Which barriers to break? Bound For Glory was built as a celebration of the legacy of the company, of a roster that has changed the face of the company, of the Legends who allowed this edition of the PPV, the sixteenth to exist. So, because too much is not enough, let me loop the loop of a unique chapter of the history of the company with what comes before this sentence. Don’t move, Don’t talk out of time, Don’t think, Don’t worry everything’s just fine. Don’t answer, Don’t ask, Don’t try and make sense. Don’t whisper, Don’t talk, Don’t run if you can walk, Don’t cheat complete, Don’t miss the one beat. All we ask you is to do it, just do it…
The major question was: did Miss COVID (in France, it’s a girl…) change the original plans? Because all the pieces were ready on the game table, could we play like we know how to? Did the mix of TNA originals and IMPACT wrestlers work and become a part of the recipe for a successful PPV? Could we make the impossible possible? All Championships were on the line yesterday, a few questions marks were on the menu, but less than usual… Who are the survivors and the winners of that great night, from Nashville, in a no-crowd arena? How many “I told you” and “I saw it coming”?  It’s time to find out, but your French Enygma Steph way…

 

  • A few Live Countdown to Glory words

WWE Hall of Famers Bret Hart and Mick Foley sent congratulatory messages ahead of Ken SHamrock’s induction into the TNA/Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame. Don Corleone Callis and Matt Striker welcomed us from the Impact Zone for the first match of the night.

The Deaners (Cody & Jake) defeated The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) in a surprisingly good match. The strength of The Deaners overcame the innovative machine The Rascalz is. Cody was about to dive through the legs of Cousin Jake but Wentz cut him off. Wentz flew over the top, colliding with Jake on the floor. Jake took both Rascalz off the top rope with a double powerbomb, followed by a huge splash from Cody. The Deaners connected with a modified assisted sideslam on Dez to pick up the win. The Deaners, when they are given the opportunity to show it, is one of the best teams on the IMPACT roster. In a now-crowded Tag Team Division, they will more than ever have to show they earn their place at the top of it.

After The Rock’s moving induction speech, Matt Striker introduced Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock. The World’s Most Dangerous Man delivered a heartfelt speech, talking about his long journey and all the people who have helped him along the way. Ken Shamrock thanked the people who brought him to wrestling, his family, and the most important people of all, the fans from all across the world. ‘Without you, the fans, we, athletes, couldn’t be doing what we do, “he said.

 

  • 6-Way Scramble Match for the X-Division Championship: Rohit Raju (c) vs Jordynne Grace vs Chris Bey vs TJP vs Willie Mack vs Trey Miguel

How many times I told you there was no better opener for a PPV than an X-Division match… These modern classics matches are so thrilling they make you want to stick to the rest of the show. With six talents in the ring, one ultimate opportunist, and five contenders he screwed, obviously, there was some animosity in the ring. Raju immediately wanted to go outside, but the five others brought him back. Also, these five guys were not afraid to fight a woman, and that made this match an even better one.

I won’t describe all the action because it was a goldmine. We can notice Trey’s reverse 619, unusual but good. TJP was able to put four of his opponents in submission holds at the same time, but to be cut off by Raju. The series of dives was electrifying, Tope Suicida from Jordynne on TJP and Rohit, then Tope Con Hilo from The Mack on the three, Trey’s followed and put TJP in an Electric Chair on the apron, Bey dropkicked Trey off. Later, Bey knocked Jordynne into the Tree of Woe. They all flew off the top and Grace brought Bey, TJP, and Trey on the floor. At one point, they all came very close to win the title, but as the opportunist he is, Raju broke a count after a Mamba Splash from TJP on Trey. He knocked them out and pinned Trey for the win.

That may have looked a little messy sometimes but it was a very good match. There was only opportunism in the moves we saw here, innovative and interesting. As he was just rewarded with a new contract by the company, Raju can celebrate the fact he was right, in fact. His vision of opportunism was the one that paid yesterday night. Now, who’s next for him? I tend to think he is not done with these five yet.

Backstage, the Wrestle House team was reunited for John E. Bravo’s Bachelor’s party. Jimmy Jacobs called for people to head out if they are in the “Call Your Shot” Battle Royal. The room emptied in a few seconds. Heath asked Rhino if he’s ready to win tonight. Rhino asked to restart the segment despite the fact we were live, Heath got Rhino hyped up for tonight’s match. Remember if he or Rhino wins, then Heath gets a full-time contract. If neither wins, then Rhino is fired and Heath is gone for good.

