wrestling / Columns

ZeeWI: Breaking Down Bound for Glory, Part 2

October 11, 2018 | Posted by Dino Zee
Bound for glory

It was just last week, here in these very pages, where ZeeWI gave you part one of its Bound for Glory 2018 preview! We looked at the upcoming contests pitting Eddie Edwards against Moose, The Lucha Brothers and Brian Cage against oVe and Sami Callihan, Taya Valkyrie against Tessa Blanchard for the Knockouts Championship,

This week, we close out the Bound for Glory preview, and look forward with the utmost of excitement towards this Sunday night, when Impact’s finest comes to us LIVE from Astoria, New York!

The first match that this columnist is going to take a look at is one that was made official just last week, as the long-simmering feud between Rich Swann and Matt Sydal came to a head, and we even saw some new faces join the fray! So let’s break down Matt Sydal and Ethan Page taking on Rich Swann and a Mystery Opponent!!

Ever since Matt Sydal’s great awakening early this year, he’s had a rough time finding someone to believe his message. Most people smirk when he speaks of the third eye, or of walking towards transcendence. Even Josh Mathews, the man who embraced Sydal’s change from the very start (and who got a Grand Championship reign out of the whole thing) quickly distanced himself from Matt not long after joining forces.

To put it bluntly, there just hasn’t been much of a market for the message that Sydal preaches.

Rich Swann was definitely in the camp of Hey man, your stuff is clearly fraudulent and I’m not having it, which only served to anger Sydal. The man cannot comprehend how he doesn’t have hundreds of followers hanging off of his every word. He simply cannot understand why no one wants to find the spiritual enlightenment that he did, that has helped him up his game to a whole new level. The man who was once chided for an inability to win the big one turned it all around with his new mindset and, in his head, he simply wants to share that gift with everyone else. It’s a noble cause, honestly.

Swann, however, doesn’t see it that way. Like many others, he sees Sydal’s new mindset as simply an act – one that works, and one that has people believing in him, but an act nonetheless. He sees the shortcuts Sydal has been willing to take in recent months, and the people’s he’s aligned with, and it’s obvious to Swann that the man is a sham. It’s not about bringing everyone to a new level of consciousness – it’s about making sure that Matt Sydal stays on top. He doesn’t try to befriend so that you can share the harmony – he tries to remove obstacles in his path to the top.

For a competitor like Rich Swann, it’s just too much to deal with.

To be fair, Swann tried to handle this the way he sees fit. He told Sydal he wasn’t buying the garbage, and he just wanted to wrestle the man and prove who is the better wrestler. He had his chance last week, and Sydal stayed true to form, bringing in Ethan Page to interfere and give Matt the big win. Afterwards, Sydal would lecture Swann on his terrible choices, begging Rich to find anyone on the planet to bring to Bound for Glory so that the all-seeing duo could show that their way is the right way.

Of course, the mystery partner is where much hinges. Will it be someone already on the roster? Will it be someone new? Will Swann even try to find a partner, or will he just go it alone and look to deal max damage in a losing battle?

In my opinion, sadly, it doesn’t matter. Sydal and Ethan are a unit with a shared outlook and a shared goal. Even if Swann finds someone who also wants to inflict damage on Sydal, the odds of the two forming a dynamic team are low. I also have a bad feeling that only Sydal is concerned about winning, while revenge and pain are the things for which Swann is gunning.

Winners: Matt Sydal and Ethan Page

Up next, we’ll take a look at the other six-man tag match on the docket, as LAX takes on The OGz!!

I’ve talked about this for months, and have always had an eye on the chaos that is the feud between LAX and The OGz. When King first returned to Impact those months ago, saying that he was going to take LAX to new heights, I really believed him. I believed that Konnan’s usefulness had been used up, and that he was no longer a beneficial presence for Santana and Ortiz. This was only further verified when King led the duo back to the top of the tag team mountain as Champions.

However, LAX would throw me a curve when, after an ultimatum from Konnan, they chose to stick with the man who brought them to the dance, and not the guy that reignited their fire. King, of course, was not pleased with this decision, and went to Homicide and Hernandez to help him get some revenge on the two who, to him at least, seemed to be super ungrateful.

Since then, things have gotten just a tad out of control. The gang warfare escalated until a child was run over. This caused the Head Dons to call a meeting and declare a cease-fire between the two groups until Bound for Glory. Though everyone agreed to it, only Konnan has been willing to abide by it. King and the OGz have done everything they can to provoke LAX into striking first, while Konnan has done everything he can to keep his charges calm.

At Bound for Glory, in a Concrete Jungle Death Match, one can only assume that some people are going to get really, really hurt.

On paper, I just don’t see how LAX comes out of this victorious. It’s basically 3 on 2, with Konnan being a shell of what he used to be. King is still dangerous. King can still wrestle at a top level. Konnan needs all sorts of weapons and distractions to be a threat. On paper, this match is for The OGz to lose, period.

Unfortunately, this isn’t on paper. Konnan has appeared as angry and invested in this feud as he has with anything over the last five years. It’s clear that the betrayal of King struck him as deeply personal, and while he’s doing all he can to follow the cease-fire order, you can see him struggle to maintain his rage.

