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TNA Bound For Glory 2006 Review

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) was over four years old when things started really looking up for the company. After gaining a primetime slot on Spike TV – the home to WWE Raw for half a decade – attaining stars like Christian, Rhino and Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle, TNA hoped to make their version of Wrestlemania something memorable. In the main event, TNA placed the NWA World champion and company founder Jeff Jarrett against a living wrestling icon in Sting. The undercard would feature a tag team Cage match, a Monster’s Brawl, a battle royal, and enough action for you to shake a stick at. But the real question would be if TNA’s Bound For Glory could actually live up to the hype.

 

Bound For Glory

Detroit, MI

October 22, 2006

 

1. Austin Starr won the last eliminating Jay Lethal

2. Team 3D won a Four Way Tag match that included The James Gang, The Naturals, America’s Most Wanted

3. Samoa Joe defeated Raven to win a Monster’s Ball match that included Abyss and Brother Runt

4. Eric Young defeated Larry Zbyszko

5. Chris Sabin defeated Senshi to become the new X-Division champion

6. Christian defeated Rhino in an 8 Mile Street Fight

7. Latin American Exchange defeated AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels to win the NWA World Tag Team title

8. Sting defeated Jeff Jarrett to become the new NWA World champion

 

Right:

One Of These Things Don’t Look Like The Other: Three of the premier teams in TNA at the time and The Naturals were stuck doing pretty much nothing during this time; so TNA threw all of them into one match. The Naturals – who Shane Douglas had taken under his wing in the past few months – tried to take the spotlight, but found themselves being the punching bags for the much more over Team 3D and James Gang as Brother Ray and BJ James stole the show with their Dusty-isms. Things quickly broke down with the tower of doom double triple team occurring and everyone hitting some of their patented maneuvers. The Naturals eventually collided, leaving Andy Douglas open for the 3D so Team 3D could pick up the win.

Following the match, Shane Douglas tried to slap some more toughness into his supposedly franchised Naturals. While the match wasn’t anything truly memorable, the fans loved every short minute of it – especially when Ray and BG were doing their thing. This probably should’ve been the opener to get the fans hot for the rest of the show instead of following the battle royal.

 

A Masked Man, A Bird, A Runt, A Samoan, And A Snake Handler Walk Into A Ring…: To show how crazy this match could and would be, TNA hired Jake “The Snake” Roberts to referee the second annual Monster’s Ball match where TNA put four guys into the ring for a hardcore brawl that would wow a lot of people. It didn’t take long before things went in the direction everyone thought it would as chairs came into play early. Samoa Joe showcased his dominance early, but the craftiness of Raven and strength of Abyss did slow Joe’s momentum after Samoa Joe hit a corkscrew plancha on all three men while landing on his feet.

The action spilled to the floor thanks to Joe’s plancha and Brother Runt being tossed into the crowd before the crowd threw him back. Raven threw Joe through two tables from the ramp to the floor as Abyss and Runt fought on the entrance set. Runt eventually fell off the set onto the stage before Abyss dropped a big elbow that almost crushed Runt. When everything entered the ring again, Father James Mitchell – Abyss’ manager – called for the end by revealing the bag of thumbtacks. Abyss eventually felt the thumbtacks piercing his face when Samoa Joe senton splashed him into the tacks. Jake Roberts finally got involved after being awed by what was occurring in front of him by DDT’ing Raven so Joe could execute the Muscle Buster to win.

While the 2005 version could be considered a better match, this match probably better exemplified what TNA had in mind when they announced the Monster’s Ball encounter on a level of sheer brutality. Not only that, but it helped Joe in his ascension to the top of card by looking so dominant in match featuring a former Heavyweight champion, and hardcore monster and a man consider one of the toughest wrestlers in the last two decades.

 

No More Jackass: To gain some sponsorship money by promoting the then latest Jackass movie, TNA decided to incorporate Jackass-like antics into their shows featuring the X-Division wrestlers because most of them are young, seemingly stupid, and like to hurt themselves out of the ring while making fun of others. But there was one man who didn’t like any of this, and that was the X-Division champion Senshi (formerly Low-Ki). A month prior to this bout, Senshi and Sabin faced off for the title, only for a blowup doll to get involved and ruin everything.

