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The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Bound for Glory : Recap & Analysis
The Kingfish Arnie Katz gets you ready for TNA’s October pay per view event!.
Let’s look at what happened at Bound for Glory — and talk about why it did:
The pre-show stressed that Bound for Glory is the biggest TNA show of the year. The videos focused heavily on the Veterans versus Originals War and the matches the are an outgrowth of it.
In honor of the show’s point of origin, they did a gangster theme.
The Kingfish Comments: If TNA is serious about Bound for Glory being some kind of major attraction, they might want to start by upgrading the pre-show. Running the same clips three times just kills their impact when shown during the actual show.
The theme probably didn’t please Chicagoans much, but it could’ve been made to work a lot better if more thought had gone into it. Though the narrator mentioned “Untouchables,” albeit irrelevantly, they could’ve had the babyfaces be rough, tough law enforcement guys and the heels mob guys. Instead, they put it all in terms of rival mob bosses, which just didn’t work.
Mike Tenay welcomed fans to Chicano’s Sears Center. Don West reviewed the highlights of the card.
Steel Asylum Match
The Story: If you build it, they will come. That’s the TNA philosophy. The re-named Steel Asylum, last seen in the finals of the World X Cup, is back for a match that will include most of the X Division. Oddly, it is not a Number-One Contender Match, but still, escaping will give the winner increased visibility and… Well, who knows>
My Prediction: All hail the monthly Cluster Schmazz! A lot of guys will get paychecks, so I don’t want to know it, but this match is not the way to pump life back into a division that has languished for the last couple of years.
Maybe that’s not the intent. TNA could be trying to push one guy forward as a force in the X Division. A surprise winner would be instantly vaulted into the upper ranks of the X Division, somewhere around the middle of the TNA card, but with a chance to follow in AJ Styles’ footsteps and become a star.
While reading Headlocker — and you should read Jay Shannon’s column, too – I took note of his list of possible participants. The fact that there is no definitive list suggests that something may be a-foot.
I believe we are going to see the debut of Suicide, who will win the event. (Since prevailing wisdom has Kaz portraying this character from the game, he’ll know how to do it.)
Predicted Grade: A-
The Actual Match: Curry Man made the first serious effort to leave the Steel Asylum. Alex Shelly tried, unsuccessfully, to pull him down, but he at least delayed Curry Man enough for Chris Sabin to stop the ascent.
Jay Lethal sent Curry Man to the mat with a sensational Huracanrana from the top turnbuckle and Chris Sabin splashed him. Pinfalls didn’t count in this match, so no one made covers. The popular strategy seemed to be to incapacitate as many participants as possible and then climb fast.
Curry Man was the first to come close to victory. He turned the tables on the Motor City Machine Guns, who were trying to double-team him. He dealt them a Spice Rack and a Military Press Slam. He got stopped about a foot from the top.
The fighting grew fierce and chaotic as the combatants rolled out their big finishers in the quest for an advantage. Finally, Jay Lethal subdued Sonjay Dutt and climbed, unimpeded, to the top and out for the win.
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish Comments: The X Division wrestlers worked hard and pulled off some terrific moves. The announcers anointed Jay Lethal as the number-one contender, but not until after the match.
Jim Cornette crowed to Jeremy Borash about the great success represented by this Bound for Glory when Mick Foley entered the backstage office. Cornette treated him like the second coming and left him in possession of the office.
The Beautiful People barged into the office to gripe about the color of the M&M’s in their candy dish. They specifically asked for Blue.
In answer to Jeremy Borash’s questioning, Mick Foley said he had been forced to wear a shammy coat. JB quipped: “I’d rather be in velvet.”
Rhino, ODB & Rhaka Khan d. The Beautiful People (Angelina Love & Velvet Sky) & Cute Kip
Knockouts Bimbo Brawl
Special Guest Referee: Traci Brooks
The Story: When Rhino rushed to Taylor Wilde’s rescue a few weeks ago, the War Machine probably didn’t expect to be sucked into an extended feud with The Beautiful People and their “fashionist,” Cute Kip. He and the two women, Rhaka Khan and ODB, have made common cause against the arrogant bimbos and their boy toy. Will Rhino help the women get revenge or join them as paper bag victims?
