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TNA Turning Point PPV Review
Barbwire, tables, and bats oh my. The hype leading up to this PPV promised us blood, tearing flesh, shattered tables, and professional athletes from outside the world of wrestling. TNA delivered on all three, but is worth paying to see? Well here is my take on whether your not you should shell out your hard earned, borrowed, (or in some cases stolen) money to buy this PPV.
Match 1 Sabu vs. Abyss - Barbed Wire Ring Match
In the opening contest the familiar TNA ring ropes have been replaced with barbed wire, and lots of it. I don?t know if all of the wire was real or not, but it seemed so. As you might guess Sabu did most of the wire spots, allowing himself to be thrown into and hung across it on several occasions, although Abyss certainly got into the act as well. This was a good, but brutal match, that had a fairly high cringe factor. There wasn?t an over abundance of blood, but the sight of the two careening into the wire may be a bit much for some. In the end, Abyss found himself on the wrong side of a barbed wire sandwich, allowing Sabu to get the pin. Overall I found this to be a good match with each of the competitors getting in their signature moves in, in addition to working the barbed wire angle. This is definitely a PPV worthy match, and worth paying to see.
As a side note, TNA unintentionally reveled the source of the chants that so frequently erupt from the TNA crowd. During the Sabu vs. Abyss match, a TNA representative could be seen walking over to the camera side of the crowd and starting and leading a ?Lets go Sabu? chant. Professional that he was, he also showed them how to clap in-between the chant. Seeing how it?s done takes away from it, but the presence of a enthusiastic and vocal crowd is always a plus.
Following the match we there is a brief and expected delay as the ring crew must remove the barbed wire, and setup the ring ropes. I was expecting a video package to be presented that would recap all of the storylines that have led up to Turning Point, but instead Tenay and West simply talk about the upcoming matches and show a few brief pre-match interviews.
Match 2 Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries & Matt Bentley w/ Traci
There was no lead in given for this match by the announcers. That?s probable because there is no real reason to have this match other than to fill up time. That?s not a knock on the participants, it?s a knock on management. It?s fine to just ?throw guys out there? from time to time on a free weekly TV show, but should you do it on a PPV? The match itself was standard fare. Shelley, Strong, and Aries got in some nice moves but I think the tag team format so limits their in ring time, that they can?t perform to the best of their abilities. At the end of the night, a well booked finish saw Shelley falling victim to the Bentley?s superkick. The four did work well together, but I just don?t think there was anything special about this match, and without a storyline to advance I just don?t think it should have been on the PPV. It was a good example of TNA X division wrestling, but not worth paying for.
Next we go backstage for a Monty Brown interview. Monty gives a nice, and at times comedic interview until he is interrupted by Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett then gives a little standup of his own and in the process foreshadows the coming of new talent into the company, sometime during the PPV.
We are then taken back to the ring were Larry Zybisco once again offers Raven the chance to sign a release and leave the company. Raven then grabs the microphone and ?phones in? some stick work prior to the match starting. Although he got through his lines alright, he really didn?t seen in to it at all.
Match 3 Raven vs. Chris K (Kannyon form WCW)
I found this match to be fairly mediocre. It wasn?t a bad match, but it wasn?t very entertaining. Each man brawled and wrestled throughout the match, but it was strictly a weekly TV show performance given by both men. The Raven Effect, (and an excellent sell by Chris K), ended the match in Ravens favor.
Once again we find ourselves backstage, this time for a Team Canada interview, or what may be renamed the ?Who gets to slap Eric Young this month? segment. After a little discipline and cheerleading by D?Amore, Jarrett again shows up to discuss the new addition to TNA rumored to be making their debut on the PPV.
Match 4 Team Canada vs. 4 Live Crew
In a brilliant piece of strategy, the 4 Live Crew enter the ring second, and have Ron Killings rap live during their entrance. Hearing him on the mic is like an audible submission hold, obviously meant to wear down Team Canada before the start of the match. As if that wasn?t enough, following up on his ?banana smuggling? shorts from last month, Kip James comes to the ring sporting a hair do straight out of ?Prison Bitch Monthly? magazine proving that the 4 Live Crew have truly mastered the art of psychological warfare! The match itself was a typical outing for both teams. No one really stood out in this contest, though each man performed solidly throughout. I was expecting this to be another ?good but nothing notable? type of match until it happened. Obviously driven insane by Kip James?s hairdo, Konnan delivers a chair shot to Kip right at the moment the two could have pined Bobby Roode. Konnan then allows Roode to pin the folliclely challenged James for the win. B.J. James then questions the actions of Konnan, and receives a chair shot of his own as a response. Not missing a beat, (perhaps thanks to the ?this is how to clap man?), the crowd begins a ?New Age Outlaws? chant. I though the match was merely adequate, but the breakup of 4 Live Crew gives this match the bump it needed to make it PPV worthy. After all PPVs are where all storylines are supposed to start and end, and TNA came through with this one.
Next up is an interview with the Diamonds In the Rough, who inform us that they are definitely not baseball fans. This leads in to a very nice video package that tells the story of how Dale Torborg and AJ Pierzynski got involved in this match.
