411’s Roundtable Preview: TNA Bound For Glory 2013
Posted by Larry Csonka on 10.19.2013
AJ Styles challenges Bully Ray for the TNA World Title, Manik battles Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy, Chris Sabin and Samoa Joe in an all star Ultimate X Match, Kurt Angle battles Bobby Roode and more! Check out 411’s Bound for Glory roundtable preview and join us Sunday for LIVE coverage of the event!
Welcome back to the latest edition of the 411 Roundtable preview. Since the last time TNA hit PPV, Bully Ray lost the world title to Chris Sabin, and then won it back. AJ Styles won the Bound for Glory Series and is back to his old self, Dixie Carter showed a new side of herself, Mickie James and Ken Anderson are gone and Hulk Hogan quit the company! It's been a wild tie in TNA, and now we are coming up on their biggest show of the year, Bound for Glory! Lets meet the staff and then break down the show…
Steve Cook: Well, they're having EY & J-Park take a trip to San Diego so obviously it'd make sense-no, no, I can't even type that with a straight face. Let's try again.
Well, Robbie E gets a win on this week's Im-no, no, I can't type that either.
Well, Chavo & Hernandez are so popula-no, that doesn't work either.
It's gotta be Bad Influence, right? Right? Why on earth wouldn't it be? Daniels & Kazarian have been on fire this year and to leave them off of TNA's "biggest show of the year" would be like having a Sopranos movie without Tony. Yes, I know I need newer references. It's been awhile.
Winners: Bad Influence
Justin Watry: A few weeks ago, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero lost the opportunity to ever challenge for the tag straps again. Eric Young and Joseph Park are not funny in any way. Hey, where is Abyss? He returned, won the TV Title, and disappeared off television. Bro Mans are comedy and have hardly won a match since their pairing began. Then there is Daniels and KaZzzzzzzzz who are entertaining but could be doing MORE as solo acts. Yet, here we are. Just think; TNA Impact Wrestling had four months to set up a tag team title match on pay-per-view. Just think about that for a second. Speaking of, where have the champs been the past four months? Ah, like it matters. James Storm was so just so ridiculously thrown to the wayside in late 2011, and Gunner is Gunner. No matter who wins, we lose...
Winners: Bad Influence
Danny Bennett: This match should get things off to a good start, EY and Park are always good for a pop and comedy spots, The Bro Mans are talented but fodder in this, that leave Chavo/Hernandez and EGO. I'll go with Bad Influence to win this as they have had a much greater presence on TV recently
Michael Weyer: I'm terrified TNA might decide we want the goofy comedy of Young and Park together but even they can't be that crazy (right?) The others are contenders and the mix should make it an okay match but it's got to be EGO as they're killing it on promos and clearly the best team around so they get the win to kick off the show right.
Matt O'Connell: One would assume that, given the utter stagnation of the tag title picture recently, whichever team picks up the win here will go on to defeat the Placeholderz (James Storm and Gunner) later on the card. Given that the champs are faces, logic would dictate that I pick either EGO or the Bro-Mans; and logic would further dictate that I choose EGO, since the Bro-Mans are a one-note joke that was never actually funny. But this is TNA, the place where logic goes to die, so . . .
Winner: Eric Young and Joseph Park
Paul Lapointe: Hey TNA has a tag divi....ah nevermind. Comedy tag teams aside, I am looking at you Bro-Mans and Joseph Park and Associate. I really wish Eric Young was given a legitimate push someday as he is a damn fine specimen of wrassler when not roaming around with his scruffy beard and American flag underroos. So pushing on 2 time tag champs Chavo and Hernandez will be up to win this with Bad Influence. Given that TNA likes to job out EGO all the time for no good reason and LAX 3.0 started a mini feud with Storm and Gunner TNA booking logic puts the less over teams together just to hear our sighs. But seriously EGO needs this if they want anybody to tune into the PPV.
