TNA: Could AJ Styles recapture the World Title at Bound for Glory?

stylestingDid The Phenomenal One overcome Bully Ray? – Source: Impact Wrestling


It seems like forever since the last TNA PPV, so let’s check out what their biggest show of the year had in store us.


An all-star line-up for this match, including Jeff Hardy. Might not sound like a big deal, but when you remember he won the World Title in the main event of this show a year back, it’s quite a fall.

Stand out moves include a double hurricanrana from Manik, Hardy hitting a HARD Alley-oop on Aries (remember that? Big Show used it as a finisher like twice), and lots of diving to the outside. Fittingly Hardy brings a ladder in, which is about a foot away from the title when stood up…missing the point of this match. The ending was premature, with Sabin pushing a reluctant Velvet Sky into the ring, and grabbing the belt as she distracted Hardy. Really disappointing. The crowd didn’t know where to look, and didn’t realise the match was over until Sabin hit the ground. Not a good start to the night at all.

Bad Influence head to the ring, and Kazarian opens the promo with: ‘Not since the premiere of Brokeback Mountain, have two men been screwed more than Bad Influence!’. Gold. They explain they lost their match on the pre-show (The Bro-Mans won). Daniels insults the other opponents until EY interrupts them. He tells them they created a monster, and should run. They attack him, until ABYSS makes the save. If now wasn’t the time to end this storyline, I don’t know when.


The Bro-Mans come to the ring with “Mr. Olympia” Phil Heath, who is absolutely enormous. Even though I don’t like Gunner personally, he has a nice hard hitting style. Robbie and Jesse do a lot of cheap heel tactics to get heat. Storm gets the hot tag and is lightning fast. Cool spot with The Bros attempting a Double Superplex, until Gunner Electric-chairing Jesse, and Storm front Suplexing Robbie onto him. Close near-falls for both teams, one after a Powerbomb/Back Cracker combination. The match ends with Robbie throwing a belt into the ring to distract the ref, then hitting a Hart Attack on Storm for the 3 count! Half groans, half cheers from the crowd, whilst the Bro-Mans themselves look shocked.

Footage from the TNA Hall of Fame ceremony last night. The thing that stood out the most for me, however, was the shot of Kurt in the crowd; sat very close to Jeff Jarrett (he basically stole his wife). Kurt thanks the crowd and they leave it at that.

Sting walks to the ring with a little black box, which I hope is a pair of diamond earrings for Kurt. Sting gives a very sincere speech, and puts over his achievements. Kurt comes out in his ring gear, looking very emotional. He thanks the crowd and his (new) wife for sticking by him through everything, and opens the box to find a watch. The crowd chant ‘you deserve it’ and ‘thank you Kurt’ which leads to Kurt DECLINING the induction! I was not expecting a worked shoot promo, caught me completely off guard. Kurt says he’s let everybody down, and is going to work hard from this point until he truly deserves it. Sting looks shocked and they walk up the ramp.

Backstage Segment – Dixie is on the phone telling the webstore people to get rid of the AJ merch as Ethan Carter III comes round the corner and says ‘Hi Auntie!’ They say ‘THE WORLD NEEDS US, WE’RE THE CARTERS’ synchronically, which just pushes their relationship to the extreme, love it.


ODB’s hair is looking so, so bad tonight, like a Halloween wig. Brooke and ODB trade genital based moves as Gail probably rolls her eyes. ODB tries to Superplex both women but gets pushed off. Gail hits a vicious Missile Dropkick, but when she lands get nailed with a high elbow drop from Brooke. After a ref bump, Lei’D Tapa arrives on stage. ODB gets a big boot, Brooke tries a crossbody but gets powerbombed into the ring. Gail sneaks over and becomes the new champ! Tapa and Gail celebrate as someone holds up an ‘ODB #MOTORBOAT’ sign. Good match, with a lot of interesting spots.

