Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only wrestling review ever contested under “Reviews Count Anywhere” rules. Naturally Ms. Cewsh won with a frying pan, which isn’t entirely fair since she was entirely nude at the time. However, I digress. Welcome to the second biggest review of our reviewing year, TNA’s Bound For Glory 2009! The entire year of planning, fighting, and talking has led to this one night for us (and TNA too, I guess) where we will see the biggest spectacle of TNA’s year. The biggest stars will clash, the biggest feuds will be settled, and the very biggest words in my vocabulary are warmed up and ready. And believe us, it doesn’t take a dermatoglyphics expert (ha!) to see Vince Russo’s hand shaking this proverbial melting pot of spectacle and amazement. What will the mad scientist Vinny Ru have in store for the three of us tonight? Only one way to find out.
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: This video can really be broken into two parts. There’s the first part, which is basically a bunch of the same images they roll out for every video like this, set to an awful, generic rap song that had bearing on the show or the performers. Then there’s the second part where they put on a very average, but suitable, video detailing the feuds.
I have to admit to being more than a little disappointed. A year or two ago, TNA’s production team was producing really great, riveting stuff that got me hyped for their shows, and now it seems like the same video package is rolled out every single month. It’s not a huge factor on its own, but it certainly does nothing to make me think this is the biggest show of the year. Status quo is not a status symbol.
And it totally lacked Eric Young in a mime outfit. Which was the premise for the greatest opening video of all time.
Cewsh: So now we get Zack Wylde from the band Black Label Society, and a legitimately awesome dude, out to play the National Anthem. While you may suspect that this would be somewhat counter intuitive, since TNA has never made a big deal out of the national anthem, or connections to the metal scene, Zack does his best to play a riffy version of America’s song, while the video monitor shows us pictures of things that are in America.
When WWE does this, I don’t mind. It comes off as genuine because Vince and the WWE have always been staunch patriots and they do service for the military with their yearly Christmas show. It’s like they’re honoring something. Here it just seems like somebody decided that getting a famous person to do the national anthem is just what you do at a big event, and with Zack just sort of standing near the announce tables, this was neither moving, nor fun to watch. But, on the other hand, Zack Wylde could murder me with his pinky, so in another, more accurate way, this was awesome.
Ms.Cewsh: I’m not much of a patriot, but it seems really wrong to disrespect the national anthem this way. I’ve heard some pretty good versions of the song on guitar; sadly this is not one of them. It’s so distorted and improvised that large portions of it are completely unintelligible.
If you must do something along these lines, however, it’s best if you attempt not to capture portions of the audience looking bored, amused, and worst, disgusted. Guess which part of the equation TNA forgets?
Ms.Cewsh: A poem, to Suicide.
TO SHOOT THEMSELVES IN THE FUCKING HEAD JUST LIKE YOU, YOU IDIOTIC, DANGEROUS, WASTE OF SPANDEX. YOU’RE BASED ON A SHITTY CHARACTER IN A FAILED GAME WITH THE WORST TEXTURES I’VE SEEN SINCE THE PS1! HOW CAN YOU BE ALLOWED ON TV?! HOW HOW HOW?!?!
This match was advertised as an Ultimate X match, maybe for the number one contendership, maybe for the prestige of hanging from some rickety scaffoldings? Regardless, Amazing Red, whom is neither amazing nor particularly red since he has almost no hair, joined the match three days before the show, making it a basically-unpublicized title match. Then, because of a family emergency, D’Angelo Dinero dropped out of the match the morning of. They did a little match pre-show and added both of the Motor City Machine Guns in his place.
This set-up is so you can truly understand the next statement. No one in this match knows what the hell they’re doing. They know the spots, but they don’t know what to do between them. There’s a lot of needless standing around. Guys disappear and reappear with even less reason than normal. The match comes off as very clunky and kind of amateur.
Towards the end, Daniels and Suicide appear to actually get hurt. This almost makes me sorry for my little poem, but not enough to take it out. I don’t know if that affected the finish, but I’m sure it must have. After a match that just sort of lingered everywhere, the end was rushed, short, and devoid of any tension. I hate to dock a match for having an injury and a family emergency, but….
Vice: First off, it should be noted that Tazz has the dumbest sunglasses I’ve ever seen.
DON WEST!!! It’s really good seeing him again. He was always a fun commentator, but he was becoming really fucking amazing right before Tazz (and his stupid sunglasses) came in to replace him at the desk. Ugh. I hate you, Tazz. WEST IS BEST. But hey, being Amazing Red’s promoter is pretty awesome and gives him some camera time. Plus it hides Amazing Red’s inability to do anything but flip around.
This match has a lot of cool people in it, and it’s actually for the title and not some number one contender bullshit that it originally might have been. Call me old fashioned, but I only really like it when belts are hung high. Screw giant red X’s, screw clipboards, screw everything else. Except piñatas. I wouldn’t mind those being hung up.
Before I start rambling about the match itself, it should also be noted that the Ultimate X trusses are like sticks of bamboo that are painted silver. The whole structure is incredibly wobbly, and is actually quite terrifying to watch. It just looks so dangerous. It’s because the main X at the top is going to be used for the ladder match later on in the evening (yes, I know), so the trusses are kind of loosely attached and are being supported by cables instead of being bolted to the floor/ring posts. So yes, very dangerous looking. If I was there in attendance, I’d be afraid of the structure falling on me. If I was actually wrestling in the match, I’d check my contract to see if there is hazard pay.
It’s good that they’re out of the Impact zone for this show, because not only does it feel bigger, but it’s a better crowd.
This match right here is your basic spotfest match that TNA can really excel at. You have a ton of fast, good workers with an arsenal of ridiculous moves, and they all just go at it 110% with the only downtime being for setting up big (and relatively contrived) spots. Who cares, though, ‘cause this match was just fun as hell to watch, even if it doesn’t really mean a goddamn thing. This was by far the best way they could have opened up the show, which TNA is generally very good at.