Winner: Bad Influence
DINO ZUCCONI: Man. The once amazing tag division is now reduced to this? Oh, wait, I don't want to be lumped in as a "TNA Hater" even though I watch it all the time and want it to succeed and am just venting about disappointments. One of these teams is not like the others- a real contender. Save us, Kaz and Daniels!
Winner: EGO / Bad Influence.
Larry Csonka: Daniels and Kaz are the best tag team in the company, they are constantly on TV and always deliver. If they do not win this match to make it onto TNA's biggest PPV of the year, who ever is booking has NO CLUE what they are doing.
Winner: Bad Influence
Steve Cook: I get the idea of pairing the veteran Storm with the youngster Gunner. Hopefully Gunner learns how to work the TNA crowd, Storm's better in a tag team environment & he needs this since his singles push was killed deader than Maude Flanders. I dunno, the teaming of Storm & Gunner does nothing for me in execution and I'm hoping that Daniels & Kazarian get rewarded for the awesomeness they've provided during their run. Not to mention that Kazarian's a California guy and Daniels had some success on the West Coast as well, so it's kind of a throwback thing.
Winner: Bad Influence
Justin Watry: Read above. Does it really even matter?
Winner: Bad Influence
Danny Bennett:Well I went with E.G.O to win the gauntlet and don't see a title change here. Storm and Gunner have been lackluster as champs and need to drop the straps but I don't see it happening here
Winner: Storm & Gunner
Michael Weyer: Storm and Gunner aren't bad as champs but their reign has gone too long, time to end it so Storm can get back into singles work again. Daniels and Kaz have proven themselves as a great team and on the mic so a title change to them just makes sense and be fun if they have gold while Roode doesn't. So they capture the belts and hopefully get the tag division back on track again after a lackluster year.
Winners and NEW TNA World Tag Team Champions: EGO
Matt O'Connell: The Placeholderz have been incredibly forgettable as tag team champions, and BFG presents a meaningful stage for their dethroning.
Winner: The Challengerz
Jon Harder: Is there any stronger tag team in TNA than Christopher Daniels and Kazarian? My guy, these two men are just dynamite together. Although I genuinely believe EY and Joseph Park and the Bro Mans are a great comedy tandem, and Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez gel well together, there is no way Bad Influence does not lose this match and stay off the Bound for Glory card. James Storm and Gunner have been formidable champions, but Bad Influence have too much going for them right now NOT to regain the TNA World Tag Team championships. I go Daniels and Kazarian all the way through, and EGO has a banner night within TNA.
Winner: BAD INFLUENCE
Paul Lapointe: TBA FTW! Wow, what a year does to the momentum that was James Storm. From his fizzled out feud over being taken seriously to then trying to take him seriously teaming with Gunner to the fact that the last time they even competed in tag action was sometime during the prehistoric era, its enough to make a panda cry. Single tears notwithstanding if Storm and Gunner have not done anything at this point I would surmise that they never will so they should drop the titles. Plus after the EGO HOF spot on Impact they deserve a run with the straps alone.
Winner: Bad Influence
DINO ZUCCONI: I was pretty happy with the team of Storm and Gunner when they first formed, but they've really done a whole lot of nothing as champs. Maybe TNA can try to get behind Cowboy again and give him something meaningful. Maybe they can try to get Gunner over again. Either way, I'm looking for new champs here.
Winners: and NEW TNA Tag Team Champions, Kaz and Daniels.
Larry Csonka: James Storm and Gunner won the titles back in June, and since then they have done both jack and shit as champions. The idea was sound, take Storm, one of TNA's most popular guys with a rich history in the tag team division, and see if lightning could strike a third time. But they were made champions and almost never appeared on TV, which was over a four month time period. As I said above, Daniels and Kaz are the best tag team in the company; they are constantly on TV and always deliver and they would give Storm and Gunner their best match. TNA needs to get back to what works for them, and one of those things was the tag team division. It's not rocket science, give the best performers the belts and let them run with them for a while.
