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411 Wrestling Fact or Fiction: Does Anyone Care About This Weekend’s Impact Bound for Glory?

October 18, 2019 | Posted by Jake Chambers
Impact Wrestling Bound for Glory - The Rascalz

Welcome back to the 411 Fact or Fiction – Wrestling Edition, I’m your host, Jake Chambers. Every week, Fact or Fiction poses statements on pro-wrestling history, culture and current events and then challenges writers to explain why they believe each statement is totally factual or completely fiction. No middle ground will be tolerated!

This week’s guest is: Dino Zee. As the managing editor of the ZWI department at the 411mania head office, Dino has written for years many thorough, heartfelt and persuasive columns about the fascinating goings on in the TNA/IMAPCT universe. With the move to AXS and so many headlining grabbing changes over the past few months, I assumed Dino has been on the road, PRESS tag sticking out of his fedora, and shimmying up to sources in Orlando parking lots looking for scoops. So I was luckily able to grab a hold of him by telegraph to get his thoughts on the Bound for Glory PPV this coming weekend.

Statement #1: Before receiving this statement, you were aware IMPACT Wrestling’s signature PPV Bound for Glory was this weekend, and you were excited about it.

Jake Chambers: FICTION – Since I wrote these statements, clearly I knew that it was coming up, but you get my drift here. But am I excited? C’mon… lol, no one on Earth is legit excited for an IMPACT PPV in 2019, are they? You know how there’s like one guy who’s an Orlando Magic super fan but lives in Vancouver; well, that’s like an IMPACT fan these days. Look, I don’t want to pile on IMPACT, especially with the preeminent 411 IMPACT reporter as my guest today, so I’ll say this: last year, I watched Bound for Glory out of morbid loyalty and that damn weird hybrid shoot-fight Austin Aries vs. Johnny Impact main event was Match of the Year for 2019.

Dino Zee: FACT – I was aware, and I was excited, but I’m also so out of the loop on IMPACT currently that I was more excited to see what the card is. Real life stuff has really kept me from watching much lately, which partly explains my absence, so I’ve just tried to keep tabs on IMPACT via reports and things of that nature. 

All that said, of course I’m excited for Bound for Glory.  It’s the biggest show of the year for IMPACT, and they’ve had quite the 2019, so I’m hoping that it all comes together for them!

Statement #2: Michael Elgin vs. Naomichi Marufuji is the match you’re most looking forward to at Bound for Glory.

Jake Chambers: FACT – Marufuji is one of my all-time favourites, and even though he’s appeared in TNA/IMPACT over the years, this is his best chance to have a match that can steal the show. Unfortunately, Marufuji is on the back end of his career now, and it’s unlikely he’s going to have a main event run in the US like he flirted with in mid-2000s ROH. However, I think a veteran, gives-no-fucks Michael Elgin could pull some convincing and stiff action out of Marufuji that could led to a very dramatic ending where I’m not sure exactly who would win, comparable to the Chris Dickinson vs. Daisuke Sekimoto match from Beyond Wrestling’s Americanrana this summer.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Hurts to say, as I love Marufuji, but I’m also not a huge Elgin fan, and I’m definitely more excited about Tessa possibly winning some X-Division gold, or the match between The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier, Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz) and Dr. Wagner Jr., Aero Star and Taurus. Both of those matches hold much more intrigue about what goes down, and features wrestlers that I enjoy much more combined than Elgin. I think the six-man has the potential to tear the whole place down, and a Tessa would win would be a nice, historical moment. Elgin/Marufuji offers me neither.  Maybe I’m selling Elgin short, but I’ve just never been on the Big Mike Train. Not even Marufuji can change that for me here.


Statement #3: Sami Callihan would be a better IMPACT World Champion than Brian Cage.

Jake Chambers: FACT – Sami has gotten by as a special attraction main event-er for a while now in IMPACT, and I worry a title reign will spoil that for him. Cage, on the other hand, is not being positioned as effectively in IMPACT as he was in Lucha Underground as a killer (literally). Full of natural asshole charisma, Cage as smiling babyface or wronged party in a rivalry doesn’t work for me. Therefore, I’m going to say Callihan would be a better champion right now, but only by default because a heel Cage would be the best option.

