that they can't even begin to keep up with the other four, and Chavo especially seems to be moving in slow motion every time he does everything. Watching him in the ring with AJ Styles, is like watching a buffalo race a harrier jet to such a baffling extent that you almost can't help wondering why they bothered to bring Chavo into the company at all.
Despite some shortcomings, though, this match stays solid until it's time to break out into clusterfuck madness, and there's nobody better equipped for that than these guys. Hernandez is leaping over the top, and Angle is german suplexing everything alive, and Styles is just finding new and inventive ways to spend time in the atmosphere.
This Is How AJ Arrives At All Social Occasions.
Everything goes crazy all over the place, right up until Chavo Guerrero delivers the single worst frog splash in the history of professional wrestling and allows Hernandez to get the clean win over the champions and fulfill their TNA destiny.
Look, this was a fine match, and when the right people were involved it was a breezy dream to watch. But I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Chavo Guerrero dragged down this match every time he was involved in it, and now he's one half of the tag team champions. For the second time tonight, an old, former WWE star with no momentum coming in has beaten a promising act that has been built for months for a title that they have no business holding. With two more title matches to go that feature young, recently made stars up against older, former WWE stars, I'm beginning to get an uneasy feeling about this show. But that's just a baseless paranoia.
73 out of 100
The Old Man And The C Over Everyone Else Following A Border Toss/Frog Splash.
Cewsh: The story behind this match, is actually the story of Brooke Tessmacher's career. After spending a number of years in the wrestling business seemingly doing everything but wrestle, Tessmacher arrived in TNA to be Eric Bischoff's assistant for some reason nobody was ever quite clear on.
Shown: One Possible Reason.
But in the past year, something changed for Tessmacher. Out of nowhere, and seemingly under the tutelage Tara, she transformed into a more than capable wrestler in damn near record time. Not only did she start having good matches, but she even became the Knockout's champion and took over as the top female babyface that TNA had been looking for ever since Gail Kim left way back when. Once she had made it, though, she knew that she still had things to prove. So on a likely Open Fight Night, she challenged her mentor Tara to a match, and despite her best efforts, the wily veteran won. The win earned Tara a title shot, and they had a friendly match, which Tessmachher won, to finally prove that she could do it, and establish herself as the preeminent Knockout. Tara didn't take that well. Assault after assault followed, as Tara buried their friendship under a mountain of jealousy, and forced Tessmacher into this match tonight. No longer fighting for credibility, now Tessmacher is fighting for revenge. Texas style.
Now, that's a solid backstory, and the best case scenario for this match is that Tara gives Tessmacher the biggest test of her career and brings out a great brawly side of her that establishes her some credibility on this show with a big win in awesome fashion. That's the best case scenario. The WORST case scenario, is that both of them no sell the significance of this match, and Tara beats Tessmacher clean without giving her much of anything while the crowd looks on in absolute silence. GUESS WHICH ONE HAPPENS?
Yep, Tessmacher misses an elbow drop, Tara hits the Widow's Peak and Tara wins the title in definitive fashion. And I can honestly say that on most shows I would let this go. It's possible that furthering the storyline for Tara and Tessmacher could result in an even bigger win down the line, (Ed. Note: It won't. Tara moved into a feud with Mickie James.) But on THIS show, where this exact same fucking thing has happened at every single opportunity, I have run completely out of patience for this ridiculous trend. I hate to sound like a broken record, I really do, but WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING YOU'RE RUINING EVERYTHING WHYYYYYYYY
After the match, Tara reveals that she did it all for her "beau", Jessie from the tv show Big Brother that nobody in this country has watched since 2003.
His Fame Is Somewhere Between A Birthday Clown And An Internet Meme A Year After It Debuts.
At which point Tazz delivered the line which may be the defining moment of his commentary career. "Jessie? THE Jessie?!" And with that, the last lonely drops of his credibility washed away down the drain.
69 out of 100
Tara Over Miss Tessmacher Following The Widow's Peak.
Segment 12 - No Disqualification Match - Aces and Eights vs. Bully Ray and Sting
Cewsh: This match was not good. The crowd did not care one bit, the Aces and Eights guys had no personality or emotion, under their disguises as they were, and the fans appeared totally unsure of how to react to the idea of a face Bully Ray, possibly because TNA gave them about a week to adjust to the idea of Bully being the promotions best hope for salvation.
The Face Paint Helps, Even If He Does Look Like A Husky Road Warrior.
So I'm going to skip past the match, which went on too long, featured a bunch of run ins and was pretty much poorly conceived and executed by everyone not named Bully. Aces and Eights win, and due to the stipulation can now come and go as they please. Good for them. Instead, I'm going to skip right to the end, where Hulk Hogan comes out and beats the shit out of the entire assembled group of bad guys, (obviously,) and then captures one them while they're trying to sneak away. Sting, Bully and Hogan gather around, as they prepare to unmask the guy, giving us a glimpse of the first one of these mysterious guys that have remained incognito for so long. Hogan grabs the mask and rips it off to reveal...
