Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Bound For Glory 2014
Date: October 12, 2014
Location: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz

Official subtitle: TNA sends its B team to Japan for a tape delayed Wrestle-1 show with matches first mentioned on TV four days ago that has nothing to do with current storylines that they have the nerve to ask you to pay $50 for while shouting about how this is all about giving the fans the best. FEEL THE ELECTRICITY! Let’s get to it.

The opening video talks about how this is a night unlike any other and how the biggest stars of both promotions are going at it. We also get a video on the Muta vs. Sanada feud.

The arena isn’t very big and only holds about 2,000 people.

JB welcomes us to the show and we’re ready to go.

Manik vs. Minoru Tanaka

It’s back in a four sided ring. Feeling out process to start until Tanaka scores with a nice dropkick. Manik comes right back by sending him out to the floor but misses a plancha. He goes under the ring though and sneaks up on Tanaka for a neckbreaker. A dropkick gets two for Manik and he cranks on the arm while holding a chinlock.

Tanaka gets suplexed down for two as Tenay talks about Manik being the youngest non-Japanese wrestler to ever perform in New Japan. There’s something close to a story here as Tanaka used to mentor Manik at the start of his career. Not that there’s any hostility or anything but they did know each other before this. A missile dropkick and knee drop get two for Tanaka but Manik dropkicks him back to the floor. Tanaka blocks another dive with a kick to the face and hits a middle rope moonsault to send Manik into the barricade.

Back in and Manik avoids a charge and hits another missile dropkick before throwing him into the air for a kick to the face. Tanaka gets his knees up to block a frog splash before yet another running dropkick sends Manik into the corner. A superplex into a hiptoss gets two on Manik as the fans are finally getting into this. They trade some nice rollups until Manik plants him with a brainbuster for another near fall. Manik gets the same off a gutbuster but walks into a kick to the head followed by a cross armbreaker for the submission at 9:57.

Rating: B-. This was actually a solid back and forth match but it sums up the problem with this entire show: I have no reason to care about these guys and the entire show is going to be based on the action. Something tells me the rest of the card isn’t going to be this solid, and this match wasn’t even all that great. Still though, good opener.

We’ll be looking at great moments in Team 3D’s history, starting with Slammiversary 2006 against Rick Steiner and Animal. They couldn’t even get one of the 3D vs. Steiners matches? We see the last three minutes or so.

Ethan Carter III talks about stabbing Spud in the heart with his words on Wednesday. Spud knew he was on borrowed time when he allowed Dixie to be sent through a table. Ethan has a replacement for Spud though and he’ll debut on Wednesday. He’s ready to start EC3 Year 2 with a win over a former sumo wrestler tonight.

We recap Ethan’s rookie year in TNA where he still hasn’t submitted or been pinned.

Ethan Carter III vs. Ryota Hama

Before the match Ethan is pleased with the respect the fans show him here. He speaks “Japanese”, meaning very slow English, talking about how he’s rich, undefeated and good. Carter talks about beating every TNA Hall of Famer at their own game so he’s going to slam Hama tonight. He says slam ham over and over again and declares himself huge in Japan.

Hama is disturbingly fat and dresses exactly like Rikishi. He powers Carter into the corner with ease of course so Carter bails to the floor. Tenay tries to give us a brief history of Japanese wrestling as Carter gets dropped with a shoulder block. Back in and Hama runs him over out of a sumo position but misses a big fat splash. Carter of course can’t slam him and a big elbow drop gets two. A running Umaga attack in the corner gets the same but Hama misses a seated senton. Carter still can’t slam him and Hama falls on top for two. We get the required Stink Face but Carter comes back with a 1%er for the pin at 6:00.

Rating: D. Remember when I said it wasn’t going to stay as good as the opener? I was correct earlier than I thought with this standard comedy match. Go back and watch any given Rikishi match and you’ve seen the same match you got here. Nothing to see here but at least Carter won.

It hasn’t gone much better for EC3 since then:

Team 3D vs. Beer Money from Lockdown 2009.

MVP talks about how awesome the Japanese wrestlers are and how they put fear in the hearts of sports entertainers. He doesn’t know much about Sakamoto but the little bit he’s seen hasn’t impressed him. Tonight though, Sakamoto will be impressed.

MVP vs. Kazma Sakamoto

Remember Tensai’s worshipper? Well he returns here as a, ahem, star. MVP is the huge face here due to his time in New Japan. He takes Sakamoto down as Tenay recaps Sakamoto’s time in WWE. Sakamoto runs from MVP as we really haven’t had a ton of contact yet. MVP gets in a shot to knock Sakamoto out to the floor as Tenay’s history lessons continue.

