Bound For Glory Count-Up – 2009: AJ’s Trial By Fire

Bound For Glory 2009
Date: October 18, 2009
Location: Bren Events Center, Irvine, California
Attendance: 2,400
Commentators: Taz, Mike Tenay

Since we’re 5 days from THE BIGGEST TNA SHOW EVER I figured a show was called for. This is from about a year ago and it’s AJ’s trial by fire more or less. He won the title at No Surrender but needs to beat Sting to solidify his reign. Other than that this card looks ok but it also looks like a run of the mill TNA PPV. We’re in California here which is a new thing for the company. However, they’re at about 40% full so it’s not exactly something to write home about. Let’s get to it.

This is TNA’s biggest show of the year so they have a theme song here. Also this is 9 days before Hogan and Bischoff signed. Everyone talks about how important this show is to them. They’re trying to make it seem big if nothing else so points for that. Oh and it might be Sting’s last match. Yeah right.

Some guy named Zakk Wylde plays the national anthem.

XDivision Title: Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Amazing Red vs. Suicide vs. Daniels vs. Homicide

This is Ultimate X and the Guns got in by winning a tag match earlier. Suicide is played by Kaz here. Dinero was supposed to be in this too but had a legit family emergency. Red has Don West with him. This is Red’s first Ultimate X match. That’s rather surprising. And there’s a rather scary close up of Homicide. Red and Suicide (how did he and Homicide never team together?) go to the floor as the spots begin.

Daniels stops a huge dive by Red to kill the crowd. Daniels has won four straight of these matches apparently. Red hits a SWEET Rana off the top to Daniels to the floor, taking out about 3 other people. The Guns take over with some of their awesome team stuff. No real attempts at going for the belt until Homicide heads up there. Suicide trumps Homicide though and everyone crashes.

This turns into the Guns vs. everyone else as Daniels takes a missile dropkick Doomsday Device. Everything goes insane again and you can’t really follow much of anything. Homicide, a heel here, goes up but Daniels stops him. Daniels and Sabin play a little chicken but both crash as well. SICK tornado DDT by Sabin. Red gets a leaping Downward Spiral to take out Daniels as this has been rather fun.

There’s the required Tower of Doom spot that never gets old with the big move being Suicide hitting a moonsault on Daniels. To give you an idea, Suicide was on the top rope. Red got behind him for a German. Red was powerbombed off by Sabin. Red suplexed Suicide off and Suicide flipped into a moonsault press onto Daniels. Ok so onto is a stretch but you get the concept.

The crowd isn’t really feeling this outside of big spots, which isn’t great but it’s also not horrible. They know their chants though I suppose. Best Moonsault Ever to Sabin. Daniels, Suicide and Red go up to the top of the structure, as in 7 feet about the X, getting a please don’t die chant. They’re above the height of being on top of the Cell. Daniels almost falls as this is terrifying.

Daniels thankfully drops down as does Suicide. Red is laying on top as the Guns go for the traditional way. Suicide and Daniels go down and Daniels lands on his head. Tazz half kayfabe shouts CHECK HIM, and I couldn’t agree more. Red drops down and gets the belt. I’m legit worried about Daniels after that fall. Don West comes out to celebrate.

Rating: B. I was trying to figure out if it should be minus or plus but this is fine. I’ve never been wild on having big gimmick matches like this to open the show. I get having an X match here but not the big gimmick matches like these. Save these for the middle of the card where the crowd needs a boost. Still though this was solid and the spots were great. Daniels’ fall was scary though. Fun match and did exactly its job though.

Lauren is with the Beautiful People, who are getting the Knockouts Tag Title shot tonight. The belts are like a month old here and Velvet is ridiculously hot as the evil chick. This is Lacey, Velvet and Madison if you’re not sure.

Taylor and Sarita, the champions, say they’ll keep the belts. Sarita insults them in Spanish and it’s fun to be able to understand it.

Tenay and Taz run down the card. I never get this.

Knockout Tag Titles: Beautiful People vs. Taylor Wilde/Sarita

Velvet and Madison here. Lacey makes out with the referee and is allowed to stay at ringside. Hebner comes out and throws her out anyway. We botch an armdrag to start as Taylor just kind of falls down. Ah now things are a bit better. Typical match of the genre but Sarita hits a NICE missile dropkick to Velvet. Taylor gets a German into a bridge for the pin.

