With this year’s Victory Road event come and gone, it’s now time for all us to officially go on the Road to Bound Glory, one the company’s biggest pay per views of the year.
Most often fans tend to remember the championship matches that take place at Bound For Glory and with good reasons as the build leading up to it can be just as memorable as the action or moments during these once in a lifetime bouts.
With that said, IMPACT’s biggest pay per view of the year has also seen a number of matches occur at BFG with no title belts at stake…And today will be going to go over these ten match with not a single title defense or change insight.
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10. Aces & Eights vs. Sting & Bully Ray (Bound For Glory 2012)
When it comes to the Aces & Eights storyline that took place from 2012 to 2014 in TNA, you either hate it or love it and more in the latter category as the amount of twist-and-turns, constant brawling and interigue helped to make the weekly episodes interesting and have been attributed to some of the best moments of the Hogan Era.
At Bound For Glory 2012, ‘The Icon’ Sting and a recently turned babyface Bully Ray teamed up to defend the company from the gang of invading masked bikers with the stipulation being that if Sting and Bully eon then Aces & Eights were gone but if the biker won, then they get access to the IMPACT Zone.
This match wasn’t exactly a classic as most of the action was just pure brawling whilst the Aces & Eights guys try to keep the masks on as they constant have to readjust it throughout the proceedings; Still the reaction of the fans in Phoenix Arizona and moments like Bully kicking a member of Aces & Eights in the balls, clobbering another with a piece of broken table, Sting firing himself up before telling Bully to ‘”Get The Tables” and even Joseph Parks gets a piece of the action beating up the mask bikers.
In the end, Aces & Eights scored the win, before Hulk Hogan came out to help Sting and Bully beat up the gang before unmasking one of them to reveal none other then Brother Devon, Bully’s longtime tag team partner…a decent match that’s elevated greatly by memorable moments and a rambunctious live crowd.
9. Naomichi Marufuji vs. Michael Elgin (Bound For Glory 2019)
Before the #Speaking Out Movement completely destroyed his career in mainstream wrestling, Michael Elgin was reliable when it came to putting on some best matches of the night if not the entire year and his short run in IMPACT saw him have great matches with everyone he stepped in the ring with.
Leading into 2019’s Bound For Glory event, Elgin was angling for a match with a Pro Wrestling Noah’s own Naomichi Marufuji and the company was more then happy to make it happen with the match seeing Elgin’s brute strength being matched by Marufuji’s quickness.
Neither man held anything back from each other as the fans cheered for everything they did with the action taking place both in and outside of the ring right up until the finish with Big Mike Elgin being able to put away his opponent to score the victory and winning his first only match at Bound For Glory.
8. The Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match (Bound For Glory 2022)
Since it’s inception back in 2019, The Call Your Shot Gauntlet match has seen wrestlers both past and present compete in what is essentially a battle royale until only two competitors remain at which point the match can only end by pinfall or submission.
Of the Call Your Shot Gauntlet matches to occur at Bound For Glory, the 2022 version is one the best with some of IMPACT’s up-and-coming stars like Tasha Steelz, Savannah Evans, Killer Kelly, Gisele Shaw, Steve Maclin and Bhupinder Gujjar wrestling along with the company’s seasoned veterans like Johnny Swinger, Rich Swann, Sami Callihan, Rhino and Tommy Dreamer.
While the action was good and several storylines were started or advanced in this match, the returns of Taylor Wilde and Bully Ray received some genuine surprise reactions from the commentators and the crowd, also this match featured Bobby Fish and the re-debut of Joe Hendry back into the promotion…So that’s nice.
It ultimately came down to Maclin and Bully as the final two and while fans hated the idea of a star from yesteryear winning a title shot over a rising talent, the end results led to a great if not flat out predictable story being told with Bully unsurprising turning heel and facing off against Josh Alexander in the opening contest of 2023’s Hard To Kill event for the IMPACT World Heavyweight Championship.
7. Rhino vs. Christian Cage: 8 Mile Street Fight (Bound For Glory 2006)
Today Christian Cage is known for his work rate inside the ring while occasionally having a fondness for talking about dead fathers in All Elite Wrestling, however decade plus earlier ‘Captain Charisma’ was having a career renaissance in TNA as one of the biggest free agents (not named Kurt Angle) to cross the line into the IMPACT Zone where he would become a megastar and battled some of the toughest wrestlers of that generation.
