Source: IWHeadlines.com reader Dylan Standlea
I was very happy and honored to be able to attend TNA’s Bound for Glory for the second year in a row.
It is after all TNA’s Wrestlemania; it is the night when feuds come to an end and new sweeping storylines begin.
I was accompanied by two of my closest friends–Amanda, who is a recent convert to TNA viewing, and a big supporter of Magnus (whom she is determined to “kidnap and turn into her pool boy”) and Jennifer, who used to watch a great deal of WWE programming and was thrilled to find out Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson could still be seen wrestling on T.V.
And me? I grew up with WWE like many fans, but I haven’t watched it in years. I find TNA to possess a much more impressive roster overall, and I find the quality of the matches to be generally much higher, and the characters more interesting. I am always puzzled by the waves of hate the product receives on the internet.
Anyway the crowd at the Viejas Arena was a very lively bunch, and I guess that made up for some empty seats. TNA did not attempt to seat anyone behind their giant screen, but even so, of the available seats I think only two thirds were filled. I want TNA to do well, so this made me sad.
The biggest pops of the night definitely belonged to A. J. Styles and Sting. I would even go so far as to say the crowd was louder and more united for Styles. This could be because Magnus was a face going into his match against Sting, and had some supporters (but not many in Sting’s backyard) whereas Bully Ray was pretty much completely reviled. Bully Ray received the most heat, followed by Dixie Carter. Amanda noticed everyone she saw with a Magnus shirt on was female. Something about those British guys…
I think A.J. and Bully receiving the greatest reactions is a good sign–the main event felt like the main event, and it was the only match when 99% of the audience was on their feet for the majority of it.
The only dud in the whole experience was the debut of Ethan Carter III. And it’s not his fault, he actually did really well. But I thought someone was going to come out after the match and steamroll him. Mr. Anderson returning, or someone. Instead he just beat a jobber that they said was from San Diego so people would cheer him. The jobber got cheers whenever he exhibited offense, but mostly the crowd chanted “boring” and I was inclined to agree.
I thought it was a classy move by Kurt Angle to decline the HOF induction. He could have accepted and no one would cry foul, but I thought it showed a lot of self-awareness and humility on his part. A lot of the crowd members didn’t appreciate this and booed him though. I glared at them.
The biggest shock of the night to me was Roode going over Angle. I never thought on a PPV where Angle was going into the Hall of Fame that he would lose. But Angle didn’t actually get inducted, and Roode deserved it, and the match was intense, old school, and spectacular, so I’m not complaining.
Another great moment we all enjoyed was Lei’d Tapa showing up and power bombing Brooke into the ring. I love this Knockout. If you notice whenever she decimates someone she screams, “My ring! My island!” Which I think is a kickass catchphrase. She has a lot of presence and charisma, and she brings a unique element to the division.
I was surprised to hear Bad Influence get cheered as much as they were. If they bullied EY or Park they were booed, but mostly the crowd loved them. I love them too.
The Bro Mans winning the tag-titles was also surprising, but I actually think they can be worthwhile champions. They are villains who are very easy to hate, and kind of remind me of a modern day Model Rick Martel, or The Narcissist Lex Luger. The protein shake bath celebration in the back with Mr. Olympia got more than a few laughs.
The X-Division match was a crowd pleaser, although Jennifer remarked that she would have liked to have seen more close calls going for the belt. Amanda actually thought the No DQ match at the end would have been crazier although there were some nice spots in there and we were entertained. We all thought it was odd that the No DQ stipulation was not made clear to the audience before the match. Some people were confused.
Overall it was a fun time and a great show… Perhaps not quite as good as last year’s which featured a stellar one on one battle between Aries and Hardy and an unforgettably brutal brawl between Storm and Roode, but still a great show. I felt I got my money’s worth, and am very, very, very glad that Styles is champion again.
If you look at the new lineup of champions, you see a pattern. Styles, Kim, Bro Mans, Sabin. These are stars that became stars in TNA. No one can look at them and say they are borrowed from WWE, not even Gail Kim, who was the first TNA Knockouts Champion.
To me it is an investment in the company’s inner strength, and bodes well for its future.