Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the reviews that are best accompanied by the song Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight and I really mean it as the second biggest night in the American wrestling year has come at last. TNA’s premiere PPV, Bound For Glory has come upon us with all of its splendor and whatzits to cap the TNA year with a bang. So what has TNA produced in the past year leading to this moment to give it that big show importance? Well that would be the Bound For Glory Series, a competition where members of the roster vied for points to make it to the main event of Bound For Glory. Bobby (formerly Robert, formerly Bobby) Roode came out on top ultimately, and now he’ll square off with the Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle to try to cement himself atop the roster and finally make with World Championship dreams come true. But wait, that’s not all! We also have a Sherpa, a Witch, a Bully and a Felon to enjoy! You may have paid for your entire office chair, but you’ll only need the edge!
Cewsh: Hogan and Sting. Roode and Angle. These are our two money feuds for tonight. There are other men fighting for various causes against various foes, but those two matches feature highest on this night. Hogan and Sting will be settling a beef older than TNA itself, that dates back nearly two years. Roode and Angle will have it out in a feud that has lasted one month. But through the magic of that artistic medium that is the opening video, TNA has linked those two struggles together in a way the weekly programming had never gotten close to. These are two battles in the same war. Sting needs to win the company away from Hogan by beating him, and Roode needs to take the title away from Immortal by beating Angle. If they both succeed, then all of Immortal’s power will be expunged from TNA and order can once again rule. Here on the biggest night of the year, Sting and Roode have their backs against the wall as Immortal gives them this one time only chance to win back their company.
Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty compelling. But that’s the video. TNA always comes through with the video. Let’s see about the rest…
Cewsh: What a difference a few months can make.
Back in the not too distant past of Destination X, Brian Kendrick was the bees knees. The fans adored him, the wrestlers supported him and the company pushed him so hard as THE X Division star that the entire X Division PPV was built upon his dramatic victory over Abyss to save the division. He was the star they were going to build a revitalized X Division around, along with all of their new signings and the future looked bright.
Fast forward to now and he’s dressed like a Sherpa and prancing around without the title, and looks like a totally different wrestler from the one they were pushing before.
Not in a good way. Contrast that to Austin Aries, who at the moment is dripping with charisma from head to toe and looks like such a bigger star than Kendrick here that its kind of embarrassing to watch. He outclasses Kendrick on the mat, with his selling, with his high flying, with his mannerisms and with his psychology and the crowd not only appreciates this but they blatantly start cheering raucously for Aries and booing the hell out of Kendrick at every turn. It actually gets so bad that Aries has to cockily demand that they be quiet so he can work, as he proceeds to steal every moment of the match away from the babyface in it.
This was a fine match and a good opener, but let’s be clear. Austin Aries is too good for his opposition in this division. If he made Kendrick look like this, guess how he’ll make someone like Kid Kash look when its his turn? Aries doesn’t need to dumb himself down, these scrubs need to pick their game up.
And the Sherpa thing isn’t helping.
75 out of 100.
Vice: As per usual, with few exceptions, TNA picks the right match to start the show off. What better way to kick off this year’s Bound for Glory than putting Austin Aries and Brian Kendrick in the ring together for some magic, wizardry, witchcraft and voodoo. You can always count on these two to put on a good match, and this one didn’t fail at all. It wasn’t a five star classic, but it was super fun and had a lot of energy.
Aaah, it’s good when TNA isn’t in the Impact Zone. This wasn’t a massive crowd, but they seem infinitely more into everything than the usual idiots. Sure they were loudly cheering for the heel over the plucky babyface, but.. I can’t really blame them– who the heck could root for anyone over Austin Aries? He’s just that great. What, you disagree? You have something to say?
I loved Aries just straight up beating Kendrick. He’s a heel. He’s a dickhead. He’s great. You gotta respect him.
Good match, and a lovely way to kick start a show.
Cewsh: Backstage we see the brood of Karen Jarrett and Jeff Jarrett playing in a locker room with Jeremy Borash and Tracy Brooks. Brooks is dressed like she’s about to go onstage at the Boom Boom Room and Borash is…well..whatever this is.
