Here we are, it’s Bound For Glory time. As I’m writing those words, we are one day away from history. How long and winding The Road to Bound For Glory have been. Since Slammiversary XVII, more than 3 months have passed. Some will say it’s enough to make forget how good Slammiversary was. Even if some episodes were not as good as others, sorry but the boat didn’t sink. Bound For Glory could definitely shut every Impact detractor up forever if this year of PPVs ends the way it started.
So, here we are, this week is the final Impact before Bound For Glory. On the menu, from Las Vegas, Michael Elgin will face off Fallah Bahh. The last participant of the X-Division Ladder match will be determined with the winner of the match between Rohit Raju and Sabu. In a preview of the Impact World Tag Team Championship match, Josh Alexander will square off with both Rhino and Rich Swann. And X-Division Champion Jake Crist will compete against Chris Bey. Of course, I’ll review this episode, but I will use it as a platform to preview the PPV and give you my predictions. No worries, the Nutcracking spirit you love so much is not ready to mute or stop. So no more words, let’s get ready for some action, but your French Nygma Steph way, of course…
The Nygma’s Chart of the Week
- Michael Elgin defeated Fallah Bahh. Post-match, Elgin attacked TJP and broke him with a DDT on the hard floor. He grabbed a steel chair, placed it around TJP’s neck and rammed him into the turnbuckle. Elgin got TJP in the ring and finished him off with the Elgin Bomb. Big Mike then sent a message to Naomichi Marufuji.
- X-Division Champion Jake Crist defeated Chris Bey.
- Backstage, Ace Austin said there’s no doubt he’s becoming X-Division Champion, Alisha Edwards told him not to be that confident. He wanted her to go out and celebrate with him when he wins. Ace asked her to promise that she will go party with him if he does. She agreed although she wasn’t really confident about his chances.
- Long hype video on Moose vs Shamrock match.
- Knockouts Champion Taya Valkyrie was talking to someone we couldn’t see. She hyped it up like this person was someone who has helped her through everything in her career. In the end, it turned out she was talking to her reflection in the mirror.
- Rich Swann defeated Josh Alexander and Rhino. RVD, Ethan Page and Mack were at ringside.
- The oVe Creepy Cam showed Callihan on his own. This has been two years in the making. Since the moment he arrived in Impact Wrestling, the era of Sami Callihan officially started. He told the cameraman to cut the special effects as he’s keeping it real. Sami poured his heart out about his struggles and people not accepting him. And the more he tried to be accepted, the more he messed up. He showed genuine regret for what happened to Melissa Santos, he was just trying to play mind games and she got in the way. Sami was almost crying as he wants the world to accept him. This is the Callihan that the world created, and he isn’t sorry for it. You don’t have to respect him, but at Bound For Glory he will cripple Brian Cage and everyone will have to acknowledge he is the best; and the World Heavyweight Champion. “If that’s surreal for you, sorry but you can go f**k yourself.”
- Rohit Raju (w/ Gama Singh) vs. Sabu (w/ Super Genie) ended in a Double Countout after they fell through a table, which means no winner and (supposedly) no wrestler qualified for the Ladder match.
- Tessa Blanchard gave her thoughts on the ladder match. Maybe the smart thing to do would be to sit this one out? But no, the countless hours of training and sacrifice has led her to this. She has a plan, as the goal has always been to reach the pinnacle. This Sunday, no one is going to stand in the way of stopping her becoming the first woman ever to win the X-Division Championship. And when she’s done with Jake Crist, Sami Callihan will be next.
- 12- Wrestler Intergender Over The Top Rope Battle Royal with the winner entering the “Call Your Shot” Battle Royal at Bound For Glory last and the runner up entering first. Eddie Edwards, Rosemary, Havok, Kiera Hogan, Jordynne Grace, Johnny Swinger, Adam Thornstowe, Luster The Legend, Raj Singh, Mahabali Shera, Cody Deaner, Cousin Jake were in. Shera won the match by throwing Eddie Edwards over the top rope, Shera will be the last entrant and Edwards the first.
