Re: Official TNA DVD Help/Discussion/Review Thread
Just finished watching Bound for Glory 2011. I was so excited to buy this; probably my most anticipated DVD of the past few months. Amazingly, Best Buy is not carrying this one at all. I had to troop all the way out to FYE to pick it up, but it was well worth the trip. My review:
X Division Championship: Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick
While I do think TNA should find alternatives for their openers besides this and the tag titles, I can't deny that this match was awesome. The crowd was hot for Aries, and this one was innovative and exciting. A rematch of a match from the ppv a month earlier probably shouldn't have been on the biggest TNA card of the year, but they made it special, which is alll that really matters. Despite my gripes, this felt special, and it was a great opener.
Full Metal Mayhem: Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
As glad as I am that the match actually happened, this was just weak. RVD and Lynn had some amazing matches in '99-'01, and their match at Destination X was actually quite good, but this felt like a failed "greatest hits" collection. The feud was nearly identical to the one with Styles/Daniels, and they didn't really show the necessary hate. It just felt like a ladder match exhibition. There were some cool, painful looking spots, and the pace never up, but there were also some botches, and none of the moves really had any impact. The two matches RVD had with Abyss last year were surprisingly more entertaining. Even stranger, after the highlights, we see RVD and Lynn hugging, as if it was just an exhibition all along, completely ignoring the storyline. My advice: ignore the storyline, watch the match, and take it as a solid ECW-reunion show match, with nothing really behind it. It's in Philly, so that helps.
Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe vs. Crimson
Joe has lost his edge, Morgan sucks, and Crimson is still green. The feud was okay, but this match reminded me of Batista/Umaga at WM XXIV: went on third at the biggest show for the company, ran 7 minutes long, and despite a little potential, kinda sucked. Nothing interesting here, and the finish is awkward. Not terrible, really, but nothing worth rewatching.
Philadelphia Street Fight: Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray
This match was a blast. Take the two biggest loudmouths in TNA, give them weapons, put them in Philly, and let er rip. The pace never let up on this one, and the weapons spots were quite innnovative. I felt the pain of a lot of spots, it seemed like it could go either way, and even though Anderson overshot the finish, he made up for it, which was great. Bully Ray had the best TNA match of the year (vs. Styles at Slammiversary), stole the show at Genesis recently (against Abyss), and stole the show here. A really fun match. Ray should stay one of the top heels. He gets nuclear heat, has great matches, and puts guys over nicely.
KO Title: Winter vs. Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne
This really just seemed like 8 1/2 minutes of women screaming at each other, while nothing happened. The crowd was dead, the action was nearly nonexistent, and it was ridiculously overlong. This BS would have been forgivable at 3 1/2 minutes, but to get more time than Samoa Joe, while the match itself just eternal, was a waste.
"I Quit" Match: AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
The "I Quit" stipulation sets up wrestlers to fail. It, by nature, slows the pace of a match, becomes repetitive, and is ultimately very difficult to pull of well. As interesting an idea as it is to put two high-flying, legitimate wrestlers in a slow-paced brawl, it's also a risky one. Even worse is that Styles and Daniels have had multiple classics: the two Iron Man matches in 2005 (in addition to the triple-threats with Joe), a nice whc match in 2009, and a solid exhibition in 2011. They had faced each other two many times, had their best matches behind them, and were each other's "safe" opponent. Despite that, though, I very much enjoyed this.
The weapons spots were distributed nicely, there was some good high-flying, but both guys played their roles well. It was by no means a classic, and probably not as good as it could have been, but I actually enjoyed the end, too. Styles makes a cinematic comeback, goes to kill Daniels with the screwdriver, and in classic heel fashion, Daniels says I Quit, and Styles celebrates. It was better than everyone said, but I understand the criticisms, and I liked the post-match, too. It had Daniels looking smarter for having survived AJ's threat and the final attack, while AJ got the win. Shame the feud never continued into an "ultimate" confrontation. This badly warranted a mega blowoff LMS at the next ppv.
Sting vs. Hulk Hogan
Nothing I can say about the buildup to this match that I haven't already said before, I can only comment on the match and the aftermath. After a year-and-a-half of anticipation, this was about as good as I could have hoped, maybe a little bit better, maybe a bit worse. I was so relieved when Hogan came out wearing kneepads and had his fists taped, I knew this would be an actual in-ring contest. I also loved how he wore street clothes to suggest that it was a fight. Hogan starting to box and then stopping to invite Flair out was great. Dixie getting pissed, the crowd reaction, Hogan laughing maniacally, it set the tone.
The match itself. Not great, but not awful, either. Sting bumped around like the loon, got busted open, made a comeback, busted open Hogan, and got the win. I honestly expected WAY more overbooking, so I give them a lot of credit for not relying on ref bumps, interference, weapons, brawling through the credit, etc. They didn't take any short-cuts. I would have liked to see a little more back and forth, instead of just a comeback and a victory. I honestly think they could have gone an extra couple of minutes at the end, to add a little suspense, but given Hogan's multiple back surgeries, age, already limited move-set, and Sting's age, I give them both a lot of credit. Hogan took a few bumps, which was unexpected, bled like crazy, and once again put over Sting clean. For Hogan to make his singles debut in TNA, on ppv, in his first ppv match in five years, to lose cleanly, was a surprise.
