Impact Wrestling takes over Chicago as it presents Bound For Glory, live from the Odeum in Villa Park, Illinois. Four title matches headline the show, alongside a dream match nobody thought they would see and a gauntlet match where the winner can have a title shot against anyone they want. In the main event Brian Cage will defend the Impact Wrestling World Championship against the unhinged Sami Callihan is what is sure to be a bloodbath, while Callihan’s oVe cohort Jake Crist will defend his X Division title in a five person ladder match, also including Tess Blanchard, Ace Austin, Daga and Acey Romero. The Impact Women’s Championship is on the line as Taya Valkyrie faces Tenille Dashwood. Two huge grudge matches will also be settled, as MOOSE faces off against The World’s Most Dangerous Man, UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, whilst Unbreakable Big Mike Elgin finally goes one on one with Pro Wrestling NOAH star, Marafugi.
+ Brian Cage (c) vs Sami Callihan (No DQ Match for the Impact World Championship): holy shit this was brutal. Certainly not pretty, this brawl and weapon-filled fight was exactly what this match needed to be after the story they have been telling, and I really liked it. Although the ending was quite sudden, I suppose it makes sense, even though for the first time on the show I was hoping to see more
+ Jake Crist (c) vs Tessa Blanchard vs Ace Austin vs Acey Romero vs DAGA (Ladder Match for the X-Division Championship): this was really good. Romero played the monster really well as Austin and Crist were the go-to heat magnets, while Daga and Tessa were the clear fan favourites, and that dynamic between the five competitors really made the match feel important. I could have done without a somewhat wonky ending, but overall this was a good match
+ The North (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page) (c) (vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann vs Rhino & Rob Van Dam (Impact Tag Team Championships): this started off slowly, but once it hit the home stretch I found it to be very entertaining. Rhyno still looks great, and both Swan and Mack are great at what they do. The North are all right, but I’m more of an Ethan Page single guy myself. Still, this was fun, and it certainly has a notable finishing sequence
+ Taya Valkyrie (c) vs Tenille Dashwood (Impact Knockouts Championship): I am a fan of both of these women, so I was looking forward to this, and I am glad to say they delivered. Outside of one botched spot, this was a really good, hard hitting title match, and it just shows that Dashwood should have been the Women of Honor Champion a year ago
– Ken Shamrock vs MOOSE: much like th Elgin/Marafugi match before it, this never clicked for me, and it looked like both guys were out of their element, which is a real shame. Shamrock was in ridiculously good shape, and I am always a big fan of the big MOOSE, but this was slow, sloppy and went on too long for the point it was trying to make. Having said that, Shamrock literally owes MOOSE for saving his life on one dive
– Marafugi vs Michael Elgin: man, this was disappointing as all heck. The crowd was almost silent throughout, and none of the moves either man did looked impressive or important. I’ve never heard a less enthusiastic ‘fight forever’ chant
– “Call Your Shot” Gauntlet: overall this was pretty standard, if not slightly worse than that just due to the calibre of competitors. There were a few welcome surprises, but overall this was pretty much exactly what you might expect
> I know Josh Matthews get some flack, but he was particularly horrendous on this show. He barely added any inflection to his words, and the rare time he raised his voice it stayed so monotone it was hard to believe he was even paying attention to the show, and instead he was an active detriment
Should you watch this event: This was a show of ups and down. While overall it was fine to spread across three nights of post-work relaxing on my part, I think had I tried to watch it in one chunk I may have been more negative, and considering the trainwreck that was Moose/Shamrock, the flat match of Elgin/Marafugi and that awkward Gauntlet match, that’s saying something. Seek out the main event title match, but only both with the rest if you’re a fan of the athletes.