Karen comes in and criticizes Brooks quite a bit and then announces that she (meaning Karen) will now be the referee of the Knockout’s title match later in the show because she thinks that would be hysterical. She warns Brooks to stay here backstage and not come down to the ring OR ELSE, effective trapping her in a room with small children and Jeremy Borash until the end of the show. Which, frankly, is a fate I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Cewsh: Seeing as you appear to own a computer and also be a wrestling fan, I can safely assume that you are aware that at one point Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn had a feud. You probably even saw some of the matches and enjoyed them, as they’re quite enjoyable. You may even have caught their match at Destination X where both men were out to prove that they still had what it took to steal the show. But now here’s another one, because Jerry Lynn hasn’t met his quota for jobbing to people so far this year. The gist of the actual reason behind this match is that after his loss at Destination X, Lynn was seething with bitterness that nobody thought of him as Van Dam’s equal.
This is despite the fact that Van Dam is a former TNA World Champion and Lynn isn’t even good enough to earn an actual contract, so I mean, he’s being kind of unreasonable about things. But nevertheless, he sabotaged Van Dam’s chances at winning the BFG Series so he could get him in one more match here tonight and prove that he’s better once and for all.
Vice: People seem to keep complaining about these two wrestling, but I don’t get it. A ton of people would mark out if _____ and ____ wrestled again, because they enjoy those two going at it. So why can’t these two continue putting on good matches with each other? Giving a big group of fans what they want? How dare they! I didn’t see their ECW matches until a few years ago, and while I don’t go completely bananas about them, they obvious have a ridiculous amount of chemistry with one another. Lynn has had some good matches with other people, as has RVD, but these two are peanut butter and jelly with each other– that perfect combination.
This match isn’t a classic and most likely won’t be appearing on anyone’s match of the year candidate list, but that doesn’t keep it from being entertaining. Their match at Destination X wasn’t magnificent either, but it had a unique feel in that these two are no strangers to using weapons against each other, but had to use them without technically using them as weapons. They couldn’t outright smash a chair into the other’s head, but if they were holding it, they could sure as hell kick it into their face. You know, rules and all. This match changed that. Shit was legal and they could have fun in a playground full of weaponry.
What was good about this match was that it still told a bit of a story and wasn’t a complete spotfest given the weapons at their disposal. And these matches don’t need to be deep works of art in terms of story. I mean really, they’re just two guys that have a history and enjoy wrestling each other. Sometimes it’s all wrestling needs to be. If you watch and have fun, this match exceeded my expectations and was a good 13 minutes of entertainment. If you sit down with a notepad and critique everything they do and compare it to classic AJPW, yeah, it’s not going to fare very well.
Also, who doesn’t mark out for someone Van Terminating a ladder into someone’s face? And RVD’s BRILLIANT psychology of still using a chair in front of his feet so that his legs don’t miss the rungs of the ladder, thus making the move a giant fail???
And because you probably don’t compleeeeeeeetely hate me enough yet…
RVD’s lionsault is better than Jericho’s ever was. Take that, bitches.
Cewsh: Vice has laid out my every word for me there already, aside from that last sentence which is obviously the ramblings of a madman.
74 out of 100.
Cewsh: This is yet another match with a backstory that stretches back surprisingly far. When the BFG Series originally began, these three men were considered three of the most likely to win it. As time went on, though, Samoa Joe found himself without a win of any kind and Matt Morgan found himself in the announcers booth, sidelined with an injury. They both watched as, despite their setbacks, Crimson quickly outpaced the rest of the competition and took a commanding lead in the Series, seemingly destined to win it handily, undefeated as he was. Samoa Joe, though, was undergoing a transformation as the anger of each new loss piled up higher and higher on his huge shoulders. He started to become more and more like the monstrous and dickish Samoa Joe that first walked into TNA, and he began viciously assaulting people as Morgan protested the unfairness of it all from the sidelines. Finally it was Crimson who found himself in Joe’s crosshairs and Joe destroyed the big man’s leg, putting him out of the Series and costing him his destined shot at the title. A newly healed Morgan is after Joe to make him pay for his dickish behavior and an also newly healed Crimson is out for revenge. With only one Joe to go around will these two be able to work together, or will their conflicting egos cause Samoa Joe to have the last laugh?
Well the answer is a little bit of both.
See, to start the match, Crimson and Morgan go after Joe and do it quite successfully as Joe struggles to keep his head above water. But inevitably, when it comes down to actually winning the match, Morgan and Crimson can’t see eye to eye and get down to the get down themselves. What results is a bunch of jumping around from guys big enough to know better, culminating in Matt Morgan utterly botching the finish to a downright silly degree, as he botches his own move into the turnbuckle so bad it hard to tell if he was even supposed to be hurt and then just sort of stands there pretending not to see as Crimson spears and pins Joe RIGHT FUCKING NEXT TO HIM.
