TNA Wrestling: Top 15 Wrestlers in TNA Heading Into Bound for Glory
Bound for Glory is TNA's biggest pay-per-view event of the year.
With a show of that stature, the wrestlers in the company should be at their best—and many are. Several angles and feuds are coming together, and look to be culminating in some huge matches on October 16.
Bound for Glory is shaping up to be a stacked card, and here is a look at the top 15 wrestlers in TNA heading into this major event.
1. Bobby Roode
Going into the biggest match of his career, Bobby Roode is rolling
At a time in wrestling, when there aren't too many talents that are being used to their full potential, Bobby Roode is an exception.
Roode, heading into the biggest match of his career—a TNA World Heavyweight Title match against defending champ Kurt Angle—has been terrific.
He's had a series of match of the night performances against his fellow Fortune members Kazarian and AJ Styles (with another against Beer Money partner James Storm on Thursday).
TNA also debuted the first in a series of vignettes on Roode training for his big match.
While it would be nice to have this culminate with Roode becoming the world champion at Bound for Glory, a terrific match (that means no run-ins) with Roode coming just short would work as well.
One thing is for certain: Roode needs to stay in the main event picture for the long term.
Sting's new persona has definitely triggered a response in fans.
No matter what your opinion of Sting's "Insane Icon" persona is, it's probably a strong one.
Which makes this as interesting as Sting has been in years.
TNA has never been great at sticking to a storyline, but they've definitely done it with Sting—whose feud with Hulk Hogan has been going since he blindsided Hogan on the January 4, 2010 episode of Impact.
The story looks to be finally, hopefully, coming to a climax with the Hogan and Sting match at Bound for Glory.
3. Hulk Hogan
Can Hogan lace the boots up one more time?
Admittedly, Hulk Hogan vs. Sting in 2011 doesn't really give me a great deal of excitement, but I have to say, the build to it has been well done.
It definitely has borrowed some from their feud in WCW, where Hogan avoided Sting for a year until their big match at Starrcade in 1997.
That's right, their most recognizable match is over a decade old.
The biggest question of the match may not be the winner, but (with him signing a new contract with TNA this week) where does Hogan go after Bound for Glory?
4. Austin Aries
It didn't take long for Aries to make an Impact
When TNA decided to revamp the X Division, most people saw Austin Aries as the guy who was going to be the crown jewel of the new-look roster.
Those people were right.
Aries brought his "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" persona over from Ring of Honor and it has been just as successful in TNA.
While many wrestlers are focused on five-star matches with stiff kicks, dives and dropping people on their heads, Aries has shown he understands the business.
Great matches are nothing if you can't display some character. Aries has character to spare.
His defense of the X Division title against Brian Kendrick at Bound for Glory is one of many matches that could steal the show.
5. Samoa Joe
The Samoan Submission Machine is showing signs of what he can do.
More than any other wrestler on the roster, Samoa Joe needs to be given the green light to be all that he can be.
One thing World Wrestling Entertainment is doing right is allowing Mark Henry to be showcased as a merciless machine of destruction.
Mark Henry has nothing on Samoa Joe.
Joe has been showing that monster side recently in his feuds with Matt Morgan and Crimson. At Bound for Glory, he should be fully unleashed.
The end result could mean big money for TNA.
6. Mr. Anderson
Mr. Anderson is back on course
After losing a lot of momentum with his heel and face turns, Mr. Anderson seems to be back on track as the anti-hero baby face he's best suited as.
His feud with Bully Ray seems a perfect fit, as both men play off each other well.
Their brawl at Bound for Glory should be well received by the Philadelphia fans.
Hopefully, TNA can continue to gain momentum with Anderson afterward as he is definitely a main event player if used right.
7. Bully Ray
Bully Ray was TNA's biggest surprise in 2011
When Team 3D announced they were wrapping it up as a team at last year's Bound for Glory, many didn't think it would work out well for either Brother Ray or Devon.
Devon has held his own since the split, while the newly-named Bully Ray has blown up.
Like Aries, Ray gets what it means to be a heel and has excelled at it.
