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EditorialTNA Bound For Glory 2014 Recap

TNA Bound For Glory 2014 Recap



**Contains SPOILERS for the TNA Bound for Glory 2014 PPV**

TNA Bound for Glory Results
October 12, 2014, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

TNA made a deal with the Wrestle-1 promotion to hold the tenth installment of Bound for Glory in Japan. The Great Muta formed the Wrestle-1 promotion in July 2013 following his resignation from All Japan Pro Wrestling. This marked the second time TNA and Wrestle-1 held a joint event in Japan following Kaisen: Outbreak in March. The PPV aired on tape delay, and commentary by Taz and Tenay was provided from TNA headquarters in Nashville. A traditional four-sided ring was used for the event, as opposed to the six-sided ring.

Due to previously recorded episodes of Impact, many weeks of TNA programming was already set in stone which restricted the PPV from creating new angles, and crowning new champions. Wrestle-1 did not feature the Wrestle-1 Champion Masayuki Kono, and TNA did not feature the TNA World Champion Bobby Lashley on the PPV.  It was the first Bound For Glory to not feature either the NWA World Heavyweight Championship or the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the main event.

The PPV featured eight wrestling matches. Two matches were fought for the TNA X-Division, and TNA Knockout’s Championships. TNA firmly respected the Japanese audience by producing a show they would be more familiar with, as opposed to shows an American audience would expect. There was far less grandeur compared to previous Bound for Glory, and more focus on showcasing talents from both promotions then anything else. TNA and Wrestle-1 used the following wrestlers for the show:

TNA –  Samoa Joe, Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon), MVP, James Storm, The Great Sanada, Ethan Carter III, Low Ki, Abyss, Manik.

Wrestle-1 – The Great Muta, Tajiri, Kaz Hayashi, Ryota Hama, Kazma Sakamoto, Minoru Tanaka, Andy Wu, El Hijo del Pantera, Jiro Kuroshio and Yusuke Kodama.

The promotions decided to use ten wrestlers each from their respective rosters, this inevitably led to many TNA wrestlers not making the card due to time constraints. These include (but not limited to) the following: Kurt Angle, Austin Aries, The Wolves, Bobby Roode, Bobby Lashley, The Hardtys, Eric Young, Mr Anderson, Taryn Terrell, Madison Rayne and Angelina Love.

The show lacked emphasis on the importance of TNA Wrestling, and was more of a tribute to the legacy of Japanese wrestling, as well as a tribute to the legacy of Team 3D after being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. The card included five TNA vs Wrestle-1 matches, two matches with only TNA wrestlers, and one match strictly showcasing Wrestle-1 talent and their Japanese ring announcer. Jeremy Borash opened the show, and he announced wrestlers formally before every match in the ring, instead of the usual method of announcing them during an entrance..

Taz and Mike Tenay explained early on how the audience may react differently to (for example) an audience in the United States. They explained how Japanese audiences are traditionally respectful of wrestling, and how they can sometimes watch wrestling in silence, as a show of appreciation rather than boredom. Despite this, the Bound for Glory audience mimicked TNA audiences by using chants such as “TNA”, and “Holy S£$&!” throughout. Something which caught the commentators off-guard a little.

Match #1 – Minoru Tanaka vs Manik

The reasoning behind this match was explained by Mike Tenay during the bout. He explained how Manik was the youngest wrestler to ever debut with New Japan, and Tanaka was his mentor. Despite Manik playing the heel role, the audience was firmly behind him. Manik (T.J. Perkins) spent many years wrestling in Japan, so they were likely showing their respect. 

This was a really solid match to start the show, and probably one of the best on the card. They had chemistry, and I can admit to never seeing Tanaka wrestle before, and he was impressive. After a fast paced, hard hitting match which saw Manik with the momentum, Tanaka managed to hook in his finishing move, the flying armbreaker, to claim the first victory for Wrestle-1.

Winner: Minoru Tanaka by submission.

EC3 was shown backstage cutting a promo on Rockstar Spud, and he claimed to have found a new associate who he would introduce on next weeks episode of Impact. EC3 stated he was bringing his undefeated.streak worldwide, mocking Ryota Hama.

EC3 delivered an in-ring promo before their match to get the fans to boo him. He got the best heel reaction of the night after continuing to condescend them. He promised to body slam Ryota Hama in the match. EC3 also tried to get a “slam ham, ham slam, slam ham” chant going, but I felt like the audience were not buying it, and it gave Taz a good laugh at his expense.

