Bound For Glory 2021
Date: October 23, 2021
Location: Sam’s Town Live, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Matt Striker, D’Lo Brown
It’s the biggest night of the year for Impact Wrestling and we have a pretty stacked card. The main event is the battle of Canada as Impact Wrestling World Champion Christian Cage is defending against Josh Alexander. The second biggest match on the card is probably Deonna Purrazzo defending the Knockouts Title against Mickie James in a grudge match. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Digital Media Title: Jordynne Grace vs. Madison Rayne vs. John Skyler vs. Chelsea Green vs. Crazzy Steve vs. Fallah Bahh
One fall to a finish for the inaugural title, which will be defended on online shows, kind of like a modern TV Title (that’s a good thing). Rayne is replacing Tenille Dashwood for reasons that are not clear. Before the bell, we get a countdown clock, showing about 7:40 to go before Bound For Glory, just in case you thought this match might get some substantial time.
Skyler poses in the middle of the ring to start and is promptly beaten down by everyone else. Bahh clears the ring save for Grace, who actually drops him with a running shoulder. A running Vader Bomb gives Grace two but Skyler runs her over. Green knocks Skyler off the top (to a strong reaction), followed by Rayne tornado DDTing Steve. A double stomp crushes Rayne to give Green two but Grace loads her up in a MuscleBuster.
While still holding Green on her shoulder, Grace clotheslines Rayne and then plants Green for two. Grace piles up a bunch of people in the corner, but Bahh throws her in as well for the big running splash. Skyler catches Steve with a super Regal Roll with Green making the save this time. That’s enough for Grace, who picks Skyler up for the Grace Driver for the pin and the title at 5:02.
Rating: D+. This was kind of a mess and they didn’t get much time, which is always a problem in a match like this one. You can only get so far with so many people in the match at the same time, but at least they went with an interesting winner. That being said, the whole point of this was to have people in the ring to warm up the crowd and that went well enough, though it wasn’t exactly quality.
We open with part of a video from a recent Impact, featuring Josh Alexander sitting in the empty stands and talking about what the X-Division Title means to him. He handed the title to his sons and now he can’t wait to do the same thing with the World Title.
Knockouts Tag Team Titles: IInspiration vs. Decay
The debuting IInspiration is defending and Harley Cameron sings them to the ring. We get all of the signature IIconics poses and it’s time for an official introduction. They say they are here to inspire up and strike the hands on hips pose…..so yeah they’re still the same team, minus some of the annoying voices. Rosemary (in orange) scares McKay into the corner to start so Rosemary sideslams Lee for two instead. Havok comes in to scream and hammer away, setting up the Upside Down from Rosemary. That’s enough for Lee to grab a suplex and McKay grabs a quickly broken chinlock.
They take each other down by the hair and it’s back to Havok to crush the IInspiration in the corner. Lee manages to send Havok outside though and it’s McKay coming back in to take over. The bulldog onto McKay’s knee gets two but Rosemary is back with a Scorpion Death Drop. Havok misses a legdrop though and gets sent into the post. That just makes her scream, so she gets sent in again, followed by another posting. Rosemary makes the save but gets sent into McKay’s knee. A sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker combination is enough to give McKay the pin and the titles at 8:58.
Rating: C. The action wasn’t great, but the IInspiration feels SO much bigger than any team that has held the titles since their return (save for maybe Fire N Flava). It isn’t like Rosemary and Havok were some legendary team (with their 98 day reign ending here) so this is the right call. It isn’t a case of Impact bringing in WWE rejects and putting them over, because this is a nice upgrade for the titles.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
Deonna Purrazzo is ready to beat Mickie James, even with Matthew Rehwoldt barred from ringside.
We recap the X-Division Title match for the vacant title. Josh Alexander vacated the title so we have had a series of triple threat matches. Tonight, it’s another triple threat for the title, because modern wrestling law dictates a minimum of triple threat matches.
X-Division Title: Trey Miguel vs. Steve Maclin vs. El Phantasmo
For the vacant title. They all start going in a hurry with Phantasmo dropkicking Maclin to the floor. Miguel adds a kick to the face but Phantasmo breaks up a slingshot dive. Back in and Maclin gets punched into the corner, leaving Miguel to take Phantasmo down into a leglock. Maclin makes a save and Miguel is sent outside, leaving Phantasmo to walk along the top rope into a hurricanrana to drop Maclin again.
Phantasmo rakes both of their backs but Miguel is back in. The comeback lets Maclin knock both of them down again before putting Miguel and Phantasmo in the Tree of Woe. A running shoulder to the ribs hits Phantasmo but Miguel slips away. That’s fine with Maclin, who hits a spear to send a handspringing Miguel through the ropes and out to the floor in a nasty crash, much to the fans’ amazement.
