Impact Wrestling’s “Bound For Glory” 2019 Review and Results – The 4 Aces of Impact

Like me, Impact Wrestling love to gamble, take some risks and change the game. Bound For Glory had an epic build-up. If you’re fellow readers of the weekly reviews, you know how difficult things had been to come to where we are right now. I’ll probably sound like a broken record tonight, but the last month of episodes was just brilliant and able, at the same time, to capitalize on the success of Slammiversary XVII, and to shed some light on new challenges for the company. But the major question was: could Bound For Glory reach the bar set by Slammiversary XVII, one of the best PPVs of the year and, maybe, of Impact Wrestling history? All Championships were on the line tonight, Legends and Dream Matches were on the menu… Who are the survivors and the winners of that great night? How many “I told you” and “I saw it coming”?  It’s time to find out, but your French Enygma Steph way…

So nutcracking… 

– X-Division Ladder Match: Jake Crist (c) vs Tessa Blanchard vs Daga vs Acey Romero vs Ace Austin
We all know what to expect in X-Division matches, and this delivered. Tessa Blanchard was definitely the new Champion that was expected to win that match. Everything was made to let us believe it would be the case. Acey Romero was making his debut with the company in this match. El Jefe Daga knows the game. And there was Austin 3.69, Mister Douchebag. 

Acey Romero offered some great moments, he fell onto a ladder and later on a table. The Tower of Doom spot was amazing. Daga and Tessa didn’t work together that much, even fighting for a ladder like two kids for a toy. Daga hit a marvel of a Slingshot Canadian Destroyer on Jake Crist from the apron into a ladder. Tessa knocked Acey off the ladder into a table that exploded and the ladder promptly followed over the top rope. She also knocked Jake Crist off the ladder and through a table.

Tessa was about to grab the title when Ace Austin jumped onto the ladder with his Gambit stick, hit Tessa and stole the title. How lucky the man who bet on Ace Austin because no one saw it coming. The match was great, with some great spots and bumps. All 5 wrestlers gave it all. Now we can easily think Eddie is going to cash in his Call Your Shot Championship shot to Ace, to grab the belt and the Lady.

– Impact World Championship Match: Brian Cage (c) vs Sami Callihan
I told you it was personal. This match was about a Champion trying to prove he worths holding the belt despite the injuries he had to deal with. It was about a wrestler who has given everything he had to help rebuild the company and has never stopped to deliver great performances in the ring. They were friends before. And after everything that happened in the recent episodes, Cage and Callihan will never ever be friends again. During the PPV, we learnt the match was turned into a no-DQ match, which would allow Sami Callihan to bring some tools and Brian Cage to unleash his wrath.

This was exactly what old blood feuds used to be. No introductions, just both men going after one another. Callihan tried to go right after Cage and that was the wrong idea. Cage had him early, even showed everyone that his Wolverine claws were sharp when he drug them across Sami’s forehead and drew blood. Chairs, stairs, tables and even the guardrail were utilized as weapons throughout the match. Sami hit the Cactus Piledriver on Cage through the guardrail.

Sami seemed to have the match in hand until he emptied a bag of thumbtacks. He hit Cage with the Cactus Piledriver onto the tacks but that woke up the Machine who tuned into a Beast. Cage fired up, hit a powerbomb and a Drill Claw onto the thumbtacks. Cage defeated Callihan and showed the whole world he is 100%. His wife Melissa Santos joined him in the ring to celebrate.
It was a hell of a good match, nasty, strong, intense. The personal aspect of it has a lot to do with that. I’m sad for Callihan who deserves to have a belt around his waist, I’m also happy for Cage who will now be able to do what he has always wanted to do, be a defending Champion.

– Joey Ryan is back on Impact Wrestling. He has signed a multi-year deal with the company. He will be free to suck lollipops on TV, do the dong style and put some baby oil on his body every week. The Mistress of Nutcracking Style I am is beyond happy… Because no one is more nutcracking than Joey Ryan… I officially announce here a new topic in the Nygma weekly review. For Joey Ryan, I officially start “The Lollipop and Baby-Oil Nygma Moment of The Week”… You will love that, I’m sure…

Smelled like nutcracking… 

– Impact World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match: The North (c) vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs Rhino & RVD
I told you it was a collision of 3 generations and 3 styles. RVD and Rhino are ECW veterans, defending a hardcore style. Ethan Page and Josh Alexander have been in the business for a while, they are wrestling a more classic style, even if pretty inventive. Finally, Rich Swann and The Mack, the youngest of them all and masters in the high-flying game. They could do some magic, and they did it. 

