5 Ways Bound for Glory Showed TNA Is Bound for Failure
Bound for Glory is the pinnacle event of the year for TNA. It's a night where the talent puts forth their best effort to put on a memorable performance.
This makes it the perfect time to look at the overall shape of the company and compare it to prior years.
But even if you just glance at TNA's current product, the results are not pretty. The situation feels dire. Rumors of a potential sale on the horizon could be a true blessing right now.
Just a few years ago, there was so much hope. Two true heavyweights of the business, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, came on board. We had a new Monday Night War underway. There was finally a buzz going, and the stars were joining left and right: Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, Scott Hall and Ric Flair, among others, had signed on.
Something has gone terribly wrong.
Last week's Bound for Glory 2013 was an example of nearly everything wrong with the company. Even though the number of pay-per-views has decreased from 12 to four a year, it still didn't feel special. If TNA is around a few years from now, it's doubtful this show will be looked back on fondly.
Here are five discouraging signs from TNA's biggest show of the year that point to a troubled future.
The Bro Mans Win
A joke team with a joke name (Bromance, get it? Haha?) are your new TNA Tag Team champions.
Yes, The Bro Mans—the guys who, with the help of Joey Ryan, couldn’t defeat Rob Terry in a three-on-one match just a couple months ago—are now an elite tag team.
These are the two guys who have been on the absolute bottom of the totem pole in TNA. All they've done is job, and job and job some more. Then, without any momentum or good storyline reason, they were given the Tag Team titles.
Sure, Bad Influence is a better act and better in the ring than the Bro Mans, but to someone in TNA management, booking them for Bound for Glory just made more sense.
WWE has given us a small tag team resurgence with The Shield, Cody Rhodes and Goldust, The Usos and the recent debut of Los Matadores. The company is at least trying. But TNA chose its version of The Heartthrobs or The Dicks to represent the division.
What else is there to say, except that Jersey Shore doesn't even make new episodes anymore? It’s time to repackage these guys and not dig in deeper. Eric Bischoff loves his reality TV, though (and he is quite successful at it), so expect them to be managed by Scott Baio any day now.
Sting Has Nothing to Give
A huge crisis within TNA right now is that any wrestler defeating anyone else barely means anything.
Let's say Zack Ryder defeated John Cena on Raw; it would be stupid, but it would be big. It would mean a tremendous amount for Ryder’s career. If Jessie Godderz pinned Kurt Angle, would it mean anything the following week?
Those are extreme examples, but it just goes to show that there is very little rub that can be given from anyone on the roster.
Within the past couple of weeks, TNA built a story around Magnus as an upcoming star who just needed his shot at the big time. His big test was defeating Sting.
Sting compared this to the time in his career when he took on Ric Flair and had the torch passed to him. That’s all well and good, but Magnus isn’t as over as Sting was, and Sting is certainly no Ric Flair.
Their match at Bound for Glory lasted an underwhelming 11 minutes with a surprising tapout by Sting. Magnus won, but it’s doubtful that he will become a big player because of this. Perhaps had Sting been protected these past few years and not been wrestling every other week in meaningless tag matches in oversized T-shirts, it could have meant something.
All there’s really left for Sting to do at this point in wrestling is go to WWE—and get inducted into its Hall of Fame.
The Top Stars Are Fading Fast
Jeff Hardy is TNA's biggest star. His face was on the Bound for Glory poster. He wrestled in the opening match.
Something is very wrong with that.
Last year, Hardy won the Heavyweight title against Austin Aries in a compelling match. It was the main event. This year, they were both feuding over the X-Division title. There wasn't a great storyline for it, either. It just felt like a way to get them on the show.
Samoe Joe, another former TNA Heavyweight champion, was also reduced to curtain-jerker status. Momentary champion of the the summer Chris Sabin was the fourth man in the aforementioned match, and the former Suicide was the last.
TNA needs wrestlers that fans can claim as their own. They company needs to be able to look like it's wrestlers are on the level of WWE's best. TNA doesn't push them this way. Putting four former champions in the opening match of the show fighting over a secondary title damages everyone involved.
Top talent is not being protected, and that affects the entire roster.
Kurt Angle Doesn’t Want in the HOF
When the second man invited into your Hall of Fame opts out, you know you've got problems.
Granted, Angle declined because of personal reasons, but one-half of the people in the company’s Hall of Fame have said "no thanks." Imagine last year if Bruno Sammartino showed up on Raw the night after the Hall of Fame ceremony, changed his mind and wanted out. That would look bad.
Imagine Greg Maddux getting voted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame next year and taking a pass.
The entire concept of a TNA Hall of Fame is deeply flawed to begin with. The company has only been in business for 11 years, it doesn't make money and it doesn't have legions of retired wrestlers worthy of induction.
For now, TNA has to take active wrestlers, which makes the inducted talent feel ancient. Besides, it’s probably only a matter of time before Dixie Carter inducts herself.
The Crowd Size
If you don’t want to be depressed, don’t look at the above photo.
This was taken right before the main event from TNA’s biggest show of the year. Its WrestleMania. Its Starrcade.
The last year of WCW didn’t even look like that for an episode of Thunder. This is scary.
To put things into perspective, WrestleMania 29 had 80,000 paid customers there. Of course, a head-to-head comparison isn't fair due to WWE's lengthy history, but this isn't even close. Not by a long shot.
TNA Bound for Glory had less people in attendance than your local flea market. You will probably see more people in line at a Dairy Queen.
This is why TNA has retreated from going on the road full time. The company recenlty released nearly 20 wrestlers and is headed back to the place it supposedly left for good at the Impact Zone. TNA's brand is badly damaged, and there's no better indicator than the lack of attendance for Bound for Glory.
So let's start the bidding!