Match #2 – EC3 vs Ryota Hama

Ryota Hama made his entrance to a decent reception. He had a Rikishi look going on, wearing very similar attire to what he used to wear, except Hama was much bigger and built for Sumo Wrestling. He made EC3 look rather small in comparison. The match had some good moments, with EC3 trying everything he could to get the big man down, only to be squished and stinkfaced (yes .. Hama mimicked Rikishi rather well) for his troubles. He attempted to slam Hama, but his attempts were futile. In typical heel fashion, EC3 found a way to low-blow Hama when the referee was out of position, giving him the opportunity to hit the 1-Percenter for the win, giving TNA their first victory of the night.

Winner: EC3 by pinfall.

What followed was easily the best promo of the night delivered by MVP. He mocked “Sports-Entertainment”, and people who like to “Sports-Entertain”, and put over Japanese wrestling as the place to be. He mentioned many Japanese legends and his time wrestling in Japan after choosing to wrestle for less money, after leaving his “mufti-million dollar salary” from his previous job. He blasted WWE in the process, and at the same time, told everyone how he preferred to work for less money, because he liked the challenge, and the wrestling. He informed us how he had done research on Sakamoto, as he didn’t know much about him, and he was not impressed at all. Sakamoto was Lord Tensai’s manager in the WWE not so long ago, it could have been a reference to that.

Match #3 – MVP vs Sakamoto

This match was fairly average, with MVP doing most of the work. Sakamoto received boos from the crowd, and MVP was the fan favourite according to the audience. The two worked the match, but there wasn’t much to it, and Sakamoto did very little to add excitement to it. MVP finished this thankfully, with a Shining Wizard.

Winner: MVP by pinfall.

Samoa Joe was shown backstage talking about the importance of the X-Division, and the legacy of Japanese wrestling. He told his opponents of Low-Ki and Hayashi to prepare for disappointment.

Match #4 – Samoa Joe vs Low-Ki vs Kaz Hayashi – TNA X-Division Championship

Mike Tenay let us all know that some fans may recognize Hayashi from his WCW days. This match was arguably the best on the card, and it could have lasted a lot longer. There were a few good spots, and it was the first match of the night to get the Japanese crowd acting like an American crowd with chants such as “TNA”, and “This is awesome!”. They were also firmly behind Samoa Joe, and chanted “Joe” frequently. After some hard hitting, face paced X-Division action, Samoa Joe locked in the rear naked choke on Low-Ki, and with Hayashi nowhere to be seen, Low-Ki passed out from the hold and Samoa Joe won by submission.

Winner: Samoa Joe by submission.

After the match, Samoa Joe got on the microphone and spoke Japanese to the audience. He showed his utmost respect for them, and for the Korakuen Hall. He also said that Wrestle-1 and TNA was bringing the world together for the fans, and how he is professional wrestling.

Match #5 – Andy Wu & Hijo Del Pantera vs Kuroshio Ikemen Jiro & Yusuke Kodama

This match was the only match to feature Wrestle-1 wrestlers only. They were also introduced in Japanese by the Wrestle-1 ring announcer. Taz and Mike Tenay had a hard time calling this match, as Taz had trouble caring enough to call the match properly. He kept talking about Andy Wu and how one of them thought they were a rockstar. Tenay continued to laugh at Taz’s inexperience with Japanese wrestling and his inability to care. 

Taz eventually got into the match after they performed some impressive lucha libre maneuvers. The match itself was rather unorthodox, but it wasn’t terrible by any means. It was difficult to care too much about this match, and as you could imagine, a lot of TNA fans wouldn’t have seen these wrestlers before. The match ended well with a nice corkscrew splash by Kodama.

Winners:.Jiro & Kodama by pinfall.

They showed a brief video highlighting the TNA Hall of Fame ceremony for Team 3D, showing the speech made by Tommy Dreamer, and the acceptance by Bully Ray and Devon. There was a lot of respectful comments made, and Bully Ray personally thanked his best friend Tommy Dreamer, the fans, The Great Muta for allowing them to host the ceremony, and his tag team partner Devon.

Match #6 – Team 3D vs Abyss & Tommy Dreamer – Hardcore match.