Match 5 Diamonds In the Rough vs. Torborg, Dutt, and Sabin
That?s right folks Dale Torborg, (The Demon from WCW returns to the ring), don?t worry though there is no coffin at ringside. More important than Torborg?s return, is the return of Bobby the Brain Heenan to the announcers booth. He only sat in for this match but it was nice to have him back, and he started with the wise cracks even before he got his headset on. This was an average match with some very nice spots from Dutt, Skipper, and Young. Torborg kept things simple and as such did well. In the end it was a ?home plate? shot to the head, (don?t even ask), that allowed Dutt and company to get the win. If you?re a baseball fan, perhaps the presence of AJ may have made this one worth the price of admission, but it left me a little flat.
We now go to a Christian Cage interview followed by a video package explaining his rivalry with Monty Brown.
Match 6 Christian Cage vs. Monty Brown
Like many of the matches in this show, I found this one to be only average. Although Monty Brown hit some very nice spots along the way and both gave a solid performance, I just don?t think they were able to elevate this contest into something special. In the end it turned out that Monty?s head is not harder than a steel turnbuckle, enabling Cage to get the win. This match was to determine the #1 contender for the heavyweight belt, and such matches should be on PPVs, (one does have to remember however, that TNA has a way of not honoring such rankings, you can ask Abyss about that). So the match itself was important, and the ring work was solid but I think that if you paid to see this match, you would feel somewhat disappointed.
Next, an interview with Team 3D leads to video segment explaining the Team 3D AMS feud, just prior to the match.
Match 7 Team 3D vs. AMW - Table Elimination Match
The rules for this match were simple, the first team able to put both of their opponents through a table win. Although I like a good table match, the rules in this contest meant that we wouldn?t get table spot after table spot, since that would bring the contest to a quick end. Instead we got a lot of ?attempted? table spots with someone making a save to prevent his partners elimination. I think the rules hampered this match, as at the most you could only have 3 table spots and I think table matches needed more of them. Everyone involved in this one was solid, however considering this was Team 3D getting revenge, I expected a lot more than I got. Team 3D came up with the win, even using AMW?s ?Death Sentence? to get the first elimination. Had Team 3D beaten AMW down like dogs and gotten revenge for being put out of commission for a while, it would have been worth paying for; as it was, it was just another match with two table spots. In fairness I must mention that there was an extenuating circumstance that may have affected this match. James Storm seemed to be injured after taking the ?Death Sentence? through the table. He remained in the center of the ring after taking the move while the match seemed to immediate continue on the ramp way and entry stage. I don?t know if the continuation and quick end of the match outside of the ring was part of the original plan, or just quick improvising by the reaming 3 participants, but if Storm was truly injured it would explain the fairly quick ending which may have resulting several spots being skipped.
An interview with AJ Styles is next followed by an explanation of James Storm?s injury, and assisted removal from the ring.
Match 8 AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe - X Division Title Match
This match has been greatly anticipated and marked the high point of the night. While I must say that I have seen better performances out of both individuals, they defiantly put on a very good match. Rather than have each of them totally dominate using their usual styles, both men changed their styles and pacing slightly to give the match a ?hard fought contest? feel. Each did get in some signature moves, but neither steamrolled the other as we are accustomed to seeing. In keeping with the ?change things up a little? theme, Joe was unable to use the Muscle Buster, and instead had to use a new, (and very slick), move to lock in his sleeper hold for the win. After the match Joe decided to ?take some liberties? with this fallen opponent, which prompted Christopher Daniels to hit the ring. Daniels succeeded in beating Joe down, until he received a head but from Joe. Selling the concussion that he received from Joe weeks ago, Daniels went down and was not able to recover.
We then go backstage one last time for a Rhino interview and Rhino vs. Jarrett video segment.
Match 9 Rhino vs. Jeff Jarrett ? Heavyweight Championship Match
Despite very solid work from both Jarrett and Rhino they were not able to live up the previous match. However in their defense, I don?t believe they were given the opportunity to do so. This match was far to ?overbooked? in my opinion. It featured too much interference from Team Canada, so much so in fact that it made Jarrett look incredibly weak. He essentially had a 6 on 1 advantage, and still needed a guitar and hockey stick shots on Rhino to get the victory. Before Team Canada showed up, the two worked an nice mix of wrestling and brawling. They even spent some time fighting amongst the fans, and worked in a scaffolding fall, and a gore-through-the-table-down-the-entry-ramp spot into the mix. In spite of their efforts, I don?t think this one was worth the money, a feeling the crowd seemed to share. I don?t think I?ve heard the Impact Zone quieter than after Jarrett got the win. It was as if the majority of the audience was thinking ?Oh great, 30 more days with him on top??. It was at this point that the ?new talent coming to TNA? made a shocking and dramatic entrance. Well not really, they turned the lights off , flashed a scorpion on the screen and put a pair of Sting-like boots, coat and bat on a chair in the center of the ring. If that?s not anticlimactic I don?t? know what is.
And there you have it, the Turning Point PPV in all its glory. Although there are some entertaining matches in this card, (Joe vs. Styles and Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries & Matt Bentley quickly come to mind), I just don?t think this show is worth paying for, (unless your one of the folks paying for it with stolen money).
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