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31 Days of Wrestling (12/29/15): The Bound For Glory Main Event

Before the year ends, we take one last look at TNA and their perennial ability to overdo themselves and screw things up.


#29: Ethan Carter III vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway, TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Bound For Glory

We've already gone at length about how TNA was transitioning into making its younger generation the focal point of its brand. What we only mentioned in passing was how TNA managed to bungle that new direction before the year even ended.


Yes, even though TNA has made up for it with an unprecedented World Title Series and even though they do have a chance at redemption in 2016, this year they were pretty close to dismantling everything they've built up with the main event of Bound for Glory—the aftermath, to be exact.

First of all, the triple threat itself is nothing to write home about. When the most veteran presence leading the ring is Matt Hardy, whose only claim to fame is merely being the better-rounded half of the Hardy Boyz, the other two are gonna have to step up. EC3's character and training don't equip him with the skills to play the workhorse in the match. And while Galloway has proven himself in the indies, it seems like he was a little out of his element in a triple threat, a match that is highly convoluted in nature. (It also doesn't help that TNA can no longer afford any trappings that lend an air of pomp and circumstance to their biggest show of the year.)

The finish that sees special guest referee Jeff Hardy smash a chair on EC3 both makes Matt's win a little cheap and sets up the championship stripping that happens at the next Impact Wrestling. We really don't see the point of going the WWE/Daniel Bryan route for 1) Matt Hardy and 2) the biggest show of the year. If they wanted a feel-good moment, they should've gone all-in with it; and this is primarily about the stripping, and not necessarily the Jeff interference—albeit a little weak and contrived, that worked as a moment of catharsis for him.

The only saving grace for this is that they decided to use this to set up a grander tournament. If that were the case, we just wish the tournament was set to end at BFG and not much later after it, just so they make an event that has been faltering in recent years special again. By the looks of things, however, nothing revolutionary will come out of the series (save for the Knockouts being eligible to compete for a shot at the World title) but we'll let that one unfold.

Again, 2016 is the ultimate make-or-break year for TNA. We suggest straight-up wrestling and very little of the bullshit. There's still time for a resurgence.

*****

31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2015.

Read our previous entries:

#1: Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania
#2: Kazuchika Okada faces Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 9
#3: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Respect
#4: Fenix vs. Mil Muertes, Grave Consequences
#5: The Rise of Kevin Owens
#6: Johnny Mundo vs. Prince Puma, All Night Long
#7: Jake de Leon vs. Bombay Suarez for the PWR Championship, Wrevolution X
#8: Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on Impact Wrestling
#9: Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal in the Battle of the Belts, Best in the World
#10: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, Wrestle Kingdom 9
#11 Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Title at Royal Rumble
#12: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship, NXT TakeOver: Rival
#13: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tomoaki Honma, The New Beginning in Sendai
#14: Seth Rollins vs. John Cena, Champion vs. Champion, SummerSlam
#15: Vampiro vs. Pentagon, Jr., Cero Miedo
#16: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, G1 Climax 25 Finals
#17: Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship, Beast in the East
#18: Peter Versoza vs. Ralph Imabayashi Quarterfinal Match for the PHX Championship, PWR Live
#19: John Cena vs. Cesaro for the United States Championship, RAW July 6, 2015
#20: The Grado vs. Drew Galloway Saga, ICW
#21: The Lucha Underground Trios Championship Finals
#22: The All-Champion Tag Match, SmackDown April 16, 2015
#23: Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Impact Wrestling, July 1, 2015
#24: Kenny Omega vs. KUSHIDA, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, Dominion
#25: Zack Sabre, Jr. vs. Roderick Strong, EVOLVE 45
#26: Rey Mysterio vs. Myzteziz: The Lucha Libre Dream Match, Triple Mania XXIII
#27: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, Ladder Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Money in the Bank
#28: Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH World Television Championship, Glory By Honor XIV

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