Dino Zee: FACT – This is where I feel a little fraudulent since I’m not totally up to date, but I also feel that, since the feud with Pentagon last year, Sami Callihan has been one of the very best on the Impact roster, and that he’s delivered in every big situation in which he’s been placed.  Eddie Edwards, Pentagon, Rich Swann, and Tessa were all really fun feuds (in my opinion), and Callihan’s the big constant here. 

Fact or Fiction – Quick Hits
– one sentence is all you need for this FoF lightning round!

1. You’re excited to see Ken Shamrock back in action at Bound for Glory.

Jake Chambers: FICTION – And, yes, I want to see him matched up with Dan Severn or Sakuraba on this comeback tour too!

Dino Zee: FACT – I will always always always love Ken Shamrock, and I like Impact bringing him back for this.

2. Which brand a WWE superstar is “drafted” matters to you.

Dino Zee: FICTION – The brands don’t matter, and if they want to push someone, they will.

3. You watched and enjoyed an episode of AEW Dynamite.

Dino Zee: FICTION – Only the first one so far, but I plan to be caught up in the next day or two. I like AEW. Because I like wrestling. (Ed: Luckily this isn’t an IMPACT Grand Championship Match, because this would be points deducted for extra sentences!)

Jake Chambers: FICTION – I watched, meh.

4. WWE needs to bring back Halloween Havoc.

Dino Zee: FACT – Let’s get rid of shows based on a match type, and bring back hokey-ass stuff like this! I want Bash at the Beach while we’re at it!

¡SWITCH!

Statement #4: IMPACT’s “Dark Realm” storyline this year, featuring the “murder” of Allie by a Freddy Krueger-gloved Rosemary, is one of the dumbest things you’ve ever watched as a pro-wrestling fan.

Dino Zee: FICTION – This was silly. Extremely silly. But I absolutely loved it, and while I certainly do love plenty of dumb things, in no way was this one of the dumbest. It was fantastical, sure, and if this were ZWI, I might even blow a gasket that IMPACT Management let a feud get so far out of control. However, it was always a supernatural feud, weaving its way through the paths of Rosemary, Kiera Hogan, Su Yung, Rosemary, with Rosemary needing to overcome the guilt of losing Allie to the darkness in the first place. If this had simply been paid off in a normal wrestling match at a pay per view, it’d have just been something we’d seen done time and time again.

Instead, IMPACT harnessed a bit of that LU magic, and delivered, and I say this with no hyperbole, one of my absolute favorite segments in Impact history. I’ve gone back and watched it on YouTube multiple times since its initial airing. I still GET SAD when Allie is stabbed and starts to fade away. That “I’m whole again” to Rosemary, who is absolutely beside herself as she cradles her friend… man, I don’t give a shit, that whole Dark Realm story was awesome, and the final payoff, to me, is GOAT.  

LOVED “Dark Realm.”

Jake Chambers: FICTION – Pro-wrestling is filled with so many monumentally dumb moments, but this wasn’t that bad. I think the TNA Broken-verse stuff was way dumber, because there was no logic to it and the attempts at humour were cringe-worthy. I like that the “Dark Realm” story was played straight with real attempts at acting and drama. So no, dumb for me is like the Bray Wyatt hologram that interrupted the ending of a great Hell in a Cell Match between Rollins and Ambrose, or the Ambrose exploding monitor bit in his TLC Match with Bray Wyatt, or Bray using a PPT of maggots as ineffectual distraction during his Wrestlemania WWE Title defence against Randy Orton, then, of course , there was the House of Horrors Match, the Firefly Funhouse, The Fiend’s Hell in a Cell Universal Title match… hmm, I think it’s safe to say that even the “Dark Realm” storyline wasn’t as dumb as most of Bray Wyatt’s career.

Statement #5: Everyone remembers the classic introduction of Suicide as a new character in the story mode of the 2008 TNA Impact! video game. Great story is more important than great game play in a wrestling video game. 