Winner: Bad Influence
Steve Cook: It's amazing how over Sting is with Impact live crowds. I haven't been interested in seeing him wrestle for a long time now, but he consistently gets the loudest reactions wherever TNA goes. Magnus is a guy that's improved seemingly every match he's had since entering the business and seems earmarked to be one of TNA's top guys in the future. The thing is...Magnus is going to turn on Sting. Everybody turns on Sting. That's just how it goes. Does Magnus cheat to win the match, or does he get frustrated after Sting beats him? I think the former would be better, but I think the latter will happen. Either way, I see Magnus eventually becoming Dixie Carter's golden boy/corporate champion/something or other.
Justin Watry: Four months. The company had four months to set this up. Instead, the Main Event Mafia feuded with Aces and Eights...before just forgetting about that. Then EGO entered the picture for no reason whatsoever. Just 17 days before Bound for Glory, we get the official announcement of Sting vs. Magnus. Wow! Even worse is the fact that Sting may be leaving TNA very soon. In what could be his final PPV event, he is thrown into a match with Magnus. Not a bad idea - just way too little time left to build interest. Assuming the idea that Sting wants to put somebody 'on the map,' that only means one thing: losing.
Danny Bennett: One of the more interesting feuds leading into the show , this is Magnus' biggest match to date and hopefully leads to a full time main event run, Sting should pass the torch here only to have Magnus align with Dixie as her Face of TNA either tonight or in the coming weeks. Match will be average due to Sting at this point
Michael Weyer: The set-up has been way too rushed for what should be a good match. Sting is insanely over with the live crowds so that should help spark this and be nice if he gives the run to Magnus. But we can all see a Magnus heel turn coming a mile away and he'll get the cheap win over Sting to confirm it, a shame to have it rushed so fast.
Matt O'Connell: While I am not excited for this match by any means, I am at least thrilled that Sting is nowhere near the championship this year. While I applaud TNA for attempting to build new stars, I'll also admit to being a little confused by their choice in Magnus. He was a fine fit with Douglas Williams in a tag team capacity but as a singles star? That said, his entire inclusion in the Main Event Mafia makes zero sense unless he defeats Sting here.
Jon Harder: The match I am personally looking forward to at Bound for Glory. Both members of the Main Event Mafia, Magnus is the young gun aiming for his one shot at greatness, while Sting is looking to give the young British stud a run for his money. The best part: Bound For Glory has characteristically been Sting's show. He's had repeated classics on this particular venue, and what another way for "the Icon" to ply his trade. However, it takes me back to 2009, when a young, feisty AJ Styles successfully defended his TNA World championship against "the Icon". I'm feeling upset at TNA's grandest stage, and Magnus is the man to do it. He has been rolling full born in TNA ever since his Tag Team championship run with Samoa Joe in early 2012 and hasn't looked back. I'm going Magnus, and I hope it ends up being a show-stealer.
Paul Lapointe: So are TNA finally going to use Sting to build momentum for a new star in the company or have Magnus lose but look good in defeat? Now how can Magnus look good in defeat? Oh wait he can't as Sting should be used as a way to legitimize TNA's future (or lack thereof...foreshadowing?) Plus with the rumblings that Sting may FINALLY get that bout with Taker at Mania and his contract ending in Jan. I would hope TNA can see the writing on the way. Plus re-signing Sting and or Hogan will bury them long term if they really in trouble. Let Sting go gracefully into the sunset and let Magnus ride into town. I mean the whole angle insofar is that he wants to be taken seriously as his own man outside of the shadow of the MEM.
DINO ZUCCONI: Well, I guess when the group you reformed to take out is reduced to basically nothing, it's time to fight amongst yourselves! I actually think this match will turn out okay, and am also one of the many who have Magnus looking to turn on Sting. Because, really, it's Sting. What happens with Magnus will tell us what TNA thinks of him, and maybe even gives us a peek as to what Sting's future plans are.
