TNA rolled into the Zamora Shrine Temple in Irondale, Alabama last night to kick off the Bound For Glory weekend.
It was an entertaining show. The wrestlers worked a safe style, which was certainly the smart way to go with the PPV on Sunday and back-to-back television tapings to follow.
They drew a hot crowd that was totally immersed in the product, just like the first time TNA came to Birmingham. But attendance was down to 450. Running a weeknight couldn’t have helped. In any case, it had to be somewhat of a downer after packing the place with 1000+ in January.
Jeremy Borash was introduced as our master of ceremonies for the evening.
(1) Eric Young pinned Jimmy Rave at 8:07. Solid work by both guys. Young was like a giant-sized Hornswaggle, except more endearing and less annoying. Crowd took an instant dislike to Rave, who got frustrated by Young’s antics. Rave took over with a flatliner on the apron. Rave tried to come off the top and crotched himself on Young’s knee. Young did the Flair bump to the apron, slid through Rave’s legs, and hit a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Rave caught Young with Dusk Til Dawn and hit the running knee, but Young kicked out. Young ducked an enzuigiri and hit a wheelbarrow neckbreaker for the pin. The finish got a well deserved pop.
(2) Chris Harris beat Robert Roode in 7:25. Ms. Brooks came out with Roode. She looked leaner than on TV. Roode treated her like dirt and sent her to the back. That got an “asshole” chant. Roode got more heat with stalling tactics. Harris worked the arm before suffering a corner beatdown at the hands of the Canadian Arn Anderson. They traded blows. Roode took a backdrop and begged for mercy. Lariat and a bulldog for two by Harris. Roode with a spinebuster for a near fall. Roode escaped from the Catatonic and Harris rolled him up. Roode showed his ass to demonstrate how Harris had pulled the trunks. Decent match in an old school way.
(3) Gail Kim defeated Ms. Brooks and Jackie Moore in a Triple Threat Match pinning Moore at 4:55. The crowd popped for all three. Moore is in great shape for any age, but she’s phenomenal for 43. They worked a very fast pace. Nobody could get along. Kim went chest-to-chest with Brooks. Not a fair fight. Moore pulled Brooks out and sent her into the rail. Then it was Moore working over Kim. Moore applied a camel clutch and Brooks made a three-way with a dragon sleeper of sorts. Moore beat Brooks down. Kim did headscissors/headlock take over on Brooks and Moore. Moore DDTed Brooks and then ate a missile dropkick from Kim for the 1-2-3.
Brooks and Kim made their peace after the match.
(4) Abyss beat A. J. Styles in 9:48. Best match of the night at least for me. I’m more than a little biased, because this was right out of 2001 NWA Wildside, especially with Andrew Thomas as the ref. Styles’ comedy really got over well. Abyss did a slow burn. Abyss goozled him, and it was off to the races for Styles. Not for long. Abyss dished out punishment and went for Shock Treatment, but Style dropkicked the knee. Abyss did a masterful job selling the knee for the balance of the match. When Styles went for the springboard moonsault inverted DDT, Abyss countered with Shock Treatment, but Styles got a foot over the ropes. Styles was hugging the ropes for dear life. Styles tried for the Clash. No way. He stunned Abyss with a enzuigiri and hit the springboard flying forearm. Styles yelled, “I’m gonna kill â€˜em!” and immediately went down to the Black Hole Slam. Fans chanted for Styles after the match.
(5) James Storm vs. Rhino never happened. “Whino” wasn’t there so Rudy Charles counted him out. Those are some mean sideburns Charles has going. Storm ridiculed the fans something fierce. They gave him the “Brokeback Mountain” treatment. Storm said that was 2 years ago. He called for anyone from the back. That lead to…
(6) Chris Harris beat James Storm in 2:56. This was a built on the January show, where Harris was counted out because he only had one good eye. Storm beat on Harris. Roode hit the ring to cut off a Harris comeback. Storm “accidentally” superkicked Roode and was then speared by Harris for the pin. A nothing of a match but the finish worked.
Roode and Storm teased a break up. It peaked with Roode calling Storm a “stupid cowboy” before a disappointing the crowd with a creepy embrace.
(7) LAX (Homicide & Hernandez) & Jay Lethal beat XXX (Christopher Daniels & Elix Skipper & Senshi) when Lethal pinned Daniels (11:41). Both teams got impressive entrance pops, especially when there was no music due to PA screwed up. Lethal and LAX were way over. Lethal said let’s get it on. Six-way action ensued. False heat on Lethal and then the real deal on Homicide. Morton Roll by Homicide for a very hot tag to Hernandez. He hit the Crackerjack on Daniels. A round of finisher ended with Lethal left in a seriously bad way. LAX came to his rescue by crotching Senshi and Skipper, Finish saw Daniels mounted on Hernandez shoulders for a neckbreaker by Homicide. Lethal finished with a Macho Man elbow off the top. The body of the match didn’t have great heat but the finish sure did.
(8) Kurt Angle beat Samoa Joe to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Title in 9:30. Really good heat. Match was fine for what it was, which was certainly not intended to be their best stuff. Both had headlined Zamora shows in the past. Angle vs. Abyss topped the card in January. Joe had appeared here on two occasions for Wrestle Birmingham. Crowd was split. It was the power of Joe, until he came up empty on a mad dash into the corner, and Angle caught him with a release German suplex. The crowd broke into dueling chants. Angle worked on cutting off Joe’s air supply. On the comeback, Joe hit the scoop powerslam for a near fall. Joe went for the Muscle Buster, and Angle reversed to s tanding ankle lock. Joe wouldn’t tap. Angle hit the Angle slam but couldn’t put Joe away. Angle went for a belt shot. Charles blocked it. Ref bump. Joe hit the Muscle Buster. Visual fall with the crowd making the count. Angle gave Joe a low blow, nailed him with the belt, and revived Charles to make the count.
JB invited fans to stick around for in ring Polaroids with Angle. There was a long line for them.
NOTES: The show was promoted with the assistance of Linda Marx/Wrestle Birmingham. LAX will headline WB’s 10/20 show at the Boutwell Auditorium. The show is in conjunction with a Mexican festival Saturday afternoon at Linn Park, which is across the street from Boutwell. WB is also bringing in Tito Santana (vs. Dennis Condrey) and Hector Geurrero as a manager for a match between two local Mexican wrestlers. Jake Roberts vs. Jimmy Golden (with Robert Fuller) is part of the triple main event. They’re going to do an outdoor match during the festival to hype the card….Marx confirmed that WB would be returning to Graysville, Alabama but no date set as of yet…Gordon handled the gear and paraphenalia. He’s a fixture on the Nashville indie scene currently with USWO,..Terry Taylor was a visible presence at several points during the evening.