Mack started things off. RVD got in and hit Rolling Thunder, Mack hit his Kip Up/Moonsault combo, and the crowd kept chanting for the Gore. Things got interesting when Josh Alexander cut off RVD so he couldn’t hit the 5-Star Frog Splash, and directly across, Willie Mack hit the 6-Star Frog Splash. RVD sat on the top rope and seemed to think things over before hitting his Diving Kick and doing some classic RVD stuff. Towards the end of the match, we got a bunch of dives, Ethan Page press slammed Rich Swann from the top rope into the ring, a pure marvel.

And something went wrong. When Rhino was loading up for the Gore, RVD just hit him with a Superkick. He also superkicked Swann and just walked off while The North were retaining their titles. The RVD heel turn was definitely unexpected. It overshadowed the quality of the match, the impressive performance of The Mack who just stole the match. The North retained and, when Rhino and RVD will fight by her side, the rematch against Swann & Mack will be amazing.

– Call Your Shot 20-people Gauntlet Match
Two things to know about Impact Wrestling Gauntlet match: 1) a wrestler is eliminated when he is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the floor. When we are down to the final 2, it becomes a traditional wrestling match, with a win by pinfall or submission. 2) The first spot is usually a good spot.
Here are the 20 participants who were involved in the match: Eddie Edwards, Luster and Adam of Reno Scum, Cousin Jake, Rohit Raju, Joey Ryan, Havok, Rosemary, Madman Fulton, Cody Deaner, Johnny Swinger, Jordynne Grace, Swoggle, Kiera Hogan, Raj Singh, Tommy Dreamer, Kylie Rae, Fallah Bahh, Sabu and Shera. 

The beauty of this match lied in the effects of surprise. The crowd was on fire when the lollipop appeared on-screen, Joey Ryan was there. Love him or not, but what an entertainer he is. The Man With The Iron Dick offered a nice segment when he dick-flipped 5 people at the same time, spread some baby oil in his torso in front of both Rosemary and Havok. Kylie Rae stroke hard when she attacked Tommy Dreamer, Raj Singh and Madman Fulton as soon as she entered the ring. The Knockouts showed they have no fear and proved the men they could do it. 

This was a solid gauntlet match, the crowd was into it. The flow was solid, with Eddie Edwards being a great anchor for this. He earned to win and to finally enter a Championship run. Edwards has been on Impact for so long, he’s one of these truly committed wrestlers the company has needed to rebuild. If I want him to go for the World Championship, the fact Ace Austin won it will probably change the game and make Eddie go for the X-Division belt.

Could have been nutcracking… 

– Michael Elgin vs Naomichi Marufuji
Before I start to type any word, you have to know my knowledge of Japanese Strong Style or Joshi is very limited. That’s not something that I like. So my opinion will be biased by that. Elgin made of this encounter a dream match. Marufuji is a Legend in Japan and one of the pillars of NOAH. Also, next month, he will soon go to Japan to compete for the brand new GHC National Championship, thanks to Impact Wrestling and NOAH partnership.

If I found this match long and brutal, it seems like the Strong Style fans were in heaven yesterday. I can’t define it as a show-stealer. It was classic Elgin and classic Marufuji. But Marufuji could just never get the finishing blow. Elgin fought it off his finisher many times. Marufuji pushed Elgin pretty hard but he resisted.

I refuse to bash a match because I’m not a fan of the style of it. But it was long. I didn’t feel the dream aspect of it. The crowd was as cold as I could be right now. Impact Wrestling audience is more used to hardcore or Lucha Libre things. For sure, if this match was meant to build Elgin as a strong contender before he comes to Japan, that worked.

– Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Taya Valkyrie (c) vs Tenille Dashwood
I told you Tenille Dashwood was like coming out of the woods as #1 contender and we had to expect Taya would not let her stop her historic reign as Knockouts Champion. One thing these 2 ladies have in common is their trainer as both are alumni of Lance Storm academy. The match was pretty good even if some things didn’t work well.

John E. Bravo accompanied Taya to the ring, which was a sign of interference (how funny was the Presley dog bear coming with them). Taya was as fierce as we could expect and she delivered the performance we could expect from her. Tenille failed to deliver once again, putting in a lacklustre performance. Taya really saved the match in being the amazing wrestler she is.