...DEVON?! In a rare moment of genuine surprise in wrestling, Devon grins at the three of them and laughs in their faces, as they look on with expressions that range from heartbroken...
Devon walks off as the others stare at him in shock, and the segment ends with Tenay and Tazz breathlessly wondering what could have caused Devon to fall in with these guys.
Now, I actually have to give TNA a ton of credit on this one. Devon's reveal was a huge surprise, not only because he's about the last guy that anybody could have expected, but also because rumor had it that Devon had left TNA over a contract dispute for real. This is one of the VERY rare times that faking a real life story actually HELPED a wrestling storyline, and full props to everyone involved for pulling that off. With Devon in place as the guy who was letting Aces and Eights into the building for all of those weeks, the whole storyline suddenly becomes grounded in way more logic than it had had access to before. Well done, everyone.
Now turn it into a match that doesn't make me want to punch myself in the balls to feel something other than boredom.
60 out of 100
Aces And Eights Over Team TNA Following Shenanigans.
Segment 13 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship - Austin Aries (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
Cewsh: Alright then, here we are. The main event of TNA's biggest show of the year, pitting the champion, Austin Aries against the challenger, Jeff Hardy. The smark favorite against the mark favorite, and two men who arrived at this point by wildly different roads.
It's been an odd year for Jeff Hardy, one primarily spent slowly working his way back towards main event credibility as they hit us over the head time and time again with how "inspiring" his redemption story is. He won some big matches, and got himself into the semi finals of the Bound For Glory series, and that's about all anyone expected him to do, but much to the shock of just about everyone watching, he actually won the tournament and got the title shot at Bound For Glory, despite him not having any real momentum up to that point, and the champion being a huge babyface as well. And make no mistake, Austin Aries was a big time babyface all of sudden, after overcoming all of the odds and beating Bobby Roode for the TNA title in July in one of the greatest feel good moments in TNA history. So with two prominent babyfaces about to collide at the big show, people were curious as to what storyline they would go with. Would Hardy return to his heelish Immortal ways? Would another wrestler get involved to balance it? Would they just go head on with two good guys like Hogan/Warrior and pass the torch to Aries?
Nope. They had Aries come out and begin to run Hardy down viciously for his drug use and all the mistakes he had made in a nearly identical fashion to when Jeff Jarrett did the exact same thing when Hardy first returned, and seemingly expected people to respond in Hardy's favor. They didn't. But TNA ran with it anyway, bringing us here to this match. The bright burgeoning star who is among the best in the world against the older former WWE star with a more mainstream name looking to recapture old glory. But this time, THIS TIME, things are going to go right. Because this is Aries' show, and Aries' moment. It's his time to shine.
Now a few things must be said here at the start. First of all, we probably haven't given Jeff Hardy's absurd facepaint nearly enough coverage on this site. Tonight he looks like a mime child molester.
And second of all, this crowd has been quiet for portions of this show, but they are into this match in a big way. They express this in a way that anyone who has seen a John Cena match will be familiar with, as every deep voice in the crowd chants for Aries, and every high pitched one cheers for Hardy. I don't know if capturing some of that John Cena reaction in a bottle was what they were going for, but oh boy have they ever split the audience here.
Aries and Hardy do the big introduction that Jeremy Borash lives for every month, and Aries takes the time to make sure that Jeff knows what his dick looks like, because he's considerate like that.
Then they get down to business. And for the next 20 minutes, they put on a really fun match, with Aries always being a step ahead of Hardy and outwrestling him at every turn, and Hardy doing what he does best, (which is selling, followed by big crazy moves.) Aries chips away at the former World Champion piece by piece as Hardy appears to fade, his offensive bursts becoming more and more scarce as the long match wears on. And then, when Aries has finally worn Jeff Hardy down to a defenseless state, he starts dropping every move in his arsenal on him in devastatingly quick fashion. Heat Seeking Missile, another Heat Seeking Missile, the dropkick to the corner and then BAM, brainbuster. The magical combination that Aries developed to beat even his biggest and most dangerous foes, and which has never been kicked out of. But somehow, Hardy gets his shoulder up. A frustrated and confused Aries then throws caution to the wind, positions Hardy up on the turnbuckles and...and...