Larry Csonka: There are a lot of variables in this match. Are they finally going to get behind Magnus, possibly as "Dixie Carter's guy"? Is Sting actually going to leave TNA? Will the creative team actually put someone over Sting cleanly? In the past Sting has been willing to work with younger/newer stars and even put them over (Abyss, Daniels, Morgan) but the brain trust of TNA constantly would change their mind and it would never come to pass. The facts are that Magnus is young and has a ton of up side, and TNA is at a stage where they just need to pull the damn trigger. If Sting is exiting, Magnus should beat him and then destroy him post match to the point that we never see him again. I have this feeling that we get a passable match, Sting wins, and Magnus "gets his heat back on Impact". Magnus SHOULD win.
Steve Cook: Sorry folks, once Taeler Hendrix left the company I stopped caring about the Knockouts. Then Mickie James left and I felt justified in my decision. I guess Lei'd Tapa is going to be getting the push here, so you might as well have her bulldoze a face to get the strap. By process of elimination that's ODB.
Justin Watry: Four months. TNA had four months to give us a worthwhile feud for the Knockouts. Instead, we are randomly informed that Gail Kim will get a title shot (why?) against ODB and someone else ten days before the event. Nice. No wonder the women run from this company, bash it, and refuse to return. Good workers here, so the match should be fine. There is (once again) just no reason to care. Four months TNA, four months...
Danny Bennett: Total filler here, Tapa is being lined up as a future champion and should win from a face, no need to switch here
Michael Weyer: Just a year ago, the Knockouts had a pretty strong division going. But no Mickie, no Taler Hendrix and more gone and they've slumped badly. I'd like to say ODB but since TNA is insistent on ramming Aces & Eights down our throats more, Brooke will get the win and the title to allow them some gold. It won't be pretty (well, Brooke is) and a sad reminder of how badly this once great highlight of the company has fallen.
Winner and NEW Knockouts Champion: Brooke
Matt O'Connell: Good God, this division is a mess. They literally just put this title on ODB, though, and it stands to reason that if they wanted it on Gail or Brooke they could have beaten Mickie.
Paul Lapointe: Well Teryn Terrell is not here to put on a good match as the next heroine of the KO division so we are left with the scraps. Of course Gail Kim is no scrub but it seems she is at times the only women who can go in the ring outside of the recently departed Mickie James and Tara. ODB is hit or miss in her bouts but is loads of fun and having met her a few times is pretty awesome and has a mouth on her like no other but personality does not win wrestling matches darnit. The trajectory of the bookings indicates that now Barbarian 2.0 female version or new breed Kong as I am referring to her as is the next in line to run amok among the women folk. For those uninformed that is Lei'd Tapa queen of destruction we are talking about here. If this she beast is in for the monster push I would suppose she should kill a face dead and considering Kim nor Brooke is that face, ODB goes over and then goes SMOOSH.
DINO ZUCCONI: A big ODB fan, I'll always root for her. Now, does that mean I think she's actually going to win? Well, for starters, I do not think that Gail is going to regain her belt here. There is definitely the possibility of Brooke winning, setting up an Aces and Eights power couple with Bully, which could be intriguing. I'm thinking she comes up short, though. So yes, it does mean I think ODB is actually going to win.
Winner: And STILL Knockouts Champion, ODB
Larry Csonka: They have been trying to build Lei'D Tapa as their new monster, which makes this match feel like the secondary story, even though it is for the title. If their goal is to get Lei'D Tapa over, and look impressive in the ring, she needs to be in there with the best worker and someone who knows how to work with a monster.
