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 2018
Date: October 14, 2018
Location: Melrose Ballroom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Don Callis, Josh Matthews
It’s the biggest night of the year and the card is looking pretty good this time around. The main event is fairly lackluster with Johnny Impact challenging Austin Aries for the World Title, but the better built match is LAX vs. the OGz, in a match that could go either way. You never can tell with this company though so let’s get to it.
The opening video shows shots of the streets of New York with the pictures of the matches on walls and clips of the build towards the matches. LAX walks the streets, talking about how this is a reload instead of a rebuild.
The camera is facing the entrance and the ring looks a bit smaller than usual.
Willie Mack/Rich Swann vs. Ethan Page/Matt Sydal
Interesting choice for an opener. Swann strikes away to start and it’s Sydal telling him to open his third eye. Instead it’s off to the Mack for a heavy flying tackle to drop Sydal, meaning Page comes in to try his luck. Swann headscissors him down but a backdrop gives us a 450, sending Swann face first into the mat. Sydal comes back in to start on the arm, including a Fujiwara armbar.
A big boot from Page and a kick to the face from Sydal send Swann outside, where there is barely any room between the ring and the barricade. It doesn’t seem to bother Mack, who cannonballs down onto the other three. That’s still not enough for the hot tag though as Sydal cranks on something like a cobra clutch back inside. A side slam cuts Swann off again but he rolls over and brings in Mack to clean house. That means a Cannonball in the corner and a German suplex to set up a standing moonsault on Page.
Swann comes back in for a flapjack/bulldog combination before taking Page to the top. That’s not the best idea, as Page slams him down and hits a Swan Dive for two more. Sydal knees Mack in the face and hurricanranas Swann off the top, only to have him land in a hurricanrana to send Page flying instead for a cool spot. Everything breaks down and it’s a series of kicks to the face to put everyone down. Page kicks Sydal by mistake and takes a Stunner, leaving Swann to hit a Lethal Injection. The Phoenix splash is good for the pin on Sydal at 12:34.
Rating: C+. Good choice for an opener here with the fans loving Mack and Swann being his usual charismatic self. IT makes sense to have Sydal take the pin as well with Page being the newcomer and full of potential. As usual, Sydal is much easier to watch when he’s in the ring instead of talking about the third eye stuff. Just stick to what you do best.
Post match the fans seem to like Mack, who grabs a mic and says there are two empty seats in the front row. Therefore, whoever cheers the loudest is getting an upgrade courtesy of the show’s sponsor. Nothing wrong with that.
The announcers plug swag from the sponsor.
Earlier this week Johnny Impact and Taya Valkyrie were on TMZ because Austin Aries made some jokes about Taya’s size. This led to a near fight at Abyss’ Hall of Fame induction.
Konnan has been attacked. LAX comes in and Konnan says it was some of King’s guys.
Here’s Eli Drake for his open challenge. The fans start up the Y2J chants but Drake wants to talk to us. He’s here in a town where the claim to fame is pizza but he sees some New York Giants. They can’t be answering his challenge because they’re 1-5. The fans finish his catchphrase…and James Ellsworth answers the challenge.
This does NOT go over well with the fans starting a DELETE chant. Ellsworth tries to suck up to New York but Drake points out that he’s not even from New York. That’s true, but he did date a girl from Staten Island (ERG) and lived in her basement for a bit. Fans: “PIZZA!” They also have some very mean things to say about Ellsworth so let’s do this, though after a Sweet Chin Music joke.
James Ellsworth vs. Eli Drake
Ellsworth tries a cheap shot but gets caught in a flapjack as the fans are all behind Drake. Sweet Chin Music is countered with a spinebuster, which earns a thank you from the crowd. Ellsworth loads up a Styles Clash but gets countered into the Gravy Train. The fans want one more so Drake obliges before the pin at 2:12. Just….push Drake to the moon as a huge face already. Please. It’s WAY overdue, even as a former World Champion. And keep Ellsworth out. That felt like the old days of TNA and that’s not a good thing.
Post match Drake says he wants better competition so here’s Abyss to destroy him. A Black Hole Slam sets up a chokeslam through a table for Abyss’ Hall of Fame moment. Nothing wrong with that, but he couldn’t beat up someone other than Drake?
Earlier today, Tessa Blanchard said she’s the real wrestling royalty.
We recap Blanchard vs. Valkyrie. Basically Blanchard was out of challengers so Valkyrie is back to come after the title. It does at least tie into Blanchard facing a bunch of luchadoras and Taya saying she’s lucha royalty.