  • 20-People Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match 

Order of entrances: Rhino, Shawn Daivari, Larry D, Crazzy Steve, Acey Romero, Tenille Dashwood (w/ Kaleb with a K), Havok (w/Nevaeh), Brian Myers, Swoggle, Tommy “Animal” Dreamer, Alisha Edwards, Kiera Hogan (w/ Tasha Steelz), Taya Valkyrie (w/ John E. Bravo and Rosemary), Fallah Bahh, James Storm, Adam Thornstowe, Luster The Legend, Heath, Sami Callihan, Hernandez.

What did I tell you on Tuesday’s review? In the IMPACT gauntlet match, #1 is the best number. Well, in fact, it was not supposed to happen like that but… I told you this match was in a way biased by the Rhino/Heath situation. If the match was good, I won’t say the opposite, we can regret the Knockouts were not as powerful as they could be. Then, if we look at the comebacks, I don’t expect Swoggle to be back for good (I’m still traumatized by the vision of Swoggle running after Rockstar Spud in Mumbai in order to remove his pants…), the comeback of Shawn Daivari is an interesting one. As Sheik Abdul Bashir, he worked for TNA in 2008 and 2009 and won the X-Division Championship once. Then Cowboy James Storm, finally back home. Another TNA original but of a very different calibre. He is one of the founding wrestlers of TNA back in 2002, a multiple-time NWA and TNA World Tag Team Champion and a former World Champion.

After Hernandez entered the brawl, as the twentieth and last, here is what happened. Reno Scum and Hernandez went after Fallah Bahh. The wad of cash remained in Bahh’s possession, but he got eliminated nonetheless. Hernandez leaves to get his cash, didn’t see if he went over the top or not but I’m thinking not. Thornstowe went over the top. Rhino, Heath, Storm, Callihan, and Luster were the last five but not long as Luster tasted the third rope splash to the floor. Storm tried to team up with Sami, who was having none of that and eliminated Storm and Heath. Sami & Rhino were the final two. Sami connected with the Cactus Special, it didn’t work. Sami grabbed a chair. The referee didn’t let him do, and Rhino delivered the GORE.

Rhino got a trophy and a shot for any Championship. He also still has a job and Heath gets a job too. The problem is that Heath got injured during the match and will be sidelined for a little while (if it’s a hernia, as reported, a few months seem to be a good prognosis). A win by Heath would have been more meaningful than Rhino’s because there was a potential for a feud between them, something that is not going to happen soon. On the other side, Rhino’s win is also a reward for his dedication to his friend. Putting two lives, if not more (Heath has kids…), on the line is not something usual because extremely generous. During Heath’s recovery, Rhino will have all the time to chase the glory with his trophy in hand.

Backstage, Gia Miller was with The North. Josh Alexander had some thoughts. Champions rise to the occasion, they are champions that reinvented Impact’s tag division. Tonight at Bound For Glory, they will take what is rightfully theirs. Ethan Page said they will hurt somebody tonight. He hasn’t had his gold in 94 days. Tonight, the North will climb back on their throne as the best tag team in the world and as Impact World Tag Team Champions.

  • Undisclosed Location Match: EC3 vs Moose

I was expecting a masterpiece of cinematic wrestling and it was. A darkened warehouse with a ring, a lot of people around it. Moose walked in, screaming for EC3. After a staredown, they traded punches, chokeslam by Moose. Exploder by EC3 while EC3’s army pounded the mat. EC3 worked Moose over in the corner, but Moose fought back with a Nutcracker. He silenced the army and the music started again. Punches by Moose, EC3 was busted wide open. Moose got a chair and asked for some answers. Why has EC3 been tormenting him? EC3 blocked the chair shot, he started punching away on Moose, but Moose came right back with a kick to EC3’s face. Moose rammed face-first into the post, then whipped into a propped up guardrail.

Music again. Moose crashed into the ring post again. EC3 told Moose he’s becoming who he’s supposed to be. The TNA World Championship means something in the annals of history. He wanted Moose to become an animal, a killer, somebody that deserves to be TNA Champion. Right now, he didn’t deserve it. EC3 teased his old finisher but didn’t do it. Moose speared him. Moose beat EC3 with the belt repeatedly, asking EC3 if this was what he wanted. Moose pounded away on EC3, exactly what EC3 wanted. The army started to chant Moose. EC3 told Moose to control his narrative. Moose thanked him and knocked him out with the TNA Championship belt.