For King and The OGz, this is just about business, of getting what’s yours. They don’t consider the hit put on Konnan to be disrespectful – they just see it as a necessary move to increase the prestige of the group that they all once loved so dearly – the Latin American Xchange. They view their opposition only as sticks in the mud, unwilling to change with the times. Even the initial hurt that King felt when Santana and Ortiz chose Konnan over him has dissipated a bit. He just wants the success and the glory, and that’s it. Taking out LAX is just an added perk to the whole thing.

For LAX, this is only about respect. This is only about betrayal. King was supposed to be one of them. King was supposed to help lead while Konnan was out. Hernandez and Homicide are supposed to be like big brothers to them. Sure, they can disagree here and there, but overall, they were supposed to be a unified group.

That The OGz fell for the sales pitch of King is what eats at LAX the most. That two of the originals could forget the whole point of the group in the first place. That they could just throw it all away for one last grasp at old glories.

When these six men finally get their hands on each other, with no rules whatsoever in their way, I think we all know that the blood is going to flow like the beer in Aspen. Three will look for domination, while the other three look for revenge.

I do question Impact Management (as I usually do) for allowing this match to even take place. For allowing a full gang war to bring about incredible amounts of collateral damage, without any type of sanction taking place. The more things change, I guess… However, this is a feud that needs to have closure. Simply handing out suspensions or restraining orders would have guaranteed nobody’s safety. When this ends, one has to assume that it’s going to be over for good.

And in my opinion, those who seek revenge against those who simply seek to oppress have more to fight for and are willing to do more to achieve their goals.

Winners: Santana, Ortiz, Konnan – LAX

Which brings us to our final match to break down. The one for the biggest prize in all of Impact Wrestling. So many men hope to become the World Champion, but so few are able to actually accomplish that goal. So many competitors hope to be able to call themselves the absolute best in the world, and actually have the victories to prove it. That’s what’s on the line Sunday night, when Austin Aries defends his Impact Wrestling World Championship against Johnny Impact!!

In one sense, it’s as simple as it gets – two guys that don’t like each other, that have had a couple bad interactions with each other, looking to settle the score with the Championship belt on the line. On the other hand, things aren’t always so simple.

This match features two of the most arrogant wrestlers on the planet going at it, each claiming to be the greatest thing Impact Wrestling has ever seen. Austin Aries talks about his greatness constantly, yet still felt the need to surround himself with muscle (Killer Kross and Moose) to help him out of tight situations. Johnny Impact talks about his desire to prove he’s the best in the company, but rarely hangs out long enough to even find himself scheduled for a match.

Last week, Aries promised that when the two come face-to-face, Kross and Moose will be left in the locker room. Johnny managed to challenge the manhood of Aries, and the Champ didn’t even blink when he accepted the bait. That’s the most irritating thing about Aries, really (well, outside of his bananas) – he’s good enough to beat basically anyone on his own, he tells us that he knows he’s that good, and yet he continually takes short cuts and benefits off of interference. Hell, he took a shortcut to the championship earlier this year when he showed up out of nowhere and suckered Eli Drake into defending the belt! He may call it the mental game or something like that, but for all his talk of greatness, Aries sure doesn’t mind taking the easy way out.

If I’m being honest (and at this point, you know that I am), I’m not rooting too heavily for either man. I’m still not quite sure what Johnny did to deserve this match, besides film a reality show and help out Eddie Edwards. His inactivity should have kept him ineligible for such a match, but this is hardly some wrestling-only issue, as we just watched Conor McGregor walk into a title shot after not fighting for two years, based simply on his popularity and past standing.

However, my lack of a clear favorite here doesn’t mean that I don’t think this match is going to be good. Aries and Johnny have styles that mesh together perfectly. Aries has the better strikes and a possible edge in speed, while Johnny has an added element of lucha libre and some incredible parkour moves that make guessing his next attack a bit difficult.

After coming up short in the same position last year, this is Johnny Impact’s match to win. Another loss at Bound for Glory in a Championship spot might lessen the enthusiasm the fans have for the next time he receives a title shot for doing not much more than being there. If the former Lucha Underground Champion can’t beat Aries, then it has to be the back of the line for the Thursday Night Delight.

Austin Aries, on the other hand, has less to worry about. In fact, I’d say that “winning” is the only thing he has on his mind. His reputation is set. We know who Aries is. A loss here doesn’t send his stock tumbling – it just damages his bank account. I have a bad feeling that Aries is too arrogant heading into this, letting Johnny call all the shots because he doesn’t think much of Johnny in the first place.

And that, in this columnist’s opinion, is why Aries is going to come up short. He didn’t take Moose lightly, and he got the job done. He didn’t underestimate Drake, and he held his belt. He’s treated Johnny Impact like a joke, however, and that’s going to be a big mistake.

Winner: And NEW Impact World Champion, Johnny Impact!!

Now, about the lack of Eli Drake…

Couldn’t have said it better, myself!