The finish of the match was not great at all. Even though Tenille fought back a little, Bravo sent a chain to Taya who tried to use it. Tenille countered an attack, cradled Taya, threw the chain out of the ring but she got caught with a knee. Taya hit The Road to Valhalla to retain. The chain was not necessary. Taya is a fabulous Champion, the way she makes it look like is not really fair.

Impact Wrestling will be back on PPV in January 2020. Precise date and location to be confirmed very soon, but it will be Hard To Kill

Nutcracking?

– Ken Shamrock vs Moose
It was supposed to be a match to remember. It was a match to forget. Shamrock came out looking great, prepared and focused. He unloaded a no-touch top rope dive, a Frankensteiner and a Slingshot Plancha. Moose was not alone as he brought Frank Triggs. They pulled off any and every heel tactic possible. Trigg grabbed the leg, took off turnbuckle pads, referee bumps, nutcrackers, well the complete repertoire of cheap shots.

Things just never really flowed once all the heel stuff started. It just felt cheap and dirty. Shamrock looked great, but it was awful to watch. The card positioning didn’t help them, as they came after Elgin vs. Marufuji and the Ladder match. The match was solid, with Shamrock putting in a way better than expected performance, but I told you Moose was never better than on PPV.

– Team AAA vs Team Impact
It may have happened but it won’t air until Tuesday on AXS.

Let’s be honest, Bound For Glory was not as great as Slammiversary XVII was. It was a good one, despite matches set to make it be great. There were some very good things, some very bad things and some surprises. I’m pretty puzzled Impact Wrestling didn’t capitalize on all the work done with Sami and Tessa, they may have missed something not having Sami & Tessa win big here, as Sami is their best heel by a mile, while Tessa is the biggest star they have right now. Instead, they chose to give a chance to Eddie Edwards, a long overdue. They also bet on Ace Austin whose title win fell into place perfectly for Eddie Edwards to try and close the loop on this story. The flip side of the coin was Shamrock vs Moose, what a shame it was to watch.
This PPV, for me, was focused on the future more than on the moment itself. RVD turned heel, Joey Ryan came back, Eddie Edwards earned a title chance, Ace Austin became the 90th X-Division Champion, Tessa and Sami will seek for revenge. I told several times this company was gambling one, the bet was risky and they have missed something important.
I called this review “The 4 Aces of Impact.” Because they chose to look at the future, this PPV showed definitely ended its rebuilding and have 4 strong cards in their game. The Ace of Hearts is the ability to give a chance to young talents, help them improve and develop. The Ace of Diamonds is the Knockouts because Impact Wrestling is treating female wrestlers as the equals of the male wrestlers. The Ace of Spades is the styles of the matches, there’s no limit to them. You want hardcore, intergender, high-flying, classic or powerhouse matches, they are all on Impact. The Ace of Clubs is the characters. Every talent is given incredible freedom to develop his character, make it legit and ensure it will be successful.
This year of PPV ends on a bitter note but, if you look at the year as a whole, Impact Wrestling has done something fabulous. The end of the year will be great and 2020 will be fabulous. 

*****

Bound For Glory Full Results:

Team Impact (The Rascalz) vs Team AAA (Wagner Jr, Aerostar & Taurus) to watch next week.

  • Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match: Eddie Edwards defeated Reno Scum, The Deaners, The Desi Hit Squad, Joey Ryan, Havok, Rosemary, Madman Fulton, Johnny Swinger, Jordynne Grace, Swoggle, Kiera Hogan, Tommy Dreamer, Kylie Rae, Fallah Bahh and Sabu
  • Impact Knockouts Championship: Taya Valkyrie (c) defeated Tenille Dashwood
  • Triple Threat Match for the Impact World Tag Team Championship: The North (c) defeated Rich Swann & Willie Mack and RVD & Rhino
  • Singles Match: Michael Elgin defeated Naomichi Marufuji
  • X-Division Championship Ladder Match: Ace Austin defeated Jake Crist (c), Tessa Blanchard, Daga and Acey Romero
  • Singles Match: Moose defeated Ken Shamrock
  • No Disqualification Match for the Impact World Championship: Brian Cage (c) defeated Sami Callihan

All pics, screenshots and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag. Nygma thanks to John Dinsdale… 

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