Hev's Hits and Misses Breakdown: Pay Per View Edition
Today Hev tries his hand at a new hybrid article where he goes over the positive, negative and on the fence things to happen at Impact Wrestling's Bound for Glory 2021 Pay Per View.
Welcome everyone, it’s Hev here with a new hybrid article for you all. Recently I wanted to come up with something new that kind of mixed together a few different article types. I thought long and hard about what types of articles I’d blend and finally decided. You see, it’s been a hell of a ride writing for Real Rasslin so far, but I am finding that I get a lot of ideas and kind of overcrowd my plate a little. So instead of having all these extra ideas for many articles, why not try and mix a few of the ideas into a hybrid article? So, I took three different types of articles (Lists, Reviews and Opinions) and have created HEV’s Hits & Misses Breakdown!
Basically, I am going to highlight the positives and negatives of a weekly show, pay per view event, tournament, gimmicks, belt design, basically anything I can think of that is wrestling related. I will rank them and speak a little on my thoughts relating to each one. In each article there will be 5 Hits, positive things and 5 Misses, negative things I will cover. There will also be what I am calling the HEAVY HIT and HEAVY MISS as an extra bonus to each list, and these are the two things that stood out above the rest on the sides of the positive and negative. Lastly, because the world is not always black and white there will be an entry called ON THE FENCE. This entry will go over something that I couldn’t define simply as positive or negative and really sat in the middle with me.
Sorry about the long-winded explanation, but now that is out of the way lets get started. For the first ever Hits and Misses Breakdown I am going to cover a Pay Per View Event, in fact I am going to cover the biggest event on the Impact Wrestling calendar. That’s right, I am covering Bound for Glory 2021! It has been such a long time since I watched an Impact Wrestling PPV, in fact the last time I did they were called TNA. So, I thought why not dip my toe back into that pond and see how it plays out? I have been keeping track of Impact Wrestling for a while now and I thought why not jump back in at the most important time of the year?
First up why don’t we get the negative out of the way and go through the Misses, which I will rank from 5 to 1 before covering the HEAVY MISS.
5: Heath & ??? vs. Violent By Design
Now this one nearly made it to my ON THE FENCE section of this piece as I love the Heath character, and the bond and chemistry he shares with Rhyno, but to me this whole match had a real lacklustre feel to it. I totally understand what they were going for, they wanted the fans to really wonder if Rhyno was going to come out at all, but we all knew he would. I think the biggest thing about this match that really took it down a notch for me was that Eric Young wasn’t in the match. I understand that Eric is injured and that is unfortunate and not really any ones actual fault. I just felt that the match would have been a bit better with him in it as he is VBD’s leader. If I were booking this, I would have maybe held off on the blow off and drawn it out a little. Maybe interject VBD into the Tag Team Title Match for BFG so that Young was healthy for the eventual pay off match. It would have added so much more to it as he is a great worker, and he is a despicable heel. Again, this match nearly made it onto my ON THE FENCE pick, but it was just edged out I’m afraid.
4: Call Your Shot Battle Royal Pacing
I really like the concept of this match, a battle royal that ends in a singles match and it is also intergender (more on that later). The winner gets to call their shot at any title whenever they want. This is essentially Impact Wrestling’s Money in the Bank, and it is miles better than Feast or Fired. The one thing I found negative about this match was the pacing. It felt off more than it felt right during the match. It felt disjointed a lot of the time and there was more filler than I really would have liked. They had some standout performances in the match, particularly from Chris Sabin whose elimination was catastrophic. Yes I understand that Madman Fulton wanted revenge but why not eliminate himself? Why leave it for someone else to eliminate him? He had a reason to do it himself, he’s a monster of a wrestler, he should be going in there and getting revenge first hand, not by association. They built Sabin up the whole match, it would have been really interesting to see him go one on one with Moose later on, but alas it was not meant to be.
3: Tag Team Championship Match
Not only did the match feel slapped together, which is not such a bad thing. Sometimes matches that are slapped together like this are good, but for a match that was put together because storyline wise the Champions had nothing to do, the champs really did not impress me very much in it all. Yes, they are the heels, but it felt like the action between FinJuice and Bullet Club was leaps and bounds better than anything that happened while Anderson and Gallows were in the ring, which is quite the let down and something I will cover a little later on. I don't know how a match where the champions have some form of history or connection to both of its opposing teams comes across as unimpressive.
2: Lacklustre Commentary Team
I have never really been a fan of Matt Stryker and D’Lo, as much as I love his wrestling, I am not a fan of his commentary. The guy is a great talker, and his wrestling knowledge was sound but the two of them together just did not provide enough to really compliment the action that was going on in the ring. There were a couple of times I was a little impressed but nothing these two added actually felt noteworthy. Maybe they needed another person on the desk with them to really bring them together, all I know is that on their own, just the two of them, their commentary just came across very lacklustre which is a downer at the biggest event of the year.