Knockouts Title: Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie
Taya is challenging and has new gear, making her look like an old school Natalya cosplayer. Tessa works on a wristlock to start and the fans are behind the champ. A headscissors takes Tessa down and Taya kicks her in the head in the corner. Taya gets in a not great spear to put Tessa on the floor but a neckbreaker onto the apron has Taya in trouble. Back in and a Codebreaker out of the corner gives Tessa two but it’s way too early for the Buzzsaw DDT.
Taya is right back with some Spanish shouting and running knees in the corner. A guillotine choke with a bodyscissors has to be broken up by a Tessa dead lift and the fans chant something in Spanish that is completely ignored. They slug it out and the Buzzsaw DDT is broken up again but Taya can’t hit Road to Valhalla. Instead Taya chokeslams her down to set up a moonsault.
A stomp sets up the STF but Tessa is too close to the ropes. The referee stops to FIX THE RING SKIRT, meaning there’s no count off the Road to Valhalla. It’s a delayed two, meaning Tessa is right back up with the Buzzsaw DDT for two of her own. Taya is back up again so Tessa sends her face first into the middle buckle, setting up Magnum to retain the title at 10:44.
Rating: C+. Nice power brawl here with Tessa finally having someone who can go move for move with her. The ending was the only way to go as Taya hasn’t been around in the better part of six months so changing the title was almost out of the question. Now you can build someone else up to challenge Tessa for the title, because the division has been all but cleaned out at the moment.
Earlier today Moose, wearing what looks like an African king outfit, says he’ll show why he’s a legend.
We recap Moose vs. Eddie Edwards. Moose was put on the shelf with a concussion but came back and joined forces with Austin Aries. This includes helping to beat down Edwards, who never even visited him in the hospital. Moose is now part of the evil trio along with Aries and Killer Kross, so Edwards is out for revenge due to a series of beatdowns.
Eddie Edwards vs. Moose
Moos has thankfully changed his clothes and comes out with a group of attractive women. They start fast with Eddie going right after him but getting knocked away. The Boston Knee Party drops Moose and it’s time for the kendo stick…but here’s Killer Kross from the crowd (in a shirt and tie) for the DQ at 58 seconds.
Post match Tommy Dreamer runs in for the save so let’s have a No DQ tag match. BECAUSE WE NEEDED TOMMY FREAKING DREAMER ON THE SHOW!
Tommy Dreamer/Eddie Edwards vs. Moose/Killer Kross
No DQ and it’s a brawl to start (of course) with Dreamer spitting something into Kross’ eyes. That’s not enough though as he takes another drink, spits it into Edwards’ mouth, and then has Edwards spit it into Moose’s eyes. That’s a visual I really didn’t need. Moose and Dreamer slug it out inside with Moose shouldering him down but missing the backsplash. The fans chant for Low Ki (fair enough) as Kross makes the save, only to get elbowed down.
Dreamer pulls back the padding on the floor, leaving Moose to dropkick Eddie off the middle rope. Moose follows him out and hits a running….I have no idea actually as the camera switched angles. Or did Eddie do something to him? Either way it’s bad camera work and Eddie comes back in to chop Kross. A middle rope hurricanrana drops Kross but Moose hits the Game Changer on Dreamer.
Moose and Eddie chop it out with Eddie hanging in there until he can hit the Blue Thunder Bomb. Dreamer cutters Kross and grabs the kendo stick, only to get caught with the Doomsday Saito. A clothesline puts Kross on the floor and Moose gives Eddie a pop up powerbomb. It’s time to get the stick again, but Eddie rolls Moose up for the pin at 8:41.
Rating: D+. I’m split on this one as there was no need to put Dreamer on the show, but there was a need to put Kross on there. That being said, if you want to do the tag match, just announce it as a tag match. Advertising Moose vs. Edwards as a featured match on the card and then switching things up is rather annoying and something that shouldn’t be happening. On top of that, it wasn’t even a very good brawl as Dreamer should NOT be going move for move with either of these monsters. At least the ending went well enough.
Post match Kross and Moose wreck Edwards, including an assisted apron bomb.
OVE is ready to take a bite of the Big Apple and spit it in the Machine’s face. They’re the ratings draws and are going to put Ohio on the map.
We recap OVE vs. Brian Cage/Lucha Bros. Sami Callihan and Pentagon have been feuding for months and since Sami has the Crist Brothers, Pentagon brought in his brother Fenix and then Cage just joined in as a bonus. You have to get Cage on the show so this makes logical sense. I’d certainly take that over a nothing X-Division Title defense.
OVE vs. Lucha Bros/Brian Cage
OVE rules, meaning anything goes, for the second match in a row. Fenix is introduced as “The Mexican”. Cage has a taped up leg coming in so he might need some repairs. Everyone else is cleared out in a hurry and it’s Pentagon vs. Callihan in the big showdown. They trade shots to the face until Pentagon scores with the Sling Blades to take over. Cage comes back in but gets sent shoulder first into the post.