I’m glad these three guys all got something to do on this show and everything, but this match didn’t make anyone look good, didn’t make anyone look like they belonged in title contention and didn’t have any place on this show. It just…was.
69 out of 100.
Vice: If you took Samoa Joe of 2004/2005, Morgan of whatever year he was kicking ASS and being great, and current/possibly future Crimson, this match could have actually been really fantastic. But since it’s current Joe, current Morgan, and Crimson, well, the match is just kind of there. It wasn’t awful by any means, and some stuff was executed fairly well, but as a whole it was not the absolutely crazy BIGSTRONGMENBEATINGTHESHITOUTOFEACHOTHER match it could have, and really should have, been.
It needed more Big Rob Terry. That’s for sure.
Cewsh: Backstage, Bully Ray sneaks up on Jeremy Borash and makes it Interview With Bully Ray time.
He then proceeds to do the impossible as he not only cuts a fantastic heel promo hyping up his match with Ken Anderson that is moments away, but he actually incites ECW fans to boo him. And not just boo him, but boo him so hard and so long that its amazing they still had enough breath left to order another beer. Bully runs down the city, the people in it and then drops the mic like he just finished his part in a cipher and stalks to the ring as the camera man follows sheepishly. He emerges like a conquering god to the most heat ever generated by a TNA wrestler (and I can attest to that in all seriousness), as he laps it up enthusiastically.
That leads us to…
Cewsh: Out comes Anderson next and he looks briefly to the sky as if looking for his famous mic before rushing to the ring instead as the fans loudly boo not getting to see his customary entrance. They quickly forget the tease, though, as this match gets going fast and never slows down. These two brawl all over the place, from the ring to the crowd to the back all the way back to the ring, using whatever random props they can find along the way. They both bring the hate in a big way here as Ray does his usual thing and Anderson manages to stick with him every step of the way. Somewhere along the way the crowd gets behind Anderson in a major way, and for good reason, because the man is the definition of gutsy here as he does his impression of Rocky and wont give up as Ray keeps right on punching him in the mask area.
Like every good Falls Count Anywhere match, this match has its fair share of humor too, my favorite part of which being the random plant sign Anderson grabs saying “Welcome to Philly, Asshole!” which sounds like a goddamn gun went off when he hits Ray with it due to it secretly being a road sign. Dubious!
This match was gobs of fun, as Anderson turns in one of his rare good matches as a babyface, aided all along the way by the revelation that is Bully Ray. Month in and month out, Ray outperforms every single person on the roster, and month after month the stigma of him being a tag wrestler only evaporates in the face of his awesomeness. I don’t know if he’ll win a World title from this and I don’t care. But the man is writing a last chapter to his wrestling legacy that is second to none and he should be applauded for it.
Vice: Ok, when did Anderson get natural looking hair? He looks so weird like this, even if it’s 900 times more healthy for his scalp and hair.
That said, this match was really enjoyable for me. Anderson was at his best during his feud with Angle, and has never really quite gotten back to the awesomeness of that run, but he still has potential to put on good matches. Bully Ray is just beyond brilliant. Who the hell would have thought that he’d be THIS good in a singles run in 2011? Seriously, he’s incredible.
This match was a bit spotty, with them moving from nasty weapon spot to nasty weapon spot, but it was a good brawl with neither man wanting to die. There were some really nasty looking spots to, which added a lot of credibility to this fight of theirs. I especially loved the piledriver to the floor in the back area. Sure it was probably dangerous, but if the story is about two guys wanting to kill each other, you’re going to have to do some really crazy shit to sell that. Otherwise the match does not fit the tone at all. So, kudos to these two for going nuts out there.
The end was a bit botched with Anderson only clipping Ray with the swanton onto the table, but they covered it perfectly, with Anderson hitting the mic check through it shortly after.
Watching it, you knew they fucked up, but it didn’t look fucked up or sloppy. And really, you have to give Ray some respect here. You could see him talking to Anderson right after the swanton, and I’m assuming he said to mic check him. Ray didn’t have to take it. He could have just rolled off the table into a pin. Anderson could have just pinned him on the table, or just elbow him or something to make it break and then go for the pin. But Ray seemed more than happy to risk injury to make the finish a solid finish and really put Anderson over. There are plenty of wrestlers out there that would be thrilled to have a shitty finish because the other guy couldn’t hit the move properly, and this would make him look better both in real life and in kayfabe-land.
Vice: Cewsh told me he had like 19 pages of crap to talk about with this match, so I’m going to keep this short:
This match was utter garbage, but I’m actually really glad to see Velvet win the title for some reason. Then again, I’d probably be happy with anyone winning it as long as it wasn’t Mickie James.
