TNA Bound for Glory 2009 Review by Anthony S. DiSalvatore
This is the first (and probably last) TNA pay-per-view I’ll ever write about on this website, mostly because it took me about an hour and a half to find it. This week’s review features Scott Steiner in a four-way hardcore tag team match, because I’m happy to see his nephew Bronson killing it in NXT, and another generation of Steiners is always good for pro wrestling. But you don’t want to hear about any of that right now! This show took place from Irvine CA at the Bren Events Center, with 2,400 people in attendance (down from around 5,500 the year before). Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Bobby Lashley, and Mankind will also be here, so maybe this show won’t be terrible. Let’s get on with it!
Suicide vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Homicide vs. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Amazing Red: Ultimate X (X Division Championship)
If you don’t know what an Ultimate X match is, and you’re a fan of flippy nonsense, you’re in for a treat! If you haven’t ever watched TNA (you’re not alone if you haven’t), the X Division is essentially where they keep all the cruiserweights. In this match, the belt will be suspended above the ring on cables shaped like an X! Clever! The winner will be the first one to shimmy across the cables and pull the belt down. I know, this sounds like something from American Ninja Warrior. But it’s not! Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary for this, so that’s a good start. Sabin and Shelley enter together first. They’re tag team partners usually, but now they’re opponents! Suicide, whose entire gimmick is in poor taste, enters next to a tepid reaction. He’s followed by Homicide, Christopher Daniels, and Amazing Red. Red is accompanied by Don West, who’s normally an announcer, but he’s made the jump to manager by this point. It’s also important to point out that The Pope DeAngelo Dinero was supposed to be in this match, but he was called away due to a family emergency.
Much like the cruiserweight matches you see on 205 Live or anywhere else today, this match is fast-paced and hard to follow. But the premise and spectacle of it is exciting for the crowd, so it makes a lot of sense as an opener, as long as it doesn’t drag for too long. The ring empties quickly and Homicide does a dive to the floor. I’m just waiting for the announcers to confuse Homicide and Suicide before the match ends. Don’t let me down Taz! Christopher Daniels, the most experienced man in the field for this match, is the first one to try to climb up and get the belt. The incumbent champion Amazing Red is there to fling him down with a Frankensteiner while the crowd waits below to spot him. Sabin and Shelley do a combination giant swing and dropkick on Red, which we would never see in pro wrestling ever again.
Suicide and Homicide both climb up and try to shimmy across the cables to get the belt, but Homicide’s able to drop Suicide with an RKO in midair. Awesome. Sabin and Shelley work together to vanquish everyone else, which is great strategy as long as one of them has the stones to stab the other one in the back. Everyone’s down and Homicide’s the last one standing. He climbs across the cables, but Christopher Daniels drags him down. Amazing Red takes his turn, but he’s totally scared to climb across. Not only that, but he’s not grapevining his legs to get across the cables. He’s chosen to rely entirely on his upper body strength, which is not his department. In his defense, Red’s probably not thinking clearly at this point. Sabin and Daniels both climb up, then both guys land on their feet in the ring. A nice change, but as Taz points out, it’s very easy to blow out your ankle doing that.
Homicide goes on a nice run before Red drops him and starts doing a bunch of flippy crap, which the crowd apparently likes. These are not my people. Suicide gives Sabin a two-man flippity flop off the top rope, and Daniels gives Sabin a moonsault immediately afterward. Sabin will probably be out for a bit. Daniels and Suicide climb to the very top of the structure, above the cables. They’re really high up! The crowd tells them please don’t die. Daniels attempts a suplex, which will surely kill them both, but Suicide’s able to block it. Amazing Red climbs up too and he’s clinging for his life. Daniels tries to drop down and grab the belt, but Suicide is there to meet him. Daniels and Suicide crash and burn, which is brutal, then Red simply drops down and grabs the belt for himself. All thanks to Don West! This was a good opener. Let’s see what they do next!
The next match is for the Knockouts tag team championship, which I wasn’t going to skip until I saw Lacey Von Erich is involved in it. She’s rotten, so let’s save some time by moving forward. No disrespect to Angelina Love or Velvet Sky, they’re great! But I don’t have long enough to live for Lacey to learn how to do this properly.
