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Bound For Glory is TNA’s Make-or-Break Moment

Can TNA move on from Eric Bischoff & Hulk Hogan?

TNA likes to say that Bound For Glory is where careers are made & defined in the company’s history. In October of 2013, it is Bound For Glory that will determine the future of TNA as an organization. A successful event will help the company rebound for a 2014 campaign. If the event is a failure, it will bring a financially-impacted organization one step closer to collapse.

On paper, the matches on the card are pretty damn respectable. I’ve never had a problem trusting the TNA wrestlers doing their thing when management gets out of the way. However, the whole story on TNA’s history has been all about management screwing over wrestlers. You don’t need a Heel Authority character on television to screw over the talent.

I watched Thursday’s Impact show from the mindset of a first-time viewer. So, there’s a PPV on Sunday in San Diego. The main event is AJ Styles vs. Bully Ray for the TNA title. Dixie Carter wants to be the central heel character on television. Why? I’m not sure. She wants to get rid of AJ Styles. Why? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is Styles is the top babyface and Ray is the top heel. At least that makes sense. They have many options as far as an outcome, although most of them aren’t very good. And apparently writing Dixie Carter out of the limelight is off the table, given that her “nephew” Ethan Carter III is now going to be a regular on the TNA roster. You see, he wants to make “Aunt D” proud.

So, with Dixie hanging around, it would seem to make the most sense that she screws over Styles to help Ray keep his title. Or Styles wins the belt, tries to “make her pay” and ends up getting punked by her version of a golden boy, which could be Ethan Carter III. For Dixie Carter, the joy ride continues but how she handles the main event really will be a telling sign about the future of TNA as a wrestling company. It means that much.

The promo work between Styles & Ray on the go-home show was fascinating. I’m not sure if I would call it great but definitely a nice change of pace from all the unimaginative scripted BS we see on wrestling TV shows today. Ray respects wrestling history & is a mark for it. So is AJ Styles. I’ll take genuine but flawed promo work over perfect but soulless any day of the week for a traditional wrestling feud. Although I have to say that it was a little weird seeing AJ Styles take Dixie’s briefcase with $50,000 dollars in it and chuck the money at her while pointing at Bully Ray’s TNA title and stating, “That’s going to put food on my kid’s table.” Stealing Dixie’s $50,000 would do the same, too.

The semi-main event will feature Sting, the veteran, trying to put over his understudy, Magnus. I guess Magnus is getting the reverse Kazuchika Okada treatment here. Okada was viewed as New Japan’s can’t-miss project and TNA views Magnus the same way, only as a babyface. Will it work? This is another match where the finish has to be delicately booked or else a lot of time will have been wasted trying to prop up a new star only to take the legs out from underneath him. It’s not Sting’s wisdom that I question in this match but rather management’s wisdom to do the right thing. On Thursday’s TV show, the company attempted to combine the top two Bound for Glory storylines by having Magnus vs. Bully Ray with Sting’s interference backfiring.

Kurt Angle, returning from a stint in rehab, will face off against Bobby Roode. Angle even gave Roode a visual submission on the go-home Impact show when they confronted each other. Again, another PPV match where how the finish is booked will mean a lot to TNA’s future in 2014. They need to push Roode and push him hard. However, that’s not the short-term feel good moment and it doesn’t feel like that is going to happen here. The easy path is to put Angle over after and get that feel-good applause from the San Diego crowd.

There’s an “All Star” 5-way spot-fest X Division match involving Manik, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy, and Chris Sabin. First’s thing first — this match will deliver. The fans will love it. The wrestlers will all work hard. The correct move would involve Aries going over and getting a revitalized push. I don’t know if that will happen. Again, another match that looks great on paper where booking the outcome really will be important.

One thing that should be duly noted — the last three months for Chris Sabin has been a hell of a deal. To go from wrestling Austin Aries in a classic match to winning the TNA title from Bully Ray to dropping it a month later in a steel cage match to now basically being a comedy chicken heel in a mid-card match must be horribly frustrating. If you want the poster boy for schizophrenic TNA booking, Chris Sabin is your guy. Sabin should be a top leader in the company but he’s not.

