The Bound for Glory Series comes down to this night. It's the "No Surrender" themed show live from St. Louis. AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Magnus will all battle for the right to face Bully Ray for the World Heavyweight Championship. Who will emerge from this final four to be the new #1 Contender?
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Show Open, Live in St. Louis, MO
Mike Tenay walks us through video footage that shows us the four men in the finals of the Bound for Glory Series arriving earlier in the day. They feed it into a video package that highlights the Series, and the four men arriving in the final. It moves into a package highlighting the story between Bully Ray and Anderson, setting up their title match for tonight.
Aces music hits, and Bully and Brooke come to the ring. Bully says he's in a bad mood and everyone should shut up and let him talk. He admits things aren't going well in the family right now. He sells a "you suck" chant for a moment then says he's willing to forgive Anderson because their problems are all caused by Hulk Hogan.
There's a good ten second hold before Hulk Hogan's music hits. He comes out with his "wah, wah, wah" line and mocks Ray for being a crybaby. He thanks Spike and the fans and says that No Surrender is "live and free" tonight. He plugs the finals of the Bound for Glory Series going down tonight.
He mocks Ray again, then says he has to defend his title tonight "against one of your brothers, brother." Ray tells Hogan that he trusts Anderson to do the right thing. Hogan repeats his line again (which was rather lame). Ray calls out Anderson, saying he wants to talk to him.
Anderson comes out. Hogan offers a handshake, but Anderson blows him off. Bully thinks that proves his point and he taunts Hogan because Anderson blew past him. He reiterates that all Anderson has to do is apologize. Anderson eyes him up then says that he did get out of line last week. He goes on to say that he can't wait to get out of line tonight and throws a hard right hand at Ray.
Ray rolls out and heads up the ramp. Anderson asserts that there will be a new world champion tonight and it will be "Missstteeerrrrrrrr....Anderson......wait for it...Anderson!" He and Bully jaw a bit on the ramp. Hogan interrupts to wish Ray luck and says it will be a last man standing match. Ray flips out.
We get a shot of the announcers and Taz calls Anderson's actions "disrespectful". They move on to hype up the semi-finals of the Bound for Glory Series coming up yet tonight.
Match #1 - AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries; Bound for Glory Series Semi-Final #1
The two men get their introductions before the break. Dueling chants for both men as they lock up and get started.
Styles rolls out, and Aries runs up the turnbuckle. AJ ends up being turned the other way, so Aries runs to the other turnbuckle, and nearly falls. He ends up hitting AJ with a double axe handle in an awkward moment.
The announcers tell us that AJ was in control during the break. They each try suplexes but end up blocking each other. Off the ropes, AJ delivers a forearm shiver to Aries then hits him with a backbreaker. A few moments later, Styles tries for the Styles Clash but Aries counters in the ropes. Styles knocks him to the floor then hits him with a slingshot cross body.
Styles tries a springboard move but Aries hits the ropes to cause Styles to crash and burn hard at ringside. They try suplexes again at the apron, then Aries knocks Styles to the floor. Aries looks for a suicide dive, but Styles hits a springboard forearm.
A bit later, Aries hits the Brainbuster then locks on the Last Chancery. Styles teases tapping, but doesn't. Aries hits him with a couple headbutts then goes up top. Styles goes up for a counter but gets knocked back down. Aries tries a 450 splash but AJ moves.
Aries lands on his feet and tries another running drop kick in the corner. AJ passes him through to the turnbuckle. They jockey for position on the ropes, and AJ loads Aries up in position for the Styles Clash. AJ hits it off the second rope, complete with a gasping Mike Tenay, to get the win.
A blah match, and I think if you asked these two they'd agree. They worked hard, but the flow was just not there. The Clash off the second rope was a hot spot though.
Samoa Joe and Magnus are sitting in a locker room, with Magnus getting ready for his match. Sting walks in and tells Magnus that when they picked him for the Mafia, it was because of what they saw in him. Magnus thanks Sting for the compliment but he's tired of hearing he's the future, and the future is now. Sting applauds and calls him a new world champion.
A good promo from Magnus there. I think he loses though to open a door for AJ to resolve his issues with Kaz and Daniels also.
Match #2 - Magnus vs. Bobby Roode; Bound for Glory Series Semi-Final #2
Magnus withstands the early flurry, but Roode dumps him to the floor, hits him with a clothesline and slams him into the stairs. Roode picks up the pace and hits some slams and suplexes. The action settles down into a rest hold.
