Impact Wrestling’s biggest event of the year emanated from Chicago this evening for the 15th incarnation of Bound For Glory. This event held significance on a multitude of levels for Impact Wrestling as they continue to push to remain relevant in what is becoming an ever crowded pro wrestling landscape with the emergence of AEW. Additionally, this was Impact’s final event before their debut on AXS TV after spending the past year on Pursuit Channel. While I’m happy to see they continue to maintain a network deal, this move will make it more difficult for their fan base to access their weekly program as it is mostly limited to satellite TV providers. The card was stacked this evening as it provided a healthy mix of young, lesser known talent, some WWE outcasts, and several ECW originals while all titles were contested.
Call Your Shot 20-Person Gauntlet Match
Winner: Eddie Edwards
This match began with Eddie Edwards and Adam Thornstowe of Reno Scum. Every minute another competitor entered and would need to be thrown over the top rope in order to be eliminated. The final competitor would have the opportunity at the title of his or her choice. In addition to many Impact Wrestling regulars, there were many surprises including Swoggle (who made his entrance as he chased Johnny Swinger, another blast from the past, from below the ring), Sabu, Tommy Dreamer (not really a surprise but the Innovator of Violence needed a mention in the article), former AEW star Kylie Rae, and the newly signed Joey Ryan. The exhilarating opening contest came down to a final four of Madman Fulton, Mahabali Shera, Eddie Edwards, and Fallah Bahh. Bahh was quickly eliminated by Shera and then Edwards caught Fulton off guard and knocked him over the top rope to bring us to the last two men standing. Once this occurred the match became a standard one on one contest. Edwards made short work of Shera as he executed the Boston Knee Party for the pinfall victory.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Taya Valkyrie (c) w/ John E. Bravo
Winner: Taya Valkyrie via pinfall
Despite the noticeable and unexplained departure of her husband Johnny Impact amid rumors he’s signed with WWE, Valkyrie has continued her reign of dominance with former referee John E. Bravo (Johnny Bravo) in tow. This evening she defended her title against Tenille Dashwood (formerly known as Emma in WWE) who made her surprising debut recently instead of signing with AEW. In the closing moments, Dashwood hit the Spotlight, however, her pinfall attempt was thwarted by Bravo who dragged the champ to the ropes for the break. After Bravo was ejected from ringside, Dashwood attempted another Spotlight to no avail as Valkyrie was able to trap her in the Road to Valhalla for the pinfall.
Impact Tag Team Championship
Rob Van Dam & Rhino vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. The North (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page)
Winners: The North
As this frenetically paced match began to wind down, RVD and Rhino seemed poised to solidify a victory. Rhino was squared up in the corner prepared to execute a Gore as RVD shocked the crowd and super kicked him in the face. RVD then laid waste to Mack and Swann as he delivered super kicks to them as well and proceeded to exit the arena. This allowed Alexander to hoist Swann up in a fireman’s carry and propelled him into the arms of Page who power bombed him to set up the pinfall.
Marufugi vs. Michael Elgin
Winner: Michael Elgin
Japanese legend Marufugi of Pro Wrestling NOAH squared off with Michael Elgin who made a name for himself in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor. Michael Elgin greatly impressed in this bout with his surprising high flying ability mixed in with the strong style focus of the match. Marufugi displayed great resilience as he withstood multiple buckle bombs and a Splash Mountain Bomb to answer with several onslaughts of vicious knee strikes. The conclusion of this match arrived after Elgin executed yet another buckle bomb followed by an inverted Death Valley Driver for the victory.
5-person X-Division Ladder Match
Tessa Blanchard vs. Ace Austin vs. Acey Romero vs. Daga vs. Jake Crist (c)
Winner: Ace Austin
Yes, you read that participant list correctly, Tessa Blanchard after weeks of feuding with OVE, was a contestant in this bout. In the closing moments, Tessa and Jake Crist scaled the ladder simultaneously. As the two jockeyed for position at the top of the ladder, Tessa propelled Crist off of the ladder and through a table. As Tessa had the belt at her fingertips, Ace Austin jumped to the ladder from the ropes with his baton in hand and struck Tessa in the head causing her to fall from the ladder. This action left Austin unopposed as he retrieved the title to become the new X-Division Champion.
Ken Shamrock vs. Moose
Winner: Moose via pinfall
55-year old Ken Shamrock came out absolutely shredded and did not look anywhere near his age physique-wise. Shamrock was in line to finish off Moose several times, however, Frank Trigg who was in Moose’s corner proved to be the difference. Trigg drew the attention of Shamrock and the referee several times and even removed one of the turnbuckle covers exposing the dreaded steel beneath. Moose managed to withstand multiple ankle lock submission attempts and finally drove Shamrock into the exposed turnbuckle busting him open. This supplied Moose the opening he needed to land the spear and cover The World’s Most Dangerous Man for a hollow victory.
Impact World Championship
Brian Cage (c) vs. Sami Callihan
Winner: Brian Cage via pinfall
There were plenty of narratives leading into this contest. After months injured at home, Cage made his return to Impact several weeks ago to propose to and subsequently marry Melissa Santos. On the edition of Impact where the two tied the knot, Callihan struck Santos in the head with a champagne bottle intended for Cage. Then to make matters worse, Callihan and OVE handcuffed Cage to the ropes on the most recent episode of Impact and let him watch as his wife was the recipient of a Cactus Special. Needless to say, this bout was full of pure, unadulterated violence. The bout reached it’s conclusion shortly after Callihan introduced a bag of tacks to the fray. Callihan delivered a Cactus Special that Cage kicked out of following a one count and proceeded to destroy “The Draw.” First, he power bombed Callihan onto the tacks and immediately followed up with a Drill Claw for the pinfall.
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