Maclin isn’t done yet and hits big running dives onto both of them for more crashes. It’s Phantasmo up first though with a kick to Maclin’s head to knock him outside, setting up a Lionsault. Miguel takes Phantasmo down though and sends Maclin back inside. That’s about it for Maclin though as he catches a charging Miguel in something close to an AA, with Phantasmo making the save.
Phantasmo isn’t done and sunset bombs Maclin off the top. A super hurricanrana sends Miguel crashing onto Maclin, setting up a top rope splash for two. The fired up Maclin blocks Miguel’s top rope Meteora, only to get kicked in the head for his efforts. That leaves Phantasmo to punch Miguel low….and he hurts his own hand because Miguel is wearing a cup in a smart move. A brainbuster sets up the top rope Meteora for the pin and the title at 13:21.
Rating: B-. It was your run of the mill X-Division three way match, with everyone moving around and multiple cases of two people in the ring with one on the floor. What we got was entertaining though with the right result. Miguel has lost so many times now that there is almost no way he could lose again, so it makes a lot of sense to give him the big win he has been needing for a long time now. Throw in Maclin not taking a fall and this went rather well.
Mickie James knows that Deonna Purrazzo is her toughest challenge to date, but Purrazzo has made this personal. Mickie has been through a lot in recent years and tonight it is about proving that she is still worthy of being a champion.
We recap Heath vs. Violent By Design over Rhino. Violent By Design got Rhino to join the team, perhaps by brainwashing, but then blamed him for losing the Tag Team Titles. Rhino tried to leave but Eric Young wouldn’t let him. Then Heath returned and tried to get Rhino back to the good side, which is what he is gambling on tonight.
Heath vs. Violent By Design
Heath is on his own to start but hopes that Rhino will join him. Joe Doering and Deaner are representing the team here, with Eric Young in their corner. There is no Rhino to start so Heath gets double teamed, which he said he would accept if Rhino didn’t show up. The bell rings and Heath hammers away in the corner but a Doering distraction lets Deaner get in a cheap shot.
The beatdown is on in the corner as the villains start taking turns. Doering grabs the neck crank, setting up a running crossbody for two on Heath. Deaner comes back in so Heath fights back until a double clothesline puts them both down. That brings out Rhino, who takes the tag from Heath so house can be cleaned. The Gore finishes Deaner at 4:57.
Rating: C-. This was little more than an angle instead of a full on match and that’s ok. The whole point here was about having Rhino return to the side of good to save his friend. Somehow Impact managed to make me care about a story involving Rhino, Heath and Eric Young, so they must be doing something right. There was no need to have a long match here as they got to the important part and did it rather well.
We see part of Awesome Kong’s Hall of Fame induction. It’s still weird to hear her speaking as a normal person after so many years of seeing her as a monster.
We recap Jordynne Grace winning the Digital Media Title on the pre-show.
Jordynne Grace is very happy and Rachael Ellering is so happy for her. Ellering is going to win the Call Your Shot gauntlet match, but Moose and W. Morrissey come in to say not so fast.
Video on the Call Your Shot gauntlet match, which is basically a gauntlet match for a Money in the Bank contract.
Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match
There are 20 entrants, with two minute intervals in a battle royal format until the final two have a singles match, with the winner getting a shot at any title any time they choose. Chris Sabin is in at #1 (due to being the last person eliminated from a battle royal) and Rocky Romero (a surprise) is in at #2. They go technical to start with neither being able to get any kind of an advantage. An exchange of armdrags gives us a standoff as Madman Fulton is in at #3, giving Sabin and Romero a joint target.
The clock speeds WAY up and it’s Rohit Raju in at #4 to go after the non-monsters. The mini tag match breaks out until Tasha Steelz is in at #5 as a bit of a wild card. Steelz joins in with the villains to get rid of Romero and it’s Rachael Ellering in at #6 to go after Steelz in a hurry. A bunch of people get rid of Fulton and it’s Savannah Evans in at #7. Sabin and Raju pair off as Ellering goes after Evans and Steelz. Johnny Swinger is in at #8 as Ellering and Evans eliminate each other. That leaves Swinger to hit on Steelz, who takes him down and hammers away instead.
Melina is in at #9 (another surprise) so Swinger shows her the guns. It actually works for a change, as Swinger is ready for her drop down into the splits and sends her face first into the mat. The Demon (as in WCW’s KISS Demon) in is at #10 so Swinger gets a quick autograph, followed by a quick elimination. Brian Myers is in at #11 as these intervals are all over the place. Matt Cardons is in at #12 and goes right at Myers due to the laws of the wrestling world.