Aaand now the finish…
With Daniels, Suicide and Red all climbing to the very top of the structure, I am seriously horrified at what might become of this, knowing how insane the people of TNA can be. The crowd begins a “PLEASE DON’T DIE!” chant as the trusses sway with every movement from the wrestlers. Fans used to chant this in ROH when Paul London would climb a ladder. It felt fitting back then due to the insanity of London, but compared to this, it’s like a headlock getting that chant. Someone could have legitimately been killed or crippled for life here.
Fortunately everyone comes away unscathed for the most part. Daniels takes one of the most dangerous looking bumps I’ve ever seen, and holy fuck it could have gone wrong. If Suicide didn’t twist Daniels down on top of him as they were falling, in an amazing last second head’s up clutch move, Daniels would have dropped 15-20 feet and landed directly onto his skull. Even with Suicide’s effort, Daniels JUST avoided death. It was scary to watch. With Daniels’ amazing ability to sell death, I was actually thinking he was severely injured until I went back and watched it frame by frame and seeing him not die. Phew.
Red slips through the trusses, lands on the ropes, fights off both of the Machine Guns and takes away the belt for the retain. Boy could this show have been off to a terrible start had ANYTHING gone even slightly wronger than it already did. Jesus.
Cewsh: Wow, what an incredible mess.
With Dinero out of the match, as Ms. Cewsh said for family troubles, and less than a day to put a new match together, what they seem to have come up with was not a match. They came up with spots, and a match is what I have to call it because it’s taking place inside of a ring. Now I have no problem with spotfests. Spotfests can be awesome. However, even when you’re having a match based on high spots, it helps to at least pretend that it’s still a match that somebody wants to win, and this is so blatantly about a bunch of wrestlers doing moves so that they can go home that it gets painful to watch. Since this match is about the spots, though, let’s cover two:
Suicide, who we aren’t supposed to know is Frankie Kazarian, hits the fucking Flux Capacitor, which is not only Kazarian’s finishing move, but its one that have been shown on TNA videos for years being performed by someone with a very similar build and style as Suicide. TNA isn’t exactly the CIA here, and are about as good at keeping a secret as my grandmother after a few drinks.
Then there’s the truly memorable spot here. See, the scaffolding extends a few feet above the ropes holding the title belt. Daniels and Suicide decide to climb it and then perch on the ropes below and then duke it out. It looks like Daniels is going for the Lights Out (Reverse Rock Bottom) and I’m not sure where they going to go with that, but I think it wasn’t supposed to result in Daniels being dropped directly on his head from 15 feet above the ring and then lying completely still for the remainder of the match as Red scurries to grab the title and end it, and everyone quickly leaves the ring and changes the subject. Even Don West runs in, looking solemn and terrified, which says all you really need to know.
We see these guys do death defying stuff all the time, but it isn’t until something like this happens that you realize how tenuous all of this really is. A guy like Daniels, who has busted his ass for years and years to be somebody, is in this mess of a match and gets dropped on his head from off of some damn scaffolding, for absolutely no reason.
I have to give Suicide credit for protecting him as well as he could and probably saving his life (Cewsh Note: Daniels escaped with a separated shoulder and severe neck bruising), but what were they doing up there to begin with? With the lack of preparation time, the sloppiness of the construction (the ropes and scaffolding were frequently waving back and forth ominously, and the ropes sagged dangerously when Daniels and Suicide were on it), and the pressure to top all of the previous matches combined to make a perfect storm that damn near got a man seriously, seriously injured.
I can’t blame it on any of these guys, and the match was fine before this and deserves an honest score, but as far as opening matches go, this killed the crowd, absolutely murdered them, and it just didn’t need to be this way.
65 out of 100.
Cewsh: The Beautiful People are backstage talking, and looking so made up that they’re pretty much a tail and some dancing away from being at the Cats cast party. Then there’s the fact that Madison Rayne stood next to Lacey Von Erich and basically looked like a goblin in comparison.
Velvet cuts a promo on Wilde and Sarita which is fine, and then Rayne cuts one which is terrible. Then, Lacey says 2 sentences. Which is probably a good thing.
Oh Rayne, Rayne, go away. Never come back to TNA.
Cewsh: Hey, these two ladies are dressed alike, I guess that makes them a tag team. It doesn’t matter if they have any chemistry in the ring or any notable personality alone or together, so long as you have matching, brightly colored outfits.
Worked for the Hart Foundation anyway. BOO YEAH.
They talk for a moment, before Sarita launches into a promo in Spanish that neither Borash or Wilde appear to understand and then they march to the ring, but not before Wilde breaks character and waves at the camera. Sigh.
Cewsh: This match was absolute garbage.
I know that people say that I should be nicer to women’s wrestling and the Knockouts in particular, and I am fully willing to be, should they put on the matches that they are conceivably capable of. I loved Tara/Love, all of the Kim/Kong matches, and I’ve even liked matches featuring Wilde and Sarita. Apparently that wasn’t going down this week though, because this match was abject shit, Nobody had any chemistry with anybody, and the match seemed to depend entirely on the skills at storytelling of Velvet Sky who, while she tries her best, isn’t capable of that role.
This would be a better show with 10 minutes of pictures of the participants inserted into a slideshow and set to Michael Bolton’s Greatest Hits.
