Impact Wrestling returned to New York as they presented their biggest show of the year, the 18th annual Bound for Glory. All of the seven titles were on the line, with the main event in Josh Alexander vs. Eddie Edwards for the Impact World Championship.
Jordynne Grace put her Knockouts’ Championship on the line against the undefeated Masha Slamovich, the Motor City Machine Guns challenged the Kingdom for the World Tag Team Championships and there was the regular Call Your Shot Gauntlet match to earn a shot at any title, any time. Hopefully we can expect a night of surprises and great action, as the build up to this Pay Per View has been terrific. I will write a summary style for most of the matches and then cover the main event in play-by-play.
The YouTube pre-show featured an open challenge for the Impact Digital Media Championship. Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt welcomed us to the show.
Dirty Dango, aka Fandango in WWE, answered the challenge in the first surprise for the evening. Dango wrestles in NWA now and has bleach blond hair, rather than the slicked back darker hair he had in WWE. Dirty Dango vs Brian Myers kicked off the night of action. Dango was in control for most of the match, but spent too long on the top rope setting up his leg drop finisher. This allowed Myers to hit the spear and Roster Cut to retain his title after a 5-minute match. I would probably rate it at **1/2. It was a basic match to pop the crowd with a surprise in Dango, but Myers’ reign of 98 days continues. The rest of the pre-show was spent on Raven’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. They showed highlights of his time in Impact (TNA) and Tommy Dreamer was the one to induct him. Raven came out with his face paint and what seemed to be a hand-written speech. We last saw Raven in Impact a few months ago, as he was a part of the Steve Maclin and Sami Callihan feud. Raven spoke about being more naturally a heel and spoke about his time in the territory system, ECW and of course Impact. It was a short speech and he cracked a few jokes which the crowd enjoyed. He finished his speech by nailing Dreamer with the Raven Effect!
Impact Wrestling presents Bound for Glory: 7/10/22: Albany, NY
The main show opened with a cool video package that featured the main feuds of the PPV. It was a basic set and stage, and they were in a small arena as opposed to just standing room which we have seen over the last few tapings in even smaller venues.
Match #1: Impact X-Division Championship: Mike Bailey (c) vs Frankie Kazarian
This was predictable choice as the opening match on the main show. Kazarian came close to winning early on with an awesome Back to the Future counter from Bailey’s springboard elbow attempt. Bailey nailed Kaz with his spinning kick routine in the corner and hit Ultima Weapon but somehow Kaz kicked out. I haven’t seen anyone kick out of that since I’ve come back to watching Impact. Bailey went for the Flamingo Driver but Kaz escaped and locked in the Crossface Chicken Wing submission. Luckily, Bailey was close enough to the ropes and rolled so both men tumbled to the floor. Kaz tried every trick in the book to get the win- he hit a slingshot cutter but that wasn’t enough and even nailed the Flux Capacitor from the top rope for a really close nearfall. The finish came when Bailey almost got the win with an awesome reverse Hurricanrana. He went to the top to hit the Ultima Weapon, but Frankie countered into a cutter in mid-air. Kaz locked in the Crossface Chicken Wing and Bailey fought but ended up tapping out. The match went 14 minutes. That was an awesome way to start the show! From bell to bell these guys were on fire and the crowd loved every move and counter that they put on show. They pulled out every maneuver from their playbook but in the end it was the veteran Kazarian with the upset win. I would’ve thought he was brought in to give Bailey his biggest scalp but he must be sticking around if he’s winning the title. That’s great as I’m a big fan. Rating: ****
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 8, 2022
Gia Miller interviewed Mickie James in the backstage area. Miller reiterated that if James loses to Mia Yim tonight, her career is over. James said that she works best under pressure and that it means a lot to face Yim in such a big match and at such a significant event.