1: The Good Brothers
Now before I get started, I just wanted to say I am a fan of Gallows and Anderson. They were severely misused in WWE, and it was nice to see them come over to Impact Wrestling and get used properly right off the bat. I don’t know if its all the time spent with AEW and The Elite or not, but I just felt like these guys didn’t deserve to walk out of this match with the belts. They were in the match because they were complaining about not having a match, yet in the match, compared to the other two teams they just fell flat and did not impress me much at all. Yes I get they are heels but there are heel teams who could still put on a great show. This was Bound for Glory, the biggest event of the year and this match and angle just felt like it was phoned in. I would have much preferred if FinJuice or Bullet Club walked out with the titles to be honest. These guys are so much better than what they put on during this match… maybe all the time spent dicking around with The Elite is catching up with them. Hopefully with the AEW/Impact working relationship coming to an end it forces these guys to really focus on what’s in front of them instead of galivanting around the country.
HEAVY MISS: Digital Media Championship on the Pre-Show
Now, I understand that the pre-show was an online event. I truly get that, I really do, but this was the crowning of a NEW CHAMPION with a NEW CHAMPIONSHIP, a first of its kind for Impact Wrestling. What do they do? They crown the inaugural champion on the pre-show. There were a few things I really liked about this match and its outcome which I will cover later on, but the fact Impact crowned a brand new champion on a pre-show just comes across like this belt doesn’t hold much importance or value within the company already. Yes, have the belt defended during online exclusive shows, events etc. that’s understandable but don’t crown your first champion on the pre-show! Besides a lot of people these days stream Pay Per Views online, so they could have easily put the match on the actual card and still somewhat stayed true to the titles meaning.
Now before I get to the Hits, I want to cover the On The Fence Section of this article, and I am going to actually cover two things that I was on the fence over throughout the night, in no particular order.
ON THE FENCE
Mickie James Dethroning Deonna Purrazzo
This was a brilliant women’s match, once again Impact shows the wrestling world how it is done. These two women put on a brilliant performance. A performance that was filled with intensity, rage and some brilliant work inside and outside the ring… would I have had Mickie James win the title though? Probably not, but in saying that I see why they went in that direction as it is a huge feel-good moment for the Pay Per View. The reason I am on the fence about it is because Deonna Purrazzo has had one of, if not the best women’s championship reign in recent memory. She has dominated the division from the get-go, and I feel that when she was ready to lose the title that it should have been with someone fresh, someone that Impact had built up as a viable contender. Don’t get me wrong, Mickie James is a worthy contender, but she is a veteran, and did she really need the rub from defeating Deonna for the title? Not really, it could have gone to someone else and provided a new face in the Knockouts Division Championship Scene.
Josh Alexander's Rapid Title Reign
Josh Alexander winning the main event should have been THE feel-good moment of the Pay Per View, which seeing how it all eventually unfolded I understand a little more why they had Mickie James win the Title from Deonna Purazzo. Christian and Alexander put on a stellar match, he totally deserved the win… then Moose appeared, and I knew it was going to end, which is conflicting on a whole other level, and you’ll see why later. While Moose winning the title did kind of crap on Alexander’s moment, in front of his family too, it has also created a fresh new main event feud for the World Championship. So, while it was really disappointing to see Alexander win then lose in such a rapid manner, I can see what the company is doing moving forward. They have just lost Christian Cage as he will be heading back to AEW, and Impact’s main event scene is very thin. So in one very short post-match celebration and cash in segment they have literally set up one very interesting and very fresh feud over the richest prize in the company.
5: Referees New Look
It’s the little touches that really separate oneself from the rest of the pack sometimes. One way that Impact did this with Bound for Glory was by changing up the look of the referees, in particular the shirts. I know it really is such a small win but the referees looked crisp as hell in those new shirts. Nearly every single wrestling promotion has the same boring striped shirt. This one with the black sleeves and the black around the shoulders and neck area without the usual collar just popped and it is a small detail that separates them from every other company out there currently.
4: Call Your Shot/Digital Media Being Intergender
While I wasn’t a fan of the placing of the Digital Media Championship Match and the pacing of the Call Your Shot Battle Royal, I will say that they both had one thing going for them in my book, and that was they were both Intergender Matches. It is really refreshing to see what can be classed as a mainstream promotion utilising intergender matches. The fact that the Digital Media Championship crowned its first champion, and that champion was a woman just added something extra positive to the match. While the men and women interacted really well in both matches, I felt the Digital Media Championship Match did a better job of having both men and women work against each other. I come from an Efed background where male and female wrestlers had matches against each other a lot, it is something I have always been a fan of but have not really seen a lot of it for some time. This was really refreshing to see for me, and it really is another of those touches that sets Impact Wrestling apart from its competitors. Also, having the Digital Media Championship as an intergender championship creates a lot of opportunity for fresh and interesting angles and matches moving forward.