Back in and MVP drops some knees on the face for two but Sakamoto comes back with uppercuts. A few kicks to the legs have MVP in trouble and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Sakamoto misses the Ballin Elbow and gets clotheslined in the corner. MVP nips up and hits the real Ballin Elbow followed by a fisherman’s suplex for two. Sakamoto misses a running knee and gets his leg kicked out, setting up a Shining Wizard for the pin at 8:02.

Rating: C-. Nothing special here as it was just a step above a squash for MVP. Sakamoto never posed a threat here and MVP was over like free beer in a frat house. This was another short match that didn’t mean anything and was there for the live crowd instead of the PPV crowd, but that’s the case for the entire card.

Samoa Joe talks about how awesome the X-Division is and how tough a night his opponents are in.

X-Division Title: Samoa Joe vs. Kaz Hayashi vs. Low Ki

Joe is defending. Hayashi is probably best known in America as a low level cruiserweight guy about fourteen years ago. Ki takes over to start but Joe crushes both guys in the corner and kicks Kaz in the head. There’s the chop to Hayashi’s back but he fires off right hands to the champ’s face and knocks Joe to the floor. The fans are behind Low Ki as he kicks both guys down and gets two on Joe. Both challengers head to the floor and get taken out by a big dive as we see the crowd sitting still yet chanting at the same time.

Back in and Low Ki chops at Joe but the champ busts out his powerbomb into the crab into the STF until Hayashi remembers he’s in this match and puts Joe in a Crossface without breaking the hold on Ki. Hayashi hits a kind of Zig Zag for two on Joe with Ki making the save. A quick Warrior’s Way gets two on Kaz and they head outside so Joe can nail a double dive. Back in and Kaz charges into a Rock Bottom out of the corner but Low Ki breaks up the MuscleBuster. That earns him a Koquina Clutch and Ki passes out to retain Joe’s title at 10:30.

Rating: C+. Not bad for the most part here but it didn’t mean anything for the most part. This was the same three way style match TNA has done a dozen times with Hayashi just being a warm body to fill out the match. The fact that the winner was already spoiled with the TV tapings didn’t help either.

This was as good as it got:

Joe thanks the fans in Japanese and says they’re here to bring the world together for the fans. He is Samoa Joe and he is professional wrestling.

Another great Team 3D moment: putting Dixie through a table.

Dreamer says he’s going to do the hardcore thing one more time with Team 3D. He looks like he’s about to cry because that’s all Tommy Dreamer does anymore.

Jiro Kuroshio/Yusuke Kodama vs. Andy Wu/El Hijo del Pantera

Wrestle-1 match and I have no idea who any of these guys are. Wu, a guy that moves a lot, starts with Kuroshio and Andy ducks a kick to the face. Kuroshio wrestles in a jacket for some reason. Off to Kodama and Pantera for a gymnastics demonstration capped off by a hurricanrana from Pantera. An armdrag puts Kodama on the floor for a big flip dive from Pantera. Back in and Kuroshio slams Pantera down and adjusts his hair during the cover.

Kuroshio gets two more off a standing corkscrew moonsault but stops to check his hair. Back to Kodama for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two on Pantera as this just keeps going. Pantera finally crawls over for the hot tag and Wu speeds things up a bit with flips. Kodama gets double teamed into a 619 for two from Pantera. Wu dives over the top onto Kuroshio and Kodama kicks Patnera in the face for two. Kuroshio hits a big flip dive to take out Wu and Kodama nails a corkscrew moonsault for the pin on Pantera at 9:20.

Rating: C+. Well that happened. I still have almost no idea who any of these people are and I have almost no reason to care about any of them but, Kuroshio does indeed wrestle in a jacket. It was your regular cruiserweight style tag match and odds are I won’t remember it in about fifteen minutes.

Video on Team 3D’s career and how much they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

We see Tommy Dreamer’s induction speech and, say it with me, he cries. Team 3D doesn’t have a ton to say here other than how hard they’ve worked to get here and how glad they are to be here. You would think they could at least throw on a suit though.

Team 3D vs. Tommy Dreamer/Abyss

No stipulations here for a change. I’m sure the rules will be enforced too. Dreamer has a headband on to pay homage to Terry Funk. Long intros fill even more time and the fans want tables. Ray speaks some Japanese and we get handshakes from everyone but Abyss. Dreamer and D-Von do some basic stuff to start before it’s off to Abyss and Ray. Tenay gets on my nerves even more by talking about the Full Metal Mayhem match from Impact. They slug it out very slowly until Ray nails a Rock Bottom.

Abyss pops up with a chokeslam but Ray pops up. Ray avoids a splash and D-Von comes in to clothesline Abyss out to the floor. The reverse 3D plants Dreamer as they’re still in about second gear. Dreamer takes What’s Up and it’s table time. The tables are much smaller here and we get the required ECW chant. The fight heads outside and Abyss rings the bell on Ray’s head. They fight around the arena and now it’s time for all of the weapons.