Rating: D+. Just a quickie to have the new titles on the show. This wasn’t anything bad and nothing too offensive, but dang these belts would get meaningless very fast. They need to just drop them already and get some fresh blood in the division. Allegedly Mickie is on the way so that should help a lot.

We recap the Legends Title feud which is Eric Young leading World Elite and wanting the title which Nash holds. This was just an awkwardly put together feud and it never clicked at all. Oh and there’s a World Elite vs. Mafia feud with a bounty on Young’s head or something. Like I said it just never clicked at all.

Nash and Young might have an alliance. Young talks a lot and Nash just kind of says whatever.

Legends Title: Kevin Nash vs. Eric Young vs. Hernandez

Nash has the title here if I forgot to mention that. Hernandez went from being the hottest thing in the world to this. In a year the Legends Title went from Legends to Global to TV. Hernandez, still in the khaki shorts here, beats up both guys to start us off. BIG shoulder block puts Young on the floor. This is basically Hernandez beats up two guys until we get to the conflict between the heels match.

Solid heat on Young. Match is far from that though. And there’s the issue between the heels as Young insists it was just instinct. Hernandez hits a pretty weak missile dropkick to Nash as this is just a boring match. It’s not really horrible but it’s just totally not interesting at all. Big dive by Super Mex to try to make this more interesting.

This has zero flow to it at all and it’s hurting badly. Young hits a big elbow on Hernandez and pulls Nash’s straps down. He sets for the Jackknife and Young rams Hernandez’s head into Nash’s balls for the pin. Pay no attention to Nash’s shoulder being WAY up.

Rating: D-. Not a bad match exactly but just not interesting at all. This was a weird one as they were trying but the styles just totally did not mesh. Like I said it’s not horrible but it’s just there. No flow or story being told really and while the ending was somewhat creative it just never amounted to anything and didn’t work at all.

The teams in the tag title match are arguing but Douglas Williams says worry about Team 3D. And hey there’s a Wrestlemania reference. There’s a Full Metal Mayhem match tonight which they say is the same as a TLC match.

IWGP Tag Titles/TNA Tag Titles: Beer Money vs. British Invasion vs. Team 3D vs. Main Event Mafia

Since this is TNA they can manage to screw up a TLC match. Both tag titles are on the line here and any team can win any of them. The Mafia, Steiner and Booker, are TNA tag champions and the Invasion are the IWGP champions. The thing was that TNA decided that since EVERYONE watches Japanese tag wrestling that there was nothing wrong with having two sets of tag titles because these other belts are SO famous. I really hated this idea, as in far more than most TNA ideas which should tell you a lot.

Thankfully soon after this TNA would WAKE UP and realize no one cared about the IWGP belts because THIS ISN’T JAPAN. Big brawl to start while Beer Money hides in the corner which is smart. We get into the heart of why I hate this immediately as Taz and Tenay talk about how prestigious the IWGP belts are. That’s all well and good but there’s one flaw: your belts are supposed to be the top titles. If they weren’t you wouldn’t call them WORLD tag titles. It was like TNA was saying “yeah we’re a big deal but we pale in comparison to Japan.” I hated it.

Steiner and D-Von go off to fight and it’s a big mess that’s hard to call. I wouldn’t have put two big multi-man climb up to get an object matches on one show but I get what they were thinking here. Ton of weapons go everywhere and of course there isn’t much in the way of flow but there isn’t supposed to be here. DWI for Booker. Steiner busts out the corner Frankensteiner which is nothing like the original one but is an easier way to avoid having to do the harder spot.

Booker might be legit hurt. Steiner does nothing but suplexes, showing his level of awesomeness. Steiner goes up after the TNA belts (at least he didn’t go for the others first) but the ladder is too short and he gets shoved off. Booker has a stretcher brought out for him as Steiner takes What’s Up. Eh with that many steroids in him he probably didn’t feel a thing.

The Brits bring in tables as Booker is wheeled out. Dudleys just END the English dudes with chair shots. And the guitar player from earlier gets a chair shot on Magnus. Williams goes through a table in the ring as we’re in the “everyone but three people lay down while the three guys do spots” and D-Von hits What’s Up on Williams. BIG Table chant. Double chokeslams (from the Dudleys?) put Beer Money down and through tables.

Steiner pops back up and brings in a ladder. And then he falls off a ladder thanks to 3D. The team not the move. The Dudleys go up at the same time like idiots and here’s Rhyno of all people, since you know 8 people in one match aren’t enough, and blasts them with chairs but not before D-Von gets the IWGP Titles down.

