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Pondering with Plumtree - Bound For Glory Preview: Holding On To Hope

Pondering with Plumtree is a column on the popular blog, TNAsylum, that is written by yours truly. The blog is focused towards being a fan site for TNA Wrestling fans where they can get news, rumors, opinions, and any and everything else, TNA Wrestling. Known as "The Haven for TNA Wrestling Fans", I'm hoping to bring some of my thoughts to an already impressive roster of columnist for as long as the site will have me. You can read the latest column here, or in the text below.

On the weekend of Bound For Glory, here we are again in the middle of another interesting time in TNA Wrestling. It very much seems like 2015 is a cut and paste of 2014, minus a few subtle changes - Charlotte, NC instead of Japan, GFW instead of Wrestle-1, and Destination America instead of SPIKE.

For the past few weeks it seems while the news hasn't been ultimately bad, the lack of good news and excitement hasn't exactly deterred the rumors and uneasiness hovering over the brand. From rumors of mistakenly sent e-mails and television contracts, to the more concrete occurrences regarding talent departures and of course, more inconsistency. TNA, at least for this fan, seems like a company stuck in a holding pattern. Whether that pattern is due to waiting for the next big move forward, or trying not to take too big of a step backward, that is up for you to decide. 

I'll admit, my passion for TNA has been slowly dwindling, especially after the GFW invasion which really was a turn off for me. I'm not sure why, but it just was. Lately, my two biggest gripes with TNA are merely consistency and exclusivity. There is little flow to the product right now, and really, nothing feels overly special, or "only-on-Impact". 

Nonetheless, here we are, another Bound For Glory, another year for this fan to be happy for more wrestling outside of the WWE empire. 

At a time when things look tremendously questionable (again) moving forward for TNA, this past Thursday's show helped me see some positive signs for the company. Quite frankly, TNA has an opportunity to deliver a show that will reignite whatever fire and interest heading into whatever period we are heading into beyond BFG. Call me stupid, but I have hope. I really do. 

I've already made my predictions over on the BFG Prediction Challenge Contest (and so should you), but here are a few thoughts and a Mortimer-style preview on the BFG event this weekend: 

Charlotte, North Carolina

The Impact Zone to me is a complete anomaly. Watch old videos of TNA, and the place looks crazy. Now, it really doesn't do the product any favors when you don't feel like you need to be there from the television aspect. Charlotte has traditionally been a wrestling hot bed, and I fully expect the crowd to give the company some added juice for the event. 

Tigre Uno vs. Andrew Everett vs. DJZ vs, Manik

I'm not a fan at all in using Ultimate X for the sheer point of using Ultimate X. TNA has really watered down their original concepts over the years. With that said, I expect this to kick off the show, and am really excited to see Everett, who I am not familiar with, and who most have been raving about. 

The Wolves vs. Brian Myers and Trevor Lee

Okay, so if these guys top what they gave us on IMPACT a couple of weeks ago, this is my sleeper pick of the night. The Wolves have been so solid for TNA, they've been grossly overlooked. And Myers really seems like he can deliver. His look is a bit odd, though. I just wish Myers and Lee had more of a backstory, especially from the GFW invasion. Nevertheless, I hope these four get some time to steal the show. 

Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong

It's amazing what a simple sit down video can do? I like the bill as "one more time", but I just wish it in fact had some time to be hyped and built. Obviously, this is a recurring theme throughout this card/event. Despite that, expecting these two to recreate their magic is ambitious. However, I still expect this to be entertaining. Let's just please use this match to close this era, and begin injecting some new knockouts into the mix instead of going back to the original knockouts well, and their concepts. Hint: Enough Beautiful People reunions! 

Bound For Gold Gauntlet Match

This is an interesting addition, and it really has the opportunity to be fun. It's a good way to get everyone on the card, and quite frankly, get them some exposure they've been lacking lately. I'm not a huge fan of all of these gimmicks (Feast or Fired, Option-C, Random Tournaments, etc...) leading to World Title shots, but it is what it is.

I would like to see Robbie, Drake, or Godderz win this, as they could use it, but as per my predictions, I am going with Shera.

By the way, I think many are being a bit hard on the native Indian. Progression and development is needed and with that comes time, especially when there aren't many other resources or avenues to harbor and foster thaat development. 

Plus, if the rumors are true, and you've seen Ring Ka King crowds from their time there, EC3 vs. Shera in India could be pretty cool. 

Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young 

I'm all for Young vs. Angle the wrestling match, but this one just seems a bit forced. But it, doesn't matter. There is enough there to get by. I see Angle getting the big return win here. Moving forward, I would like to see Angle pick a young wrestler of his choosing and have a long final program with them on the way out. Just some wishful armchair booking there. 