My Prediction: This could very likely be the opening match, a lot of movement in the ring while fans settle into their seats. A loss wouldn’t really hurt either team, because only the Blondes are likely to continue as a team. Since Love and Sky have already had their shot at Taylor Wilde, my prediction is that TNA will give fans a “feel good” victory by6 having Rhino beat Cute Kip. The Beautiful People will stay clear of a loss, but Rhino gets the rub.
Predicted Grade: B-
The Actual Match: Knockout Law Traci Brooks was referee was a surprise addition to the match. They introduced Rhaka Khan as being from the “Isle of Man.”
Detroit Tigers’ all-star center fielder Curtis Granderson had a ringside seat to cheer on fellow Motor City native Rhino.
ODB Bodyslammed Angelina Love, but Cute Kip bashed her with the fashion box and almost brought a win to The Beautiful People. Then it looked like Rhino would cap a long run against Kip with a pinning cover, but the Blonde Bimbos broke up the attempt.
When Cute Kip went for the Famouser, Rhino got there first with the Gore!
Actual Grade: B+
The Kingfish Comments: Mike Tenay showed some ‘nads by actually calling ODB by her “real” ring name, “One Dirty Bitch.” Being afraid to call a star performer by her ring name is just the kind of weenie stuff that makes the whole “Cross the Line” thing sound ridiculous.
Consequences Creed reminded Lauren that he made his debut at last year’s Bound for Glory.
He said that he’s disgusted the way Sheik Abdul Bashir spits on the red, white and blue.
Sheik Abdul Bashir d. Consequences Creed
X-Division Title Match
The Story: The Middle Eastern Nightmare and the popular rookie represent opposite poles of the political spectrum. Bashir spits on America while Creed’s costume features its red, white and blue. The confrontation has been building for months. Now Consequences Creed gets another shot at capturing the gold – and maybe giving the Sheik a little payback for his anti-American rants.
My Prediction: This match won’t end what has shaped up as a very respectable mid-card feud. The storyline calls for a match in which Creed looks like a credible challenger, but Sheik Abdul Bashir hangs onto the X Division belt. The fan favorite will be right on the edge of victory when Bashir goes wild and gets himself disqualified.
Predicted Grade: B-
The Actual Match: They brought out a wounded, much-decorated veteran of the Iraq War to a warm hometown reception. The war hero got to introduce Creed.
Consequences zoomed into the ring, Clotheslined Bashir twice and made him retreat to the ringside area. Creed tossed Bashir back into the ring, but his Cross Body Press from the top turnbuckle only earned a two count.
Bashir tried the Sleeperhold twice and got within one “arm drop” of having Andrew Thomas declare him the winner. Creed battled his way back into the match, but all he could get was near-falls.
Consequences thrilled the crowd when, with Bashir on the mat, he climbed the ropes for a high-flying move. Unfortunately, he took too long and Bashir had time to cut off the move. Bashir showed unexpected agility when he hit a top-rope Huracanrana, but Creed got his shoulder off the canvas intimae.
Consequences Creed put Bashir on his shoulders. That might’ve led to a pin and a new champion, but the wily Sheik raked his face savagely and rolled him up to steal a victory!
Actual Grade: B+
The Kingfish Comments: The minute Jay Lethal won the Steel asylum match, it was obvious that Bashir would, indeed, retain his title. Consequences Creed is not entirely out of the picture, but they’ll need to find a teammate for Bashir for some tag team skirmishes leading up to a title defense against Black Machismo.
Mick Foley was telling Jeremy Borash an anecdote when Awesome Kong and Raesha Saeed barged into the office looking for Jim Cornette.
Saeed said that Kong would not be responsible for what she did to “those two swine in the ring.”
Taylor Wilde d. Awesome Kong &. Roxxi
Knockouts Championship Triple Threat Match
The Story: Taylor Wilde and Roxxi have battled Awesome Kong both together and separately. Now Taylor must defend her championship against both the single most intimidating woman in TNA and an ally with a taste for hardcore action.
