So, what were some of the things that worked at TNA's Bound For Glory last night?
Quality of Matches
This show was packed full of high-quality matches. RVD and Zema tore it up X-Division-style to open the PPV, and it set the pace for the rest of the night. Samoa Joe and Magnus put on a solid TV Title match. James Storm and Bobby Roode put on the match of the night in a bloody street fight.
When an acceptable match between Joey Ryan and Al Snow (with an appearance by Matt Morgan) is the worst match of the night, you're definitely doing something right. All four of the losers in the tag team triple threat match were outstanding, and winners Guerrero and Hernandez looked good the whole time.
The Knockouts match was good (or maybe I'm just used to watching the horrible Divas matches on WWE programming); Sting & Bully vs. Aces & Eights was a lot better than I expected (with the exception of Hulk's attempted offense); and despite the fact that I dislike Hardy as much as I dislike Cena, his match with A-Double lived up to it's spot as the main event of the company's biggest show of the year.
I'm not a die-hard TNA fan, but I have been following the industry for over two decades, so I like to think I can tell what's coming when I'm watching sports entertainment of any variety. Being surprised is one of my favorite parts of being a wrestling fan, and last night's BFG did not disappoint.
I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if every champion on last night's PPV retained, but it turned out that Samoa Joe was the only one who entered and left a champion.
When we were told that Tara's "Hollywood boyfriend" would be at BFG, I assumed it would be someone ridiculous (i.e. Pee Wee Herman, Drew Carey), if she had one at all. I would never have guessed that they would bring in someone that was attractive and featured on a relatively successful TV show.
How many people predicted Devon as one of the masterminds behind Aces & Eights? Who would have guessed Matt Morgan would assist Joey Ryan in obtaining his TNA contract?
Schedule & Emphasis
With so much emphasis being placed on Aces & Eights as of late, I was afraid this pay-per-view would end up focusing primarily on that storyline, dragging down all of the unrelated matches as it did so. I was afraid that the World Heavyweight Championship match would be under-hyped and that some of these matches would be booked to end much too quickly.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I was wrong.
Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy was saved for last, just as it should have been (take note, WWE). Obviously, a few mentions were made about Aces & Eights throughout the show, but not so much that it drowned out the other stories.
The X-Division match only had a few days worth of build, so they put that match on first, as they should have. Storm and Roode needed a lengthy battle, and that's what we got. Matches featuring some of their premiere grapplers (such as Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Austin Aries) were given plenty of time to tell their full stories and show the skill of the performers.
Yes, the pay-per-view was good. But it wasn't perfect...