Oh, and Winter is mind-bogglingly hot.
Cewsh: Not quite 19 pages, but I do have a handy little list of things that are stupid about this match. I call it:
CEWSH’S LIST OF THINGS IN THIS MATCH WORSE THAN STEPPING ON A LEGO.
The entire premise of this match is that Karen Jarrett is the referee and in charge of the Knockouts, and that she hates Velvet and Mickie, so there’s no way they can win. She pretends not to notice when they get pins and openly roots for the heels, especially Madison. This could be terrific in theory, but…
1. The faces aren’t over enough to earn sympathy from this.
2. The heels aren’t over enough to be booed for this.
3. Karen isn’t a good enough actor to pull of her role.
4. As a result, this match muddles down into a murky mess of nonsense that seems to stretch on forever. It also may as well be a singles match between Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne because…
5. Winter, the champion, is easily the 5th most important person in this match. Madison is besties with Karen, Velvet and Mickie are the faces fighting the evil regime and Winter is just…there. It’s like they forgot she was even the champion when they wrote this storyline.
6. Tracy Brooks disobeys orders and runs down, possibly leading to that megahot Tracy Brooks vs. Karen Jarrett match we’ve all been hoping for.
7. Velvet Sky wins the championship. With no build. Following shenanigans. Seeing as what she needs is credibility since nobody sees her as a credible wrestler, having her win this way is only just better than having someone drop an anvil on Winter and have her get the pin that way.
8. Winter has now held the title twice and has yet to be given any character aside from “Evil Zombie Making Witch.”
9. Mickie James was actually the best she’s been in years here, and I can’t even be nice about it because of what went on around her.
10. Angelina Love, the second best female wrestler in the building that night, continues to be a manager for some reason. Rosita wrestles but Love doesn’t. That’s what God does to you because you masturbate too much.
Actually, that list comprises the entire match and everything in it. Hmm, must not have been too good, huh?
45 out of 100.
Cewsh: In a way, this feud began with the very beginning of TNA, when Christopher Daniels, long earmarked as a future superstar in wrestling, was passed over by TNA management in favor of AJ Styles when it came time to hand out the main event pushes. Daniels supported AJ, and though they feuded off and on, they remained best friends through all the year afterwards as Styles became the face of the company and Daniels struggled for table scraps in his wake. Daniels was even fired last year only to be brought back at Styles’ behest, ever the loyal sidekick. Earlier this year though, something seemed to change with Daniels. Gone was the support and friendliness, replaced by what could only be called outright hostility directed at Styles who was absolutely befuddled by the change of heart. Suddenly Daniels began to rage that he had always been taken for granted, and now that he was nearing the end of his career he had nothing to show for it because he gave everything to AJ and got nothing in return. He begged for a match at Destination X to prove himself and he got it, losing to Styles in a hard fought match.
But that only made things worse.
Now Daniels has gone from bitter ex-friend to maniacal enemy bent on destroying the career and legacy of the man he once called his brother, and AJ Styles has put aside his reluctance to fight his friend to give vent to his own anger at this betrayal. And now they’ve got themselves into an I Quit match, one of the most violent stipulations in wrestling. Shit is about to go down.
Vice: I haven’t really read much of what people have said about this match, but if I had to guess, I’d say people either absolutely love it or despise it with a passion.
I can’t fault anyone for hating it because of all the craziness with Christopher Daniels and how he took things waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too far when it came to mentioning AJ’s wife, kids, and how he is going to murder ol’ Mr. Styles live on PPV. And, you know, actually trying to murder him via SCREWDRIVER TO THE EYE SOCKET and attempting to throw a wrench at his skull like friggin’ Nolan Ryan. Though while AJ might be getting a lot of sympathy here, it’s not exactly like he’s an angel. After all, he did make Tommy Dreamer say “I Quit” by nearly gouging his eyeball out with a fork.
What I loved most about this was the finish, as it didn’t make the match nearly as disgusting overall. If Daniels really wanted to kill AJ, he could have accomplished it I’m sure. But while he did throw a wrench at him and tried stabbing his face in with the screwdriver, he did it in ways that AJ could fairly easily escape. It made Daniels seem like he was completely out of his mind without him reaaaaally being crazy. It was MIND GAMES. Like, if I wanted to legitimately kill Cewsh (for the 19th time) with my battle axe, I wouldn’t run at him in a cartoonish fashion with the axe way above my head as he watched me charge. No no. But charging like that would sure as hell make him think I was going for blood.
