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Bound for Glory 2023 Review

It’s here! It’s Impact Wrestling’s biggest show of the year and it comes to us Live from the Cicero Stadium in Cicero, Illinois.

We have some amazing matches lined up - it is a very stacked card. So, let’s get into the event!

Hall of Fame

We begin with the Hall of Fame Ceremony, where we will see Traci Brooks, Mike Tenay & Don West inducted.

Our first inductee is Traci Brooks and she is inducted by Gail Kim. Traci gives us a very emotional speech on being the Original Knockout.

Next up to be inducted is the amazing commentary team of Mike Tenay and Don West, being inducted by Scott D’Amore.

Mike Tenay accepts the honour on behalf of himself and the late, great Don West. He gives a very heartfelt speech about Don. These two were the voices of the early days of Impact Wrestling and are fondly remembered to this day.

Bound for Glory is now Live!

Match 1: X-Division Championship Match - Chris Sabin vs KENTA

Chris launches himself off the apron, colliding with KENTA on the floor. Back in the ring, Chris hits a top rope crossbody for two. KENTA avoids a slingshot crossbody, then drives Chris spine-first into the side of the ring. KENTA remains in control with a neckbreaker, then locks in a headlock to slow the pace down. Chris creates separation with a dropkick, allowing him to regain his composure. Chris flies with a missile dropkick from the top, followed by a tornado DDT. Chris goes for the Cradle Shock but KENTA counters with an eye rake. KENTA hits a draping DDT, then connects with multiple dropkicks in the corner. Chris bounces back with a step-up Enzuigiri. KENTA avoids another Cradle Shock by grabbing the referee. KENTA attempts a pin with his feet on the ropes but the referee catches him in the act. KENTA almost puts Chris away with a top rope double stomp. Chris counters the GTS into a superkick. Chris hits the Clothesline from Hell Michigan, followed by the Cradle Shock to win. Chris Sabin retains his X-Division Championship!

A great start to the show! These men are not strangers to one another and it definitely showed in this match. They were able to be very methodical without needing to keep up a super fast pace. It was very enjoyable to watch, with some great spots in the match. Grade C+

Match 2: Monster’s Ball Match - PCO vs Rhino vs Steve Maclin vs Moose

Moose, PCO, Rhino and Steve Maclin are unleashed after being locked away with no food, no water and no light for 24 hours. Steve jumps Rhino from behind during his entrance. Moose assaults both of them with his Feast or Fired Briefcase. Moose powerbombs Steve on the ring apron. Moose is setting up for the Spear when PCO enters the fray. Moose hits PCO with a back body drop over the top rope into a ladder. Steve drives Moose into a trash can with a Death Valley Driver. Steve accidentally hits himself with a steel chair, allowing PCO to capitalise with a Chokeslam. PCO hits Steve with the De-Animator on the apron. Moose plants PCO with one Uranage after another but PCO won’t stay down. Moose powerbombs PCO into thumbtack-covered cinder blocks on the outside. Moose is Caught in the Crosshairs but Rhino prevents Steve from hitting the follow-up KIA. Steve hits Rhino with a steel chair. In a shocking turn of events, Bully Ray pushes Steve off the top rope through a barbed wire table. Rhino Gores Moose but collides with a steel chair. PCO flies with the PCO-Sault on Moose to win.

A good Monster’s Ball match. Not one of the best, but I think after all the Abyss Monster’s Ball matches, my expectations are very high for this match type. Having PCO win this one was not expected, but it added some depth to the Bully Ray/PCO/Maclin/Rhino dynamic. Grade C

Backstage Interview:

Gia Miller is backstage with Mickie James. Mickie says that Trinity has done a great job as champion, but this will not be Mickie’s last rodeo.

