Impact Wrestling’s “Bound for Glory” Results and Review: Johnny in the Sky With Diamonds

Bound for Glory was a complex PPV, build-up wise. If you’re fellow readers of the weekly reviews, you know how tough things had been to come to where we are right now. I’ll probably sound like a broken record tonight, but many things were a little bit too predictable in the storylines that led us to the matches of this PPV. But the major question was: could Bound for Glory be as good as Slammiversary XVI? And why not, even better? Only 2 Championships were on the line tonight, many bodies and souls too… Who are the survivors and the winners of that great night? It’s time to find out, but your French Enygma Steph way…

So nutcracking… 

– oVe vs. Brian Cage & The Lucha Brothers
I told you these 6 men were Impact Wrestling’s A-Team and they would steal the show at Bound for Glory. I told you many times oVe and the Lucha Brothers have carried Impact Wrestling on their shoulders since Slammiversary XVI with a load of amazing matches. I told you it would be the match of the night. And it was. I can’t believe these guys were able to push the level even higher than they already did. Because you may know the recipe of those matches by heart, you’re always amazed by what you can see and how good these men are. 

oVe rules meant no rules, so absolutely everything was possible. Wasn’t it what we were expecting, my friends? This is oVe rules, which means no rules. Cage’s left thigh was heavily taped up, which was not a good sign. The 14 minutes of this match are just pure magic. Lucha libre style moves, apron bombs, Super Strong Cage lifting the Crist brothers for a suplex, incredible dives. What to add? If you liked the previous encounters in the weekly episodes, jump on this one. Because the end of this one was a little different. oVe hits the All-Seeing Eye and Cage kicked out at 1. Callihan and the Crist brothers unloaded superkicks, but Cage roared up for more. I didn’t count, but after more than 30 or 40 superkicks, Cage was down. Callihan hit the Cactus driver for the win. Brian Cage has officially been pinned for the first time since his debut with Impact Wrestling, making Callihan a logic #1 contender for the X-Division title. Gentlemen, I have 2 words for you, thank you…

Austin Aries vs. Johnny Impact
It couldn’t have been the match of the night for a few reasons. The first was called Moose and Killer Kross. They could have changed the fate of the match in a nano-second. The second was the fact Johnny was meant to win. Since his debut 15 months ago, he has had a lot of chances but has come up short every time. His time was now.

The Twitter stir Aries caused last week was unnecessary and mostly came too late in the build-up of the match. Here we were before the match started. Kross and Moose were at ringside, Taya too. Aries told me this match would be utterly different than the Crossroads one. He was right, the level of aggressivity was so high, the two men were so focused. They did the job so well, neither Kross nor Moose or Taya was useful at ringside.
In this 20-minute encounter, they both showed up their repertoire, Johnny doing Parkour between the ring and the barricades, Aries mixing high-flying style with classic A-Double moves. It was not a “classic” Johnny Impact match, it was not a “classic” Austin Aries match too. It was wrestling. I liked to see Johnny “stealing” Aries’ signature move. Because he teased the Brainbuster many times and even hit it on Aries. But it was the Starship Pain that connected for the win… If there was a rematch clause in their contract, I don’t even want to imagine the level of aggressivity that will come with it. Get ready, because it could define new in-ring standards.

Smelled like nutcracking…

– Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie
You all know that I’m not a fan of Tessa Blanchard. But after watching her match against Taya, I understand she just needed to find the good opponent to show what she really worths. Yesterday, Taya may have provided her best match since her debut with Impact Wrestling, while Tessa really fought hard to retain. But, due to the way the match was built-up, it was made to start a feud, not to make the title change hands. Every style was colliding in this encounter, Lucha Libre, mat work, classic wrestling, high-flying manoeuvres. But the Magnum, top-rope cutter did its job. Can’t wait for the rematch and the stipulation that will go with it… 

Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. Matt Sydal & Ethan Page
The NYC crowd knew exactly who Willie Mack was and they yelled it loud. An X-Division, high-flying style match is always a good opener for a PPV. And despite the fact The Mack and Ethan Page were making their PPV debut, they did a really good job. Sydal was still in “third eye” mode, Swann in disco mode but Mack and Page were in full wrestling mode. Sydal made a huge mistake when he thought The Mack was the legal man and hit the Chemical Imbalance on him. Swann was able to capitalize on that to unload a head kick, a Lethal Injection and a marvel of a Phoenix Splash for the win. This match had all the assets of the one-on-one matches we’ve seen on TV over the last few weeks, but the spicy sauce came from The Mack. I don’t know what the future holds for him on Impact Wrestling, but he could become very quickly a top player, alone or teaming with Swann. 