Bobby Lashley vs. Bobby Roode

Is it weird that I'm really pumped for this one? Considering the no build (which I'm complaining about) and it's for the new - well, fourth-time re-branded - King of the Mountain Championship (which I thought was originally, ridiculous), this just proves pro wrestling fans, including myself, are stupid. Whatever. 

For some reason, that simple promo by Bobby Roode putting over the title as a pure wrestling title (don't kill me ROH history nuts) was simple and so effective. If this is going to be TNA's midcard belt, and it's focused more on pure no-nonsense wrestling, then TNA might have a hit here. Especially if it helps the brand provide all aspects in pro wrestling (entertainment, technical, high flying, etc...). And quite frankly, if there is anyone who can make a title credible right now in the company, it's The It Factor. 

I witnessed Bobby Roode vs. Bobby Lashley live in the Manhattan Center earlier this year and it was glorious. Call me crazy (or again, stupid), but that simple segment of him and Lashley sold me on this pay-per-view.

As always is the case with TNA, I just hope this KOTM title thing is consistent. 

EC3 vs. Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy

"Didn't he lose like twice when he had his show?", is what my wife said to me when Hardy was named the third person in the main event. And of course, why in the world would Galloway help hurt his odds at winning the World Title? 

As you can see, I'm not a fan of adding Matt Hardy to the mix this Sunday. But I get it - It's Charlotte, it's the Hardys, they need to be at the top of the bill. I personally liked the drama of Dixie's new poster boy who helped save the company vs. her nephew, who is champ and never lifted a finger to do so. But eh, that's just me. I'm sure many are excited for the three way. 

I'm hoping for an EC3 victory because he makes a great face of the company right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if Matt Hardy gets his moment in North Carolina, with Galloway eating the pin. Thus leaving EC3 with a big ax to grind. 

Other Shenanigans

For the sake of fun, wild speculation, and absurd conjecture, let's go with one minor debut, Grado somehow enters the BFG Gauntlet, a female addition to the announce team, and the yearly tradition of a  new Jeff Hardy theme song.

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Random Rhetoric

Has anyone realized how different the product is and feels since January's debut? 

Isn't that by itself, evident of the inconsistency that is TNA? 

Doesn't the "Dixie Carter" character need some time away from television? Like, serious, significant time? 

How awesome was the X-Division action between DJZ, Trevor Lee, and Tommasso Ciampa? 

And maybe it's me, but isn't the reason the X-Division feels nothing like what it used to be because of the company's flaky commitment to it? 

After all, aren't you tired of giving feedback proclaiming "more X-Division" in another one of their surveys?

Like me, do you also buy into the theory that Chris Melendez has more of a problem with Eric Young, than Young does with him? 

Speaking of, in this PC world, isn't it time to revise battle royal, gauntlet guidelines, and especially the "two feet" must touch the floor rule? See: Chris Melendez. 

And how many of you just imagined a scenario in which Melendez's prosthetic leg is left in the ring while he's out the outside floor, but still deemed legal? 

Seriously, how desensitized has this amputated situation TNA made us as human beings? 

How random has Robbie E's segments and appearances been as of late? 

Hasn't TNA dropped the ball big time on #GodMode t-shirts? 

And finally...

Is there any way to make BFG seem really special after two years of unorthodox circumstances going to it? 

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Unpacking Thoughts on Charlottesville

This weekend has been exhausting. Despite the constant systemic injustice that is the United States of America, it's a moment like this weekend that is delivered and must be unpacked and discussed carefully in the pursuit of social justice - justice that is long deserved. 
There is plenty wrapped up in everything that is Charlottesville, Virigina. This is deep, spans back to the beginning of this nation, and is a result of current times as well. 
I'm still decompressing it all. Here are a few quick thoughts as I too wrap my mind, my emotions, and my intellect and rationale around it:

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/13/17

3 Up
1. Los Angeles Dodgers - In a rough week where the real world just crushes us, the dominance of the Dodgers is one that leaves us in awe, and can take us out into something great for a few minutes. 
2. Derek Jeter The Owner - Is there anything that Derek Jeter loses at? The Captain is now part owner of the Miami Marlins, and get this - will be the first owner and CEO of color within MLB. That's HUGE. 
3. Married at 98 - These two are getting married at 98 (He's 94). How about they both workout at the gym twice-a-week, and met there. So cool in so many ways. Good for them! 
3 Down
1. Charlottesville - So many layers to this story. Hate. History. The ridiculous response from our President. And the apparent shock some in this country have that people are out there who still have this ideology. Point blank, this was terrorism. 
2. Trump and North Korea - Just before Charlottesville, Trump talked tough for absolutely no reason in a back-and-forth that unfortunately effects hund…

Pondering Picture #81

An establishment cannot uphold systemic injustice, and attempt to condemn it, simultaneously.

My prayers (and of course my thoughts...so many thoughts) are with Charlottesville, Virgina, and the many people of color who have endured through these scenes and images over the course of history.