BRM’s Monthly “This Day in Wrestling History” Review Series returns to TNA for the first time in eight months, and we pick it up eight months after we last left off. If that intro sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s the N+1 version of the same one I used the last time we looked at TNA. So basically, if you want to know when the next time we’ll be covering TNA is, just do the math. Not that I don’t want to review TNA, but I do try to vary the promotions we’ll covering, and my obsession with patterns already takes up my TNA spot for the year. If we’re going to be leaving TNA alone for the next eleven months, though, we might as well cover a major show when we can, and Bound For Glory 2009 definitely fits that description!
ULTIMATE X MATCH FOR THE TNA X-DIVISION TITLE:
Amazing Red(c) (w/Don West) vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Homicide vs. Suicide vs. Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin - 8/10
The ring announcer assured us that “this match will be fought to an absolute finish,” which is a weird thing for a ring announcer to say, and downright creepy when you remember that this is the match where Christopher Daniels almost died.
This was the expected spotfest, but it was fun to watch and did its job for the show. Knowing what would almost happen to Daniels at the end actually enhanced the match a bit, as it made all of these crazy bumps feel even scarier, and the stuff that Daniels and Suicide did on top of the structure feel utterly terrifying, but the knowledge that Daniels was okay at the end allowed it to be an enjoyable kind of terrifying rather than the “I’m worried someone is actually going to die” terrifying.
LAUREN INTERVIEWS THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE - Good. Velvet took the “insult the opponents and ring announcer” part of the promo while Madison and Lacey (but mostly Madison) explained to us why the result of this match would be different from last month’s match.
JEREMY BORASH INTERVIEWS TAYLOR WILDE & SARITA - This wasn’t bad in a vacuum, but they didn’t really say anything interesting or inspiring, either, so it was just a waste of time on PPV that had so many matches that it really couldn’t afford to waste even the minute or so that this took. They also wasted another minute or two with the announcers running down the card and hyping up the matches that we have all already paid for (yes, the promos do that, too, but at least a promo like TBP’s can get me excited to see one side win or lose, where as Taz and Tenay’s babbling cannot).
TNA KNOCKOUTS TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Taylor Wilde & Sarita(c) vs. the Beautiful People (Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky) (w/Lacey Von Erich) - 1.25/10
Before the match Lacey seduced the referee into not immediately ejecting her from ringside. Senior Referee Earl Hebner then stormed out ordered her to the back. She kissed Earl, too, but then he ejected her from ringside anyway. Lacey’s feigned arousal after the big kiss from Hebner was entertaining, but Earl came off like a total dick here, dipping Lacey for the kiss but then ejecting her from ringside anyway. He also came off like an idiot, as he let Jamie Tucker referee the match even though he just showed himself to be susceptible to bribes. Also, even though Earl was clearly coming out to make things fair for the babyfaces, he was immediately greeted with loud chants of “YOU SCREWED BRET!” In 2009. In California. GET THE F*CK OVER IT.
The babyfaces won clean in three minutes, but the way they did the babyface in peril stuff did make it feel a little longer than it was.
LAUREN INTERVIEWS KEVIN NASH & ERIC YOUNG - An actual waste of time. This came after a two-minute video package that already explained the story to us (EY hates Hernandez for not joining his group. EY and Angle don’t get a long so Angle put a hit out on EY. EY is paying Nash double the value of Angle’s hit to protect him from Hernandez in exchange for EY ensuring that Nash gets the pin and gets to retain his title) so these guys explaining it to us yet again is a waste a time. Then they wasted even more time by having Mike Tenay explain it to us a third time via bullet points on the screen.
TNA LEGENDS TITLE MATCH:
Kevin Nash(c) vs. Eric Young vs. Hernandez - 5.75/10
The story of the match was Hernandez basically wrestling a handicap match and they told it well. The swerve on the finish with EY screwing Nash out of his title was very clever, and was probably a better finish in the long term than Hernandez overcoming the odds and getting the win because this gave EY something to hang his hat on, even if Hernandez were to go on and get his revenge next month.
HEEL TAG TEAMS BACKSTAGE - Bad. They’re all shouting at each other until Doug Williams grabbed a microphone and give everyone a pep talk telling them that they have to work together to take out Team 3-D first. His reasons for this were:
1. They “have the advantage in any match featuring tables, ladders, and chairs.” This is a stupid statement simply because their clearly comes of a point of diminishing returns on experience, and I’m pretty sure that Booker T, Scott Steiner, and Beer Money have been in more than enough weapons matches to negate that supposed advantage.