We get duels with chairs and kendo sticks but Dreamer DDTs Ray as Abyss chokeslams D-Von. Dreamer is thrown into a trashcan in the corner and the Black Hole Slam gets two on Ray. Abyss nails him in the ribs with a few chair shots but D-Von hits his spinebuster for two on Abyss. D-Von goes up to drive Abyss through a table, only to have Ray powerbomb Dreamer through it instead. Abyss busts out the tacks and walks into 3D onto said tacks for no cover. Dreamer brings in the cane and takes a 3D of his own for the pin at about 13:00.

Rating: D+. This show is getting old in a hurry. This was the same hardcore brawl we’ve seen a dozen times before with nothing new and no doubt as to who was going to win. Tenay mentioning the great Full Metal Mayhem match makes me want to just go find a copy of that match instead, which is a really bad sign for your biggest show of the year.

It was a big fight:

Post match Team 3D says they love Japan

Velvet says this is her first time in Japan (it isn’t even her first time this year) and says she isn’t afraid of Havok.

We recap Havok winning the Knockouts Title.

Knockouts Title: Havok vs. Velvet Sky

Velvet is challenging and is suddenly a face over here. Havok is from Defiance, Ohio. Velvet fires off kicks to start and hits a few middle rope ax handles. The champ comes back with shoulders in the corner and a backbreaker. Off to a bearhug followed by a slam but Velvet fights back with almost no effect. A headscissors puts Havok down and a middle rope cross body gets two. Not that it matters as Havok grabs another bearhug for the submission at 6:00.

Rating: C-. This actually wasn’t half bad with Velvet fighting instead of getting squashed. It still wasn’t any good but Havok is a good choice for a monster champion. Whoever eventually beats her is going to look like a big deal and that’s the whole point of building up a monster as champion.

James Storm is sitting in what looks like a temple, talking about cutting down Great Muta for the sake of the Revolution.

We recap Muta/Tajiri vs. Sanada/Storm. Muta mentored Sanada but Storm turned Sanada to the dark side. Tonight it’s about revenge. This is the only match that has gotten any sort of a build.

Great Sanada/James Storm vs. Tajiri/Great Muta

Storm gives a great speech about turning one of Japan’s own against them. That little bit of storyline actually felt really refreshing. Muta sprays mist to start and gets things going with Sanada. They fight over a leglock on the mat until Muta comes up and works on the arm. It’s back down to the mat and Sanada sprays Mist at Muta but only hits air. Off to Tajiri vs. Storm with James taking a bunch of kicks. Tajiri grabs the beard but it’s quickly back to Sanada, only to have him get low bridged out to the floor.

Sanada kicks Tajiri to the floor and then under the ring as things slow WAY down. Tajiri has taken mist off camera and is blinded back inside. Storm and Sanada start slowly double teaming as we’re waiting on the hot tag to Muta. A dropkick gets two for Sanada and we hit the nerve hold.

Back up and Sanada pulls out a white stick of some kind of nail Tajiri again. Tajiri comes right back with a kick and tags in Muta to clean house. Muta hammers on Sanada and drops an elbow for two, only to get caught in Closing Time. Storm drops a top rope elbow and Sanada’s moonsault gets two. Everything breaks down and Storm is backdropped to the floor. Tajiri superkicks Sanada down and it’s a double mist and the Shining Wizard to give Muta the pin at 10:50.

Rating: D+. I just sat through this whole show for an eleven minute main event. Storm not taking the pin is a good thing, but it’s not like this match means anything at the end of the day. However, there’s one thing that stands out above all this: at the end of the day, the two oldest guys on the show stood tall to end the show. Some things never change.

Storm chokes Muta with the bullrope so Team 3D makes the save to end the show. That would be four guys at least 41 years old ending the show.

Overall Rating: D+. Here’s the thing: the show itself was just ok. Some of the matches weren’t bad but for the most part it was just the same kind of matches we’ve seen in other forms dozens of times. It wasn’t a bad show or anything but it’s totally forgettable with nothing standing out as a great or even very good match. The opener is the best match and the X-Division Title match is good depending on your taste but I’ve seen it done too many times.

That brings us to the big problem: this is Bound For Glory, not some One Night Only show. The Global Impact Japan show was better than this with more title matches, two title changes and cost $15 compared to $50 for this one. The stalling was just pathetic and made me feel like I was watching a low rent show from a low rent promotion.

TNA rolled the dice here and I can get the idea behind it, but not for Bound For Glory or when TNA is in the spot they’re in. They don’t have another live event for three months and the only thing you hear about TV is “it’s coming”. This show might have helped set up stuff in Asia, but if there’s no product in America, there’s nothing to ship out to Asia. The problem is this show was all for the Japanese fans, and the last thing TNA should be doing right now is flipping off their loyal fans, which are the only things keeping them going. This was a bad idea but the intentions were good at least.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.

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