Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wrestle-1 Bound For Glory 2014 (Also Featuring The TNA Superstars)

(EDIT: Due to technical fuck-ups, I had to rewrite a portion of this post. Sorry, my bad.)

TNA Bound For Glory 2014 has no real, viable purpose for existing. It is simply there.

Bound for Glory is essentially supposed to be the TNA equivalent of a Wrestlemania or a Starrcade, the biggest event in the promotion, as it were. While nowhere near the pedigree of the aforementioned granddads of them all, Bound For Glory is oftened touted as TNA's biggest show, where things end and begin here and there... I guess. Diehard TNA fans would probably do a better job of giving Bound For Glory's legacy that hard sell that I just can't see myself. Whatever importance Bound For Glory had in the past was quickly exised for its 2014 iteration, which became less of a turning point in the TNA narrative and more of a "one night only" affair where TNA would team up with Japanese promotion Wrestle-1.

So instead of TNA's biggest event showcasing the best they have to offer... they're showing a Wrestle-One promotion with TNA guys in it... and on top of that, nothing that happens on this show has any baring on the TNA narrative going forward, as the episodes for Impact Wrestling set to air AFTER the event were already taped beforehand. What a way to spend fifty bucks... on a wrestling show that has no reason to exist.

So I haven't seen this show when it was new - mostly due to the fact that I wasn't following TNA beyond reading online taping results as well as following the company's woes and their ill-conceived efforts in making people believe otherwise, but a friend of mine managed to tape a copy of the show and offered to lend me said copy for the sake of a musings on the blog. I didn't really see the point since I had little to no familiarity with TNA beyond what I've read online and even less so with Wrestle-1, but eventually I caved and said, "Fine. As long as you get this year's BFG event."

So here we are. Looking at last year's Bound For Glory event scant moments before this year's iteration takes place. The write-up on THAT event will take place much later... but that's another story.

This being primarily a Wrestle-One show with TNA guys in it for good measure, the ring is the standard four-sided ring as opposed to the six-sided ring that TNA brought back to the fold some time prior. There was a bit of a dispute in whether TNA should bring back the six-sided ring or stick with what works and certainly most folks had their say on the matter... personally, I didn't care either way, but I always felt that the six-sided ring was something that made TNA unique and distinct from WWE, especially during a time when they NEEDED to be unique and distinct. So while one could argue the health hazards that come with the ring, it gave TNA much needed identity.

Of course, nowadays, what TNA needs is a good TV deal... again... but I digress.

Japanese guy Minoru Tanaka beat TNA guy Manik with an armbreaker submission in a pretty decent match; a nice solid showing for better or worse. But therein lies the problem; it was a pretty decent match featuring guys that I don't care about.

TNA guy (and future TNA World champ) Ethan Carter III defeated Japanese fatso Ryota Hama to continue his undefeated streak. This match was shit, as it was basically Derrick Bateman in a match with the poor man's Rikishi Phatu (complete with stink face spot). EC3 tried his damndest here (and from what little I've seen of him, he's a pretty damn good piece of work and deserving of his successes thus far), but there was no way I was going to care about this match... at all.

MVP defeated Japanese guy Kazma Sakamoto in a quick, nothing special match. Not much for me to say here.

TNA X-Division champ Samoa Joe defeated Low Ki and Kaz Hayashi via submission to retain the title. The end result for this match was spoiled by leaked taping results for Impact covering the shows after the airing of this PPV... Oops. This was another nothing match and probably Joe's last big hurrah before eventually dropping the X-Division title and moving on to NXT the following year.

Next up is a tag-team match with all Japanese guys; presumably a showcase of Wrestle-One talent to an American audience who would have no remote clue who any of these guys are. As for the match itself, it's alright. Lots of lightweight, high-flying stuff, but if you don't care about any of the guys in the ring, what's the point? I think that sums up this entire show in a nutshell.

Team 3D defeated Tommy Dreamer and Abyss in a tag-team match when Dreamer ate a 3D through a flaming table... wait, what's that? It was just a regular 3D? Oh, I'm so sorry. I was probably thinking of that Dudley Boyz vs. Tommy Dreamer/Sandman match at the Hammerstein Ballroom in 2005. That match was awesome... this match, on the other hand, not so much. Not to say it was bad, but it was also tame... and not fun... and I didn't care...

Knockouts Champion Havok defeated Velvet Sky to retain the title... This was a thing that was there.

Tajiri and the Great Muta defeated Sanada and James Storm in your tag-team main event match... yeah, that's right. This is what they closed the show with... they didn't even have a World title match on here... that shows how important this show truly is. Imagine if you didn't have a WWE World title defense at Wrestlemania after having it be a tradition for three decades. Instead, you had a match featuring four guys who don't matter. I mean, look. Tajiri is a WWE alumnus, Great Muta is a damn-near icon in Japanese wrestling, James Storm is a tried-and-true TNA veteran, and Sanada... is some Japanese guy who ended up taking the fall when the whole story was around James Storm being an asshole to the Japanese guys.

That sums up the whole show in retrospect; it's just a bunch of random wrestling matches with a bunch of random guys that you're given no reason to care about. On top of that, it'd be a stretch to call this a proper TNA show since it can be more accurately described as a Wrestle-One show with a dash of TNA performers tossed in for good measure. That's the thing with PPV events in general; the really good ones will provide you with context and backstory for each of the matches, whether it'd be in the form of vignettes, promos, or brief exposition from the commentary team. It's what gives these shows rewatchability somewhere down the line. Tossing a bunch of guys in there and putting on matches for the sake of matches without providing the audience with a reason to care about the conflict is simply not enough to make an event of this caliber memorable or even worth watching.

Bound For Glory 2014 is a bit of a bust, any way you look at it. It's a show that, unless you have an affinity for Wrestle-One, you really don't need to waste your time or money watching. And whatever becomes of this year's Bound For Glory PPV event, you can be certain that it won't be as worthless as this show was.

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