My Prediction: I’m starting to think that TNA has made a decision to keep the belt off Awesome Kong. If so, it makes a certain amount of sense in that it is very hard to justify Kong losing to any of the other women in TNA. Keeping her away from the title means that they don’t have to book a match in which she loses the gold in some unlikely and unsatisfying way. I’d put the title on Kong anyway, because TNA has several good opponents for her, but I don’t think TNA will do it. Most likely, Roxxi and Awesome Kong will savagely attack each other and Taylor Wilde will pick up the pieces and make the pin. Roxxi and Awesome Kong may then have a feud that highlight’s Roxxi’s hardcore style.
Predicted Grade: B-
The Actual Match: The two babyfaces combined against Awesome Kong at the opening bell. Once they forced her out of the ring, though, they had to fight each other.
Saeed eventually pulled Roxxi out of the ring so that Kong could go one-on-one with Taylor Wilde. The champion pulled off a neat Huracanrana that nearly brought the match to a surprising, and quick, end.
Roxxi tried to soften up Kong with a series of chops. She executed a Neckbreaker, but it wasn’t enough to keep those massive shoulders on the mat. Roxxi flattened Kong with a leap from the top turnbuckle, but Taylor broke up the cover to keep her title.
Kong hit a Running Cross Body Block on Roxxi off the ropes and then rocked the ring with the feared Implant Buster! Kong went to the top to finish the job, but Taylor blocked that move. When Awesome Kong threw her down, Roxxi took advantage with a kick to the face that almost led to a pin against the champion!
With Kong temporarily out of the way, Roxxi blew her shot at a Cajun Suplex. Taylor Wilde was right on target with her Bridge Suplex and scored the pin for the triumph.
Actual Grade: B
The Kingfish Comments: The question now becomes: Who’ll challenge Taylor Wilde? The Beautiful People have had their shots, so it looks like TNA ought to be shopping around for a new female heel. The only alternative might be to turn Roxxi or even ODB, but then there wouldn’t be enough good female babyfaces. Most likely, there’s some new talent on the way. There’d better be if TNA expects to continue to feature the Knockouts on their pay per views.
Everybody wanted to welcome Mick Foley to TNA.
First was AJ styles, who gave the newcomer a big hug.
When Team 3D showed up, Mick got into a discussion with Brother Ray about the ownership of the checkered flannel vest gimmick.
Ray cautioned Foley to stay out of the team’s way.
Jim Cornette returned and resumed gushing over Foley, who promised he would be “the Sock of the walk.”
Beer Money d. Team 3D, LAX & Abyss & Matt Morgan
Tag Team Title Match:
Monster’s Ball World
Special Referee: Steve “Mongo” McMichael
The Story: The hotly contested tag team division has built up a lot of feuds among the four teams in this match. They’ll have a chance to revel in their aggressions in a match environment that puts a premium on extreme violence.
Fans must also wonder what Abyss is going to do when faced with the temptation to revert to his old, ultra-violent persona. Will he resist when his adrenalin is pumping during the closing minutes of this hellish contest?
My Prediction: This is the kind of semi-chaotic match that often leads to swerves and surprises. The announcers will follow Abyss’ every move as he struggles with his violent past. James Storm will clout Abyss with a beer bottle (and probably a lot of other things), but Abyss will go down to defeat rather than use weapons. Matt Morgan and Abyss will have harsh words. Team 3D will put people through tables and LAX will get some revenge against Beer Money, but the champs will retain when all is said and done.
Steve McMichael’s function will be to shoo Johnny Devine and other hangers-on away from ringside.
Predicted Grad: A-
The Actual Match: After the introduction of the special guest referee, all six of the others went right for Beer Money. That might’ve proven an effective tactic, except that the fighting soon broke down to a wild melee with battles erupting all over the ring.
Homicide didn’t let Beer Money get too much rest in the ringside area, because he obliterated them with an out-of-ring Hilo. Hernandez, inspired by his partner, and then blasted them with a Suicide Dive!
