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Impact Wrestling has had a momentous few months following Slammiversary. There’s so much positive buzz around the company at the moment, and it hoped to capitalize on that with its biggest pay-per-view event of the year, Bound for Glory.
The theme of Saturday evening was redemption, as Impact continues to rebuild its image and attempt to reach new fans. Meanwhile, returning members of the roster like Heath, EC3 and Eric Young look to reinvent themselves and prove their value after a nondescript stint with WWE.
Similarly, both Deonna Purrazzo and Kylie Rae have started the next chapter of their respective careers. The Virtuosa ascended to the top of the Knockouts division back in July when she defeated Jordynne Grace for the title. However, a familiar opponent in Rae became the No. 1 contender on the same night. That all became a moot point as an unexpected challenger returned for vengeance.
The Good Brothers and the Motor City Machine Guns have already elevated the tag division since their return. The North had something to say about that, though, as Josh Alexander and Ethan Page proved they’re still the team to beat.
In the main event, Rich Swann returned from a career-threatening injury to seek revenge against Young and eliminate the perception that he is merely a cruiserweight once and for all.
On a stacked card, some stood out from the pack while others didn’t quite seize the moment. Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers from Bound for Glory 2020.
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Former WWE Superstar Heath came into Bound for Glory with a chance to earn a contract alongside his friend, Rhino. As such, he was a favorite to win the Call Your Shot Gauntlet match.
Unfortunately, he was the victim of sheer bad luck, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. After James Storm made his long-awaited return to Impact, Heath entered the fray. The 37-year-old looked great initially, but he seemingly tweaked his hamstring at some point.
As he laid in the corner and the referee came to him, it became clear that something was off. When he stood up, he started to noticeably limp around the ring. Eventually, Sami Callihan eliminated him and proclaimed, “He didn’t care about his kids.”
Heath appeared to take himself out of the match, but the Battle Royal ended on a high note, as Rhino defeated Callihan to win the title shot of his choice. This was a sad way for Heath’s night to end, but his best friend’s victory could mean that his storyline with Impact isn’t over just yet. Hopefully, he isn’t seriously injured, and he can return to action soon.
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Eddie Edwards truly lived up to the nickname Die Hard tonight as he nearly defeated the World’s Most Dangerous Man, Ken Shamrock. The newly inducted Impact Wrestling Hall of Famer made his way down to the ring with Edwards’ longtime rival, Sami Callihan, who was still hampered by his match earlier.
Early on, the Impact world champion took some major punishment as Shamrock pelted him with strikes and kept him grounded with submission holds. However, Edwards managed to weather the storm and came firing back with a Blue Thunder Bomb.
After a phenomenal comeback, Shamrock suddenly cinched in a cross armbar to survive, but his opponent showed some great resilience throughout this gritty match. He clearly did his homework, as he had an answer for most of the MMA legend’s move set.
As the match winded down, Edwards landed the Boston Knee Party and quickly put Shamrock in a single-leg Boston crab. This was enough to win, as Shamrock looked like he was about to tap out. However, Callihan interfered, which ultimately cost Die Hard the match. Edwards may have lost, but he delivered a gutsy performance that was one of the early highlights of the night.
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The North immediately showed how desperate it was to reclaim the Impact World Tag Team Championship during a backstage segment. Alexander and Page brought that same sense of urgency to the ring as they took out the reigning titleholders, the Motor City Machine Guns, in the middle of their entrance.
As a result, Chris Sabin was forced to defend the titles alone. Page and Alexander took advantage of the situation and isolated the former X-Division champion to start the match.
Page and Alexander also did a great job cutting the ring in half and keeping The Good Brothers out of the fight. However, an untimely mistake allowed Ace Austin and Madman Fulton to enter the ring.
Nevertheless, Sabin single-handedly fought his way back into the match to keep the champions’ reign alive. Still, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson took over the match and looked poised to win the titles.
Then, The North stole the win when Page nailed Anderson with one of the tag title belts and Alexander secured the victory to make them two-time champions.
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Yes, you read that correctly; Su Yung is back. Deonna Purrazzo was originally set to defend the Knockouts Championship against Kylie Rae, but her smiley opponent mysteriously disappeared.
Instead, The Virtuosa issued an open challenge. As everyone around the world scratched their head in disbelief, the Undead Bride arrived weeks after Purrazzo broke her alter ego’s arm at Victory Road.
There are more questions than answers here, as it’s still unclear what happened to Rae or when Susie reverted to Yung. Nevertheless, she and Purrazzo produced an excellent impromptu match.
The champion showed off her trademark technical prowess, but the challenger’s unorthodox offense kept her in the fight. Yung managed to hit the Panic Switch, but the referee didn’t see. When Purrazzo locked in the Fujiwara Armbar, it looked like the match was over.
However, the Undead Bride ensnared her with the Mandible Claw to force her to break the hold and dispatched Kimber Lee with red mist. Then she executed her finishing move again to upset The Virtuosa and become the new Knockouts champion. This match and its outcome were a pleasant surprise, and Su Yung looks more dangerous than ever.
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Rich Swann has been pursuing the Impact World Championship since December, but he repeatedly came up short. The Baltimore native returned from a knee injury in July as a surprise participant in the main event of Slammiversary, but Eric Young ended his comeback on a sour note when he re-injured him and nearly forced him to retire.
In the months that followed, Swann and Young’s rivalry became the compelling story of the year. The former X-Division champion defiantly clawed his way back to challenge this new psychotic foe for the world title at Bound for Glory.
In the main event, these two men left everything in the ring as Young forced Swann into a more physical fight than we’re used to seeing him in. This made it that much more rewarding when the challenger sustained and pulled off his flashy maneuvers and unreal athleticism.
In the end, Rich Swann landed a springboard cutter and a beautiful phoenix splash to earn the biggest win of his career and become the second Black Impact world champion. Watching someone of his stature and humble beginning stand tall as his peers ran down to congratulate him was undoubtedly the feel-good moment of the night.