Match #2: Mickie James vs Mia Yim
I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting such a big match this early into the ‘Mickie James retirement angle’ but it is their biggest show of the year so it makes sense to have Yim as her opponent. These two have faced off only once before, and it was very early in Yim’s career. Yim focused on the left knee for most of the match and came close to winning with a Buckle Bomb counter after James tried a hurricanrana. Just before Yim hit Eat Defeat, she said ‘I’m sorry’ (similar to HBK to Ric Flair at WM 24) but Mickie was close enough to the ropes that she could grab them to break up the pinfall at the last second. The finish came as James was backed into the corner. Yim hesitated in finishing her off and missed the Cannonball, allowing Mickie to hit the MickDT to score the win after 12 minutes. It was a solid match and they seemed to be alluding to Yim’s reluctance to end the career of her friend, which led to her downfall in the end. Mickie continues her quest to become the Knockouts’ Champion again. Good stuff here. Rating: ***1/2
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 8, 2022
Match #3: Impact Knockouts’ Tag Team Championships: VXT (Deonna Purrazzo & Chelsea Green) vs Death Dolls (Taya Valkyrie & Jessicka) w/ Rosemary
This is the one match on the card that I have little interest in. Green and Purrazzo are a great act, and I’m a big fan of Valkyrie, but all the shenanigans of her stablemates are too silly for my liking. The crowd was pretty into this match and the action was quite good from all 4 competitors. The upset win came when Green tried the I’mPrettier on Valkyrie, who fought out of it and sent her into Jessicka who nailed the Sickishi Driver to win the titles at the 8-minute mark. This was short and better than I expected and now allows Green and Purrazzo to move onto better things. Rating: ***1/4
Match #4: Impact World Tag Team Championships: The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) vs the Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)
Even though they have only had two weeks to promote this first-time match up, they have done a pretty good job to make it feel like a big deal. This was one of the matches I was mostly interested in, even though I fully expected the Kingdom to win. The referee was pretty lenient during this match and at some points just stood back and enjoyed the double team moves from both teams! This was a terrific tag team match that showcased the smooth teamwork of both duos. Taven took a lot of punishment in the match and was almost on the end of a 3 count after the Guns’ tilt-a-whirl double team slam. Huge props to Maria who took a superkick from her own husband after Sabin moved out of the way as Maria tried to interfere again. This distraction allowed Taven to roll up Sabin with his feet on the ropes to retain the titles. It was a disappointing way to end such an electric match up, mainly because I just wanted to see them all keep going at it for a few more minutes. The match actually went 18 minutes but the action seemed to fly by. The screwy finish means we might see a rematch down the line. Rating: ***3/4
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 8, 2022
Tonight’s show is pretty much just match after match to maximize their air time. We are straight into the Gauntlet match now.
Match #5: Call Your Shot Gauntlet
There are 20 competitors in this match. It starts off 2 wrestlers in the ring with battle royal rules, with new entrants every 60 seconds. It then turns into a singles match when there are only 2 wrestlers left. The winner receives a shot at any title, at any time of their choosing. Eric Young and the debuting Joe Hendry start the match. Hendry enters with his highly catchy and annoying theme song “I believe in Joe Hendry.” I am interested in seeing if Hendry is booked seriously or not. Steve Maclin is entry #3 and he nails Hendry with a huge backbreaker on entry. Maclin and Young have a face-off but turn their attention to Hendry, until Rich Swann entered at #4. He entered with a huge springboard double cutter on Maclin and Young. He nailed Young and Maclin with a 450 splash each. Hendry lifted both Maclin and Swann up for a double Fall-away Slam. In comes PCO at #5 and there are still no eliminations yet. He takes down everyone and by that time Savannah Evans is in at #6. PCO hits a huge legdrop off the top rope to Hendry who is hung up over the bottom rope. PCO and Evans have a face-off until Maclin interrupts. The entries are coming at about 30 second intervals now (!) and in comes Johnny Swinger at #7. Hopefully he is eliminated quickly because he sucks. He slams Evans and plays up the back injury as Tasha Steelz enters at #8. Steelz hits a cutter on Maclin as she slides into the ring. Evans and Steelz are both in their as tag team partners. #9 is Killer Kelly who is Tasha Steelz current rival. Kelly gets the Fiend red lighting as she enters, thankfully not as she wrestles, and Kelly goes after Evans straight away. Kelly has a chokehold on Evans whilst she is on her back, but Steelz sneaks up from behind and eliminates them both!