Hernandez worked over Brother Devon’s head with a fork as the crowd screamed itself hoarse with an “ECW” chant. Devon bled copiously.
Abyss went on an offensive run, but Ray stopped him with a cheese grater shot to “no-man’s land.” Brother Ray really worked that cheese grater – and then licked Abyss’ blood off the red-covered metal.
Brother Ray, showing surprising athleticism, rocked the whole ring by Superplexing Hernandez from the top turnbuckle! He couldn’t turn it into a pin, though.
Abyss Chokeslammed Devon, but he became distracted when he saw that old leather bag with the tacks. As McMichael took the bag, a sneak attack tumbled Abyss to the mat.
James Storm called for a football helmet. He and Roode lined up opposite Steve McMichael, who roared through Storm and sacked Roode. Shades of the Harlem Globetrotters!
Team 3D followed Abyss up the ramp, clouting him with trashcan lids every step of the way. Brother Ray took it to the next level by bringing a staple gun into play. Abyss ignored the shooting pain in his head from the staples, decked and caused Ray to give Devon a trashcan lid shot! Johnny Devine got involved by bashing Abyss with a kendo stick from behind.
Devine used a flaming kendo stick to light the table Team 3D had prepared at ringside by dousing with lighter fluid. When the blaze got going, the men from Dudleyville put Abyss through the table. The big man burst into flames that required prompt action with a fire extinguisher!
Team 3D combined against Matt Morgan in the ringside area. The attack worked pretty well, but Hernandez made them pay with some kendo stick shots. Hernandez caught Storm in mid-air and subjected him to a Sit-out Powerbomb. It wasn’t enough for a pin.
Hernandez and Matt Morgan struggled with each other as they jockeyed for position on the top rope. Homicide came up behind the Blueprint and took him out with a Border Toss! Moments later, Homicide found himself the victim of a Team 3D Wassup.
Hernandez had trouble opening the bag of tacks. The special guest referee had to help him with the knot. He spread them on the table. As so often happens all this took too long and it was Hernandez who went through the table!
Before Team 3D could pounce on him, though, James Storm spit beer in Devon’s face to blind him. Then the Tennessee Cowboy slipped in and made the cover to steal the decision and keep the title for Beer Money.
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish Comments: The ending wasn’t TNA’s finest hour, but the rest f the match was good enough that the fans didn’t seem to mind all that much.
What was not settled in any way was the question of whether or not Abyss would revert to his old self. It cold be that the next turn of the wheel will see Abyss looking for drastic revenge as a result of going through the fiery table.
Booker T (with Sharmell) d. Christian Cage &. AJ Styles
Three-Way Dance Match
The Story: There’s a war raging in TNA, the struggle between the Veterans and the Young Lions. Booker T and AJ Styles have been on the front lines of the hostilities, so this match is just an opportunity to renew their existing animosity. Christian Cage is another matter. He has stayed on the fence, committing to neither side. This match puts him squarely in the middle of the fighting. Will the Instant Classic side with Styles or Booker – or will he somehow walk a road that puts him in neither camp.
My Prediction: Christian Cage is always portrayed as a smarter-than-average man who is very good at manipulating others. In this match, he will work both sides of the street and emerge as the winner and still the biggest non-aligned wrestler in the promotion.
The finish will see Cage and Styles mop up the ring with Booker. Just as Styles is about to close in for the pin, Cage will do something that gives him the victory. This will cause dissension between AJ and Christian which can only be cleared away with a subsequent match.
Predicted Grade: B+
The Actual Match: Christian Cage, true to form, hung back in the early going and let his two opponents pound each other. Booker asked Cage if he was on his side. The Instant Classic patted his shoulder in a comradely way – and then knocked him down and almost pinned him!
AJ styles jumped on to the top rope. Everyone, including Booker, thought he was the target, but Styles did an out-of-ring Moonsault to flatten Cafe, instead!
As Booker and Styles struggled in the ringside area, Sharmell passed her husband the briefcase. He used it to take out Styles with a massive blow to the head!
