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Heavy Impact (9/30/15): The Edge of Glory




Hello folks, it’s Marie again and it’s time for some Impact Wrestling recap!

This Sunday, TNA is holding their second pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory. It is TNA’s biggest annual event, so I can understand why a lot of people—most of whom are used to the extravaganza that is WrestleMania—are unnerved by how low-key Bound for Glory is. TNA is not trying to match WWE’s premier event is a smart move not only from a business point of view, but also because they have no other choice financially. Think of it this way: it’s your birthday, and your barkada wants you to treat them for a birthday treat (or in Pinoy slang, “manlibre”). While they are hoping you take them to a swanky restaurant (it’s your birthday after all), you instead invite them to the nearest turo-turo for a round (or sige na nga, two) of isaw, tokneneng, and gulaman. They may grumble kuripot under their breath, but you have no choice: your next pay is still weeks away, or in TNA’s case, three months away. So what we (and that guy’s friends) should do is to understand the situation and just enjoy the show.

Because this week’s episode is the launch show for Bound for Glory (#CountdowntoGlory), I’m going to run through the card for this Sunday’s PPV using this week’s Impact Wrestling.

Tigre Uno vs DJ Z vs Manik vs Andrew Everett in an Ultimate X match for the TNA X-Division Championship

If the token X-Division match in this week’s show is an indication of this division’s time in Bound for Glory: the Ultimate X match is going to be fun, fast, and exciting, but devoid of any storyline whatsoever. This week’s match is a very good one, a three-way between DJ Z, GFW’s Trevor Lee, and surprise, surprise, NXT-bound Tommaso Ciampa. It was quite a fine match, with a lot of stiff strikes, and a pretty decent way to whet up people’s appetite (never mind that Ciampa and Lee are not in the Ultimate X match). DJ Z is a good, grossly underrated X division wrestler, and I snickered when the Pope subtly referring to Tommaso Ciampa as a CM Punk replacement. Trevor Lee eventually won, which kind of promotes his Bound for Glory match with his partner, Brian Myers, for the tag team championship.



My fearless prediction: I hate to say it, but Tigre Uno’s championship reign has gone stale, and the title needs to go to someone better. I’m not sure why a newcomer is in this match, so a definite no to Andrew Everett. I choose Manik over DJ Z because Manik has an active storyline right now, and being a champion will definitely help his story, and vice versa. That is, under Manik’s story, X-Division championship defenses will not be just random title matches, (something I’ve been complaining about for weeks).

The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) vs Brian Myers and Trevor Lee for the TNA Tag Team Championship

Josh Matthews explains that the reason why we have GFW wrestlers (people we had kicked out of the Impact Zone just two weeks before) against the Wolves for the Tag Team Championship match is because of the rematch clause when they became the champs last month. I appreciate the effort to hide the fact that TNA does not have any other tag team for the Wolves to feud over. TNA really should make it a priority to create another tag team (or better yet stables) just so that their tag team scene wouldn’t look this pathetic. I suggest Abyss, Manik, and Mahabali Shera for The Revolution version 2.0.

My prediction: It’s pretty obvious. The Wolves will retain the tag team championship.

Gail Kim vs Awesome Kong for the TNA Knockout Championship

I’m bewildered as to why they had decided to continue the Dollhouse versus The Beautiful People arc in this episode, rather than something that has to do with the actual Knockout match for this Sunday.  A talking head video promo by Gail Kim isn’t the proper way to tease the match; at the very least, Kim should’ve been doing that in the middle of the Impact Zone. For one, despite the win by the Dollhouse, this feud is definitely not over; for two, Jade is the most bloodthirsty of the Dollhouse girls, a nuance that I find quite intriguing; and three, Rebel’s lack of wrestling skills is even more glaring in these kind of multi-wrestler matches, especially when everyone else has pretty decent skills. What’s even more hilarious is that she tries to cope by doing pabebe moves and poses, stuff she probably thinks are cute but are really annoying.


My prediction: Too early for a change of hands; Gail Kim will retain the championship.