The Nygma’s Nutcracker(s) and Awards of the Week
– Intergender, encore…
A few months ago, Disco Inferno was in the same position than Johnny Swinger on the picture below. He was trying to impress the Knockouts and he ended up ass-kicked by them. I have no sympathy for Swinger, another remembrance of things past. But I particularly love those situations when the Knockouts are able to show old-fashioned male wrestlers the time of the eye candies is over. Yes, women can fight in a ring. Do you still need to be convinced?
– King Shera and Sir Edwards
Mahabali Shera made the comeback of the year and has literally propelled The Desi Hit Squad on top. I remember a young man wrestling in Mumbai, India, and winning the Sony Six trophy in front of his family, one of my very first Impact reviews… It seems like the tutelage of Gama Singh helped revolutionized the wrestler. We’ll hear from him in 2020, for sure…
– Strong and powerful women
Taya and Tessa. One fixing a mirror to remind herself what makes her become the longest-ever reigning Knockouts Champion. The other fixing a camera to remind the world her success is not built on her name but on her ability to have larger-than-life goals. Focused women never come up short, they stand tall and they show up the way to all the women of the world.
Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory Preview, Stakes and Predictions
Since 2005, Bound For Glory has been a place for talents to shine, history to be made, new talents to debut, and Champions to be crowned. There won’t be a Hall of Fame induction this year but, in many ways, the show, the company are about to become iconic if they make things happen. Bound For Glory card is a very special one, the build-up was complex but the goal has always been the same, prove the world the rebuilding phase is over. The company has a strong roster, a gutsy team of writers and producers, a focused management, a solid new TV deal. For the last 2 years, they have gambled, and they won. The attention that was given to women has been essential, the desire to do hardcore and intergender wrestling bring some spice to a recipe that has worked pretty well for the moment.
Quite strangely, despite these kind words, I can’t help (again) but think this PPV is a do-or-die one. Impact Wrestling has proved everybody wrong in 2019, mostly with Slammiversary. Let’s be honest, Bound For Glory card is meant to offer legendary matches. And they have to happen. To finish it the way they started it. I will say it again and again, but I genuinely want a PPV like Impact Wrestling can do, with good, great and awesome matches. What I absolutely don’t want is to tell you, tomorrow night, “I told you” or “I saw it coming”. Let’s scrutinize this card and see what may happen…
* Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match
What do we know of this match? Not that much. “It is a powerful opportunity. We start with 2 athletes and every minute another wrestler joins the match. You are eliminated when you are 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 and you can win by pinfall or submission. After that, win and you get to challenge for any Championship on the Impact Wrestling roster. The Call Your Shot Gauntlet is open to men and women and this match will catapult the career of one lucky winner.” Also, 2-time World Series manager Joe Maddon will be sitting ringside for the match and offering “managerial tips” to the winner. Eddie Edwards will be the first entrant, Shera the last.
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Error 404 – Come back later
* Team Impact (The Rascalz) vs Team AAA (Wagner Jr, Aerostar & Taurus)
It has become an Impact Wrestling classic, some AAA wrestlers against some Impact guys. This match was built up during the Mexico City set of tapings. If this 6-Man encounter is a good way to show how strong the relationship between the 2 companies is, it will certainly be a high-flying, fast-paced action bout. Usually, there are no winners and no losers in those matches because they are a treat for the fans.
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Team AAA
* Ken Shamrock vs Moose
Ken Shamrock, 55, is back in a wrestling ring. He and Moose have trash-talked on Twitter for days and days. Moose has given a lot to the company over the last 3 years. He has the potential to become a World Champion, something he has never succeeded in becoming. He is Mr Impact Wrestling. Shamrock proved last week he still is in good shape and can fight. But the fact is Moose is never better than during a PPV. If, as usual, Moose brings his A-game, like at every PPV, what will Shamrock need to bring in the ring to show the world his comeback is not a failure?
