Okay, maybe I was a little harsh. For what it was, TNA No Surrender 2012 was an entertaining show. It didn’t do a whole lot to advance any major storylines, but it did what a wrestling event should and that’s put on good and, in some cases, unpredictable matches. For the life of me, I couldn’t come up with a prediction on who was going to win this year’s Bound for Glory Series. At one point, back when Bobby Roode was still champion, it seemed pretty obvious that James Storm would win it all and get his ultimate revenge at Bound for Glory. But Roode lost his rematch to Austin Aries at Hardcore Justice, so that was out of the question. And with Aries NOT defending his World Title at No Surrender, it was evident the strap would stay on him going into the big show in October. This was the point where I thought to myself, damn I really have no idea. Aries vs. Storm, Joe, Ray or Hardy. None of those possible matchups seemed big enough to headline TNA’s biggest pay per view of the year. Would one of the Bound for Glory Series matches end in controversial fashion, setting up a three way dance for the belt? Still, no clue.
I guess I’m picky, but, like I said before, I really don’t like seeing matches on pay per views that occur for free on Impact, especially just days prior. It makes me wonder, what am I paying for here? Nonetheless, Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe in the first of two Bound for Glory Series semi-final matches opened No Surrender. I actually thought their match three days before on Impact was more entertaining… go figure. I was pretty sure Joe would pick up the win here. It would just look bad on his character if he lost cleanly two times in a row to Hardy. Not to say that they haven’t let Joe’s persona go in the past few years. Remember when he was undefeated? Yeah, me neither. To my chagrin, Hardy won this match with a quick rollup, putting himself one more win away from headlining Bound for Glory. Interesting…
Who would his opponent be in the finals, James Storm or Bully Ray? I’m sorry; I just don’t want to see these two guys face each other again anytime soon. It definitely shows a lack of depth in TNA’s roster. Not that any other wrestling organization has a great roster these days. It looked as though Storm was going to pick up the victory but the referee was knocked out. Man, they really need to get some refs who are in better shape, these guys get lightly nudged and they become UNCONCIOUS! Then, out of nowhere, Storm’s former tag team partner and leader of the selfish generation, Bobby Roode, appeared in the ring and hit Storm over the head with a beer bottle. With the referee conveniently regaining his consciousness at that moment, Ray covered Storm for the 3 count! Looks like we’ll be seeing the Roode vs. Storm finale at Bound for Glory after all, it just won’t be for the gold.
If anything, at least the whole Aces and Eights storyline should’ve been advanced in one way or another. It wasn’t. The climax will likely come at Bound for Glory, just like two years ago when “they” were revealed to be Immortal. It feels like we’ve been at the same stage in this storyline for a while.
Unfortunately, Austin Aries vs. one member of the Aces and Eights (who I suspect was Mike Knox) was exactly what I thought it would be; a meaningless brawl that should’ve taken place on Impact and was definitely not pay per view caliber. Other Aces and Eights members raided the ring but were countered by the TNA roster, as they spilled out from the back. A huge brawl broke out, and the crowd went nuts. Fine, it was kind of cool, I guess… During the mix up, Jeff Hardy’s shoulder was driven into the ring post by one of the Aces and Eights and was seriously injured. I smell Ray winning the Bound for Glory Series by default! Wrong.
The stage was set for the Bound for Glory Series finals between Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy. Nobody thought Jeff was going to be able to compete and even Bully looked a little disappointed. Jeff’s music queued not once but twice, and Jeff didn’t come out to the ring either time. Instead, Hogan came out and told Ray that if he wanted to be an honourable guy, he should wait until this Thursday’s edition of Impact so that Jeff would be fit to compete. TNA’s been known for caring more about their weekly free show ratings, rather than delivering a moneys-worth pay per view so I wouldn’t even be surprised if they went this route. Then, Hardy’s music hit again and he finally made his way to the ring with his shoulder all wrapped up. He looked to be in pretty bad shape but insisted on competing. I guess he has to really prove himself after ruining the main event at Victory Road 2011.
Bully Ray had the advantage in the match, not being afraid to target the already injured shoulder of Jeff Hardy. It looked like the end was near. The match was slow paced as it was mostly a beat-down for the majority of the bout. Wrestling wise, it wasn’t very good. Storytelling wise though, it did a great job. Was TNA going to go for the John Cena-like “overcoming the odds” finish? You’re damn right they were. After numerous near falls, Jeff Hardy fought through the pain and hit one final Swanton Bomb on Ray for the win. Yay, all the kids are happy! I’m not. I know Ray is supposed to get a title run sometime, especially because he just signed a new, long term contract with TNA. Let’s hope it comes sooner rather than later. For right now though, Jeff Hardy is your Bound for Glory Series winner and will face Austin Aries for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the grandest stage… well TNA’s grandest stage of them all, Bound For Glory, in October.
On paper, Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy seems like a great match. I’m not sure it has “it” to garner a higher number of pay per view buys for Bound for Glory though. Hopefully TNA spices things up between the two in the weeks to come. Hardy heel turn, anybody? I doubt it. That would be pretty damn cool though.
Thanks for reading.