Beer Money and the Brits both go up, resulting in a bad looking suplex on Magnus from both guys. Beer Money has an open shot but has to do their taunt first. Storm gets some beer and then a front flip powerbomb to take Magnus out again. Cool looking spot. Roode is about to get the TNA belts but Rob Terry of the British Invasion comes down to throw him through a table and help Magnus get the belt to end it.

Rating: B. Another fun match much like Ultimate X earlier. There were a lot of people here and I think too many teams. That and having two sets of tag titles made this a bit too much of a mess and the lack of a huge spot kind of slowed it down from being great. That being said this was a fun match and did the job it was supposed to do: get the crowd going. It’s not up to the levels of the great TLC matches but it was good. I still wish they didn’t have two multi-man grab the title matches at one show though but what can you do?

Recap of the Knockouts Title match which more or less is just a three way feud with nothing special to it at all.

Knockouts Title: Tara vs. ODB vs. Awesome Kong

ODB has beaten both of them already so we’ll just do it one more time I guess. Should be noted that this is the 5th match on the card, the fifth title match and the fifth match that isn’t a standard one on one or tag match. Think they’re overdoing anything here? Tara’s legs are awesome if nothing else. I never got the appeal of the ODB character at all.

Kong jumps both girls immediately but Tara goes right for her. And so much for that theory as Kong just crushes them. Middle rope splash misses both of them though and we get the rather sexy shirt rip off from Tara. She’d wear these tiny shorts and a Tapout shirt which she’d rip off to more or less reveal a half shirt. The faces fight over who gets the pin as it’s pure formula stuff here but FAR better than the Legends Title match.

Tara hooks the Tarantula but Kong makes the save, which isn’t really a save as you can’t get a submission there but you get the point. Tara gets into it with some fan that might be legit but I’m not sure. Upon further review it was Randy Couture’s wife who had wanted to do an MMA fight with Tara. All planned but TNA messed up the shot and didn’t see it. Why does this not surprise me?

Back in the ring Kong hits the middle rope splash on ODB, covering the entire front row in silicone. It gets two though as Tara makes the save. Implant Buster gets two as ODB kicks out on her own. Saed comes out and throws in a chair but Kong says no. She goes for a powerbomb on ODB and Saed slides the chair in again but ODB reverses into a face plant to the chair for the pin. Nice ending.

Rating: C-. Not a great match or anything but FAR better than the other one. There was a story and flow here rather than in the Legends match where nothing had any purpose it seemed. Everything worked here and while it’s not great it’s certainly watchable. Not bad here and definitely ok.

Morgan says tonight is personal and business.

Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley

Hey look it’s another non-traditional one on one match as this is a submission match. Joe is in the Mafia here and Lashley is the MMA guy so this actually makes sense for once from a gimmick match perspective. Lashley has taped up ribs for some reason. Ah ok Rhyno jumped him on Impact. And yet he’s fighting Joe here. Well of course he is.

Joe might be a bit slimmer here but it’s hard to tell as the tattoo on his face takes away from his face a bit. Naturally we get the JOE’S GONNA KILL YOU chant because he’s a heel. Lashley hits a SICK spinebuster and goes after the arm. The problem with wrestling today is that with the advent of MMA and how fast people tap to holds it’s a BIG stretch to have people survive like 30 seconds in arm bars and leg locks.

Suicide dive to take out Lashley as Joe is far more popular than he’s supposed to be. Joe works the ribs as we’re told about the work he’s done on Lashley’s ribs recently. Thanks for talking about that in his entrance rather than Rhyno there guys. Abdominal stretch goes on as Taz is actually helpful here with his submission knowledge. Quick powerslam by Joe as he’s wildly over here.

Lashley blocks part of an armbar and gets some ground and pound in to HUGE boos. A full nelson slam from Lashley takes Joe down and we’re back to even. Lashley is REALLY bad on offense with some of the worst strikes I’ve ever seen. Joe thankfully takes over and beats the tar out of him. And then Lashley gets an STO (reverse stroke for you non-WM 2000 and No Mercy fans) into a side choke for the win. Joe blacked out or something.

Rating: D. They were trying for the MMA thing here and it just didn’t work in the slightest really. Lashley was just not that good at making what he’s capable of really doing look fake if that makes sense. This just didn’t work for me at all as it came off as sloppy and Lashley trying to get one big move in which he did. I’m not an MMA guy so I’m the wrong audience I guess, but this didn’t work at all for me.