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Ken Shamrock
* Noamichi Marufuji vs Michael Elgin
A Dream match. Even if Elgin wrestled in Japan, he had never had the chance to wrestle Marufuji who has been working with another promotion. Elgin explained why he wanted this match. A mix of desire, honour, pride and challenge. Meanwhile, Marufuji was in Japan, wrestling for Pro Wrestling NOAH. He has made no comment on his upcoming match-up. That’s the way he is. He doesn’t talk but he strikes. On a very different level, this match is also showing how Impact and NOAH partnership is strong.
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Naomichi Marufuji
* X-Division Championship 5- Way Ladder Match: Jake Crist (c) vs Tessa Blanchard vs Daga vs Ace Austin vs ?? (Rohit Raju, Sabu, the 2 of them or no one)
If Tessa Blanchard failed to become the #1 contender for the Impact World Championship, she was the first to win an opportunity for the X-Division title when she defeated Jake’s brother, Dave. In one of his very first matches with the company, Daga propelled himself into the Championship run without his mentor Konnan by his side. Ace Austin stole the spot to Eddie Edwards, thanks to Reno Scum. What lies beyond this match is the possibility to crown the first-ever female X-Division Champion, the 90th Champion in the history of the title. Will it happen tomorrow?
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Tessa Blanchard
* Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Taya Valkyrie (c) vs. Tenille Dashwood
Taya Valkyrie is now the longest-reigning Knockouts Champion in the history of the company. At Slammiversary, she unveiled a new side of herself, more fierce, more hardcore. She shines as a heel. Tenille Dashwood made a striking debut in Mexico City and reached the #1 contendership as fast as the light. Impact Wrestling has always liked to put the spotlight to the newly-arrived Knockout with a title shot. If this match can take place without any interference and the 2 women show truly what they are made of, it will be a match to remember.
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Taya Valkyrie
* Triple Threat Match for the Impact World Tag Team Championship Match: The North (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page) vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. RVD & Rhino
Since winning the Tag Team titles just before Slammiversary, The North have established themselves as strong Champions but also as dirty players. The members of these 3 teams have incredible chemistry. Swann and Mack are the high-flyers. RVD and Rhino are hardcore legends. The stipulation of the match favours the Champions but that doesn’t mean anything. Three generations, 3 wrestling styles will collide in the same ring. If The North really attacked Konnan, he could be the key to this match.
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Rich Swann & Willie Mack
* Impact World Championship Match: Brian Cage (c) vs. Sami Callihan
This one is personal. On one side, a Champion who has not been able to defend his title the way he wanted it because of an injury. On the other side, The Draw who has been a huge part of the rebuilding of the company. Impact Wrestling will have to gamble another time because the Champion that will emerge as the winner of this match will give a strong indication of how the company wants their show to be seen. On who Impact will bet to build its future, a Machine or a Badass?
The Nygma’s Crystal Ball says… Error 404, come back later (I should change it…)
To be eNYGMAtic…
I think I already told you so much I think there’s no need to tell you more. Don’t miss Bound For Glory review on Monday night. Impact Wrestling will tap some new episodes soon, so who knows what’s going to happen next week? For sure, you saw, like me, that Havok and Rosemary’s feud is not over yet, Elgin/TJP/Bahh is just beginning, Eddie and the 3.69 Clan (Ace Austin and Reno Scum) should continue. Don’t forget Impact is moving to AXS in the USA on Tuesday, October 29, and some changes will be announced next week for the UK.
If you haven’t had the chance to read them, I had the honour to have one-on-one chats with Sami Callihan and Brian Cage. The challenger and the Champion interviews can be found here and here. Also watch below The Cold Open to Bound For Glory, nice hype video.
Since Slammiversary, I have struggled to reach to that point. Making sure you would be able to end the year the way we started it, with you. Pain has made me become angry, uninspired, troubled, and sometimes super happy. Your words, the ones you shared with me on @FrenchNygma were important. Because of that, on Monday night, when the BFG review will be online, I think I will enjoy a little bit of bubbly, even if I’m not supposed to mix them with painkillers…
On this very “Make It Real, Impact” note, until tomorrow night, until next week, never EVER forget to stay #eNYGMAtic…
All pics, videos, and screenshots courtesy of Impact Wrestling and Basil Mahmud. Photomontage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.