Killer Kelly and Savannah Evans are eliminated.
Moose enters at #10 and he throws Hendry out straight away.
Joe Hendry has been eliminated.
Moose and PCO have a staredown. They exchanged strikes and PCO runs at Moose but Moose backdrops him to the floor.
PCO has been eliminated.
Sami Callihan is in at #11 and goes right after Maclin, who he power bombs. Callihan turns his attention to Moose and they have a chop-off. In comes former Knockouts’ Champion Taylor Wilde as a surprise entrant and then Gisele Shaw at #13. One of Eric Young’s VBD thugs in a yellow hoodie jumps over the barrier to distract Callihan and then another one evades security and tries to jump into the ring. Deaner, in a yellow hoodie, then comes in and eliminates Callihan. There’s a new feud.
Sami Callihan has been eliminated.
Former World Champion Bully Ray is entry number 14 (I don’t think Deaner counts) to a big pop. Wow, great to see him in there! He has been doing bits and pieces for NWA this year but hasn’t appeared in Impact for years. Steelz steps up to Bully and talks trash so Bully press slams her over the top into the arms of the security.
Tasha Steelz has been eliminated.
Tommy Dreamer is the next surprise entry in at #15. He seems to have recovered from Raven’s DDT earlier in the night. Dreamer and Bully team up to hit the bionic elbow combo on Maclin and Moose. Rhyno is back from injury and enters in at #16. I had a feeling he might return tonight and challenge Brian Myers but it’s good to see him in the Gauntlet. It’s an ECW reunion with Bully, Rhyno and Dreamer. Swinger tries to join in on the fun but Bully and Dreamer dump him out.
Johnny Swinger has been eliminated.
Here’s Bhupinder Gujjar at #17. Tommy Dreamer was eliminated but the camera missed it. Bully almost eliminated Maclin but Maclin raked the eyes of Bully to hold on. Heath is up next at #18 and happy to see his tag team partner Rhyno back. Heath nails Moose with the Wake Up Call and Young gets one too. Heath’s ally Swann goes for the springboard cutter but Heath nails him with the Wake Up Call in mid-air. Rhyno gores Maclin to save Heath from an attack. The hometown hero Bobby Fish is up next at #19. There are CM Punk chants at Bobby Fish as he enters the ring. The final entrant is the returning Matt Cardona. I sort of got that right, predicting he might turn up against Myers, but thankfully he’s in a bigger match here. Whilst Cardona is thinking about entering, Moose eliminates Rhyno.
Rhyno has been eliminated.
Maclin charges at Moose, who sidesteps, and he clotheslines Heath out of the ring.
Heath has been eliminated.
Maclin then ducks as Moose charges in, and Moose goes flying over the top.
Moose has been eliminated.
Cardona finally enters the ring and goes for Bully Ray, who he has been trashing on social media lately. Cardona offers the handshake and Bully pulls him in to a Scoop Slam, then sends Taylor Wilde up top for the Wassup diving headbutt. Taylor is excited and jumps into Bully’s arms, then starts kissing him. Bully chants for tables and then Cardona eliminates Shaw and Wilde.
Gisele Shaw and Taylor Wilde have been eliminated.
Gujjar then dumps Cardona over.
Matt Cardona has been eliminated.
Young and Gujjar are fighting on the ring apron. Young rakes Gujjar’s eyes and nails a neckbreaker on the apron, forcing Gujjar to fall to the floor.
Bhupinder Gujjar has been eliminated.
We are down to Fish, Young, Maclin, Swann and Bully Ray. Young goes for a Piledriver on Swann on the apron, but Swann hits a Scorpion Kick and then a superkick to eliminate Young after 26 minutes.
Eric Young has been eliminated.
Maclin runs at Swann but Swann avoids him and flips over the top to the ring apron. Maclin hits a clothesline on Swann, turning him inside out and sending him to the outside.