Abyss vs Aiden O’Shea vs Chris Melendez vs Eli Drake vs Jessie Godderz vs Mahabali Shera vs Mr. Anderson vs Robbie E vs Tyrus for a Bound for Gold Gauntlet match for a future TNA Championship opportunity

This is a semi-regular Bound for Glory tradition, and predates the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal that was booked for WrestleMania just two years ago. Not much to say here, except that save for newcomer Aiden O’ Shea, these wrestlers are good choices for this match and I’m glad that they kept the number under ten competitors.


My prediction: Mahabali Shera. A win in Bound for Glory will keep his the momentum of his current storyline going. After all, he already had his hard-earned win against James Storm this week. The next chapter should be how the ex-Revolution members will go forward after the dissolution of their stable.

Kurt Angle vs Eric Young

It’s strange how Eric Young became the go-to guy for taking care of wrestlers who need to be handled carefully, if one considers that his stage persona is a crazy dude who gets his kicks from hurting people. After guiding Sergeant Chris Melendez, he’s hounding Kurt Angle again for Bound for Glory. By focusing on Young rather on the returning Kurt Angle, TNA is wisely postponing the reveal until Sunday for maximum pop. I enjoyed the segment, and marked out a bit when Mr. Anderson showed up for the party. The moral of the lesson, boys and girls: karma is such a bitch that it’s wiser not to be a dickhead.



My prediction:  Kurt Angle will, of course, get his revenge. What is more important for me is how he is after the much-needed rest. This match will most likely show if he still has some fuel in the tank, if not to continue his wrestling career, at least to have an awesome retirement match.

Bobby Roode vs Bobby Lashley for the King of the Mountain Championship

The most understated of the matches for Sunday, it is unusual for me for the civility and politeness of the competitors, with the shaking of hands and formal acceptances of matches. Is this TNA’s way of bringing some Ring of Honor sensibility to the Impact Zone? I am intrigued at how this match will turn out, especially with these two highly skilled wrestlers.


My prediction: As with the Knockout division, it’s too early for a championship change of hands. Bobby Roode will retain the King of the Mountain Championship.

Ethan Carter III vs Drew Galloway vs Matt Hardy in a Three-Way match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship with Jeff Hardy as the guest referee

I’m a bit ambivalent on the main event becoming a three-way match. On the negative side, I really would have preferred this as a just between EC3 and Drew Galloway, a fight between Dixie Carter’s golden boy and her jealous nephew and apparent heir. Matt Hardy had been given too many championship opportunities already, and I hope this is really going to be his last chance.

On the plus side, this raises the probability of having the EC3/Drew Galloway feud going on after Bound for Glory. It also enables Matt Hardy to get used to the truth that #Matt4Champ isn’t really going to happen, especially with the ever-popular, God-mode EC3 on the helm (sorry Matt).  Another advantage is that the continuation of the feud will give Drew Galloway the chance to fine-tune his character, which, as it is, is a very serious one-dimensional Boy Scout. Drew Galloway’s character needs depth, and a bit more color than just white-bread goodness. As for Jeff Hardy, well, I should’ve stuck to my instinct that he’s most likely leaving at the end of the year. It goes to show that I really should quit reading wrestling dirt sheets.



My prediction: EC3 retains. The more interesting question is if it’s going to be a clean win (which I prefer, as EC3 is not a full chickenshit heel type that Seth Rollins is), or is it going to be via a dirty heel move. If it’s the latter, Jeff Hardy is probably going to be the one to do it, in a move that will get him his job back, and will fully push him for a heel turn, something that EC3 has been wanting from Jeff Hardy for the last few weeks. If that’s the case, will we see a Hardy versus Hardy feud for Jeff’s return to active wrestling? I hope so.

All in all, I’m pretty sure that Bound of Glory is going to be a good watch this Sunday. If you decided on giving TNA a chance, or if you just want to see what TNA is all about, by all means, this is the show to watch.

Did you see this week's Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? What do you think about Drew Galloway’s decision of letting Matt Hardy have his championship opportunity yet again? Do you agree with my Bound for Glory predictions? Let us know in the comments!

Photos taken from ImpactWrestling.com


*****

Marie Ricana (@cris_ricana) is an IT specialist and a network/system administrator. While an engineer by profession, she dreams of becoming the next Roland Barthes or The Masked Man. One of these days, she’ll publish the most insightful book on pro wrestling in the Philippines. But for now, she is mostly writing reviews of TNA Impact Wrestling for Smark Henry.
  

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