Kevin Nash vs. Hernandez vs. Eric Young: Legends Championship
Eric’s career has had a lot of twists and turns, but this one is probably the weirdest of all of them (and I’m including Super Eric in that list). For many years, Eric was beloved by the fans, even though he didn’t always come out on top. I can remember a time when he’d fall down during his pyro for every single entrance. For lack of a better term, he was a clown! But it’s ok, because he was nowhere near the top of the card. That is, until he put on a suit and tie and gathered a bunch of foreign wrestlers to do his dirty work. I’m not sure what to make of this. He wanted Hernandez to join his group, which is actually a good idea, but Hernandez told him to get fucked, so here we are. Meanwhile, the Main Event Mafia is sick of Eric’s shit, so they’ve recruited one Kevin Nash to eliminate him. It appears Eric’s paid Kevin off to watch his back, which anyone who’s watched wrestling as long as I have can totally believe. In case, this is becoming hard to follow, there’s actually an on-screen graphic before the match to explain the convoluted steps that led to this point. Convenient!
Hernandez is out first, and he’s wound up since he knows this is pretty much a handicap match coming up. Eric is out next, but he’s in no hurry to enter the ring without his very large backup. As a small man, I fully support this plan! Nash and Eric toy with Hernandez before they enter. Nash gets decked and Eric gets tossed around the ring from the start. Nash isn’t down for long before he gets the jump on Hernandez from behind. Nash does all the heavy lifting while Eric takes potshots. Nash walks briskly into the ringpost, then Hernandez proceeds to walk the dog on Eric some more. As long as Nash is here, Hernandez can’t get the win. He’s too strong, even though he’s older now. Hernandez gets beaten down in the corner while Eric stands around and watches. This gimmick doesn’t really fit Eric, but his game plan is flawless so far. Eric actually nails a suplex on Hernandez, which is impressive given his much smaller size. He acts like he just beat Undertaker, and the crowd cheers him for it!
Eric tries to get the pin on Hernandez, but Kevin breaks it up and looks disappointed. Eric claims this is totally accidental, but he knows exactly what he’s doing. What a weasel. Eric’s starting to win me over again! Hernandez goes to the top rope and gives Nash a missile dropkick! He fires up and does some clotheslines, then gives Eric a HUGE backdrop. Cool move, but Nash doesn’t have time for this. He drops Hernandez from behind before he and Eric both get dropped with a double clothesline. Eric tries for the crossbody, but Hernandez makes the fair catch. Eric bails for a bit before Nash takes over again. Now, and only now, I’ve just learned from Taz that Kevin’s in this match with a broken hand. I know Nash isn’t the most popular guy, although he is in this house, but he’s tough as shit! Eric climbs to the top rope and does a sweet elbow drop, which gets more cheers for the crowd. Kevin sets up for the powerbomb, but Eric hits Nash in the dick with Hernandez’s head and STEALS THE PIN! BRILLIANT! If I had to guess, based on the crowd reaction, they wanted Eric to win anyway.
Beer Money vs. Team 3D vs. British Invasion vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner: TNA World Tag Team Championship
This is why we’re here! Anything goes in this match! Right away, the British guys gang up with Booker and Scott and Beer Money to take 3D out of this thing. More great strategy! Scott takes D-Von to the floor and bashes his head into the steel rail, then loses his footing and falls. In his defense, that’s exposed concrete out there. If they had mats covering the entire floor, that wouldn’t have happened. Two ladders enter the ring. This looks promising. Meanwhile, Steiner’s kicking the shit out of D-Von in the ramp area. Bubba and D-Von are pretty much done now. Beer Money and the British guys are left in the ring by themselves until Booker and Scott enter. Booker goes for a spinebuster, but the execution’s flawed from the start so it looks terrible. Booker does a scissors kick on Robert Roode, followed by a spinaroonie which gets a huge cheer from the crowd. Steiner enters and starts doing clotheslines and suplexes on everyone in sight. Awesome! Four suplexes in succession, followed by a top rope Frankensteiner!