Foley talks about fighting Abyss and makes limited sense. Apparently he doesn’t want Abyss to overshadow him and Abyss is going to have to earn it. Ah ok Foley wanted to make him his protégé and them beat the heck out of him just because I guess. Foley is heel here and we actually get a reference to Abyss being world champion. It’s Monster’s Ball also and if Abyss uses tacks he’s disqualified or something.

Mick Foley vs. Abyss

Stevie Richards is referee and is the doctor again. LOUD pyro for Abyss. Foley jumps him on the ramp and is all casual about hitting him with the barbed wire bat. I like that. I’m reading his book at the moment and haven’t gotten to this part if it’s in there. Almost immediately Foley goes up the set, climbing a tower. Abyss follows and gets knocked through part of the ramp.

Foley climbs down as Stevie says Abyss is done. Foley gets a running start and drives the bat into Abyss as he’s still in that hole in the ramp/stage. Foley, the face, of course gets cheered. Stevie is the cheerleader dude here as the match just kind of stops until Abyss climbs through the stage. We have a barded wire board from somewhere and he makes a platform with it between the guard rail and the ring.

And there’s another board that’s just like the first. Double armed DDT to Abyss to the board. Richards beats up Abyss too because EVERYONE loved that angle. Foley gets a bat shot into Abyss’ arm to open it up. His head is busted too. Foley goes into the wire board now then Abyss does the same. Make that a sandwich as the other is under him. Naturally it only gets two.

Foley busts out the tacks and Abyss sets to chokeslam him onto them but he’s not allowed. Down goes Stevie and here’s Daffney to give Foley a freaking Taser. And just to make it more stupid it explodes as Foley jabs him with it. They TOTALLY botch it as Abyss misses his kickout and Foley gets three and Abyss raises his shoulder at what would have been four so the referee says he kicked out anyway.

Crowd totally boos that out of the building as Stevie pulls the referee out when Abyss goes for the pin. Daffney goes through the platform they made earlier to get a HOLY CRAP chant. Stevie tries to beat up Abyss and goes into the tacks for his trouble sans shirt. Chokeslam for Foley and we get the Over the Edge 98 finish as Abyss slams Richards’ hand down for the pin.

Rating: C-. Totally violent but overbooked. Also the botch messed things completely up as it was clearly three and everyone knew it. These matches are fine once in awhile but does it really prove anything? This was a far cry from the Edge or Orton matches and it just didn’t work that well for me. Granted I’m not a fan of hardcore so it’s not my style anyway.

Angle says he’s awesome and that he had AJ beat but the time limit ran out.

Basically Angle stung Morgan along to get his help in winning various matches then screwed him over to make Morgan a pissed off monster that was suddenly awesome. Then he got dropped down to a midcard team with Hernandez for his efforts because Hogan came in and liked Abyss more, but that’s a bit later on. Oh and Morgan more or less cost Angle the title at No Surrender. Oh and Dixie Carter has to say something for no apparent reason other than she’s Dixie Carter.

Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle

This is the semi-main event on the show, we have 45 minutes of TV time left, and this is the first standard one on one match on the card. Also this has a fifteen minute time limit. Dude seriously? Say it’s got an hour or something as you know it’s only going fifteen but dude that’s the time limit a TV Title match with PN News and Steve Austin in 1991 would get.

Angle is still the leader of the Main Event Mafia here and has never won at Bound For Glory. The dueling chants begin immediately as Angle, the leader of the top heel stable in the company, is over here. TNA fans even in other cities are annoying. Morgan controls with power early as he’s getting to show off here. He goes to the top and hits about as good of a cross body as you would expect from a guy that big and who doesn’t go to the top that often.

Angle goes for the legs to take down Morgan. Figure four goes on and Morgan’s leg is almost on Angle’s face. Taz actually OFFERS SOME INSIGHT by saying that since Angle’s legs are shorter and Matt’s are longer it’s easier for Angle to get extra leverage. Well gosh, Taz worked a similar style to Angle, so this is almost like…HIM BEING AN EXPERT ON THE SUBJECT!!! WHAT A CONCEPT!

One of the guys from Boys to Men is here. TNA needs to either upgrade their celebrities or not have them acknowledged. Also, PICK A BETTER TIME TO SHOW THEM! You know, like during an entrance, not when Matt breaks a hold. Fall away slam hits Angle and his leg seems fine now. Chokeslam gets two. Hellevator is blocked into Rolling Germans from Angle.