Rich Swann has been eliminated.
Fish goes to throw Maclin out but Maclin is able to reverse it and send Fish flying over the top rope and eliminating him.
Bobby Fish has been eliminated.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 8, 2022
Singles match: Steve Maclin vs. Bully Ray
After a long battle royal, these two only had a short match with Bully winning with the Bully Bomb in a big upset. As soon as it was down to the final two, it was obvious that Maclin was going to win, however they pulled a surprise and put Bully over. I assume that means he will be in Impact a bit more regularly now. Is it the right booking move, giving a 51-year-old a title shot at any time? I don’t think so but he will be popular with the fans and adds that element of nostalgia that Impact love. As for the overall match up, I really enjoyed it. It had a mix of current stars and fun surprises. When there is talent that miss out just so someone like Dreamer can have a moment, or Wilde who isn’t that memorable, then I feel bad for those regular wrestlers. When stars like Vincent or Kenny King who are on TV every week as important members of the biggest heel stable in the company, or Trey Miguel who carried the X-Division last year, miss out then it sucks. Ace Austin and Chris Bey (who both headlined Impact Plus specials last year) not being on the show either is such a waste. Anyway, when Cardona entered, I was hoping he or Fish might win. I was hopeful of Impact giving someone their first championship win in the company and was happy Maclin got down to the final two. I would’ve put Maclin over Bully, as he has just had two really big wins and has great momentum.
Winner: Bully Ray
Final rating: ***3/4
Bully celebrated with the Cup and then we went backstage as Eddie Edwards was preparing for his match. Alisha and their kids wished him good luck. Edwards says this ends tonight when he wins the World Title. His daughter asked what happens if Edwards doesn’t win. Alisha said that won’t happen. I have a feeling she might turn heel and join Edwards in Honor No More now.
Match #6: Impact Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Masha Slamovich
This is a highly-anticipated match as Slamovich is undefeated and has been on a path of destruction over the last few months. For some reason, I thought Slamovich was much older (maybe she wore a lot more make up earlier in the year?) but she’s only 24 years of age. Something just made me check her age the other day as her appearance seemed to be a bit different to me (not sure if anyone else had noticed!). Anyway, she’s a young star on the rise and this match should be terrific. Only 2 minutes into the match, Slamovich destroyed Grace with a nasty reverse Piledriver on the ring apron to almost win the title. During the match, Masha also hit a Canadian Destroyer which was perfectly done. There was a great spot where Grace hit a stalling Superplex straight into a Jackhammer for a very close 2 count. The timing of the counts by the referee and the wrestlers timing to kick out on a number of occasions at the very last second were absolutely spot on in this match. Slamovich kicked out of the Grace Driver and Grace didn’t know what to do next. She went for a Torture Rack but Slamovich fought out and turned it into an Air Raid Crash into the corner. Slamovich nailed Grace with the Snow Plow but Grace had her foot underneath the ropes after the move so the referee couldn’t count the fall. Both women’s finishing moves haven’t won the match for them thus far. Slamovich lifted Grace to the top, looking for a Superplex. Somehow, Grace got the upper hand and turned it into a Grace Driver from the top rope! Grace won a brutal encounter after 18 minutes. What a wrestling match! I loved that. The intensity was high all match, both women absolutely threw everything at each other, the pinfalls had drama and the spots were clean and creative. They built it up well and it felt like a personal rivalry. It was Masha’s best match in Impact and maybe even Grace’s too. Masha is no longer undefeated but hopefully we get another match between them. It was great. Good luck following that, boys! Rating: ****1/2
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 8, 2022
Match #7: Impact World Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs Eddie Edwards
