By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Jeff Hardy winning the fan poll didn't come as much of a surprise, and having him pick Bobby Roode as his opponent was logical. I was hoping that having every participant in the Bound For Glory Series in the ring at the same time meant we were going to see a battle royal featuring them all (similar to last year), but no such luck. The post-promo brawl was rather awkward and the segment would have been better off without it going down.
Mr. Anderson def. Joseph Park to Earn 7 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
Given who was involved, I wasn't expecting much from this match, but I was surprised to see Park get as much offense in as he did. It's pretty pathetic that Anderson had to resort to outside interference in order to score the victory, but I guess it could have been worse. Furthermore, I understand it was done to further the story-line between Anderson and D.O.C., who foreshadowed a face turn last week as well.
Austin Aries def. Jay Bradley to Earn 7 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
It was cool to see Bradley call out a former TNA World Heavyweight Champion, which made him look gutsy. Aside from that, there was nothing memorable about this match. It was nice to see Aries pick up the win, but it could be seen coming from a mile away. I don't see Bradley obtaining many points in the Series, but only time will tell.
Daniels def. Hernandez to Earn 7 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
Take what I wrote about the previous two matches and apply that to this bout. It lasted a mere two minutes and was over within a blink of an eye. If anything, I'm glad Daniels went over, as he deserves to highlighted in this year's Series.
Magnus def. Kazarian to Earn 10 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
I'm a big fan of both guys, so it was hard to cheer for either competitor. This is Kazarian's first time in the BFG Series, so I'm glad he's being featured this year. Magnus, on the other hand, has tremendous upside and can very well be a top star in the company down the line if booked correctly. Having him pick up the win via submission was a smart move and I hope this means he'll be one of the final four competitors in the Series when everything is said and done.
Brooke Hogan Addressed the Knockouts Division
Although I didn't enjoy the segment itself, I did like what we got out of it. These sort of segments with all the Knockouts standing in the ring at one time never transcend well on television, so I don't understand why it was done here. Nonetheless, there were a number of things to like about the announcements that were made. Firstly, I'm ecstatic to see ODB and Eric Young finally stripped of the Knockouts Tag Team Championships, which were a joke to begin with and should have been done away with a long time ago. Secondly, Mickie James was once again entertaining and I look forward to her title defense against Velvet Sky next week on Impact Wrestling. Finally, it was announced that we'll be getting a Ladder match between Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim in a few weeks, which is extremely exciting.
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe Fought to a 15 Minute Time Limit (Both Wrestlers Earn 2 Points in the Bound For Glory Series)
While this wasn't necessarily a bad match, we've seen better bouts between the two. It picked up the pace towards the end, but it wasn't as exciting as I expected. I dread the time limit rule, but I guess this was a smart way of not having either guy lose here. AJ Styles' pre-match promo was good, but why not hype ahead of time that he would be speaking? Styles rarely ever talks nowadays and it should be treated like a big deal.
Jeff Hardy def. Bobby Roode to Earn 7 Points in the Bound For Glory Series
These two always work well together, so it was a solid match with a predictable finish. The finish seemed to come out of nowhere, but it was still an enjoyable contest, nonetheless. Much like the other matches on the show, this could have used more time to feel more meaningful. I don't expect Hardy to win the Series, but I have no doubt that he'll be in the top portion of the rankings until the end.
Sting Interrupted TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray
Ray's promo was fine for what it was, but I wish they would fast forward to the point where Brooke Hogan turns heel. They have time to drag it out a bit more, but Ray's promo felt like filler more than anything else. It was awesome to hear the Main Event Mafia entrance music again for the first time in several years. Kurt Angle rejoining the group makes sense since he was one of the original members, but I would rather see the group focus around younger talent. Perhaps that will be the case in coming months.
After last week's incredibly hot show, this week's edition seemed to fall flat. I appreciate the effort in putting the focus on the Bound For Glory Series, but all of the matches were way too short to mean anything. This is just the first round of matches in the Series, so it's understandable that they weren't all that entertaining. Regardless, I look forward to what TNA has in store for the Series and other angles going forward.