One such wrestler was former ECW/WWE Superstar, Rhino who suffered a concussion at the hands of ‘The Instant Classic’ leading to them having street fight at the 2006 Bound For Glory and because the show took place in Michigan the company decide to make it an ‘8 Mile Street Fight’ despite the fact the Eminem starring movie of the same name came out fours years earlier.
In terms of street fights at Bound For Glory, this one is pretty good as Rhino waste no time beating up his former friend and even managed drag Cage’s body into the arena whilst riding a freaking zamboni; chair shots, uses of a fake lightpole and an 8 Mile Road Sign, table spots and Rhino getting locked in a straightjacket at one point are just some of the highlights of this match which saw Christian Cage emerge victorious.
6. Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Rhino vs. Sabu: Monster’s Ball 2 (Bound For Glory 2005)
I mean talk about an instant classic…regarded by many as one of the best matches to take place at the inaugural Bound For Glory, which is truly saying something considering the 2005 event also saw Rhino become the new NWA World Champion, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels going at it for 30 minutes in an iron match and the show even opened with Samoa Joe vs. Jushin Liger.
The second Monster’s Ball match in company history saw the originator and human pincushion, Abyss in the ring with three other hardcore legends in Sabu, Rhino and Jeff Hardy; What follows is just an endless amount of destruction with everything not nailed down being used a weapon while Sabu manages to not botch any high flying spots which is an achievement in of itself.
Of course this match is legendary for the spot where Jeff Hardy climbs to the top of entrance structure and delivers the mother of all Swanton Bombs onto Abyss through a table; Because this match happened during the height of TNA’s popularity the crowd was white hot for this match which ended with Rhino delivering a rarely seen nowadays Rhino Driver onto Hardy for the three count albeit a kinda of botch three count there…thanks Andrew Thomas, nice to see your questionable refereeing doesn’t only happen at Victory Road.
5. Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode (Bound For Glory 2013)
Kurt Angle’s TNA run from 2006-16 saw the Olympic Gold Medalist make eight different appearances at Bound For Glory with at least four of them being non title matches and in the case of this entry, it’s with some Angle had a previous encounter with at BFG.
The main event of Bound For Glory 2011, saw Angle beating Bobby Roode to keep his TNA World Championship in an infamous moment that many felt held back Roode’s momentum following his journey and victory in the Bound for Glory Series…of course as we all know now this wasn’t the case.
Two years after their world title bout, Angle and Roode was set to face off at Bound For Glory this time with no titles or shenanigans surrounding this match just two great wrestlers going at it for a near 21 minutes and neither man is held anything back as they attempt to counter each others submission holds in order to see who would get the upper hand.
Of course unlike his 2011 encounter with Angle, Roode was a heel at this point so his moments of low blowing Kurt or raking his eyes should come as no surprise, but what was surprising was the finish with Angle hitting a big Angle Slam from the top rope but being unable to make the pin leading to a daze Roode to land on top of Kurt to pick up the win and avenge his loss at BFG 2011.
4. Matt Sydal & Ethan Page vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack (Bound For Glory 2018)
Now this…is how you open a pay per view
The first Bound For Glory in company history to have sold out, many remember this show for the ending that occurred in the main event, but to disregard everything else on the card would be doing a disservice as the show was filled with incredible matches…and James Ellsworth vs. a not yet LA Knight version of Eli Drake.
Part of the phrase “Begin as you mean to go on.” could be used to describe the opening contest for any wrestling show when it comes to starting off strong and continue that momentum going forward and if that’s the case oh boy, did IMPACT begin BFG 2018 with a great match featuring Rich Swann and Willie Mack taking on Ethan Page and Matt Sydal with three of the four men in this match making their pay per view debuts for the company.
A perfect blend of high flying action, tag team effciency and crowd interactions helps to make this tag team match a joy to watch and also a reminder of what a missed opportunity IMPACT Wrestling had by not putting the tag team titles on Swann and Mack because this bout is a good demonstration of their chemistry together.
Also props to ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page for getting involved in the Swann/Sydal feud on such short notice and teamming with the former X Division Champion, who apart he wasn’t a big fan of althought you’d never realize that from how they worked well in this match.