35 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: The Beautiful People come to the ring, with a slightly more demure entrance than I’ve seen, and I’m a little hopeful. Then, Lacey bribes the ref with a kiss to be allowed to stay at ringside. Of course, the Beautiful People aren’t just heels because they’re bitches, they’re also heels because they’re whores! It’s OK for a woman to tease, (Taylor’s showing more skin than Madison,) but as soon as she goes farther… Lacey gets comfortable, but then an older ref with absolutely no affiliation to the match runs down and sexually assaults her. It’s OK, she was asking for it! As she looks disgusted, but tries to regain control of the situation, the announcers declare she must’ve liked it! Of course, then the older ref ejects Lacey from ringside anyway. Hahaha, isn’t misogyny hilarious?
Also, the match sucks.
Vice: Taylor Wilde not only has a name suited for pornography, but her attire has arrows pointed downwards on both the front and back. Like.. hey, if you’re facing me from this direction you’re allowed to shove it in here! And if you’re seeing the other arrow, you can put it there! I didn’t need to explain that, did I?
Lacey is horribly clumsy. First she dipshits herself on Impact, and now she can’t even exit the ring without tripping over herself. I guess since Angelina is gone, they needed a third person. I mean, there is already Third Girl, but I guess she’s been promoted to Second Girl. Eh. Third Girl still.
Short. Nothing fancy, but it did its job. Women’s tag titles are kind of stupid, but they’re doing a good job with them I suppose. At match’s end, Taylor seems to have been knocked silly. Not much else to say.
Cewsh: So Nash and Young are backstage talking about how they’re banding together in the triple threat match up next so that Nash can keep his Legends title, and Young can take care of Hernandez with some backup. Kevin Nash, apparently having not learned anything from his 20 years in wrestling, apparently completely trusts Eric Young to hold up his end of this and has absolutely no doubts whatsoever.
I thought we were supposed to think Nash was smart?
Cewsh: Watching your fiancé drool over a man old enough to be your dad and then some, is pretty disturbing. Knowing that he’s awesome than you’ll ever be is worse. Knowing that, nearing 50, he’s in better shape than I will ever be made me put down my beer. But only for a second. Let’s not get crazy.
This match was set out to be a handicap match from the start, as Young and Nash team up together to take out Hernandez. Surprisingly, it actually STAYS a handicap match past the first 30 seconds, which may be some kind of record for a triple threat match. Nash and Young continue to wear Hernandez down, while Hernie does a good job of firing up and looking impossible to keep down no matter what the do to him. He fights back, and fights back, and fights back, but inevitably they shut him down every time, and go back to working as a team. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe Young and Nash might actually stick to the plan. Maybe the swerve here is that there won’t be a…
Oh wait, Young just rammed Hernandez’s huge biscuit head into Nash’s junk and beat him for the title. Hmm. Well so much for that then.
Regardless of whether or not I was right, (totally was) this was still a really strong match. All three guys brought their A game in a way that nobody on the show so far really had, and the triple threat set up let Nash really look like a killer, without exposing his relative lack of mobility. Everyone looks strong here, and Eric Young gets to go on looking like a million bucks, and continue his startling rise to excellence. Good work from all the guys involved, without a doubt. Hopefully the show can keep up the momentum.
75 out of 100.
Vice: I’m not thrilled by Hernandez returning to his old attire, but it’s not like it’s bad attire. Hopefully it’s not a sign of what’s to come with future booking.
The match was better than it had any right to be. Clever finish. Not sure about EY getting the Legends title, but whatever. We’ll see where it goes from here.
Ms.Cewsh: The set-up for this match makes less than no sense. OK, Kurt put a bounty out on Eric. Nash loves money, so he answered. Eric then very publicly offered Nash twice what Angle was going to pay him. Nash then ACCEPTED, like he’s not in a stable with Angle and that’s not going to piss anyone in the MEM off. Eric then proceeded to get Nash to put his title up for no reason, with the promise that it wouldn’t matter, Nash will retain. So… why’s the title on the line? It couldn’t be because Eric’s a heel and not the most trustworthy person? *gaspshockawe* Never mind that neither Eric Young nor Hernandez is a legend, nor that having a Legends’ Title is a dumb idea anyway.
The match was frustrating. If two heels team up against a face, the face should feel like the underdog. I can buy him making a huge comeback, even winning, once the heels have started infighting. I can’t buy Hernandez running circles around everyone before the backstabbing even begins.
I completely disagree with Cewsh. After then end, Nash doesn’t look like a killer and no one looks particularly good. Why did Eric win? Nash looks like an idiot, Eric gets a belt he doesn’t deserve, Hernandez becomes an afterthought…. Plus, plus!, the match is won with a low blow, making Nash look like a crying baby. Low blows are not finishers!
Whatever. Nash is super hot.
Cewsh: Backstage, Booker T and Scott Steiner are getting into it with Beer Money, when the British Invasion shows up, calms everybody down, and convinces them all that the best chance for everyone to win is going to be to take out Team 3D due to all of their Tables Ladders and Chairs experience. That experience, of course, was pretty much all 10 years and 100 pounds ago, but he makes a solid point and everybody agrees to take out Team 3D to even the playing field.
Crafty Brits. Clearly they’d rule the world if they weren’t all murdering each other over which football (soccer) team is better than the others. Which is obviously daft, since we all know that Captain Planet and the Planeteers are the world’s greatest soccer team.
Cewsh: Hear me out here, true believers, because what I’m about to say is intensely hard to believe. Occasionally, I am wrong. I know, I know, it doesn’t seem that way since I’m so often absolutely correct about everything from whether or not John Cena is talented (he is) to what color shirt looks best on you (red). However, sometimes I say things and then they are incorrect, and in this case I said loud and long that this match was going to be garbage. Just absolutely unwatchable trash the likes of which haven’t been seen since Full House went off the air.
I was wrong.
