Bound for Glory 2020
October 24, 2020
Impact Wrestling returns to PPV this Saturday (October 24) with Bound for Glory, headlined by Eric Young defending the World Championship against Rich Swann. Due to take place behind closed doors at the Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, this will be the 16th event in the Bound for Glory chronology.
Over the last six months, Impact has been able to deliver a consistent weekly product by hiring out the Studios and block taping. The venue has also played host to Slammiversary and their recent Victory Road special. There’s undoubtedly room for improvement on the production side, especially during matches as they often feel like they’re being worked in a vacuum, but overall they’ve done a good job and by continuing to run they’ve improved their stock in the wider landscape.
20-Person Call Your Shot Battle Royal
At present, 12 names have been confirmed for the Battle Royal, the winner of which will get a title shot of their choosing. I’d anticipate Johnny Swinger (the correct choice to win) and Jake Something will also be in after their participation in a genuinely dire 10-person tag recently, so that makes 14. Rhino is entering at number one and Hernandez has the number 20 slot. In terms of surprises, it’s highly likely that Taylor Wilde returns here, while I also want Impact to bring in someone like Lee Moriarty or Tre Lamar.
The overriding story here centers on Heath’s battle to get a contract. It’s an angle that’s run since Slammiversary and it looks set to play to a conclusion here. Should either Heath or Rhino win, Heath also gets a full-time contract. If neither of them win though, Rhino loses his job. I wouldn’t be shocked if neither of them won and they continued from there but the obvious pick is Heath winning, potentially eliminating Rhino along the way. It brings the story to the end, it lines up the title shot and a potential feud between the two to take them into 2021. Prediction: Heath
Eddie Edwards vs. Ken Shamrock (w/ Sami Callihan)
After they announced that Shamrock would be inducted into the Hall of Fame over Bound for Glory weekend it was inevitable that he’d have a featured match on the show. His alliance with Sami Callihan hasn’t really clicked with me – I just can’t buy into Callihan having some sort of control over Shamrock and being his ‘best friend’ – but I think this can be decent if kept reasonably tight for time.
The numbers game got the better of Edwards on Impact, which makes me think he gets the win here, as does the simple fact of Shamrock going into the Hall of Fame. My only question now is whether we get a shock Davey Richards return, much to the delight of Joe Lanza. Prediction: Eddie Edwards
EC3 vs. Moose
Cinematic matches baby! Just when you thought you’d seen enough of them in 2020, Impact is serving up another one with EC3 and Moose, who’ll be wrestling this Saturday in an undisclosed location.
Their feud has run since the first Impact post-Slammiversary, when EC3 laid out Moose after his match with Fallah Bahh. Since then, we’ve not seen EC3 wrestle in Impact and Saturday will mark just his third ‘match’ of 2020. EC3 has been seeking to eradicate the TNA Heavyweight title that Moose has carried around since April and ‘controlling his narrative’ and their rivalry has played out through backstage segments and a series of vignettes. A lot of it was quite hokey and beyond the pale for my tastes but over recent weeks it’s dramatically picked up and I’m interested to see how it pans out.
In terms of outcome, I’m conflicted. On the one hand I can’t see EC3 losing his return match after all this build. On the other hand, I don’t think EC3 is on any long-term deal and he’s working in different places (e.g. ROH), so giving Moose the win would make sense. Likewise, the fact this is a cinematic match also gives them an out for EC3 losing. Maybe there’ll be no winner, who knows. Prediction: Moose
Impact X-Division Championship
Rohit Raju (C) vs. Jordynne Grace vs. Willie Mack vs. Trey Miguel vs. TJP vs. Chris Bey
On paper, this stands out as a dark horse for match of the night. To me, it’s a high-energy 10-minute spotfest perfect for the show opening spot.