We go backstage to a chap called Gil Corsey who is with The Bro-Mans. Robbie calls them ‘the three most jacked dudes in the world’, and then puts on goggles and throws protein shake about, champagne style. I admit, I laughed a lot.

Bobby Roode cuts an intense promo on the upcoming match with Kurt Angle, he’s always on form.


Amateur style wrestling to start the match, which leads to duelling chants from the crowd. I always find that BFG is attended by a lot of ‘marks’ who cheer for the heels, and why not with this kind of talent. Roode pretty much shut down every attempt by Angle, probably to put over Kurt’s ring rust. This match was super technical, Roode grinding Kurt down with submissions, with Kurt firing back with Germans and overhead Belly-to-bellys. Kurt went for his signature Moonsault: yes he missed, and ended up in a Crossface. Angle reversed that into an Ankle Lock, until Roode reversed it back to HIS submission. Each man must’ve had their move locked in at least 5 times each. As TNA do again and again, there was a strange spot in this match. Roode looked to have passed out, but the referee dropped his arm on the bottom rope…the crowd did NOT like it. Kurt responded to this by taking Roode to the top rope and hitting a top rope Angle Slam. As the ref counted to ten, Roode stood up at 9 and fell backwards into a pin…and won. Obviously this is part of an ongoing storyline, but still very strange.

Paramedics then attempted to take him out on a stretcher, but Angle refused and walked to the back.


Good grief. On the plus side, Ethan looks absolutely jacked. The crowd chant ‘Boring’ and I can’t blame them, this is just weird. Not only is this the wrong time, but they give the jobber some offence! Ethan won the match with that Reverse DDT that Dean Ambrose uses. I felt sorry for Ethan, bad situation.

Magnus does his regular promo backstage, and we see a good promo package of Magnus and Stings dealings from the last couple of months.


Sting comes to the ring in T-shirt showing his face with a Union Jack on it, I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. Obviously Magnus is British but it’s Sting’s face? Very equal offence between the two men, mirroring each other’s moves to further the psychology. The crowd is really behind Sting, as usual. Magnus literally copies Stings version of hulking up and ends it with a Michinoku Driver for two, and after recovering Sting does it right back and gets a Scorpion Deathlock. After Magnus fought his way out, Magnus hit a Scorpion Deathdrop, and an Elbow Drop for a two count. He kicked out of his own finisher, and then Magnus’ …hmm. Sting fires Magnus up, who takes him down and forces him to submit to his Cloverleaf submission. You could hear so many people go ‘AWWW’ at the bell. Maggo then refused a handshake and wandered off, little shit.

Bully Ray recites some Guns N’ Roses and makes it sound really sinister. He repeats his stuff about AJ’s family leaving him but even more obnoxious, showing why he’s one of the best heels in the business right now.


AJ’s entrance looked so good on the bigger stage with a spotlight. Bully looks like an absolute beast in the early minutes, hitting one of the hardest clotheslines I’ve seen in ages. Bully has this great ability of knowing where the cameras are, and using his expressions and voice to its full potential. Really interesting psychology in this one, Bully being over confident, firing AJ up but ultimately smashing AJ back down again. Garett Bischoff tried to pass a hammer, failed, then Knux hit a high chokeslam that got a two count.

Both men brawled to the outside, with Bully leaning against a ringside table. AJ thought about using the hammer, but went for a 450 splash from the top rope…and missed. One of the scariest moves I’ve ever seen, messy landing. As AJ recovered, Bully removed the padding from the canvas. Dixie brought Bully a chair, but turned into a Springboard Forearm, and a Springboard 450. As Earl tried to count, Dixie threatened him. AJ then attempted a Styles Clash but got backdropped onto the exposed wood. Bully hit a Senton Bomb and repeated chairshots until AJ responded with a Pele Kick and a Spiral Tap to end the match. Dixie looked a bit miffed.

AJ headed into the crowd to celebrate with the fans, then walked up the stairs like CM Punk at Summerslam 2011.

Overall, a decent show, good action but too many screwy endings.

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter. Thanks for reading.

Joseph Holberry


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