Thankfully, when the bell sounded for “BFG”, both men were all business. As you’d expect from a match featuring Senshi and Sabin, the opening minutes were lightning-fast and hard to keep up with. The majority of Senshi’s initial assault focused on his kicking ability to rock and drop Sabin, but the challenger took opportunity after opportunity to take to the sky and drop the champion with either a clothesline or a dropkick.

As the match wore down, both men were hitting big move after big move off of counters. Senshi locked in the Dragon Clutch, only for Sabin to break free and tornado DDT the champ. The challenger executed a super hurricarana to find Senshi not only had flipped out of the maneuver, but also was in the process of yanking Sabin down to power bomb him into a double stomp. By the closing moments, both men knew they had to go for a knockout blow. Senshi seemingly found his maneuver in the Warrior’s Way double stomp off the top rope, but Sabin – whose heart was beating in unison of his hometown fans – made it to the ropes before Senshi’s follow up pin. Stopping another Dragon Clutch attempt by rolling up Senshi, Sabin became the new X-Division champion seconds later.

Just an incredible, beautiful match between these two that had the crowd bumping from bell to bell. In thirteen minutes, Sabin and Senshi made TNA fans forget about the stupidity the X-Division had been drowning in for the past month-plus, and showcased what the division is all about.

 

8 Mile: Christian and Rhino were best friends. But a con-chair-to to the head of Rhino from Christian changed things. To represent his hometown proud, Rhino challenged his former friend to an 8 Mile Street Fight (not to be confused with a [insert city/nickname] Street Fight). The action started near Christian’s locker room where he cut a promo that was interrupted by Rhino. From the backstage area to behind the entrance stage, these two old pals fought. Somehow they ended up on the top of a zamboni that Rhino used to drive Christian into the arena for their fight in front of the awaiting people. In the aisle stood plastic lampposts that Rhino immediately grabbed in hopes of bashing his old buddy in the head.

The typical garbage brawl ensued when things hit the ring as Christian turned the tides by bashing the white-hot Rhino with a chair. Christian continued the dominance to the disgust of the crowd by busting Rhino open with an “8 Mile Road” street sign. Things took a turn in Rhino’s favor when Christian actually put Rhino in a straightjacket. Instead of being obliterated with his hands tied, Rhino started kicked Christian enough that his rival was down and prone for a headbutt to the groin. Once freed, Rhino looked to unleash the beast by piledriving Christian off the apron through a table before going for the Gore. Showing great heart, Christian not only survived the attack, but also hit his Unprettier finisher to set up a brutal assault that saw Rhino be buried under chairs, a ladder, the street sign and table rubble before Christian slammed a chair over and over Rhino’s metal and wood blanket. Three seconds later and Christian had proven he’s better than Detroit.

While the match was good and highly enjoyable, it could’ve felt a lot more special if Monster’s Ball wasn’t on the card to make it inferior looking from a brutality aspect.

 

Equal Opportunity: The Latin American Exchange of Homicide, Hernandez, and Konnan had been complaining about racial preference running wild in TNA since its birth. Instead of trying to argue their message, LAX planned to beat the white man back before taking their gold. AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels took offence to LAX’s claims, facing off with the tandem over the NWA Tag Team title.

It didn’t take long before the white nights of TNA (pun intended) hit the ring to take it to Homicide and Hernandez. Homicide – who performed one of the most memorable non-planned entrances in TNA history here by scaling to the top of the cage and rocking to his entrance music while holding onto the cage with one arm; sending the crowd into a frenzy – was the first man to institute some illegal tactics into this match where anything went after Hernandez threw AJ into the cage head-first and busted him open. Using his ghetto fork, Homicide not only stabbed AJ’s bleeding head, but also cut Daniels as well. To top that off, Homicide grabbed a bottle of tequila from Konnan, spitting the liquid on Daniels’ cut head. That’s grounds for a beating. And beating is what Daniels and AJ gave Homicide and Hernandez after Daniels hip tossed Homicide off the top rope before tagging out to a hot AJ Styles.

After peppering his opponents with kicks and punches, AJ survived Hernandez’s Tower of Doom power bomb by keeping his spot atop the cage. Diving off, AJ took down Hernandez with a jaw-dropping cross body block. Sadly for the champions, things went downhill quickly after Hernandez recovered and missed his cross body block attempt off of the cage’s apex when Homicide grabbed a coat hanger from Konnan (where was Konnan hiding all of this stuff?) to choke out Daniels before Hernandez clotheslined AJ into the Homicide’s Gringo Killa. Homicide quickly made the cover, becoming one half of the new NWA World Tag Team champions.

