Thursday, 28 June 2012

TNA Impact Wrestling - Bound For Glory Series

BFGS Logo

For the second year in a row TNA is holding the annual point based Bound for Glory (BFG) Series over the summer months and it kicked off on Impact Wrestling on June 14th 2012 with an 11 Man Gauntlet Match, we saw the first match here in the UK on the 17th June. Within this post we hope to tell you how the competition is scored and what has happened so far. Going forward we will keep you updated with who is where on the leader board on a weekly basis.


Like last year there are twelve wrestlers battling it out in a series of matches with the aim of racking up as many points as they can to stand a chance of winning the ultimate prize; a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship in a main event match during what is billed as TNA’s biggest event of the year, the Bound for Glory Pay per View in October.

The standings, which we will post weekly, will be frozen at the end of Impact Wrestling on September 6th 2012 in the US and the four top point scorers will advance forward to a ‘One Night Playoff’ at the No Surrender Pay per View three days later to see who gets to go for glory. 

Last year’s series was eventful in that we saw what is now established as some of TNA’s finest talent move up a spot on the roster and one of the biggest rivalries in wrestling history spark as the fall out between Storm and Roode came to light as both men went after their dreams.

The series saw it’s winner, Bobby Roode, leave as a main event star despite not being able to take the title from Kurt Angle at Bound for Glory as he came to the forefront to become what is arguably wrestling’s best heel today. Roode was not alone in stepping up on the roster:

Gunner and Crimson put their names in the hat to emerge as future stars and of course Crimson held on to a 470 day undefeated streak, until Storm came back to end it with a Last Call Superkick. Gunner worked his way to becoming associated with Ric Flair and was part of Eric Bischoff’s ‘gang’.

Both Bully Ray and James Storm put themselves forward as main event talent with their strong displays during their matches. Storm remained in the title picture for quite some time as a result of his feud with Roode and Ray is currently involved in the Abyss/Park storyline to keep him in the limelight.

Devon materialized as a singles star and went to take the Television Championship from Robbie E which he must now defend each week.

Samoa Joe re-established himself with fans and reignited the killer instinct and edge which he has which saw him pair up with Magnus to become a dominant Tag Team Champion and hold his own against the best of them once more.

The Competitors


Joe
Bully Ray
Anderson
Robbie E
Magnus
Kurt Angle
AJ Styles
RVD
Pope
Hardy
Daniels
Storm


This year’s line-up is made up of seven former World Champions and contains men which are deemed as being higher up on the card than the competitors were last year.

The Rules

Points will be earned (or lost) in a variety of match types during Impact Wrestling, Pay per Views and House Shows across the US and will each have a 10 minute time limit aside from special matches such as the Gauntlet Match and unless otherwise specified. Unlike last year, it has been said that the wrestlers will wrestle each other only once before the play-offs at No Surrender, meaning that each wrestler should have 11 singles matches.

It would seem that TNA are trying to make the competition fairer than it was last year by having all wrestlers have an equal number of matches, but with Anderson not being in the opening match to the series and therefore missing out on the opportunity to gain 20 points, some would argue that he was at an unfair disadvantage from the get go. A counter argument of course would be that Anderson was given a title shot and therefore had the opportunity to hold the title without going through the Bound for Glory Series process.

As mentioned earlier, the four people with the highest amount of points when the standings are locked in will go through to No Surrender for the ‘Playoffs’. So far the ruling suggests that the standings will stay frozen and thus we will see true semi-final and final matches during the Pay per View, unlike last year where even a person who lost during these matches could go on to win the series if he was the leader on the points table at the end of the event. Of course with the unpredictability of those in charge anything could happen.

Points are determined by wins and losses depending on the outcome of the match, but how the person wins is important as you will see in the points structure set out below.

Points Structure

Submission Victory – 10 Points
Pinfall Victory – 7 Points
Countout Victory – 5 Points
Disqualification Victory – 3 Points
Draw (Time Limit/Double Countout/Double Disqualification) – 2 Points
Disqualification Loss – Competitor will LOSE 10 Points

The points system for multi-man matches, like the 11 man Gauntlet which was worth twenty points, will be announced as and when they happen.

