I was excited to view my first Bound for Glory event, and it certainly did not disappoint. TNA’s biggest show of the year was exactly that: a big event that was full of excitement and quality wrestling. This two disc set consisted of the main match card for Bound for Glory (disc one) and special features (disc two) such as match previews, post-match reactions, and a special TNA world championship tag team match.
The card opened up with the X Division title match between Austin Aries and Brian Kendrick (love that guy!). If there ever was a match that was nearly impossible to predict, it was this one. This was a tightly contested, high flying, hard hitting match right from the start, with each man clearly putting forth an enormous amount of effort; I’d love to have even a fraction of the athleticism that Aries and Kendrick possess. There were a number of close, near-3 count finishes to this match, with Aries ultimately winning in the end, retaining his gold.
Another highlight of the card was Rob Van Dam against Jerry Lynn in a Full Metal Mayhem match. As a long time fan of both men, especially RVD, I was really looking forward to this one, as the “Full Metal Mayhem” label promised that these men would return to their aggressive, hardcore wrestling roots. This was also a back and forth matchup, with both men hitting key, signature moves…..could there even have been a VanDaminator in there somewhere? These guys were hitting each other so hard, it hurt me just to watch! Seriously, though, this was a match that brought back the nostalgia of over a decade ago when these men feuded for the first time. Van Dam won this one, but this easily could have gone to Lynn. If I had one gripe about this match, it was that it could have been longer, but that is simply a selfish wish, as I am such a big RVD fan.
Another “treat” of a contest was a triple threat match between Samoa Joe, Crimson, and “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan. Lone put out of the Bound for Glory series, Joe took it upon himself to injure many of his peers so that they, too, would not win the BFG series. One of these fellow competitors was Crimson, and he was out for revenge against Joe in this one. Morgan, also injured but not by Joe, was just tired of the Samoan Submission Machine’s underhanded tactics. Now, I was a bit hesitant as this match started: I wondered, would good friends Morgan and Crimson simply team against Joe the whole time, or would they battle each other as well? For a while, Crimson and “The Blueprint” beat upon Samoa Joe, but Joe held his own as well, eventually getting a break when his two opponents fought each other. All three men showed their power games, but also quite a bit of athletic, technical wrestling. In a pretty quick ending, Crimson hit the spear on Joe to win while Morgan was down in the corner.
In a street fight, is there any wrestler as experienced as Bully Ray? Not many if there are, so I expected Mr. Anderson to get his ass kicked for much of the time in his match against Bully Ray. While Anderson did take quite a pummeling, even getting a bloody nose, he also dished out some brutal punishment on Bully Ray as well. These men fought all over the place in this falls count anywhere affair. While this was not the most technically sound match, it was an expertly fought battle during which both men told a story of hatred and malice. It was as if the fans were able to feel the negativity and aggression between both men. Anderson won out, but take nothing away from Ray, both men fought hard in this one.
The “I Quit” Match is a great concept. No man wants to, out loud, say that he quits. Now if any match was to show more malice and hatred between two men than the Anderson/Bully ray match, it was this one. Former best friends Christopher Daniels and “The Phenomenal One” A.J. Styles were on the outs, as Daniels feels that his friendship was taken for granted. This match was awesome, and both wrestlers showed their technical prowess fantastically, more than you would expect in a match of this type. Both me took their turns dominating the other through a combination of submission wrestling, high flying/high impact moves, and sheer brutality. Styles won, but in a rather bizarre (yet intriguing!) fashion. I will not spoil the ending further.
The Knockouts division championship was decided in a four-way match with Karen Jarrett as the referee. Title holder Winter defended against Mickie James, Velvet Sky, and Madison Rayne. All four women showed athletic, quality moves, and each came close several times to winning. Jarrett played an excellent antagonistic, biased referee as well. In a “twisty” ending that I will also not spoil further, Velvet Sky won her first championship, and deservedly so as she put on a heck of a match.
Next was a match that I was skeptical about: the match for control of TNA between Hulk Hogan and “The Icon” Sting. Could these two legends of the wrestling business still put on a captivating show? The answer was a resounding YES! While neither man can move like he used to, both Sting and Hogan can still hit their share of big moves, and, more importantly, can still tell as story as well as (if not better than) anyone in the professional wrestling business. Both men hit their big spots during the match, eliciting enthusiastic reactions from the crowd. This was another tightly contested matchup, with Sting ultimately winning. The end of this one is also fantastic, when members of Immortal team up on Sting after his big win… (I’ll let you all see the rest…enjoy it!).
Finally, we are treated to a world title match between Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode. Both men enter this match in great shape, prepared to do battle. With this being Roode’s first chance at a world title, I found myself rooting for this underdog against the perennial champion Angle. If one word could accurately describe the score of this epic matchup, it would be intensity. Never did I think another TNA wrestler could match the intensity of Angle, but Roode does. Viewers are drawn in as both men show powerful, scientific wrestling and surprising speed as the TNA world championship was on the line. In the end, Angle retained his championship, but not without a bit of controversy (again, I’ll keep that a secret for now!). One couldn’t help but to feel disappointed for Roode after this epic.
Disc 2 contained all of the special features for TNA Bound for Glory: 2011. The match previews were interesting, insightful, and well produced; I wish I watched them beforehand. Also included in the second disc were post-match reactions. These were also interesting, especially the reaction from Roode after his loss; again, we are drawn into his disappointment, but encouraged by his drive to keep after the title. Finally, the TNA world tag team title match is included: challengers Ink Inc. were defeated by Mexican America in a fast paced, high flying match that was also of a good length…how do these guys keep it up for so long? They were truly fun and exciting to watch.
All in all, I am glad that I had the chance to watch TNA: Bound for Glory 2011. It was an exciting event, probably my favorite TNA DVD production to date. Feel good about checking this one out! – Duke Foster