Dino Zee: FICTION – I had to really think about all the wrestling games I’ve played in my life, but the answer is almost always the same:  if the gameplay isn’t there, everything else is brought down. That said, I initially thought of the IMPACT game itself, which had a really fun story, but the gameplay wasn’t fantastic (it also wasn’t atrocious). So what could have been a really good game was, instead, just a pretty good game that was fun. But then you compare that to the N64 darlings of yesteryear that had basically no story yet remain beloved (yeah yeah, No Mercy had the Story Mode, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad), and yeah, I think it’s an easy call. Both are important overall, but gameplay always holds the edge.

Jake Chambers: FICTION – When I play a game of chess (rarely), I don’t need a made up backstory to explain why a bishop moved three spaces diagonally. Enlightened wrestling fans, like smark gamers, love to preach about how this is “art”, but ultimately all I really want is to watch people fight, and when I play a game I just want to win something. Neither one of them needs any real story to keep me satisfied. That’s why for me the best pro-wrestling video games will always be the arcade button mashing WWF Wrestlefest and the ridiculously Mortal-Kombat-ed Wrestlemania – The Arcade Game.

Statement #6: The Mount Rushmore of TNA/IMPACT is: AJ Styles, Abyss, Sting, Austin Aries

Dino Zee: FICTION – AJ is obvious, Abyss and Sting are really tough to argue, but in no way do I believe Austin Aries should be there, and it’s not even due to my usual grievances with him (such as never giving me an official comment regarding his actions following last year’s Bound For Glory!).  But the idea that Jeff Jarrett isn’t on that list has me wondering if Questionmaster fell into someone’s private stash and forgot everything that’s ever happened. It’s Jeff Jarrett. If not, then you could still make arguments for guys like Jeff Hardy, Chris Sabin, Christopher Daniels, and maybe even a Bully Ray over Aries.

But again, it’s Jeff Jarrett. Like, come on. Ain’t he great?

Jake Chambers: FACT – When Austin Aries returned to TNA in 2011-12, and wrestled his way up from the bottom, earning a contract, the X-Division title, proving he could defeat the heavyweights, enacting Option C and becoming TNA World Champion, it was the single most compelling run of storytelling and matches in TNA history. It represented everything at the core of the TNA philosophy: being and doing something uniquely different from WWE. Aries was the kind of wrestler who would never have succeeded in WWE, not because of his size but because he was unwilling to compromise his character at this point in his career. The model that found success in WWE for similarly smaller, work-rate stars like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan required them to engage with the “sports entertainment” they rejected on the indies. And they did it well, no doubt. When TNA tried to imitate this kind of TV they always failed in campy and embarrassing ways, but when they focused on providing great alternative ring-work that you couldn’t find anywhere else in the mainstream with characters like AJ Styles, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe, that’s when TNA’s core values shined. And that Austin Aires run was, so far, TNA’s peak moment.

Jeff Jarrett, on the other hand, would kind of be like putting Hitler on the Mount Rushmore of Germany, no? Sure, Jarrett was the founder and sometimes the most famous member of the roster, but he was also the reason why TNA never truly reached greatness. Jarrett couldn’t get out of the way and let the wrestlers who people wanted to see, or who were capable of awesome matches, take the spotlight. His gluttony of marquee matches were predictable, boring and prone to producing the garbage run-in filled endings to main events that so many hated about TNA for years. So while Jarrett is a pivotal figure in the company’s history, he doesn’t deserve to be recognized as one of the faces of TNA/IMPACT excellence.

However, Dino Zee, you my friend DO belong on the Mount Rushmore of kayfabe TNA/IMPACT wrestling journalists, and I thank you for your wonderful contributions to this Bound for Glory preview edition of the Wrestling Fact or Fiction.

If you want to see Dino get back in the ZWI saddle, let him hear about it in the comments section! Or hit him up on Twitter, but he might be a little busy hanging out with TNA Legends like Ric Flair himself!

While you’re over at Twitter go ahead and follow me too and join a tiny elite of bots and defunct accounts that are treated to random and “hilarious” Bray Wyatt burn, like this gem:

Hey, I’m constantly on the look for new participants who want to step up and take the FoF challenge, so that will be the best way to get in touch!