The aftermath, of course, was worthy of a WrestleMania. Sting getting killed, crawling over to Hogan in the corner, who was bloodied and bruised himself, pleading "help me," while Hogan was trying to ignore him, was something out of a great movie. Thank GOD for the crowd on this one. Philly made the match passable and the aftermath amazing. Without it, I don't know how it would have played. Definitely not as well. Hogan finally listening to the crowd, having an epiphane, and coming to Sting's aid was great. I also love how Immortal repositioned themselves, and found themselves right in the middle of Hulk Hogan and Sting. Only gripe: why did Immortal attack Hogan first? Was it simply because he hulked up and they already knew? No biggie, since I can rationalize it.
As decent enough a match as we could have expected, surprisingly moderate in booking, and a great aftermath.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Bobby Roode
This is probably the best main event you could get after such a huge, draining main event in Hogan/Sting. Look at HHH/Jericho after Hogan/Rock, HHH/Orton after UT/HBK, or Miz/Cena after HHH/UT. All of those main events had completely dead crowds after the huge match that preceded, but were also to blame themselves for not being that great.
Angle/Roode, despite following Hogan/Sting, is actually a good match, one that probably would have gotten the crowd a lot more involved on a different card.
I think the problem with the match was that it was all too much, too soon. The idea of Roode being a main-eventer was a relatively new one, unlike the BFG main events from every year prior. The buildup paled in comparison to Hogan/Sting, and the match itself might have been too fast-paced for its own good. At WrestleMania recently (22-25 specifically), they had a fast-paced world title match (Angle/Mysterio/Orton, UT/Batista, Orton/Cena/HHH, Cena/Edge/Big Show), and a slower-paced "BIG" main event (Cena/HHH, HBK/Cena, UT/Edge, and HHH/Orton). A match this quick would have been better earlier on. Main events should take their time, milk the crowd, feel BIG. At 14 minutes and going by in a flash, the problem with this match is that it just whisked by, which is good and bad.
The match itself is a blast. Roode looks great, Angle takes some great hits, they constantly go for their finishers (which does get tedious after a while), the pace never lets up, and there's quite a few nearfalls. The great gets up for some stuff, which shows how hard they were working, and there were some really awesome counters. I honestly think they should have just spent another 5 minutes building the match at the beginning, give the crowd some time, so that the end could be built up.
The ending is a bit awkward, yes, but it was a dirty enough finish to build some credibility for Roode. He went toe-to-toe with one of the best in the business, and proved himself. Considering how his build came out of nowhere, I was relieved to see him lose, and in dirty fashion, but after a good match. I think the ref fucked up the pin, which is what made it really awkward, but the back and forth leading up to the end was very suspensful.
It also bookended the show nicely. The opener and main event saw the heels retain the titles, while every match in the middle so the faces go over (RVD, Crimson, Anderson, Velvet, Styles, Sting).
All in all, this a damn good show. BFG has always been strong showing for TNA (save for '09, which was shockingly disappointing), and the Hogan/Bischoff BFGs have been very entertaining. What I liked about the card was that, despite the problem with the idea, it was like a "greatest hits" compliation. You have the best of ECW (RVD/Lynn), the best WCW/WWF (Sting/Hogan), and the best of TNA (Styles/Daniels), while introducing new faces to the scene (Aries, Kendrick, Crimson, Morgan, Roode, etc.
What BFG really lacked, and continues to lack, is a show-stealer. WrestleMania, of course, had Shawn Michaels, but had show-stealing matches that didn't involvolve HBK (HHH/UT, UT/Batista, Edge/Foley, Rock/Austin II and III). BFG has had Styles/Daniels Iron Man match, Angle/Sting, Angle/Jarrett, and to me, that was it. The past three have lacked that amazing, exhaustive, 20+ classic that FEELs huge.
There was just a lot of solid to pretty good on this card, with a ***3/4 being the highest-rated. Anderson/Ray should not have been the highest rated, the highest rated should have been Angle/Roode or Styles/Daniels. The main events shouldn't have been just solid, not for a show this big.
But either way, there is still a lot to recommend, which is all that really matters. Aries/Kendrick, Anderson/Ray, Styles/Daniels, Sting/Hogan, and Angle/Roode are worth watching, I just wish I could say that they were must-see.
Favorite Matches of All Time
1. Triple-Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit - WrestleMania XX
2. Career Threatening Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair - WrestleMania XXIV
3. WWE Championship: John Cena vs. CM Punk - Money in the Bank 2011
4. No Holds Barred Match: The Undertaker vs. Triple H - WrestleMania XXVII
5. WWF Championship: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior - WrestleMania VI