To round out the PPV card, there will be a three-way women’s match between ODB, Gail Kim, and Brooke Tessmacher. James Storm & Gunner will defend the TNA tag titles against a mystery team to be announced on the pre-game Bound for Glory show on Spike TV. When will new-age bookers learn that promising ‘surprises’ for low or mid-card PPV matches never draws a buy and only goes against what you’re trying to accomplish?

The biggest takeaway from Thursday’s go-home Impact show is that the talent is still there on the roster to really do some good things. There’s still a chance for resuscitation of TNA in 2014. However, the owner is too busy watching RAW and copying what she sees on WWE TV weekly in order to imitate it on her own show while she’s reportedly financially losing a lot of money. TNA should be the alternative to WWE, not an upgraded version of NXT. It is so vitally important to have a second major wrestling company in the American industry. When WCW and WWE were battling each other, there were over 12 million wrestling fans watching either or both leagues each week. When WCW collapsed and WWE took over the assets, over 75% of that audience faded away and WWE was left with 3 million viewers a week. When there are less organizations, the size of the wrestling audience contracts. TNA still has a chance to represent what’s good about being an alternative to WWE. The problem? They have to start acting like grown ups and management is seemingly incapable of it. This Sunday’s Bound for Glory card is truly a make-or-break moment for TNA as a company. On paper, everything is set up to succeed. Will TNA grasp defeat from the jaws of possible victory again?

“Creating opportunities and making people rich, that, that is what I do best.”

You can’t make others rich forever, Dixie, if you aren’t in business and making a profit.

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  • MMAsuperfan123

    If only there was value in TNA, Vince would probably buy them out

  • puckdinah1

    The only thing I’m looking forward to here is the X-Division 5 way-match…apart from that, a bit of a snorefest.

  • TomClarke01

    Oh god they still do TNA. The last time I watched a Pay-Per-View of theirs Hogan faced Sting and couldn’t perform Leg Drops.

    • TrollNonstopAction

      So? That was two years ago. Sting can still have a match, especially against a good young wrestler like Magnus. Hogan can’t. That’s why he isn’t in a wrestling ring anymore.

  • TheHotDogKing1

    I always thought Ric Flair was going to die in the middle of the ring one day. I think there’s more of a chance this will happen to Angle now.

  • Trey Doss

    why the hell isnt kenny king involved in the ultimate x match?

  • smark killer

    what a smart mark written article!

  • CatchWrestler1

    Over the years TNA has not been so terrible, remember when they first rose as NWA/TNA, it was pretty great – you had AJ Styles, America’s Most Wanted, Michael Shane, Chris Sabin…there was real talent there. Their demise is strictly based on guys like Hogan, Nash, Jarrett and Sting, who did not really need to step aside, but they needed to put the young guys over and that just did not happen. Look at how Vince does it…HBK, Triple H, Taker, The Rock…they all lost to prospects at the time like Orton, Lesnar, Cena and that really helps your company grow.

  • jcice13

    I don’t think it really matters who wins the title, TNA isn’t going to get out of its own way just because of this ONE main event, it’s just ridiculous to assume that management is going to make this drastic 180 degree turn and become great writers and bookers with compelling story lines. some here recently mused why brie bella wasn’t getting too much fan reaction from the crowds, and said it was because people see her as she was, a little bitchy heel character and they don’t trust her in a face role..well why would anyone think that TNA is just going to flick a switch and become well done? I feel bad for the wrestlers, they have a really solid group and they deserve much better, but from the top all the way to the announcing this group holds back every single performer I’d like to see a good show but how can I when I she dixie mcmahon helmsley in the ring?