3: X-Division Championship Match
This match was brilliant! Fast paced, intense and very fun to watch! Trey Miguel was the one person I knew the most in the match, but I am kind of glad that’s how I went into this match because this match did a fantastic job of highlighting each mans skill and impressive move sets. All three men were given some great opportunities to look strong. There were some great pieces of action where all three men were laying into each other at the same time. There were a couple of occasions where the action felt a little too choreographed, but it was nothing that took away from the match at all. Trey Miguel winning was great, he has been a real highlight this year, especially when given the opportunity to feud with Sami Callahan. I really hope this is the start of a great reign for Miguel and the start of a solid push up the card, as I could see him being a decent upper mid carder or main event player eventually.
2: Knock-Outs Championship Match
People fluff over some of the women’s matches we’ve seen from WWE in the past several years. People also fluff on about AEW’s Women’s Champion Britt Baker D.M.D. Don’t get me wrong, both companies have done some great stuff with women’s wrestling but when it comes to where the better women’s wrestling is, it is currently in Impact Wrestling in my opinion. Deonna Purrazzo has done a brilliant job as the figurehead of the division, she has elevated the title with every single successful title defence. Then Mickie James steps into the mix and this feud becomes so personal. Now, Deonna has faced veterans before and while Melina is cool, she has nothing on Mickie James. This woman is one of those stand out women’s wrestlers who has always done her best to put on great matches even when she was given shit to work with. Mickie James is the epitome of what an excellent women’s veteran wrestler should be. This rivalry had a great build, the match itself was intense as hell and just really entertaining to watch. It was brutal, it was technical, it was skilful and most of all it delivered in every single way. While the result was not one I would have went with as I’ve already discussed, it was a great feel good moment for the night and it was a great big thank you to James for everything she has done, past and now present, for the Knockout’s Division.
1: World Championship Match
If there was ever any doubt that Christian Cage could come back and not only put on decent matches but also deliver in high end main event matches, then that doubt is all but obliterated after Bound for Glory. Cage has had a great year since his debut for AEW. He had a solid undefeated streak that led to his Impact World Championship win against Kenny Omega. I am not sure if that was always going to be the payoff, but it was still a great moment to see unfold. Then Cage moves over to Impact and continues to show the world that this comeback is not just a flash in the pan. Josh Alexander has been on a tear and won the X-Division Championship and used Option C to cash in the title for an opportunity at the World Championship. Alexander to me has the technical skills of Kurt Angle, the rock star looks with all the tattoos and beard, and he is intense as hell. He has everything needed to be a main event talent and he is a fresh face in that scene which is always a positive for me. The work that both men did in this match was terrific, Cage truly is in a renaissance in his career now and I would say he has had just as great a year as Edge. Yes, Edge won the Rumble and has main evented Wrestlemania but Cage went on a great undefeated streak, won a World Championship and main evented Impact's biggest show of the year. I would say that Cage’s run thus far has proved all the naysayers wrong. Josh Alexander can be the future of Impact Wrestling; this guy is tremendous not only inside the ring but outside the ring. I never truly got to see him shine in both areas while in The North as Ethan Page can be such a larger-than-life character, if anything Page leaving for AEW has been such a huge positive thing to happen in the career of Alexander. I think winning the title with the Ankle Lock was a nice touch and the perfect ending to an intense match. Having Alexander’s family in the crowd was a nice touch that just completely threw you when the post-match events unfolded. It lulled us into a false sense of security and worked so well, because why would they have such an endearing moment ruined at the biggest event of the year?
HEAVY HIT: Moose Winning Call Your Shot & World Championship!
My Boy Moose! That’s right Adz, I am a Moose fan! I have been a fan of his for such a long time. To me this guy has a great look, he can speak well, and he can go in the ring. He may not be the best wrestler in the world, but he is still pretty good. Going into Bound for Glory I was kinda pissed that he was in the Battle Royal as I saw it as below him and his status, but seeing him win that match was great! It got me excited to see when and who he would call his shot against… we wouldn’t have to wait long though! Having him appear and call his shot right away was a great heel dickish move but to do it in front of Alexander’s family was just a stroke of genius. He used Alexander’s love for his family against him, as Alexander ushered them away to safety which allowed Moose to take his opportunity and it paid off! The vision of Moose standing over Alexander, looking down on him and his family was not the way you’d normally picture seeing the biggest event of the year unfold, but it was one of those video montage moments that can be played in Bound for Glory hype packages for years to come. I’ve been saying for a long time now that Moose can be the face of Impact if given the chance, well here is his chance and I have a feeling that he can do very well in the position, one that’s been a long time coming. While it isn’t the result I would have gone with, it creates a hot feud for the belt straight off the bat with two fresh main event players as Christian Cage heads back to AEW.
Well, that’s everything from me regarding Bound for Glory. I seriously enjoyed this Pay Per View a lot. To me it wasn’t as good as All Out, as there were a few things that pulled it under that and All Out to me was one of those perfect cards that just flowed from start to finish, where every match was in the right place at the right time. Bound for Glory was still immensely entertaining, and I will be sure to keep a closer eye on Impact Wrestling moving forward.
What do you guys think?
Do you agree with my Hits, Misses and On the Fence?
Or would you have picked some other matches, events etc. in your Hits and Misses Breakdown?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below and as usual, say hi to your folks for me!