TNA Wrestling’s 2nd Annual “Bound for Glory Series” brought tournament style competition to professional wrestling. Over the course of three grueling summer months, twelve of IMPACT WRESTLING’s most decorated superstars clashed in rings all across the country with one goal in mind: earn a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at “Bound for Glory.” The “Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy reigned supreme and will take his acrobatic style into the ring this Sunday at “Bound for Glory,” but his road to redemption has not been without its obstacles. Strap on your sleeves and break out the face paint because we’re celebrating Jeff Hardy’s rise to number one contender.
Hardy’s first “BFG Series” match on the June 14 edition of IMPACT WRESTLING didn’t exactly set the tone for his remarkable run. Not only did he not win the massive “11-Man Gauntlet Match,” he was the very first superstar eliminated after a pin by Bully Ray. But in an ironic twist of fate, Hardy and Bully Ray would certainly meet again.
One week later on IMPACT WRESTLING, Hardy answered the call on “Open Fight Night” to face Rob Van Dam. With an incredible six matches on the card that evening, all twelve “BFG Series” competitors were jockeying for early position in the tournament. Hardy responded to the pressure by pinning RVD in the night’s final match to earn his first 7 “BFG Series” points.
After two weeks rest, Hardy once again entered the ring with “BFG Series” points on the line on the July 5 episode of IMPACT WRESTLING. Facing then-leader “Cowboy” James Storm, who had already racked up 36 “BFG Series” points, Hardy’s match was a must-win. Hardy somehow kicked out of a pin and delivered a devastating “Twist of Fate” to earn another 7 points, doubling his total to 14.
The very next night on July 6 in North Charleston, SC, Hardy brought the East Coast crowd to their feet by pinning another TNA veteran, Christopher Daniels. With 21 points to his name, Hardy still faced an uphill battle, but at least he had begun closing in on leaders James Storm and Samoa Joe.
Floundering in the “BFG Series” basement with zero points, loudmouth Robbie E baited Hardy into a match with himself and his bodyguard, Robbie T. A diversion by Robbie T lured Hardy outside the ring for too long, leading to countout worth 5 points for Robbie E. The IMPACT WRESTLING loss signaled the beginning of a rough stretch for the eventual “BFG Series” champ.
On July 20 Hardy earned a crucial seven points for pinning Mr. Anderson at a live event in Aberdeen, MD; but the thrill of victory wouldn’t last long. The next night in front of a rowdy Brooklyn, NY, audience, Hardy fell to the “Phenomenal” AJ Styles after a brutal exchange of dangerous aerial moves. Another loss just six days later in Dayton, OH, this time to Magnus, left Hardy with only 28 “BFG Series” points and a little over a month to make up ground.
On August 3, Hardy dazzled the Enid, OK, fans on his way to another 7 “BFG Series” points by pinning The Pope. Then with 35 total points, Hardy was beginning to mount a final push to crack the top four series wrestlers, which would earn him a place in the semifinals where all bets are off.
At the “Hardcore Justice” Pay-Per-View on August 12, Hardy entered a four-man tables match against Bully Ray, James Storm, and Robbie E with 20 “BFG Series” points on the line. Bully Ray took home the points after slamming the “Charismatic Enigma” through the table, but the loss lit a fire in Hardy that would carry him the last few weeks toward victory.
Hardy’s first taste of revenge came just four days later at IMPACT WRESTLING, when he emphatically pinned Bully Ray after a series of Swanton dives. He carried his momentum into the IMPACT Zone on August 30 once again against Kurt Angle. The Olympic gold medalist Angle brought a competitor’s fury, but Hardy’s elusive ropes attach helped him outmaneuver Angle on his way to 7 more points.
The September 6 edition of IMPACT WRESTLING pitted Hardy, who was sitting on 49 “BFG Series” points, against the “Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe, who had 68 “BFG Series” points. In a stunning reversal of fortune, Hardy forced Samoa Joe to submit, earning 10 final points and a fourth place finish in the “BFG Series” preliminary round.
On September 9 at “No Surrender” Pay-Per-View, the “BFG Series” officially concluded with a four-man bracket of Storm, Bully Ray, Samoa Joe, and Jeff Hardy. As incoming points leader, James Storm chose to face Bully Ray, leaving Hardy to face Samoa Joe in a rematch to advance to the “BFG Series” finals. Hardy and Bully Ray advanced, setting the stage for Hardy’s ascension back to the top of the “BFG Series.” Even despite an injury at the hands of the “Aces and 8s” just minutes prior to the match, Hardy claimed an improbable victory over Bully Ray, thus crowning him winner of TNA’s second annual “Bound for Glory Series.”
Jeff Hardy has overcome all odds to earn his shot at Austin Aries’ TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but the work isn’t done just yet. This Sunday at “Bound for Glory,” the world will know if Jeff Hardy has what it takes to reclaim the glory he once possessed, or if Austin Aries will continue his inaugural reign as TNA World Heavyweight Champion!