Could have been nutcracking… 

– LAX 5150 vs. LAX OGz
King sent some guys to attack Konnan backstage early in the PPV. So when the Concrete Jungle match started, it was a 2-on-3 situation. But what was a Concrete Jungle? The canvas and buckles were gone and all weapons were allowed, that was all. Wrestling wise, it wasn’t that bad but without buckles and a wood canvas, things could have been very dangerous for every guy as the wood boards were moving and, without buckles, blood quickly ran over. Not to add the barricades were very close to the ring and were utterly dangerous in a dive situation. We had many tables, many bird’s names (French way to say trash talk…). And like Cinderella, Konnan arrived at the very good moment to hit the Nutcracker on Homicide, attack King and Hernandez. He whipped King through the table and let his guys do their job. The good guys won.

Eddie Edwards vs. Moose
A massive brawl that ended up in a DQ, courtesy of Killer Kross. And Tommy Dreamer rushing out of nowhere to save his friend and turn the match into a tag team one. But it was still a massive brawl. Eddie Edwards was really good, he has never been better than in this “crazy” mode. Dreamer used the nutcracker on Killer Kross (just for the pleasure of saying it…). It seems like we take the road to another encounter, maybe in a cage, maybe a street fight. But this feud is not meant to come to an end soon, as yesterday night, the match we wanted to see was taken away from us. I look up to Tommy Dreamer for his perseverance in being there and staying an important player of the game. And to Eddie Edwards for being so damn good a kendo stick in hand… 

Nut… cracking? 

– Allie “The Undead Bride” Slayer
Allie entered the coffin, leading to the Undead Realm. Kiera Hogan was trapped there by Su Yung. And it was a festival of blood. Allie hunting the undead bridesmaids, blood splattering everywhere. Allie and Kiera escaped, thanks to Rosemary who used some strange magic to retain a bloody, Su Yung.  What the hell this segment was doing in the middle of a PPV? Step by step, week after week in the episodes, it would have been perfect. But before the main event of a PPV, it was inappropriate.

– Eli Drake’s Open Challenge
Eli Drake wanted a man from New York City, a real challenge. We all thought out very loud about Y2J until he tweeted he was watching. Killer Kross was raised in New York. And we had… James Ellsworth… the matchstick who dated a Princess from Staten Island…  This man is an absolute joke that Drake destroyed so quickly he didn’t see The Monster Abyss coming and threw him through a table. That was a nice thank-you moment for Abyss but that brought absolutely nothing to Drake. Eli worths so much better than that (I told him personally face-to-face in Manchester)…

Bound for Glory was a very good PPV, not as great as Slammiversary XVI was. There was no need for a crystal ball to see what was going to happen. Again, oVe, Brian Cage, Pentagon and Fénix tore the house down, after weeks and weeks of epic encounters. The cherry on the cake, Sami Callihan is now the natural challenger for the X-Division Championship, as he pinned Cage. Of course, Johnny Impact was meant to become World Champion and Tessa Blanchard to remain Knockouts Champion. Of course, Konnan was protected in the LAX vs. LAX match. But Tommy Dreamer came back and it was a really nice thing. Willie Mack made a brilliant debut with Impact Wrestling. Taya Valkyrie really pushed herself and Tessa to limits they haven’t shown us yet.
Even if we can blame Impact for applying the same recipe as for Slammiversary XVI, in the end, what were we looking for? Action. Did we have some? Yes. Bound for Glory walked into the footsteps of everything Impact has been striving on building over the last 10 months. Action, talent, cinematic moments… I’m proud tonight to say the company has finally found its way back to the top, a place it should have never left… 

*****

Bound for Glory Full Results:

* Tag Team Match: Rich Swann & Willie Mack defeated Matt Sydal & Ethan Page

* Eli Drake’s Open Challenge: Eli Drake defeated James Ellsworth, but was thrown into a table by Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer Abyss

* Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Tessa Blanchard (c) defeated Taya Valkyrie

* Eddie Edwards defeated Moose via DQ, but Tommy Dreamer & Eddie Edwards defeated Moose & Killer Kross via pinfall

* oVe Rules Match: oVe (Sami Callihan, Dave & Jake Crist) defeated Brian Cage & The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr & Fénix)

* Concrete Jungle Death Match:  LAX (Konnan, Santana & Ortiz) defeated LAX OGz (Eddie Kingston, Homicide & Hernandez)

* Allie The Undead Bride Slayer saved Kiera Hogan from Su Yung and The Undead Realm, thanks to Rosemary

* Impact World Championship Match: Johnny Impact w/ Taya Valkyrie defeated Austin Aries (c) w/ Moose and Killer Kross

All pics, screenshots and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.