See, Daniels knows he can’t really beat AJ in a physical manner. It’s been proven numerous times over the years that in a fair wrestling match, AJ comes out on top. In a physical fight, AJ comes out on top. Why? Because AJ Styles has an ungodly amount of heart and absolutely refuses to quit. And now Daniels is in a match where he actually has to not only make AJ quit, but needs to have him yell it into a microphone for the [strike]whole world[/strike] 6,000 TNA fans to see? Yeah. Not going to happen if he does his usual routine. So Daniels decides to go completely crazy with weapons, bringing AJ’s family into the mix, and all of that really vile shit he did to try and break AJ mentally. But AJ has too much pride. Too much heart. He knows that Daniels doesn’t truly have it in him, and behind this crazy persona of his, he is just a man. A man that AJ can defeat.
I mentioned loving the finish before. Daniels immediately says he quits after he realizes his plan backfired tremendously. He didn’t break AJ. All he did was just piss him off that. much. more. And pissed off AJ is someone you don’t want to even be near, much less be his target. Especially if AJ has a screwdriver in his hand. Was AJ bluffing with the screwdriver and returning the mind games, or did Daniels truly awaken the beast? See, if this match ended with AJ butchering Daniels, or basically anything that wasn’t the finish we got, then Daniels might legitimately seem crazy, it might damage his character a lot, and the whole match might have been embarrassing for pro wrestling on a national stage. So, I’m glad that it was Daniels just trying to break AJ’s head in a figurative sense.
The icing on the cake was Daniels jumping AJ from behind when he was on the ramp celebrating. Daniels shows that he is just being a wily, opportunistic villain here and not some crazy horror movie murderer.
So in terms of the actual WRESTLING here, this match was nothing too special. But in terms of story and characters, this was pretty top notch for an I Quit match.
Cewsh: Make no mistake about it, this was a career defining performance from Christopher Daniels.
In countless matches before, Daniels has been accused of being bland, just doing the same old thing, not using psychology, etc, etc. All harsh criticisms and many of them even true, as the man seemed to develop his kind of match somewhere around 2002 and then just walked it around the independent circuit and in TNA from that point forward (with a few notable exceptions). He also stuck to essentially the same two characters. He was either nice guy Christopher Daniels who helps his buddy AJ and is a nice guy like he is in real life, or he was The Fallen Angel, sort of a cartoonish play on his theatrical side. Neither really tapped into much that would demand that a promotion push him, and perhaps that’s why none really ever did. But in this match, something entirely new came out of Mr. Daniels. And it was god damned glorious.
From the moment this match started, Daniels was in complete control. He bullied AJ, he intimidated AJ, he threatened and cajoled AJ and he hit his former best friend in the way he knew he was most vulnerable to. He hit him emotionally. He stood over AJ’s broken body and told AJ’s wife to put the kids away so they didn’t see their father get killed. He took the threats of violence way past where AJ was expecting to go. And when AJ came at him with a screwdriver at the end of the match, openly ready to do horrible things, he promptly surrendered and refused AJ the satisfaction of getting his revenge, only to jump him on the stage and rub it in even further. This is the kind of virtuoso heel work I’d expect from the likes of Bully Ray or an on top of his game heel Anderson. To see it come from Daniels and hold together this entire match thematically so well is startling and well worth the wait.
Now, this match wasn’t perfect. I’ve always had trouble with cruiserweight grudge matches, where they want to hurt each other so bad but take the time to carefully orchestrate flips to the outside and the like, and that’s really what Styles does here mostly, to keep the match exciting. It very nearly jumps the shark to needlessly no selling, but not quite and that’s good. Because with AJ being AJ, and Daniels digging down deep and finding something better than he’s ever had access to before, this match was both men’s best since the last time they stood across from Samoa Joe.
Cewsh: Quite unexpectedly, out to the ring marches Mr. Stroke himself, Jeff Jarrett (I’m going to feel terrible calling him that if he ever has a stroke, by the way). Jarrett is in a bit of a tizzy and he explains that the reason why is because he saw Jeff Hardy’s little apology awhile back and he knows he’s in Philly, so he’d best come the fuck out and face the music. He runs Hardy down saying that nobody wants him in the company (probably true), that nobody’s safe with him around (definitely true) and that the fans don’t like him anymore (unfortunately not true). Hardy comes down to offer his rebuttal in the form of some punching and they scrap for a little while as the crowd…doesn’t react to it in any way at all. They cheered a bit as Hardy came down to the ring, but when he started brawling with Jarrett you could’ve heard a pin drop, until finally D’lo Brown came to help break it up and the crowd went nuts cheering for HIM.