Sometimes you didn’t a winner or a loser in a match. For that, my crystal ball was right. The quality of the build-up of this storyline was so fantastic it needed to end like a firework. The army taking the body of EC3 to the outside while Moose was unveiling the wildest side of him, these pictures worth a thousand words. I just invite you to watch it, to get into it. I don’t know what’s next for Moose, the TNA CHampionship, and EC3, all I know is yesterday night they did some magic. Hats off, Sirs…

(if, like me, you liked the Post-Punk/Cold Wave sound of this cinematic match, search “Through Your Open Door” by Joaquin Plossu & Andrew Dun. Shazam…)

 

It is confirmed Heath is now a member of the IMPACT roster, when he will be better. 

  • Ken Shamrock w/Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards

What a different man we saw compared to the one we saw being inducted into the Hall of Fame and the one who entered that ring… If his previous PPV matches were not the best he has provided in his career, this time Shamrock was on fire. I have to apologize to Sami Callihan because I really underestimated his capacity to bring The World’s Dangerous Man back. With time, I should get used to it and never doubt The Draw.

Shamrock hit some strikes and a knee right to Eddie’s face. Shamrock worked Eddie over on the mat, trapping the arm and landing blows to Eddie’s head. Shamrock went for a rear-naked choke, Eddie did all he could to block it. Eddie tried to get up but Shamrock went for the ankle lock. Rope break and Ken kicked away on Eddie now. Inside then outside the ring, Shamrock continued to unload punches and knees. Edwards got distracted by Callihan, which just led to more shots by Shamrock. Edwards finally fought back with forearms and a Blue Thunder Bomb. Edwards went after Shamrock’s knee with some modified dragon screws and dropkicked him out of the ring.

Callihan tried to tend to Shamrock, but Edwards dove onto both of them. He tossed Shamrock into the ring, went up top, hit a missile dropkick, and the Tiger bomb. Shamrock locked Edwards’ arm! Edwards got out and hit a back elbow, followed by a backpack stunner. Shamrock kept his legs scissored around Edwards while Edwards struggled to get his senses and tried a choke. Eddie fought out, hit the Boston Knee Party, and locked in a half crab. Callihan jumped on the apron, pushed a button and the lights went out. The lights went on, Callihan had the baseball bat but Eddie had Kenny. He caned Callihan out of the ring, allowing Shamrock to hit the belly-to-belly suplex and locked in for the win.

When Kenny meets Battie… That was cute… Well, of course, Impact Wrestling gave the win to its new Hall of Famer. Of course, Sami Callihan had a trick up his sleeve. But this old-school kind of match I’m usually not a fan of actually worked for me. Eddie and Shamrock played the game very well, they were able to develop something really nice in the ring. I really liked this match, a very good surprise that at the same time makes you want to see more of Shamrock and Edwards, but also of Edwards and Callihan…

  • 4-Way Match For The Impact World Tag Team Championship: The MCMG (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) (c) vs The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) vs The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) vs Ace Austin & Madman Fulton

When Ethan Page says someone is going to get hurt, believe him. Because that’s what happened. As the MCMG were making their way to the ring, Page and Alexander attacked them, and Josh Alexander connected with a double underhook piledriver on Alex Shelley on the stage. He was brought backstage without any stretcher or specific care, which could be deadly if neck injury. Chris Sabin could have let down and possibly lost the belt for him and his partner but he chose to do it alone, which might not have been the smartest strategy as he immediately became a human punching bag for the three other teams.

Page connected with a big dropkick before tagging Austin who also worked over Sabin. Madman Fulton tagged in, choked Sabin from the top rope, then stomped him. He hit a Manhattan Drop followed by a big boot. Alexander tagged in and punched away on Sabin. Page back in mocked Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows while continuing the onslaught on Sabin. Double-team work from The North on Sabin. Fulton tagged Alexander and sent Sabin into his corner for a leg drop splash combo and a delayed vertical suplex. Sabin fought back, taking out Fulton with a DDT. He finally tagged Karl Anderson. He hit a spinebuster to Austin and tagged Gallows. Fulton got knocked outside, and the North came in for more double-team work. They both got clotheslined. Sabin tagged Gallows and attacked The North. Sabin hit a crossbody. They exchanged shots, Austin tagged Anderson, and ate a dropkick by Sabin.