Magnus fires up the crowd and hits a lunging clothesline to start his rally. Magnus hits a suplex for a near fall. Roode rakes his eyes then hits a spinebuster for a near fall of his own. Roode perches Magnus on the ropes, but Magnus counters the superplex with a front suplex and immediately hits an elbow for two.
Roode gets a crossface hold on. Magnus counters into a cloverleaf and as Roode works to the rope, Magnus pulls him back in. Eventually, Roode gets to the rope and breaks it. He tries a fisherman's suplex, but Magnus counters into a jackknife cover to get the win.
Magnus celebrates on the ramp while Roode sells frustration at ringside. The announcers hype up the final between Magnus and AJ Styles for later in the show.
I'm a bit surprised by this move. I would have expected Roode to win. That said, I think Magnus has potential to be a champion but isn't quite ready for it yet. The match was "alright" and I hope if Magnus is to win, AJ does him a solid here.
Bobby Roode flakes out and trashes a backstage area, as Daniels and Kazarian run over to calm him down. Roode blames Hogan (popular move) and they should screw him in return. They agree. Roode says "if I can't go to the finals, no one does."
Hogan is in his office, talking to Manik/TJ Perkins. He compares Manik putting the mask on to Hulkamania. Manik agrees and says he wants to face Jeff Hardy. Hogan agrees with him and sets it up.
Dixie Carter walks in, and after greeting Manik asks he leave. She tells Hogan that Bellator has pulled Tito and Rampage from the show until after their pay per view fight. Hogan says that's fine and he'll feed Tito to Rampage afterward.
I'm not sure what that was all about. I guess it conveyed the fact that the two MMA guys won't be on the show til after November 2, but it was meaningless otherwise. Especially seeing as the two MMA guys don't matter to most TNA fans.
Bully talks with the rest of the Aces and Eights. He pleads his case to them to gain their support for him. "Do you want Anderson to be the champion and president?" he asks each of them. He tells them he loves them and hopes they feel the same way about him.
We get a video package that highlights the series of events with the Aces and Eights that set up this next match.
Match #3 - Bully Ray (c, w/Brooke Tessmacher) vs. Mr. Anderson; TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Anderson doesn't wait and goes to the ramp to attack. He throws Ray in the ring and then dumps him to the floor. He keeps up the pressure, slamming Ray around the ring. The brawl continues, and Ray uses Christy Hemme at one point to help protect himself.
Ray rakes Anderson's eyes, then slams him against the stairs. He yells at Brooke to get a chair, and she must have gotten lost looking for it. Once she brings it back, Anderson plants a kick on Ray and grabs the chair.
He throws Ray in, then the chair. He hits a low blow and follows with the rolling senton. Anderson goes out and yells to get the tables and throws a table in. He takes a big boot from Ray though. Ray hits Anderson with the chair then sets up the table.
Out of break, Ray hits Anderson with a chair then confronts Earl Hebner. He jaws for a bit but Earl asserts himself. Ray shoves him to the corner and Earl takes the traditional TNA referee bump. Anderson recovers to hit the Mic Check on the chair. Hebner's out, so he can't count.
Ray gets up and hits the Ace Crusher. The balance of Aces and Eights comes out to the ring and they help Anderson to his feet. From behind, Brooke sneaks in and delivers a low blow. Ray hugs her and gives her a kiss, then the rest of the gang to put Anderson down. Knux kisses Anderson, then the three gang up for a triple powerbomb ala the Shield. Hebner recovers and counts to nine. Anderson gets to his feet.
Bully dramatically wraps the chain around his hand. Anderson gets up to his feet and Ray hits him with it. Anderson's cut open at this point, and he struggles to his feet by 9. Ray hits him with a spear through the table that was earlier propped up in the corner. Anderson can't answer the 10 this time and Ray retains the title.
Afterward, Ray celebrates as the medics tend to Anderson. They take him out on a stretcher. Ray, after admiring Brooke's ass a bit too much, goes out and chases the medic off. He dumps Anderson off the gurney and takes his cut. He whips him with it, then hits a piledriver on the stage. He asks Anderson if he knows who he is and says he is the president of Aces and Eights and the man who took him out. He poses with the belt over the fallen Anderson.
I wonder - there were rumors circulating that Anderson might be done with TNA so is this the way to write him out? The live crowd had fun with it and it was entertaining enough. I guess we'll be waiting to see what happens with Anderson and TNA.
