Along with Slammiversary, Bound of Glory is the only original IMPACT PPV that has taken place every year since 2005, even when the company was in turmoil. As the 13th edition of Bound for Gory is going to air live from Ottawa, Canada, this Sunday, the history of this pay-per-view shows it’s a special moment for the company every year. Superstars were born, Champions were crowned, Legends were made. Let’s take a look at this prolific past, before taking the road to the next edition…
The PPV where titles are born
Although the name ‘TNA Knockout’ may have been created by IMPACT, it hasn’t always represented Women wrestlers the same way. From 2002 to 2007, the Knockouts were following in the footsteps of WWE Divas, being enhancement talents or competing in Lingerie matches. But in September 2007, TNA announced they were planning to start an official Women’s division and debut a Women’s title soon. A 10-Knockout gauntlet match was held at the Bound for Glory, 2007 PPV event and crowned Gail Kim as the first-ever TNA Women’s Champion, better known today as the IMPACT Knockouts Championship.
Last year, the state of the company was in turmoil, and TNA President Billy Corgan announced that the TNA King of the Mountain Championship would be deactivated in favour for the new Impact Grand Championship. The King of Mountain title had a tumultuous history. First known as the Television Championship, it then became the Legends title and then the Global title. Corgan then announced an 8-Man elimination tournament that would feature new rules to this division. Each match would consist of 3 timed rounds, with 3 judges to award the win based on points, if there is no winner via pin or submission within the time limit. The final match was scheduled at Bound for Glory to determine the inaugural champion. Aron Rex was set to compete against Drew McIntyre but, due to an injury, Eddie Edwards took his place.
In 2014, the tenth edition of Bound for Glory was the first to take place outside of the US. On June 25, Dixie Carter announced alongside Wrestle-1 founder and legendary wrestler, The Great Muta, that the PPV would take place in Tokyo, Japan, at the Korakuen Hall on October 12. Only a select few wrestlers from the IMPACT roster competed for TNA; Samoa Joe, James Storm, Team 3D and Abyss among others.
Eight matches took place at the event. Samoa Joe and Havok were announced to defend their X Division and Knockouts Championships, although neither of them were actually champions at the time of PPV because the shows were pre-taped. The main event featured The Great Muta and Tajiri against James Storm and The Great Sanada, after a long build-up on television where Storm confronted The Great Muta multiple times, calling him a “fraud” and stealing Sanada from Muta by becoming his new mentor.
The TNA Hall of Fame
How to be a part of a wrestling Hall of Fame when you never wrestled for WWE or was pushed out of the company? At the very beginning, the creation of the IMPACT Hall of Fame was more or less an answer to that question because of the people chosen to be inducted. Even if the original idea of it was to celebrate TNA’s 10th anniversary, in 2012, and a way to honour those who contributed to TNA’s history in a ceremony set to take place prior to the PPV, this Hall of Fame has had a sulphurous taste for years.
In 2012, nobody was expecting Sting to ever appear in WWE one day as he was resisting fiercely to their calls. But he chose TNA in 2003 and spent more than 10 years with the company. So in 2012, The Icon was the first to enter the TNA Hall of Fame. In 2013, Kurt Angle was the second inductee. When he was granted an early release from WWF in 2006, nobody thought he would start with TNA a month later and spend 8 years there.
Trademarks issues led The Dudley Boyz to leave WWF in 2005 and a month later, Team 3D was born on IMPACT Wrestling. The 3-time World Tag Team Champions were inducted in 2014. Who other than the co-founder of the company should become the 2015 inductee? Jeff Jarrett was not in good terms when he left WWF and created TNA in 2002. Same for the other inductee of that year, Earl Hebner, who was fired from WWF for selling the company merchandise without permission.
But things changed last year as the 2016 IMPACT Hall of Fame inductee was a former WWE Diva. Gail Kim turned the Knockouts’ division into a direction WWE decided against in 2007, which was considering women as wrestlers and not as valets or ‘eye candy’. The 6-time, inaugural Knockout Champion is a legit and important wrestler in the history of TNA/IMPACT. Even if she will retire after this upcoming edition of Bound for Glory, her name will stay related to the company and the success of its Womens’ division forever.
Referees, enforcers and guests of one night
Bound for Glory is the land of special guests, in and out of the ring. Special guest referee, special enforcer or guest wrestler, no PPV was held without a surprise participant.
Former UFC Champion Tito Ortiz in 2005 was the Special Guest Referee of an NWA World Heavyweight Championship match between Jeff Jarrett and Rhino. Jake “The Snake Roberts” refereed the Monster’s Ball match in 2006. In 2008, former NFL player and WCW wrestler Steve “Mongo” McMichael was chosen to be the referee of the Monster’s Ball Match.
A few years later, in 2012, MMA fighter King Mo, who will team with Bobby Lashley at this year’s PPV, was the special enforcer of the match between former Beer Money partners, James Storm and Bobby Roode. In 2013, professional bodybuilder Phil Heath accompanied The Bromans to the ring as they were competing in a four-way tag team gauntlet match to become the #1 contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Last year, Maxel Hardy, at only 16-months old, came to the ring to celebrate the victory of his Dad and Uncle as they defeated The Decay for the TNA World Tag Team Championship (he even wrestled his first match 2 months later at Total Nonstop Deletion).
A few facts and figures… (Monster’s Ball, title changes, records, originals…)
– Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, James Storm and AJ Styles, here are the “Four Horsemen” of Bound for Glory, the PPV record-making men. Samoa Joe took part in of 11 editions of the show, consecutively. Bobby Roode would have matched him if it wasn’t for his absence from BFG 1014. Storm and Styles follow with respectively with 10 and 9 participations.
– The 2011 Bound for Glory Series was introduced to determine the #1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The Bound for Gold gauntlet match was used in 2005, 2007, 2015 and 2016 either to crown a World Champion or to determine a #1 contender for the World title.
– Bound for Glory is the home of the Monster’s Ball, the speciality of ‘The Monster’ Abyss. This hardcore match has appeared on the card for seven editions of the PPV, including this year, and Abyss was a part of all of them. A no-disqualification, Street Fight where the usage of weapons is not only allowed, but encouraged. Thumbtacks, barbed wire or Abyss’ friend “Janice” are always warmly welcomed.
– Since its creation in 2007, the IMPACT Knockouts Championship has always been defended at Bound for Glory, usually in a 3 or 4-Way match.
– The World Title changed hands 7 times in 12 editions of the PPV. A good or bad sign for current Global Champion Eli Drake?
Now, as you know everything the Bound for Glory PPV, you’re officially ready for the 2017 edition…
All pics and videos courtesy of IMPACT Wrestling