Impact Bound for Glory has had some great attention and hype. A little bit of the new versus the old. Do we get a show worth remembering?
Some of the bigger stories are Sami Callihan tormenting Brian Cage and Melissa Santos, all for a shot at the title. Michael Elgin calling out Naomichi Marufuji and Tenille trying to start things off on the right foot in a new company.
Also for anyone wondering, apparently the 6 man tag match with The Rascalz vs Dr. Wagner Jr, Aerostar and Taurus, got pushed to being the main event of the first AXS TV episode.
Now, on to the show.
- Call Your Shot 20 Man Gauntlet: Eddie Edwards wins via Boston Knee Party @30:00 – ***
- Knockouts Championship: Tenille Dashwood vs Taya Valkyrie (c): Taya retains via Road to Valhalla @11:50 – ***
- Triple Threat Tag Team Championships: RVD & Rhino vs The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann: The North retains via Argentine/Spinebuster Combo @14:20 – *** 1/4
- Michael Elgin vs Naomichi Marufuji: Elgin wins via Burning Hammer @18:05 – **** 1/4
- 5 Way X Division Ladder Match: Daga vs Tessa Blanchard vs Acey Romero vs Ace Austin vs Jake Crist (c): Ace Austin wins @17:40 – *** 3/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Moose w/Frank Trigg vs Ken Shamrock: Moose wins via Spear @10:35 – * 1/2
- Impact World Championship NoDQ Match: Brian Cage (c) vs Sami Callihan: Cage retains via Drill Claw @16:50 – ****
Call Your Shot 20 Man Gauntlet- After failing to win the Battle Royal on IMPACT!, Eddie had the odious distinction of being the first person in. Now FITE decided to have a tiny heart attack, but we had a few interesting surprises like, Swoggle, Joey Ryan and Kylie Rae. Sabu proved why he needs to not be brought back for televised programming and Tommy Dreamer checks the box for another Rumble style match. This was a great story for Eddie since he over came a lot of the pressure being put against him. He still has to deal with Ace Austin, but if Ace wins the X Division title tonight, then we see where his Called Shot will be going. Pretty fun all in all, plus I’m just happy to see Kylie.
Knockouts Championship: Tenille Dashwood vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya was in control during a good portion of this match. Every time Tenille tried to put some offense together, Taya had a counter or she’d powder out. John E. Bravo proved himself useful a few different times, once by pulling Taya away from the apron, and another by pulling her under the rope after Tenille hit The Spotlight. Even though Tenille fought back a little after she had the finish stolen because of Bravo’s interference, she gets caught with a knee and Taya hits Road to Valhalla to retain. There was one weird/botch spot when it came to the Package Piledriver on the apron, but thankfully it was a botch because it looked half-assed, not ugly or dangerous.
Triple Threat Tag Team Championships: RVD & Rhino vs The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) (c) vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann – So it looks like the two face teams have patched up any ill will from Friday, and seem to agree to a concentrated effort against The North. Mack started things off and the match got interesting, let’s say. RVD got in and hit Rolling Thunder, Mack hit his Kip Up/Moonsault combo, and the crowd kept chanting for the Gore. Things get interesting when Josh Alexander cuts off RVD so he can’t hit the 5 Star Frog Splash, and directly across, Willie Mack hits the 6 Star Frog Splash. RVD sits on the top rope and seems to think things over before hitting his Diving Savat Kick and doing some classic RVD stuff.
Towards the end of the match we get a bunch of dives, Ethan Page Press Slams Rich Swann from the top rope into the ring and we look for the finisher spam portion of the match. The twist here, is that when Rhino is loading up for the Gore, RVD just hits him with a Superkick. He also Superkicks Rich and just walks off while The North retain their titles. So the RVD heel turn was definitely unexpected. Pretty decent match, save for the head scratching finish.
Michael Elgin vs Naomichi Marufuji – This was definitely a possible show stealer. Elgin put this match together very similarly to his matches against Okada, even coming out in a jacket that looked very very much like Okada’s Rainmaker jacket. Marufuji pulled out all the classics, KO-OH, Springboard Curb Stomp, Shiranui, his corner combination, he could just never get the finishing blow. He referenced the Tiger Driver a few times, but Elgin fought it off. Elgin was pushed pretty hard, and Marufuji also managed to kick out of the Buckle Bomb/Elgin Bomb combo, which I’ve only seen Daisuke Sekimoto do a few weeks ago in Big Japan.
Was it perhaps a little longer than it had to be, sure. But it was an King’s Road style match where you saw the story unfold in the match, and Marufuji gave it a damn good try. Great match.
5 Way X Division Ladder Match: Daga vs Tessa Blanchard vs Acey Romero vs Ace Austin vs Jake Crist (c) – We all know what to expect in X Division matches, and this delivered. Daga and Tessa didn’t work together that much, and it was a great free for all. Daga hit a Slingshot Canadian Destroyer from the apron into a ladder, Tessa knocked Acey off the ladder into a table that exploded and the ladder promptly followed over the top rope. Dave Crist and Madman Fulton interfered to hold Tessa back, but she fought back and got passed both of them. She knock Jake Crist off the ladder and through a table, but Ace Austin jumps onto the ladder with his Gambit stick, hits Tessa and steals the title. Now we know where Eddie is going to cash in his Call Your Shot championship shot.
Moose w/Frank Trigg vs Ken Shamrock – Shamrock comes out looking better than I think I’ve ever seen him. Shamrock even pulled off a no touch top rope dive, Frakensteiner and Springshot Plancha. Moose and Trigg however, pulled off any and every heel tactic possible. Trigg grabbed the leg, took off turnbuckle pads, referee bumps, low blows, just generally everything to turn this into a mugging and not a match. The match plodded and things just never really flowed once all the heel stuff started. It just felt cheap and dirty. Shamrock looked great, but it was an awful match.
Impact World Championship NoDQ Match: Brian Cage (c) vs Sami Callihan – This was exactly what old blood feuds used to be. No introductions, just both men going after one another. Callihan tried to go right after Cage, and that was the wrong idea. Cage had him early, even showed everyone that his Wolverine claws were sharp when he drug them across Sami’s forehead and drew blood. Chairs, stairs, nearby tables and even the guardrail were utilized as weapons throughout the match. After hitting the Piledriver through the guardrail, Sami did look like he had the match in the bag. That is, until he emptied the bag and showed a few dozen thumbtacks.
Piledriver onto the thumbtacks woke up the machine and he kicked out at 1, and fired right up. Sami had this look on his face that he realized he screwed up and a Powerbomb and Drill Claw onto the tacks, proved that feeling correct. Cage stands tall after both him and his wife were attacked at different points in the story. Plus, Cage looks to be back at 100%.
Overall Score: 7/10
Not a bad show honestly, but a few things did fall flat between presentation and how the crowd received it. Sadly the Shamrock match was the low point just because of the ridiculous measures Moose had to go to. Yes, he’s the arrogant heel who can’t back it up without help, but understanding his motivation doesn’t make for an entertaining match.
Ace Austin winning the X Division title falls into place perfectly for Eddie Edwards to try and close the loop on this story of everything and everyone being against him. Cage coming out strong, staying strong and putting on a solid main event bodes well for Impact going into this new era.
Sure, Tessa losing seemed to take the air out of the fans a little, but the match was still great and fell into her story well. Could also be a way to get her out of intergender situations in case AXS TV doesn’t really want that. It may not have been the best PPV of the year, but it was still an enjoyable show.
Now, let’s just hope Kylie Rae signs with Impact Wrestling.