Fenix replaces him and speeds things up but a tiger suplex takes him down as well. Callihan kicks away at various people and Jake posts Cage head first. The Bros are back up with Pentagon holding the ropes open for a dive from Fenix, leaving Cage to toss Jake over the top off a fall away slam. The dead lift superplex gets two on Callihan and everyone is back in. Double superkicks get two on Dave and the Alberto double stomp gets two. Callihan has to save Jake from the Drill Claw but Callihan sends Cage outside.
That means Fenix runs down the ramp for a diving cutter for two more on Callihan. The Pentagon Driver gets the same on Dave and it’s time for a parade of people knocking each other down. Cage throws Callihan into the corner to set up the spike Fear Factor but the Crists make the save. The fall away slam/Samoan drop combination takes Jake and Dave down, followed by a Codebreaker to Dave.
Fenix gets on Pentagon’s shoulders but it’s Jake springboarding in for the All Seeing Eye. Ok so he slipped a bit but it still looked good enough. Callihan piledrives Pentagon on the apron but Cage is all fired up again. House is cleaned but a series of kicks rock Cage. The All Seeing Eye only makes him adder so OVE kicks him in the face about a dozen times, setting up the Cactus Piledriver for the pin on Cage at 13:28.
Rating: B. Easily the match of the night so far and the ending was a nice surprise. It also sets up Callihan as the next challenger to the X-Division Title, which is hopefully turning into the midcard title that it should have been a long time ago. Cage got to stay strong in defeat, as it took three people unloading on him at once to finally put him away. That doesn’t hurt him in the slightest and this was an entertaining fight throughout.
Aries came back to this company to turn it into something special. Impact shows up when he has time and that’s not cool with the champ. Now that Impact’s reality show is airing, he’s back to make something out of it. Impact has Boone the Bounty Hunter and all the last names in the world. Aries says after last night at the press conference, his boys will be at ringside wit him. More good stuff from a recently inspired Aries here.
King says LAX can learn what they grew up with because it’s 3-2.
We recap the OGz vs. LAX. The teams have been warring for months now but their bosses have ordered a ceasefire. That ends tonight, with the OGz wanting to show LAX what it really means to fight in the streets.
LAX vs. OGz
Non-title. This is a Concrete Jungle Death Match, meaning all turnbuckle pads are off and the mat itself has been removed, leaving only the boards. It’s also a handicap match to start with King teaming with the OGz but Konnan being laid out. A band plays LAX to the ring and says this is for Konnan. You do know he was awake and talking after being attacked earlier right? LAX starts swinging trashcan lids to start and Hernandez is busted open less than thirty seconds in.
King breaks up a dive and Rock Bottoms Santana onto the wood as the referee tries to keep the boards together. Ortiz is back in with another lid shot but the numbers game takes him down, allowing Homicide to bash his head in with lid shots of his own. Some painted tables are sent in but Santana is sent outside. King dives out onto him but slams face first into the barricade for a bad looking crash.
Hernandez isn’t done though and Border Tosses Homicide onto LAX. Back in and Ortiz suplexes Homicide on the boards but gets Pounced through a table by Hernandez. Santana sends King into the corner and perhaps into the post, drawing Hernandez back in for the save. A double superplex onto the wood (great visual) takes Hernandez down…and here’s Konnan for some low blows and blackjack spots to clean house. The Street Sweeper finishes Homicide at 10:39.
Rating: C+. It was good, but they’ve done these violent brawls multiple times now. This time around, the OGz even had an advantage for most of the match and were even at best until Konnan came in. Once the old guy who can barely move came in, he beat the trio up almost on his own. There is zero reason for this feud to continue, though I have no idea who is supposed to take the titles from LAX anymore.
We look back at Allie making a deal with James Mitchell to go into the Undead Realm to save Kiera Hogan.
Allie, looking like she’s a Buffy the Vampire Slayer cosplayer (I think we have a theme tonight), walks into a room and shuts herself inside a coffin. The Bray Wyatt freaky images montage comes up and she gets out, with Mitchell waiting on her. Allie can go up to the chapel to find Kiera, but her soul stays here. Carrying a hatchet, Allie is attacked by an undead bridesmaid, who is HACKED TO DEATH, complete with blood splattering up onto Allie’s face. Well this just got a little more serious.
Another bridesmaid attacks and gets hacked (in the neck this time) but Allie finds a third….which is her with black eye shadow and lipstick. Allie walks away and finds the chapel, which has another coffin. Kiera is inside but here’s Su Yung with an ax for another fight. The ax is dropped so Su hits her a few times with a ball bat and knocks her out with the Mandible Claw.
