As we've seen this past Thursday on IMPACT, the 2012 Bound For Glory Series has officially kicked off. Can you believe we're already talking about BFG and it's only June? It's great!
The smell of Bound For Glory is just starting to brew as this series cooks up. Looking at the participants, this year's Series should not upset either.
Seven of the 12 participants are former World Heavyweight Champions!
This batch of stars definitely looks better than last year's, which was heavy on older talent (Devon, RVD and even Scott Steiner made the cut).
All 12 of these guys are World Champion material (Or could be crafted into World Champion material. Stop looking at Robbie, guys. Not cool).
Join me as I give my opinion on each of the 12 competitors in this year's Bound For Glory Series.
I figured, why not go in order of the gauntlet, right?
First and foremost, "The Phenomenal One" AJ Styles.
I'm curious about how the BFG Series would go if AJ were not even in it to begin with! This guy is and has been the heart and soul of TNA. He eats, breathes and sleeps TNA.
"Phenomenal One" isn't some gimmick. AJ lives up to the name every time he walks through the curtain and puts on a match.
Last year, Styles' chances of winning the BFG Series were slim to none courtesy of Christopher Daniels. This year, I'm afraid AJ's chances are toned down even more now with Daniels, Kazarian, Angle and Dixie Carter tied up to him.
AJ definitely deserves a top spot in the company and to be gunning down the World Champ. However, I cannot picture AJ walking away from the BFGS as a winner.
I'll admit that when Jeff Hardy first made his return to TNA following the "Victory Road Incident," I hated him. Yeah, hated is in italics. That's tough.
In his feud with "Double J" Jeff Jarrett, I took sides with Jarrett. I believed every word Jarrett said and I'd always want to watch "The King of the Mountain" beat down "The Charismatic Enema."
His World title feud with Bobby Roode to begin 2012? I hated that idea, too. In no way, shape or form was Hardy ready to feud with the World Champion that quickly.
His feud with Kurt Angle? Well, that was pretty cool considering they fought at Lockdown.
Since Hardy has taken a lesser role and stepped down, if you will, I've begun to re-connect with him after all the hatred I spewed toward him.
Watching him bring life to an otherwise dead Nashville crowd at Lockdown made me realize his ability. I still don't want him as World Champion yet, but time heals all wounds, so they say.
Hardy is a great pick for the BFG Series and I, for one, would love to see him go one-on-one with Bully Ray, The Pope, Magnus, Robbie E, Samoa Joe, Daniels and more.
Though he is a strong candidate for winning this entire series, I wouldn't count on it. I can imagine Hardy making the final four, but nothing more.
Seeing this guy just makes me thing one think, "Ugh..."
Rob Van Dam is about as useful as a white crayon in IMPACT Wrestling right now. Congrats on earning a World title shot for Sacrifice after returning only one pay-per-view beforehand.
Sticking with the crayon shtick, you know that one crayon that you always use? It's worn down to the nub and really dull? Instead of calling it red, blue, green, yellow, or whatever color it is, call it Rob Van Dam.
RVD is really dull and boring at this point. TNA continuously uses him to draw the same picture.
RVD beats Jeff Hardy or Mr. Anderson. Gets World title shot. Loses. Complains about never losing the title in the first place. Yeah, that was in 2010 when he "never" lost the title. Get over it, Bob.
Can you tell that I'm not a BVD fan, yet?
Hopefully TNA will catch up with the times and do what every other kid is doing. And that's throwing away crayons and getting something more entertaining, like an iPhone or an iPad.
Hey, here's that iPhone or iPad I was talking about!
I love the fact that TNA has inserted Magnus into the BFG Series.
In his mid-20s, Magnus already looks to have a bright future ahead of him. He's got the in-ring skill, the mic skills, charisma and the look of a champion. Just look at that pose in the picture. Like a statue shipped to the US from Rome. Uh, what?
For a guy his age, TNA has already shown that they have faith in him. For their project in India (Ring Ka King), Magnus was the hood ornament for a faction led by Jeff Jarrett. He was the Ring Ka King Heavyweight Champion for some time and had a good feud with Matt Morgan.
I can't imagine Magnus winning the Series, but I do expect a strong showing from the Brit.
Magnus is already believed to be the future of IMPACT Wrestling. Who says? I don't know, does the name "Sting" sound familiar?