Look, I’m not going to go on a big rant about them bringing back Jeff Hardy. They feel that his well being is his problem and are just looking for main event wrestlers to propel their shows, and while I don’t agree with that, that doesn’t make them awful people. If Jeff wont help himself, then they aren’t responsible for doing it for him. But of all the ways to bring the man back, why on Earth would you choose to make him a conquering hero who takes the support of the crowd for granted? Jeff seriously fucked up and people are seriously angry at him about it. No doubt in time they’ll forgive him if he doesn’t fuck up, but in the meantime he’s just that guy who ruined a PPV and can’t be trusted, so why would you just assume that pointing this out over and over would engender anything but bitterness or, worse, apathy towards the man?
This isn’t doing him any favors and if we’re lucky he’ll be over again by the time he next shows up on drugs and ruins a show. But on the bright side, look forward to the next three months. That’s the average length of time Jeff puts in a real effort to be good after coming back from drug suspension. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Cewsh: Think back to last year’s Bound For Glory. Have the memory of a lizard and can’t remember back that far? Here’s a refresher:
“Cewsh: The backstory to this match reaches back over a decade, as at the center of it all is the distrust and rivalry between Hulk Hogan and Sting. Recently Sting went nuts and turned heel and has been all over Jeff Jarrett and Hulk Hogan’s asses about a conspiracy he believes them (and Eric Bischoff) to be a part of. Why he cares so much and why he believes this to be the case is beyond me, but they have recruited a bitter and scorned D’Angelo Dinero to their cause with their random brainwashing, and Jeff Jarrett has responded by somehow convincing Samoa Joe to fight on his team. This match was supposed to also feature Hulk Hogan on that team, but he’s out with a back injury. Or is he?”
That was just before Hulk Hogan unleashed his grand scheme by turning Jeff Hardy heel and getting him the title and unleashing Immortal all over TNA, ultimately wresting control of the company from Dixie Carter entirely. Of course Sting knew all the time what was going on and tried to tell anybody, hell, everybody! But he could only get the ear of Dinero and Nash and the three of them were seen as heels because of their crazed attempts to warn the world of what was to come. Dixie should have listened. In the following year, Sting tried everything to get the company back, but nothing worked. So his solution was simple. Just go batshit insane. Viola! On came Joker Sting, a manic, crazy clown bent of nothing short of the complete mental breakdown of Hulk Hogan. For months he chipped away at the regime in any way possible, from winning the title to physically assaulting everyone in Immortal to trapping Eric Bischoff in a room with a bird. Hogan took it for as long as he could before he could stands no more and finally blurted out a challenge to Sting for a fight at Bound For Glory and if Sting won then Dixie could have her company back. Sting had riled up Hogan so much he had made the man make a mistake. All Sting wanted was to bring that fire out of Hogan, to remind him of the man he used to be so that he could see the damage he had done with these corporate politics. And now he was going to get his chance.
Now that backstory is epic. Just marvelously, endlessly god damned epic. It’s a good thing that it is, because this match has a less than zero chance of living up to it and everyone involved clearly knows it. Right off the bat they start flooding this match with every trick they can think of to distract from the actual physical confrontation. Flair comes out and is a pesky annoyance all match long, the referee has turned out to be Bischoff’s son and there is a great deal of speculation as to whether or not he will do the right thing if the time comes, and there are so many long, lingering shots of Dixie Carter looking worried in the 3rd row (because front row is too expensive I guess), that I have to believe that the camera man was touching himself furiously.
About a minute in everybody is busted open, and from there they totter along through the match until Sting slaps on the Scorpion Death Lock and Hogan taps, giving Dixie her company back, much to her excitement. But wait, there’s more! Immortal runs down to ask the ref why in the fuck he actually counted that submission and to beat Sting the fuck up. Bischoff winds up nailing his own son with a chair and they take turns beating up Sting until finally HULKAMANIA RUNS WILD BROTHERS.
Hulk Hogan rips his shirt off, promptly grows about 3 feet taller and along with Sting starts laying waste to everyone in his vicinity as the crowd goes BANANA for them teaming up together. It’s a real feel good moment as they pose together for the fans, Sting finally having achieved his goal and finished his over one year long quest to give Hulk his redemption. Happy endings. Aww.