Allie pops back up though and hatchets her in the neck. She runs over and awakens Kiera but can’t open the casket they used to get in the first place. A laughing Mitchell appears and says he never promised them a way out. Su is back and Allie and Kiera are surrounded so here’s the returning Rosemary (Rosemary: “Hi buddy!”) to punch the villains in the face.
They pry the coffin open but here’s Su with energy balls coming out of her hands. Rosemary has lightning coming out of hers, but the Bridesmaids pull her down as Allie and Kiera escape. Back in the real world, Kiera is happy to escape but Allie, sounding like a demon, says that was NOT ok.
So…..yeah this happened. The idea they were going for was fine (though it doesn’t work as well when Yung is losing as often as she’s winning) and it fit the Halloween time period, but having these things on an otherwise serious show (like the one with the Mexican mafia bossing people around) makes it stick out very badly. It’s not even a bad idea, but it doesn’t fit with the rest of the show. Now can we have Allie dressed as Buffy more often?
The next pay per view is Homecoming in Nashville on January 6.
Johnny Impact says maybe Aries would have been on TMZ if he wasn’t such a jerk. This isn’t all about Aries so Impact is going to take away what matters most to him.
We recap the World Title match. Aries has been the dominant champion and Impact is the one who has never won the big one. Impact wants to be the wrestler, but Aries thinks Impact doesn’t take anything seriously. Some of the promos for this have been outstanding, with Aries doing some of the best mic work I’ve ever seen from him.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Johnny Impact vs. Austin Aries
Aries is defending, Taya, Moose (in the King outfit again) and Killer Kross are here and we get Big Match Intros. Johnny goes for a takedown but gets caught in a guillotine choke with Aries grabbing the ropes for some illogical reason. Aries gets taken down by a choke as well and the fans chant 205. Impact changes plans by slugging away and knocks him to the floor with a dive to follow.
Back up and Aries tries to whip him into the barricade but Johnny jumps up with one foot on the barricade and the other on the apron for a moonsault. You know, because he can just do that. They head back in with Aries pounding away and glaring over at Taya. That earns him a rolling slap to the face but Aries knocks him down again and lays on the top rope. Some hard knees in the corner look to set up the Flying Chuck, only to have Aries knock him out to the floor. A springboard corkscrew crossbody gives Impact two but Aries is right back up with a Last Chancery attempt.
That doesn’t work either so Impact hits the Flying Chuck for two more. Impact takes him up top but gets shoved down, setting up a middle rope hurricanrana. The neckbreaker over the middle rope connects but Aries takes way too long going up (out of character for him) and gets caught in a super Spanish Fly.
The Countdown to Impact misses (Does it ever hit?) so they fight to the apron with Aries hitting a Death Valley Driver for a sick crash. Aries’ 450 gets two so it’s time to yell at the ref. A superkick sets up Starship Pain for two as Aries has to grab the rope. The roaring elbow sets up the corner dropkick and the brainbuster to knock Impact silly but he’s still fine enough to get a boot on the ropes.
Taya celebrates so Aries yells at her, allowing Impact to grab a backslide for two. The Last Chancery is broken up and they slug it out until Aries hits a suicide dive to send Taya into the barricade. That’s too far and Impact kicks Aries in the head (with the camera on Moose laughing) and gives him a brainbuster of his own. Starship Pain is good for the pin and the title at 21:00.
Rating: B. The ending was the right call and they beat the heck out of each other, making this a rather strong main event. Now the problem here is the Taya stuff, which while making it feel personal, came off as forced. It was like they didn’t have enough in the story to make it work so they wedged that in there at the last second, almost like Aries’ heel turn against Jeff Hardy in 2012. It worked for the match, but it would have been better as part of the build over a few weeks, not a few days.
Aries is on his feet before Impact and flips off the crowd as he leaves. Hopefully that’s just him being a jerk and not some bad angle about the office going with the wrong guy. Impact helps Taya up and celebrates to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. Best Bound For Glory in a few years, though that’s really not a high bar to clear. I know it’s their biggest show of the year, but I don’t remember the last time that Slammiversary didn’t beat it. This show was definitely more good than bad and was worth seeing, though it needed a few more tweaks. One of Impact’s biggest issues has always been creating the big moment on the big stage and this show again failed to deliver in that area. The title change just felt like a thing that happened rather than a changing of the guard and that’s been the case for a long time now.
I liked the show well enough and the wrestling was good, but it still just wasn’t anything great. There was no big blow away match or moment and stuff like Ellsworth and Dreamer made me roll my eyes hard. It felt like a show that needed someone to stop them and say “no, we’re not doing that” when their ideas got a little too far out of hand. That being said, I’ll take a show like this over some of their wretched efforts by a mile.
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 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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