Winner: Gail Kim
Steve Cook: I don't put a lot of stock into TNA's Hall of Fame because a company that's been around for a little over a decade shouldn't have one, but Kurt Angle going into it is kinda silly, especially considering his misadventures outside the ring over the past couple of years. Matt Hardy's wondering when he's going to get inducted. You're just asking for outsiders to laugh at you when you honor a goofball in this fashion. That being said...Kurt might be a goofball but he still gets it done in the ring and this should be a good wrestling match. I wish Roode would win, but Angle's return would benefit more from a win.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Justin Watry: Pretty simple. However, it was also 'pretty simple' the last time these two wrestled at Bound for Glory. Remember what we got there? Yeah, it has been ALL downhill since that PPV. You could almost pin point the BFG 2011 finish to all of their problems right now. This time, I think the right choice is made. Angle is coming back (another mess there), and he is the one going into the TNA Hall of Fame (another mess) the night before. Bobby Roode has the much brighter future but not on Sunday night.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Danny Bennett: Kurt's return match to PPV should be a hot one against the always solid Roode, look for possible E.G.O interference , I see Kurt winning on his HOF weekend and return match.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Michael Weyer: After helping ruin the MEM push with his arrest, Angle is going to need to put on a great show in order to make up for it. He should be capable of it as he and Roode have done great matches before and will again here. It'd be great to see Roode go over and Angle pay a bit but Angle should get the win here but at least provide us with a highlight.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Matt O'Connell: This match seems like an afterthought, given Kurt's return and the perceived need to give him a high profile spot on the card. That said, Roode has been spinning his wheels ever since his split with Aries, and a decisive win over Angle could be what he needs to get him back on the right track. Then again, TNA does have an extensive history of worrying that we'll forget that Kurt is a good wrestler, so there's always the chance that Bobby will get thrown under the wheels of Angle's HOF train. Buuuut my gut says that this is the night where Roode finally picks up the decisive win over the Olympian he should have had two years ago.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Jon Harder: Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode have the ability to throw down. In a rematch from Bound for Glory 2 years ago, both men have changed entirely who they are as wrestlers and people. Angle has been to rehab and is cleaned up and ready to go. Roode has taken that loss at Bound for Glory 2011 and molded himself into a great technician and in-ring combatant. With the history between these two men very strong, I think you see Roode get his win back from 24 months ago, and EGO continues to run absolutely wild.
Winner: BOBBY ROODE
Paul Lapointe: BFG redux! Roode Vs Angle! This should be a good bout, as these two guys can bring it, Roode because he is talented and maybe because he is Canadian and Angle because he is a recently rehabbed wrestling Cyborg. Now like the first time around the man who should win could potentially lose here. Angle is going in the HOF that will consists of like 3 people when they cease to exist and that seems to indicate he should go over here. But heck Roode could get his win back to counteract the folly that was two years ago and continue his feud with Angle into the future making EGO look strong! Wishful thinking I know, as a good ole sympathy pat on the back TNA likes to bottle feed their athletes after profound personal issues, a prerequisite for TNA upper level talent. Angle wins and proves rehab is for WINNERS! Right Lindsey, Ms. Bynes, Mr. Monteith...oh too soon?
DINO ZUCCONI: Do we right the wrongs from 2 years ago? Do we fluff the guy we're putting into the Hall of Fame? Decisions, decisions... The match will be fantastic, I'm not worried about that at all. Hopefully with Roode being a heel, he'll do whatever he needs to do in order to beat Kurt Angle. Angle will be looking to rebound from a less than stellar past few months, and I feel he'll bring his working boots. I also feel like he wants to put someone over this time around.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Larry Csonka: Considering the two men involved, this should be good on the low end, with the possibility of awesome. I think Roode should win, but unfortunately with it being Angle's Hall of Fame weekend, I figure he wins here.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Steve Cook: I'm ok with Ultimate X being Bound For Glory's equivalent of what MITB was for WrestleMania for a few years there...a way to get guys on the card. Samoa Joe isn't feuding with anybody, so throw him in this match! I like it. Got some damn good guys here. Hardy's been solid every time I've seen him. Sabin & Joe have been good enough. Aries is Aries. Manik...eh, I'm not as high on him as some people are, but there's not really a way this match can suck. They'll have the belt on the X, so it won't fall off like the silly red X does sometimes. I think Aries vs. Sabin is the direction this division should be headed in, and I'd give Sabin the win to give him something to brag about.