He's established himself as the guy, in TNA, that any baby face aspiring to be a main event contender needs to have a feud with.
8. Kurt Angle
No matter what, he's still Kurt Angle
While you can question his heel turn— and the reasons behind it—you can't question the skills of the current TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Kurt Angle is the guy who brings career matches out of people (ask Matt Morgan). Expect no less against Roode at Bound for Glory.
The man remains the standard bearer in TNA.
9. A.J. Styles
You can never go wrong with Styles vs. Daniels
All other participants at Bound for Glory should take note. You're going up against A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels for match of the night.
That's always a challenge.
Just when people forget the talent Styles has, he has a match of the night at Slammiversary vs. Bully Ray, good matches with Daniels at Destination X and on Impact and another good one with Roode on Impact.
Along with Angle, he's the guy you go to when a good match is needed.
With Daniels, that won't be hard.
Other BFG talent, you're on notice.
10. Rob Van Dam
RVD should be plenty motivated to shine in his old stomping grounds
Even Rob Van Dam himself has admitted he's struggled at times to be motivated during his stint in TNA.
A return to Philadelphia against his old Extreme Championship Wrestling rival may be just what the doctor ordered.
Van Dam has had moments where he's looked like the Van Dam of old in TNA, and having that Philly crowd behind him should bring out the best in him.
Jerry Lynn as an opponent should as well. Expect both men to go in with the goal of stealing the show—tough competition or not.
11. Christopher Daniels
Expect the usual from Daniels and Styles - and that's a good thing.
It's great for Christopher Daniels to be back in TNA Wrestling. It's even better to have him feuding with long-time friend/rival A.J. Styles.
Both men have had their share of experiences wrestling in Philadelphia. They know how tough that crowd is.
They'll put on a match that won't disappoint.
Daniels has a history in TNA of having a run and then fading out. Hopefully, history doesn't repeat itself as he's another guy that others will benefit from feuding with.
Crimson still has a long way to go, but he's getting there.
The undefeated streak of Crimson hasn't caught people's attention like those in TNA probably hoped (for one, a big monster like that should not be squeaking out victories against Matt Hardy), but he's shown some signs of being a star down the line.
His promos with Kurt Angle showed some potential mic skills.
His feud with Samoa Joe should help him develop in the ring.
He needs to be more dominant and they need to go deeper into the character, but you can see a foundation is starting to be built.
13. Matt Morgan
It's time for Matt Morgan to get going again
The fact that Morgan is this low on the list is a problem.
This guy should be one of the top stars in the company. Unfortunately, they haven't set him up to be that yet.
When you look at the TNA roster and think "Who should be the face of the company?" Morgan is a name that immediately springs to mind.
He has the look, he's well spoken, has a great background and is the kind of guy you want to have doing interviews and representing the company when big promotional opportunities come along.
At Bound for Glory, he's looking at two other guys that should be bigger than they are in Samoa Joe and Crimson.
Will Morgan be the one of the group to break out?
14. Mickie James
Bound for Glory is Mickie James' TNA Anniversary
A year ago, Mickie James made her in-ring debut at Bound for Glory as a special guest referee.
Now, she's the face of the Knockout Division.
Going into the Knockout Championship Four Corners match at Bound for Glory, James looks to be staying in that role for awhile.
However, she might not want to get too comfortable because No. 15 is making a run for that crown.
15. Velvet Sky
The heir apparent to the Knockout throne
Don't be surprised if Velvet Sky is running the Knockouts division by next year's Bound for Glory.
While Mickie is the top face now, and Brooke Tessmacher shows a lot of potential for the future, Velvet is definitely the next in line.
TNA has gotten behind her with a push to get her on Dancing With the Stars. Don't be surprised if Bound for Glory isn't partially used as a showcase for her.
This list shows the level of talent in TNA, and I expect all of them to go into Bound for Glory ready to impress the notoriously-tough Philadelphia crowd.
As huge as this show is, the aftermath may be the biggest thing, as we wait to see where TNA is headed in 2012.
So what talent do you see as the top dogs heading into Bound for Glory?