More brawling against the ropes ensues and it’s Laredo Kid in at #13. A handspring DDT hits Raju as Myers dumps Melina and Steelz to clear the ring a bit. The ring is filled up a bit more though as Sam Beale is in at #14 and goes after Cardona (on Myers’ orders of course). Rich Swann is in at #15 and strikes away at Myers and Beale. Myers gets in a shot of his own but Beale tosses him out to a pretty big reaction. Ace Austin is in at #16 and kicks the Demon in the face, setting up the elimination, because the Demon was still in the match for some reason.
Moose is in at #17 and powerbombs Beale out in a huge crash. Eddie Edwards is in at #18 and there goes Kid. Moose gets kicked outside without an elimination, where he pulls Eddie out, also without an elimination. Alisha Edwards is in at #19 and it’s a family kendo stick beatdown on Moose. W. Morrissey is in at #20 (meaning we had 18 entrants in less than 20 minutes), giving us Sabin, Raju, Cardona, Swann, Austin, Moose, Eddie Edwards, Alisha Edwards and Morrissey as the final grouping.
Morrissey tosses out Alisha and then kicks Eddie out, meaning it’s time for the alliance with Moose. Raju wants to join them but joins the Edwards on the floor instead. Sabin dumps Ace Austin so here is Madman Fulton to attack Sabin, allowing Moose and Morrissey to get rid of him too. We’re down to Moose, Morrissey, Cardona and Swann so everyone takes a corner. Morrissey goes to get rid of Swann but Moose dumps both of them, leaving us with Cardona vs. Moose in a regular singles match. Cardona swings away and hits the Future Endeavored, only to miss Radio Silence. Moose spears him down for the pin at 29:38.
Rating: C-. They were flying through this one and your mileage may vary on that part. The bigger issue here was how fast people were coming in, as there wasn’t time to do much in between. It does help that there were multiple possible winners and they didn’t waste time once it was down to one on one. This could have been shortened a good bit though and the longer time is what holds it back a lot.
Heath says Rhino was running a little late tonight but Heath knew he would be there. Rhino thanks Heath for never giving up and wants Heath to tell his kids that Uncle Rhino is back. Heath: “Hey kids Uncle Rhino is back!”. Well he did what Rhino asked.
The Good Brothers aren’t happy with having to defend against two teams.
Tag Team Titles: Good Brothers vs. Bullet Club vs. FinJuice
The Brothers are defending after the other teams went to a double pin. For some clarity, this is Doc Gallows/Karl Anderson vs. Chris Bey/Hikuleo vs. David Finlay/Juice Robinson. Bey and Finlay fight over arm control to start and trade armdrags to keep up the pace. That means an early standoff until Bey flips into a dropkick to cut him off. Robinson comes in to start in on Bey’s arm and the Swanton off of the shoulders crushes Bey again.
It’s off to Gallows vs. Hikuleo for the big power showdown though and the slugout is on in a hurry. They collide with neither getting the better of things so Gallows powers him into the corner. Bey comes in and gets dragged into the Brothers’ corner, but some rapid fire tags leave us with Hikuleo sending Finlay into the vacant corner. A delayed vertical suplex gets two on Finlay and we hit the chinlock.
That’s broken up and Hikuleo misses a running boot in the corner. Robinson comes in and starts cleaning house, including the big shot to Bey’s head for two. Everything breaks down and it’s a six way knockdown for a breather. Robinson is up first with the Cannonball to Bey and the PowerPlex connects, only to have Anderson steal the retaining pin at 9:55.
Rating: C-. I believe the term you’re looking for here is erg, as not only do the Good Brothers retain the titles but they did so in the most cliched triple threat ending possible. The action was good enough, but the match was kind of slow and it was nothing we haven’t seen before. The ending made me roll my eyes hard though and that’s not how you should feel about a major match.
Minoru Suzuki is still coming.
Christian Cage knows Josh Alexander has sacrificed a lot to get here, but Cage has too. He gave up everything to come here, then worked hard to come back after a seven year retirement. Tonight, he isn’t giving up the title without a fight.
We recap Mickie James vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts Title. James is back and wants to prove she still has it, so she is going after Purrazzo’s championship. This has turned into a personal issue so it is time for the showdown for the title and revenge/respect.
Knockouts Title: Mickie James vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Mickie is challenging and is in full on cowgirl gear here, while Purrazzo appears to be some kind of royalty. Purrazzo gets knocked outside before the bell and Mickie hits the Thesz press off the apron to hammer away. They fight up the ramp as Striker lists off various legends in women’s wrestling history. Purrazzo takes it back to the floor and kicks Mickie in the face to put her down at ringside.
Back inside and we get the opening bell with Mickie getting stomped down in the corner to keep her in trouble. A lot of stomping puts Mickie on the floor but she scores with an elbow to the face back inside. Something like a powerbomb gets Purrazzo out of trouble though and Mickie is right back down. They trade crossbodies and it’s a double knockdown as a few fans think this is awesome.
