Grap Wrap: Impact Wrestling's Past, Present And Future Collide At Bound For Glory

Impact brought shocks, surprises and excitement at their biggest show of the year
11:00, 11 Oct 2022

Impact Wrestling put on their biggest show of the year on Friday night, presenting Bound For Glory from The Armory in Albany, New York. It is a night synonymous with scores being settled, spectacular matches and no shortage of surprises. This year’s event delivered all that and more, showcasing why Impact is one of the most enduring promotions in existence.

The main card kicked off with a bout that defined the spirit of the company. Since the very beginning, the X Division and its ethos of “No Limits” has been a vital part of what makes Impact special. ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey defended his X Division Championship against All Elite Wrestling’s Frankie Kazarian in a technical marvel of a match, featuring smooth mat wrestling and plenty of jaw-dropping athletic sequences. Kazarian secured the win with a chicken wing submission to clinch the title for the fifth time. Incredibly, the 45-year-old reigns as X Division champion again 18 years after he first won the gold.


Another icon of Impact’s past was out next as the legendary Mickie James put her career on the line against Mia Yim. ‘Hardcore Country’ would be forced to retire from pro wrestling if she lost the bout, which was an emotional and hard-fought affair. The pair threw in some fun call-backs, such as a moment where James kissed Yim to break a hold, a reminder of her WWE feud with Trish Stratus. James kept her career alive with a Mick Kick and a MickDT and the two Knockouts embraced after the match. 

There was less sisterly love to be found in the next bout. The VXT pairing of Chelsea Green and Deonna Purrazzo put their Knockouts Tag Team Championship on the line against the DeathDollz, JesSICKa and Taya Valkyrie. The storyline here has been whether JesSICKa can coexist with the DeathDollz, or whether her old undead persona of Jessicka Havok would return. But the brightly-attired star stayed on the side of the light here, hitting the Sikishi Driver to bring the titles home for her team.

Continuing the early theme of mixing Impact’s past with its present and future, iconic tag team The Motor City Machine Guns got their shot at the Tag Team Championship. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin squared off with The Kingdom, composed of Honor No More’s Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. This was one of the evening’s best bouts, with the MCMGs as smooth and acrobatic now as they were when first competing for the promotion in the early 2000s. The interference of Maria Kanellis on the outside left Sabin and Shelley fighting a losing battle at times, and she would have a considerable bearing on the finish. Sabin directed a superkick at Bennett, who moved out of the way. The blow instead hit his wife, Kanellis, and the distraction was used for Taven to score a tainted pin with his feet on the ropes. 

The Call Your Shot Gauntlet is where some of the most memorable moments in the history of Impact Wrestling have taken place. The intergender battle royal format allows for plenty of surprises and unusual match-ups. The highlight of this year’s match was a sequence of former ECW stars banding together in the form of Tommy Dreamer, Bully Ray and Rhino. The three shared a fist bump before dispatching fellow Extreme alumni Johnny Swinger. Rhino also threw a Gore to save his friend and former partner Heath in another fun moment.

There were also shock appearances from Matt Cardona and Taylor Wilde. But Bully Ray would have the biggest influence on the match. The ex-Bubba Ray Dudley made it through to the final two alongside former NXT superstar Steve Maclin. The pair then contested a brief one-on-one match won by Bully Ray. The Impact Hall of Famer can now cash in his Call Your Shot trophy for a shot at any championship at a time of his choosing.

The Sportsman covered Masha Slamovich’s shot at Impact World Knockouts champion Jordynne Grace on these pages last week, interviewing the fearsome challenger. Slamovich came up short on the night but not before entering into one of the finest bouts you’ll see on a wrestling pay-per-view this year. This was all-out warfare, with the two wrestlers going to utterly insane lengths to defeat one another. Grace nailed a Michinoku Driver before Slamovich roared back with a Canadian Destroyer. The champion hit a Jackhammer before the challenger responded with a rear-naked choke. Eventually it took a mammoth Grace Driver from the top rope to end Slamovich’s unbeaten streak. Absolutely unreal stuff.

The main event had a tough act to follow, but Impact World champion Josh Alexander and Eddie Edwards were well up to the task. Two of the standard bearers of Impact Wrestling, this was the sort of hard-hitting heavyweight throwdown you expect of a world title match involving these two. Starting off as a technical catch-as-catch-can battle, soon strikes were thrown and dives to the floor were taken as they upped the risk factor.

A series of submissions and near-falls made it feel like the conclusion was close before the referee was taken out. Honor No More used this as their opportunity to interfere. Under the cosh and bleeding heavily from a knee to the nose, ‘The Walking Weapon’ battled back to pin Edwards with the C4 Spike. Before he could celebrate though, Honor No More assaulted him. Heath and Rich Swann came out to try and even the odds but they too were waylaid.

Bully Ray’s music hit, causing the Honor No More stable to rejoice. Ray is a former Ring Of Honor alumni and they thought a friend had come to join the fray. Bully passed his Call Your Shot trophy to the official, a hint that he would be taking his world title shot now with Alexander injured. But instead, he and Alexander cleared the ring of the Honor No More stable in a mass brawl. The pair then squared off and Bully told the champion to expect his challenge soon.

It was an electric ending to an excellent show. The company has gained some considerable star power with the return of former Impact champion Bully Ray. There were links to the company’s past, like Ray, James, MCMG and Kazarian. There was also plenty to recommend from the company’s present and future, with Alexander, Edwards, Grace, Slamovich and Bailey all particularly shining. With WWE and AEW producing so many hours of television a week, it can be hard to find time for other hobbies let alone more wrestling. But if you do find yourself wanting to try one of the alternatives to the big two, make it Impact Wrestling. You don’t be disappointed.

Picture: Impact Wrestling

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