This match is simply fantastic. These four teams combine to do things with ladders and tables that take me straight back to the original TLC matches where those things were so unique and refreshing. The miraculous thing is, though, that not only was this a great clusterfuck spotfest, but that they actually told a story here that was not only good, it actually got me to cheer for Team 3D, a hitherto impossible feat. The idea is that Team 3D had the advantage, and they needed to be removed from the match right away, and so when the match started, the other three teams did exactly that. They beat Ray and Devon all over the arena until they stayed the hell down and then turned to the business of beating the ever loving fuckshit out of each other.
A ton of spots follow, including a spinarooni from Booker and a Frankensteiner from Scott that get ENORMOUS fucking pops from the crowd. In fact, for most of the middle part of this match, Steiner completely steals the show by suplexing everyone all over the fucking place and staying in the mix at all times, further driving home just how underrated a guy he is these days. Unfortunately for him, though, Booker T gets himself injured, and he’s the odd man out from that point on.
With Team 3D and The Mafia out of the picture, Beer Money and The British Invasion go to town on each other, involving a lot of playing on top of ladders. From sunset flip powerbombs, to ugly, ugly looking ladder suplexes that almost land guys on their head, these guys do their best to bring the high flying drama, and despite the fact that this isn’t the kind of match these guys are known for, all 8 of them really work together to make it special. As the crowd starts to really get into it, Team 3D make their way back to the ring, finally, and start laying waste to everything in front of them.
Every motherfucker in the room goes through a table, Zack Wylde hits Brutus Magnus with a chair on Brother Ray’s behalf (and doesn’t spill his beer), and Brother Devon manages to claim the IWGP Tag titles before he is stopped from getting the other ones as well, with both sets of belts represented above the ring. How is he stopped? Fucking Rhino of all people shows up and decides to revisit a completely forgotten about grudge and hit him with a chair a bunch of times before wandering off. Let me make this clear, RHINO RUINS EVERYTHING.
The match continues on, and its down to Beer Money and The British Invasion. They go back and forth, ramping up the intensity of the moment, until Rob Terry runs in, throws Roode through a table, and walks Doug Williams up the ladder to claim the belt and the titles.
Now this result made a ton of sense, since New Japan was having none of anybody but Team 3D holding their titles, and the Invasion are the smart choice with Booker and Steiner probably soon off to greener pastures. That was smart, and so was a lot about this match, which managed to steal the show by being everything that the Ultimate X match wasn’t. Namely exciting, story filled, and meaningful. Apparently you don’t have to be able to do flips to make a ladder match feel special. I think that’s a lesson well worth learning boys and girls. And that lesson is that RHINO RUINS EVERYTHING. That fucking guy could ruin a cat macro.
77 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: I was dreading this match, but it actually turned out to be quite good. I’m not sure why it and Ultimate X needed to be on the same show, as they have the same gimmick, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The story of this match is similar to the last, in that a bunch of heels are going to team up to beat on the poor, weak faces. Unlike the Legends’ Match, it works because the heels’ strategy immediately deteriorates with the prospect of gold. It doesn’t seem out of place when the Dudley’s make their big comeback.
It wasn’t the greatest wrestled match, and it might have gone a smidge long, but my only real complaint is the run-in by Rhino. Really? It’s already an 8-man match for two titles, but that’s not exciting enough so we’ll have a run-in? Otherwise, I thought the spots were good, the story made sense, and at least everyone knows how to do a damn transition.
Vice: So with an Ultimate X match earlier on tonight, do we really need another spotfest match with hanging belts needing to be brought down?
Booker T apparently dies and gets stretchered out. The most telling thing about TNA clusterfucks being too much of a clusterfuck is one little snippet of a line that came out of Tazz’s mouth: “What happened to him?”
What did happen to him?
Doug Williams gets thrown through a table. The camera catches him sneakily looking around, completely no selling the damage with his facial expression (even though his body still looks wrecked), which totally fucking irritated me. Rhino does this shit all the time. They take a massive hit, but don’t realize that the camera is pointed at their face.. so they get caught just waiting there for the next thing to happen. It’s very exposing and is a giant pet peeve of mine. ALWAYS ASSUME THE CAMERA IS STARING RIGHT AT YOU AND STAY IN CHARACTER.
Speaking of Rhino.. it’s like we’ve traveled back in time.
Apparently Team 3D becomes IWGP champions. Obviously there is no celebration.
Brutus Magnus dies after a sick looking double suplex off the ladders.
Again, the match was better than it probably should have been, but that’s not really saying a heck of a lot. When you have tables, ladders, chairs, and a bunch of people willing to die for a “THIS IS AWESOME!!” chant.. yeah, it’s going to be a decently fun match. With some bits of good storytelling, continuity, legit strategy, and hard work, it separates itself entirely from the Ultimate X from earlier.
It’s another praise I must give TNA. They can book tons of similar matches with similar styles and feels to them, but they put the right participants in the matches and the matches are totally different.
Also, Steiner was on fucking FIRE this match. Seriously, fuck all of you people that don’t think he’s still got it. The guy can barely move and apparently has to spend upwards of an hour before a match stretching and preparing, and he outperforms the young lads with perfectly healthy bodies. It shows his heart and dedication to the sport. He’s not just some old fart who goes out to collect a paycheck. He’s still a solid worker, and is a better talent than at least half of the TNA roster. That says a lot.
Vice: Spiders are arachnids, Tazz. Arachnids.
In the middle of the match, there’s some “shoot” stuff that goes on with Tara. It wasn’t that interesting, nor did it really accomplish a heck of a lot, and worst of all, the fans really didn’t give half a shit about it. Luckily they got right back into the match when ODB started throwing Kong around. ODB eventually kicks out of the Implant Buster to get a MASSIVE pop and an ODB chant. ODB is totally over and consistently keeping the fans in the match. ODB was on fire when she first joined TNA and was a driving force behind the once excellent Knockouts division. Then after becoming incredibly stale and mailing it in, she’s given the title in a ridiculous storyline, but it totally lit a fire under her ass and she’s sending a message to everyone.
