The Impact Wrestling Bound for Glory series started in 2011 and was established as a 12-person tournament to determine the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at the company’s biggest pay-per-view of the year. The first year, the participants included Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, Crimson, Matt Morgan, Gunner, James Storm, Rob Van Dam, Samoa Joe, Scott Steiner, AJ Styles, Devon, and D’Angelo Dinero.
The four finalists, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Gunner, and Bully Ray, competed in the semifinals at No Surrender, the pay-per-view before Bound for Glory. Bully Ray and Bobby Roode were able to win their respective matches and advance to the finals, before Roode defeated Bully Ray to win the tournament. At Bound for Glory, Roode would be unsuccessful in capturing the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Kurt Angle.
However, James Storm would defeat Angle a couple of weeks later to win the title. Roode would compete against Storm the following month and turn heel by smashing a beer bottle over the head of Storm, defeating him and becoming champion as a result. To this day, Roode still holds the title of longest-reigning champion in company history.
While Roode won the inaugural tournament, it was recently revealed that he was not the original person scheduled to win. During the tournament, Dinero, Devon, and Crimson all were ousted due to storyline injuries linked to Samoa Joe. However, Matt Morgan, who had to forfeit, was legitimately injured.
During the latest episode of the Wrestling INC Podcast, Morgan revealed the original plans of the inaugural tournament.
“I tore my pec, and I was supposed to win the very first Bound for Glory Series. I was supposed to win the world championship out of that. And, you want to talk about an opportunity to get on the mic and talk about real feelings, I can’t think of a better opportunity to show the fans who you really are.”
Morgan was a staple of Impact Wrestling for six years. During that time, he was member of Fortune, teamed up with Abyss, Hernandez, and Crimson as well as had bitter rivalries with each; and had other rivalries with notable names such as Sting, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, and Scott Steiner. Although he had very close calls of winning the title against Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson, he never managed to reach that pinnacle of his career.
Morgan took a two-year hiatus from TNA before returning in 2015 to feud with Bram and set up a match at Slammiversary. Morgan would be defeated by Bram and retire from the business in order to focus more on his family. Interestingly, Morgan also announced that he will be making his professional wrestling return soon.
After having the Bound for Glory series again in 2012 and 2013, with Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles winning, respectively, the tournament took a three-year absence before returning in 2016. This was different than the previous three, as it was set up in a bracket format. In the end, EC3 defeated Mike Bennett to win, but failed to capture the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Lashley at Bound for Glory.
Having injuries can be very detrimental to a person’s in-ring career, and could literally happen at the most inopportune time. As shown by Matt Morgan, it can also prevent someone from becoming world champion. By the time someone recovers, it may be much harder to insert him or her in the world title picture immediately. This is very relevant to the WWE Universal Championship, as fans will have to see if Finn Balor jumps right back into the title picture when he returns.
[Featured Image by Impact Wrestling/Facebook]