The phrase "What A Difference A Year Makes" is often used to describe a person or situation turning from good to bad or the other way around...and in the case of Impact Wrestling in 2018 that couldn't be any more truthful.
After having one the worse years in company history which was ironically capped off with the worse Bound For Glory of all time, the promotion formerly known as TNA Wrestling was truly looking like they were on the verge on getting shut down once and for all, but a series of events one of which includes the return of Scott D'Amore and Don Callis as executive producers led to Impact having a resurgence it never had in the last couple of years both in front of and behind the camera.
While the issues from the past would continue on a little while longer behind the scenes, in terms of company morale and positive media attention the company was feeling a whole lot better and a prime example of that would have be that year's bound for glory.
With all that said, here are 10 Interesting Facts About Bound For Glory 2018.
10. The Best Attendance Numbers For A BFG Event In Years
Bound For Glory 2018, took place inside the Melrose Ballroom located in Long Island New York, thus making this event the first pay per view in company history to emanate from NYC.
In addition to this being the first PPV that took place in New York, the attendance figures for this event proved to be successful with roughly 1,300-2,000 people packed into the Melrose Ballroom for this show.
This is a vase improvement for the company as the last two Bound For Glory's have had somewhere between 600-1,100 people attending the pay per view and sure the numbers for this event don't hold up to other BFG's that have had 3,000-5,000 people but considering how much people showed up for the previous year's event compared to this one, shows how much improvement the company had made in a single year.
While the attendance might not have been big, the turn out for the pay per view was impressive and why is that you might be asking, well...
9. The Pay Per View Was A Sell Out
Back then it was rare to hear that an Impact PPV sold out especially in the mid to late 2010's when things were starting to fall off the rails with one of the big reasons for this was do the company's habit of hosting some of their shows in large arenas and hoping to bring in as much fans as possible to make the place look and feel packed.
Most times this worked other times you'd have moments of people attending the show videotaping the sight empty seats in the arena, fortunately for the company however they didn't have this problem for Bound For Glory.
According reports, Impact's BFG 2018 event managed to sell out the Melrose Ballroom which might be the first time in a long time that the company was able to do something like that and the second time in a year in which Impact had a sold out pay per view with the first being Slammiversary back in July.
This habit of selling out arenas for Impact pay per views would continue even today for with next several BFG's managing to do so.
8. More Than Half Of The Wrestlers Were Making Their BFG Debuts
2018 saw Impact Wrestling acquiring a whole bunch of new wrestlers which helped to make the company look and feel fresh with a large majority of those new stars making their first appearances at Bound For Glory.
- Rich Swann
- Matt Sydal
- Ethan Page
- Willie Mack
- Tessa Blanchard
- Killer Kross
- Brian Cage
- The Lucha Brothers
- Eddie Kingston
- Su Yung
- And Kiera Hogan
Were all making their Bound For Glory debuts at this event
In fact, out of the 26-27 wrestlers who competed at Bound For Glory 2018, thirteen of them were appearing at BFG for the first time.
One of those names was Taya Valkyrie, who competed for the first time at Bound For Glory on this night as her match on the previous year's Bound For Glory got cancelled, check out the 10 Interesting Facts About Bound For Glory 2017 for more info on that.
7. Fans Expected To See Chris Jericho At This Event
Considering Don Callis' mutual friendship with Y2J and the fact that rumors about him coming to the company have been making the rounds for years, it's kind of easy to see why impact fans going into Bound For Glory speculated that former WCW and WWE star, Chris Jericho would appear at the PPV.
When it was announced that Eli Drake would conclude his self named open challenge at BFG, many fan were prepared to see Y2J come to the ring and make his long awaited debut to Impact Wrestling...but that didn't happen as a matter of fact, he wasn't even considered a possible name for the challenge.
Now Impact never advertised, hinted or mentioned that Chris Jericho would be coming at BFG but with how things were being set up at time, many though that Jericho would finally make the jump to Impact, however before the event Y2J went to Twitter to announce that he wasn't appearing at BFG.
Since Jericho is known for trolling people on social media especially when it comes to mentioning that he may or not be appearing somewhere, most fans thought that Chris was trolling them and that he would be at the show, but by the time the open challenge happened, Jericho proved to everyone that he wasn't at the show.
6. Joey Janela Was Suppose To Challenge To Eli Drake
So since Chris Jericho revealed his wasn't going to be at BFG, many fans wondered as to who would be Eli Drake's opponent to close out the open challenge and they got their answer in the form of...James Ellsworth and well let's just say the Impact fanbase made their dislike over the former WWE jobber well known before, during and after the match when Eli defeated Ellsworth in around five minutes before getting chokeslammed through a table by newly minted Impact Hall of Famer, Abyss.
While the payoff to the open challenge may have ended in anticlimactic fashion, it turns out that Drake vs. Ellsworth wasn't originally set to happen as the original person scheduled to accept the challenge was going to be Joey Janela.
