FEATURE: Josh Boutwell on TNA Bound for Glory PPV in Japan

TNA is “Bound for Tokyo”
June 25, 2014
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com

Earlier today TNA announced that the 10th annual “Bound for Glory” PPV, TNA’s biggest event of the year, will be held in the orient from Tokyo, Japan in the famed Korakeun Hall. TNA has been teasing doing a PPV overseas for years now, but this is extremely ambitious and probably a surprise to many. I think most of us figured if TNA ever did a PPV in a country other than America or Canada it would likely be England where TNA is extremely popular. Great Muta’s Wrestle-1 and TNA’s relationship has unquestionably been the best relationship TNA has struck up with an international promotion thus far.

Previously TNA has worked with Mexico’s CMLL where they exchanged talent including a group of luchadors coming for the 2008 World X-Cup, but the partnership ended only a couple of years after it started. TNA has also worked with AAA on multiple occasions in the past and outside of having TNA talent appear on AAA events it really was never much of a benefit for TNA during the last partnership which ended earlier this year. The first partnership they had with AAA was back in the Asylum days in Nashville and a slew of AAA talent came to TNA over the years. TNA has also had working relationships with New Japan, All Japan, and Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan at various times. The biggest of those was obviously the relationship with New Japan which saw stars like Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada come to TNA and TNA stars appear on several big New Japan events including doing TNA vs. New Japan matches at New Japan’s annual big Tokyo Dome events for a couple of years.

This current partnership however has already seen TNA bring in the legendary Great Muta for a very rare wrestling appearance at Lockdown and now will do so again this week at the Impact tapings in New York. Young Wrestle-1 star Sanada has worked for TNA since April and has been the X-Division Champion that entire time becoming a very young, promising star in the process while even defending that title in Japan multiple times as well. TNA has also not only sent stars to Wrestle-1 regularly for events but they also co-promoted an event earlier this year with Wrestle-1 in Japan that will end up airing in America next month as a “One Night Only” PPV.

Now, TNA announces in New York City that TNA’s biggest annual event of the year will take place in Tokyo, co-promoted by Muta’s Wrestle-1. We still haven’t received any more details but you could imagine there will likely be some cross promotional matches taking place that can result in some intriguing matchups. With that said this will undoubtedly be a logistically nightmare for TNA in terms of airing the PPV in America. I don’t see how it will be possible at all to air the event live with the huge time difference between America and Japan. So you’re biggest PPV of the year will have to be a few hours tape delay more than likely.

WWE does it for “RAW” regularly overseas and both the UFC and HBO have done it for big events overseas, but this isn’t a TV special it is a PPV. I personally think it is worth the risk for the atmosphere that the PPV will bring in Japan and also the cool matchups we could potentially see. Who doesn’t want to potentially see the X-Division guys out there with some of Japan’s finest high flyers or the Great Muta across the ring from the legendary Kurt Angle? This is definitely going to be a cool event to watch for TNA fans, but what about arguably TNA’s biggest star in Jeff Hardy?

A few years ago after his arrest New Japan wanted to bring Jeff Hardy back to the country but couldn’t because of Japan’s strict laws about felons coming into the country. Is there some sort of time limit on bans like that for a person? I would imagine that if that was the case Muta would have already brought Jeff Hardy in for a Wrestle-1 event. It would be almost disastrous for TNA if they couldn’t advertise Hardy for this event as he would surely be a draw in Japan where they do get to see him very often. All these questions will have to be answered in the coming months and for TNA’s sake, and for the fans, I hope these are questions TNA has already been asking itself. Time will tell but this should most certainly make for one of the most interesting “Bound for Glory’s” in TNA history.

Follow me on Twitter: @BamaBoyJosh