Match 3: Impact World Tag Team Championship Match - The Rascalz (Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz) vs ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey)

Chris Bey and Trey Miguel kickstart the match with synchronous running dropkicks. Zachary hits Ace with double knees, followed by a neckbreaker. Zachary distracts the referee, allowing Trey to illegally plant Ace with a neckbreaker on the ring apron. Trey takes a cheap shot, knocking Chris off the apron. Ace flies with Soar to Glory, taking out both members of the Rascalz. Chris gets two for one on Zachary and Trey. Chris spikes Zachary with a Brainbuster but it’s not enough to keep him down. Zachary avoids the 1, 2 Sweet as Trey catapults Ace into a top rope double stomp. Trey hits Ace with a Meteora, followed by a top rope senton from Zachary. Zachary accidentally blinds Trey with the spray paint. ABC put Zachary away with the 1, 2 Sweet to win. ABC are the NEW Impact World Tag Team Champions.

Another really good match. These teams have great chemistry and I look forward to seeing the back and forth matches for these titles. Grade C+

Match 4: Will Ospreay vs Mike Bailey

Mike strikes first with a Triangle Moonsault to the outside. Will bounces back with a springboard crossbody, taking out Mike on the floor. Back in the ring, Will hits a big backbreaker but Mike kicks out at one. Will delivers a chop on the top rope, sending Mike toppling to the floor. Will baseball slides under the bottom rope but Mike follows him with a twisting corkscrew to the outside. Mike hits a running Shooting Star for two. Moments later, Will takes Mike off his feet with a handspring Enzuigiri. Will continues the assault with a springboard forearm for two. Mike counters the Oscutter into a backslide for another two count. Mike spikes him with a Poison Rana. Will hits the Oscutter on the apron. Will hits another Oscutter in the ring but Mike kicks out at two. Both men exchange a series of kicks with Will gaining the upper-hand following the Hidden Blade. Mike counters an Oscutter with double knees to the back. Mike hits Ultima Weapon for a very close near fall. Mike soars with Meteor Rain, a top rope Fisherman’s Buster but it’s still not enough to keep Will down. Will counters the Flamingo Driver into the Styles Clash. Will hits one final Hidden Blade, followed by the Stormbreaker to win.

Oh my God!!! This match was insane! This match is definitely the match of the night for me. I could watch these two have an hour long match and still want more. In my eyes, this should have been the main event. Grade A+

Match 5: Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match

Jake Something enters at #1 and begins the match with Eddie Edwards at #2. Kenny King enters at #3. Eddie slides under the bottom rope, which does not count as an elimination. There’s a mini Honor No More reunion as Eddie and Kenny work together. Juventud Guerrera is a surprise entrant at #4.

Sheldon Jean gets up on the apron but Juventud knocks him down. Kenny capitalises off the distraction with a Spinebuster to Juventud. Johnny Swinger enters at #5. Juventud eliminates Kenny. Out of nowhere, Crazzy Steve assaults Johnny with his Feast or Fired briefcase. Gisele Shaw enters at #6 and eliminates Johnny. Steve is about to assault Johnny with his fork when Digital Media Champion Tommy Dreamer makes the save. Jody Threat enters at #7. Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans prevent Gisele from being eliminated by Jody. KiLynn King enters at #8. Eddie eliminates Juventud. Sonny Kiss is a surprise entrant at #9.

Sonny eliminates Gisele with a press slam over the top. Bully Ray enters at #10. Sonny and Bully engage in a dance-off. Matt Cardona returns at #11.

Sonny shows Cardona “What’s Up” from the top rope. Jordynne Grace enters at #12. Eric Young enters at #13. Eric spikes Matt with a Piledriver. Matt eliminates Eddie. Joe Hendry enters at #14. Brian Myers enters at #15 and immediately spears Joe for the elimination. Brian reunites with Matt but Sonny brings the fight to both of them. Brian and Matt eliminate Sonny with a double back body drop. Heath enters at #16. Heath hits Jake, Eric, KiLynn and Matt with Wake Up Calls. Brian eliminates Heath. Frankie Kazarian enters at #17. Brian takes out Frankie with the Roster Cut clothesline. Rich Swann enters at #18. Jonathan Gresham enters at #19. Jonathan uses his T-shirt to eliminate KiLynn. Dirty Dango enters at #20. Jake immediately eliminates Dango. Oleg Prudius enters the ring and assaults the other competitors. Brian and Matt eliminate Frankie, Rich and Eric. Jake catches Jonathan in mid-air and tosses him over the top for the elimination. Jake sends Brian Into the Void. Brian goes low on Jake for the elimination. Matt turns on Brian and eliminates him. Jordynne eliminates Matt as Bully eliminates KiLynn. The final two are Jordynne and Bully, the match must now end by pinfall or submission. Jordynne hits multiple back elbows, followed by the Grace Driver to win.

