I was desperately hoping TNA Bound For Glory 2014 would be a fantastic show. This is a company that many are saying is on life support. They currently do not have a TV deal set up for 2015, and are only on Spike TV at the moment out of the kindness of VIACOM. Bound For Glory is TNA’s biggest show of the year. This is the event that should wow people. This event should be giving us that huge pay off on our emotional investments of their wrestling stars. I keep writing should because we all know TNA likes to “swerve” people or just use poor logic. This year seemed like a big one back in July when Dixie Carter announced BFG would be heading to the lad of the rising sun! That’s right, their big one would be held in Japan, with The Great Muta’s Wrestle-1 as co-promoters.
Things began to take a turn for the worse when in the weeks leading up to BFG, no “Bound For Glory Series” tournament was held. This tournament designed to build a number-one contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship had become a BFG tradition. Then with less than a mere one month from the event, the fans were given a card that didn’t quite feel “grand.” This was because the lack of a TV deal, meant TNA couldn’t resign big names that had contracts expiring. To make matters worse they were bulk taping their TV weeks and months in advance to save what little money that had and included title changes. This meant matches, for championships at the PPV would be spoiled and essentially useless; something the Japanese wrestling fans and wrestlers don’t stand for. This in turn lead us to a Bound For Glory with no TNA World Heavyweight Championship match or surprise.
On to the event itself!
(Author’s note: I am aware the PPV was recorded a few hours before it aired, and managed to avoid match spoilers.)
The PPV went on air and right away you knew this event wasn’t going to be historical. The production values of the recording equipment and the live stage were well below the standards of TNA. Hell, this felt like a second rate Ring of Honour event.. you know the non televised events. I know Korakuen Hall is legendary for Japanese pro-wrestling, but the venue is lacklustre to international fans and felt at times like y high school gymnasium.
Minoru Tanaka defeated Manik by submission with the Minoru Special (rolling armbar) in 9:53. I enjoyed the in-ring action of the bout. These guys did a bunch of high spots, but slowed the pace down to sell the moves they had done. A very welcomed change from Manik’s usual work. What ruined this match for me was Mike Tenay commentating from Nashville calling Tanaka a “former shoot-boxer.” To people who don’t know the lingo of “shoot” it means “real,” which is pretty much calling wrestling fake in the first four minutes of your version of the Superbowl. Taz attempted to save Tenay by saying shoot-boxing was an early for of MMA, which is still stupid.
After the match we were treated with some Team 3D career highlights as the night before they were inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. What I gathered from this is Bully Ray got really fat in 2006. Thank goodness he’s in much better shape today.
Ethan Carter III defeated Ryota Hama in 5:50 with his frontward DDT. Hama is a huge mofo with a look very reminiscent of our ol’Sumo friend Rikishi. However Hama is much much bigger. The announcers kept saying he was “almost 500 pounds!” This was a bad little match that thankfully didn’t last long. The highlight came when EC3 was sitting dazed in a corner and Hama hit a running butt smash. EC3’s face and selling was simply priceless and amazing.
MVP defeated Kazma Sakamoto in 8:07 with the Drive-By Boot. For those who don’t know Sakamoto played Lord Tensai’s lackey in WWE when the character first debuted. A fact Tenay quickly brought up, making this guy look very second rate, because it made me think of a better promotion. Sakamoto did do a nice job of playing a cowardly heel, to MVP, who was booked as a face on this show. Once again for those not actively watching TNA, MVP is the leader of a heel stable. What got me mad about this was Tenay couldn’t remember the name of MVP’s finishing move and had to call it a variant of the Shinning-Wizard, while Taz explained the difference.
Samoa Joe then cut a promo from the back talking about being X-Division Champion. SPOILER: he vacated the championship at the last tapings “due to injury,” so to anyone following TNA in a linear fashion, this makes little to no sense.
Samoa Joe (c) defeated Low Ki and Kaz Hayashi by submission in 10:32 with the Coquina Clutch out of nowhere. Nothing to this match. It was good for what it was. They all hit each other really hard. To be totally honest I turned down the sound for a little while because the commentary was so bad at this point, I almost stopped watching.
Novus (Jiro Kuroshio and Yusuke Kodama) defeated Andy Wu and El Hijo del Pantera in 9:15. This was a match with only Wrestle-1 performers. Nothing of note other than Jiro Kuroshio wrestled with a suit jacket on and Kodama hit a nice twisting moonsault for the finish. My exact notes: Stupid. But different. Not my style. High paced but no time to feel real. Taz was clueless, said a guy named Andy woo should work in a laundry mat… Wtf Taz?
Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon) defeated Abyss and Tommy Dreamer in 12:53. They stopped wrestling after about 3 minutes to all just go out and throw crap into the ring. However the crowd went crazy for them just chucking weapons into the ring. The wrestling itself was very slow. Taz mentioned wrestling gipsy joe in that arena.. Wtf Taz.
The finish saw abyss bring out the thumbtacks Team 3D gave Dreamer a 3D into the tacks.
Havok (c) defeated Velvet Sky by submission in 6 minutes to retain her TNA Knockouts Championship. (Spoiler: she wasn’t the linear champion at the time) What happened in this match is Sky had the upper hand and his double axe handles from all four corners of the Wrestle-1 ring. Eventually Havok mustarded getting the heat on Sky again, but Sky cut her of and attempted another axe handle. This failed as Havok just caught her in a bearhug and won via submission. This sucked.
The Great Muta and Tajiri defeated James Storm and The Great Sanada in 10:56. The Great Muta is moving very slowly in his age. I almost felt bad for the guy. This was your standard tag match with faces that are far too old. I still cannot get over how fat Tajiri is looking nowadays. The finish saw Sanata and Tajiri attempting to spit mist into each other’s eyes but missing. Then Sanata tried a top top move but got caught in a double mist from The Great Muta and Tajiri. What killed the heat of the match was the fact James Storm was incredibly over with the Japanese fans as a face, while he’s a heel in storyline.
Once again I have come out on top in my PPV predictions.
I have to mention I don’t want to hate TNA shows. I really don’t I am a firm believer in the world needing at least two top promotions to offer an alternative to WWE. I just can’t bring myself to support a company that at every turn does something stupid and doesn’t learn from the mistakes of a company that died before it. I am referencing WCW. The in-ring action of this PPV could have been forgiven if it weren’t for the completely horrible production values that surrounded it. TNA Bound for Glory is supposed to be the biggest event of the year, yet it felt like a crappy event you’d go to on a Friday night that’s held in the basement of a church. The most questionable of details was the commentating. I don’t know of Mike Tenay and Taz are owed money, but these two really phoned it in. That’s an intended pun because they kept referencing that the PPV was pre taped, but their commentating was live, from Nashville. Admitting to this is a problem on multiple levels! First off, it send the message that your company is too cheap to fly you to Japan. Secondly, it makes the product feel even more detached. Third, when little mistakes like no knowing the name of a move aren’t edited out, you just look sloppy.
In the end, this was a sup par PPV when they really needed a homerun. Not only did they under deliver, but their actions prior to the actual event lead to handicaps left and right. Some of your biggest names were absent. Where was your Champion Bobby Lashley? Where was Bobby Roode, Eric Young, or The Wolves? They were blocked from being on the show because of past/future storylines. This was a bad PPV plain and simple and it is very very sad for TNA and their actual fans.