In a recent interview, Sting said that Magnus is a future star in TNA. Sting also said that he'd love to face either The Undertaker or Magnus in a one-on-one match.
Plus, he's dating Mickie James, so he must be doing something right.
Bully Ray finished in second place last year. Second place!
Of course, Bobby Roode would be the guy to defeat Bully Ray and go into the main event of Bound For Glory.
I could definitely see Bully Ray repeating what he did last year. He's been a top heel within the ranks of TNA and, as we've seen in the past, isn't afraid of putting someone over on pay-per-view. (Added bonus: He rebounds quickly).
After watching the gauntlet match, it looks like Bully Ray is still in his program with Abyss. Before Abyss pulled Bully from the ring, nobody was safe in that gauntlet match.
I mean, you look back at it and Bully Ray was beating down, like, five people at once!
I like Bully Ray's chances (of making the final four at least), but this thing with the Park brothers will end up holding him back.
I'd love to see Roode vs. Angle in a rematch, but not at Bound For Glory and not through the same exact process.
Angle is a small-time player in a bigger story that features AJ Styles, Dixie Carter, Daniels and Kazarian. He and Styles recently became Tag Team Champions and better be watching their backs in case a rematch clause comes early.
I feel like this storyline between AJ, Dixie, Daniels and Kazarian may eventually cause Angle to erupt. He was already getting agitated with Styles after the gauntlet. How much longer is Kurt on board before he goes crazy?
I love Kurt Angle, but he doesn't exactly fit into the main event right now. Seeing him in the final four at No Surrender would be great, but I'm unsure of where he stands.
This made me a happy little member of "The Congregation" again.
Wasn't it great to finally hear The Pope's entrance music blaring over the in-ring action? Then watching him take it to everyone in the ring? Then having Tenay announce that Pope will be part of the upcoming Batman movie? God, that movie is going to kick ass.
Seeing The Pope back on TV definitely made a lot of people happy. All those people who would comment on my other articles would say, "Nice article. By the way, where's Pope?" Even when it's totally unrelated, but it's cool because he's finally back!
I would love nothing more than watching The Pope ascend through this competition. Face off against AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Magnus, Daniels and many more. It's just great to see him back!
Let's all hope that he doesn't get booked like he did last year. You remember. He was one of the lowest-scoring wrestlers in the tournament because he was trying to become friends with Devon or something....
Take a guess at who I marked out for the most in the gauntlet match. Go ahead, take a wild guess.
My dude, Robbie E! Oh, oh, oh, oh, OH!
Why? I'm a mark for the guy! I find everything that he does to be entertaining. I loved him since his TNA debut and I cannot believe TNA put him in the BFG Series with the likes of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy!
Have you noticed how much TNA loves this guy?
Robbie E has thrown the first pitch out at baseball games, done radio/news interviews, appeared in newspapers and was even given his own blog on Spike.com. My dude is slowly going everywhere!
He's also one of the most interactive TNA wrestlers on Twitter.
TNA definitely sees something in Robbie E. Why else would he be in a tournament with Angle, AJ, Hardy, RVD, Bully Ray, Daniels and other veterans?
He basically has a zero percent chance of winning this thing, but a great chance of learning a thing or two from the veterans he'll be competing with. For Robbie E, it's more of a learning experience.
Within the past year, Daniels has been hitting his stride.
His work continues to improve and he continues to become one of the most entertaining (on the mic & in the ring) guys on IMPACT.
He's a crafty veteran and some assistance from Kazarian could get Daniels far in this tournament. This tournament could also be a stepping stone for his feud with AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, though.
Daniels is a guy that I wouldn't mind watching soar through this Series. He has all the tools and it's pretty surprising to think that he's never been a World Champion.
However, with his involvement in the AJ/Dixie saga, I don't feel I can say that Daniels will win this Series. With assistance from Kazarian, he does have a good shot at the final four come No Surrender, though.
Who is this guy?! Looking at that picture, that body language would be enough to scare Shrek away.
Samoa Joe is obviously one of the most athletically gifted men in wrestling today. He's one agile big man and has quite a dominant past.
The thing that worries me is his recent past. Let's say, about, this time last year. Samoa Joe lost to Crimson at Slammiversary IX and then went negative in the BFG Series. Negative!