Sabin hit Page and Austin with PKs and unleashed a Fosbury flop onto Alexander. Austin ate a Cradle Shock. Page was tossed outside, Sabin went up top, Austin followed him up for a superplex attempt. Page tagged in, Alexander helped out for a double Iconoclasm. The Malfunction at the Junction for the North, Anderson tagged Sabin. Gallows in there too, missed Austin in the corner, Austin didn’t miss him, hit kicks, and sent Gallows outside. Austin and Fulton isolated Anderson, The North took them out, Anderson hit the neckbreaker on Alexander. He tagged in Gallows, Magic Killer was blocked, as was the Gun Stun. Anderson went for a rollup, got pushed off. Page hits Anderson with one of the belts, and Alexander grabbed the win.

Match of The Night without any shadow of a doubt. The North acted so cleverly we were all fooled. Chris Sabin is the superhero of the night because, despite everything he ate, he made one hell of a match. Ace Austin and Madman Fulton really showed they had everything to be the Champions. We didn’t see a lot from The Good Brothers but Machine Gun Karl Anderson did some marvels when he could be in the ring. But what the North did, in the ring and in order to trick their opponents, was close to the genius. Despite the new contenders that have emerged since Slammiversary, they stand tall once again. Maybe it’s the Karate Man inside Ethan Page, maybe it’s a powerful concurrency, but more than ever The North are the best team of IMPACT.

Backstage, Rosemary and Havok took the road to the Undead Realm, so she’ll see John E. at the altar. John E. was tired of Taya’s talking from the looks of things.
Madison Rayne joined Don Corleone Callis and Josh Mathews at the announce table.

  • Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/ Kimber Lee vs Kylie Rae

The Virtuosa was ready for Kylie Rae but she didn’t show up when her music was played. Deonna grabbed a microphone, said she wasn’t surprised that Kylie didn’t show for her big match. She agreed to defend the championship though and issued an open challenge. It’s not Susie answering the challenge… it’s Su Yung…

  • Impact Knockouts Championship Match: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/ Kimber Lee vs Su Yung

If Deonna’s strategy involved getting Kylie out of the picture, suddenly her plan was useless. Su tossed Deonna around the ring and pounded her down in the corner. Deonna rolled out of the ring and got on the apron. They exchange blows and Deonna got sideslammed on the apron. Su grabbed a steel chair, kept control in the ring until she ran into a back elbow. She hit a headscissors on Deonna off the top rope. Deonna started working over the arm of Su and finally got some momentum for herself. She hit a Koji clutch on Su and turned it into a cross armbreaker. Su ran into a Deonna elbow in the corner. The Virtuosa wrapped Su on the bottom rope and kicked her to the floor. Rolling German suplexes connected, she went for a suplex but Su reversed into a DDT.

Both women slowed to get up. Su unloaded a Lou Thesz press, piston-like right hands, a splash in the corner, and a bulldog. Deonna rolled outside, Su followed her out and rammed her into the ring post. She set Deonna on the chair, climbed the apron, and hit a cannonball on Deonna. She pulled out the glove sock on her hand… Deonna avoided it, but the referee was taken out. Su connected with the Yoshitonic, but the referee couldn’t count. Kimber in the ring took the chair and whacked Su with it. They set Su up for the same arm-breaking move that Deonna did to Susie, but Su got out of it, red-misted Kimber, and locked in the mandible claw. Deonna reversed it into the armbar. Su managed to get the mandible claw on, Deonna had to break the hold. Pump kicks by Deonna, Su replied with a stunner and the Panic Switch for the win.

We all had in mind the fact Susie or Su could get involved in the match. Kylie no-showing was totally unexpected and it changed the balance of the match. Despite that, Deonna Purrazzo showed some brilliant pages of her repertoire, which we all had no doubt about. It was a great match but it was not the match that was meant to happen. Ok, I confess I adore Su Yung, and well done, miss…

The next PPV will be “Hard To Kill” on Saturday, January 16, 2021. And the news we have all been waiting for, the Knockouts Tag Team titles are back! Since June, I’ve been telling you about… Now I understand when Scott D’Amore tells me he appreciates my kicks in the pants… 

  • Impact World Championship Match: Eric Young (c) vs Rich Swann

As the match began, a kind of storm started to blow outside, throwing the rain on the shutters. When you’re so into a PPV, when you have given hours and hours to the company with interviews, reviews, press passes, etc., the PPV is the exclamation point of a good dozen of weeks. So yes, the wind was blowing outside but I wasn’t listening. All that matters was, could Rich Swann become the second Black-American wrestler in the history of the company to become World Champion? Absolutely. Everything has been done to let us think the good would defeat the evil…

EY attacked the leg, of course, Swann replied with a headlock, some flips, and dropkicks. Young went outside, Swann followed him out and chopped him around the ringside area. Young continued to stall, Swann continued to press the issue with dives and chops. Swann charged Young on the outside, Young backdropped him over, with Swann ending up head first on the apron. His neck was injured and Young had every intention of following up on that. Neckbreaker off the top rope, head twist, another neckbreaker, Young was on fire and continued with big stomps in the corner. Eric told Rich to stay down but Swann fought back, so Young got him into the Death Valley Driver. EY stomped Swann’s neck. Young smashed, punched, talked trash. Swann looked like he couldn’t stand it anymore.