Christian Cage kept things pretty even-handed by working against both of the men in the match without favoring either, except when it temporarily suited his purpose.
Cage fought off an attempted Styles Clash and the Phenomenal One blocked the Unprettier. When Christian got involved with Booker, though, it left him vulnerable to Styles’ Inverted DDT! It didn’t translate into a pin, though.
Booker T tried to Ax Kick Styles, who turned it into his Flying Armbar. The net result, however, was just another near-fall. AJ absorbed a Bookended, but he wouldn’t stay down, either.
Booker T did the Spinneroonie, but Cage put an emphatic period at the end of the move with a stunning Forearm Smash.
AJ styles threw Christian Cage to the mat from the top turnbuckle, but his follow-up Spiral Tap misfired.
All three men fought on one of the turnbuckles and Christian got Styles with the Unprettier. Booker T hit an Ax Kick and made the cover to steal victory from right under Cage’s nose.
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish Comments: Christian Cage is still not committed to either side in the Veterans versus Originals War, though he may now have a grievance that will put him at loggerheads with Booker T.
Kurt Angle told Lauren that Mick Foley was there to protect Jeff Jarrett.
Speaking directly to Jarrett’s three daughters, Kurt said: “Don’t worry – Daddy will stop bleeding eventually.”
The Kingfish Comments: Before Bound for Glory, they played it that Foley had reason to support either man, but at the show itself, they stressed the idea that Mick would favor Jarrett. Since that’s exactly what he did, this smacks of some Bad Writing.
A very emotional Jeff Jarrett told Jeremy Borash that what was running through his mind was the pain, agony and tears of the last two years.
He dedicated the match to his three daughters.
Jeff Jarrett d. Kurt Angle
Special Enforcer: Mick Foley
The Story: It’s the founder of TNA versus the man whom he now regrets hiring two years ago. Mick Foley, the special guest referee, has praised Angle lavishly, but that doesn’t say hop he will actually call the match. This is the other battle in the Respect War and figures to be no-holds-barred on both sides, so Mick will definitely have a hard time controlling the intense hatreds seething in the ring.
My Prediction: Jarrett didn’t return to lose his first match, though they wouldn’t want to make Kurt Angle look too bad. Possibly, Angle will do something to Foley that causes him to retaliate by giving Double J a helping hand.
Predicted Grade: A-
The Actual Match: The match started slowly, with neither man eager to commit to a line of attack. When they finally started to mix it up, Angle demonstrated his skill by repeatedly taking down TNA’s founder.
Jarrett asserted control with a punishing Side Headlock. He kept it tenaciously, too, even when Kurt Back Suplexed him.
Don West observed that, though Jarrett looked in good physical shape, his mental state was the unknown factor.
Double J Clotheslined he former Olympian out of the ring and then did a Springboard out-of-ring Cross Body to slam him into the floor. When Jarrett missed a Cross Body Press off the apron and hit the outer guard rail, the intended victim got a chance to do some damage, too.
Both men employed just about their entire arsenal of holds in their attempt to subdue the other. Jarrett’s Figure-Four Leglock kept Angle in agony until he finally got to the ropes. A little later, Jarrett suffered the torment of the Anklelock until he rolled through to escape.
After JJ put Kurt on the top turnbuckle, the Guitar Man tried to do a Superplex. Angle fought back hard and nearly Superplexed his foe onto the arena floor! Jarrett kept battling and he finally succeeded in Superplexing Angle to the mat! It testifies to the intensity of this match that even that move wasn’t enough to end it.
Angle tried the Three Germans and the Olympic Slam, but neither put away Jeff Jarrett. Out of desperation, Kurt went for the Moonsault – and connected only with the canvas!
Kurt Angle accidentally took out the referee and Jeff Jarrett hit the Stroke. Although the enforcer got into position quickly, it still wasn’t a pin. As Foley tended to the downed referee, Angle low-blowed Jarrett!