And then Jeff Hardy hits a wacky stunner from the corner, hits the Swanton Bomb and wins the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Of all of the things that could have possibly happened on this show and in this promotion, the single worst one has taken place. Put the title on Sting, put the title on Hogan, hell put the title on a framed picture of Scott Hall, but holy tubthumping christ, how could you self destructive, fan terrorizing assholes possibly have the balls to put the only title in your promotion that is worth the metal it's made out of on the person who embarrassed your company more than anyone else ever has? And how fucking dare you try to sell this entire bullshit mess to us as some kind of incredible redemption story to try to make us sympathetic to this man and then reward him at the end? How fucking dare you try to look us in the eye and tell us that a drug addict who has undergone no known rehabilitation of any kind and who has fucked over his fans on at least 4 separate occasions should be your beloved champion? Just because you tell us that he's been redeemed and we love him now, doesn't lift the enormous albatross of failure and bullshit off of Jeff Hardy's shoulders, and if he lapses into addiction again we should hold you fuckers accountable for enabling his maddening cycle of disappointment.
And the WAY that he won! Aries beat him like a drum for 15 minutes, and hit him with every single move in his arsenal as one of the best wrestlers on the planet, and Hardy kicked out of Aries's entire finishing sequence done in a row, only to win with two moves and no resistance from Aries at all. Hardy didn't just beat Aries for the title in Aries' first opportunity to prove he belongs as a TNA main eventer, but he flat out BURIED him. If ever you wanted a clear and firm statement from TNA as to their priorities, then congratulations, because they have painted you an incredible picture right here tonight, by having Hardy treat Aries' offense like he's the TNA John Cena.
Sigh. I could go on ranting forever, but the fact of the matter is that I can almost see what TNA was trying to do here. Hardy is, as far as the mainstream audience is concerned, the biggest and most relevant star on their roster who is an active wrestler. At their biggest show, TNA has a tendency to reboot things back to whoever their biggest star is at the time, and this time rumor has it that Hardy was thinking of leaving, so they may have been trying to give him a reason to stay. All of that makes sense from TNA's perspective, and is UTTERLY BONKERS for everyone in the real world. If a drug addict is thinking of quitting his job, you don't make him the manager and just expect him to stick around because you did something nice. And after 8 years, TNA still has not learned that if you reboot your champion back to default every year at the big show, it tells the fans that the stars you were building were nobodies who couldn't hack it to begin with. TNA may as well have stamped "MIDCARDER" of Aries' forehead and sent him out there, because his momentum has been cut off in a way he may never be able to replicate again at the very moment when they should have been trying their hardest to support it. (Sound familiar, Samoa Joe?)
The worst part is that Aries 100% stole this match at every turn, and may have wrestled the match of his life against a guy that seemed to just be trying to keep up, while the fans made it clear that they wanted Aries to be their champion no matter what TNA said. The crowd spoke a message loud and clear to TNA, and it's the same one that they've been speaking to this company for years and years and years. But nobody is listening. Nobody ever was.
Cewsh's Seal of Approval
Jeff Hardy Over Austin Aries Following The Swanton Bomb.
Cewsh: You have got to be fucking kidding me.
After all of the build up, and all of the foundation they laid and after ALL of the confidence in their product that they rebuilt brick by brick, painstakingly, over the course of the past year, they just threw it all straight down the fucking toilet in one night. I don't know if the people who made decisions all year up to this point were suddenly replaced by pod people who just picked the winners at random, or if they simply all showed up to work Jeff Hardy style, but this show is a bridge burning calamity that will take months to recover from, even in the best of circumstances. And once again, there I sat, staring excitedly at my television screen, waving a tiny little TNA flag in the air, watching as TNA systematically dismantled everything worthwhile and likable about their own product right in front of my eyes. I let them back in, and they did the exact same thing they always do, the exact same way.
The people I feel the worst for here, (besides the wrestlers who are handcuffed to the Titanic here,) are any new fans that start watching TNA. Because TNA is a very seductive product, with great wrestlers, and interesting storylines and it makes for a great alternative to WWE. But somewhere right now there are a bunch of recent TNA fans who are dealing with their first experience of having everything good stripped away from them for no reason.
You know what? I'm taking my things and moving to New Japan's house. We may have communication issues, but at least they treat me right.
Cewsh's Final Score: 72.63 out of 100
Note: The early word is that this show did 20,000 buys. Which means at least 19,999 people don't know how to download wrestling off of the internet yet, and 1 person is Dixie Carter.
Well that'll do it for us this time boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed reading about TNA's Bound For Glory more than I liked watching it. Next week I'm going to have to pay up on a bet I made with our professor MichaelC that resulted in him getting to choose any wrestling show ever aired to force me to review. I have no idea what I'm in for and I am TERRIFIED. Will it be an IWA:MS show? An all Big Boss Man compilation tape? Some unholy combination of the two? We'll both find out together, for better or for worse. So until then, remember to keep right on reading, and always be good to one another.
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