Winner: Chris Sabin
Justin Watry: Four years ago, Jeff Hardy was wrestling Randy Orton, Triple H, Edge, CM Punk, and others on PPV and CLOSING those events. Legitimate main event matches for the title titles in this industry. Now, he is being chucked into a match for the X-Division title at the last minute (again) with very little hype. What a shame. Samoa Joe - same story. Nothing to do, so he is added to the X-Division match. Austin Aries should be doing something near the top of the card, not this. Chris Sabin and Manik tearing down the house on PPV? Fine by me. The rest, though, just feels like TNA didn't have a clue on what to do. This match sums up everything you need to know about this company. Tons and tons of great wrestlers but no story lines ever worth caring about. Hey, it's not like TNA cut eight pay-per-views and only have four live events all year or anything...
Danny Bennett: This right here is your match of the night, four talents that can tear down the house, the X division has really been revitalized in recent weeks, anybody is a feasible winner here, I'm going to go with Hardy as he hasn't had a big win and has plenty of heel challengers
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Michael Weyer: We can always count on Ultimate X to provide some great fun and the mix of guys here promises to make it better. I'd like to say Aries but he and Joe just feel like an excuse to get more guys on the card, not really important to the match itself. It's mostly Sabin vs. Manik and Sabin is starting to take off better with a turn so I see him getting the win after some major spots to remind us just how damn great the X guys can be when they get a chance.
Winner: HAIL SABIN!
Matt O'Connell: Every single one of these guys, with the exception of Manik, are well deserving of a better spot on the card than this; remember that year when Edge, Randy Orton, and Booker T somehow all wound up in Money in the Bank? Winning the X-Division title will do nothing for any of these established veterans, and TNA tried and failed to restore the credibility of the championship not too long ago with an extended RVD reign. The best possible outcome here is for Manik to eke out a win despite the stiff competition and perhaps look like a star in the process.
Jon Harder: The Ultimate X has been a fixture for TNA since its inception on the TNA weekly pay-per-view series in the summer of 2003. Chris Sabin will always have the distinction of being the first Ultimate X winner. Austin Aries and Manik (or Suicide) have both won Ultimate X matches. Samoa Joe is the biggest man to participate in said match. Most of all, after every crazy specialty match Jeff Hardy has ever participated in, the one match he HASN'T been in is Ultimate X. With Bound for Glory 2013 setting the stage for one of the most star-studded Ultimate X matches in history, I'm going on a limb and saying Sabin digs down deep and wins yet another Ultimate X match-up. Regardless, it will be a death-defying war and let's hope everyone's career isn't shortened due to the brutality of this contest.
Winner: CHRIS SABIN
Paul Lapointe: Hey outside of the Wrestling Olympians bout the only other bout I am excited about because it will be overbooked like heck. Mission to re-legitimize the X title version I lost count is a go. So who wins this clusterfrack of a match? Well Jeff Hardy is aimless booking wise but I think he will continue to be. Samoa Joe won on impact so wrestling match says he is not going over. Austin Aries is willing to job for the right reasons to which I believe is if he is feuding with Chris Sabin straight up after this so he could take the loss. Suicide, I mean TJ Perkins, I mean Manik or Curry Man or whatever videogame character he is today is probably losing her just because on the totem pole he is just not believable yet to go over all former World Champions. I mean that would be huge for him and make him a bonafide star and not hurt anybody in the process but I just think as always TNA does not pull the trigger here. So that leaves HEEL SABIN with the Velvet dime to smear his crap eating grin eating into the heel stratosphere. I mean the consolation prizes as always for former champs always seems to be another go with the X title so, if its broke and can't fix it, its bound to happen again. The only other booking I could see as a surprise would be Derrick Bateman or Nephew Carter jumps into the bout after a HOLY SHIT moment and ganks the title for himself to the delight of NXT fans everywhere. But I think he just shows up and does nothing of interest.