2. They “originated the Full Metal Mayhem match.” Coming up with an idea does not make you automatically the best at implementing it. More importantly, though, this statement is false. The first Full Metal Mayhem match was between Christian and Abyss. The only way this statement is true is if we consider Full Metal Mayhem to be the same thing as TLC and he is giving the Dudleys credit for coming up with it… in which case the only thing this statement does is go out of its way to point out to us that they are copying a WWE gimmick.
3. They wrestled this kind of match at the Astrodome in front of 70,000 people. Again, this is completely irrelevant. You could certainly argue that experience wrestling in front of a huge stadium full of people could be a factor in a match, but it’s not going to be a factor in this match because TNA only drew 2,400 hundred to this show. All this statement did was tell everyone that the other company once drew ALMOST THIRTY TIMES MORE PEOPLE to their biggest show of the year than you have drawn to your biggest show of the year here tonight.
More time was wasted with another of those bullet point slides that they try to give cute names to. The one for this match was called “tag lines” and told us the following information:
“- 2 Titles, 4 teams, 8 wrestlers”
“- Take down title and win team championship”
“- Full Metal Mayhem to finally settle rivalries.”
Making matters worse was the fact that the only thing that is different between this ladder match and all others- the fact that there are two sets of titles hanging and both will be pulled down before the match ends- was not addressed in any useful way on the slide. Tenay told us that if you pull down a belt you win that title, but never told us that the match will continue until both sets are down. Even if he had said that, though, this would still be dumb because the whole point of these slides is to transfer necessary information in a way OTHER than the announcers talking to us. If the announcers talking to us was all that was necessary to make sure the information got conveyed then the announcers would just tell us the info during the entrances and we wouldn’t have these slides at all!
DOUBLE LADDER FULL METAL MAYHEM MATCH FOR BOTH THE TNA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES AND THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLES:
Booker T & Scott Steiner(TNA World Tag Team Champions) vs. the British Invasion (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions) vs. Team 3-D vs. Beer Money Inc. - 7/10
Another thing they didn’t explain to us in that stupid graphic was that only one of each title was going to be hung from the Ultimate X structure, so when Tenay said that Scott Steiner grabbed one of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title belts “from the table” to hit someone with, I was baffled.
They started off with the expected story of the heels all ganging up on the Dudleys, but it quickly turned into a generic TLC match. They did a spot where Booker got stretchered off after taking Beer Money’s finisher. While I do believe this wound up leading to Booker and Steiner breaking up, it had the unintended consequence of turning Steiner heel, as he was now fighting a handicap match against three full teams. Lots of weapons shots and table bumps happened. The Dudleys were about to pull down both sets of belts when Rhino came out and assaulted them with a chair. Devon managed to pull the IWGP belt down while falling, which killed the feeling that Rhino had cost the Dudleys the match. This attacked removed the Dudleys from the match and let the other teams fight it out. The British Invasion won when Rob Terry came out and interfered. Why he waited until right now to do so was never explained.
TNA KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH:
ODB(c) vs. Awesome Kong vs. Tara - 5.75/10
Kong jumped the bell on both of her opponents. They did some stuff and it was fine, but not particularly good, either. At one point Tara headed to the back after getting in a confrontation with a “fan,” but the camera missed the whole thing. Yes, this did make it feel less scripted, but the problem is that the announcers were either not smartened up or were instructed to not know who this fan was, so TNA gained absolutely no buzz from Tara getting into a confrontation with Kim Couture. Tara would eventually come back out, but all she did after coming back out was get knocked down by Kong several times, which made her look like an idiot.
Raisha Saeed came out to try to get Kong to use a chair but Kong refused. When Kong got ODB up for the Awesome Bomb, Raisha slid the chair into the ring so that ODB would land on it whether Kong wanted to use the chair or not, but ODB reversed the attempted Awesome Bomb into a facebuster onto the chair for the win. The execution on this was fantastic. Kong glared at Raisha after the match.
LAUREN INTERVIEWS MATT MORGAN - Morgan cut a decent promo to build up his match with Kurt Angle later tonight.