The match could have been pretty bad, but it was saved by ODB. Fucking AWESOME finish, too. It’s a simple enough finish with Super Burka sliding a chair in front of Kong, only for it to backfire horribly. However, it’s a spot that can easily go wrong, as the past has shown us. Sometimes chairs do not slide as far as they need to. Sometimes they slide too far, bounce off a foot and land in the wrong position. Sometimes the timing is awful and it quickly becomes a mess. This was done perfectly though, and looked amazing. With Kong not being happy, I can’t imagine Super Burka being around much longer, especially with Alyssa Flash getting more involved in the Knockouts division.
This was just well done.
“Oh my god. Holy backfire there, Batman!”, sayeth Tazz. Thank you Tazz.
Ms.Cewsh: And here we are, right back to shit. First off, Tara is old. Oh Ms.Cewsh, she’s not THAT old! She’s not even 40! Really? ODB and Kong are the next oldest women currently wrestling in the Knockouts’ division. Tara is 7 years older than them. It shows.
Second, I like Kong. I really do. I think she’s really talented, a great addition to the roster, and surprisingly agile for her size. Why isn’t she manhandling these two? Why isn’t she manhandling EVERYONE?! Does anyone else remember when she was unstoppable? Did you know she hasn’t won a PPV match since Destination X? Yeah.
Finally, this match wasn’t as bad as I was expecting…right up until Tara’s altercation with a “fan”. It brought the match to a halt. Why? Why would neither woman still in the ring take advantage of the other being distracted? It doesn’t make sense! Worse still, it brought the crowd to a halt. Tara runs off to the back to cry, and it becomes a singles match. The singles part isn’t bad. Tara comes back, but doesn’t really do anything. Raisha Saeed comes out and costs Kong the match. Good, maybe she’ll finally drop the gimmick and wrestle as Alyssa full time. Between the brawl with the “fan”, Tara’s apparent hissy fit, and the interference, the pace of the match was shot. Pick one crazy and stick with it.
Not directly related to the match, but Raisha is a heel. She’s a heely heely heel heel heel. TNA is promoting breast cancer awareness by having some wrestlers wear pink wrist bands. As a great big fat heel, Raisha should not be wearing a wrist band. How can I hate her when we both hate boobie cancer? I can’t. It completely takes me out of her character.
Cewsh: There was a news item floating around that ODB had changed her Facebook job info to: Looking For Work, and basically saying she was released. Unfortunately, her account was hacked and it wasn’t true. It so wasn’t true that she beat Awesome Kong here. Sigh.
Anyway, the stories here were Tara randomly duking it out with some chick in a way that totally ruined the flow of the match and brought everything to a standstill, and the fact that Raisha Saide cost Kong the match, meaning that she might get to stop playing the character soon. The first is bad, the second is good.
Those are all the words that I am dedicating to this match.
35 out of 100.
Cewsh: Matt Morgan cuts a promo backstage that basically centers around how much better he is than Kurt Angle. It’s a good promo, which has become the norm for Morgan, and it really makes you think of what WWE missed out on with this guy. I mean, his gimmick when they introduced him to the masses after he had been high profile on Tough Enough was that he stuttered. Everyone who watch Tough Enough knew that he didn’t stutter, but he just randomly started. Man, people can say what they want about WWE and I’ll defend them a lot of the time, but fuck, they missed out on this guy.
Cewsh: Believe me when I tell you that this match is a disappointment before it ever begins.
As recently as a year ago, if you had told me that I would be getting Bobby Lashlye against Samoa Joe at Bound For Glory, I would have given you my money no matter how tenuous your connection to TNA was, or what alleyway you came out of. There aren’t a lot of dream matches left in wrestling, but in my mind, that was always one of them. Fast forward to now and Bobby Lashley has been booked so poorly that even I have trouble caring about what he’s doing, and Samoa Joe has gone from the fastest rising star in wrestling, to a guy wrestling midcard matches just to get his credibility back. The fall of these two men, Joe especially, is so drastic that it defies belief, and they have one hell of an uphill climb to get me interested in this match.
The match gets started and right off the bat, the crowd let’s everyone at home know exactly where they stand, showering the wrestlers with chants of “Joe’s Gonna Kill You”, “Lashley Sucks” and “Let’s Go Joe, Let’s Go.” Two of which are purely incorrect. Then they go through a lot of moves like takedowns and armbars designed to get over that this match has MMA connotations, and then, well, some other stuff happens. Nothing really leads anywhere, and as a result the match winds up feelings like filler. Then we get to the ending. Lashley locks in the Anaconda Vice, and the referee calls for the bell, despite the fact that Joe did not tap, and nobody bothers to explain anything.
Did TNA just steal the finish to Punk/Taker from Breaking Point?
Ugh, this match was so plain and weak sauce that it borders on the pathological. That these two guys could be reduced to having a boring match on a show without much keeping them from stealing the night, in a match conceptually catered to them is a poor reflection on both men, and on the booking that got them here. I always used to demand to know where my Lashley was. Now wherever he was can have him back. He was probably better off there.
50 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: Why does everyone in TNA have a nickname? And why do the announcers feel the need to say those nicknames every three seconds? Hey, did you know “The Boss” Bobby Lashley was facing “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe? It’s true! It was right after “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan cut his promo! Earlier, “The War Machine” Rhino interfered in the tag match! (Seriously, why were they talking about Rhino two matches later, and do we have so many Rhinos running around that we always need to qualify which is which?)
Despite what the crowd thought, Lashley was the face in this match. The ref apparently screwed Joe in the finish and Lashley let it happen without a word. That’s a very face thing to do Bobby. I’m sure your wife was very proud of you.