Kurt went to get a chair. Foley tried to prevent him from using it and took a staggering chairshot to the head for his trouble! Angle then dealt Jeff Jarrett a chairshot and dragged semi-conscious Rudy Charles over to make the count. Before the official could do so, however, Mick Foley dragged him out of the ring by his feet!
Mick Foley decked Kurt Angle with a stiff right and then put on the sock! He applied the Mandible Claw as Angle screamed. Jeff Jarrett administered a Guitar Shot and that ended things for the former Olympian.
Actual Grade: A
The Kingfish Comments: Jeff Jarrett might be a little rusty, but he worked very hard and very well in this match. The finish could’ve been predicted by any fan after Foley’s reference to the sock earlier in the show, but it almost didn’t matter.
A couple of very long recap videos and a “Tale of the Tape” preceded the match.
Jeremy Borash did a solid job as ring announcer for this marquee attraction.
Samoa Joe vs. Sting
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
The Story: This is one of the two matches that results directly from the Respect War. Sting has denigrated Samoa Joe as a champion and the Samoan Submission Machine has reciprocated by characterizing Sting as someone who is no loner worthy of his exalted spot.
My Prediction: I don’t think TNA wants to put the belt on Sting, but they might be willing to let him have it for a month if that’s the angle they want to do. My crystal ball is a little foggy here, but I think Sting will win the match, though perhaps not the title, due to outside interference. Kevin Nash would be a possible candidate for that, unless they’ve decided to spring Ric Flair on us as the show’s biggest unexpected attraction.
Predicted Grade: A-
The Actual Match: Sting wasted no time at the opening bell; he went right at the champion. Samoa Joe withstood the assault, Clotheslined Sting over the top rope and then smashed him into the arena floor with a suicide dive.
Joe began to pummel Sting as they lurched through the crowd. Joe climbed on top of a luxury box and did a running jump onto Sting. They fought viciously through the stands amid the screaming fans. Sting hit a Back Fist that changed the momentum. He began to dish out some punishment as he gradually forced Samoa Joe back to the ring. Sting turned the guard rail into a devastating weapon by rubbing Joe’s face against it until the skin began to shred!
Joe positioned Sting for the Musclebuster, but the Icon reversed it into a DDT! He added a Frogsplash, but it wasn’t enough. Joe gave Sting a Powerbomb and then trapped him into the STF. It didn’t look like the victim could reach the ropes with his hand, especially after Joe barred that arm, too, but Sting managed to sling his foot over the bottom strand.
Sting used a Corner Splash to pave the way for a Musclebuster. Joe bounced right up to show that it didn’t faze him in the slightest. Then Joe connected with the Inverted DDT – and Sting jumped up instantly.
Samoa Joe stopped Sting in his tracks on a Corner Charge with a well-placed Back Elbow. Then the big Samoan targeted the Icon’s legs with a barrage of kicks that made it impossible for Sting to get firm footing. Earl Hebner’s count reached “eight,” when an impatient Joe attacked him again.
Kevin Nash came to ringside, ostensibly to observe. When Sting tried to resort to his trusty bat, Big Sexxy took it away from him. Joe got into an argument with Hebner and completely lost his focus. He spent time that he could’ve put to better use ending the match into jawing with the official.
When Samoa Joe banged into the ropes near Kevin, the former mentor clouted him with the bat! Sting followed up with a DDT and won the match and the title!
Actual Grade: A-
The Kingfish Comments: This was quite a surprise, especially after Mike Tenay made much of the fact that both combatants had agreed to a “no rematch” clause. That being the case, Sting’s firs big defense will come against Jeff Jarrett, who may well take the title and carry it to someone like Kurt Angle.
Predicted Grade for Bound for Glory: B+
Predicted Grade for Bound for Glory: A-
The Kingfish’s Final Comments: Bound for Glory had some great moments and a generally strong line-up of matches. There were no agonizingly long comedy spots to spoil the overall effect, a nice change from some TNA pay per views.
On the other hand, it felt like every match ended with a screw job of one sort or another. The “biggest show of the year” probably should’ve had more definitive finishes.
That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you come back – and, please, bring your friends.
— Arnie Katz