Standings

The standings shown below are as stated on the Impact Wrestling website on 27th June 2012:

Rank
Name
# of Matches
# of Matches Won
# of Matches Lost
# of Draws
# of DQ’s
Points
1
James Storm
4
3
0
1
0
36
2
Samoa Joe
4
2
2
0
0
17
3
Kurt Angle
3
1
2
0
0
10
4
Mr. Anderson
3
1
1
1
0
9
5
Magnus
2
1
1
0
0
7
6
The Pope
2
1
1
0
0
7
7
Jeff Hardy
2
1
1
0
0
7
8
Christopher Daniels
3
1
2
0
0
5
9
AJ Styles
2
0
2
0
0
0
10
Rob Van Dam
2
0
2
0
0
0
11
Bully Ray
2
0
2
0
0
0
12
Robbie E
4
0
4
0
0
0

Below are the events of what has happened so far in the series. We have searched through Twitter to find out what happened at the house shows:

14th June 2012: Impact Wrestling – Gauntlet Match

The Gauntlet match was put in to place as a way to introduce the first 11 competitors of the series, including The Pope who made his return to TNA. The participants of the match had the incentive of getting a clear head start in the competition with 20 points if they were to win.

Bully Ray was eliminated by Abyss who is not in the contest and Daniels eliminated both Styles and Angle, after Styles, still distracted by his and Dixie’s ‘secret’, hit Angle with a Pele by mistake. James Storm won the 11 Man Gauntlet Match to take 20 points and lead the series.

Mr. Anderson didn’t compete in the 11 Man Gauntlet Match; he was added to the Bound for Glory Series to become the twelfth contestant after losing a World Title match to Bobby Roode later in the episode.

21st June 2012: Impact Wrestling Open Fight Night

Mr. Anderson pinned Christopher Daniels after a Mic Check for 7 points in the first BFG series match to happen during an Open Fight Night. Anderson had called out Daniels, who was drinking an Appletini in the back, as he despised the fact that Daniels was trying to destroy a family. Daniels had said on Twitter that it was his night off as nobody would be stupid enough to call him out.

Angle forced Robbie E to tap out of an Angle Lock for 10 points after Robbie E issued an open challenge to any of the BFG contestants.

Magnus pinned AJ Styles for 7 points after calling him out as an easy target due to his lack of focus with the AJ/Dixie story. Magnus had said that AJ is a home wrecker and selfish. Magnus took the win after AJ was once again distracted by Kaz and Daniels as they came out holding another envelope. AJ wanted to challenge Daniels.

Storm pinned Samoa Joe for 7 points after ‘The Samoan Submission Machine’ had said that he was going to call somebody out himself after nobody had the guts to call him out. Storm took his second victory of the contest with another Last Call Superkick.

Joe looked infuriated and grabbed a beer bottle, it looked like he was going to do a Roode and both Storm and Earl Hebner were wary, but it turned out that he was just showing his respect as he handed Storm the bottle.

The Pope pinned Ray for 7 points after ‘The Bully’, only having a choice of three men left, called him out as an easy target due to his absence as he was in Hollywood filming. Ray expected to take ten points but again lost a match due to Abyss making an appearance. Pope took advantage and then left Abyss to chase him out of the arena.

Hardy pinned RVD for 7 points in the main event after a Twist of Fate. The match came about after Hogan had said that the fact that no other BFG series competitor had called either of them out shows that they are the two biggest names, and the favourites to win the entire series.

22nd June 2012: Live Event – Buffalo, New York

Storm pinned Robbie E for 7 points after a Last Call Superkick. It was reported that Robbie E had challenged Storm to a fist pumping contest but Storm challenged Robbie E to a beer drinking contest instead after saying that there were more beer drinkers in the audience than there were fist pumpers.

Samoa Joe pinned Anderson for 7 after a Muscle Buster. Anderson had apparently been introducing himself when some fans shouted “Kennedy”. Anderson had allegedly said that Kennedy had died in a train wreck and that fans could see that train wreck every Monday night.

23rd June 2012: Live Event – Oshawa, Canada

Samoa Joe forced Robbie E to submit for 10 points with a Muscle Buster.
Daniels beat Angle by count out for 5 points after Kaz held on to Angle’s leg whilst he was outside the ring.