Winner: HEEL SABIN
DINO ZUCCONI: First things first- this match should deliver in every way you can expect it to. I may not be the biggest Jeff Hardy fan, but there's no denying his reckless abandon. Manik is coming into his own, Sabin is always good, and Joe and Aries are world class. The favorites here are clearly the rejuvenated heel Sabin, the man who always looks to surprise in Austin Aries, and Jeff Hardy because it's TNA and they love Jeff Hardy winning stuff. I wish I could consider Joe more of a favorite, but I've watched TNA while he's been there, and it's not 2008 anymore. You know what, screw it. Upset special!
Winner: And NEW X Division Champion, SAMOA JOE!
Larry Csonka: On one hand, this is a "we haven't been paying attention to the division and have nothing to do for a lot of guys" kind of match. On the other hand, this is a match with a ton of talent in it, which gives me hope that this will be awesome. Like I mentioned with the tag team title match, TNA needs to get back to what works, and the X-Division was the backbone of the company. Adding in names like Aries, Hardy and Joe not only get them on the big show, but also add importance to the title, which it needs. They can also defend them in the match with the "Destination X" stipulation, because those guys would want to get a world title shot, so why not use the X-Title to get one. If they get the time and allow these guys to do their thing, they should have the crowd easily, and should have at the very least a good match, but with the big show atmosphere, it could be great. I think that they go with Sabin solidifying his new douche bag heel character with the victory here, but it's pretty much a toss up.
Winner: Chris Sabin
Steve Cook: I've lost track of whether or not AJ is staying with TNA. With the story they're telling, it makes sense for AJ to win here. Then he can lose to whoever Dixie Carter actually wants as champion (I got a feeling it ain't Bully Ray) whenever is appropriate. I think AJ gets the big win here to make people happy and make Dixie angry, but I don't expect the happiness to last too long.
Winner: AJ Styles
Justin Watry: Well, we knew this coming for the past 10 months. That is okay though. I have no problem with sticking to a long-term plan and not caring about predictable. If the story is laid out and makes sense, then you run with it. Sadly, TNA lose their way with Styles during the summer. At the same time, TNA decided to "shock" and "swerve" everybody by throwing the belt on Sabin for a couple of weeks. Oops! By the time we got to the disaster of the BFG Series ending, AJ Styles vs. Bully Ray was not the main story. That belonged to Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan arguing about...nothing. Perfect! I guess that means those two will get involved. Of course. Now we sit just days away from their 'biggest' show of the year with 0.8 television ratings and no buzz whatsoever. The obvious answer is Styles defeats Ray, and we get the story book ending. However, since when has TNA ever done the smart and obvious thing? They are too busy caring about those "shocks" and "swerves" to worry about story telling. Four months TNA, four months...
Winner: AJ Styles
Danny Bennett: The build for this began very spotty and involved way too much Dixie Carter for my liking, however Bully has really kicked things up a gear in recent weeks and got some heat. Look for the Aces to walk out on Bully, possible a Anderson return and Dixie getting involved, a lot of over booking will happen but I still think they will deliver the goods. Styles will win to end his yearlong storyline and give Ray some time off TV hopefully
Winner: AJ Styles
Michael Weyer: I still remember two years ago when all logic dictated Roode would win the belt from Angle at BFG but didn't and we got the convoluted switches to Storm, then Roode. I worry TNA might continue that here with Bully managing to be victorious. But the fact is that even the company has to see Aces & Eights is losing power, that the fans are responding to Styles as the home-grown hero again and it's time to push him back to the plate. It'll be a hard-hitting match, plenty of interference and swerves but in the end, I do believe we'll see the guy who's lived and breathed TNA as their champion again and hopefully ready to help the company out in a tough time.
