Rich Swann and Willie Mack def. Matt Sydal and Ethan Page
Mack was the perfect partner for Swann here as they have fantastic chemistry together. I became a big fan of Mack through his work in Lucha Underground and I'd love to see him as a regular in IMPACT moving forward. This spot on the Bound for Glory pay-per-views has usually been reserved for the X-Division Championship in years past, but since the title wasn't defended this year, this was the next best bout to open the event. It had an exciting pace, the crowd was into the action, and it successfully kicked off the night on a high note.
Eli Drake def. James Ellsworth
Drake was absolutely beloved by the New York City crowd, but he's much better in the heel role and thus I hope he isn't utilized as a babyface going forward. Needless to say, Ellsworth answering the open challenge was underwhelming considering all the other options of who it could have been, but the segment was dumb fun. Plus, the audience was happy for the Abyss appearance afterward, which was cool given he was inducted into the IMPACT Hall of Fame over the weekend.
Impact Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard def. Taya Valkyrie
Despite the feud not having much build-up before Bound for Glory, this was a terrific match between two excellent workers. Ten minutes wasn't a ton of time, but they made the most of it and the final stretch or so was fun. I'm also glad they didn't rush into the title change, if only because Valkyrie returned to IMPACT less than a month ago and her winning the gold would have felt premature. I'm sure the rivalry will continue.
Eddie Edwards def. Moose by Disqualification; Edwards and Tommy Dreamer def. Moose and Killer Kross in a No Disqualification Match
Edwards vs. Moose one-on-one was originally advertised for the event, but that lasted all of two minutes before Kross interfered and caused the contest to be thrown out. The feud is still in its early stages, so I'm not sure if that would have been any better than what we ended up getting, which the crowd was hot for. Dreamer showing up in his backyard of NYC was hardly a shocker (especially when you consider his history with Edwards), but his involvement made for a fun hardcore match. The post-match angle with Moose and Kross attacking Edwards made it clear that the bad blood between Edwards and Moose is far from over.
oVe def. Impact X-Division Champion Brian Cage and The Lucha Brothers in an oVe Rules Match
This was my most anticipated outing of the night and it definitely did not disappoint. All six stars shined at one point or another and there never seemed to be a dull moment. The fans in attendance ate up everything they did and I loved every second of it. It would have been weird for oVe to lose in their own gimmick match, not to mention they're the real trio and not the babyfaces, so it actually made sense for them to win. Plus, Sami Callihan pinning Cage for the victory should set him up for an X-Division title shot coming out of this.
Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX and Konnan def. The OGz in a Concrete Jungle Death Match
Konnan was ambushed backstage beforehand, taking him out of the equation until the end. The bout benefited from him not competing since that would have dragged it down, instead allowing LAX to do their thing with The OGz. This could have been much more of a mess than it was. I mean, just looking at the boards shake and wobble with every step they took made me uneasy. To their credit, though, they played it safe yet managed to contest a chaotic match, nonetheless. Konnan resurfacing to help LAX reign supreme (keeping him limited in the process) was a nice way to close it out.
Johnny Impact def. Austin Aries to Win the Impact World Champi0nship
This rivalry didn't take a personal turn until just recently, so while it may have been too little too late, I appreciated the effort to make this match more than just a standard championship clash. In addition to being very well-wrestled, this main event had plenty of drama and the nearfalls down the stretch were suspenseful. I could have done without Taya's involvement, but she has been an important player in the story they've been telling with Aries and Impact, so it didn't bother me a ton. Impact taking the title was the right call and made for a great moment. Rumor is Aries is now done with IMPACT, and if so, he had a hell of a run this year.
If I had to choose, Slammiversary was superior to Bound for Glory, but this was an entertaining event on the whole, nevertheless. Aries vs. Impact, oVe vs. Cage and The Lucha Brothers, and Blanchard vs. Valkyrie all delivered, the Concrete Jungle match was an interesting spectacle, the stuff with Abyss and Drake was a treat, the opener and the No DQ tag team were enjoyable, and only the Allie and Su Yung stuff fell flat for me. Otherwise, I give two thumbs up to IMPACT for putting together the best Bound for Glory installment in several years. Here's hoping they can maintain this momentum in the months ahead as well.
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