Steiner suplexes Magnus off the top rope then gives one to Roode too for good measure. It’s all Steiner now! What a badass. Booker’s totally hurt on the floor, so Steiner climbs the ladder himself. He gets double-teamed by the British guys with the Team 3D top rope headbutt they’ve used for years. How insulting! Booker gets away from ringside while 3D enters and picks up where they left off. They do all their greatest hits and crowd chants for tables. ZAKK WYLDE is in the front row and bashes Magnus with a chair! He plays guitar for Ozzy now! 3D does the headbutt and calls for the tables, and now the crowd is awake. 3D does a double chokeslam to Beer Money through the tables, then Steiner comes back in with a chair and decks them both. Boom! His partner may be gone, but he’s more than willing to kill every guy in here on his own. Steiner grabs a ladder and knocks everyone else down. He’s a one-man army! Steiner makes it to the top, but 3D pitches him through a table instead. Bummer. Steiner may be done for the night.
3D climbs to the top to take the belts down, but RHYNO enters with a chair and crushes them both. Good to see Rhyno again. He still looks the same these days. The British guys are the last ones standing until Beer Money shows up again to cut them off. Magnus takes a very dangerous double suplex off the ladder and the crowd blows up. Storm stops to drink a beer, then powerbombs Magnus off the ladder. Doug Williams enters and boops Roode with a chair. It looks like Storm may be injured. British Invasion muscle man Rob Terry enters and press slams Roode out of the ring through a table, then lifts his man up to take the belt down. It’s a shame this match had to end that way, but Steiner looked awesome nonetheless.
Awesome Kong vs. Tara vs. ODB: Knockouts Championship
Look, everybody! A ladies’ match that might be good! No reason to go into the build for this, all you need to know is Kong weighed in for this match at 272 ⅜ pounds, and Tara was once known as Victoria in a past life. This should be good! ODB (One Dirty Bitch, for those of you who are uninformed), is already half-lit for this. The bell rings and Kong immediately drops both opponents. They try to gang up on Kong, but she responds with a double clothesline and a corner splash. That was easy! Kong goes for a splash off the second rope, but she comes up empty. Tara and ODB fight amongst themselves to make the pin, but neither is successful.
ODB goes for something big in the corner, but Tara turns it into Tajiri’s tarantula move! Neat! Kong charges in to break it up. Kong gets pissed and dumps Tara awkwardly out of the ring. I don’t blame Kong for that one, but after Tara recovers, she goes after somebody in the crowd. Kong and ODB can only watch, and Tara gets escorted from ringside. Did she get arrested for going after that person? No idea, but this didn’t look to be part of the program. ODB pulls off a nice Samoan drop, but it’s kind of overshadowed by all the Tara stuff. Tara returns to the ring and looks to be ok. The crowd is happy to see her again! Kong goes for the second rope splash again and nails it, but it’s a two count. Kong’s doing an excellent job of beating up ODB and keeping Tara out of the ring. Kong does the implant buster for another two count. A mystery woman in a burka enters and gives Kong a chair. Kong says fuck it and just goes for a powerbomb instead, but ODB blocks it and Kong eats the chair instead. ODB gets the pin and wins! This match was rough, mostly because I don’t know what happened to Tara outside the ring. Whatever it was, I could hear her screaming obscenities. That fan probably got what was coming to him.
Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley: Submission Match
If only WWE had done this exact match years ago when both guys were active and the crowd would have paid huge money to see it! Could TNA have done this better? Let’s find out! Joe’s wearing some weird face paint. He’s still heavy at this point, but much more mobile than he is these days. Bobby enters and his ribs are heavily taped. At this point in his career, Bobby’s only just starting to find himself. He’s still a beast, but this is before he ever ran with MVP or became world champion. Joe’s strategy here will be to attack the body, just in case that’s not immediately obvious. Bobby needs to end this quickly.
Joe corners Bobby and bitch slaps him a few times, then Bobby drops him with a spinebuster and tries for a cross armbreaker early. Joe breaks free and puts on a kneebar, but it’s much too early for that yet. Bobby corners Joe and starts throwing hands, so Joe bails. Is he tired already? Joe enters again and starts throwing leg kicks. The ref takes a tumble and Joe takes a cheap shot to Bobby’s ribs. It’s followed by a suicide dive, which just kills the flow of this match. More on that later. Joe continues punishing Lashley on the floor. Back in the ring, they go and Joe remains in control for several minutes. The crowd is on Joe’s side, they think Lashley sucks! Joe goes for his own cross armbreaker and Bobby’s able to turn it around and make a comeback. Joe takes a suplex, but Joe responds with his version of a Rock Bottom. Bobby gives Joe a back heel trip and chokes him out with an anaconda vise. When Joe was asked about his time in TNA a few years ago and why he didn’t become a bigger star, he said it was because he tripped over some bad booking. Could this be what he was talking about? The finish was flat, and that suicide dive was totally unnecessary. All this match needed to be was strikes and submissions, so the dive totally threw it off.