Edwards came out first, followed by Alexander and both men entered alone. I’ll provide play-by-play thoughts for this match. They locked up and Edwards backed Alexander into the ropes, so the referee broke it up. Alexander returns the favour and then takes down Edwards with a side headlock takedown. Edwards chopped Alexander but then Alexander took him down and hit a flurry of punches. Edwards took a breather on the outside to regain his composure. A fan in a Ric Flair wig and gown was mouthing off so Edwards grabbed his wig and threw it further into the crowd! Edwards rolls back into the ring and Alexander targets his left arm with a hip toss which he holds on to. Edwards fights out of it with a back elbow then hits a running kick to knock Alexander out of the ring. Edwards hits a slingshot crossbody over the top rope. There is a child screaming in the background which is very off-putting and made me check that it wasn’t my own children as I write this watching the replay at 1.47am. Alexander and Edwards fight on the outside as Alexander chops Edwards around the ring. The champion rolls into a cover but Edwards kicks out at 1. Edwards hits an Atomic Drop and then follows up with an overhead belly-to-belly. The pace is beginning to pick up now and Edwards hits a knee to the head. Edwards chokes out Alexander in the corner with his foot. He chops Alexander hard in the chest a number of times, sending the champ to the mat. Alexander runs at Edwards, who sidesteps him, sending Alexander to the outside. Edwards hits a dive which knocks Alexander to the ground. The referee starts to count Alexander out so Edwards starts ripping up the mat on the outside of the ring, exposing the hardwood floor underneath. Edwards wants the Die Hard Driver on the wood, but Alexander wriggles free and rolls into the ring, then runs the ropes and hits a crossbody to the outside to take down Edwards. They’re finally both back in the ring but Edwards rolls to the ring apron. Alexander follows him and wants a German Suplex to the floor. Edwards fights out with hard elbows to the temple. Edwards sweeps Alexander’s legs from under him then nails the Die Hard Driver from the ring apron to the exposed wooden floor. The commentators reinforce Alexander’s two neck surgeries and that Edwards would know that the neck is an area to target. Edwards rolls him into the ring and gets a close 2 count. Edwards runs at Alexander but Alexander can’t even lift his leg to defend himself, as they play up the neck injury. Edwards hits the Back Pack Stunner and then locks in the Boston Crab submission but Alexander makes the ropes. Alexander goes for a running knee but Edwards catches him and lifts him into a powerbomb. Alexander no-sells that and hits a nasty-looking Alabama Slam into the middle turnbuckle. Ouch. Alexander locks in his grip and hits two German suplexes. There are a few boos ringing out. Edwards rolls to the ring apron but Alexander holds on and nails another German on the apron. They fall to the floor and Alexander hits another one at ringside. Alexander hits a 5th German suplex on the ramp. Edwards slowly gets to his feet in the ring and Alexander nails him with a running forearm and then brutal backbreaker for a 2 count. Alexander wants the C4 Spike but Edwards wriggles free and hits the Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. Edwards goes for the Boston Knee Party but Alexander catches him and turns it into the Styles Clash! Alexander immediately locks in the ankle lock. Edwards is trapped in the middle of the ring but cleverly flings Alexander through the ropes, to the floor. Alexander climbs to the top rope but Edwards meets him with an enziguiri. Edwards nails Alexander with a vicious right hand then a Fisherman’s Suplex from the top rope. Edwards holds on and goes for the Tiger Driver but Alexander reverses it in mid-air and nails the C4 Spike. What a counter! Edwards is done but Matt Taven arrives at ringside and pulls the referee out and then Mike Bennett nails him with a right hand. Taven and Bennett try to enter the ring but Alexander cuts them off. Kenny King sneaks in from the other side and nails Alexander with a low blow. Security escorts Honor No More to the back as a new referee enters the ring. Boston Knee Party from Edwards but Alexander hangs on. Alexander fights out of the Die Hard Driver and nails an overhead release German suplex. Edwards tries an enziguiri but Alexander catches him in the anklelock. Edwards wriggles free and hits a knee right to the chin of Alexander as he jumped off the ropes. Edwards hits a huge Tiger Driver but Alexander kicks out! Alexander is bleeding heavily from the nose now. Edwards chops him hard in the chest. Alexander’s nose is an absolute mess. They exchange chops and slaps to the face. Alexander pulls down the straps and Edwards clubs him around the ears. Alexander is down to one knee now so Edwards spits in his face. Alexander unloads on the challenger but Edwards rolls through and almost steals a 3 count. That was close. Edwards goes for another Boston Knee Party but Alexander cuts him off with a forearm to the face, then a discus forearm and the C4 Spike for the win after 28 minutes.