A good match, some big surprises entering. I think having Jordynne Grace be the first Knockout to win this is a great step for the Knockouts! After watching this back again to write this review, I now see that Jordynne has called her shot to challenge for the Knockout’s title at Hard to Kill in January. So, if you watch the Round Up tomorrow and listen to me saying about her potentially going for the Impact World Championship, just ignore it! Grade C+

Match 6: Knockout’s World Championship Match - Trinity vs Mickie James

Trinity goes for Star Struck in the early going but Mickie sees it coming and evades. Trinity hits the running splits for two. Trinity uses her athleticism and flexibility to avoid an incoming clothesline. Mickie hits head scissors out of the corner but Trinity responds with head scissors of her own. Both Knockouts are down following a synchronous offence, sending them both to the floor. They make it back into the ring where Trinity hits the Rear View for two. Mickie drives Trinity face-first into the canvas, then soars with a seated senton off the top. Trinity hits a pinpoint Enzuigiri, followed by the split-legged Moonsault for another two count. Moments later, Mickie connects with the Mick Kick for a near fall of her own. Trinity counters the Mick-DT into a Full Nelson Slam. Mickie spikes her with a tornado DDT out of the corner but it’s not enough to keep Trinity down. Mickie avoids the X-Factor, then rolls Trinity up for two. Mickie spikes Trinity with the use of the ropes. Trinity recovers and locks in Star Struck to win by submission.

A good championship match. Lots of back and forth. I was hoping for a Mickie James victory, but it’s good to see Trinity having a lengthy reign. Grade C+

Backstage Interview:

Gia Miller is backstage with Moose. Moose says that things didn’t go his way tonight, but he still has his briefcase. He is going to cash in his shot for the Impact World Championship at Hard to Kill.

Main Event: Impact World Championship Match - Alex Shelley vs Josh Alexander

Josh locks in the Ankle Lock but Alex manages to get to the bottom rope. Alex targets the left arm of Josh in the early going. Both men exchange strikes in the middle of the ring with Josh gaining the upper-hand off a big boot out of the corner. The fight spills to the outside where Alex hits a thudding back body drop. Josh charges at Alex but he ducks, sending Josh crashing into the steel ring post. Minutes later, Josh wraps Alex’s leg around the post and locks in a submission. Josh locks in the Ankle Lock but Alex breaks it with an Enzuigiri targeted at Josh’s left arm. Alex goes for the Border City Stretch but this time it’s Josh who desperately gets his leg on the bottom rope. The pace quickens as Josh hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Alex comes back with a snap German suplex. Josh counters Sliced Bread into another German suplex, this time into a bridge for two. Josh cranks Alex’s leg with a Dragon Screw. Alex hits a modified Shellshock into the barricade. Alex successfully connects with Sliced Bread on the floor. Alex soars with a top rope Frog Splash for two. Alex immediately transitions into a Border City Stretch but Josh counters into an Ankle Lock. They go counter for counter before Alex plants him with Shellshock. Alex hits another Shellshock to win.

Another great match, but it was still overshadowed by the Bailey/Ospreay match earlier tonight. I think my brain has had an overload of wrestling as I did have to watch this one a couple of times as I kept missing things. It was a high energy, athletic and entertaining match. I’m really glad that Alex Shelley retained his championship, he really deserves a lengthy reign with the championship. Grade A-

Overall, this was a great PPV. Coupled with the fact that Impact will now be rebranding back to TNA at Hard to Kill is amazing. I personally would have changed the order of a couple of these matches, but other than that, it was a really well done PPV.


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