Mick Foley vs. Abyss: Monster’s Ball (Special Guest Referee: STEVIE RICHARDS!)
If you don’t know what a Monster’s Ball match is, it’s essentially your standard hardcore match, but Abyss has taken it and made it his own thing. Many have compared him to Foley over the years, which is accurate in some ways. And since nobody could have ever dreamed when TNA started in 2002 that Foley would ever show up here, this can be considered a dream match. The only thing standing in the way now is the execution. This match may be a total train wreck, in more ways than one. In any case, I don’t expect this to last very long. Stevie Richards will make sure of that! If I may speak candidly, I’ve always been a huge fan of Abyss! It feels like he never truly got his due.
The match starts with a Foley jump start during Abyss’s entrance! Foley climbs to the top of the arena and nobody knows what to make of this. Abyss tries to follow, but Foley pushes him down and Abyss falls through the stage. That was quick! Foley dives off the stage with his barbed wire bat and smashes Abyss with it. After several minutes, Abyss comes up through the stage and gives Foley a big boot. They finally make it to the ring, which is already full of weapons. Abyss takes a piece of wood laced with barbed wire and bridges it across the apron, then pounds Foley with a trash can. Abyss grabs another barbed wire board and sets up for a chokeslam, but Foley kicks him low and gives Abyss a DDT instead. It looks like Stevie is on Foley’s side, which should work out fine unless Abyss gets a hand on him.
Foley starts beating Abyss with his barbed wire bat, then puts the boots to him. Abyss is bleeding all over the place! Foley tries for an Irish whip but gets tossed into the barbed wire instead. Abyss tries for a splash but gets sandwiched in between the boards and Foley drops an elbow on him. There’s blood everywhere. This is tough to watch, but the crowd’s eating it up. Foley grabs the thumbtacks, which were previously banned by Foley while he was in an executive capacity. That’s only if Abyss uses them, so they’re still fair game for Foley! Stevie tries to intervene, but Abyss drops him with a backbreaker. DAFFNEY shows up and tosses Foley a mystery object. It’s a taser, and Abyss gets tased in the dick with it! Rest in peace, hot but crazy girl. She has no clue what she started over here! It was either her or Jennifer Tilly, but I can’t be sure which one. Daffney shows up again and Abyss chokeslams her through a barbed wire-wrapped table. Super dangerous for anyone, but even more so for a female.
Stevie takes the black hole slam into a pile of tacks, then Foley gets chokeslammed onto a barbed wire board. Stevie’s out of it, so Abyss counts the pin himself using Stevie’s arm. It still counts! Meanwhile, Daffney’s still stuck in the barbed wire and nobody’s helping her out! What the hell? Yes, this match was a train wreck. I’m not even sure what Foley was doing in the ring at this time.
Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan
This match is being billed as Wrestling’s Best vs. Wrestling’s Future. As with most things in TNA, they got it half right. At this point, Kurt’s the leader of the Main Event Mafia, and even though his neck injuries are flaring up again, he’s doing the best work of his career. He’s a cyborg! So far, all of Kurt’s men have lost on the night. All Matt wants to do is join them, but Kurt’s making him earn it. He has to beat the leader before he can join! Kurt starts by bailing from the ring. Make no mistake, this isn’t out of fear. He’s trying to get in Morgan’s head and looks to be succeeding. Morgan is a total hothead, so this shouldn’t take very long.
Kurt tries to lock up with Morgan, but he gets tossed to the outside easily. Let’s see Matt Morgan go to the Olympics! Morgan goes on a big run with some back elbows and a reverse chokeslam. Angle tries to dive to the floor, but Morgan makes the fair catch and slams Kurt into the ringpost. His neck is all kinds of fucked up at this point, but Kurt has no off button. Morgan goes for a big kick and misses, and Kurt finally takes him down with a chop block. The tables have turned. You’re in Kurt’s world now! Kurt works the leg and slaps on the Figure 4 leglock. After several minutes, Morgan finally breaks free and clotheslines Kurt from his knees. One of the guys from Boyz II Men is in the crowd! Kurt goes for a crossbody, but he gets hucked across the ring instead. Morgan tries for a chokeslam but Kurt turns it into a pin and almost gets the win!