SUBMISSIONS MATCH: Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley - 5.5/10
Lashley’s ribs are all taped up. The cut-off spot saw Joe throw a low kick that missed Lashley and somehow caught Earl Hebner even though to do so the leg had to travel all the way across Lashley’s body. The idea of Hebner being close enough to get hit by this kick was ridiculous, unless Earl was purposely trying to get in the way. After this Joe “took a shortcut” by going to Lashley’s injured ribs. How is working over an opponent’s injury a “shortcut?” Also, because this is TNA, the camera had cut to Hebner and thus missed the all-important shot to the ribs. For all I know the shot to the rubs didn’t actually happen and Mike Tenay just made it up.
Joe working over the ribs was the story of the match and it was enjoyable while it lasted, but they killed it with the finish. Said finish saw Lashley managed to grab a grounded side-choke of some sort and Hebner just called for the stoppage without checking on Joe at all, never mind the usual “dropping the hand” method, so both the crowd and the announcers were left very confused.
JEREMY BORASH INTERVIEWS MICK FOLEY - A good promo… other than his claim to have “bled on seven continents.”
MONSTER’S BALL MATCH WITH DR. STEVIE AS SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE AND THUMBTACKS ARE BANNED:
Abyss vs. Mick Foley- 2/10
The ring announcer didn’t tell us that that thumbtacks were banned but Tenay said that Foley said so and that Foley has the power to do that, so I’m going with it.
Foley jumped Abyss from behind during his entrance… and the fans all chanted “FOLEY! FOLEY! FOLEY!” We’re less than three minutes in now and Abyss has already taken a bump off of a high place and through the stage.
Instead of continuing to inflict damage or having the biased referee award him the match, Foley and his biased referee just headed back to the ring. WHY? Either it’s falls count anywhere and he should have tried to pin Abyss, or it’s not falls count anywhere and all he is doing is giving Abyss time to recover.
Abyss popped up from under a different part of the stage, so Foley charged up the ramp at him and got clotheslined. They hit each other with stuff. The biased referee barely got involved, which makes you wonder why he was there in the first place. Foley brought out tacks even though they weren’t legal. Abyss was about o chokeslam Foley into them but heeded Dr. Stevie’s warning not to so that he wouldn’t get DQed here in this hardcore deathmatch to determine who is the most hardcore. Abyss gave Stevie the Shock Treatment. Daffney then showed up and gave Foley a taser. Foley “tased” Abyss, and the special effects job that TNA’s production crew did with this made it clear that whoever made this prop had never seen an actual taser work before. There were sparks and smoke and other such hokey bullsh*t.
And, of course, Abyss kicked out of the pin after being tased. This count was made by a new referee because apparently putting on a referee’s shirt has sapped veteran wrestler Stevie Richards of any of the usual fortitude he displays during his matches and getting hit by one move from Abyss- and not even his finisher- has put him out of commission.
Stevie would eventually come back and take out the other referee. Then Daffney climbed to the top rope just to stand there and not do anything so that Abyss could chokeslam her off of it, through a board covered in barbed wire. The camera missed the shot. Foley then got chokeslammed onto another one of those barbed wire boards, Stevie ate a Black Hole Slam into thumbtacks, and Abyss covered Foley and made the count with Stevie’s unconscious arm for the win. This was a garbage match, plain and simple.
JEREMY BORASH INTERVIEWS KURT ANGLE - Fine, but why are we cutting the go-home show promo on the PPV?
KURT ANGLE vs. MATT MORGAN - 7.75/10
Kurt works the leg to chop the big giant down. A simple match with a simple story that was told extremely well. I actually like the booking of Morgan losing by roll-up but getting the show of respect from Kurt after the match, as it still gives Morgan something to pursue down the road while giving him the well-earned rub right now.
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
AJ Styles(c) vs. Sting - 7.25/10
This was a fine story of mutual respect with one guy winning cleanly. It was fine for a TV main event and just acceptable for a PPV main event, but for the main event of the biggest show of the year, it really felt like it was missing something.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - A nice showing of mutual respect.
This was a very up and down show from TNA, with most of the card being either great or underwhelming, with almost nothing in between. Unfortunately, most of it was the latter- and some of that was true crap- and the show mostly lacked that true “biggest show of the year” atmosphere. Still, it was easy to sit through and not totally unenjoyable, so I’m happy my neurosis forced me to watch it for BRM’s Monthly “This Day in Wrestling History” Review Series. Next month we’ll check out one of the biggest stars in the world today in a place you’re probably not expecting to see him.<<<