Mickie gets the better of a slugout and hits something like a Regal Cutter. The top rope Thesz press gives Mickie two, followed by the MickieDT for the same, with Purrazzo getting in the ropes for the save. Purrazzo sends her into the corner and grabs the Fujiwara armbar, sending Mickie into the ropes this time.
The Queen’s Gambit gives Purrazzo two and she isn’t happy with the kickout. Purrazzo goes outside for a chair, allowing Mickie to go back up. The top rope Thesz press hits the referee by mistake, so Mickie gets in a chair shot of her own for two. Purrazzo catches Mickie on top with the Fujiwara armbar but Mickie slips out again. This time it’s the tornado DDT to plant Purrazzo for the pin and the title at 13:18.
Rating: B. This was about the big moment in the end but it helps that they also had a heck of a match. Mickie can still go in the ring and works well with anyone, which works even better if she is in the ring with someone as good as Purrazzo. I’m not sure how long James will hold the title, but it was cool to see her win here, as she certainly still has it.
Hard To Kill is in Dallas on January 8.
We recap Josh Alexander vs. Christian Cage for the Impact Wrestling World Title. Cage won the title from Kenny Omega in AEW to get back to the top of the mountain after a seven year retirement. At the same time, Alexander was the unstoppable X-Division Champion who cashed in his title to get a shot at the World Title here, via Option C. Alexander wants to prove himself against someone he watched for years, while Christian wants to prove that he is still at the top of the mountain.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Christian Cage vs. Josh Alexander
Alexander is challenging. Feeling out process to start and they lock up to shove each other around. Christian takes him to the mat and grabs a headlock as Striker talks about drums. Alexander catches him up top and gets in a big shove to the floor as things get a bit more physical. Back in and Christian has to backdrop his way out of a double underhook and they’re right back on the floor.
Alexander gets sent into the barricade and it’s right back inside where Christian grinds him down again. This time Alexander comes up with a wristlock, only to get sent into the corner for two. Christian strikes away in the corner but Alexander flips it around and hits him in the face. A release German suplex into the corner rocks Christian hard (that looked painful) and a running big boot puts him down again.
Christian punches his way out of a powerbomb attempt but Alexander drops him down for two more. It’s too early for the ankle lock though as Christian kicks the leg out and puts on a choke. Alexander backflips his way to freedom and the middle rope knee to the back of the head gets two. Christian is back up with a tornado DDT (Striker: “Geez.”) but Alexander pulls him down into a Crossface.
We keep up the Canadian violence with a Sharpshooter but Christian makes the rope in a hurry. Alexander misses a moonsault and gets speared down for two, meaning it’s a double breather. The Killswitch is broken up so Christian snaps the back of Alexander’s neck over the top rope. The frog splash gives Christian two but he misses a charge into the post and gets caught in the ankle lock. Alexander cranks away to keep Christian in the middle and the gets really clever by stepping onto Christian’s hand to hold him in place. That’s too much for Christian, who taps out to make Alexander champion at 18:57.
Rating: B+. They had an awesome match here with a great story throughout, as Christian was doing his best but got reeled in by Alexander. The ending was about Christian getting trapped by a submission machine as Alexander was just the better man. Alexander also knew what Christian would be trying because he has watched Christian for so many years. This was a heck of a main event and felt like a true passing of the torch, which is exactly what it should have been.
Alexander’s family gets in the ring to celebrate with him…and here’s Moose to cash in.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Moose vs. Josh Alexander
Moose is challenging and hits the spear for the pin and the title at 7 seconds, because Money in the Bank is the greatest idea in the world and must be copied as often as possible.
Overall Rating: C+. The ending really brought this down, as it felt like something out of the old school TNA days. It came off like they were going for shock value instead of the happy ending. Moose winning the title is a good thing, but it took away from a nice moment. Alexander vs. Moose will be good stuff, but egads this was frustrating and that is something Impact has avoided in recent months. I didn’t hate the ending, but I certainly didn’t like it.
The rest of the show did feel like a major night though, as you had all kinds of title changes up and down the card. That’s what you need to make the biggest show of the year feel important, as a lot of things happened here. There was more than enough quality to make the show good, but some of the matches pulled things back down. What matters here though is there was more good than bad, but a few tweaks would have made it that much better.
IInspiration b. Decay – Sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker combination to Rosemary
Trey Miguel b. El Phantasmo and Steve Maclin – Top rope Meteora to Phantasmo
Heath/Rhino b. Violent By Design – Gore to Deaner
Moose won the Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match – Spear to Matt Cardona
Good Brothers b. FinJuice and Bullet Club – PowerPlex to Bey
Mickie James b. Deonna Purrazzo – Tornado DDT
Josh Alexander b. Christian Cage – Ankle lock
Moose b. Josh Alexander – Spear
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