Taz hypes that ODB will face Mickie James for the Knockouts Championship next week. They show a pre-taped promo with ODB. She says she hasn't been the "Knocked Up Champion" in a while, and next week she'll beat Mickie for the title.
James Storm and Gunner have come to the ring for a promo. Storm stumbles over his words at first. He says he wants to drink beer and see who wins the Bound for Glory Series, but Gunner wants to fight. He says they could do both at the same time, so they need opponents for Bound for Glory. He issues a challenge.
Chavo and Hernandez come out. Chavo gives Storm credit for being a good tag wrestler, but not as good as he is. He says Gunner is strong, but not as strong as Hernandez. He says if they face off for the titles, Chavo and Hernandez would win as they're the better team.
Gunner gets the mic and basically repeats what Storm said a few minutes ago about loving to drink and loving to fight. He tells Chavo and Hernandez that they can fight next week, and if they win, Chavo and Hernandez might get a shot at the titles. He closes by telling them that he will bash their noses in with the belt if they stick their nose in Storm and Gunner's business again.
A feud doomed from go because of bad challengers. And that promo segment flat sucked because there's not a good promo in the bunch. Gunner got too aggressive for the tone of the conversation too.
We get hype for a lead-in show to air live on Spike TV at 7PM for the Bound for Glory pay per view on October 20
We will have coverage of that show, and all of Bound for Glory live that night. Be watching for more info!
They recap the close of the Bully Ray vs. Anderson match. Taz even admits that Ray went too far with his aggressiveness.
Match #5 - AJ Styles vs. Magnus; Bound for Glory Series Final
Both men make their entrance, and Jeremy Borash handles the old-school introductions. Taz does a nice job setting the story of both guys having fought hard earlier. Styles tries a side headlock on but takes a side slam. They settle into a nice back and forth in the early going.
Bobby Roode, along with Daniels and Kazarian, hit the ring. They attack both men, with Roode hitting a spinebuster on Magnus and Daniels hitting Angel's Wings on Styles. After some rumbling around, officials come out and escort the three EGO guys away. Roode can be heard yelling "if I can't go no one goes!" as the show goes to break.
That was just some overbooked garbage right there. The match was off to a good start.
The two men look gassed as we come back live, and they exchange strikes. AJ hits an enzugiri, The two struggle to their feet right before the ten count. AJ starts to pick up the pace with some strikes, then gets lifted over the ropes on a charge.
AJ tries a springboard move, but doesn't get all of it. Magnus hits a driver and gets a good near fall, then tries to get his cloverleaf. AJ counters into what looks like Undertaker's "Hell's Gate" submission (gogoplata).
Styles hits a Pele and gets a good near fall. He rolls Magnus up in the calf killer mid-ring and Magnus teases tapping out. He sells but eventually makes it to the ropes. Styles leaps but gets caught and Magnus slams him.
Magnus puts AJ up on the ropes and goes up for a move. Styles counters him and knocks him off, then hits the Spinal Tap off the ropes to get the win. AJ moves on to Bound for Glory to face Bully Ray.
Afterward, Magnus looks deflated as AJ poses. He gets a mic and says that he couldn't have done it without the fans, pointing out several in the crowd with "you, you sir, all of you..." He admits to getting a lot of feedback about what he said a couple weeks ago. There was one person he didn't hear from - no text, no call, not even a tweet. "And we all know how Dixie loves to tweet." He says he pointed out some errors a couple weeks ago, but he's going to be sure to reveal the biggest one next week. He tells Dixie to have her secretary girl make sure Dixie is at the show. He drops the mic and that's the show.
ProWrestling.net's Chris Shore said this best: "AJ is that hot, but stupid girl you get all giddy for until she opens her mouth."
The main event match was great. Loads of close near falls that were believable, with good action aside from that EGO run-in that was absolutely pointless. The crowd ate up the finish. Then AJ spoke, and it killed everything...took all the air out of the room.
I don't want to see Dixie involved in a story. No. Just...no. She has no sense of camera presence and can't act. EGO getting involved was pointless overbooking - and will that tie in to what's happening next week? Lord I hope not.
This was a decent overall show, but there were its share of issues. Aside from the EGO run-in, Chavo and Hernandez vs. Storm and Gunner getting set up was just ugly in terms of the promo. The semi-final matches for the Series were alright but the opener lacked chemistry.
Join me next week for more coverage. If you went to the St. Louis taping, feel free to send your own opinions and even spoilers for next week's show to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for watching along tonight.