Samoa Joe has been victim of some poor booking throughout the years, but it looks like he's gotten out of that funk.
The old Joe is back. The "Samoan Submission Machine" and "Joe's Gonna Kill You!" Joe is finally back.
We've seen him put on a pretty good showing in the gauntlet match. We can only hope he keeps that momentum going throughout the entire Series.
Here's "The Cowboy."
After a brief vacation, James Storm returned in a big way by defeating "The Undefeated Hero" Crimson at Slammiversary X.
Storm entered the gauntlet match last, came out the winner and picked up a fat 20 points to get a commanding lead over his opponents.
James Storm is the favorite to win. Not one of, but the favorite to win. The story behind it all would be great, too.
For Storm to do what his former partner, Bobby Roode couldn't do. That's win the BFG Series and go into Bound For Glory and leave as the new World Heavyweight Champion.
I look at Mr. Anderson and I can't help but feel that he got the cheap way into this whole Series.
If he beat Roode this past Thursday, he would've been the new World Champion. Anderson fell short, yet he falls into a safety net that'll hold him in the running for another potential title match.
I feel like after losing, Anderson needs to start at square one. I feel like all 12 participants in the BFG Series should've been pre-determined and all ready to go in the gauntlet match.
Instead, the gauntlet match was one man short and Anderson lands into his safety net that keeps him relevant around the World title.
I like Anderson and all, but he got into the BFGS kind of like a jerk (it's fine to call him a jerk because it's his gimmick).
This formerly undefeated hero was the frontrunner of last year's BFG Series. He held the No. 1 spot since the very beginning of the Series and was a clear-cut favorite to win it while riding on his undefeated streak.
Now, after one loss, Crimson finds himself outside looking in on this year's tournament despite what was previously said above.
Crimson would've gotten that World title match at BFG too if it weren't for Samoa Joe being a sore loser and all.
The more I think about it, the better I think it is, though. Not being involved allows Crimson to hone his newly found heel character in the mid-card without taking too many hits.
Maybe being left out of the Series increases his odds of becoming Television Champion.
"Mr. Intensity" finished in the final four of the BFG Series last year. He had quite the performance too before it all ended with one cross-face courtesy of Bobby Roode.
Gunner is a good, young talent that could learn from veterans such as Kurt Angle, Daniels or Bully Ray. For him to go from final four to nothing is pretty bad within itself.
Some of the best matches of his career thus far came because of the BFG Series.
I would've loved to see an underdog story in the form of Austin Aries. Watching him try to live up to his "Greatest Man That Ever Lived" nickname with the likes of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Daniels and Jeff Hardy would've definitely been fun to watch.
Instead, Hulk Hogan has laid out an interesting proposal to "A Double."
Will he take a World title shot or keep his X Division Championship?
Kazarian is involved in the storyline between AJ, Dixie, Angle and Daniels. Yet, he's the only wrestler in that angle to have gotten left out of the Bound For Glory Series! As a longtime Kazarian fan, that's upsetting to me.
Kazarian is a great worker and TNA has yet to realize his full potential. The BFG Series would've been a great way for Kazarian to showcase whether he has what it takes to become World Heavyweight Champion (Spoiler Alert: He does).
This one seems like a stretch, but it's worth a shot.
Apparently, rumors are that Hernandez has impressed someone within TNA enough to get a little push going. Which is the reason for his random match at Slammiversary and TV title shot on IMPACT.
Hernandez has been very close to the World Heavyweight Championship scene (Thanks to Feast or Fired) and it'd be interesting to see if "Super Mex" can hang.
Oh, come on! I can't be the only one that would think Kid Kash in the BFG Series would be awesome!
Imagine Kid Kash vs. Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, RVD or Robbie E.
Kash is awesome!
There you go. My take on all 12 of the participants in the 2012 BFG Series. And it should be an awesome Series!
I won't predict a surefire Final Four, but I will say Jeff Hardy and James Storm will fill two of those spots. James Storm has the best chance of winning the entire thing, in my opinion.
You don't need to tell me. I know Robbie E will be the lowest-scoring wrestler in the Series.
Any thoughts, comments, predictions or other stuff, go ahead and let it be known in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading and please check out WrestleEnigma.com.