Angle Slam, say it with me, gets two. Straps go down and the cheers go up and there’s the ankle lock. It doesn’t work but Angle counters a powerbomb into the ankle lock. Hellevator gets two. Yeah these finishers are kind of not working so far. Ankle lock is the counter to a tombstone and Morgan gets out again. Big clothesline gets two for Morgan. Loud Morgan sucks chant starts up for no apparent reason.

Morgan goes up and does it slowly which you don’t do against Angle. The running suplex isn’t great but it works. Angle Slam and a Frog Splash of all things (good one too) get two. Taz says this is his evolution into a star. That’s rather amusing. And Angle gets a victory roll for the pin. There was no more build than that. The match just kind of ended. They shake hands after the match with nothing screwy about it.

Rating: B-. Good match but not a classic/career making match like they were looking for I don’t think. The idea was to stretch Angle to a degree where he could barely win and I never got that impression here. It was definitely a solid match but it just never got to the level that they wanted it to I don’t think. You can’t say it failed to make Morgan as Hogan arriving changed everything including Morgan.

TNA World Title: Sting vs. AJ Styles

You’ll see a huge difference in the main event here than you would at most other shows from this company recently. There isn’t much of a story here. AJ was going to leave the business, Sting gave him an awesome pep talk, AJ won the title but felt he owed Sting a title shot and wanted the respect. Basic booking and a match between two guys that are solid in ring wrestlers. What an idea.

Also, how much does it say that in a year AJ has gone from main event to feuding with Tommy Dreamer? This is the awesome AJ as well, as in pre Flair and when he was the best in the world. They shake hands to start us off which is nice to see. In the last three years Sting has been 3-0 at Bound For Glory with three straight world title wins. That’s rather impressive.

Feeling out process to start of course. Long one too as we’re at about 3 minutes of it now. AJ controls early and gets a knee drop for two. Sting sends him to the floor and then holds the ropes open for him. They’re doing a slow build here but there isn’t a ton of time left in the show to do that with really. Sting takes over with a backdrop as that somethow might be the biggest move done so far. It’s not bad mind you, just a different kind of match.

Ah there we go as AJ goes for a big dive off the apron but Sting moves and AJ eats steel. Stinger Splash hits steel also and the guardrail is bent a bit. Sting gets a tombstone for two in the ring. Springboard Forearm (my favorite move in TNA) gets two. A series of counters leads to the Death Drop hitting. Sting’s leg is over AJ but there’s no count. Splash sets up another Death Drop for two.

Scorpion Deathlock goes on and it’s one of the best ones I’ve ever seen Sting do. They slug it out and Sting Hulks Up. We head to the corner and AJ gets a Pele and a springboard splash….for the pin? Uh…yeah I guess he does. That ending was TOTALLY anti-climactic as Sting was making his comeback and going all superhuman and then AJ just beat him. I was really getting into this and then it just ended. Odd.

Rating: B. Solid match that would have been classified as great until the ending which just did not work. AJ should have gotten the clean pin and he did but this match was BEGGING for another 5-8 minutes. I don’t get why they just ended the show that fast as we have five minutes left in the video so it’s not like they were lacking for time. I don’t get it but the match we got was rather good.

AJ calls Sting back to the ring (after the first microphone doesn’t work) and says this is his time. The fans chant please don’t go as this was possibly his retirement match which obviously didn’t happen but the idea was nice anyway. Also they never said it was his retirement match either so it’s in no way false advertisement whatsoever.

Sting says this is about AJ but if he’s going to lose he’s glad he lost to someone like AJ, putting him over huge. The fans chant one more year and Sting says he’s not sure if he was going to retire or not and says this isn’t kayfabe but that some of the stuff fans have said to him have made him wanting to stay forever. And then his music plays as I guess we’re out of time? Odd ending where things seemed rush.

Overall Rating: B. I rather liked this show actually and thought it came off pretty well. This is another excellent example of what TNA is capable of when they just go out there and wrestle. Hogan and Bischoff coming in have really hurt this company’s product as instead of just in ring work where this show is strong we now have everything being about swerves and angles with wrestling being a far backseat.

 

I’d love watching Impact if it was stuff like this, but it’s changed for the worse. Hey though, we have Hogan now so everything is all well and good right? Good show this year though.

 

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