According to reports, the future AEW star was originally set to be the man to take on Eli Drake at Bound For Glory and lose, however Janela couldn't make it due some injuries he suffered in a previous match, so as a result James Ellsworth (would was in the area) accepted at the last minute and ended up doing the J.O.B for Eli Drake.
5. Taya Valkyrie's Return
After losing to her then rival, Rosemary in a Demon's dance match on an episode of Impact in early 2018, Taya Valkyrie would disappear from television for next couple of months.
In the meantime, third generation wrestler Tessa Blanchard would debut for the company and soon go on to become the new Knockouts Champion where she defeated names like Su Yung, Gisele Shaw and Faby Apache before a pre-taped video aired after one of Tessa's matches during the company's recent tapings in Mexico.
In the video Taya challenges Tessa to a title match at Bound For Glory, which Blanchard's accepts and sets the stage for Taya's first match in the company since early 2018...but why did Taya vanish from TV to begin with?
Well as it turns out Taya went on a hiatus to take care of other wrestling related obligations she had to do, plus she was getting married to Johnny Impact (aka John Morrison in the WWE) also around this time.
Once everything was taken cared of, Taya would make her in-ring return for Impact on her very first Bound For Glory pay per view...better late than never.
4. Bodega Bamz Was The Musical Act For LAX
The feud between LAX and The OGz was one of the biggest in Impact Wrestling at the time and the blow off to their whole feud at Bound For Glory was going to be epic, so to mark this occasion the company decided to have a native from the New York area, Nathanial De La Rosa otherwise known under the name of 'Bodega Bamz' as the musical act for LAX's entrance.
Bodega Bamz is best known for his mixtapes and albums like 'All Eyez Off Me', 'The Rest is Noise', the critically acclaimed 'Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z.' and 'Sidewalk Exec'; Bamez is also known for his work as actor in shows like SMILF and the crime drama, FBI.
If you haven't seen the footage of Bodega Bamz/LAX entrance at Bound For Glory 2018, I'll post a link down below.
3. Homicide And Hernandez Competed At BFG For The First Time In 10 Years
The team of Homicide and Hernandez have undoubtedly become one of best duos in the history of Impact Wrestling, going all the way back to when the first started to team up back in the mid to late 2000's alongside Konnan and Hector Guerrero.
An unique fact about the duo in regards to this event is the fact that this was Homicide and Hernandez's first match at Bound For Glory in ten years...that's right a goddamn decade.
The last time both men competed at BFG as team, was back in 2008 when LAX (the original version) took on Team 3D, Beer Money Inc. and Abyss and Matt Morgan in a four way monster's ball match for the TNA Tag Team titles.
While Homicide would make sporadic appearances for the company, he would never compete in a singles match at Bound For Glory in his entire time with the company, Hernandez on the other hand would compete at BFG either in singles or tag team matches in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2020.
2. The Dangers Involving The Concrete Jungle Match
The Concrete Jungle is can best be classified as one of those matches that Impact tried and will problem never ever do again because sweet baby Jesus it was a very dangerous bout, not just because the wrestlers where competing on exposed wooden floor boards which will cause a whole lot of damage but for a number of other reasons.
According to Kris Levin who was the referee for that match, he talks about how refereeing the Concrete Jungle was the most challenging bout of his entire career, despite the fact that he refereed other death matches in his career before this one.
Levin also mentions how hard he had to try to keep the floor boards in place while at the same being the referee; Other problems included the limitations both LAX and the OGz had when it came to walking on the exposed wood never mind wrestling on it plus some of the boards would allegedly pop out of place thereby making things even more risky.
Thankfully, the company has never done a match like this again and for the safety of their wrestlers and the company's bank accounts that's a good thing.
1. The Story Behind The World Title Ending
While Bound For Glory 2018 is certainly remembered as a good show, it perhaps best remembered for the finish between Johnny Impact and Austin Aries for the Impact World Championship.
Now, I wouldn't describe what happened as I'm sure many of you already have seen or heard about it, however I will talk a little bit about the story surrounding the finish.
According to Austin Aries in a 2019 interview with Chris Van Vliet, the finish and sequence that came after the bell rang was indeed planned as Aries decided to play off the idea of people thinking his a prick and unprofessional while at the same time create a moment that people will be talking about for years to come and get more attention on Impact, in other words Aries was trying to work the marks who probably still believe the whole animosity leading into and after the match was real.
While plans to bring back Aries for a rematch was there, nothing really came of it with the contract negotiations being the main reason.
And you know what whether you like or dislike Austin Aries as a wrestler, a person or both you can't deny the notorious no sell by "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" is still one of the biggest WTF/Holy S##T Moments in modern pro wrestling which still generates discussion even to this day...Something Aries himself wanted all along.
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