After being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it was going to be a fairly obvious outcome. Tommy Dreamer dressed up as Terry Funk as a tribute to him, and Abyss refused to shake Bully Ray’s hand at the start of the match. This led to an interesting dynamic which saw Dreamer clearly showing respect, but Abyss wanting nothing to do with it and playing the heel for the match. As you could imagine, this was hardcore, however I felt it was an average hardcore match which could have been much more violent. There also wasn’t a lot of blood considering the participants. The best parts of the match was Bully Ray putting Dreamer through a Japanese table, and Abyss being given a 3D into his own thumbtacks. The match ended with a vintage 3D to Tommy Dreamer.

Winners: Team 3D by pinfall.

As a continuation of the speeches we saw before the match, Bully Ray and Devon got on the microphone and thanked the fans once again for inducting them into the Hall of Fame. They also told the audience how Japan will always be the first place they want to go when they want to fight.

Match #7 – Havok vs Velvet Sky – TNA Knockouts Championship

I was disappointed by this one, it could have been so much more. On a show where championships were clearly on the backburner, this was a match to show the dominance of Havok and nothing more. Velvet Sky put up a fight, but in the end, Havok destroyed her and finished Sky off with a bearhug. The crowd was really into Velvet Sky, and firmly against Havok. It would have been nice to see an actual match for the championship, but I suppose this was put in as filler.

Winner: Havok by submission.

After a lengthy hype video highlighting The Revolution and the feud between The Great Sanada and The Great Muta, we were treated to the main event.

Match #8 – The Great Muta & Tajiri vs The Great Sanada & James Storm – Main Event

This match had months of build behind it, and it was still quite average. I can always appreciate a match with Tajiri, and one of the coolest things ever was to see The Great Muta and Tajiri do simultaneous Red/Green mists before the match began. Somehow this didn’t feel like the main event, but because The Great Muta was there, it had to be the main event. There wasn’t many standout moments from the match, but it wasn’t terrible either. I felt like the match may have been limited because of The Great Muta’s involvement. Nevertheless, the best part of the match was the end, with both Muta and Tajiri hitting their respective mists on Sanada, followed by a superkick. The Great Muta and Tajiri won by pinfall on Sanada, I was surprised by the sheer lack of James Storm in this match.

Winners: The Great Muta & Tajiri by pinfall.

After the match, The Revolution attacked Muta 3-on-1, until Team 3D made the save and cleared house. Team 3D ended the night celebrating in the ring. The Great Muta left them to it and walked to the back.

My Conclusion

There were so many factors that limited the potential for this PPV. The biggest factors, like the cross-promotion and the pre-taped episodes of Impact, clearly shone through.. With a limited roster from TNA especially, we had to watch Japanese wrestlers which many may not be familiar with. Most of the matches could be regarded as average, and would have been more suited for a one night only PPV, or a cross-promotion PPV of a different name … but not necessarily for the PPV which is meant to be TNA Wrestling’s biggest PPV of the year.  

Looking at it in another way though, there is something to be said about TNA even thinking about doing this, nevermind going through with it entirely. This type of PPV has never happened before between an American and Japanese wrestling promotion, and it felt like a hybrid of styles. It wasn’t quite TNA, but it wasn’t quite puroresu eiither. It was trying to meet somewhere in the middle, and it created something which some fans might not understand, while others would completely understand. I will always look back at this PPV as an ultimate tribute from TNA to the Japanese and their rich wrestling heritage. The Japanese welcomed TNA with open arms, and was prepared to give back. It was a show about respect and the wrestling, instead of a show filled with grandeur, fighting over World Championships, and the occasional screwjob. I feel like Wednesday’s Impact was actually better than Bound for Glory, as the matches had much more meaning, and the main event blew everything else away. It was difficult to watch Bound for Glory and believe that it was TNA/Wrestle-1’s best outing after seeing last weeks main event.

It was something different, so I won’t complain. I always have wrestling fans telling me to watch more Japanese wrestling, and this broadened my horizons a little. It didn’t just broaden my horizons, but it also showcased a different style of wrestling that some fans may never have experienced. Japanese wrestling remained in it’s basic form, and it has always been about the wrestling, the honour, and most definitely the respect. They do angles of course, but they don’t blow things out of proportion, they know what the fans paid to see, and they deliver nothing less. You know … wrestling was never meant to be a soap opera filled with “attitude” and controversial angles. It was meant to be about the art of competition, and the art of building a rivalry over championships which would capture the hearts of millions.

I am going to rate this PPV out of ten. My rating is given simply because the PPV could have been so much more than it was, but due to clear limitations, both promotions had to make do with what they had. Based on those terms, the PPV was above average, and I give it a rating of 6.5/10

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