Vice: This was a fun exhibition style match of sort. Joe is the submission machine and Lashley is now doing MMA, so clearly they need to have a submission match. What sets this apart from most submission matches though, is that both men have a ton of submissions. Joe has shown that he can chain wrestle quite well, and Lashley is obviously Captain Amateur. Amateur wrestling, of course, ‘cause I don’t want Cewsh killing me in my sleep. So instead of each man just wrestling the match like a normal match, and then going for their one key submission, they have a thousand submissions and they all vary. Some are kind of “crappy” submissions that don’t do a lot of damage, but force the opponent to struggle to get out of them, exhausting what fuel they have left in the tank. Some are designed to weaken body parts so that later they can lock in something more dangerous to get the submission, hoping the other person is too weak to break it.
It’s a surprisingly fluid, fun match with both men showing what they’ve got. However, there’s no real story. No real meat to it. It doesn’t really last long (which is somewhat believable). It’s just there. That’s not to say it was bad, but it didn’t have that ZOMG EPIC feel to it which it could have had.
Cewsh: Listen I get that the idea with Mick Foley is that he’s a nice guy who goes crazy and does stuff with barbed wire sometimes, but the jumping back and forth wildly with no transition or reason is kind of turning me off of the character. He’s going to go cripple Abyss, so he puts a Breast Cancer awareness band on his leg? He wants to show he’s crazy so he awkwardly fake laughs for awhile? And this whole thing was touched off because Abyss accidentally knocked a picture off of a wall?
It get what he’s going for here, I’m just not sure WHY he’s going for it.
On the other hand though, he looks damn good in leopard print tights.
Cewsh: The first table bump of this match occurs less than 3 minutes in when Abyss gets thrown through the stage and Foley jumps in after him.
I’m not telling you this because it’s a good or a bad thing, but I think you know whether or not you want to see it based on what kind of matches you like based on that sentence alone. For me, personally, this is not my style of match. I can enjoy a hardcore match for what it is and get into it if there’s a story attached, but there are legions of people just creaming themselves over the idea of seeing these guys bleed rivers of blood and get set on fire, and that’s really not my style. With that said, no two people in the world right now do it better than these two guys, so let’s see what these rascals get themselves into.
The match starts off with Foley attacking Abyss with the barbed wire as Abyss is walking to the ring. This quickly moves to the stage where they climb the set and Abyss and Foley take the aforementioned table bump. Nonplussed by this activity, they saunter back to the ring and do some brawling, all the while Dr. Stevie and Mick are conspiring to make things very tricky indeed for Abyss, as he gets hit with weaponry and dropped on top barbed wire too many times to count. Foley brings out the thumbtacks that he barred Abyss from being able to use, and Dr. Stevie puts the kibosh on Abyss’ attempt to circumvent this obviously skewed rule, displaying the kind of objectiveness usually reserved for discussions about John Cena on internet message boards.
Eventually though, this doesn’t fly with Abyss anymore and he starts fighting back. First by giving Dr. Stevie the Shock Treatment backbreaker which always looks amazing, then he moves on to slam Foley on the barbed wire board. Then Daffers runs in, and as Vice looks on in horror, Abyss chokeslams her ass off the turnbuckle through a barbed wire table at ringside, breaking her arm (accidentally) and trapping her in barbed wire (probably not so much.) Abyss gets shocked in the dick with a tazer AGAIN (the man needs to wear a cup), but no sells it this time, gives Dr. Stevie a vicious Black Hole Slam into the thumbtacks. Up gets Foley, down goes Foley to a chokeslam on the barbed wire board, and to sum things up nicely, Abyss grabs Stevie’s unconscious body, drags him over, grabs his hand, and counts to three for himself, proving himself to be inexpressibly hardcore.
Like I said before, this isn’t my style of match. The Daffney bump made me cringe, not cheer, Abyss’ bladejob seemed unnecessary, and the barbed wire board seemed to serve little purpose. These are relatively small quibbles though, because this was a fun ass match and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Is it going to get a high rating? No, not really, but high rating or no, this was a match that you wouldn’t regret seeing, I think. If all hardcore matches were like this, I might just have to change my mind.
76 out of 100.
Vice: Aaah. Here we go. Mick Foley, the master of the death match and doing all kinds of crazy shit. Abyss, the TNA version of the master of the death match and doing all kinds of crazy shit. The difference is that Mick Foley is the best because he’s smart and knows what to do, when to do it, and why it needs to be done. Abyss does crazy shit because he feels he needs to do it to keep his job, even though I’m sure he has a job for life in TNA, even if he never touched a thumbtack again.
This is a pretty crazy match, with all kinds of ridiculous shit going on. I actually really liked the majority of it, even though I feel incredibly guilty for doing so. Why, I’m not sure.
The worst part of the match, at least in my eyes, is Daffers’ interference. Not only does her super disgusting bump not even get picked up properly by TNA’s less than stellar camera crew, but she ends up getting herself knocked completely silly with a concussion and a broken arm. This makes Vice a very sad panda. Get better, Daffers. I love you.
There was a major flub-up during this match. Abyss gets laid out and Foley goes for the pin. Another ref slides in, and he smacks the canvas with his left hand instead of his right. You can tell that he just fucked himself, and looks very confused for a brief second, then starts counting the pin with his right hand. Abyss kicks out at 2.83 if you’re going by his right hand counting. If you add the left hand count in, which I’m not sure we should, Abyss kicked out at 3.83, which clearly should have ended the match. The refs hover over the wrestlers’ upper bodies while making pin-counts partially to check shoulders during pins, but ALSO so that the wrestlers can see the hand coming down to time kickouts. When it’s super noisy in the arena, you might not be able to hear the pin as it’s being done, so the wrestlers watch the ref’s hand. I’m guessing Abyss didn’t see the left hand go down or something. Anyway, it just looked really awkward, and the commentary afterward didn’t help at all. They were totally confused and thinking it was 3, ‘cause they knew it was fucked up. It reminded me of JR during a Chris Masters match. One.. two…………………….. *kickout* ..th– no! Then JR makes a comment about how Masters was asleep at the wheel. It was amusing.