And Swann, bleeding from the mouth, fought back with a suplex off the rope, a clothesline, kicks, a hurricanrana off the top rope, and a frog splash. Swann placed Young up top, but Young started biting him and hit a top rope elbow right to the back. Young locked in the Crossface, Swann found the ropes. They exchanged punches. Swann got the advantage with a big kick and a handspring, but Young caught him and hit a torture rack neckbreaker. Young ate an elbow in the corner and he went back to that leg with an ankle lock. Swann went back to the ropes. Young went for the piledriver, Swann reversed into a rollup. Kick to the jaw of Young, another one, and Swann unloaded a cartwheel into a handspring into a standing 450. Swann was put into the Tree of Woe, Young targeted the foot but Swann reversed into a cutter, hit a handspring into a cutter, and went up top for the Phoenix Splash. We have a new Champion.

The good got rid of the bad and that’s why this match couldn’t be the match of the night. Because as great as the match was, the fairytale ending couldn’t be avoided. If a no-crowd arena seems silent, the way Josh Mathews and Don Corleone Callis were worried after Swann’s bad landing on the neck created a creepy atmosphere. Suddenly the silence was just deafening. Everyone was holding his breath. Because that was really scary.
Then I love Rich Swann and what happened tonight is not only a victory for him, but for the company. They took this young guy under their wings when he thought his career was over and was about to retire, they have made him a megastar. Those feel-good moments are always welcomed, in life, in wrestling, wherever. Rich Swann’s tears were not fake, they were just showing how hard work pays off and allows you to give the best of yourself.

I have had this review title in mind since Friday night. I felt that Impact Wrestling was cooking something special, maybe… But I am mostly a huge fan of The Monty Python, as you may have noticed with time. Why this title so? Bound For Glory was 3 fantastic hours of wrestling, no match was bad, nothing couldn’t keep you away from the screen. There was something fantastic in the way all the matches, despite different, were matching so well. There was something special that kept all the roster together and allowed it to make something greater than great.
Action wise, Bound For Glory was flawless, there were a few scary moments. I wish Heath and Alex Shelley to be back soon. Impact Wrestling PPVs always have had ups and downs, but not this time. Things were good in the ring to the point of not looking at the clock. Impact Wrestling are the masters of the cinematic matches and they showed it again with this masterpiece involving Moose and EC3. For the first time in the history of the company, husband and wife won a World Championship. I don’t break any secret when saying that as Rich Swann and Su have been married for quite a while now. The North defied all odds when winning, they proved everybody wrong and that was fantastic. Heath has a contract, Rhino still has a contract. Ken Shamrock is a killer. I think I’ve already said enough…
When you have one word to describe two feelings, pride, we have two. The pride of doing something good, we call that ‘fierté’. The deadly sin you call pride, we call that ‘orgueil’. Out of his success, the company can take pride in what they did. Now the fact of trending on Twitter etc. is not a reason to be too proud and forget the fundamentals. Here are the new barriers to break. Keep on, don’t stop, but most importantly, stay the same. Too much couldn’t be enough. See you on Tuesday for Rosemary and Bravo’s wedding, eNYGMAtically yours…

*****

Bound For Glory Full Results:

  • Rohit Raju defeated Trey Miguel, Chris Bey, Willie Mack, TJP, and Jordynne Grace to retain the IMPACT X-Division Championship.
  • Rhino won the Call Yout Shot Gauntlet Match.
  • Moose had the best of EC3 in the Undisclosed Location Match.
  • Ken Shamrock w/ Sami Callihan defeated Eddie Edwards.
  • The North defeated Chris Sabin, The Good Brothers, and Ace Austin & Madman Fulton to become the new IMPACT World Tag Team Champions.
  • Su Yung defeated Deonna Purrazzo to become the new IMPACT Knockouts Champion.
  • Rich Swann defeated Eric Young to become the new IMPACT World Champion.

All pics, screenshots, and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, Basil Mahmud, and Fite TV. All photocollage by @frenchnygma exclusively for @steelchairmag.