The year 2021 was an interesting one for Impact Wrestling as the first half saw the company continuing to produce shows in front no fans, several wrestlers would depart and it became clear to many that the partnership between Impact and AEW wasn’t going to live up to early expectations.
By the summer and late half of 2021 however things were beginning to change as fans were finally allowed to attend shows, the X Division was starting to build up some steam, a new championship was being introduced and news that the “partnership” between AEW and Impact would be coming to close at one of Impact’s biggest pay per views of the yaer, Bound For Glory.
As BFG 2021 proved itself to be another solid show for the former TNA Wrestling, it also produced some very interiguing facts going in and coming out of the PPV, here are just ten of them.
10. The First Impact Event to Take place Outside of Skyway Studios
The Covid-19 Pandemic changed the world in more ways than one as many companies had to take special precautions in order to ensure the safety of the performers and the audience.
In the case of Impact Wresstling these precautions saw the company spending the majority of 2020 and the early half of 2021 in the Skyway Studios in Nashville Tennessee as that was the one place that would allow the company to continue airing their weekly shows albeit with zero fans in attendance for obivous reasons.
Things started to change around the time of that year’s Slammiversary as the company was finally allowing fans to appear in the crowds once again and not too long after this the company started to hit the road once again as things were starting to look much better.
When the announcement was made that Bound For Glory would take place at Sam’s Town Casino in Las Vegas Nevada, it signaled the first time since the start of the pandemic that a major Impact PPV would take place outside of Skyway.
9. An AEW Event Led to a Time Change
It’s safe to say that the Impact/AEW Partnership worked about as well as the WWE/WCW/ECW invasion storyline of 2001 in that there were some moments of brilliance but is generally seen as a massive disappointment due to the one sided booking on AEW’s part, the “paid” ads involving both Tony Schiavone and Tony Khan going absolutely nowhere and the very anticlimatic end to Kenny Omega’s time as Impact World Champion…but more on that later.
Things did get a little bit more messy when it was discovered that a schedule change was needed between the two companies as a hockey game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins were taking place on Wednesday on TNT (the very same day and channel AEW airs).
As a result, All Elite Wrestling held a very special edition of AEW Dynamite on Saturday which then complicated matters more as Impact Wrestling was set to air their Bound For Glory pay per view that very same day.
Presumably because they didn’t want to compete for air time and the fact that were still partners around this time, Impact decided to move their yearly PPV from the usual time slot of 8pm eastern time to 10pm eastern time.
On the September 30th 2021 edition of Impact, the announcement was made that a new championship called the Digital Media Championship (or DMC for short) would be created and the inaugural champion would be crowed at that year’s Bound For Glory preshow.
This then lead way to an intergender tournament to see who would advance to the BFG preshow to fight for the new title with the following winners being Fallah Bahh, John Skyler, Jordynne Grace, Chelsea Green, Crazzy Steve and Tenille Dashwood…of course as you can tell from the title of this entry the former WWE susperstar wasn’t able to make it for the title match.
Now the reasons for why Tenille was unable to make it have never been fully explained by herself or the company, but she did send out a tweet supporting her replacement in the match who was former Knockouts Champion, Madison Rayne…Bonus fact, John Skyler (one of the people in the title match) actually competed in a dark match on the Bound For Glory preshow in 2015 but was denied a contract; Fast forward five years later and…his still wrestling on the preshow but hey at least it’s for a title this time.
7. Jordynne Grace Makes History On The Pre-Show
Speaking of the DMC, towards the end of the hour long preshow the six person match to crown the first Digital Media Champion took place with the match itself lasting about five minutes meaning that all of the wrestlers involved had to get a lot stuff done in the time they were given.
Ultimately, Jordynne Grace outlasted the other competitors to become the very first Digital Media Champion in company history, not only that but this also marked the second time in which a new champion was crowned on the preshow (the first one time occurred when Havok and Rosemary won the Knockouts Tag Team Titles back at Slammiversary earlier in the year).
Grace also became the first woman in company history to have held the Knockouts World Championship, Knockouts Tag Team Championship and the Digital Media Championship with the all three of these title wins happening over the last year in a half…Quite impressive
6. The Musician Behind The IInspiration’s Enterance
Bound For Glory officially got underway with the team of Cassie Lee and Jessica McKay aka The IInspiration taking on Decay’s Havok and Rosemary for the Knockouts Tag Team Championships in a near nine minute contest.
But before all of that, Lee and McKay were introduced to the ring by a red headed female singing the IInspiration’s theme song which might be the first time a musical act has every performed at Bound For Glory which didn’t involve singing the national anthem.
This led to many wondering who was the lady singing during Lee and McKay’s enterance at Bound For Glory, well her name is Harley Cameron and she’s done everything from modeling to acting and even professional wrestling where she’s competed against wrestlers like former Impact and NXT star Scarlett Bordeaux.
Cameron is also a music artist as she’s done vocals for a number songs including the Lee and McKay’s theme in Impact, but she also has been in a handful of music videos featuring wrestlers like Bordeaux, Shotzi Blackheart and the IInspiration.