Lots of blood. Lots of violence. Lots of weapons. It felt big. Good ending, too. What’s not to like?
Cewsh Note: *Ms.Cewsh chose to boycott this match after the amount of blood in the lead-up video made her sick*
Cewsh: Kurt Angle is backstage talking about how awesome he is because he was seconds away from beating AJ Styles on Impact when time expired. Then he kind of backhandedly compliments Morgan, says he’ll beat him and wanders off.
I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a blood feud or what, which it probably ought to be since Kurt thinks Morgan cost him his beloved title, but Angle seems awfully calm and collected for a guy wrestling the guy who cost him the main event slot at the biggest match of the year when things that have caused Kurt Angle to go ballistic in the past have included:
Does Kurt think this is a triple threat match for the title? Because I’ve gotta tell you, that would make this make much more sense.
Cewsh: The future against the present. The giant against the legend. The stubble against the stubble. These guys have been feuding ever since Joe joined the Mafia at Slammiversary, so it was about time we got our first one on one match between them. Nothing is really at stake other than pride, but this is one of those cases where a match is designed less to be storycentric, and more to make a star out of a guy in one night.
These guys come to the ring, and immediately this match has the big match feel that nothing before it on this show has pulled off. They get started and immediately Morgan starts trying to impose his will on Angle with his hugely superior power game. He tosses Angle around a bit, but Angle, ever the wily veteran, keeps him at bay, making him cool his heels while he waits outside the ring, getting Morgan more and more frustrated. Then, when Angle turns on the jets, it catches Morgan unawares, putting him in a deep hole as Angle unloads all the offense he knows on Morgan’s legs, trying to take his foundation out from under him. It works like a charm, but even though Morgan is severely hampered by the injury, he still throws Angle around with effortless ease, looking like an absolute scary monster in the process, and really making it look like Angle is the one who desperately needs to find a way to win instead of the other way around.
Towards the end of the match, Angle begins locking in the Anglelock over and over, staying on it like a dog with a bone, refusing to let up no matter how many times Morgan kicks him off. Morgan manages to recover and get up, and hit Angle with the Carbon Footprint and the Hellevator, but neither is enough to put the former Olympic athlete down for the count. Then finally, finally, after working on the leg again and again, Angle takes advantage of a rookie mistake, reverses into a roll up lightning fast, and grabs victory from the jaws of defeat.
When I think about this show down the line, this will almost certainly be the match that I remember. The pacing was fantastic, the chemistry was very strong, and more than anything, this match proved to me once and for all that Morgan is a damn good wrestler and that there is nothing stopping him from reaching the pinnacle of this industry. He looked absolutely cast in gold here, as Angle busted his ass from start to finish to make this Morgan’s coming out party. As a result, they put on a match that wasn’t just good by TNA standards. It was just fucking good.
85 out of 100. Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Ms.Cewsh: I’ve stated by now that I don’t like “wrestling”, right? This match seemed like it was technically well done. Morgan looked great. Angle pissed me off less than usual. I didn’t like it, but it seemed good.
Vice: Holy fuck did Morgan look like a billion dollars here. He’s been stepping up his game HUGE over the past few months, and fucking hell was this match what he needed to cement his status as future main event star. People trash Angle far too often for his work, and to that I say fuck off. Morgan has NEVER looked better than he did here. Kurt knew how to make Morgan look like a fucking god here.
Kurt Angle takes the win, but he did it with a quick victory roll out of complete desperation. He caught Morgan off guard for the win, knowing that he had thrown everything he could at Morgan and the goliath just kept coming at him. After the match, Angle shows tons of respect and gives Morgan his moment in the spotlight as the fans go fucking crazy.
This loss put Morgan over so much more than he ever would have been put over had he won. It was a great moment with Angle looking like a crafty veteran and Morgan looking like a dominating force, and the respect being shown. A star has been born, and his name is Matt Morgan.
All he needs is a s-s-s-s-s-s-s-st-st-st-st-st-stuttering gimmick now.
Cewsh: Alright, here’s the thing. Sting isn’t going to be retiring here. Deep down, we all know he won’t. We want to believe that he’ll put AJ over and ride off into the sunset in epic fashion, but seeing as every single thing he’s said on the subject amounts to “Hey, I might! You never know, right? I also might ride a Pegasus to the ring!” As a result, this match has a really weird feeling as the crowd loves Sting 100%, but don’t seem to want him to win.
These guy start this match out doing the respect thing where they try to top each other with moves, but then give their opponent time to get up and then give each other little knowing smiles that make this seem like the world’s most full contact date. As such things go, it gets more heated as both men get down to business and set their eyes on winning the title, and it slowly unfolds, like an origami crane, into a really good match.
Its back and forth, its up and down, AJ flies all over the place, and Sting bumps his ass off to make AJ look great. At one point AJ takes a bump so hard, he appears to genuinely be out on his feet, and that may very well be true, because soon after he hits Sting with the Pele kick from the ring apron, and Sting stays standing up dazed for about 36 hours, before falling down AS AJ IN SPRINGBOARDING TOWARDS HIM. So conceivably if Sting had not fallen down at that exact moment, AJ Styles would have retained his title with the Springboard Nut Lunge, after catapulting directly into the Sting family jewels.
Which would have been awesome.