Initially, when I sat down and thought about this match, I was pretty hard on it. There’s hardly anything you could recognize as a match, and I’ve seen Rock’em Sock’em Robots with more mobility than these two. But when I sat back and thought about the big grin plastered on my face when Hogan and Sting joined forces to defeat Hogan’s dark side given flesh in Immortal, I realized that I was missing the point. This was never meant to be a good match. This was meant to be a feel good moment that will shape the future of TNA, and on both counts they got it absolutely correct. So you can nitpick if you’d like, and you wouldn’t even be wrong to do so, but I’ll meet them in the middle for a C. Because I’m a Real American and I score for the rights of every man.
70 out of 100.
Vice: I don’t know why, or how, but I absolutely loved pretty much everything this match gave us. The ring work was fairly shit because Hogan can’t really do much wrestling after all his surgeries, so a lot of it was up to Sting, and considering he’s really not that much younger… yeah.
But somehow it all just worked. It was great professional wrestling and working within the numerous limitations of all those involved. Sting wins, which was to be expected, but it was still a cool moment with Dixie going all crazy outside the ring. And then Immortal comes out and beats the shit out of Sting, which was also to be expected, but it was marvelously done. A beaten, broken, battered, and still getting his ass kicked Sting crawling his way towards Hogan begging for help was fantastic. And good fucking god the crowd lost their shit when Hogan hulked up and joined forces with Sting to clear the squared circle.
These guys are dinosaurs, and one can’t even wrestle anymore, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be entertaining as hell. And this was.
I don’t know how many stars aligned on this night for this match to not be a complete mess, but the universe did in fact jump through hoops on this night.
Cewsh: I’ve told this story here already, I feel. But as a refresher let’s just say that Roode won the BFG Series for this shot, Angle is underestimating him, and if Roode wins here, Immortal will be completely and soundly defeated and his dreams will come true. 13 year journey, worked all his life, midcarder done good, you get the idea.
Vice: This match really took me back to the days of Angle and Benoit wrestling. Roode is obviously no Benoit outside of not having a ton of over the top personality, being Canadian and using the crossface for a finisher, but it just flowed like one of their matches. Loved the counters, reversals, and the finishers on display here. Despite being 14 minutes long (a good time, really), it still felt a bit rushed. Though I’m not sure if that’s the right word. Maybe frantic? These two cut out a lot of the beginning story and the feeling out process and whatever and went right into intense within 2-3 minutes. So I’m not sure if that’s them being short on time, or the story of the match being Angle not giving Roode enough credit/underestimating him right off the bat, and Roode giving it 150% from the get go to catch Angle off guard. As a complete match, I don’t think this works, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining.
Cewsh: Fuck no, this match was quite entertaining, and almost shockingly so for two guys who haven’t necessarily been known for electrifying matches in recent years. Maybe it was the shortened time that lended a feel or urgency to the match, or maybe it was Roode really, finally having a strong character to play off of and fan support to get behind him, but their exchanges were fast and furious, and that’s not nearly as homoerotic as it sounds.
Vice: This was by far Roode’s best singles match, and it isn’t really a surprise that it was with Kurt Angle in a main event. I’m beyond thrilled that Roode was REALLY able to show that he belonged at the top, as he has been doubted plenty of times, both in kayfabe and in real life. He gave it his all and it all paid off.
Well it would have, had he won the match. A questionable decision, but it could create a wonderful feud with Storm and really give him some fire and character. Definitely a “what the fuck?” moment at first glance, but also one that needs to play out before it can truly be judged.
Cewsh: I can see where those complaints might be coming from, seeing as the whole idea of wrestling is supposed to be that in the end the good guy wins the match, gets the girl, takes home the gold and everybody goes away happy. It’s this kind of idealistic thinking that is at the very base of what wrestling is, why it’s staged and how it remains continually satisfying through the years. People have trouble letting go of this as a storytelling mechanism because its hard to separate this from what they think wrestling to be. The way its supposed to go.
Vice: But hey, if you want to get realistic here, there are tons of people in sports that were in similar positions as Roode, being doubted and needing to prove themselves, or being built up with that “it’s his dream and ultimate goal!” treatment.. only to get knocked out in the first round. To get trampled by the other team. To strike out with the winning run on base. To get injured in the second quarter. To come up 3 yards short when it counts most. It happens all the time. Every day.
And another hey, if Roode won the match, there’d still be just as much complaining because he isn’t actually ready to be THE MAN, that his build did not warrant such a win over Angle on their biggest show, that he’s not a good enough worker, that he should not be champion. And then people would be shitting on TNA for pushing one of their own homegrown guys that’s been very loyal to the company, and then complain if the title went to an ex-WWE/WCW guy instead. It really all just blows my mind.
