There seemed to be a changing of the guard at TNA's signature pay-per-view, Bound for Glory, Sunday night.
With the exception of Kurt Angle, who defeated Matt Morgan in a very good match, all of the other big-name former WWE and WCW stars put over young, up-and-coming guys.TNA world champion A.J. Styles defeated Sting; Abyss defeated Mick Foley; Eric Young defeated Kevin Nash in a three-way match for the Legends title; and The British Invasion came out of the Full Metal Mayhem match with the TNA tag team title, which had been held by Scott Steiner and Booker T. And even though Morgan lost to Angle, he was a winner in the sense that he came out of the match a bigger star.
The title wins by Young and The British Invasion seem to indicate that the World Elite has replaced The Main Event Mafia as TNA's top heel faction. In fact, the MEM may be done. This reportedly was Booker T.'s last night in the company, and there has been speculation that Steiner could go as well, although the way he was booked to look good in the FMM match leads me to believe he is staying. Angle, the "Godfather" of the MEM, came out of BFG looking more like a babyface than a heel.
Overall, BFG was an entertaining show. Everyone had their working shoes on and the right people won the key matches.
It was an interesting crowd in that Morgan and Bobby Lashley – more so Lashley – were booed. Heels Angle, Foley and Samoa Joe were cheered, and the crowd also preferred Sting over Styles, although that wasn't unexpected considering that Sting is a native of California, the site of the event.
Here is a match-by-match look at the show:
TNA world champion A.J. Styles defeated Sting: Despite the result of this match getting out ahead of time when a commercial for next month's Turning Point pay-per-view inadvertently aired last week, TNA did the right thing and stuck to the original finish. Styles did a really nice job of carrying the match, and Sting seemed motivated. Styles survived the Scorpion Death-drop and the Scorpion Death-lock before hitting a Pele kick followed by a Springboard Splash for the win. After the match, Styles called Sting back to the ring and turned the spotlight over to him. The crowd chanted "You still got it," "Please don't go" and "One more year." Sting said he didn't know if he was coming back, but all the nice comments he received from people at Fanfest on Saturday make him "want to stay forever." He said he wasn't pulling a Brett Favre by being noncommittal, nor was he doing a "kayfabe teaser." I'm not a big fan of using that word during the show, but I suppose it's not that big a deal.
Kurt Angle defeated Matt Morgan: Angle did an excellent job of elevating Morgan, who came through with a strong performance in the biggest singles match of his career. The crowd even gave them a "This is awesome" chant. Morgan targeted Angle's neck and back early, while Angle countered by attacking Morgan's knees. Morgan got a number of near falls, broke out of the ankle lock several times and kicked out after an Olympic Slam/Frog Splash combination. Angle finally got the win after turning an attempted Electric Chair by Morgan into a Victory Roll. The match told a good story, which was that Morgan has become a breakout star, but he's not quite there yet as far as beating a guy like Angle. After the match, Angle extended his hand to Morgan and told him that he has earned his respect. The crowd had been pro-Angle during the match, but after Angle's endorsement of Morgan, the fans gave Morgan a nice ovation. The announcers put over the fact that Morgan had grown up during in the match and become a star.
Bobby Lashley defeated Samoa Joe in a Submission Match: For a guy who is competing in MMA matches and cannot afford to get injured, Lashley did not hold back as far as taking bumps. This was a good, hard-hitting match with both guys using MMA-style submission holds. Joe was in control for the majority of the match, as he worked on Lashley's injured ribs. Lashley, however, caught Joe in a chokehold, and after a few seconds, referee Earl Hebner called for the bell. It appeared that Joe lost consciousness instead of tapping out.
Abyss defeated Mick Foley in a Monster's Ball Match: Dr. Stevie was the special referee. This was the only match on the show that was a disappointment. In the hype leading up to the showdown between the two hardcore combatants, Foley said he wanted people to be asking after it was over if it was the best hardcore match ever. I'm going to say it's a pretty safe bet that no one will be asking that. Foley and Abyss were abusing each other with barbed wire baseball bats and tables, but the intensity just wasn't there, and Foley didn't even bleed. When Abyss bladed his head, he did a poor job of concealing it. The thing that really killed the match was Abyss getting his shoulder up way too late on a pin attempt by Foley. The second referee had no choice but to hit the mat three times, and then time just kind of stood still. There was no way Mike Tenay or Taz could even attempt to cover for Abyss' mistake. After Daffney tried to interfere, Abyss choke-slammed her over the top rope and through a table wrapped in barbed wire on the floor. Abyss finished off Foley after choke-slamming him onto a table wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss dragged over Dr. Stevie, who had been slammed into thumb tacks by Abyss earlier, and took his hand and slapped the mat three times with it.