As it happens, though, AJ hits the Springboard Body Splash, pick up the pin and that’s all she wrote. An abrupt, and somewhat disappointing end to a very fun match. I’m not sure that this is the match that should end or define Sting career, as it wasn’t hugely special in any way, but it was fun. Now all we need is for Sting to ride off into the sunset. Oh, wait…
81 out of 100. Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Ms.Cewsh: I need to get this out before I start: Kurt Angle is a heel. Matt Morgan is a face. Samoa Joe is a heel. Lashley is a face. AJ STYLES IS YOUR CHAMPION AND A HUGE, FUCKING FACE! I understand this match is face/face and therefore one will occasionally booed. The last two were not. It’s not cute or witty to boo the face and cheer the heel. It’s disrespectful to the wrestlers who are trying to work their character.
“The Phenomenal” AJ Styles and “The Icon” Sting respect each other. They respect each other so much they’re willing to punch each other in the face to prove it. Aren’t face/face “respect” matches really silly when you break it down like that? The match is good because AJ is good, but it also suffers from some strange pacing. It’s not as obvious as the full stop in the Knockouts’ match, but there are some weird pauses and slow spots.
Still, it was a nice match.
Vice: Ah, the Bound for Glory main event. This is when Sting comes out on top most of the time. This is when I get super nervous, because every year seems to be the same thing. Can Sting win and have one last hurrah? Yes, he can. Then he stays for another year. Can Sting do it one more time and have one more final hurrah? Whoa! He did it! Then he stays for another year. One last time, can Sting do the impossible? Holy shit, what a triumph! He.. he’s back for another year! So with the last few Bound for Glory main events in mind, I’m really nervous about the outcome of this match. AJ needs the win here. Sting does not. If Sting wins here, TNA is doing everything wrong and I might be done with the company. So.. same direction or new direction?
This actually felt like a really big match, even though I didn’t find it particularly great. I dunno, I didn’t think the two of them played that well off each other, but they both tried really hard. So, kudos to them for that. There were a couple of really hot moments, but overall I wasn’t thrilled with it.
While I thought the match suffered a bit, this was far more important than just putting on a great match. The Bound for Glory main event decides the direction of the entire company, so a chance that the fate of the company will provide a greater future is quite possibly better than a five star match to watch for years to come. Was there a change in the winds with this match?
AJ retains his title and the streak of Sting is over. WOOOOOOOOO. AJ did it. This was super important because Sting definitely didn’t need the win. AJ winning is so vital to the company right now, and the future of TNA is more promising than ever.
The second AJ picks up the microphone, some random kid shouts out “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”. It must have jinxed the mic, considering it stopped working like three seconds later. Then another “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”, and another broken mic. What the fuck?
Again, think of Rocky here. Imagine if Rocky beat Apollo Creed, grabbed the mic, and yelled out “AAD-D-r-i..”, then another “AaAaDd-Riaa..” before finally getting it out properly? Christ. Normally I’d blame TNA’s production on this, but instead I’m going to blame the “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” kids. Assholes!
Cewsh: So after the match is over, Sting shakes AJ’s hand and leaves the ring, which apparently causes AJ to freak out because the ring is a big and scary and he doesn’t want to be there by himself. He pretty much forces Sting back into the ring, where Sting cuts an incredibly awkward promo tip toeing around the fact that he is not actually retiring, and nor is he definitively NOT retiring. Essentially he is informing us that he is going to continue breathing and take things from there. Then he leaves and the show ends.
If Sting wasn’t going to retire, why did we have this match? If Sting was leaving his decision up to the last minute to see how he felt after the match, why did he feel so uncomfortable sharing his decision? Whatever he did, the fans would pretty much support him in it. But instead of a poignant moment, we got an incredibly uncomfortable moment to close out the show. Just odd.
Ms.Cewsh: The post match? Less nice. First, did anyone else find AJ’s earnest, wide eyed, “I just want to give you your moment!” routine to be really creepy? I actually had second-hand embarrassment for Sting. Maybe Sting’s the greatest actor of our generation, but he really didn’t seem to want to get back in the ring. Of course, he did get in the ring and I stopped feeling bad and started feeling angry. “This is not a big kayfabe teaser kind of an answer,” It’s not? Then that means this is real. And if this is real, that implies that everything else isn’t. Are you a liar, Mr. Sting? Because you just admitted to being one.
Additionally, “I don’t know,” isn’t an answer. It’s a cheap cop-out. You’re not ready to leave. Own up to it.
Vice: Apparently Sting got yelled for his promo at the end because he wasn’t facing the right cameras at the right time. So instead of getting emotional close-ups of his old face with the face paint rubbed off, we got super emotional shots of him with his back turned in the ring, as fans are applauding, chanting, and crying in the distance. Fuck you, Sting.
I think a bit more of the spotlight should have been on AJ, but Sting got his send-off and now TNA starts a fresh new year. Can’t wait.
Cewsh: This show is a really tough one to figure. There were good matches (Morgan/Angle, Styles/Sting, and Full Metal Mayhem), and there were matches that were so awful that they almost put me to sleep (a lot of the others). There were a lot of scary moments where wrestlers almost got seriously, seriously injured, and, while that isn’t anybody’s fault I suppose, that doesn’t exactly make a show easy to enjoy.
That’s the thing, I guess. This show was hard to enjoy, almost like work. You could find the goodness if you looked hard enough, but why would you want to after wading through the nonsense?
Ms. Cewsh: This is going to come as a shock. I’m not a TNA girl. I don’t like blood, technical wrestling, or the majority of the main event. I don’t like TNA. This didn’t feel like the biggest show of the year. It didn’t even feel like the biggest show this week, compared to the three-hour Impact on Thursday. But it wasn’t a terrible show. It would’ve been even better if the pacing hadn’t been so damn weird.
Vice: Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable show. It didn’t seem massive, but it did feel bigger than their normal shows. Everyone brought their A-game, which helped a lot. Wasn’t incredible, but it didn’t let me down like their last few shows have. I enjoyed it a good bit, really.