5. The Significance of The Knockouts Tag Title Match
Both Cassie Lee and Jessica Mckay defeated Decay to become the brand new Knockouts Tag Team Champions which was a bit of a shock to many, but what was even more shocking are the statistics surrounding this match.
The IInspiration’s win not only made them the first Australian born wrestlers to become champions in the promotion but it also marked the first time in years where former WWE superstars made their official Impact debut at Bound For Glory and won, with the previous person to do so being Ethan Carter the Third aka EC3 back at BFG 2013.
On top of that, the match also marked the first time the Knockouts Tag Team Championships were on the line at Bound For Glory since 2009, that’s right you’d have go back 13 years ago since the last time these belts were at stake at the second biggest show in company history.
4. It’s The First BFG Since 2005 to Involve NJPW Wrestlers
For a time, the relationship between Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling was frosty to say the least as their previous history ended in diaster following the booking of Kazuchika Okada and the decision to put the IWGP Tag belts on the British Invasion without consulting with New Japan executives.
Things didn’t look much better in 2019 when Anthem Sports bought the AXS TV Network in order to give Impact Wrestling a new home to air their weekly content, which resulted in NJPW (who were still bitter with Impact over the previous partneship) ending their association with AXS.
Fast forward two years and the two promotions appeared to have rekindled their partnership as evident by David Finlay and Juice Robinson making numerous apperances on Impact and they even won the Impact world tag team titles which further showed how the bad relations between the two were over.
At Bound For Glory, this partnership with NJPW saw numerous New Japan stars competing like Rocky Romero, FinJuice and the Bullet Club’s El Phantasmo and Hikuleo..an important fact to bring up as this was the first time NJPW stars wrestled at Bound For Glory since Jushin “Thunder” Liger took on Samoa Joe in the opening contest at the very first BFG event back in 2005.
3. Cage is the First Non Contracted Wrestler to Main Event a BFG World Title Match
So the Kenny Omega as Impact World Champion experiment was a little bit rubbish…Sure, more people tuned in to watch Impact and his presence helped to get Impact the attention they needed after AEW pretty much took it upon their debut in early 2019, but when you consider how the reign ended you can’t help but feel more than a little disappointed.
The story has it that Omega was suffering from injuries he had sustained and rather than just reliquished the titles he was holding, he decided to lose them individually with most notably being the Impact World Championship. Instead of having Omega drop the belt to a current member of the Impact roster, Tony Khan decided to book a match for the very first episode of AEW Rampage where former WWE and TNA wrestler Christian Cage would beat Omega in the opening contest for the belt.
To say this decision was controversial would be an understatement as many Impact fans felt angry not only because Omega lost the belt to someone who wasn’t on the Impact roster, but the fact this whole thing felt like a cope out to protect one of AEW’s major stars from having to do the J-O-B for someone on Impact
Regardless, Christian Cage became Impact World Champion and after promising to be a defending champion which he did during his return period to Impact, Cage was set to defend his world title against Josh Alexander at Bound For Glory making him the first wrestler to main event a BFG Impact world title match who wasn’t under contract with the company…also it was Cage’s first appearance at BFG in 13 years.
2. A number of wrestlers on this show would depart in the following months
As it tends to be the case in pro wrestling, many of the stars most fans associate with a certain promotions don’t always last long and with the ablity of hindsight that point is especially true for Impact Wrestling following Bound For Glory 2021.
Looking back, at least 10 people who competed or wrestled at the pay per view would be gone in a matter of months, let’s go in order:
- Fallah Bahh and Rohit Raju were gone in January of 2022
- Rachel Ellering also left in January with no little explantation around the time of Hard to Kill
- Sam Beale departed in Feburary 2022
- Kaleb with a K and the IInspiration left in April of 2022, with the latter announcing their retirement from the sport around the time of the preshow for Rebellion
- W. Morrissey left following his tag team match with PCO against Moose and Steve Maclin
- Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne would depart in July and August of 2022 respectively
Quite surprising when you consider how over some of these wrestlers were at the time of their departue but many if not all of them did leave the company on good terms.
1. The Story Behind Braun Strowman Coming To Impact
Going into this event, many fans expected to see some new wrestlers make their debuts but instead they got a few surprising returns in the call your shot gauntlet and not much else, but that almost wasn’t the case.
According to reports, Impact Wrestling were looking to sign former WWE superstar, Braun Strowman to the company with his debut almost likely to occur at Bound For Glory, however according to those same reports neither sides were able to come to agreement a deal that would be suitable for both and as such nothing every materlized.
It’s worthy noting that many expected former WWE stars Bray Wyatt and Broson Reed to show up as well but it appears nothing concreate was close to happening when it came to former “Eater of Worlds” and in the case Broson Reed…Well he would debut about a few weeks later at the Impact Plus event known as Turning Point where he ambushed former world champion Josh Alexander before spending the next several months feuding with names like Alexander, Tomohiro Ishii and Honor No More’s PCO.
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