Eric Young defeated TNA Legends champion Kevin Nash and Hernandez to win the title: It came as no surprise that things did not go as co-conspirators Nash and Young had planned, but I was surprised that Hernandez did not overcome the odds and win the match. Instead, Young turned on Nash and pinned him. As Nash was setting up a Jackknife powerbomb on Hernandez, Young took Hernandez's head and rammed it into Nash's groin to set up the pin. I like the decision to put the belt on Young, who has been tremendous in his role as leader of the World Elite. Even though he didn't win, Hernandez looked strong for more than holding his own in a two-on-one situation.
The British Invasion won the TNA tag team title and Team 3D won the IWGP tag team title in a Full Metal Mayhem match also involving Beer Money and Scott Steiner and Booker T.: The star of this match – which is TNA's version of a tables, ladders and chairs match – was Steiner, who hit four consecutive belly-to-belly suplexes on both members of Beer Money and The British Invasion. He also hit two top-rope Frankensteiners on Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams and did a belly-to-belly on Robert Roode off the middle rope. Meanwhile, his partner, Booker T., did next to nothing and was taken out on a stretcher during the match with an undisclosed injury. It looks like that's how he will be written out. At one point, rocker Zakk Wylde, who was seated at ringside, threw a drink into Magnus' face and then hit him on the back with a chair while Brother Ray held him. In a scary spot, Beer Money executed a double suplex on Magnus off a ladder, and Magnus ended up landing on Roode. After the match, Jeremy Borash wrote on his Twitter account that Roode was "nursing his lower back." Rhino interfered in the match and attacked Brother Devon, who was on a ladder, but Devon was still able to secure the IWGP title belt. With an assist from the interfering Rob Terry, Williams climbed the ladder and took down the TNA title belt. I expected Team 3D to regain the IWGP title, but I'm surprised The British Invasion captured the TNA title instead of Beer Money.
TNA Knockouts champion ODB defeated Awesome Kong and Tara: In the middle of the match, an unidentified woman in the crowd attacked Tara. It happened so fast that the woman's face wasn't shown on camera. Security broke it up, the announcers went silent and the camera cut to the ring, where ODB and Kong stopped wrestling to see what was going on. Tara then went to the back. It was portrayed as a shoot, but this is Vince Russo we're talking about here, so I didn't buy it for a second. It wasn't announced on the show, but the woman was Kim Couture, an MMA fighter (and the ex-wife of MMA fighter Randy Couture) who has been having a war of words with Tara on the Internet. Tara eventually returned to the ring. Kong was about to finish off ODB, but Raisha Saeed came to ringside and slid a chair into the ring for Kong to use. Kong didn't want it. While Saeed and Kong traded the chair back and forth, ODB recovered and hit a facebuster on Kong on the chair to retain her title. It looks like the Kong-Saeed breakup is imminent, as they will wrestle each other on Impact this week, TNA announced on its Web site.
TNA X Division champion Amazing Red defeated Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Daniels, Homicide and Suicide in an Ultimate X Match: It was announced before the match that D'Angelo Dinero had to leave due to a family emergency, so The Motor City Machine Guns were added to the match by virtue of their victory over Lethal Consequences on the pre-show. This was exactly would you would expect – an amazing spotfest. It only took three minutes for the first "This is awesome" chant, which was sparked by Amazing Red hitting a huracanrana on Daniels off the top rope, sending Daniels to the floor, where he landed on the other competitors. At one point, Daniels and Suicide were fighting on the top of the structure. The fans chanted "Please don't die." The two eventually took an insane bump off the cable. Daniels landed on his head and it appeared that he could have been seriously injured. After that, Red, who also had been on the top of the structure, knocked both Shelley and Sabin off the cable and grabbed the belt for the victory. According to pwinsider.com, Daniels said at a post-show news conference that he had a slightly separated shoulder and a bruised neck.
TNA Knockouts tag team champions Sarita and Taylor Wilde defeated The Beautiful People: This was OK but way too short (about three minutes). Madison Rayne tries hard, but she just isn't in Angelina Love's league. It's a shame Lacey Von Erich isn't a better worker, because she has more charisma and more of TBP look than Rayne. LVE was not allowed to sit outside the ring for the match, which disappointed me. She initially convinced referee Jamie Tucker into letting her to stay by making out with him, but Earl Hebner came out, and her charms did not work on him. Yeah, that's real believable. Note to Maryland Championship Wrestling owner Dan McDevitt: Book Lacey Von Erich as a valet on the next MCW show and let me referee that match.