  • Hamze El Haj

    I believe that TNA won’t last long, but also i don’t it’ll fall. they have been delivering this bad product for almost two years now, and they still draw one million viewers a week for the impact wrestling. TNA’s future doesnt depend on this PPV, it depends on how much Dexie’s daddy has left to pay for this failing company. It’ll probably last till Feb. 2014 or something like that but then will fall big time. i believe Vince will try to get a deal to buy this falling company soon because he’d love to own the contracts of wrestlers like Sting and Styles (Styles would be hotter than DB if he were to come to WWE). whatever happens, TNA will go down in history as the worst wrestling foundation that had the chance to go overseas.

    • jcice13

      you don’t make any logic..if TNA goes under why would vince have to worry about buying it for the contracts when there won’t be any contracts to be bought,all the wrestlers would be free right to negotiate anywhere they choose and vince good just cherry pick whoever he wanted and no way styles would be hotter than bryan, have you seen DB’s crowd reaction??? think you went a little overboard there bro

    • JH

      Even at AJ’s peak he could never come close to being as hot as Daniel Bryan is, and has been since 2011. AJ is boring, he’s a solid worker in the ring but he has zero charisma, and zero promo skills. If he had half the ability of Daniel Bryan TNA wouldn’t be canceling live events for poor ticket sales. Its great to think your favorite guy in one place would do well in the WWE, but you can’t overlook the fact that he’s never been able to put asses in seats the way the top guys in WWE do.

      • Hamze El Haj

        Guys i was just trying how the commenting thing goes :p i don’t even watch TNA :p it sucks to be honest so i wrote what came to my mind and i for sure know nothing is logical

      • jcice13

        oh they’d still be canceling shows, because there are guys in the company that have wayyy better mic skills and promo skills and charisma than AJ and a lot of them wrestle as good if not better than him, and yet shows are being canceled left and right

  • Tsall13

    Ummmm sorry to burst your bubble on this waste of an article but what makes or breaks a company is revenue and PPV sales are a big part of that so to make it very clear to you and anyone else who thinks TNA will survive past 2014… IT’S OVER FOR THEM… no matter the outcomes of any of these matches it won’t matter at all if they don’t sell a high enough number of BFG sales or any of their 4 worthless PPVS which in the past they haven’t drawn over 25000 buys a piece which doesn’t even cover Hogans ridiculous contract… every match can deliver and every outcome can turn out the way they should but who’s going to see it to care??? Absolutely no one besides the ones watching it for free via streaming which you are the people who killed TNA but I can’t blame you cause I wouldn’t give a dime to delusional Carter but it’s her fault for not hiring someone to shut down streaming sites like WWE does… they might draw a constant million viewers but not even 1/50 of that orders their garbage… so again outcomes from BFG won’t keep a failing company afloat it needs revenue which they can’t get without sales which they never get… plus they have cancelled events left and right refunding people their money and sponsors have been dropping them through out the years… if released talent has come out and said they can make more money on their own then that speaks volumes on what TNA fans think is a second to WWE promotion… that’s a sign of a dying company not a global company and if Jarret thinks teaming up with Muta is going to help lol well good luck on that failure as well… money bags Carter is pulling the plug on his daughter slowly…

  • Joseph_Rocha

    TNA used to be alright…now I can’t stay on their channel for more than 20 minutes…it’s really terrible

  • JH

    TNA still has a tv deal, and are that channels highest rated programming, that’s plenty to sustain them, however they should strongly consider getting rid of pay per views all together. All the work that goes in to putting on a live pay per view event can’t be worth it for I’m guessing will be a 8-10,000 buy number. The few times I’ve watched TNA this year have been the former pay per view themed episodes, and those have been pretty solid, they should just build on that.

  • jcice13

    the last part didn’t make much sense, because it might be the only thing she’s said that is quasi logical, everyone knows she comes from a rich family and has money, so when she says she can make others rich?? well that’s just a sensible thing to say when in character, she owns the company, she can “pay” anyone what she chooses and wasn’t it said basically because she had just put a 50,000 bounty on AJ?

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