I can understand people blowing up about the finish of this match, but it didn’t bother me much if at all. It was still a very solid bout.
Cewsh: Ultimately, even though Roode lost and Sting won, this was the right match to cap the show. The fans may not have been sent home with their favorite wrestler getting his hand raised, but its important to realize the differences between TNA and the WWE format we’ve been familiar with all our lives. WWE lives one month at a time. They construct a storyline one month at a time, and each month they blow it off to some degree, or introduce a new element to drive it forward in some significant way, but always the matches themselves are the focus. But TNA uses their PPVs purely for storyline purposes. They never had any intention of having Bobby Roode win the title at their Wrestlemania, because that isn’t the story that they’re telling.
Him losing at Wrestlemania is a vitally important part to the story that will progress even further next week when…well if you don’t know yet I wont tell you, but believe me, it all fits together.
Many fans don’t like this sort of continuous, never breaking story structure that has become TNA’s bread and butter. They want closure, they want redemption, and sometimes like with Sting and Hogan, they get it. But TNA doesn’t give that shit away easy and you’ll find none of it here. Just a strong match between two talented wrestlers that will lead inevitably to the next.
Call me crazy, but I can’t help but see something in that, at the end of the day.
Cewsh: There is bound to be a lot, A LOT, of conflicting opinion about this show. Hell, just between the three of us, much of the thinking is so different that you’d think we’d all watched totally different programs. But when it comes down to it, this show was just a show. Without the fancy graphics and the hype on the Today Show and ESPN, and without the name on the marquee, this is just a show like any other for TNA. There were some great performances, some strong matches and some breakthroughs. And there were also so instances where the human brain was defied to provide description for the horrors before it. That’s TNA, wrapped up in a little box, and provided for your inspection month after month and year after year.
They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I always assuming that TNA making shows like this made them crazy. But the more time gets on, I’m starting to think that we’re the crazy ones for time and again expecting them to change.
Vice: Overall, the match quality was definitely hit or miss throughout the show, but this had a bit of something for everybody and felt like a complete, well-rounded show. And like previous Bound for Glories, things have been shaken up a fair bit. Factor in the changes in creative talent as well, and who knows what’s in store for TNA in the future. It should be interesting.
Ms. Cewsh: Since I haven’t watched more than a few minutes of TNA since the last time I did a review, I don’t feel like I can comment on each match. Out of context, I did like the street fight with Anderson/Bully Ray, even if I did feel like some of the spots were too brutal for my comfort. Aries/Kendrick was really exciting at the time, but when Vice asked me what I thought of it a few days later, I’d forgotten it happened. It didn’t leave an impression.
On the bad side, I don’t care if we have to “lower our expectations” for Hogan/Sting. It was a just sub-par brawl, but the post-match beatdown was bad and went on far too long. It wasn’t OK for Hogan to run though the biggest heel stable in the company when everyone knows he can’t even take a bump. And while a little blood can add to a heated match, I never felt like this match gained enough momentum to justify the brutality. The amount was absolutely disgusting.
The Knockouts, for better or worse, are a division and you can’t say, oh what did you expect from them? I didn’t even watch it. 10 out of 10 overall! Yay! The match was slow, cluttered, and doomed from the very beginning. Velvet looked abysmal. If she’s the best option for champion, they should pack up the division. It’s done. I will, however, praise Mickey James who put out her best ring-work in years. It’s a shame she was in the same match as Velvet, Karen, and a non-official counting the pin.
Well that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hoped you enjoyed this trip to the heights of Mt. TNA. We saw all there was to see in that strange, strange world they’ve got down there in Orlando, and as always we’ll be coming back for more. Not next week, though, as next week we have a special treat for you. See, earlier this year there was a huge disaster in Japan, with huge floods and nuclear reactors melting down and all sorts of miserable craziness. You may have heard about it if you are physically capable of turning on a television. Well in Japan, they damn sure did hear about it, and the three biggest wrestling companies in the country (New Japan, All Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH) joined forces for a once in a lifetime supershow starring the best of all three brands in a show completely for charity going to those who were in need of help. They brought together the entire wrestling world in Japan to run this megashow, and we’re bringing in every reviewer we’ve got to review it as Cewsh Reviews goes All Together to bring Puro Party Month to its perfect conclusion. Don’t miss it. But at any rate, until then be sure to keep reading, and as always be good to one another!