24th June 2012: Live Event – Hamilton, Canada

Anderson battled Storm for a 10 minute time limit draw for two points each putting Storm up to 36 points and Anderson on 9 in what was reported to be a very competitive match. Storm had taken Anderson down with a Last Call Superkick but time ran out as Earl Hebner counted to two.

Storm and the crowd asked for the match to be extended but to no avail. Storm offered Anderson a beer, and claiming to be a non-drinker, Anderson refused and was Superkicked again.

What Could Happen as a Result of this Series?

From looking around the internet it would appear that the majority of people are predicting the BFG main event to between Roode and Storm especially with Storm building up such a big lead at the moment. I say, let him have his moment. Yes, he’s been given a big boost but the guy only came back a couple of weeks ago after making some heart wrenching decisions. There is plenty of time for him to hit a speed bump to slow down his momentum. Crimson was ahead by miles last year and went out with an injury. Anything could happen and I expect to see some surprises along the way.

I think that whatever the outcome of the contest the series will help to elevate the talent involved just as it did last year and will give some superstars a much needed purpose. There is the potential for TNA to evolve greatly over the next three months.

The Pope has returned after several months of being absent and has instantly got a spot in the competition; a few big wins could put him back over with the fans and back up towards the top of the card or higher where he deserves to be. His character in my opinion is great as are his wrestling skills; the only thing missing from his package are mic skills for me.

People are wondering why Robbie E has been put in to this picture and think that he is just there to be squashed. He may have a ‘comedy’ style gimmick but he’s a talented fella. This series could either see him buried or put on a pedestal. I think his push is overdue.

We’ve seen Magnus go from strength to strength over the years but people still don’t see him getting anywhere in this series. I reckon that this series could help him to become more established as a solid singles competitor instead of the tag team specialist which he has been portrayed as. When the likes of Sting turn around and say that they want to wrestle against him you know that he has something there. Magnus’ own personality seems to be coming through more and more and they say that any great wrestling character is just an extension of their own personality.

We all know what Samoa Joe is capable of and in his match against Austin Aries at Slammiversary he proved his worth. As we mentioned earlier Joe got his killer instinct back but since last year the only thing which gave him purpose within the company was his tag team run with Magnus. This series could be a chance for him to return to his main event status.

Don’t get me wrong, Joe has been at a main event level for many years now and I believe that’s where he should be. We are big fans of Joe, but it feels like there is something missing with him. Depending on who you speak to, people say that his attitude behind the scenes is all wrong and maybe that’s why he isn’t being put over as well. If you look on Twitter you can see that other wrestlers go to Joe for advice and really respect him so it’s a mystery.

A risk with events such as this series is that other areas of the company could become stale as the focus is on the competition, but a point which shouldn’t be overlooked here is the feuds which some of the men have with people outside of the BFG Series which could develop and add something extra to all aspects. We’ve seen Ray lose both of his matches so far after Abyss has made an appearance and no doubt this will add intensity to the Ray/Abyss/Joseph rivalry when Ray blames his losses on them and Kaz has already interfered/intercepted in Angle’s and AJ’s matches so there is much scope to develop.

For months, Anderson, Angle, Hardy and RVD have been in the World Heavyweight Championship picture but have not been in a feud which has any substance. There is no question that each of these men are talented and continue to entertain us with their matches but take Handy and Anderson for example, Hogan came out one week and said that they looked ready to rip each other’s heads off but at the end of each match they had shook hands and hugged. The BGF series should give them more of a purpose other than swapping and changing who the number one contender is and not actually getting anywhere as Roode remains dominant.

With AJ Styles and Daniels I feel that the BFG series will act as a distraction from the whole AJ/Dixie scandal. Daniels had put forward that AJ hadn’t earned his stripes to get to where he is and after the whole story was brought to light he is going to be embarrassed. AJ on the other hand can focus on wrestling once again now that everything is in the open. The first half of the series will probably be spent tying up the loose ends in the storyline and in the rest we will hopefully see some pure wrestling.

What do you all think? Will the BFG series have as much of an impact on Impact as we are all hoping for or will TNA go down the obvious Storm vs. Roode route? I’m hoping for a big swerve in the story.