Morgan dumps Kurt with a chokeslam, but Kurt recovers and starts throwing suplexes. Kurt is ridiculous! Again, he’s older here and has no trouble tossing around a guy twice his size. Morgan gives Kurt a big boot for a two count, then Kurt gives him an Angle Slam. Another two count. Time for the ankle lock, but Morgan’s able to break free using his legs. Another ankle lock attempt, and this time Kurt’s not letting go. Morgan’s able to kick him off on the second try. Morgan does a big suplex slam for a close near fall. He can’t put Angle down and he’s getting frustrated. Morgan sets up for a tombstone, which gets an audible gasp from the crowd, but Kurt turns it into an ankle lock instead. Morgan breaks free once again! The crowd’s giving up on Morgan now. Morgan goes to the top rope, but Angle suplexes him down and gives him an Angle Slam. Angle goes to the top for a rare frog splash and gets all of it, but he still can’t end this thing. Kurt goes up again for his no-look moonsault, but ends up on Morgan’s shoulders. He pins Morgan after a victory roll! Another relatively flat finish, but this match was better than it had any right to be, probably because Kurt was in it.
Sting vs. AJ Styles: TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Another match WWE could have done, although I admit it wouldn’t have made much sense by the time both guys were there. This is the fourth Bound for Glory in TNA history, and Sting has a long history of winning at these, so the crowd is loud for him on his entrance. Not to be outdone, Styles is the defending champion and he’s grown up largely in front of this crowd. They do boxing-style intros for this one, and I’ve never been a fan of that outside of boxing. In pro wrestling, it seems like it’s just used to fill time these days instead of adding anything to the match. The match opens with a handshake, which is appropriate here since the crowd is in favor of both guys. Taz brings up the comparisons between Sting and AJ in their careers, comparing this match to Sting vs. Ric Flair at Clash of the Champions 20 years before this. Now the roles are reversed.
This match is all about Sting’s power against AJ’s agility. AJ starts with some flips and Sting looks impressed. There’s some basic chain wrestling, but the tone changes when Sting throws AJ hard into the corner and dumps him out of the ring. AJ is hesitant to enter the ring again until Sting invites him back in. Taz implores Sting to throw a cheap shot, but Sting doesn’t have that in him at this age. Sting faceplants AJ and then howls for the crowd. They love when he does that! AJ takes a big back body drop and has to fight back up to his feet before he delivers a nice dropkick. AJ goes for a dive, but Sting has the presence of mind to move. Old age and trickery triumphs over youth and strength! Sting goes for the Stinger splash on the floor but eats the guardrail after AJ moves. That had to hurt!
Sting enters the ring again and starts throwing punches and back elbows. He wants the Stinger splash again, but AJ sees it coming and blocks it. Sting goes to the top rope, but AJ brings him down and sets up for a tombstone! Sting turns it around and does one of his own for two count. AJ’s rocked and needs a break. He comes back in with his springboard forearm smash for a two count. That move’s winning matches these days. How weird! AJ goes for his backflip DDT, but Sting turns it around and gives him a Scorpion death drop. The Stinger splash finally connects, along with another Scorpion death drop for a two count. Nothing left to do but the dreaded Scorpion deathlock. Sting slaps it on, but AJ breaks free and the match continues.
AJ tries to go toe to toe with Sting again, but Sting hulks up and drops him with a huge clothesline. Sting sets AJ up for a superplex, but both guys fall off. Rough landing for both, but neither guy wants to stop. AJ does his backflip kick from the outside in, then pins Sting after a springboard 450 splash! AJ should end all of his matches with that. This is the first time Sting lost at Bound at Glory, and I must admit I thought he had it. Each match on this show had a good degree of storytelling behind it, besides Foley vs. Abyss and the opener. Those were both different kinds of train wrecks. I’m pleased to report that every match on this show went for less than 20 minutes, including entrances! As a result, none of these matches had any time to drag. I personally enjoyed the performances of Eric Young, Kurt Angle, and Sting, but I may never do this again. This show was a bitch to find! Until next time, don’t go into a confrontation unless you have some giant backup!