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Bound For Glory was a bit lopsided. It felt like all the highest quality matches were at the start of the show. The main event seemed to be a footnote after the crowd blew their load cheering for Hogan. The matches were of a decent to high quality all evening, but there were certainly some bad bumps along the way. For the most part TNA lived up to their promises with this one, although I think Roode/Angle may have suffered from the rest of the card being so stacked. Every match seemed to be one of a long going rivalry, which may have taken away from the Title bout that didn’t benefit from such. I enjoyed the evening overall, and think TNA/Impact Wrestling fans are pleased with the product they received. Philadelphia was a great crowd, as they always are for wrestling.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

X Division Championship Match: Austin Aries (C) v Brian Kendrick (****): The Philly crowd was hot for Aries from the moment he came through the curtains. A-Double isn’t new to Philly, but I was surprised they booed Kendrick. The match was a slower pace than I’d expected, but it was also hard hitting. There was an awkward moment where Aries tossed Kendrick to the outside, but was closer to the ropes than he thought. Aries is a masterful heel. He never wastes a motion, and every time he panders to the crowd it is to shift the momentum of the match back to the face. Aries also sold the Sliced Bread off the top in pure highlight reel fashion. Kendrick losing to the regular Brainbuster after Aries kicked out of Kendrick’s finish was a great way to make the champion look strong. Extraordinary contest to open the PPV.

Karen making herself the guest referee for the Knockouts fits the Velvet/Karen Angle angle, but it doesn’t mean I enjoyed it. Traci hasn’t had much to do but get yelled at since returning to TNA.

Full Metal Mayhem: Rob Van Dam v Jerry Lynn (****): These two worked their way methodically to the weapons. It was nice to see they didn’t rush into the “hardcore” spots. All I want to see when RVD is in a No DQ match is a Van-Daminator, and they hooked it up here. The crowd broke out the “ECW” chants, which is meaningful in Philadelphia. Jerry Lynn wasn’t shy about taking ladder bumps. RVD tried to take his, but the ladder moved and RVD caught the guard rail with the back of his favorite head. These two pulled out all the stops as the finish looked like it crushed Jerry Lynn’s head (Dropkick into chair into ladder into Lynn). Impressive bout from beginning to end. The crowd made it even better with their raucous response.

Matt Morgan v Crimson v Samoa Joe (**): Joe as a heel works for me. Being the bad guy opens him up for more personality to be shown. The fact that Joe has amazing strikes helped out this match early on when little was happening. Seeing all three men take flight from the ring to the outside was unexpected. The match was going well, but the finish was lackluster. Morgan didn’t bother to get himself caught in the ropes, and we’re supposed to believe he just didn’t care to break up the PINFALL from a foot away. Crimson’s streak continues, but no one is keeping count.

Falls Count Anywhere: Bully Ray v Ken Anderson (***): Bully Ray cut an intense anti-Philly promo before the match, and it was magnificently evil. Anderson throws a beer at Bully Ray, but when a fan does the same he got annoyed and stared her down, awkward. The pulled the “street sign disguised as a fan’s sign” spot, but it was extra obvious with all the visible black tape on the back of the sign. This match was not on par with RVD/Lynn as far as hardcore matches go. The guard rail bumps were sick, especially Anderson’s, but the action wasn’t as consistent here. Anderson botched the Swanton through the table, so the ending was a mess. Both guys put their body on the line, and I’d be shocked if both made it out without an injury.

The 2 scoops of Bischoff segment was horrible. Neither family member makes for a compelling television character. The fact that Taz and Tenay try to sell surprise when they find out Jackson James is a Bischoff didn’t work.

Knockouts Championship: Winter (C) w/Angelina Love v Madison Rayne v Mickie James v Velvet Sky w/Special Referee: Karen Jarrett (**): Madison Rayne kissing ass before the match even began was brilliant. Karen seemed to be a liability in the ring at points, with the ladies mistakenly rolling and bumping into her. The match felt like it happened in slow motion. The ladies weren’t sharp and the spots weren’t interesting. The finish left a lot of options open, as Traci Brooks is no official (and she counted the PINFALL), so I don’t expect the decision to stand. Velvet takes the title in an emotionless turn of events, which is even more the reason to reverse the decision.

I Quit Match: AJ Styles v Christopher Daniels (****): AJ rocked the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon on his gear for this one. These two brought the high impact maneuvers as they always do. Styles isn’t much of a salesman when it comes to him making a comeback, but I guess that’s something he, Cena and Kaz have in common. Daniels’ back work looked pretty brutal, but ended up being for naught. The mid-match promo from Daniels about murdering AJ was quality heel work, so was his cowardly submission. Christopher Daniels couldn’t have worked the match any better. Styles being pushed to the edge by his rival is Batman/Joker storytelling at a solid level. Best of all was Daniels ambushing AJ post-match, so devious and effective.

The Jeff Hardy/Jeff Jarrett segment wasn’t worth the time it killed. It did feature Hardy wearing a shirt with his own mugshot (or was that his brother?), which I found comical. I wonder if those will be on sale.

Sting v Hulk Hogan w/Ric Flair (***): What a strange match. Hogan did his DX and Ric Flair impressions in between a bunch of strikes on Sting. Hogan and Sting showed some color from the forehead region. Show much blood that I think Abdullah the Butcher would have been proud. It wasn’t pretty or scientific, but it was somewhat enjoyable to see something so old school. The finish was a bit of a bummer. Hogan tapping out like a chump seems like a waste after all these years. I don’t think Hogan had a leg drop in him, and that was the most disappointing moment of all. The crowd practically exploded when Hogan Hulk’d out and tore his shirt before saving Sting from an Immortal beat down. The Hogan/Sting handshake situation was something that may have been better served putting over a younger guy (Gunner?), but it was a fun moment nonetheless.

TNA World Championship: Kurt Angle (C) v Bobby Roode (***): I was glad to see the crowd wasn’t burnt out by the time this started, but that didn’t last too long. Roode with the German Superplex early on may have been the spot of the night. This was practically the only straight wrestling match on the card, but it may have been too little too late. I know a lot of people said that Hogan shouldn’t have been the main event, but the way this played out, it should have been. Roode and Angle both threw in their usual moves, but they never seemed to slow it down and build up the moment. They were pulling out the big guns early, and it hurt the development overall. The match may have been rushed due to the rest of the event running long. The ending didn’t feel like much of a pay-off, especially after the BFG Series and all that. The crowd seemed confused by the ending, as it snuck up on everyone. Will Roode get another title shot before someone else?

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Definitely interested in seeing how some of these angles play out on Impact this week.

JPLS

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