Since I took the time to predict the thing, I should probably talk about bound for Glory.
I’m glad I bought it, but it really didn’t feel like the biggest show of the year. Nothing was awful and some of it was quite good, but if we’re measuring it by the standards of Wrestlemania in its universe which is basically what TNA would like us to do, it was just another show. Most of it I’m not going to remember by next year, which surely isn’t what you want on your Mania night.
If I remember anything, it’ll be the Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode match. Easily match of the night. I picked wrong, for the record. Yes, Roode won. He even won clean. the match told a great story, too. They did a fantastic job of emphasizing that Angle was rusty after his time off and that he’d been going through a lot in his personal life, but they did it in such a way that it didn’t discount Roode’s ability or serve as an excuse to explain why he was whipping so much ass. They made sure that he took a lot of punishment and survived to show his toughness, but some of it was flukey enough (arm hitting the ropes when he almost passed out in the ankle lock) that it didn’t turn him babyface and left the door open for another match. And the win was clean enough that Roode can heelishly yet legitimately claim that he’s beaten Angle and now definitely deserves the spot in the Hall of Fame that Kurt turned down before the match.
Speaking of which, that’s an interesting direction, or at least it would be if TNA and long-term booking didn’t have such a spotty relationship. James Storm winning the World Title and getting his revenge on Bobby Roode could have been a huge deal, but they fucked it up by having Storm repeatedly fail and be made a fool of. Aces and 8s could’ve been something once they sorted out the weird storytelling and gave the group a reason to exist, but instead of winding up with a winner takes all battle for the future of TNA, the Aces are now just 3 or 4 guys who don’t get along very well. And don’t make me try to figure out what the Joseph Park and Abyss may or may not be the same person end game is. that was so interesting and different for a while, but now it’s just an unfocussed mess that may or may not end someday. All of this is to say that while I like the idea of redemption stories, it’s hard to trust TNA to get them right. Hopefully they will with Angle, because there’s so much of a real story to be told and the matches could be incredible.
One redemption story that they did get mostly right was A.J. Styles. He is, thank the lord, the new TNA champion. Heel Dixie was making me nervous with her trying to intimidate the referee into not counting pinfalls for Styles bit, but apparently Earl Hebner isn’t in the business of screwing people over anymore and counted anyway. Why do I get the feeling we’re going to get some WWE style strong-arming and firing of officials come this Thursday? I wish TNA didn’t feel the need to be WWE lite so much, but hopefully they can find a way to put some kind of interesting twist on it to make this episode of heel authority figure hates loveable babyface different from all the others.
In other good news, Magnus beat Sting, not that anybody cared. I don’t know if this crowd just loved Sting or if the Magnus making his name thing just didn’t resonate with people, but when Sting tapped out, it was met with a mix of indifference and booing. Certainly not the star making moment they were aiming for. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Do they try to sell it as this huge deal even though anyone who saw the match knows better or do they go in a completely different direction and turn Magnus into a cocky prick? If it’s up to me, I’m hesitant to go the cocky prick route unless Sting isn’t coming back. If Sting stays he has to get his win back because shutting up the loud mouth in the end is usually how these things have to go, but if you do that you’re right back where you started. Then again if he’s going to be a fraud of a big star, what have they got to lose? It’s a tough call.
But if the goal is to feed somebody to Storm and Gunner to make them seem important and memorable for once, then Bromans it is.
That was me, incorrectly predicting the Gauntlet Match. Not only did Bromans win that, but they’re now the new tag team champions. And not only are they the new tag team champions, but it was a much better match than you’d think. I wonder if we’ve just seen more people have their careers made at the expense of poor James Storm, or if Bromans will be back to being dorks you can’t take seriously in a week or 2. I’m not sure which is worse if you’re Storm.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see some Lei’D Tapa involvement at some point, since if we don’t they’ve basically brought her in and made her the mysterious centrepiece of the division for no reason. She’s been portrayed as a heel so far, so maybe the reason she’s attacking everyone is that Brooke paid her off.
That’s me, almost being right. We saw Lei’D Tapa and she was working with somebody, but it was Gail, not Brooke. Oops. I’ll be honest, I kind of fell asleep through most of this match and had to find it online this morning. It was ok, but really I missed nothing and picked the best possible time to nod off if there had to be one.
There’s not much I can really say about Ultimate X. It’s one of the few times I got something pretty much 100% right, so there’s that. but as for the match itself, it was good. It wasn’t my favourite Ultimate X Match, but I liked it well enough. I’m still not 100% sold on heel Chris Sabin, but maybe it’ll work. I’ve just always liked his act better as a babyface. It comes off more believable.
Oh, and since I mentioned it yesterday and then forgot to include it, here’s video of the time the X fell down and nearly killed the concept dead.
It shouldn’t happen at all, but you can almost forgive it falling once. Things go wrong sometimes. But twice? That’s seriously bush league. Imagine that happening during Money In The Bank. And this is the only time I remember it coming down like that, but they’re even acknowledging on commentary that it’s happened before. Of course they are, because why wouldn’t you point out that you’re not smart enough to learn from history?
And check out how everyone handles it.
“No, you can’t pick that up off the ground, there must be a clean winner. We’re going to hang it back up there and you’re going to fight for it like men, because those are the rules!”
“Oh Christ, it’s coming down again. I’ll stand here and catch it.”
“Ok fine. Fuck it. Ring the bell or we’ll be here all night.”
If memory serves they ended up doing the match over again on free TV as a way to make good. The X stayed where it was supposed to and all was mostly forgiven.
I suppose I should probably tell you how I did on the picks. I got 4 wrong and 3 right. And for once I’m not upset by the ones I missed. I didn’t miss them because of bad booking, I missed them because they could have gone either way. I like that. Gives me a reason to keep watching.