Mount Killamanjaro: TNA Bound for Glory Review

Mike Killam

X-Division Championship
Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick

The X-Division is the cornerstone of Impact Wrestling. Since the very beginning of the company the stars of the X-Division have put TNA on the map, building the young careers of AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Kazarian, and a whole lot more. So it's fitting that their biggest event of the year would kick off with a fantastic match for the X-Division championship. Austin Aries was supposed to play the heel, but Philadelphia is definitely a wrestling city with a mind of its own. That being said the crowd was hot all the way through, and popped huge for some of the spots. As great as Kendrick is at pulling out those big moves, Aries is even better at selling them. So when the challenger hit that huge Sliced Bread #2 off the top rope, Aries reacted perfectly and used the extra impact to do a full flip before falling to the ground. The near fall just perfected the moment. It's the extra details that put the icing on the cake, and these two turned a ten minute spot into one of the best matches of the night. A+

Full Metal Mayhem
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn

The “E-C-Dub” chants that kicked off this match said it all. Originally I thought this feud had very little steam going into it, but after taking into account the Philadelphia crowd and the bitter history between these two men, the lack of build-up mattered very little when all was said and done. As a disclaimer, I'm really not the biggest Rob Van Dam supporter and I haven't enjoyed his presence in TNA thus far. But this is the kind of match, and Lynn is the kind of opponent that makes RVD thrive. When you take away his bland, incoherent promos and let him go at it in an extreme environment, he'll deliver 9 times out of 10. Likewise, Jerry Lynn isn't the most charismatic of wrestlers, but the two of them told a story in the ring using chairs, ladders, and even a few guardrail spots. The highlight of the match was definitely Lynn's sunset flip to the outside that sent RVD plummeting head-first into the guardrail. For a minute I was genuinely concerned for his safety, but the guy has taken enough hits to the head that any amount of pain really won't stop him from finishing the match. It was fast-paced throughout, both guys traded the offensive multiple times, and the finish was great! I'm always excited when a match doesn't end with the classic finisher, so props to whoever booked the finish for not using the old Five Star standby. A

Crimson vs. Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan

This right here is what I like to see from TNA. A simple triple threat match based on a very simple premise. There is nothing complicated about three big guys, all with main event caliber talent fighting to be the best. They didn't try to stretch out the match, give it more focus than it needed, or pull any kind of swerve. It's pro wrestling basics from three of TNA's best stars, and if they can continue booking things like this I think they have a shot of putting out a really solid weekly product. Once again here the Philly crowd did whatever they wanted, cheering the heel Samoa Joe on even with two faces waging war against each other. In the end Crimson picked up the win that we all saw coming, furthered the undefeated streak, and carried out an angle we'll see evolve this week on Impact Wrestling. I wasn't a huge fan of the end, as Morgan was literally within arms' length of the pinfall and could have just fallen on top of them to break it up. But that's honestly my biggest complain about the match… They weren't out there long enough to do anything else wrong! B+

Falls Count Anywhere
Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray

Any time you have something like a Falls Count Anywhere match on the same card as Metal Mayhem or “I Quit” there's a worry that the stipulation will get stale by the end of the night. I applaud Anderson, Ray, and whoever booked the match for actually utilizing the Anywhere part of the name, traveling around the arena and actually ending the match outside of the ring. It's always frustrating when two guys in a Falls Count Anywhere never leave ringside and hit their finisher five minutes later in the middle of the ring. But these guys tore the house down and really played off the Philadelphia crowd. I'm sure they were worried that Bully Ray would get a lot of the “hometown” support, but they tried as hard as they could to make sure the live crowd hated his guts. Ray continues to be one of the best heels in professional wrestling, and the crowd got behind Anderson like I haven't seen since his debut in TNA. It sucks that he botched the finish, but these things happen and I'm glad he had the wherewithal to improvise and pick up the victory. Big props for the Bully Ray piledriver backstage. Definitely a move we don't see enough these days… A

TNA Women's Knockout Championship
Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne vs. Winter vs. Mickie James

First of all, before I mention anything else, Madison Rayne has the best entrance music in TNA. And even though I took the Knockouts to task in my preview, I have to admit they are still head and, um…shoulders better than the WWE Divas. Karen Jarrett plays a great head mistress, for lack of a better term, and while the division isn't quite as good as the days of Kim vs. Kong, they definitely made the most out of their 8 minute spot (that's about five minutes more than the WWE would have given this match). My biggest issue, and I'm sure most will agree with me here, is that the tag-in format of the match makes NO SENSE in a 4-way match. Of course it doesn't matter when we knew Traci Brooks would eventually run down to count the three, but what would have been Mickie's excuse for not winning the match? “Sorry, I couldn't win the title back because…my arms weren't long enough to tag in while she was being pinned…” What's even more confusing is that the tags didn't seem to actually matter, as Velvet Sky was dragged into the ring and picked up the win. Whatever… Congratulations to Velvet Sky on her first reign as Knockout's Champion. B-

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