Winner and NEW TNA World Champion: The Phenomenal One
Matt O'Connell: What a weird and uninspired road it's been to this main event. Bully was a solid champion, but he lost all his momentum following the pointless loss to Sabin. AJ has had a compelling, yearlong journey of self-actualization that is climaxing against Dixie Carter of all people, who has nothing to do with Bully. What would have made sense is Ray/Anderson or AJ against some WWE cast-off that Dixie brought in to "save" TNA. But as it is, the Bully Ray train ran out of steam months ago, and unless TNA really was unable to reach some kind of lasting agreement with AJ Styles I say the title changes hands here.
Winner: AJ Styles
Jon Harder: For years, AJ Styles has that impeccable style he has displayed in TNA since the inception of the company. In 2007, you started to see his character come off, working with Christian, Tomko, and Kurt Angle. "The Phenomenal" finally has it all coming together now, both with in-ring and character, as the "Lone Wolf" won the Bound for Glory series and faces off with the baddest man in TNA, Bully Ray. Bully Ray has certainly developed who he is within the past few years, especially with the Aces and 8's as President. In my personal opinion, Bully Ray might quite possibly be the best rule breaker in wrestling. And now, in what Dixie Carter tweeted as no-DQ match, Bully has the odds stacked in his favor. However, I believe there will be an incredible story told throughout this match. Twists and turns will take place, and everything this company has been building towards for the past year will culminate in AJ STYLES winning the TNA World championship. AJ, for all that he has done within TNA, is at the peak of his character and in-ring career. I'm gunning for AJ to win the main event of the show and the title, at that.
Winner: AJ STYLES
Paul Lapointe: So let the overbook commence. So now that it's NO DQ its obviously going all banana wonkers in this match right, we can all agree on that. Dixie shows up. A ref bump here or there, Bischoff and Knux turning their backs on Ray and finally putting the end to the merciful crew of Aces and 8's. And for good measure maybe a Ken Anderson sighting. And after the smoke clears the rebel without a real good cause in AJ Styles takes his throne as the man TNA forgot about. Does this Title win finally put AJ over the top? No, it won't but maybe he will not be as tethered to what was most of what his other title wins became or were. If TNA is going to go down like I talked about in 411mania's FoF this past week then AJ should go down with it like the captain that he is (http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/columns/300902/411-Fact-or-Fiction-10.17.13:-HBK-Returning-at-WrestleMania?,-Bound-For-Glory,-Ryback-vs.-Goldberg,-More-.htm). Now that, that plug is in books so is this prognostication.
Winner: AJ Styles
DINO ZUCCONI: Honestly, not looking forward to this at all. Just never been a gigantic AJ fan. I'm also bothered that the group who formed for the sole purpose of taking out Bully Ray and the Aces and Eights have nothing to do with this match. They've totally ignored the whole "AJ had to wait a year to even challenge for a title!" point that could have made this compelling, and replaced it with a feud with Dixie. Will the match deliver? I'm pretty sure it will. Will the show end with AJ Styles as champion to close out BFG, like it did 3 years ago? Man, I hope not...
Winner: And NEW TNA Champion, AJ Styles
Larry Csonka: Back at the 2011 version of the Slammiversary PPV, AJ Styles and Bully Ray had an outstanding Last Man Standing match. Also, since Bully went solo, he and AJ have had several encounters, and the one thing I always saw was that they had tremendous chemistry. They will need to use all of that chemistry as they headline TNA's biggest show of the year. Bully has been awesome during his heel run, being a completely unlikable dick while also delivering in the ring. Love or hate the AJ Styles angle, he is still AJ Styles and is an awesome worker that has rarely disappointed over the last 11 years. Considering that he is working for a better (and long term contract) and the fact that this is TNA's biggest show of the year, I am sure Styles will be working at an insane level. I am really looking forward to the match, and the story all points to the big AJ Styles victory.
What does worry me is the late addition of the "NO DQ" stipulation, which 99% of the time tells you there will be run ins, shenanigans, ref bumps and shit that many times takes away from a great match. I would rather the match is left to the two guys in there, so this worries me. Lets just hope that the booking doesn't get in the way of what could possibly be a tremendous match and moment.
Winner: AJ Styles
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