Winner by pinfall AND STILL Impact World Champion: Josh Alexander
Analysis: ****1/4 It was a terrific main event with both men bringing their best to the biggest show of the year. I enjoyed the fact that there were far less Honor No More shenanigans than usual, and they just let Edwards and Alexander beat each other senseless for almost half an hour. There were some tremendous counters in the match and Alexander’s timing in his moveset is just impeccable. He is the fighting champion that the fans love. I would rate it slightly below the Knockouts’ Title match, even though it was ten minutes longer. They completely ignored Edwards targeting Alexander’s neck in the last half of the match as they just went all-out with their offense and I thought the ending might have been a bit more dramatic but they’re only small things to pick at. I would’ve rated Edwards a 75% chance at least to win the title so I’m pretty surprised by the result. I’m happy though as I think Alexander is great and a terrific face champion.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 8, 2022
After the match, all of Honor No More beat down Alexander in the middle of the ring. Eddie Edwards was still down on the outside. Heath and Rich Swann tried to come in and help but the numbers were just too much. Taven and Bennett brought a table into the ring. The crowd chanted for Bully and here he comes, trophy in hand. Will he take out Honor No More or will Alexander lose the title on the same night again like last year? Honor No More cleared a path for Bully to call his shot. He hands his trophy to the referee and stands before Alexander. He asks Alexander if he’s ready and then Bully and Alexander throw all the members of Honor No More out of the ring. Bully grabs the Impact World Title and holds it up in front of Alexander. He tells him he will be the most legitimate challenger he has ever faced. Alexander takes back his title and Bully tells him that it was a hell of a match as Bound for Glory ends. On my order, the Impact logo came up and then the screen went blank, but afterward the footage came back and Bully and Alexander put Mike Bennett through a table. A message from FITE TV thanking me for watching then appeared.
Analysis: I’m glad they didn’t end the show in the same manner as last year, although they certainly teased it which would’ve made a few fans nervous. It was cleverly booked and then of course the fans popped when Bully didn’t take the easy way out and helped Alexander beat the heels down. It adds intrigue to when Bully will call his shot and the way he spoke, he might do it in advance and not in a sneaky way. It’s good to have some interest in a storyline immediately going forward.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 8, 2022
Final rating: 8.5/10
A terrific night of wrestling for Impact. I’m usually harsh in my ratings, but I gave three matches over 4 stars tonight and they definitely deserved that. The main men’s and women’s title matches were both excellent spectacles, in terms of storytelling and in-ring action. They culminated in both champions retaining which I did not expect, but the quality of the matches hasn’t made me worry about that. The rest of the card was really solid. There was nothing that I didn’t enjoy. Kaz and Bailey kicked off the show in fine style. That was a great X-Division title match. The Gauntlet was fun with some surprise entrants, although as I mentioned there are some regular stars who missed out. If you don’t have time to watch the whole show, then I would certainly recommend giving a view to the Knockout’s World Title match and the World Championship match. I have watched every Impact, AEW and WWE show this year and I would struggle to think of a better women’s match than Grace vs, Slamovich so far. Lynch vs Belair at WrestleMania is one I can recall also enjoying but not as much. The main event had everything that you’d want from the primary feud in your company. A hard-hitting fight, with a bit of drama thrown in. I’m glad it wasn’t overbooked as I thought we would see lots of interference. I’m not sure what’s next for Edwards but this win solidifies Alexander as champion, by taking another big scalp in the Honor No More leader.
I’m hopeful my reviews of Impact might persuade an extra set of eyes (or two!) to tune in to Impact as it is solid wrestling each and every week. With so much content available in our wrestling world, adding another weekly show can be draining however, and Impact certainly doesn’t get the attention (or promote itself well) as the other bigger companies.