3. Jerry Lynn vs. Rob Van Dam: Full Metal Mayhem (Bound For Glory 2011)
Take two of the best wrestlers from Extreme Championship Wrestling, have them face off at one of your biggest shows of the year which just so happens to take place in a location that become synonymous with hardcore wrestling as it is with Philly Cheese steak and Rocky Balboa…If those wrestlers are RVD and Jerry Lynn, if the show is Bound For Glory 2011 and the state is Philadelphia Pennyslvania then you have a receipe for a tremendous match.
The early stages of this match saw Van Dam and Lynn having a basic one-on-one contest which was all well in good, but once both men headed to the outside of the ring and a steel chair and two ladders get produced from underneath the ring you know things are about to get interesting.
Both Lynn and RVD beat the heck out of eah other with chair and ladders with numerous spots that look and fell so dangerous you hope neither man comes out of this seriously hurt; The closing spot and biggest highlight of the match sees ‘The Whole F’n Show’ hitting a Van Terminatior complete with a chair onto a ladder in the corner with Lynn trapped in between.
Lynn looked like he had been knocked out following the Van Terminator and Van Dam emdured some hellish bumps throughout, but even stll both men were able to put their issues aside and end their renewed rivarly in the City of Brotherly Love.
2. Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle (Bound For Glory 2008)
Angle’s back and once again his squaring off against another one of his long time rivals but this time with a more personal element throw into the mix…the Feud between Jarrett and Angle over the years have seen the inclusion of Kurt’s ex-wife and Jeff’s current wife, Karen and it’s also created some of the best bouts of either wrestlers career.
For this list however, will be going all the way back to 2008 to talk about their very first encounter inside the six sided ring.
After stepping away from in-ring competition for two years, Jeff decided to become more on a behind the scenes figure in the company which just so happens to coincide with Kurt’s rise to dominance in the company, but soon a battle for control begins with TNA Shareholder, Mick Foley being added into mix as a special guest enforcer to feud which sees Angle bringing up Jeff’s kids in the lead up to the match, less you think it wan’t until 2011 when the Angle/Jarrett feud got personal.
No surprise the action was great, but it’s the storytelling throughout this match that is spectular with commentary mentioning if Jeff was mentally ready to get back in the ring to Kurt outmaneuvering the majority of Jarrett’s offense to Angle coming off as an intense but calculating monster picking apart the TNA Founder in the first half of the match.
By the time match gets into second and third gear, it become more competitive with Jarrett being able to build to momentum without it being almost immediately snuffed out by the Olympic Gold Medalist and then the finish where Angle snaps at the realization he can’t put Jarrett away so he grabs a steel chair only for Foley to stp him before he and Jarrett get walloped with the chair leading to the ‘Hardcore Legend’ getting involve and helping Double J win the first battle but of course as we all know the war was nowhere near over.
1. Bobby Roode vs. James Storm (Bound For Glory 2012)
I mention during the Cage/Rhino that in terms of street fights at BFG their match was pretty good, but if that match was good than there’s only one that can truly be considered the king at that would be Storm vs. Roode at Bound For Glory 2012.
Outside of needlessly adding Bellator Fighter King Mo as the special guest enforcer, this match is excellent from beginning to end with a video package highlighting both men’s time together as a team to Roode’s betrayal for the world championship to their previous encounters leading to the match combined with the commentary and crowd response the atomsphere was ferver pitch with everyone believing that they were about see a match for the ages…And they were goddamn right.
From the opening fist fight to the weapons getting involved toJames Storm’s face becoming a crimson mask to the fans reaction of seeing said crimson mask to Roode’s selling of the offense after being hit by the weapons and that’s all before you realize this is in the first 10 minutes of the match.
Roode getting into shoving matches with the referee and King Mo to the spot with landing in a pile of thumbtacks before being hit with a top rope elbow drop and then the finish: Roode low blows Storm and then grabs the beer bottle which started this rivarly to begin with only for Storm to answere back with a low blow of his own before cracking the bottle over Roode’s head, last call superkick by Storm, the three count and with that ‘The Cowboy ‘ is victorious.
2012 is often seen as the last great year for TNA Wrestling and if that’s the case, what a match to exemplify that idea.
And that’s my list, What is your favorite Bound For Glory match to not involve a championship? Be sure let us know in the comments section, you can follow me on my Twitter @FullertonHakeem and you can check out the previous article I made on the 10 Greatest Victory Road Matches right here.