Easily the match of the show as The Phenomenal Angels and LAX tore the house down with fifteen minutes of quality, high-paced wrestling. If there’s anything bad that can be said about this one is the fact it could’ve used some of that time from the too long battle royal. It’s just one of those matches you don’t want to see end.

 

Title vs. Career: In the weeks leading up to this match, Sting was coerced by TNA management to come back and take the title from Jeff Jarrett. Samoa Joe stepped up and stole the championship from Jarrett, but was never given a title shot to actually win the belt when everyone wanted him to. Kurt Angle had just signed with TNA, so TNA had to get him on the show (other than the awesome confrontation between Angle and Samoa Joe midway through this event).

Though he came in with a modified outfit and a fire in his eyes, Sting was overwhelmed in the early going by Jeff Jarrett’s simple grappling and big mouth. Sting eventually fired back and the action spilled to the floor where Kurt Angle stopped Jarrett and Sting from using a chair. Not only after Angle’s actions did Jarrett wipe him out so it could come down to the champion and Sting without the fear of Angle stopping what the real referee wouldn’t. Unfortunately for Jarrett, after he and Sting laid each other out with cross body blocks, Angle entered the ring and Olympic Slammed the referee so he could be the real ref for this contest.

The match deteriorated into a battle of the finishers as the crowd sat on the edges of their seats waiting for the crescendo. That moment came when Angle tried to do the right thing by stopping Sting from using Sting’s infamous black baseball bat. The arguing between Angle and Sting allowed Double J to recover and grab his guitar. Smashing the weapon over Sting’s head revealed to Jarrett that he hadn’t dropped Sting like so many others. Sting hulked up, punching Jarrett like a piece of gym equipment before sweeping him into the Scorpion Deathlock for the submission victory and the NWA World title.

This really anything special, but ended the show on a high note where the legend and fan favorite Sting best the dastardly Jeff Jarrett. While the first two title matches blew the main event away, Sting and Jarrett did a great job telling a simple story and kept the crowd invested every step of the way.

 

Wrong:

A Battle Royal By Any Other Name…: So Kevin Nash had gained an interest in the X-Division and felt he could create a star through his latest creation – The Kevin Nash Open Invitational X-Division Battle Royal Gauntlet (which was just a fancy name for a Royal Rumble-style match that would end like a regular match with pin falls and submissions). The match kicked off with the debut/return of Austin “Aries” Starr. Things were looking good as Aries and Sonjay Dutt clashed, but after the first few entrants, the match broke down into a comedy battle royal featuring the likes of A-1 (a jacked up guy who could barely do much in the ring), Sirelda (a female body builder turned wrestler), Short Sleeve Sampson (a midget wrestler known for his time on Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling), and Norman Smiley (who came in just to do the big wiggle with Sampson). By the end of it, the fans were dying as the match wound down, and the big moment of Starr winning after surviving the entire match was lost on the now apathetic fans who didn’t care about the drama starting between Starr, Nash, and Nash’s boy Alex Shelley – who is from Detroit and when eliminated really soured the crowd. This could’ve been nice to follow something like the Monster’s Ball or Christian-Rhino instead of opening the show with the hometown boy losing.

 

Fire Larry: Eric Young started a mission in 2006 to not get fired. The fans took to Young’s character and had Larry Zbyszko actually fire Young. Young, with the fans’ support, started a crusade to get his job back. So to get his job back, Young had to face the former World champion whose job was also on the line. They have this old school match that would usually last for at least twenty minutes summarized in three and a half as Young knocked out Larry Z with Larry’s own foreign object. The fans reacted strongly because they loved Young back then, but it was just a waste of pay-per-view time that could’ve been used for more important matches.

 

Is It A Classic: TNA promoted this show as the biggest show of the year for the company, but featured a lot of throwaway bouts that really didn’t deserve to be on this show. It actually felt like TNA took the original Wrestlemania model where only two or three matches actually meant something and the rest was filler. But the stuff that does mean something is actually very good. The title matches all fill a niche and deliver in their own way (with the X-Division and Tag Team title matches stealing the show). Monster’s Ball and Christian-Rhino also does a good job in their positions. While this show doesn’t live up to the hype of being one of the biggest events in TNA history, it’s a very good show where only a third of show is passable while the rest is very enjoyable.

 

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