Rohit Raju has been one of the best things in Impact over the last six months. He’s worked hard, nailed his new gimmick and his title reign as a cowardly heel has been brilliant. He won the title after conning Chris Bey into giving him a shot, and since then he’s either refused to face people (Bey, TJP), caught them off guard (Trey) or retained on a technicality (Grace, Mack). The multi-person makes perfect sense and I think they could go in a number of different ways with the booking.
Breaking it down, Grace strikes me as having the lowest percentage shot at victory. Her contract is coming up for renewal around now and I’m not sure whether she’s staying. Trey got the pin on the go-home show, which, according to conventional booking logic, means he won’t be winning. Mack is a solid base, a former champion, and someone perfect for these matches. He doesn’t strike me as a winner though, which leaves Raju, TJP and Bey. I’d love a TJP title run but I can’t see them going for it, and I feel that Raju/Bey is the obvious post-BFG programme. I’ll go for Raju to retain, potentially stealing a pin from Bey to do so. Prediction: Rohit Raju
Impact World Tag Team Championship
The Motor City Machine Guns (C) vs. The Good Brothers vs. The North vs. Ace Austin & Madman Fulton
Impact’s tag team division is as strong now as it’s been in a long, long time and, while I’m gutted the Rascalz missed out on this showcase match, this also has the potential to be a show-stealer. Various combinations of these teams have worked together over the last few months and all of them have been good. Austin & Fulton are the only ones with a pinfall win over the Guns, but they also lost the return. The North has beaten Austin and Fulton and gone to a no-contest with The Good Brothers.
Of all the title matches on the show, the outcome here feels the most obvious. As the closing segment between these teams showed, the Good Brothers heel turn is incoming and their feud with The Guns is the obvious direction for the end of 2020. Could we see Austin and Fulton side with Anderson & Gallows to form Impact’s own version of the Bullet Club? Will Ethan Page eat the pin with his contract up on January 1 and an AEW move possibly inbound? Prediction: The Good Brothers
Impact Knockouts Championship
Deonna Purrazzo (C) vs. Kylie Rae
Impact has more or less nailed their presentation of Purrazzo over the last few months. She’s looked dominant in the ring, picking up big wins in important matches, and she’s evolved her character along the way. Rae has come on leaps and bounds over the course of this year confidence-wise and I’ve enjoyed her more vicious streak leading into this match, even if it has come with some Susie/Su Yung nonsense.
My prediction here was a little up in the air until earlier today, when it was confirmed that Purrazzo has signed a long-term deal with the promotion. With that, the promotion’s booking of the Knockouts should all fall into place. Purrazzo beats Rae here before ultimately losing the title to her further down the stretch, with feuds with Tenille Dashwood and Su Yung respectively in between their matches. Prediction: Deonna Purrazzo
Impact World Championship
Eric Young (C) vs. Rich Swann
The best feud in the promotion and my most anticipated match on the card. As I wrote earlier in the week, Eric Young’s return to Impact has basically been note-perfect from the off. Losing to the also returning Rich Swann at Slammiversary and smashing his ankle afterward sowed the seeds that got us here and it’s been a superb journey all the way through.
Swann had to ‘retire’ because of Young’s attack, leaving Young to pick up the World title from Eddie Edwards in the meantime. Young has looked every bit the maniacal heel, albeit one with a clear weakness – Swann. He’s attacked him at every turn, looking to take out the man who ruined his big return moment so he doesn’t have to face him again. Swann is one of the best underdog babyfaces in the game and he’s killed it all the way through, and after Young’s performance against Eddie Edwards at Victory Road, I’m convinced this can be one of the promotion’s matches of the year.
Swann should be the person to dethrone Young but not here. He has that unerring capacity to take beatings and losses without it affecting his presentation, so a loss doesn’t derail his newfound momentum as the promotion’s top babyface. Young’s reign needs to continue into the new year and you have the outs for Swann of the emotion of coming back again and perhaps ‘rushing back’ to make it. Prediction: Eric Young